When considering latex mattresses, many people, just like you, have questions about the mattresses themselves and their options. These are a few of the most frequently asked questions related to latex mattresses.
What is a Latex Mattress?
Latex mattresses are mattresses that are made from special foam created with the sap of rubber trees. Latex foam is all natural and botanical in nature. There are synthetic latex foam mattresses on the market that may or may not include any actual botanical latex in the manufacturing process.
What Are the Types of Latex Mattresses?
There are several different types of latex mattresses. These are:
1. Hybrid Latex Mattresses
Hybrid latex mattresses, such as the PlushBeds Eco Bliss or the Luxury Bliss mattresses, have grown in popularity recently. Unlike blended latex mattresses, they combine a latex comfort layer top with a pocketed coil mattress base. Hybrid mattresses provide the best of both types of mattresses: the support of pocket coils with the resilient comfort of latex.
The comfort layers in latex mattresses are well-known for:
- Bouncing back fast when pressure is removed
- Their resiliency
- Allowing sleepers to easily shift positions without disrupting their sleeping partners
- Helping people avoid that "sunken in" feeling
The latex used in the layers of comfort can be made using various types of latex components, so you can decide to go with a comfort layer with cooling properties, if you want to, that helps with arthritis relief, joint pain, and more.
2. 100% Natural Latex Mattresses
A natural latex mattress, like the PlushBeds Botanical Bliss, comes completely from nature. It offers you an outstanding mix of both support and comfort. Latex simultaneously provides support for certain problem areas like your neck and back, and also relieves typical pressure points on your shoulders and hips. The material allows you to experience a foam mattress's adaptivity without feeling overwhelmingly "cradled." Not all people's body types are suited ideally for 100% latex mattresses, however. Many people experience more benefits from hybrid latex mattresses.
Natural latex mattresses are a bit more on the costly side because they're considered a luxury product constructed with material sourced from rubber trees. It's a more timely and labor-intensive process. Certain manufacturers combine natural and synthetic latex, and claim their mattress is constructed with 100% natural latex. It's sneaky wording, so you'll want to be sure to check the mattress company's credentials for certifications. PlushBeds latex is GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified.
3. Blended and Synthetic Latex Mattresses
While blended and synthetic mattresses might share similar characteristics and properties of natural latex, they do have certain disadvantages to their natural counterparts. The first and most obvious is their affect on the environment. Also, synthetic mattresses are more prone to tearing, are a tad less durable, and could produce a strong off-gassing.
What is Synthetic Latex?
When it comes to its physical properties, synthetic latex is similar to natural, but it's constructed from petrochemicals made to mimic the natural alternative's properties. The most common form of synthetic latex is styrene-butadiene rubber. When you select this option, you could frequently benefit from a cheaper price, but there are several pitfalls that come along with this cheaper price for a customer, including:
- Durability is usually less than natural
- Material is susceptible to tears
- Prone to strong off-gassing
- Typically lacks certifications from organizations like GreenGuard, Oeko-Tex, and eco-Institut.
What is Blended Latex?
It's clear there are certain huge differences between synthetic and natural latex. If you're looking to benefit from a slightly lower price tag, and not lose the important components provided by natural latex, you might consider blended latex products. The mattresses are constructed by blending both synthetic and natural latex into a single product.
It's important to note, certain manufacturers will add just a very small amount of natural latex in their products, and brand them as "contains natural latex" or "constructed with 100% natural latex." While they typically aren't lying, they're clearly trying to pass their product by as something it truly isn't. If you're not sure of the natural-to-synthetic proportions in a blended product, you'll want to give customer service a ring, and find out before you purchase the product.
How is Latex Foam Created?
There are two types of latex foam manufacturing processes that are used to create latex mattresses — Dunlop and Talalay latex mattress.
Dunlop involves pouring foam into molds where it is vulcanized, and allowed to dry. This creates a very dense layer of foam for mattresses that is often preferred by those who suffer from back pain.
The Talalay process is a more recent manufacturing process in which the foam is whipped to generate aeration, then poured into molds, and vacuum suctioned. This creates a softer foam that is preferred by people who sleep on their sides.
What are the Benefits of Dunlop Manufactured Latex Foam?
For people who need firm support in a mattress, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with a Dunlop core latex mattress. They are made with an all-natural process, and can be organic if you choose a mattress that is certified organic by GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard). They are also extremely durable with the potential to last up to 20 years. If you sleep on your stomach or back, the Dunlop mattress core might be the best option for you.
