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Latex Mattresses

LATEX MATTRESSES

Nancy K.

Last updated: 30.07.2020 6 Min.

Latex, which is obtained from rubber, is a high-quality natural material that is used for natural latex mattresses.

Many mattresses are also made of synthetic latex or a combination of natural and synthetic.

Other popular variants are latex mattresses that consist of several layers of foam. For example, a latex layer and layer of cold foam, memory foam, or comfort foam. This creates different sensations when lying down.

Find out all you need to know about latex mattresses below.

Latex Mattress
  • Overview
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the latex mattress
  • What to look out for in a latex mattress
  • Which slatted frame should you choose for a latex mattress?
  • What about the durability of latex mattresses?
  • In which sizes are latex mattresses available?
  • Alternatives to latex mattresses

Advantages

  • Softer mattress
  • Particularly good for side sleepers
  • Good for restless sleepers
  • Warmer sleeping climate: good for people who easily feel cold at night
  • Good for people with back or neck pains
  • Adjustable slatted frames
  • Great for couples
  • Allergy-friendly (but be wary of latex allergies)
  • Ecologically-conscious

Disadvantages

  • Not good for heavy sweaters
  • Requires regular cleaning and turning
  • Latex mattresses are more expensive, but they also last longer
  • Quite heavy

Advantages and disadvantages of the latex mattress

The latex mattress has properties similar to the cold foam mattress. It offers a high level of comfort, a warmer sleeping climate, and a softer feel.

Advantages

  • High comfort: The latex mattress adapts to the contours of the body. This makes it very comfortable.
  • Great for people who sleep on their side: In our latex mattress test, the mattresses proved to be particularly comfortable for people who sleep on their side. This is because the mattress is a little softer and allows the body to sink in.
  • Longevity: The latex mattress is one of the most durable mattress types. Therefore, the high price of a high-quality latex mattress is often a good investment. It can be used for up to 10 years (or even longer).
  • Easy movement during sleep: The latex mattress has a high reset force. This means that sleepers can move around on the mattress effortlessly. This is especially advantageous for restless sleepers.
  • Well-suited for couples: The latex mattress limits motion transfer. This promotes undisturbed sleep, even if you share the mattress with your partner.
  • Safe for allergy sufferers: The latex mattress is considered anti-allergenic. However, you should take good care of the mattress (more on this below). Of course, a latex mattress is a bad choice for people with latex allergies.
  • Natural latex mattresses are good for the environment: Mattresses made of natural latex not only provide superior sleeping comfort, but they also protect the environment.

Disadvantages

  • Higher price: Latex mattresses are considered high-quality products. A good mattress, especially one with a high proportion of natural latex, can cost well over £500. That said, a latex mattress also lasts longer.
  • It offers a warmer sleeping climate: This isn’t a problem for most people and can even be pleasant for those who easily feel cold at night. The latex mattress stores heat and repels moisture on the surface. For people who sweat a lot, however, we would recommend a more breathable spring mattress.
  • In need of care: The latex mattress is moisture repellent. Therefore, it should be wiped down regularly – on average, every few weeks. This can be quite stressful for older people, as latex mattresses are quite heavy.

What to look out for in a latex mattress

There are numerous factors worth considering before you purchase a latex mattress.

1. The right degree of firmness

Not all mattresses are available in different degrees of firmness. A standard would be medium-firm, sufficiently firm for people who sleep on their back or stomach.

However, if you are a little heavier and like to sleep on your back or your stomach, then you should choose a firmer model (at least H3), or even buy another type of mattress, such as a spring mattress.

There are also models where you can choose between two firmness levels. In these cases, the mattress would have a medium-firm side and a very firm side. You can rotate the mattress as you wish and then sleep on the side you have chosen.

Lighter-weight people and those who sleep on their side can also choose a softer mattress (H2).

2. Do you or your partner have a latex allergy?

Latex allergies are quite common. If that is the case, you should avoid latex mattresses at all costs.

