Contents of Article
- Why Should I Consider Latex?
- What’s So Great About Latex?
- What are The Disadvantages?
- The List
- Final Thoughts
We know. You’re sick of the memory foam versus innerspring debate. But can we add a new element to this catfight? Latex.
Before you roll your eyes, hear us out. You want the contouring benefits of memory foam but don’t want to lose the bounce and responsiveness of innerspring. Latex not only offers the same type of benefit as memory foam, but it feels a bit livelier. Even better, it’s hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. If you’ve got allergies, it might be a better option.
We’ve got our top picks for latex mattresses, and we’ve answered a few questions you might have about what to look for. Latex, here we come!
Why Should I Consider Latex?
Latex has a pretty wide variety of products and styles, so here are a few things to nail down before deciding on a latex mattress.
Type Of Latex
Not all latex is created equal. Some latex is entirely synthetic. You might come across literature talking about the natural properties of latex against memory foam, but that’s only for certain kinds of naturally occurring latex.
All synthetic latex is man-made just like memory foam and is subject to the same concerns, off-gassing, and odor. However, with mattresses, it isn’t possible to have 100% natural latex. A little bit of synthetic latex helps the bed maintain its shape and makes it moldable for mattress materials.
Natural latex comes from the rubber tree. Companies that use all-natural latex can still blend it with up to 30% of synthetic latex, however. Make sure you understand what type of latex is in the mattress you’re considering, so you don’t get a nasty disappointment.
There’s no off-gassing with all natural latex, but even blends can significantly reduce odors and toxins. Set your expectation before you put together a list.
Latex is heavy. If you want a type of mattress that’s flippable, or even if you plan to rotate your bed to prevent indentations, you need to make sure you can handle the weight of the bed.
All latex mattresses are heavy, but a blended or hybrid mattress may reduce the amount of weight to something that you can handle. Otherwise, make sure you have someone who can help you move the bed.
The cost of latex, especially natural latex, is higher than the average memory foam mattress. In many cases, the extra cost is worth it for the extra resilience and comfort of the latex materials.
Many latex mattresses can improve the quality of your sleep by reducing pressure points and respiratory allergies. Latex is a durable material that lasts quite a bit longer than traditional memory foam as well. Spending more may be worth it to invest in your health and get a mattress that won’t have to be replaced as quickly.
What’s So Great About Latex?
Good question. Latex solves a few problems memory foam mattresses have.
Old styles of memory foam were hot. There was nowhere for your body heat to go, so it stayed close to your skin, reflecting back on you, so you woke up a sweaty mess.
Latex is naturally more breathable because it’s “whipped” when extracted from the rubber tree. This creates little air pockets within the material, and air continually moves through the mattress. Your body heat moves through the core and out.
If you need extra cooling, you can consider other types of materials to work with your latex bed. Some of these would be gel infused layers or phase change fabrics that actively move heat away from your body.
If you hated the dead foam feeling of traditional memory foam, latex might help. Latex is naturally more responsive than standard memory foam. As you move throughout the night, it rebounds quickly, so you never feel like you’re sleeping in quicksand.
Memory foam manufacturers frequently use latex layers within their memory foam construction to help with the responsiveness and to give the mattress structural support.
Latex helps redistribute the weight of your pressure points across your entire body. This removes the pain from places like your shoulders or hips where the pressure is likely to concentrate.
It conforms quickly to changing positions, so if you’re a combination sleeper, you won’t lose support as you move around. It fills in around curves and gaps, such as your lower lumbar region, and keeps your spine nice and straight.
Natural latexes don’t have nearly the amount of off-gassing and odor that memory foam has a reputation for. While many memory foam manufacturers have invented better versions of memory foam, latex is still one of the best options if you’ve got respiratory issues.
It’s naturally dust mite and bed bug resistant as well. Both of these organisms can contribute further to allergies, so having a bed that’s resistant can alleviate some of that. Since your bed is the most significant contributor to allergens, you should see some relief.