What are the Benefits of Talalay Manufactured Latex Foam Mattresses?
Talalay mattresses offer a layer of soft support that provides essential cushioning for your pressure points. This is ideal for people who prefer a softer foundation, and those who sleep on their sides.
What is the ILD of Natural Latex Mattresses?
ILD stands for Indentation Load Deflection. The ILD of natural latex can range from 20 (for the softest mattresses) to 45 for the firmest mattress choices.
What if Partners Have Different Firmness Preferences?
One of the beauties of owning a latex mattress is that it is made to order. That means that you can have one side that is firmer than the other (when ordering a Split King, Split Queen, Or Split California King mattress). When you order from PlushBeds, you can even make adjustments for comfort or added support once you’ve purchased your mattress, because you can easily add a firmer or softer layer after your mattress has been delivered, if needed.
What is GOLS Certification?
If you’re interested in an organic latex mattress, you will need to find one that has been certified organic by the Global Organic Latex Standard. This means the source materials used in making the mattress and the manufacturing process itself has been studied and observed, and meets or exceeds the rigorous standards of the organization.
Are all Latex Mattresses Organic?
While natural latex mattresses can be organic, not all of them have gone through the certification process. That doesn’t mean they aren’t of outstanding quality and good for you and your family – only that they have not gone through the thorough testing required of mattresses that bear the certified organic label.
Are Latex Mattresses Green?
Natural latex mattresses that are made with 100 percent natural latex are very good for the planet. Not only are the mattresses themselves 100 percent recyclable, but they are also manufactured in a manner that causes little pollution, and contains no petrochemicals. They also last longer than most traditional innerspring mattresses, meaning they’ll need to be replaced far less often. Another win for the planet.
How Long Do Latex Mattresses Last?
Unlike innerspring mattresses, which have a lifespan between five and seven years, natural mattress latex foam mattresses can last up to 20 years or more, without losing the firm support they are so famous for. This means you can get a lot more value from your mattress investment when you choose natural latex.
Are Latex Mattresses made from Sustainable Materials?
The rubber trees that produce the sap used to make latex foam in sustainable mattresses are not harmed by the process of removing the sap, and are very sustainable themselves because they grow so quickly.
Do Latex Mattresses Cause Off-Gassing Issues?
Some memory foam mattresses that are made with petrochemicals have a reputation for powerful off-gassing, once removed from the packaging. These strong odors can cause headaches and respiratory issues if you don’t allow them to air out properly before bringing them into enclosed rooms in your home. That is not the case with 100 percent natural latex foam. It can be a problem if you are using synthetic latex, or a hybrid latex mattress.
Is it Necessary to Flip Latex Mattresses?
You may have noticed that latex mattresses are a little heavier than the average innerspring mattress. You’ll be glad to know that unlike innerspring mattresses, natural latex mattresses have a great deal of elasticity (thanks to the rubber at its core), and tend to maintain their shape for years, without sagging or buckling in critical areas. There is no need to flip them routinely to avoid sags, lumps, and bumps in latex.
How is Latex Different from Memory Foam?
There are many differences between latex foam and memory foam. One of the biggest is the construction process. Latex foam is constructed in a manner that it encourages air flowing toward and away from the skin – keeping your skin cooler at night. This helps you sleep better, without waking up throughout the night because you’re uncomfortably warm. Memory foam is also associated with a sinking feeling once you crawl into bed. Additionally, latex foam has natural properties that make it antimicrobial and antibacterial that are lacking in most memory foam mattresses.
Is it Difficult to Clean Natural Latex Mattresses?
Natural latex mattresses are naturally resistant to bacteria and microbes, which means they don’t need to be cleaned as often as innerspring, and even some types of memory foam mattresses. When you need to clean them, they are easy to clean and maintain.
What Type of Contouring Does a Latex Mattress Provide?
Similar to memory foam, latex can conform well and cradle your body. This could be extremely beneficial if you're suffering with pressure points. But, unlike memory foam, when you change your sleeping position on latex, you don't get that feeling of being "stuck." Latex bounces right back when you remove pressure.
Can Latex Mattresses Cause Allergies?
The American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology states, up to 50 million individuals experience allergies. This is equivalent to one in five people living in the U.S.
