A biological by-product of the rubber tree plant, natural latex is harvested over the course of the tree’s lifespan. This typically lasts more than 50 years. Through a process of heating and vulcanization, the organic compound results in a thin liquid that is used to make plush latex foam.
Latex Mattresses: Facts
- Latex has a long life span.
- You can customize them so each sleep partner achieves the ideal sleep surface.
- This material has a high level of customer satisfaction.
- It’s versatile and adaptable.
- It offers extreme comfort for users.
- It’s manufactured in a wide spectrum of firmness options and varieties, such as sustainably-harvested botanical latex or synthetic latex varieties.
- Latex mattresses are high in quality, much more so than traditional mattresses.
Differences: Latex vs. Traditional Mattress
Traditional mattresses have many cons, such as:
- Discomfort, leading to poor sleep quality.
- Broadcast motion, meaning if you move, your partner is disrupted.
- Can be very hot to sleep on, leading to sleepers who wake often, usually in a sweat and very uncomfortable. This extra sweat increases the risk of mold growth.
- Wear out quickly, leading to quicker replacement and higher costs over time.
- Trap allergens such as mites, mold, mildew, and dust particles.
- Discourage proper spinal alignment, which can aggravate existing medical conditions.
On the other hand, latex mattresses can help you boost your quality of sleep and quality of life because they cushion your body, regulate body temperature, align your spine, and can last up to 20 years.
Research shows that high-quality sleep for at least seven hours is important for a healthy body and mind. You already know that the quality of your mattress can significantly impact how restful your sleep is. A natural latex mattress provides a deep, refreshing, restorative sleep you require to be productive, thanks to the material’s high elasticity and incredible pressure relief.
Pros of Latex Mattresses
Why are latex mattresses better than traditional mattresses? Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Body-contouring: Latex has the ability to contour to your body, compressing under your hips and shoulders while supporting your waist and legs. This gives the surface a quicker reaction time than memory foam can.
- Resilience: All-natural latex foam has a “bounce” to it that can compress and then spring right back to its original shape. This results in a soft yet supportive mattress.
- Medical issues: Even though latex hasn’t been approved for medical use, the soft support of a botanical latex mattress aligns the spine and cradles body parts that are in pain, while decreasing pressure points. This is good news for those who suffer from back problems, chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, or spinal cord injury.
- Long-lasting. Warranties for latex mattresses usually last 20 years or more. When well cared for and placed on the right latex mattress foundation, it can last even longer than that. Plus, there’s no sagging so you never have to flip a latex mattress.
- Hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial: Dust mites, mold and mildew can’t penetrate the surface of latex mattresses very easily. Latex foam is anti-microbial and thus remains hygienic over its lifespan.
- Temperature regulation: Latex foam regulates body temperature while sleeping, allowing for proper air flow. The mattress is allowed to “breathe” through tiny pinholes, keeping you cooler in the summer. Research shows that well-regulated skin temperature results in better comfort and deeper sleep.
- Eco-friendly. Natural botanical latex may be harvested without having to kill the rubber tree plant that it comes from. Indeed, an all-natural latex mattress can be made without using petrochemicals or synthetic materials. Some latex mattresses are even manufactured right at the rubber tree site, reducing the expense and carbon footprint of shipping the product.
Comparing Mattress Types
- Gel Mattresses:This type is good for pressure-relief and temperature-regulating comfort, but they rely on layers for this support and can get quite expensive.
- Memory Foam Mattresses:This is a space-age synthetic material that conforms to your body. It’s temperature-sensitive, becoming less supportive when in contact with body heat overnight.
- Air Mattresses:These can be adjusted for firmness by adding or removing air. However, air leaks in the casing can happen over time.
- Innerspring Mattresses:The coils in innerspring mattresses will compress over the years, resulting in distinct body impressions.
Synthetic and Blended Latex vs. All Natural Latex
Manufacturers are capable of making synthetic latex that imitates the support of natural foam latex. However, it’s not as buoyant, durable, or cushiony as the natural version.
All Natural Latex
Manufactured entirely from botanical latex, this foam is made in a variety of firmnesses, thicknesses, surface treatments and internal constructions.
Synthetic latex costs less than natural latex foam. It’s made in a lab, usually at the foam manufacturing site. This prevents the need for intense harvesting practices and shipping.
These still don’t have quite the body-contouring support that real latex does, even though they contain a little bit of natural latex with the synthetic product to increase resilience and quality.
Types of Latex Foam
Latex is produced in one of two ways: Talalay or Dunlop. Each processing type has its own drawbacks and benefits.
This process, originating in the mid-20th century, involves liquid latex being poured into frames in layers, then cooled and vulcanized, resulting in a strong, long-lasting latex.
This has a mix of latex and air that is uniformly distributed at a molecular level, and is lighter than the Dunlop latex. It’s more high-tech, and requires the shipment of liquid latex to a processing facility that is often situated far from the rubber tree estate. The liquid latex is whipped and poured into a frame, vacuum molded and flash-frozen, quickly congealing into foam.
Wondering which one is better? It’s really up to your personal preference, as both are supportive, comfortable, cost effective and long-lasting.
Latex Foam Mattress: Making Sure You are Satisfied
You’re a smart shopper, right? So don’t neglect the research phase so you can make the best possible decision. Here is how you can go about it.
Compare similar mattresses when determining price. For instance, two Dunlop mattresses can be very different – one could be all natural and the other synthetic. Understand how each mattress is constructed so you can get a true apples to apples comparison between them.
What Does “Natural” Mean?
Your idea of a “natural” or “organic” latex mattress should gel with the manufacturer’s. Some are considered “organic” due to the rubber tree farmers using organic methods, but keep in mind that chemicals may be added during latex processing. Plus, manufacturers often bind foam layers together with industrial glues and may even cover the mattress with petrochemical fire barriers.
An “all-natural” label means botanical latex was used in the mattress’s manufacture. Consider the processing and materials that comprise your mattress during the research phase so you know you’re getting what you paid for.
Try Smaller, More Specialized Companies
Most large mattress brands resell inventory received from third-party manufacturers, which translates to high overhead costs. This means they can’t invest in the highest quality latex mattresses, and you’ll also shell out more at major chains, even with a lesser quality product.
Online warehousing operations or small businesses with a couple locations will give you the highest quality, as they offer cost-saving measures and better quality inventory.
Check manufacturers who sell direct to consumers, too, so you don’t have to go through a middleman.
How to Customize the Sleep Experience
Latex is flexible, which means it can be rolled up into a cylinder to get added support for your body where you need it most. It’s made using a wide range of components and techniques, available in layered configurations and ILDs (support measurements) for top-notch customization.
Do Your Research
Always do your homework on the mattress company before choosing them to make it is reputable, secure, legitimate, and experienced.
Here are some questions to ask when you call:
What’s the return policy? You should be able to return the bed within a specified amount of time if unsatisfied.
What’s your rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? The Better Business Bureau will tell you if a business is reputable, properly licensed, and qualified, or if there have been complaints about a given company.
What kind of customer service can I expect? Can you speak to a real person, or are you shuttled through the phone system and receive no help at all?
What is your warranty? Look for warranties lasting 20 years or more.
What do the online latex mattress reviews say? Make sure the reviews you’re seeing are mostly positive.
There are several positive benefits to latex mattresses, so if you’re in the market for one, come view our large selection here at Best Bed USA!