Latex mattresses are one of the best and most popular options the market has to offer right now. It’s super responsive; naturally cooling; and one of the most natural mattress materials available. And when it comes to assured-comfort, latex mattresses excel.
But, as with other mattress materials, there are a couple of downsides to latex mattresses that you need to know about before you can decide whether latex is the right fit for your personal needs.
And so, we created this latex mattress buying guide. Discover the pros and cons to latex mattresses, and the key things to think about while deciding whether it’s the right mattress material for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about latex mattresses.
How do latex mattresses feel?
Latex foam delivers both pressure point relief and spinal support. As a material that wants to retain its shape, latex mattresses aren’t as contouring as memory foam. This means that they won’t mould to your shape as closely as a memory foam mattress would. While this could be annoying for some of us, most won’t notice much of a difference between the two materials.
And given that latex foam wants to retain its original shape, it is super responsive and is great at minimising motion transfer. Latex tends to bounce back to its original shape in minimal time which can make it ideal for active sleepers. So, if you tend to toss and turn all night, Latex could be the ideal mattress material for you.
What are the key benefits of a latex mattress?
Latex mattresses boast a whole host of benefits. So, let’s learn a little more about each benefit and how it could improve the quality of sleep you are able to achieve.
Latex mattresses help with temperature regulation
If you’re a hot sleeper, the breathability of latex mattresses could be the ideal solution to help you regulate your body temperature and achieve a full and restorative night’s sleep.
Latex is a naturally cooling material. One of the benefits of latex is that it doesn’t require any infusions or chemical additives to make it conductive. It draws body heat away from a sleeper all on its own.
Latex mattresses help with pain relief
Thanks to its cushioning and responsive support, latex mattresses can be a great choice for anyone suffering from back or joint pain.
Latex foam provides a light contouring sleep surface which delivers pressure relief at key pressure points including joints and the lower back. Plus, latex’s natural elasticity helps to promote spinal alignment by offering varying levels of support to areas of different weights. And so, your neck and back would receive lighter support levels than your hips and shoulders.
Latex is a hypoallergenic mattress material
If you do not clean your mattress regularly, bacteria and allergens can build up. And over time this can lead to the growth of mould. This in turn means that dust mites numbers can skyrocket given the plentiful supply of food for them. Eventually, this can lead to further sleep disruption due to allergies.
That where latex comes in. Being naturally antimicrobial, relatively inhospitable to dust mites, mildew and mould. And so, a latex mattress is ideal for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Latex mattresses are durable
Latex’s longevity is unrivalled in the world of mattresses. While other mattress types require replacing every 7-8 years, you can expect a latex mattress to last you anywhere up to 20 years (1), or possibly even longer if you adhere to the manufacturer care guidelines.
Latex mattresses are considered eco-friendly
Natural latex foam is recognised as one of the most eco-friendly foam materials used in the manufacturing of mattresses. This is because it is a 100% natural product and it is sourced from renewable sources. Given that natural latex is also biodegradable and recyclable, the carbon footprint of this material is minimal.
But it’s not native to the UK. Which throws a spanner in the sustainability works. More on this in our round-up of the drawbacks of Latex mattresses below.
It’s also good to be aware that not all latex used in mattresses is natural. And some latex mattresses are fully synthetic or feature a blend of natural and synthetic. So this is one thing to watch out for when choosing your mattress if eco-friendly is important to you.
What are the downsides to a latex mattress?
As with all mattress types, latex mattresses do have some cons that you need to think about before taking the plunge purchase-wise. Let’s dive into those downsides and get a clearer picture.
Latex isn’t as contouring as memory foam
If you’re used to sleeping on a memory foam mattress, you might find that latex mattresses don’t provide the levels of contouring you’re used to. While there are few of us that wouldn’t adjust quickly to the change, some may struggle to fall asleep without the comforting cuddle of their usual memory foam sleep surface.
This boils down to personal preference. We like what we like and we shouldn’t have to apologise for that. So, if memory foam is your preferred mattress material, explore our amazing collection of memory foam mattresses instead.
Rubber trees aren’t native to the UK
Latex foam comes from the sap of a rubber tree. This is why it’s widely considered to be an eco-friendly mattress material. But, rubber trees aren’t actually native to the UK. They prefer the humidity found in the moist forests and wetlands of South America. And so, in order to manufacture latex mattresses, the raw materials need to be sourced internationally.
