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Why are Latex Mattresses So Popular?

Latex Mattresses - History, Construction, Allergy Concerns

Latex mattresses are among the most popular types of mattress because of their durability and comfort. Latex conforms to your body more generally than memory foam, and bounces back quickly.

Latex Mattresses are 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.

Where Does Natural Latex Come From?

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.

latex mattress

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.

Latex is Well-Known for Being Comfortable

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.

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.

Benefits of Latex Mattresses

Aside from being eco-friendly and extremely comfortable, latex mattresses are naturally cool, and don’t have the heating problems that some other mattresses can develop.

Latex mattresses are also durable, especially if they’re made of natural latex. You don’t even have to flip the mattress; it stays comfortable where you first put it. Most latex mattresses can last more than 20 years.

Latex Allergy – How Common is it?

Between 5 and 15% of U.S. medical professionals have a latex allergy, while less than 1% 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.

Latex Mattresses Cost – They are Expensive

Latex mattresses are among the most expensive mattresses available, and can be a barrier to many people looking for a new bed.

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 over $6,000.

Are There Cheaper Latex Options?

Alternatively, latex mattress toppers are available. These are cheaper than full latex foam mattresses, but still offer similar comforts. These prices vary as well, but many are between $100 and $300, again depending on size and brand.

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