If You Would Rather Watch Than Read, Check Out The Video Below!
So you’re entertaining the possibility of one day sleeping on a natural latex mattress but you’re wondering what you’re getting yourself into. Is it really worth making the switch? In this video, we’ll be exploring 10 pros and 5 cons of natural latex mattresses.
First Off, Let’s Clarify A Few Things About All-natural Latex Mattresses
This video will be dealing exclusively with 100% all-natural latex foam mattresses. The pros and cons mentioned here do not apply to mattresses that contain blended foam. Blended foams typically contain less than 30% natural latex. There is no significant advantage to purchasing a mattress with blended foam as the mattress will be off-gassing similar amounts of chemicals as conventional polyurethane foam mattresses. Companies that include natural latex in their foam blend are mostly motivated by being able to market their product as “natural latex memory foam”, even if the foam contains less than 30% natural latex.
Enough said, on to the pros and cons of all natural latex mattresses!
Advantages of 100% all natural latex mattresses
Whether you’re looking to purchase an all natural latex mattress made in the Dunlop or Talalay manufacturing process, the advantages are similar. Let’s look at a few of them.
10. More Durable
Endowed with great elasticity, all natural latex foam regains it’s original shape after use and moulds itself perfectly to the user’s body. Contrary to polyurethane based foam that can lose its shape over time, all-natural latex maintains it’s original shape and lasts longer. All-natural latex mattresses last 2-3 times longer than polyurethane mattresses.
9. Available in Many Firmnesses
Like conventional mattresses, all natural latex mattresses are available in a variety of firmnesses but generally range from medium to firm. Check the manufacturer’s ILD (Impression Load Deflection) rating for the particular mattress you are interested in. A higher ILD score will be for firmer mattresses while a lower ILD will be for softer mattresses.
8. Environmentally friendly
Even though natural mattresses outlast conventional mattresses, they are biodegradable. Contact your vendor to find out if any chemicals, nylon, dyes or adhesives are used in fabrication. This will indicate if your full natural latex mattress is 100% biodegradable or not. Since your all natural latex mattress lasts longer, you will be reducing consumption and purchasing a biodegradable product.
7. Pain Relief
Some people with chronic nerve and joint pain report a significant relief in their symptoms after sleeping for a few months on an all-natural latex mattress. Those suffering from lower back pain report that the relief on pressure points contributes to a reduction in chronic pain.
6. No Off-Gassing
You spend a lot of time in your bed. And sleep is the time that the body needs to heal and repair itself to be ready for a fresh start in the morning. If you’re spending that time inhaling toxic gasses that are released by synthetic materials in conventional mattresses, you could develop a chronic inflammatory condition. Off-gassing chemicals are contained in fire-retardants, adhesives and petroleum-based materials which are used in conventional mattresses. Volatile chemicals from synthetic materials are time-released into your home environment and can cause adverse health effects.
Health risks associated with exposure to volatile organic chemicals present in polyurethane foam affect the nervous and immune system. Potential illnesses include cancer, neurological disorders, autoimmune weakness, asthma and allergies, infertility, miscarriage and child behaviour disorders.
Natural latex mattresses have virtually no smell or off-gassing, even when new. Owners of new all-natural latex mattresses report a sweet, natural and inoffensive smell when first laying down on their mattress.
Look for Green Guard, Oeko-Tex, and Eco-Institut certifications to ensure that your mattress is made of certified organic or natural materials. Beware of companies that list natural latex blend as a material in the mattress specifications. Definitely stay away from memory foam if your priority is a mattress that has no off-gassing. Memory foam is mostly made of polyurethane which typically contains high amounts of VOC’s.
5. Wool Natural Fire Retardant
Chemical fire-retardants used in conventional petroleum-based mattresses have been linked to a long list of health issues. These health conditions include immunotoxicity, endocrine and thyroid disruption, reproductive toxicity, adverse effects on fetal and child development, neurologic dysfunction and cancer.
