Two pillows on a bed with blue sheets and pillowcases
Sleep Health

Latex Pillows: Are They the Secret to Better Sleep?

    Last Updated
    February 23, 2022
    min read

    Few things that can improve your night’s sleep as much as the perfect pillow — a pillow that’s soft but that also provides the right neck support. With so many options available, trying to find the right pillow can be a pain in the neck. Gone are the days when you simply grabbed a feather pillow off the department store shelf. Instead, you have a wide range of pillow materials to consider. Which kind of pillow is best for you? For a great night’s sleep, a latex pillow might be just what you need.

    6 Benefits to Sleeping on a Latex Pillow

    1. Provides Appropriate Support
    2. Reduces Noise
    3. Lasts Longer Than Other Options
    4. Contains No Allergens
    5. Relieves Pain and Pressure
    6. Maintains Ideal Sleeping Temperature

    As with most things related to your sleep, your pillow choice is highly personal. What feels soft and comfy to one person might be unbearable for someone else. But natural latex pillows have become a popular choice in recent years for many sleepers. They tend to work well for a wide range of sleeping positions, and they feel soft, but also supportive for the neck and spine. A latex pillow also tends to be durable and long-lasting.

    What Is a Latex Pillow?

    A latex pillow is exactly what it sounds like — a pillow made from soft, all-natural latex — which means it has hypoallergenic properties and is free from any dangerous chemicals. Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree and typically involves sustainable harvesting, so you can feel good about choosing a natural latex pillow for a variety of reasons.

    You can also find synthetic latex, but it’s generally not as durable as the organic fiber. Synthetic latex is man-made and usually of lower quality in general than its natural counterpart. Pillows made from synthetic latex are usually less expensive than the pillows made from natural latex. There can also be an unpleasant smell associated with synthetic latex. If you’re sensitive to smell, make sure you’re getting a pillow made from natural, organic latex, which doesn’t have any odor or flame retardants.

    Latex pillows are manufactured in two different ways. The first is the Dunlop method, which calls for pouring latex into a mold after it’s been whipped by a centrifuge. This is the more common manufacturing method. The second is the Talalay process, which requires pouring the latex in layers. Natural Talalay latex has a more consistent cell structure, which can make a Talalay pillow feel softer than a latex foam pillow produced using the Dunlop method.

    Purple Harmony

    Person putting hand on Purple Harmony pillow

    During the creation of the Purple Harmony Pillow, Purple tested more than 50 prototype combinations. Through sophisticated engineering and innovation, the same Purple Grid used in our mattresses is presented in a honeycomb- patterned hex with an inner core of hypoallergenic ventilated talalay latex. The ideal balance of cool, soft, and responsiveness brings no pressure support to create the best pillow ever!

    6 Benefits to Sleeping on a Latex Pillow

    Before you purchase a pillow for your Purple® Bed, consider the many benefits of sleeping on a natural latex pillow.

    1. Provides Appropriate Support

    Spin Alignment Good And Bad Pillow

    Nothing hurts your neck muscles like not having adequate sleeping support for your head and neck during your night’s rest.

    A latex foam pillow molds to your individual shape to create the right level of support for your head, neck, and shoulders, which helps you sleep more comfortably. Latex material is denser than memory foam or fiber, or even down, so that additional support helps keep your neck and spine aligned for a good night’s sleep.

    2. Reduces Noise

    Latex pillows are soft, quiet pillows. You won’t hear a lot of squeaking and rustling while you’re trying to sleep, and neither will anyone else in the room. And fun fact: The level of support a latex pillow provides can even help keep airways clear and reduce snoring — so it helps with nose noises, too!

    3. Lasts Longer Than Other Options

    Latex material is extremely durable. And because of its hypoallergenic properties, latex pillows can minimize issues with dust, bacteria, or mold — which means you don’t have to replace a latex pillow as often as you would a more traditional pillow. Because of latex’s unique structure, a latex pillow will also retain its shape and firmness longer than many other pillow types. And since your latex pillow will continue to provide a consistent and appropriate level of head, neck and shoulder support, you can keep using it without feeling the need to replace it because it’s losing its shape.

    You’ll find that latex pillows often cost more than their counterparts made with synthetic materials — but consider a latex pillow an investment. It will continue to serve you well for many years after your purchase.

