December 7, 2017

The Latex Mattress: A Comprehensive Review of Features and Findings

The Latex Mattress: A Comprehensive Review of Features and Findings


Natural latex is a biological byproduct of the rubber tree plant, and can be sustainably harvested over the course of the tree’s natural lifespan – often upwards of 50 years. The organic compound is a thin liquid that can be used to manufacture plush latex foam through processing, heating, and vulcanization.

A latex mattress offers superior quality, outcompeting most traditional mattresses. They offer customization, so you and your partner can each find the sleep surface that suits you best. Latex is adaptable and is manufactured in a wide range of firmnesses and varieties, from sustainably-harvested botanical latex to synthetic latex varieties. The material’s adaptability, long life, and comfort have achieved a high level of customer satisfaction on the open market.

Latex Mattress vs. Traditional Mattress

If you want to improve your quality of sleep and thus your overall quality of life, a latex mattress can help. Latex mattresses cushion your body, align your spine, regulate body temperature, and have the staying power to last 20 years or more. Traditional mattresses tend to have a range of shortcomings. They can:

  • Broadcast motion so that one sleeping partner disturbs the other;
  • Be uncomfortable, so that quality of sleep suffers;
  • Discourage proper spinal alignment, resulting in general discomfort and exacerbation of medical conditions;
  • Wear out quickly, so that customers find themselves replacing a mattress more often;
  • Carry allergens – trapping mites, mold, mildew, and dust particles in fibers and fabrics deep within the mattress; and
  • “Sleep hot,” causing the sleeper to wake overheated, sweaty, and uncomfortable – increasing the chance of mold accumulation and negatively impacting quality of sleep.

These shortcomings, among others, led manufacturers to continue the search for a quality, luxurious, medically beneficial mattress material. The result? Latex foam mattress materials.

Sleep Better, Feel Better

We all know that when we don’t sleep well, we don’t feel well. Medical research backs up our own experience—high-quality sleep lasting seven hours or more is integral to keeping a healthy body and a healthy quality of life, and your mattress can significantly impact your sleep.

A natural latex mattress can make the difference between un-refreshing sleep and the deep, restorative sleep that promotes health. One of the chief reasons this is so is because of its excellent elasticity, and its ability to provide superb pressure relief.

Research Shows the Importance of Sleep to Your Health

A German study published in the journal Quality of Life Research found a significant correlation between poor sleep, poor health, and lowered quality of life. And another study in the German journal Schmerz found a significant correlation between mattress quality and sleep. Research has found that shortened sleep duration correlates with increased hypertension. Studies also show that sleep quality is even more important than sleep quantity in protecting good physical, mental, and emotional health in both young, healthy adults and in the elderly.

No matter what your age or state of health, it’s likely that the right latex mattress can benefit your current sleep situation.

latex mattress sleeping

Advantages of Latex

Latex offers a range of improvements over traditional mattresses. Latex is:

Resilient. All-natural latex foam, at a cellular level, has a characteristic “bounce” that no other material –not even synthetic latex—can match. The natural structure of latex can compress and then immediately spring back into its original shape, creating a mattress surface that is as soft yet supportive in its twentieth year as in its first.

Body-contouring. The same resilience and shape-sustaining properties that give latex its resilience give it an unmatchable ability to contour to your body. The foam will compress under your hips and shoulders while extending to support waist and legs. The bouncy spring-back of latex creates a surface with quicker reaction time than memory foam, so the mattress contours to your shape with every move you make.

Beneficial for a wide range of medical complaints. Though latex is not a medical prescription and hasn’t been evaluated for medical uses, the soft-yet-supportive structure of a botanical latex mattress can help align the spine and cradle painful body parts while minimizing pressure points, so the body has the best possible chance of pain relief for comfortable sleep. Whether you suffer from back problems, chronic pain such as RLS or fibromyalgia, or the life-changing pain of a spinal cord injury, a latex mattress may significantly improve your quality of life.

Eco-friendly. Natural botanical latex can be sustainably harvested without killing the rubber tree plant that produces the serum. An “all-natural” latex mattress may be produced without the use of petrochemicals or synthetic materials. Some latex mattresses are manufactured at the site of the rubber tree estate, minimizing the expense and carbon footprint of shipping. When properly manufactured, latex mattresses can even be organic, though it’s important to be discerning when choosing an organic mattress. The “organic” tag may mean that:

  1. The latex in the mattress was organically farmed before harvesting;
  2. The foam itself was produced in line with organic standards; or that
  3. The entire mattress, including the outer fire-resistant layer, is constructed using sustainable methods and materials.

Hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial. The surface of latex foam is impermeable to dust mites and discouraging to mold and mildew. If you have allergies, even mild latex allergies, a latex mattress can give you peace of mind and the medical relief you need to get a good night’s sleep. The same properties make latex foam anti-microbial and a poor living surface for bacteria, helping latex foam remain hygienic over the entirety of its long lifespan.

Temperature regulating. The same open cell structure that gives latex its hypo-allergenic properties helps it to regulate body temperature while you sleep, allowing air flow. In addition, during foam latex manufacturing (especially in the Talalay processing method) the mold contains metal rods inserted through the latex liquid leaving “pinholes” that allow the mattress to breathe, keeping you cooler when it’s warm and warmer when it’s cool outside. This natural ventilation helps you sleep well; clinical trials have found that well-regulated skin temperature leads to increased comfort and deeper sleep.

Long-lasting. A high-quality, all-natural botanical latex mattress can have warranties lasting 20 years or more. Natural latex is so durable because of its bouncy resiliency – since your mattress doesn’t get indentions from the weight of your body, it can last decades when cared for and placed on a proper latex mattress foundation. The right foundation prevents sagging, so there’s no need to flip a latex mattress. Some of the most venerable latex mattress companies have now seen their mattresses last 40 years or more.

A latex mattress can give you peace of mind on many levels. The “luxury” of an all-natural botanical latex mattress is actually good for your health, good for the environment, and good for your wallet. When you choose top-of-the-line latex, you’ll get a mattress that no imitation can match.

Shopping for a new mattress? Take a look at our natural latex mattresses »