Although there certainly are some individuals who develop latex allergies when they're exposed to latex, a natural latex mattress's latex content doesn't come directly in contact with your skin. Therefore, it's less likely to create a situation where you'd develop a latex allergy from the mattress. But, if you have an existing latex allergy, you'll definitely want to consult with your physician first to discuss any potential risk factors of latex, and if you should be sleeping it, even if it is a natural latex mattress.
Can Latex Mattresses Make You Sick?
Although certain individuals find their new latex mattress gives off a slightly sweet vanilla-like smell when they open it, a natural latex mattress shouldn't make you sick. The only exception is if you're allergic to latex, and you come into direct contact with the latex inside the mattress.
What Are the Different Levels of Firmness in Latex Beds?
You'll want to test out the various firmness levels to decide which level of firmness you prefer. Like other mattresses, latex mattresses come in different firmness levels as well. These can range from a firm mattress to a soft one where you feel like you're sinking into it.
PlushBeds mattress offer two levels of firmness:
- Perfect for most sleepers (especially side sleepers)
- 80% of PlushBed's consumers choose Medium
- Perfect for back or stomach sleepers and those who are 275+ lbs.
Are Latex Mattresses Recyclable?
A natural latex mattress is constructed with botanical foam as well as other recyclable materials. Now, depending on which latex mattress type you go with, as well as the other materials used in the mattress's construction, it should be 100% recyclable.
But, at the very least, you should be able to recycle most of the mattress, significantly decreasing the impact on local landfills.
Is a Latex Mattress Ideal for Bigger Individuals?
Individuals who are on the larger size, and who carry extra weight, should really carefully consider the mattress they sleep on. If they don't, they could continue waking up each morning with sore joints and back. This occurs due to the pressure points being under the most stress for a lengthy period during the night. When there isn't enough proper support, a larger individual may actually be inflicting pain on their body just because they are sleeping on the wrong mattress type.
An ideal thing with a latex mattress is it provides both softness and support. This combo is perfect for individuals of all sizes, but particularly for bigger people. A natural latex mattress also helps keep your body cooler during the night — an added benefit if you tend to sweat a lot at night.
Will A Latex Mattress Get Softer Over Time?
A natural latex mattress has a good deal of resiliency. A great thing about them is their lifespan because the material is able to retain its natural density and shape. A natural latex mattress can last 20 years or more, compared to other mattress types that only last about seven to 10 years. Latex mattresses also have shorter "break in" periods than spring and synthetic mattresses. It can take as few as seven days to get used to your new latex mattress, whereas other mattresses could take weeks in order to soften the springs.
Does a Latex Mattress Make You Sweat?
Natural latex mattress's open cell technology allows air to freely flow through the mattress. This helps you to sleep cool during the night. Also, latex mattresses help to whisk away moisture fast, if you do happen to sweat throughout the night.
How Does a Latex Mattress Feel?
A latex mattress provides the contouring and comfort of memory foam mattresses, but with a greater resiliency level, which makes it simpler to switch your sleep positions. Individuals who like the feeling of a foam mattress, but prefer a mattress that also bounces back fast, would enjoy a latex mattress.
Do Latex Mattresses Cause Headaches?
Certain individuals may experience a slight headache from the odor of latex foam when they first open their mattress. This isn't the same thing as off-gassing, which is the release of VOC gasses (like with synthetic mattresses). In a natural latex mattress, it's the botanical materials that omit a vanilla-like fragrance that's not harmful, and goes away quickly.
Does a Latex Mattress Attract Bed Bugs and Dust Mites?
Generally, latex isn't a surface you'll find dust mites. Like any animal, dust mites are attracted to sources of water and food. Latex, cotton, and wool (like the materials PlushBeds are made with) tend to breathe and air out better than synthetic materials. And, since they stay dry, they're less likely to attract dust mites or bed bugs, since there's no reason for them to come crawling around your bed, making it their home.
But, this doesn't mean it's not important to keep your sheets and other bedding washed and completely dry. You also don't want to eat or drink in your bed, either, since there's the risk of crumbs or a spill.
These are the top questions and answers about Latex mattresses. If you have additional questions, our PlushBeds natural or organic latex mattresses, our mattress specialists are happy to help you! Call the PlushBeds sales or support team 7 days a week at 1-888-286-3404.
We look forward to speaking with you!
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