How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is a latex mattress?
Latex mattresses are made from natural or synthetically manufactured latex.
They comprise a latex foam layer that provides support for the body in a similar way to memory foam.
Many people have never heard of foam latex mattresses, but they were invented as far back as the 1920s (50 years earlier than memory foam). 🤯
Where does latex come from?
Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees and has been around since the 4th century BC.
As latex is harvested without damaging the tree, it’s considered a fantastic natural and eco-friendly alternative to man-made mattress materials.
In stark contrast, synthetic latex only dates back to the beginning of the 1900s.
The demand for synthetic materials like rubber is linked directly to the growth of the automobile, where it is used to make car tires, clutches, conveyer belts etc.
The Bayer lab successfully polymerised isoprene in 1909, and synthetic rubber was born.
What are the benefits of a latex mattress?
There are many benefits to buying a latex mattress. 💡
But we think they're particularly suitable for:
- Back and side sleepers
- Light to average weight sleepers
- Restless sleepers who don’t like feeling “stuck” in a mattress
- Environmentally-conscious people
- Warmer sleepers
- Allergy sufferers
- Those looking for a similar alternative to memory foam
We'll examine the main advantages of latex mattresses and why they might be suitable below.
They provide exceptional pressure relief
Like memory foam, the best latex mattresses are flexible and easily contour to the body.
This encourages neutral spinal alignment and provides relief on pressure points.
However, while memory foam "hugs" around the body, the contouring effect of latex is much less intense.
This means latex is a great option for those looking for pressure relief without feeling hugged in by a mattress.
They have more bounce-back
Latex mattresses react quickly to pressure and spring back to their original shape almost instantly.
This gives it a slightly more elastic spring-like feel, making moving around on the mattress much easier.
This responsive and bouncy feel is ideal for those looking for the best mattress for sex.
They're also excellent at absorbing motion, so you shouldn't feel any disturbance from your partner during the night.
Natural latex mattresses are eco-friendly
Natural latex mattresses are derived from the sap of rubber trees, which can be produced for up to three decades.
The process of harvesting latex does not damage the trees or negatively impact the environment.
Moreover, all-natural latex mattresses are fully biodegradable, meaning there is a reduced burden on landfills. ♻️
They are more hygienic
Latex mattresses have the advantage of being hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and bed bugs.
As latex is very dense, dust mites cannot penetrate the material like they can with traditional mattresses.
Additionally, they have antimicrobial properties that deter bacteria accumulation, ensuring a cleaner sleep environment. 🧼
However, you should still use a mattress protector with a latex mattress.
Latex mattresses are naturally cool
Unlike many memory foam mattresses known to trap heat, latex mattresses are manufactured to have air pockets.
These pockets release any stored excess heat, making latex a cooler sleep alternative to memory foam.
They are highly durable
A standout feature of latex mattresses is their impressive durability.
They tend to outlast other mattress types, resisting common issues like dipping or indentations.
Latex mattresses typically last anywhere between 10 - 25 years.
So, while the initial investment in a latex mattress might be on the higher side, its durability ensures that it offers value over time.
The Hypnia Supreme Hybrid comes with a 15-year guarantee:
How to choose a latex mattress
Unfortunately, getting a great night's sleep isn't as simple as looking for the top latex mattress.
You should ask yourself some key questions before deciding if a latex mattress is right for you. 🔍
Consider the following criteria before choosing your latex mattress:
- Can I afford a latex mattress - if so, what’s my budget?
- Does the latex mattress come with a sleep trial and guarantee?
- Do I prefer a soft or firm mattress?
- Do I share the bed with a partner? (If so, what are their preferences?)
- What is my sleeping position?
Our guide on how to shop for mattresses online will give you even more bed-buying advice.
We also have some criteria to look out for when purchasing a natural latex mattress below.
Density & firmness
The density of a latex mattress can determine its firmness.
- A latex mattress with a density of 65 kg/m³ to 75 kg/m³ offers medium-firm support.
- A density of 75 kg/m³ to 80 kg/m³ will offer firm support.
- And finally, a density of 80 kg/m³ to 83 kg/m³ will offer very firm support.
Alternatively, most mattresses will have a firmness rating, so you know exactly what you're getting.
Read our firmness guide to determine what firmness you need for your sleeping position.
Number of comfort zones
Comfort zones provide additional support for areas such as the head, shoulders, and feet.
The more comfort zones a mattress has, the more the mattress will be able to keep your body in optimal alignment.
An entry-level mattress offers at least three comfort zones.
Most models on the market are generally between 15 and 30 cm (5.9 and 11.8") thick.
In order to maximise comfort, we advise choosing the thickest mattress possible.
However, keep in mind that this will make the mattress heavier and more difficult to move.
Hybrid mattresses also tend to be thicker as they contain multiple layers of springs, foam, and latex.
Should you buy a latex mattress?
Latex mattresses can be excellent alternatives to traditional mattresses.
But natural latex mattresses are more expensive, so they may not be suitable for budget buyers.
However, they're also more durable, environmentally friendly, and very comfortable.
We'd suggest steering clear of synthetic latex mattresses if you're looking for a healthy and sustainable choice.
If you can afford it, a natural latex mattress is a no-brainer.