With recent revelations that most mattresses contain harmful chemicals, many people are considering greener alternatives.
This explains the sudden increase in demand for latex mattresses. Latex is a natural substance produced from the sap of rubber trees which has been used to make mattresses since 1929. It has numerous benefits. It’s hypoallergenic, sleeps cool, and is the most durable mattress material. Not only is latex environmentally friendly and sustainable, but it’s also the best mattress for support.
The mattress’s buoyant nature and its ability to perfectly contour to one’s body without sinking in makes it the go-to mattress for people who suffer joint pains.
That’s why this latex mattress buying guide breaks down features, lists benefits, and helps you ask the right questions in your search for the best latex mattress for you.
Editors Pick Best Overall
Best For Couples
#1 Sweet Zzz Latex Mattress (Editors Pick)
Sweet Zzz Latex Mattress
This 12” latex mattress is our pick for the best mattress in this list because of how it utilizes both Talalay and Dunlop latex to achieve good contouring and firm support. The Natures Novel has a much longer than average lifespan because of its use for eco-friendly and natural materials.
We ordered two twin xl mattresses to get to test both firmness options and we were very satisfied with the results of both.
We do recommend the Firm for back and stomach sleepers and the Medium-soft for side sleepers and lighter people below 140 lbs.
#2 Botanical Bliss By Plushbeds (Best For Couples)
Botanical Bliss By Plushbeds
Best For Couples
The Botanical Bliss is for those couples with an above average budget as it is one of the more expensive mattresses in the market. That being said this mattress’s natural organic certifications along with how good it feels and how customizable it is makes up for its price tag.
The Botanical Bliss is made of organic certified bedding materials from head to toe. The mattress consists of 3” layers of Dunlop latex with different firmness levels for you to rearrange for the best results.
It is amazing how adjustable this mattress is. Whether you are a lightweight side sleeper or a heavyweight back sleeper, this mattress will most likely have the combination that works for you and your plus one.
#3 Cedar Naturel Mattress (Luxury Choice)
Cedar Natural Luxe Mattress
The Cedar Natural Luxe feels and looks luxury. At 15” high, this mattress has only natural and organic certified materials in it. At first you have the organic cotton cover and natural fire barrier, then two layers of natural GOTS certified wool to increase the plushness and comfort.
Then there is the 2” organic certified Dunlop latex and that makes the pillowtop. After the pillowtop comes a layer of 1” organic Alpaca wool and 1.5” organic Dunlop latex again. Finally, the 8” pocketed coil system.
This balance of plushness, support, and comfort is what made it our pick for the best luxury mattress. Keep in mind that this bed also has a luxury price point.
Like the rest of the mattress on this list, the Cedar Natural Luxe Mattress comes with great services. Those include a 1-year sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.
#4 Spindle Natural Latex Mattress (Adjustable Firmness)
Spindle Latex Mattress
If you’re not sure what firmness best suits you then Spindle might be for you. This mattress comes in four firmness options but we recommend you go with the Medium choice or the Firm choice.
That’s because the Extra Firm choice and the Soft choice are not adjustable since you get the same layer of 3” Dunlop latex three times nullifying the firmness adjustability feature.
Remember that if you couldn’t get the right set up for yourself even after trying different combinations of layers, you can ask Spindle to replace one of the layer with a softer (or firmer) layer once during the first year only.
No mattress the firmness you choose, you’ll always get the natural organic certified cotton cover and wool fire barrier.
#5 Awara Latex Hybrid Mattress (Most Affordable)
Awara Latex Hybrid Mattress
A truly affordable luxury. Awara is a 13” latex hybrid mattress with eco-friendly natural and organic materials for almost half what it’s worth.
We tested the mattress and found it more on the firmer side with great support and little contouring and sink in.
This mattress is constructed with a Certified 100% Organic Wool fiber from New Zealand, a 4” layer of Dunlop latex, and finally a 9” layer of individually wrapped coil system.
It feels like a true hybrid but with more bounce and less contouring.
