Sleeping is an activity that all of us should do for a third of our lives. Selecting a mattress that helps us sleep well can be one of those investments that genuinely pays off. Latex mattresses can reduce back pain, add comfort and reduce night disturbances, all of which can mean deeper, more restful sleep.
Anytime you’re making an investment in something that will affect you as significantly as a mattress will affect your sleep and your quality of life, you’ll want to understand the different features, advantages, and disadvantages of your options before making a final decision.
Latex Mattress Pros
Consumers who rally around latex mattresses cite the following features as the ones they enjoy the most.
- More Comfortable: More than one-third of latex bed owners say that they have experienced reduced pain as a result of sleeping on a latex mattress. One major selling point is that latex mattresses are resilient, which means they support proper back alignment and reduce pressure points.
- Lasts Longer: Since latex materials are very durable, these mattresses tend to last longer than traditional mattresses. Owners tend to keep their latex mattresses for an average of 10 to 12 years. Latex is also biodegradable, which is gentler on the environment.
- No Chemical Smells: For those individuals who are bothered by the chemical smells of many of today’s manufactured goods, natural latex mattresses significantly reduce or eliminate typical off-gassing associated with new mattresses. Even mattresses made from a blend of natural and synthetic latex do not generate as many off-gassing complaints as traditional mattresses.
- Motion Isolation: For those individuals who sleep with others, latex mattresses can eliminate waking up because others in the bed are moving around. Latex mattresses isolate the movements of each sleeper so that others cannot feel those movements, which means a better night’s sleep for everyone. Both traditional spring mattresses and water beds often transfer movement throughout the bed.
- Design Your Own: Many companies that sell latex mattresses offer customization options. Firmness levels can be specified for the whole mattress or can be different for either side. In addition, since latex mattresses come in layers, replacement of the top layers may be a more affordable option than buying a new mattress down the road with some models.
- Healthier Bed: If you opt for purchasing a natural latex bed, you will find that it is naturally resistant to fire and dust mites. The lack of chemicals means you are not sleeping on potentially toxic substances, and they are not being added to our environment.
Latex Mattress Cons
Latex mattresses are not for everyone, and those who prefer other types of beds cite the following as disadvantages.
- Excessive Firmness: For those individuals who enjoy a softer mattress, the latex option may not be the best choice. However, in some cases, the initial break-in period is the only time that firmness is an issue. Talk with your retailer to understand how firmness is determined to select the level that is most in line with your preferences.
- Limited Natural Movement: Although latex mattresses tend to form to the sleeper’s body, imprints that are left in the mattress can cause later discomfort. Although this is a more common problem with synthetic mattresses, this issue has been reported with traditional spring and memory foam mattresses as well. Compression can mean it’s more difficult to move around outside the imprinted area.
- Temperature: Although feeling hot is typically a complaint with memory foam mattresses, some people say that latex mattresses present the same problem. If you are naturally a warm person but still want to consider a latex mattress, try to avoid closed-cell foams, which seem to cause the majority of the complaints. Using a breathable mattress cover can also help.
- Expensive: Natural latex mattresses can be quite expensive, costing several thousands of dollars. Online businesses that sell latex mattresses are able to reduce their costs without a brick and mortar building so you would find more affordable options on the web.
- Weight: Although latex mattresses can be heavy, they do not need to be turned and flipped over as is typically recommended for traditional mattresses.
There are 3 different types of Latex Mattress:
Three basic kinds of latex mattresses are available. Many are made of natural materials including essential components that are taken from a rubber tree and made into latex with some additions and processing. Some other latex beds use a latex outer layer over springs or poly foam cores to provide additional support. Here are the three most common latex types.
- Natural Latex materials including essential components that are taken from a rubber tree and made into latex with some additions and processing.
- Synthetic latex, on the other hand, is created from a mix of chemicals and human-made materials.
- Latex blends that incorporate both natural and synthetic latex are the most popular.
Keep in mind that determining the material your latex bed is made out of can be tricky and may take some in-depth research and specific questions. Synthetic latex mattresses can still be labeled “all latex” and mattresses that claim to be “natural” may still incorporate up to 30 percent of synthetic latex into its blend.