LATEX MATTRESS PROS AND CONS

young woman sleeping on her side in bed

What are the pros and cons of a latex mattress? Latex mattresses are incredibly comfortable, made from 100% natural material, and are highly durable. However, they are also expensive, are pretty heavy, and have a distinctive springy feel. See below for all you need to know about latex mattress pros and cons.


PROS AND CONS OF LATEX MATTRESS

latex foam layers of a mattress

What are the pros and cons of latex mattress? There is a range of distinct features that make a latex mattress stand out from the crowd. Most notable is their unique feel and soft cushioning comfort.

Latex mattresses have a distinctive set of characteristics that set them apart from any other mattress type. If you are considering investing in a new latex mattress you need to know what you can expect.

There are some features you should be familiar with before you part with your cash. This way you can assess if a latex mattress will meet your individual needs. Let’s take a look at the key latex mattress advantages and disadvantages.


BENEFITS OF LATEX MATTRESS

mother and daughter on a latex mattress

What are the advantages of a latex mattress? Latex mattresses have a range of characteristics that make them one of the most popular mattress types on the market in 2022. Let’s take a look at the benefits of latex mattress.

SUPERB COMFORT

Latex mattresses are incredibly comfortable. They deliver a unique soft cushioning feel that cradles your body weight and gently contours your body. This is the key reason they are so popular around the world.

Their soft bouncy feel provides excellent relief to pressure points such as your hips and shoulders while you sleep. And, the natural bounce of latex provides outstanding responsive movement that helps you adjust your sleeping position during the night.

NATURAL MATERIAL

Latex is a 100% natural material. It is a milk-like substance obtained from the rubber tree and is often referred to as natural rubber.

The latex is poured into molds and converted to a springy foam material during mattress production. Bear in mind that cheaper synthetic material is often used as a substitute for natural latex.

Synthetic latex is produced using petrochemicals and is not a natural substance. It is cheaper to produce and is designed to mimic the qualities of natural latex. Mattresses labeled as synthetic or blended latex are made using this synthetic material.

PAIN RELIEF

Pain relief is one of the most popular latex mattresses benefits. Latex mattresses are often used to promote pain relief and are regularly recommended by health care professionals such as physical therapists and chiropractors.

The unique feel and soft cushioning of a latex mattress make it ideal for cradling your body weight, relieving pressure, and delivering pain relief. They are an excellent choice if you prioritize soft, gentle cushioning of your body weight.

HYPOALLERGENIC

Latex mattresses are hypoallergenic. This means they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to other mattress types. If you suffer allergies that are triggered by mold, microbes, and mildew then a latex mattress could be just what you are looking for.

Their hypoallergenic nature is a key benefit of latex mattress. However, if you suffer from a latex allergy then this is not the mattress type for you. Latex mattresses are made using latex foam, so if you have a latex allergy you need to choose a different mattress material.

ECO-FRIENDLY

One of the great benefits of latex mattress is that they are an eco-friendly choice. Latex is a 100% natural resource obtained from tapping rubber trees. There are no man-made or synthetic chemicals in a natural latex mattress.

Choosing a natural latex mattress will minimize your carbon footprint and contribute to a greener environment for all. And choosing an eco-friendly option has never been more important than in today’s climate.

Latex foam is also a recyclable material. When your foam mattress has reached the end of its life cycle, the latex can be recycled into a highly effective insulation material that is used in homes to reduce energy costs.


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DURABILITY

Latex mattresses are incredibly durable. They are an excellent long-term investment and you can expect a latex mattress to last at least twice as long as other mattress types.

Latex mattresses perform at their optimal comfort levels for at least 20 years. And high-end models are known to last up to 25 years. Most other mattress types need to be replaced every 7-10 years.

SPINAL ALIGNMENT

woman getting out of bed and stretching her arms

One of the key benefits of a latex mattress is its ability to assist correct spinal alignment. When discussing latex mattress pros and cons you’ll frequently see the term spinal alignment crop up.

The soft cushioning and cradling support of a latex mattress helps support and contour the natural curvature of your spine. Proper spinal alignment plays a key role is key to preventing chronic back problems and relieving pain.

RAPID RESPONSE RATE

Natural latex foam has a rapid response rate. This means that it quickly changes shape when pressure is applied and then quickly returns to its original shape when pressure is removed.

This feature is in contrast to memory foam which has a slow response rate. When you apply pressure to memory foam it slowly changes shape in response to the weight pressing down on it. And, it then slowly returns to its original shape when the pressure is removed.