Latex Mattress Buying Guide
Why You Should Consider Latex?
To start, it’s important to know the benefits of latex mattresses.
We sleep for nearly a third of our lives. Sleep plays an important role in our health and overall wellbeing. As such, it’s important to get a proper night’s rest. Something a mattress plays a huge role in.
There are many mattresses in the market today, each comes with some advantages and disadvantages. However, latex’s benefits far outdo other mattresses in the market, as you will soon find out.
#1 The Best Support
One of the major benefits of a latex mattress is its great support. Coming from rubber which is elastic in nature, Latex is one of the most responsive bedding materials. This makes it the best mattress for support.
It offers the best of both worlds by providing a comfortable yet supportive sleep surface. Just like memory foam, latex mattresses tend to contour to your body, offering a cradling sensation. Yet with latex’s buoyant nature, your deep curves are strongly supported avoiding sinking into the mattress.
This creates a ‘floating on bed’ type of experience which makes it easy to turn around and get in and out of bed.
By properly supporting your head, shoulders, hips, and back, latex mattresses promote a proper spine curvature. This is beneficial in reducing and eliminating pressure points.
By offering strong support, latex allows for proper blood circulation and pressure distribution for a healthy night’s rest.
#2 The Healthiest For You
Latex’s natural nature makes it a rather healthy option for you. Collected from the sap of rubber trees, latex doesn’t contain harmful chemicals as other mattress materials do. It, therefore, doesn’t emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like mattress made from petroleum.
VOC’s which are gases emitted from chemically manufactured products pollute your home. Extended exposure to these gases can cause adverse health effects, says the EPA. VOCs, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and, acetaldehyde have been associated with many illnesses such as cancer, allergies, headaches, and nausea.
Natural latex, on the other hand, is eco-friendly and doesn’t pollute the air in or out of your home. Making it a safer option. If you want to sleep green, then Latex is the best mattress to sleep on.
Please note, some manufacturers use synthetic or blended latex which is a mix of organic and synthetic latex. These forms of latex are not as safe as organic latex is.
#3 The Healthiest For The Planet
Latex is an eco-friendly mattress option. It’s use of natural ingredients and its otherwise nonchemical based production, makes it a very environmentally friendly material.
In a time where we are trying to save the world by going green, the use of natural materials is the way to go. Latex is as natural as natural gets. Its production uses little to no chemicals which are harmless in nature.
Latex is also biodegradable in nature, minimizing waste and producing clean, nutrient-rich waste by-product.
Besides, rubber tree farming is sustainable. Collecting sap from rubber trees does not kill them. These trees are easy to maintain and last up to 25 years. These same trees also help clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.
By choosing to buy latex, you are helping with the global effort to go green and save the world from the adverse effects of environmental degradation.
#4 The Coolest Mattress Material
Of all mattress materials out there, latex has to be the coolest. Sleeping hot is a problem with many new types of mattresses like memory foam. This issue can cause you sleepless nights and is also expensive. You have to shell out more dollars, to acquire cooling beddings to place on top of your mattresses.
Latex is characterized by a natural open cell structure that allows proper flow of air within the mattress. Besides this, latex is further punctuated with pinholes during its production, which allows further aeration of the material.
Most latex mattress manufacturers, use other cool materials such as cotton and wool to complete the mattress, making it as green as possible. All this helps enhance the cooling nature of a latex mattress.
#5 The Longest Mattress Lifespan
Purchasing a mattress is an expensive and tiring process. It’s not something that one wants to do every few years. That’s why you should invest in a mattress that will last.
Latex mattresses are among the most durable mattresses if not the most durable in the market today. Given that the average life of a mattress is 7.5 years, it’s good to invest in latex mattresses which have been known to last as long as 12 years and more.
You can rely on a latex mattress to last long and maintain its performance. Latex mattresses’ responsiveness keeps them from sagging quickly like memory foam and other foam mattresses do.