This adds to the otherwise minimal carbon footprint of this mattress material option.
Latex mattresses are more expensive that other options
Generally, latex mattresses are considerably more expensive than other options. Latex mattresses are worth the splurge – as we explain in just a moment – but aren’t suitable for every budget.
If you’re shopping for a new mattress on a restrictive budget, consider an open coil mattress or a memory foam mattress. Open coil mattresses at Bensons start at around £170 for a single and single memory foam mattresses are available from £280 upwards.
How much does a latex mattress cost?
Latex mattresses are definitely not the cheapest option the market has to offer. But, the longevity of a latex mattress makes it worth the initial splurge. Our current range of Latex mattresses offers options starting at just under £850 for a single rising to £2,400+ for a super king size mattress.
So, let’s say you invested £2,400 on a latex mattress that is expected to last up to 20 years. That equates to £120 per year. Or, if we break it down further, just 33 pence per night. Obviously, this is assuming you’ll sleep on your mattress 365 days a year for a 20-year period, which is highly unlikely. But, it does give you a good idea of the affordability of a latex mattress long-term.
What firmness are latex mattresses available in?
Just like other mattress types, latex mattresses are available in a range of different firmness levels. And so, finding the right latex mattress for your sleeping position, preferences and body type isn’t too difficult.
What to think about when choosing a latex mattress
When choosing a new mattress, whether it’s latex or any other mattress material, there are several things you need to take into consideration. Let’s explore the various food for thought categories below.
Your preferred sleep position is the main driver when determining your firmness needs. How you sleep dictates which parts of your body make contact with the mattress and which areas will need extra support or cushioning.
Side sleepers generally benefit from soft-medium mattresses. This is because, sleeping on your side places pressure on the hips and shoulders. And so, you’ll need plenty of cushioning to relieve these specific pressure points.
If you like to mix things up where your sleep position is concerned, you’ll be best suited to a medium mattress firmness.
Back sleepers require a combination of cushioning and support in order to keep their lumbar region well-supported and their spine aligned. And so, medium-firm mattresses are the ideal.
And if you sleep on your stomach, the firmest mattress rating is for you. This is because a firm or extra firm mattress keeps your pelvis elevated on your sleep surface and encourages correct spinal alignment.
Your body type will also have an impact on which mattress firmness is most appropriate. For anyone weighing in between 9 and 16 stone, sticking to the right firmness level for your sleep position is best. But, if you weigh under the 9st mark or over the 16st mark, take your weight into account before you buy.
If you’re below 9st, switching to a firmness level below the one that’s recommended for your sleep position is recommended. This will help lightweight sleepers achieve enough compression to cushion their pressure points while they sleep.
And anyone over the 16st mark, choosing the firmness level above the one recommended for their preferred sleep position is advisable. This is because firmer mattresses will keep the body on top of the sleeping surface and prevent sinkage, ultimately keeping the spine aligned as it should be.
Latex mattress FAQs
Memory foam vs latex: which is better?
This one is not quite as simple to answer as you might think. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a mattress. If you want to experience ultimate contouring and pressure relief, then memory foam mattresses are a better choice than latex. This is because memory foam moulds itself to your shape which results in unrivalled cushioning and a completely personalised support system.
But, latex is better that memory foam in other areas. Latex is more responsive and so should be a go-to for anyone looking for a mattress that bounces back as soon as they switch up their sleep position.
It’s also a lot cooler than memory foam. Memory foam mattress cooling technology is improving tenfold. But it still can’t compete on the same levels as the naturally cool and breathable qualities of latex. Yet.
And so, hot sleepers are more likely to prefer a latex mattress over memory foam.
Can latex mattresses help with allergies?
Yes — provided you’re not allergic to latex that is. And if you don’t have a latex allergy, this type of mattress is hypoallergenic, resistant to moisture build up, and resistant to most common allergens.
Latex is responsive, breathable, natural, supportive, and durable. Make sure you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible by consulting the bed experts at Bensons for Beds. Whether it’s in your local store or online we can help you to choose the right mattress for you and your room with in-depth guidance on sizing, comfort ratings and much more. We’ve also got plenty of advice for getting a great night’s sleep at any time of year in our Sleep Hub.
To talk beds or to place an order from the comfort of your home just give us a call on 0808 144 6160.