The key advantage of latex here is that the soft cushioning is felt as soon as your body rests on the mattress surface. The latex foam quickly changes shape to contour your body and gently cradle your weight.

MOTION ISOLATION

Latex mattresses perform well when it comes to motion isolation. This means that motion does not travel easily from one side of the bed to another. If your partner moves on one side of the bed only limited movement can be felt on the other side of the mattress.

This makes latex mattresses a great choice for couples that are light sleepers. If one person is tossing and turning during the night the mattress will isolate most of that movement to their side of the bed.

COOLING EFFECT

Latex mattresses are made using latex foam. This material has a natural cooling effect. They perform much better in terms of cooling and air circulation compared to other foam mattresses such as memory foam.

Latex mattresses do not trap heat around your body while you sleep. Instead, they draw the heat away from you providing a natural cooling effect. This is a very welcome feature for people that tend to sleep hot.

MICROBIAL RESISTANCE

Latex is a naturally microbial-resistant material. The structure of the latex foam has an inherent natural resistance to mold and dust mites. Other mattresses have to add chemicals to achieve microbial resistance.

Mould and dust mites can be a real problem in certain climates and regions. Mould can cause serious problems for mattresses in humid climates. The warm moist environment can lead to unpleasant microbial growth in other types of foam mattresses.

EASY MAINTENANCE

Latex mattresses are incredibly easy to maintain. Unlike memory foam and polyfoam mattresses, they are resistant to liquids. If you spill some coffee or breakfast cereal – don’t worry. Just sponge it up and wipe it dry with a clean towel.

And you can rest assured you’ll have done little or no damage to the mattress. If you want to protect your mattress further you can add a mattress protector. This is a protective layer that sits between the surface of your mattress and beneath your bed sheet.

ODOR RESISTANT

Latex mattresses are naturally odor-resistant. Compared to other mattresses they perform well in maintaining a neutral scent throughout their lifespan – and they have a significant life expectancy.

Latex mattresses are highly durable and regularly last at least 20 years. This means odor resistance is a particularly important feature of latex mattresses. You can expect your new latex mattress to smell fresh and clean for many, many years.

METAL-FREE CONSTRUCTION

Latex mattresses are made from latex foam. They contain no metal parts – unlike innerspring mattresses and many hybrids that employ metal springs.

Two different types of latex foam are used in the production of latex mattresses. They are Dunlop and Talalay foam. Both these types of latex are 100% metal-free.


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DISADVANTAGES OF LATEX MATTRESS

man sitting on edge of a latex mattress

What are the disadvantages of a latex mattress? If you are considering buying a latex mattress you need to be familiar with its disadvantages before you commit to a purchase. Let’s now take a look at the cons of latex mattress.

PRICE TAG

One of the main disadvantages of latex mattress is its significant price tag. They are more expensive than other types of mattress as they are made with 100% natural latex foam. If you are on a budget then a latex mattress may not be the best option for you.

However, they are an excellent long-term investment. Latex mattresses last much longer than other mattress types thanks to their incredible durability. In fact, they deliver superb long-lasting comfort for 20-25 years.

HEAVY MATTRESS

Latex mattresses are heavy. They are made by setting and expanding latex foam inside a mold and the final product weighs in on the heavy side of the scales. This means they can be difficult or one person to handle.

You may need a second set of hands to lift the mattress and position it into place when it first arrives. They often prove too heavy for a single set of hands. If you can have a friend or family member assist you when you need to place one on your bed frame.

LATEX ALLERGY

Latex mattresses are not a good choice if you suffer from a latex allergy. A latex allergy is triggered by the proteins contained in the natural latex rubber. According to the Mayo Clinic, “a latex allergy is a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product made from the rubber tree. If you have a latex allergy, your body mistakes latex for a harmful substance.”

If you suffer from a latex allergy – then a latex mattress is not for you. To avoid suffering allergic reactions you should choose another type of mattress. And make sure it contains no latex material.

DISTINCTIVE BOUNCE

When discussing latex mattress pros and cons we need to consider its distinctive feel. Latex mattress has an inherent natural bounce not found in other foam mattresses. While this bounce is a positive for most people it will be one of the disadvantages of latex mattress for others.

If you prefer a mattress that does not respond to your movement then you will prefer a memory or polyfoam mattress. These mattresses have a slow response and do not have the springy feel you get with latex foam.

OFF-GASSING

When you first unwrap a new latex mattress you will notice a smell of rubber. This process is natural and is referred to as off-gassing. This is completely normal and to be expected.

