latex mattress
Bedroom Design

What Is a Latex Mattress? What To Know (Cost, Care + More)

    Last Updated
    November 14, 2022
    min read

    Latex Mattresses - History, Construction, Allergy Concerns

    Because there are many types of mattresses to consider when you’re buying a new one, it’s important to know the differences between them. One common type of mattress is the latex mattress. Latex mattresses are among the most popular types of mattresses because of their durability and comfort. Latex conforms to your body more generally than memory foam and bounces back quickly. Still, like many types of mattresses, latex mattresses aren’t without their flaws.

    Pros and Cons of Latex Mattresses


    • Comfort

    • Cool
    • Supportive
    • Eco-friendly
    • Flame retardant properties
    • Motion isolation
    • Low maintenance
    • Durable
    • No chemical smells
    • Safe for most to sleep on


    • Firmness
    • Expensive
    • Latex allergies
    • Heavy

    A latex mattress can be pricier than others, so it makes sense to want to know whether its benefits are worth the cost. It’s also a good idea to understand how latex mattresses differ from others to decide which type of mattress is best for you and your sleep.

    Ultimately, you want to find a mattress that fits within your budget, feels comfortable, and helps you sleep. A latex mattress might fit the bill. Still, weighing the pros and cons of an organic mattress like latex can ensure that you find the right mattress for your needs.

    Ready to choose a mattress that’s the right firmness level and offers you a perfect mix of support and comfort? If you’re deciding between a latex mattress and other types of mattresses, like a foam mattress, spring mattress, or organic cotton mattress, this latex mattress guide should help.

    Latex Mattress Pros


    Comfort is one of the most significant benefits of a latex mattress. Whether it’s an organic latex mattress, blended latex mattress, or a latex hybrid, they all seem to offer a level of comfort that’s challenging to replicate on other

    Latex foam mattresses are highly comfortable, which is a big reason they’re so popular. They’re springy and bounce back once pressure lifts off of them, but they also contour to the body. Because of their responsiveness, latex mattresses are ideal for sleepers who move a lot at night. Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses don’t take long to reshape to the body after it moves.

    Contouring from a latex hybrid mattress or natural latex foam mattress may also help people who suffer from aches get relief. The supportive nature of the mattress when you sleep on latex may offer support to common pressure points to reduce discomfort on your hips, shoulders, back, and other areas.


    When you sleep on a latex mattress, you might notice that you feel cooler than you do on other mattresses. Latex mattresses are naturally cool, and don’t have the heating problems that some other mattresses can develop.

    Natural Dunlop latex foam and Talalay latex foam mattresses both have breathable properties that allow air to circulate throughout the mattress to keep you cooler. Each foam layer has tiny pinholes that boost airflow, and latex doesn’t hang onto body heat like other synthetic materials can.


    Latex is a durable material that, when used in mattresses, gives a lot of support to the individual(s) sleeping on it. Latex mattress reviews often note how well a latex foam mattress tends to support the body, no matter what position one chooses to sleep in.

    Therefore, a latex bed may help you feel a bit more refreshed in the morning with reduced pain in areas where you normally experience in. A supportive mattress keeps your spine in proper alignment as you sleep, allowing for pressure relief when you sleep on your side, stomach, or back.

    Eco Friendly

    One of the biggest draws to latex mattresses is how natural they are. This has been an attractive feature since the 1950s. They avoid harsh chemicals, and some are even biodegradable.

    Of course, the eco-friendliness of latex mattresses comes from organic and natural latex mattress options. Synthetic latex and blended latex hybrid mattresses could have other materials in them that make them not as environmentally friendly.

    An organic latex mattress might just be one of the best around for the environment. Organic latex is pure latex that’s certified by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). GOLS only certifies latex that comes from sustainable and eco-friendly growth practices. If you have a natural latex bed, check to see if it’s certified organic latex by looking on the tag for a GOLS statement.

    Flame Retardant Properties

    Many mattresses on today’s market use some sort of flame retardant chemical to prevent the mattress from catching fire easily. If you want an all-natural mattress, though, you probably don’t want a layer of chemicals laced within its surface.

    Latex mattresses, like any other mattress type, must meet a country’s flame retardant laws before they can be sold. Often, natural latex mattresses include a wool barrier (a natural material that is flame retardant) to boost their flame resistance. Therefore, you can have a safe mattress without added and unwanted chemicals.