Research shows that this type of mattress has a longer life expectancy than other mattress types. And is one of the qualities that the owners of such a mattress love the most.
#6 The Best For Couples
No one likes to be jostled awake at night. Yet this happens to many people who sleep with fussy sleepers who turn and toss all night long. A remedy for this type of situation is to get a mattress with good motion isolating capabilities.
The best mattresses at motion isolation are memory foams and latex mattresses. Latex is good at absorbing and localizing motion, transferring little to no movement over to the rest of the mattress. This means you will rarely be disrupted by your partner’s movements at night.
Another great benefit of latex for couples is its responsive nature. Latex’s bouncy nature promotes rapid movements during sex. Something that couples like a lot about this mattress type.
#7 The Best at Fighting Allergies
If you suffer allergies, then you know how uncomfortable sleep can get. Nasal congestion or skin irritation caused by allergies can cause sleepless nights.
The culprits, mold, mildew, and dust mites breed by the millions. Pestilence such as dust mites feeds on dead skin, therefore, infesting one’s bed. Research shows that these two factors can double the weight of your mattress in just 8 years.
Continual exposure to these allergens can result in insomnia. A problem that 48% of adults experience seasonally, if not regularly.
The fact that latex which comes from rubber trees is initially produced to wade of invasive insects tells you that it’s a good antiallergenic material. Latex is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and dust mites because of its dense, dry nature. It’s the best mattress material for fighting allergies.
Now that you know the benefits of latex. You might be wondering how you can go about getting the best latex mattress in the market. The answer is simply figuring out what you need to look for first.
You can do this by asking yourself these questions:
1- Will This Mattress Have the Right Firmness, Comfort, and Support for You?
The comfort and support factors of a mattress determine your sleep experience. They are some of the most important features to look out for when mattress shopping.
These features are determined by the firmness of a mattress which is determined by your sleeping style.
There are three sleeping styles, side, back, and stomach sleeping. Some people also sleep in one or more of these styles. These people are known as combo sleepers.
Research shows that side sleeping is the most popular sleeping style. Over 70% of Americans sleep this way.
Due to its buoyant nature, a latex mattress is good for side sleepers. It can contour to the neck, shoulders, and hip region of the individual. Relieving pressure from these points by allowing proper blood circulation.
However, determining the right firmness of the mattress is crucial here. An overly firm mattress might not contour much, leading to numbness in these regions. Something that happens due to the cut-off of circulation.
That’s why side sleepers need a softer sleep surface. Medium soft latex mattresses offer optimal support and comfort for side sleepers.
Back sleeping, though not as popular as side sleeping, only 20% of Americans sleep this way, is considered the healthiest sleep style.
Lying on your back promotes the right spine curvature and minimizes aches and pains caused by irregular body movements experienced with other sleep styles.
However, to achieve this, a back sleeper needs to lie on an even surface which doesn’t sink too much. A medium-firm latex mattress is recommended for back sleepers. It keeps every part of the body supported without sinking under the heavier regions, which can misalign the spine.
Stomach sleeping is one of the least preferred sleep styles with only 7% of the people choosing to sleep this way. That’s a good thing because it’s deemed one of the unhealthiest sleeping styles.
Sleeping on our stomachs strains the spine and vital organs. We tend to carry most of our weight in the mid-section of the body. When one lies on their stomach, gravity takes effect and all the weight of the mid-section is pulled downwards, causing a strain on the spine.
However, if you have to sleep on your stomach, you are recommended to sleep on a firm surface that doesn’t sink.
That’s why a latex mattress is perfect for stomach sleepers. Its buoyant nature ensures you have more of a ‘floating on’ bed experience. Something that avoids adding any extra strain to your back. Stomach sleepers are recommended to sleep on a firmer latex mattress.
One more thing that affects comfort and support is your weight. Light people will find a firm latex mattress, too firm, because of their inability to displace as much weight as is needed for the mattress to contour perfectly to their bodies.
Heavier people, on the other hand, will need a firmer mattress to avoid sinking in too much as the surrounding mattress weight is displaced.
