Latex mattresses have been around for decades, but have recently experienced a increase in popularity. Latex mattresses are considered Ec0-friendly, hypo-allergenic and many feel they offer superior support and sleeping experience.
Latex mattresses are typically molded out of the latex (Natural, Synthetic, or a combination of the two) and then several layers of latex with varying densities are used to create one mattress, usually the firmer layers are on the bottom and the softer layers on top next to the sleeper.
The most popular types of latex are:
Natural Latex- Made from Rubber tree sap
Synthetic Latex- Chemically produced with petroleum-based products
Blends and Fillers- A combination of natural and synthetic latex
Natural latex is a made from the sap of the rubber tree. A natural latex mattress tends to be soft and have elasticity to it. Natural latex is biodegradable and resistant to bacteria, mildew, mold, dust mites, bed bugs and other allergens. Naturally made Latex products can vary in consistency and quality which makes it especially important for you to test the quality before you buy. An all-natural latex mattress can be expensive.
Synthetic latex is produced by a chemical process involving petroleum-based materials. It has many of the same physical properties as natural latex. A synthetic latex mattress often retains its resilience and durability longer than a natural latex mattress. Synthetic latex mattresses tend to have a more consistent feel and quality level than natural latex, but the synthetic product can often feel stiffer than the natural product.
Blends and Fillers:
Blended latex mattresses are a combination of both natural and synthetic latex types to create a mattress that possesses the best qualities of both options. This includes the elasticity of natural latex, and the durability of synthetic. A blended latex mattress has a more consistent feel than one that is all natural.
Some blended latex mattresses have ‘fillers’, which are particles of clay or other materials that get mixed in to the latex. This makes the latex less expensive, but adds stiffness and decreases durability. A mattress that calls itself ‘Pure Latex’ does not contain fillers, and can refer to both Natural and Synthetic latex products.
Other points to consider:
Relative to Memory Foam, Latex offers similar support and durability. A quality latex mattress can be expected to last 10 to 20 years. Latex mattresses are less conforming to the sleeper than a Memory Foam mattress and have a quicker ‘recovery’ time, making them feel less ‘hot’ and it’s easier to change sleeping positions. Latex mattresses distribute weight evenly and are incredibly good at relieving pressure points that can disrupt a good nights sleep. More latex mattress properties can be found here.