The process to make natural latex uses far fewer hazardous materials and chemicals than many mattresses. Conventional memory foam is petroleum based, for example. Natural latex comes from nature and uses minimal chemicals and processing to produce latex from the raw materials. It’s not perfect, but it is an improvement.
What are The Disadvantages?
There are a few disadvantages as with anything.
Yes, the cost is going to be a factor for some of you. Again, we encourage spending a little more for the sake of your health and well-being. All of the beds in our list below come in well below the standard mattress cost at a showroom. If you consider what you’re likely to pay with a showroom markup, you’re still getting the better end of the deal.
We already mentioned this but get ready. Your latex mattress will be heavy. Some of the mattresses on our list use a blend of materials to mitigate that weight, but latex overall is just heavier.
You shouldn’t have to flip a latex mattress, so that part’s all good. However, we recommend rotating your mattress 180 degrees every month or so to prevent indentations (especially if you sleep like a log), so you may want to enlist the help of your neighbor, grandchildren, or nice repairman to get that task accomplished if you can’t swing it yourself.
What If I’m Allergic To Latex?
People with a severe latex allergy should steer clear, but most people don’t have any sort of reaction to latex mattresses. Natural latex, in particular, goes through a rigorous cleaning process before assembling the mattress, and that process washes away a lot of the compounds that irritate allergy sufferers.
And now, our favorite latex mattresses!
Zenhaven – Best Overall
Zenhaven is a part of Saatva company. Zenhaven is a dual-sided, natural latex mattress with simple layers and a lot of benefits.
The cover materials are organic cotton and wool. These materials are more breathable and naturally flame retardant. There are no chemicals, which is excellent since the first layer is right under your nose.
The second layer is a zoned support layer. It uses holes drilled into the latex and varying intervals. The latex gives way underneath your shoulders and hips where you need contouring, and remains supportive underneath your legs and torso. Your spine stays straight even when you’re sleeping on your side.
The support layer is 100% Talalay latex, a natural form of latex that’s dense and uses no petroleum. It gives the mattress structural integrity and prevents it from breaking down. The bed is ten inches high and features a dual-sided comfort level. The side with the extra zoned support layer rates at about a five on a ten point firmness scale while the side closest to the support layer is around a seven and a half.
You have 120 nights to try the mattress out before deciding if it’s the right one for you. If it isn’t, initiate a return before the trial period is over to receive a refund. Make sure you give the mattress at least 30 nights before trying to return it. Latex can feel more firm in the beginning and requires a short breaking in period to receive full contouring.
Zenhaven covers the mattress with a 20-year warranty against defects. If you notice sagging or indentations outside the natural life cycle of the bed, and your bed has been adequately supported, Zenhaven will replace the mattress.
Talalay latex can’t be compressed without ruining its integrity, so Zenhaven offers free white glove delivery. Your mattress arrives at an arranged time, and the delivery person sets everything up. The delivery person also removes your old mattress and any packaging.
Avocado – Runner-Up
Avocado is another natural latex mattress with the option of an extra pillowtop for those of you who like a super cushy mattress. It’s certified organic by Greenguard Gold, OEKO-TEK Standard 100 for the wool layer, and Eco-Institut 100% latex.
It uses two layers of materials for contouring and support. The contouring layer is natural Dunlop latex that’s breathable and comfortable. It cradles your curves and gives way under broader points such as the shoulders.
The support layer is individually pocketed coils with zoned support for more give under shoulders and hips and more support under legs and torso. Coils reduce the weight of the mattress, give you more responsiveness, and feels like an innerspring if that’s what you love. They’re also made of recycled steel.
Cover materials are antimicrobial cotton and wool, which are stretchy and naturally flame retardant. There’s no off-gassing and nothing synthetic.
The optional pillow top layer is an additional two inches of Dunlop latex. The final mattress will be about 13 inches in total.
Avocado offers a 100-night sleep trial so you can decide if the mattress is right for you. You’re also covered by a 25 year prorated warranty that protects against mattress defects. The first ten years are full coverage and non-prorated. The following years are for specific defects and have prorated fees attached.