2- Which Type Of Latex Is Right For You?
Latex is distinguished by its production methods. As a result, there are two types of latex, Talalay, and Dunlop.
Dunlop is the original and most commonly used method of producing latex. Dunlop is manufactured by collecting sap from a rubber tree, frothing the sap, and pouring it into a mold. As the mixture settles, the heavier particles settle, making Dunlop latex denser at the bottom. This mixture is then vulcanized, washed, and dried.
On the other hand, Talalay slightly differs in production. After frothing, the mixture is poured halfway onto the mold and sealed shut. This mixture is then expanded through vacuuming. This causes the liquid latex to fill the mold. Next, this mixture is frozen, vulcanized, washed, and dried.
The flash-freezing process in Talalay helps maintain the distribution of the latex mixture. This leads to a softer, springier type of latex, which is the more refined of the two latex types. As such, Talalay is commonly used as a comfort layer.
Dunlop, on the other hand, is almost always firmer and used in support layers. It’s also more durable and cheaper than Talalay.
For the best sleep experience, consider choosing a mattress that combines both types of latex for optimal support and comfort.
3- What Latex Mattress Thickness Is Right for You?
Another thing to consider when looking for the best latex mattress is its thickness. In recent times, mattresses have been increasing in thickness. This is partly because a thicker bed is associated with more comfort.
Latex beds range in sizes from 6 to 13 or so inches. While you might be tempted to go for the thickest mattress you find. You should note that your sleep style will largely determine the thickness you end up choosing.
Stomach and Back Sleeper:
Stomach and back sleepers who sleep on fairly firm mattresses should avoid thick mattresses. For optimal support and comfort, an 8 to 10-inch latex mattress will do fine for this type of sleepers.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, need extra cushioning beneath the shoulders and hips. As such a softer, thicker bed is recommended. A latex mattress of 12-14 inches works well for this type of sleepers.
Weight also helps determines the right thickness level of a mattress. Lighter people will do well on thinner mattresses, while heavier people do well on thicker mattresses.
4- What Are The Cover And The Fire Barrier Made Of?
This is a rarely discussed point, but the cover of a mattress matters a lot. This is the part of the mattress that comes into direct contact with us. Therefore, you should consider the cover of a mattress carefully.
Some of the covers used include polyester, cotton, and bamboo. A polyester cover is very common because the material has many benefits. It’s strong, can be washed in high heat without warping, dries quickly, and repels moisture. However, polyester is made from petroleum-based products and is not natural at all. As such it tends to retain heat, is harmful to the environment, and harbors allergens.
Natural cotton, silk, and bamboo, on the other hand, are natural plant-based materials. This type of materials sleeps cooler because of their natural open cell structure and moisture-wicking abilities. They are also antiallergenic and resist dust mites, mold, and mildew.
However, their best quality is how they feel. They are mostly very soft and cool to touch. Something that has been known to promote a healthy night’s rest.
Fire Barrier Materials
As from 2007, the federal government passed a fire regulation, that all mattresses should pass an open flame test. This was due to the large numbers of mattress fires that were reported previously. These fires caused countless deaths and billions worth of damage.
That’s why fire barriers are so important in mattresses today.
There are two types of fire barriers, natural and chemical fire retardants. Chemical fire retardants have been known to include PDE’s which are associated with thyroid dysfunction and major diseases like cancer.
You want to avoid mattresses with chemical fire retardants for the sake of your health. Natural fire barriers, on the other hand, are made of materials such as organic wool. The keratin protein and moisture content contained in wool make it non-flammable. This makes wool, the number one natural fire barrier for a mattress.
The best latex mattresses will come with a natural fire barrier topped with a natural antiallergenic cool cover.
5- What Are the Rules of the Warranty and Return Policy That Is Offered?
A warranty is the seller’s promise to stand behind a product. So if the product shows any flaws or is faulty, the seller should replace or repair for free.
- What’s the duration of the warranty?