    Be sure to look on the label of a mattress before buying it to determine what type of flame retardant the mattress uses. Some mattresses labeled as “natural latex” or “organic mattress” could still have a chemical barrier to meet flame retardant standards.

    Motion Isolation

    You know when you’re sleeping comfortably but suddenly get jostled by movement on the other side of the bed? That’s motion transfer, and some mattresses don’t handle it as well as others. It’s one reason why spring mattresses are so outdated; they’re among the worst for motion transfer.

    Because of the supportiveness of latex, motion transfer may not interfere with your sleep as much as it would on other mattresses. Latex has excellent motion isolation, meaning that when one person moves on the bed, the other person doesn’t have to feel it on their side.

    Low Maintenance

    Latex mattresses are relatively low maintenance compared to organic cotton, polyurethane foam, and even a synthetic latex mattress.

    You don’t have to flip the mattress as often as you would other mattresses; it stays comfortable where you first put it for several months. Still, it’s a good idea to rotate or flip your latex mattress every six months or so, just to prevent too much wear in the same areas.

    Aside from that, be sure to use a mattress cover to prevent your mattress from staining. Consider using a waterproof and breathable cover to keep your mattress clean and you comfortable.


    Latex mattresses are also durable, especially if they’re made of natural latex. Most latex mattresses can last more than 20 years, which is a good seven to ten years beyond what other mattress types often last.

    No Chemical Smells

    Latex mattresses aren’t all the same. Some are made with natural latex and others are made with synthetic latex or a mix of materials. Knowing the differences between the two can ensure that you get the best latex mattress if you’ve decided that this type of mattress is right for you.

    Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees, and because it’s natural, there’s minimal off-gassing. 100% of natural latex mattresses are harvested from the tree, so there are no harsh chemicals in the mattress. A synthetic latex mattress, on the other hand, will have chemicals within its construction, so you’ll probably have some chemical smell for a while when you unwrap your mattress.

    Safe for Most to Sleep On

    Between eight percent and 17 percent of U.S. medical professionals have a latex allergy, while less than one percent of other Americans are allergic to latex. People with latex allergies may be able to still use a latex bed, as long as they don’t handle the latex mattress directly. The bed coverings might protect them from their allergy. But, this is not always the case.

    Those allergic to latex should consult a doctor concerning the severity of their allergy before purchasing a latex foam mattress, whether it’s natural latex, organic latex, or a latex hybrid.

    Latex Mattress Cons


    Although latex mattresses have variable firmness levels like other mattresses, some believe that they take a while to wear in, making them almost too firm at first. Still, you should notice your mattress loosening up after a few weeks of sleeping on it.

    Be sure to choose the mattress that’s the right firmness for how you sleep and your body type. Larger, heavier people might want more support from a firm mattress, while petite people might feel more comfortable with a soft latex hybrid mattress or natural latex mattress.


    Latex mattresses are among the more expensive mattress types because of the lengthy process needed to collect natural latex. The cost of latex mattresses varies greatly depending on brand and size. Twin size latex foam mattresses might range from $700 to $3,400, while a king latex foam mattress can range from $1,350 to more than $6,000.

    Although latex mattresses tend to range higher in price than others, they come with many benefits when compared to traditional mattresses. Still, upfront cost can be a barrier for some. Look for a mattress company that offers affordable payment plans to help ease the burden of cost.

    Latex Allergies

    As mentioned, less than one percent of the U.S. population has a latex allergy. And for many with an allergy, their allergy may not be severe enough to be affected by a latex mattress, especially if it’s a hybrid latex mattress. That’s because the latex in most of these mattresses is contained within rather than on the surface that you’ll come into contact with.

    Still, for those with a severe latex allergy, a latex mattress may be one they need to avoid. Always consult your doctor before handling anything with latex, especially a mattress that you’ll be in close contact with throughout the night.


    The durability and denseness of a latex mattress are two reasons people love them. They can last for a long time and they’re supportive. However, these qualities also make them quite heavy compared to other mattresses, which could be bad news for people who don’t want to wrestle a hefty mattress when it’s time to flip it.

