Latex mattresses have experienced a resurgence in popularity over the past few years due to their longevity and eco-friendly properties. Latex mattresses are an excellent alternative to innerspring or memory foam mattresses. Latex mattresses, unlike many traditional mattresses, are free of harmful chemicals and petroleum-based ingredients from fossil fuels, making them ideal for allergy patients. However, latex mattresses aren’t the best option for everyone.
Here, we’ll review the advantages and disadvantages of latex mattresses and answer some FAQs you might have about latex mattresses.
Mattresses made of latex are well-known for their cozy sensation. The first time you lie down on a latex mattress, you’ll experience a feeling similar to that of gently sinking, followed by a sense that the mattress is buoyantly supporting you. This is because latex has a natural springiness to it, which is what gives it its pleasant feel.
Latex mattresses are a fantastic solution for those who have trouble with their backs or joints. Latex mattresses are advised for the treatment of pain by a wide variety of health practitioners, including chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, and physical therapists. This is because of the cushioning and comfort features of latex, in addition to its capacity to help in the natural alignment of the spine. Making the move to a latex mattress might be advantageous if you find that pain is keeping you awake at night.
One of the primary benefits of a latex mattress is that it helps to maintain the natural alignment of the spine. While the heavier parts of the body, such as the shoulders and hips, sink into the latex, the lighter elements of the body are still firmly supported, which allows the spine to align in its natural position. In addition to providing relief from back discomfort, the ability to preserve the natural curvature of the spine is beneficial to overall health and well-being. In addition, because of the exceptional pressure distribution provided by a latex mattress, the body’s circulation of blood is improved.
Latex mattresses are a great option for people who suffer from allergies, which may sound like a contradiction given the nature of the material and prevalence of latex allergies. Common household allergens like mold, mildew, and dust cannot survive on latex surfaces. The fact that latex is naturally antimicrobial, resistant to mildew, and does not harbor dust mites makes it an excellent material for people who suffer from asthma. This makes latex the best mattress material for those who suffer from allergies and allergy asthma.
If you suffer from a latex allergy, a latex mattress isn’t out of the question. The majority of these mattresses are entirely encased in a separate fabric, most often cotton or wool. Because of this, it’s unlikely that someone with latex allergies would come into contact with the actual latex.
Latex foam, unlike polyurethane foam, does not deteriorate in a matter of months. Latex mattresses, in fact, may survive for many years, even a decade or more! Within a year, most foam mattresses lose a third of their density, resulting in a far less pleasant night’s sleep. And where does all of this stuff end up? It turns into dust, which you and your family (as well as any pets!) inhale every day.
Latex mattresses offer a far longer lifespan, making them much more cost-effective in the long term, as well as better for your health and the environment.
The natural open-cell structure of latex allows for optimum air flow, making latex mattresses a great fit for those who sleep hot. Additionally, during the latex manufacturing, a series of pinholes are created, which further improves airflow. The excellent air circulation of latex mattresses provides an additional advantage. Sweat does not stay on a latex mattress, nor does it make it feel moist.
Unlike memory foam and other mattresses, latex is easy to clean. If you spill something on a latex mattress or get it dirty, luckily, it’s easy to clean and will stay looking new and clean for years to come. Because it can be cleaned with warm soapy water, blotted dry with a towel, and then allowed to dry naturally in the air, latex requires little in the way of maintenance. If you have children or pets, latex mattresses are a good option.
Latex is natural material, making it more eco-friendly than other types of mattresses. It is a biographical material like cotton and wool. Latex is made by harvesting rubber trees, which is a natural resource. When shopping for a latex mattress, make sure to choose natural latex. Natural latex, unlike polyurethane foam, will biodegrade without releasing toxins into the environment once its useful life has ended.
The dense feel of latex mattresses makes them great for motion isolation. If you can feel your partner move around when sleeping, a latex mattress can prevent you from feeling this movement.
Given how dense natural latex is, it is not surprising that large slabs of material, like those found in mattresses, can be rather heavy. Be prepared to lift it and have assistance available if you’re purchasing a full latex mattress. In order to replace the bedding, you’ll also need to make sure you can lift the mattress comfortably.