    4. Contains No Allergens

    Natural organic latex pillows are often recommended for people with allergies to promote a good night’s sleep. It’s not uncommon for other types of pillow fillers to trap dust and allergens, making the bed a tough place to be for allergy sufferers. In fact, most pillows should be replaced every two years or so just for this reason. But not latex.

    Organic latex pillows are hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, so you don’t have to worry about them harboring anything sinister while you sleep — no mold, fungi, bacteria, or mildew. Latex pillows also resist dust mites, so they are a great choice for anyone who deals with respiratory issues. 

    5. Relieves Pain and Pressure

    Because of their ideal soft support, latex pillows can go a long way toward alleviating neck and shoulder pain from sleeping on the wrong type of pillow. Latex pillows provide superior cushioning to pretty much any other pillow fill on the market, which helps ensure proper spinal alignment and pressure relief for a good night’s sleep.

    6. Maintains Ideal Sleeping Temperature

    Many people have problems sleeping too hot throughout the night, struggling to cool off and stay comfortable. Latex pillows can help prevent overheating — because of its cellular structure, latex stays naturally cool throughout the night and delivers maximum breathability for sleepers. Your latex pillow will maintain roughly the same temperature all night, even if the temperature of the room changes. This can help you maintain a consistent, comfortable, and ideal sleeping temperature all night long. If you live in a warm climate or are just naturally a hot sleeper, you’ll love sleeping on a natural latex foam pillow.

    Latex Pillows vs. Memory Foam Pillows

    Mattress Foam Temperature

    Both latex and memory foam pillows are popular options right now, with memory foam being one of the bedding industry’s most recent innovations. So, what are the major differences between the two?

    First, memory foam is 100 percent synthetic — it’s manufactured from viscoelastic polyurethane, which was originally formulated for use in outer space. Memory foam initially feels firm to the touch, but your natural body heat softens it and allows it to conform to your particular body shape. It can take a while to bounce back from an imprint — you may notice that your head leaves an impression in your memory foam pillow long after you use it.

    Latex pillows have significant differences. Natural latex is made from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree. During manufacturing, the latex forms thousands of tiny air bubbles, which gives it the soft, light and bouncy texture that makes natural latex foam so popular. That’s why the feel of latex is different than memory foam — it’s springier and bounces back quickly after you sleep on it. Latex isn’t rigid, and it doesn’t require heat in order to work.

    Natural organic latex: is often presented as an allergen-free and chemical-free alternative to memory foam because of its inherent hypoallergenic properties. It’s also more breathable and can do a better job of regulating body temperature for a good night’s rest.

    Price: You’ll see a wide range between the prices of memory foam and latex pillows. You can generally find memory foam pillows at every price range, while the prices for latex pillows are more consistent. Memory foam pillows tend to cost less, but they’re typically lower quality and have a shorter life span than latex pillows.

    Not sure what pillow to buy? See our guide on how to choose a pillow

    Latex Pillow Care

    Latex pillows can be a little tricky to care for — you can’t just toss them into your washing machine, or you’ll warp the shape. The same goes for soaking, wringing, or twisting them in any way. Instead of a machine wash, you can use a cloth and warm, soapy water to spot clean any areas that need cleaning— just make sure to let the pillow fully air dry after you’ve cleaned it. Many pillows also come with a removable cover that is machine washable.

    Also, you don’t want to leave your latex pillow outside in the sun. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause latex to become hard and brittle. Your latex pillow will come with specific care instructions — when in doubt, make sure to read and follow the guidelines designed for your specific latex pillow.

    Purple Harmony Pillow care: To take care of the greatest pillow ever, simply remove the cover, and machine wash on cold separately. Once complete, lay flat and let the cover air dry. To clean the inner talalay latex core, spot clean only. Do not wash pillow in the washing machine.

    Have questions? Click here to learn more.

    Sleeping on a Latex Pillow

    Remember, we all spend roughly a third of our lives in bed. It’s important to make the right choices so the time we spend sleeping contributes to our overall health and wellness. Choosing a latex pillow, with its health and comfort benefits, can go a long way toward making sure your body gets the right level of restorative sleep. In fact, with a soft, breathable latex pillow, we bet you’ll be on your way to dreamland before you can say, “Sweet dreams.”

    Buy Purple Harmony Pillow


    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.