Where does latex come from?
Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees and has been around since the 4th century BC.
Synthetic latex, in stark contrast, only dates back to the beginning of the last century.
The demand for synthetic materials is linked directly to the growth of the automobile. With a sudden increase in demand, natural sources simply could not keep up and a synthetic alternative had to be found.
The Bayer lab successfully polymerised isoprene in 1909, and synthetic rubber was born.
Is a natural latex mattress the right mattress for me?
If it’s time to buy a new mattress, then you may be wondering whether a natural latex mattress is a good choice.
The below questions will guide you:
- Do you struggle with aches and pains?
- Do you feel hot when you sleep on other types of mattresses?
- Are you looking for a customisable product?
- Do you share your bed with a partner?
- Are you looking for an ecological and environmentally friendly product?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then a natural latex mattress might be the ideal solution.
If you’re going to spend a third of your entire life on your mattress, you may as well make it as comfortable as possible.
Problems with synthetic mattresses
Synthetic mattresses are much cheaper but they're not necessarily good for you.
Mattresses made of synthetic materials are usually made of plastic fibres produced from petroleum.
Many chemicals are then added to improve the aesthetic appearance and technical properties of these mattresses.
These can include solvents, glues, chlorine for bleaching, anti-dust-mite sprays, phthalates to modify the flexibility of the foam, or even flame retardants to prevent your mattress from catching fire.
Most of these chemicals are a source of emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These molecules can irritate the respiratory tract, cause headaches, promote the development of cancer, etc.
Due to the prolonged exposure to these molecules every night, the impact on one’s health can be quite significant.
Synthetic mattresses are also a major source of pollution. When the mattress reaches the end of its life, it is difficult to recycle and generally ends up buried underground.
If you’re not sure what to do with your old mattress, check out our guide on the disposal of mattresses here.
Turn to natural and organic mattresses, such as natural latex mattresses.
Natural latex mattresses are more expensive than mattresses made of synthetic materials.
But they're also more durable, environmentally-friendly, and very comfortable.
If you can afford it, a natural latex mattress is a good choice.