Some latex mattresses are delivered to your home in sections, with the outer organic cover and latex cushioning layers being sent separately. This makes it simpler to relocate the mattress, for instance, to a bedroom upstairs.
There is no getting past the rubber scent of a new latex mattress. After all, it’s made of natural materials and the rubber scent is normal and a sign that you purchased a quality, legitimate latex mattress. But don’t worry, this smell does not indicate that your mattress is off-gassing toxic chemicals. Additionally, the scent will go away and become undetectable if you let the mattress air out for a few days to a week before sleeping on it.
In comparison to other mattresses composed of natural materials, latex mattresses are often a little more expensive. Typically, the cost depends on the mattress material certifications, with more strict certifications costing more money (think GOLS and FairRubber).
These certificates are significant because they show that the product was created from organic rubber that has been certified as such and was obtained in a sustainable manner by well-treated and fairly compensated employees.
The initial investment in a latex mattress may be slightly greater than other types of mattresses. The cost per year of use will typically be lower because these mattresses are durable.
Many people suffer from latex allergies and have to avoid the material. However, as we mentioned above, just because you have latex allergies does not mean that a latex mattress is out of the question for you. Latex mattresses have a cover so that your skin will not come into contact with the latex. Most latex allergies are caused by the chemicals in synthetic latex. If you have an allergy to latex and still want to try a latex mattress, it’s just to discuss it with your doctor before purchasing.
Latex mattresses have a distinct springiness and bounce to them. This is due in part to the natural feel of the latex and the springs added. Not everyone will find this comfortable and might find it disruptive to sleep. If you aren’t sure if a latex mattress will be comfortable for you, it’s best to test it out in person before buying.
A lot of people are curious about how warm a latex mattress may get. Latex mattresses, in general, do not get hot. The material is porous, and additional holes have been drilled into the majority of mattresses for the purpose of increasing air circulation. Because of the ventilation properties of latex mattresses, these types of beds are really advised for people who tend to sleep overheated.
Latex mattresses do not get harder over time. The materials are not designed to get harder and will last for at least 20 years. Unlike other types of mattresses, latex mattresses do not have a “break-in” period, meaning your body does not have to adjust to a latex mattress as the material is naturally supportive. However, a latex mattress may first cause you some discomfort at first. This is especially true if you have been sleeping on a memory foam mattress for some time.
Latex mattresses do not sag at first. In fact, they are one of the most durable types of mattresses. However, over time and with repeated use, like sleeping in the same position for years, will lead to your latex mattress to break down and technically sag. Natural latex mattresses are designed to degrade over time, so after several years of use, the latex core oxidizes rather than off-gassing harmful chemicals into landfills like memory foam or polyurethane does. This process takes years, which is why latex mattresses last so long.
Latex mattresses do need to breathe in several ways; to get rid of the initial latex smell and to allow for the mattress to get proper air circulation. Since latex mattresses are designed to promote air circulation around the mattress in order to stay cool, they need to be placed on a slatted bed frame. Using a box spring will prohibit this. Also, when you buy a latex mattress, it will smell for a bit. It’s recommended to let the mattress air out until the smell dissipates before sleeping on it.
Latex mattresses can get bed bugs, but it is a rare occurrence. There are no mattresses that are immune to bed bugs. Since latex mattresses are more dense than other types of mattresses, they naturally deter bed bugs. Bed bugs like to burrow into surfaces and fabrics, which is why they are so hard to get rid of. However, bed bugs might find a home in the area between your mattress and box spring. The use of high-quality coverings for your mattress and box springs that are specially made to prevent bed bugs is one action you can take to make your mattresses even less favorable for bed bugs.
Latex mattresses are an excellent choice for those who want a long-lasting mattress. However, the feel of latex is not something everyone will find comfortable. Hopefully, this article will allow you to make an informed decision about latex mattresses. To find out if a latex mattress is right for you, come test one out at one of our SleePare stores!
Want to learn more about latex mattresses? Read about the best latex mattress for back pain on our blog.
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Emily Stringer is a Content Writer at SleePare. Emily has over five years of experience writing and conducting research for different industries. When she’s not writing, you can find Emily with her dogs in Lexington, Kentucky.