They have both standard shipping (carbon neutral of course) where your mattress ships compressed in a box. If you need help with set up, they offer white glove delivery for an extra $199. They’ll set up your mattress and remove your old one to make the transition seamless.
Here are a few specific situations where you may want to consider a different mattress. Let’s take a look.
Latex For Less – Best Budget Alternative
100% latex may be expensive, but Latex For Less features 100% natural latex for a bit less than some of the competition. It’s a nine inch mattress with dual sided firmness.
It starts with organic cotton cover materials, a fabric that’s highly breathable. The first layer uses natural wool for a flame retardant barrier. On the soft side, the latex contouring layer gives way more easily to your curves and is best for side sleepers.
If you flip the mattress over, you’ve still got the same cover materials and wool layer, but the latex is firmer. It’s best for stomach and back sleepers who need a firmer surface to prevent over extending the spine.
The mattresses are handcrafted and come with a 20 year warranty against mattress defects. Be sure your mattress is properly supported so you don’t accidentally void this warranty. Also, you can try the mattress out for 120 nights before deciding if it’s the right one for you. If you sleep on it for a few weeks, but it isn’t going to work out, just return it for a full refund any time before the trial period is over.
Your bed comes compressed in a box. When you’re ready, you can unpack it and allow it to inflate. It should be ready in a few hours.
Ghostbed – Best For Heavy People
Ghostbed considers heavier weights when crafting their mattresses. While some mattresses have weight limits as low as a few hundred pounds, Ghostbed remains consistent up to combined weights of 750 pounds. That’s a lot of leeway.
Ghostbed uses several layers of materials, but only one is latex. You can still get the feeling and benefit of latex in a mattress that will still support you. The first layer is the latex layer, so those benefits are close to your skin and nose. The layer is aerated and naturally responsive.
Underneath, gel memory foam helps draw heat away from the surface of the mattress to ensure you stay cool. It supports your body and eases the transition to the dense support layer. The base is seven and a half inches of high-density memory foam for structural support and to keep your spine aligned.
Ghostbed gives you 101 nights to sleep on the bed to decide if it’s the right one for you. Be sure to test it out for at least a few weeks to make sure it’s the right one. Latex needs a breaking in period to offer the most contouring.
You’re covered by a 20-year warranty against mattress defects. Your mattress needs to be adequately supported so that you don’t accidentally void the warranty.
Ghostbed doesn’t have white glove delivery. Your mattress arrives compressed in a box, so be sure you have someone who can help you if you can’t manage the bed yourself.
Metta – Best Organic Option
Many of the mattresses on the list are organic at least in part but the Metta Latex mattress is certified by some of the most rigorous organizations there are. It’s GreenGuard Gold, GOTS, and OEKO-TEX certified for all the components of the mattress.
It uses organic, unbleached cotton for the cover. It’s soft and breathable with no odor or toxins. Underneath, organic wool provides a naturally flame retardant barrier. The latex layers provide a combination of contouring and support so your back stays aligned, and you relieve common pressure points.
Metta gives you 120 nights to try out their mattress to decide if it’s the right one for you. Make sure you sleep on the mattress for at least 30 nights so your body has time to adjust and old pain can disappear. You can also decide if your respiratory allergies are getting some relief by eliminating your old toxic mattress.
You’re also covered by a 20 year warranty against mattress defects. Make sure your mattress is properly supported so that you don’t accidentally void the warranty.
Your mattress arrives safely compressed into a box. Just unpack it and allow it to inflate. It should be ready to use in just a few hours.
Latex is a good option if you want something more responsive than memory foam, or if your primary concern is environmentally friendly materials. It produces less off-gassing and isn’t as impactful on the environment to create. It can also help with allergens, including dust mites and bedbugs.
Make sure you understand the type of latex you’re getting with your chosen bed, but we think you’ll be really pleased with the performances of natural latex.
What’s your reason for switching to latex? Let us know in the comments.