- Is it prorated or non-prorated?
- Does it address sagging issues?
Are some of the questions you should ask before buying a mattress.
Premature sagging of a mattress shows the mattress is faulty. A mattress is designed to maintain its firmness and shape for a long time. Most mattress manufacturer’s warranty that they replace a mattress for free if it sags beyond 1 or 2 inches within a specific time.
Other covered defects include undone seams and early lumping.
What’s not covered
Somethings that won’t be covered in a warranty include, wear and tear as a result of the owner’s extensive usage, unintended use, like jumping on the mattress, using a worn-out foundation or the wrong type of foundation.
Another thing you should consider is the warranty’s life span. A good warranty should outlast the mattress and most mattresses are considered to last 7-12 years.
Prorated and Non-prorated coverage
Warranties come with conditions such as prorated and non-prorated coverage. Prorated warranties mean that the cost of replacing or repairing a mattress will be split between the manufacturer and owner of the mattress. While a non-prorated coverage means that the costs will be borne by the manufacturer alone.
In most cases, a non-prorated coverage is offered for a certain number of years after which the prorated coverage kicks in.
6- What Does ILD Mean for A Latex Mattress?
You have probably seen an ILD number on a latex mattress tag. ILD which stands for indentation load deflection is a measurement of firmness. It’s obtained by pressing a special circular metal disc into latex foam.
What this does is calculate the amount of weight needed to compress the mattress. This in result helps determine the firmness level of the mattress.
Most latex manufacturers unlike memory foam and other mattresses, don’t display the latex’s density. Instead, the firmness of a latex mattress is determined by the accompanying ILD measurement. This measurement ranges from 0 to 50 with 0 being the softest and 50 the firmest.
You need to consider a latex mattress’s firmness before you purchase it. The following table should help you have an idea of what range of ILD is suitable for you.
7- Should I Buy the Latex Mattress Online or Go to Stores?
Another thing to consider is whether to purchase your mattress online or go to a store. Both of these methods have their strengths and weaknesses, but which is better?
The biggest advantage of buying a mattress from a store is that you get to test it beforehand and determine whether it’s good for you. However, physical stores tend to overprice mattresses by 15-50 %. To get a good deal you have to be a really good negotiator and mattress salesmen know how to milk you of every penny.
Online stores, on the other hand, are more transparent about their prices and often cheaper than physical stores. One of the main drawbacks of buying online is that you don’t get to test the mattress before you buy it. This, however, is curtailed by the online company’s generous return policies with free trial periods.
Most online store offers more than 90 days’ sleep trial with a full refund no questions asked.
Because of the high competition among bed-in-a-box companies, online bed companies are more incentivized to provide quality latex mattresses at cheaper prices and with better customer service.
8- What Should I Get with My Latex Mattress?
As mentioned before, latex mattresses come with warranties and return policies. Considering that purchasing a mattress is an expensive affair in itself. You should avoid nullifying the mattress warranty by destroying it.
As such, there are some things that you should consider getting with your new latex mattress. These include a new foundation and mattress protector. An old foundation might lack the required amount of support leading to premature wearing of the mattress.
Most if not all manufacturers require that you get a new foundation with their mattress for the warranty to work. There are many types of foundations and one that goes incredibly well with a latex mattress is an adjustable bed.
Stains on the mattresses also void the warranty. You need a good mattress protector to ensure the mattress stays as new as possible during the trial period and beyond.
To enjoy a truly natural experience you could also accompany your mattress purchase with natural sheets and pillows.
In conclusion, latex mattresses are extremely beneficial as you might have noted above. Their natural nature makes them the best mattress material.
Latex does not pollute your home and helps fights off allergies. Its springy nature makes it a great supportive surface. While it’s open-cell nature keeps it cool. It’s also the most durable bedding material in the market. With all these benefits it’s easy to see why latex’s demand has skyrocketed.
Now that you know latex’s benefits, go ahead and use the questions listed above to choose the best latex mattress for your needs.