Latex foam mattresses
Latex foam in mattresses is generally a blend of the latex of the Hevea brasiliensis tree and synthetic latex, which is derived from petrochemicals and other substances and fillers. There are, however, natural latex mattresses that leave out polyurethane-based chemicals. Latex foam is produced using either the Talalay or the Dunlop process.
What is latex?
There are two types of latex: natural and synthetic.
Latex foam can be made from natural and synthetic materials. Natural latex is produced from rubber trees so there are no harsh chemicals in the mattress. The sap from the trees is frothed up and baked to create a foam. It’s a very popular option for those looking for an eco-friendly mattress.
Synthetic latex is made from several materials, but the most prominent is a type of plastic and natural rubber substitute called Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR). This type of latex mattress is less durable and springy than the natural latex mattress.
Latex can be produced with two different methods: Talalay and Dunlop.
In a Talalay latex mattress, the tree sap fills a mold only partially, with the rest of it getting filled with air. Talalay latex is bouncy and pillow-like.
For Dunlop latex, the mold is filled completely with the tree sap, creating a lighter top and dense bottom. Dunlop latex is more durable, denser, and less expensive than Talalay.
Latex mattresses can have a life span of about 20 years.
Are latex mattresses good?
Latex mattresses are among the most durable types of mattresses. They last a lot longer than other types of mattresses before needing to be replaced. This high durability is one of the many reasons for the high level of owner satisfaction with latex mattresses.
What are the Pros and Cons of latex mattresses?
If you are considering a latex mattress, you should be aware of its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at these.
- Breathable. Natural latex allows for airflow and doesn’t sleep as hot as memory foam.
- Springy. Latex is quick to spring back to its original shape.
- Eco-friendly. Natural latex is made from rubber, which is harvested from rubber trees through tapping (much like with maple syrup). Since natural latex is a plant-based material, it will break down more quickly than memory foam in a landfill.
- Typically longer lasting.
- Heavier and harder to move.
- Not as great with pressure relief.
- Typically more expensive.
- Can be noisy
Latex vs. Memory Foam: Which Is Better?
Both memory foam and latex are super durable and they each have their pros and their cons. However, memory foam has more slow-moving properties that offer better pressure relief. In contrast, latex mattresses have a bouncier feel that is better for those who tend to sleep hot.