    It’s best to always have someone help you rotate or flip a mattress if possible, but this is especially true with a natural latex mattress. A latex hybrid mattress might not be as heavy, but you could probably still benefit from an extra set of muscles to move it.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Latex Mattresses

    Still have some questions about latex mattresses? We’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions about them to answer common queries.

    Which Latex Mattress is Right For Me?

    Things to keep in mind when looking to buy a Latex mattress are mattress life, firmness, and sleep positions. Be sure to pick a mattress that has at least a 5-year warranty. This is a key sign that is a mattress that will last.

    You should have a mattress that is firm or soft to your liking.

    Even if you do not have a mattress that is firm or soft to your liking, ensure the mattress is designed to fit your body and sleeping positions. Often mattresses are not designed to fit your specific sleeping positions.

    How Is Synthetic Latex Different from Natural Latex?

    Not all latex mattresses are 100% natural. Synthetic latex can be made of various materials, but are typically made with a certain type of plastic called SBR, or Styrene Buradiene Rubber, which is commonly used as a substitute for natural rubber. This plastic is often used for artificial turfs for children, and research has shown the chemical to be safe, though there is some controversy surrounding it.

    A synthetic mattress is probably not going to have the durability of an all-natural latex mattress, and doesn’t have the same springiness to it that many look for in a natural latex mattress.

    How Do They Make Latex Mattresses?

    There are two manufacturing processes to create different types of beds: Dunlop and Talalay latex foam mattresses.

    Talalay Method – Partial Fill of Mold and Vaccum Seal

    The Talalay method pours the tree sap harvested from rubber trees into a mold, but only fills it partway. The rest of the mold is filled with air using a vacuum. This creates a uniform density and fill throughout the entire mattress.

    Dunlop Method – Complete Fill of Mold

    The Dunlop manufacturing method fills the mattress mold completely, which usually results in a lighter top and a denser bottom to the latex foam still the tree sap settles a bit toward the bottom.

    Is Talalay latex better than Dunlop?

    There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a Talalay latex mattress or Dunlop latex mattress. However, if you’re looking for eco-friendliness, you might consider Dunlop. Its process is more efficient because it completely fills the mold, creating a simpler process overall and one that uses less energy.

    The other slight differences between the two focus on the feel of the mattress. Dunlop latex is a little denser, meaning that it might feel heavier, but it may also provide you with a little extra support. On the other hand, Talalay latex tends to be bouncier than Dunlop, which could be more comfortable for some.

    Is a latex mattress better than memory foam?

    Many people choose between a latex vs. foam mattress but find it difficult to compare the two. Here are a few key differences:

    • Latex is bouncier than memory foam
    • Latex mattresses are generally more breathable than memory foam mattresses
    • Latex mattresses tend to have a faster response time to movements in bed
    • Natural latex mattresses have minimal off-gassing (less yucky smells)

    Does Purple Contain Latex?

    No, Purple mattresses are 100% latex-free. It’s not that we’re against latex in mattresses, it’s just that we know our Purple Grid makes our mattresses stand out in ways that others don’t. The Purple Grid gives the ultimate responsiveness and comfort, no matter how you choose to sleep.

    If latex is your thing, we have you covered there, too, with our Purple Harmony Pillow. The pillow contains a Talalay latex core covered by a breathable, cooling cover to keep you restful and cozy all night.

    Latex is an excellent material for pillows because of its durability and support, yet forgiving nature that hugs your curves and gives you support. Like our mattresses, the Purple Harmony Pillow comes with a 100-night trial, so you can see how it works for you.

    Purple Has All the Benefits of Latex With None of the Drawbacks

    As you can see, latex holds a lot of benefits for a mattress and very few disadvantages. In fact, the disadvantages you see in latex mattresses are ones that can be true for many types of mattresses.

    Latex is, undoubtedly, an excellent material to sleep on. But, Purple opts for using the Purple Grid instead of latex or a latex layer. The Purple Grid relieves pressure and adds a comfort layer to your mattress, allowing you to sleep any way you want. Plus, you don’t have to worry about a latex allergy when you use a Purple mattress.

    If you do love the feel of sleeping on latex, try the Purple Harmony Pillow. It’ll deliver the many benefits of latex right to your pillow, giving you the comfort and support you need for a restful night’s sleep.


    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.