3. Do you or your partner sweat a lot in your sleep?

Foam mattresses generally provide for a warmer sleeping climate. This, of course, is advantageous for people who easily feel cold. But if you sweat easily, then the latex mattress may be too warm, especially in the summer months.

If this is a problem, then you should make sure that the latex foam has an open-pored cell structure. This ensures better ventilation of the mattress. That said, a spring mattress is recommended for really heavy sweaters.

Which slatted frame should you choose for a latex mattress?

Consider the following when buying a slatted frame for your latex mattress.

Height-adjustable

We recommend a height-adjustable slatted frame, as latex mattresses are very adaptable. Adjustable head and foot sections not only offer increased flexibility and comfort, but they also improve blood circulation. This makes breathing easier, especially for older people. An electric slatted frame can be used without difficulty.

Of course, the latex mattress is not only suitable for adjustable slatted frames. It can also be used on a rigid slatted frame.

Small strip distance

Stiftung Warentest recommends a maximum strip spacing of 5cm. This allows the properties of high-quality, zoned mattresses to be better emphasised.

What about the durability of latex mattresses?

Latex mattresses are among the most durable mattresses on the market. Nevertheless, it is very important to pay attention to the quality of this type of mattress as well.

An important key figure, for example, is the mattress density. This describes how much material has been foamed in a cubic metre. A high value does not only prove that high-quality foam layers were used but also indicates the long lifespan of the respective latex mattress.

It is recommended that the density value is no less than 40 kg/m³. Really good latex mattresses, however, also show considerably higher figures.

In which sizes are latex mattresses available?

Latex mattresses are available in all possible mattress sizes. You can easily choose different sizes when purchasing your latex mattress.

Standard sizes:

Of course, there may also be many other custom sizes available, but this will depend on the manufacturer.

We recommend that couples do not choose anything smaller than 135 x 200 cm so that both partners have enough space to sleep. Depending on the size of your bed and your room, however, it would be even better if you could order the latex mattress in a wider size.

Alternatives to latex mattresses

If you don't think that a latex mattress is right for you, then consider these alternatives:

Memory foam mattress (Visco mattress)

Visco mattresses have similar properties to cold foam mattresses. They are characterised by their memory imprint. When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and allows the body to form an imprint. Due to its extremely high adaptability and pressure relief, Visco foam is used for orthopaedic purposes.

The biggest difference between cold foam mattresses and Visco mattresses is in the feeling of lying down. Visco foam is a bit more adaptable. It nestles up to the body and thus provides a unique lying sensation. However, turning during sleep takes more effort than on a cold foam mattress. The Visco foam mattress is, therefore, less suitable for very restless sleepers.

Innerspring mattress

If you are looking for a firmer model with more stability and elasticity, you should choose an innerspring mattress. In addition to the usual layers of foam, this mattress has springs in its core, which can carry loads individually. This means that innerspring mattresses adapt to the body in a point-elastic manner. The gaps between the springs provide natural ventilation channels and so keep the mattress well ventilated.

Make sure that the innerspring mattress is of high quality. Inferior spring mattresses wear out quickly and allow for dents to form. This so-called hammock effect can create and worsen back pain. High-quality innerspring mattress models are pocket spring mattresses or barrel pocket spring mattresses.

Cold foam mattress

Cold foam mattresses have similar properties to latex mattresses. They also have high adaptability and are therefore used for orthopaedic purposes. Special comfort zones are regularly designated in order to improve ergonomic properties. These are also better-suited for restless sleepers.

Gel foam mattress

Gel foam mattresses also have high point elasticity and offer very high comfort levels. Gel foam mattresses have very good ventilation. The sleeping climate on a gel foam mattress is cooler than on a latex mattress.

The feeling of lying on a gel foam mattress is also slightly different – perhaps best described as more cuddly. As a restless sleeper, you should also have no problems on a gel foam mattress.

Nancy K.

Yoga-loving nature fan (when the sun shines) with a knack for all things health & wellness. Strangely obsessed with tacos. 

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