But don’t worry. The smell will dissipate after a few days when the mattress has had time to air. And the odor will soon vanish. In fact, off-gassing is a common experience with all new mattress types – not just latex.

FIRM FEEL

Latex mattresses can have a slightly firmer feel compared to other mattress types. While latex mattresses are available in a range of firmness levels, they tend to feel firmer than other types of foam mattress.

If you prefer a particularly soft feel then you may prefer to try a soft memory foam or polyfoam mattress. These types of mattress are often available with softer finishes to accommodate people that want a particularly soft mattress feel.


WHAT IS LATEX?

latex foam used in making latex mattresses

Latex is a 100% natural material that is obtained from the rubber tree. It is often referred to as natural rubber. It is a white milk-like substance than becomes thick and viscous when exposed to air.

Latex is a naturally soft and springy material and these characteristics make it ideal for mattresses. During mattress production, the latex is poured into a mattress mold and converted to foam before allowing to set.

The type of latex used to make the mattress plays a role in the latex mattress pros and cons you can expect.  There are two types of natural latex mattress on the market – Dunlop and Talalay.

DUNLOP LATEX MATTRESS

A Dunlop mattress is made by pouring the latex into a mold in a single pour. The latex is then whipped up into a foam and allowed to set naturally. These mattresses are 100% natural latex.

TALALAY LATEX MATTRESS

Talalay latex mattresses involve multiple pour steps and often add additional materials to improve performance. These mattresses are not always 100% latex and are more expensive than Dunlop mattresses.

SYNTHETIC & BLENDED LATEX MATTRESS

Synthetic latex mattresses do not use natural latex. These mattresses use a petrochemical material that mimics the characteristics of natural latex. They are cheaper to produce and do not last as long as a natural latex mattress. Blended latex mattresses use a mixture of synthetic and natural latex.

For more information see – What Is a Latex Mattress?


IS LATEX MATTRESS GOOD FOR SIDE SLEEPERS?

woman curled up and sleeping on top of a mattress

Yes, a latex mattress is an excellent choice for side sleepers. The soft cushioning of a latex mattress relieves pressure on the hips and shoulders when you sleep on your side.

Side sleepers will benefit greatly from the body contouring and cradling support of a latex mattress. The natural springy feel of a latex mattress combined with its gentle cushioning and great lumbar support make it a great choice not just for side sleepers – but for back and combination sleepers too.


IS LATEX MATTRESS SAFE?

lady holding out hand and smiling

Yes, natural latex is considered safe for the vast majority of most people. Natural latex mattresses are made using latex rubber. This is a 100% natural substance obtained from the rubber tree.

However, a small number of people suffer from a latex allergy. If you are one of these people, then a latex mattress is not for you. Latex allergies are triggered by the natural proteins found in latex rubber.

If you tend to suffer from allergies we advise you to find out if you have a latex allergy before buying a latex mattress. There’s no point sleeping on a mattress that’s going to cause discomfort and irritation.


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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

woman smiling and pointing direction

HOW MUCH LATEX MATTRESS COST?

Latex mattresses cost more than other types of mattresses because they use natural latex rubber in their production. However, they are highly durable and last 2-3 times longer than other types of mattress. A latex mattress costs between $1,000-$4,000.

HOW LONG WILL LATEX MATTRESS LAST?

Latex mattresses are highly durable. A latex mattress will last between 20-25 years. This is much longer than any other type of mattress. Other types of mattress need to be replaced every 7-10 years.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LATEX MATTRESS TOPPER?

The benefits of a latex mattress topper are soft cushioning comfort, motion isolation, and added protection and durability for your existing mattress. A latex mattress topper is a layer of latex cushioning that you can place on top of your mattress.  You can also try using a mattress pad or a mattress protector.

CAN LATEX MATTRESS MAKE YOU SICK?

Latex mattresses are hypoallergenic. This means they are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction compared to other types of material. Natural latex is dust mite and mold resistant. However, if you suffer from a latex allergy, then a latex mattress could trigger an allergic reaction.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SARAH FOY – Mattress Expert

Sarah joined the MCG team in the summer of 2021. She is our in-house foam mattress expert. Whether it’s memory foam, latex foam, or straightforward polyfoam – she has you covered. Sarah has a particular passion for the unique body contouring effects and soft cradling support of latex and memory foam mattresses.

She has over 15 years of experience in the bedding, furniture, and textile industries. Sarah is a native of Arizona where she graduated from Northern Arizona University in the mid-noughties. When she’s not in the office she likes to tend to her apple tree orchard in Flagstaff where she lives with her husband and two daughters.


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