Natural latex mattresses use wool as an effective fire barrier. Wool is a protein fibre. It is naturally fire resistant. It refuses to support a flame. The naturally occurring nitrogen and lanolin in the wool give it the ability to self-extinguish.
4. Good For Allergy Sufferers
All-natural latex mattresses are antifungal, anti-bacterial, mould resistant, mildew resistant and are resistant to dust mites. Mattresses can be a breeding ground for unwanted organisms that pose health risks. With an all-natural latex mattress, you’ll be keeping them at bay!
3. Less Nighttime disturbances
Spring mattresses and waterbeds transfer motion from one side to the other, causing a disturbance in your partner’s sleep. On the other hand, natural latex foam has the quality of isolating motion. This means that when a partner tosses and turns on the other side of the bed, the motion is greatly attenuated by the natural latex foam. Latex mattress users report that occasional tossing and turning from partners is barely noticeable.
Natural latex beds that use coils in their construction do not transfer motion any more than non-coil mattresses, as the coils are individually wrapped. Coils provide pinpoint support without transferring any motion.
2. Heat Regulation
Natural Latex mattresses tend to ventilate much better than memory foam or straight polyurethane foam. This makes for a more comfortable sleep since you will be less prone to overheating. Natural mattresses are typically covered with cotton and wool which are breathable materials.
1. Very Few (non-toxic) Chemicals Used In Fabrication
Some manufacturers use certified organic wool and cotton in their mattresses. You might be asking yourself why wool would have to be certified organic because it is basically sheep’s hair. The difference is in the way the wool is sheared, washed and prepared before being sold. Certified organic wool means that there were no harsh chemicals used in the cleaning process.
Some non-toxic chemicals similar to baking soda are used in the Dunlop and Talalay manufacturing processes. It is difficult to determine exactly which chemicals are used and in which quantity, as it varies from one manufacturer to the next.
The actual latex foam is sourced by mattress companies from latex foam manufacturers like Talalay Global as a “primary material”. Natural mattress companies then use the Dunlop or Talalay Latex foam along with cotton, wool, metal coils and thread to assemble a variety of mattress models.
Let’s go over some of the disadvantages of purchasing and owning a natural latex mattress.
100% natural latex mattress models are typically priced higher because of the higher cost of production. Natural latex mattresses range from 779$ (see which one) to 3000$.
There are many variables when looking at the natural latex mattresses available online. Everything from materials to construction specifications influences weight, so it’s hard to say if natural latex mattresses are heavier than their polyurethane counterparts.
Look up the weight of the mattress you’re interested in to see if it’s weight will be an issue. Consult our side-by-side mattress review chart to see how different mattress models weigh in.
For most people, weight is a non-issue, as all of the natural latex mattress companies featured on NaturalMattressFinder.com offer free shipping. Additionally, it’s not like you’ll be moving or carrying your mattress on a daily basis. You might have to move it slightly for vacuuming or sheet changing. Keep in mind that you do not have to rotate your natural latex foam mattress as often because the foam is resilient and maintains it’s shape over time.
In comparing similar conventional vs. natural latex mattresses we see that the natural latex mattress is slightly heavier. The Casper mattress, a 10-inch conventional queen size mattress weighs 83 pounds, while The Eco Terra Mattress, an 11-inch natural latex queen size mattress weighs 100 pounds.
3. Limited Opportunity To Test
You might still think that buying a mattress online is a crazy idea. However, it is quickly becoming a widely accepted practice because the buyer’s risk is completely removed from the equation. Most companies offer trial periods, free shipping and a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee that makes buying a mattress online a no-brainer. A direct manufacturer-to-consumer relationship and a manufacture-on-demand business model cut out the markup normally added by brick and mortar stores. So why not cut out the middleman and order your mattress online directly from the manufacturer?
Direct to the consumer mattresses, eliminate the need for a middleman. In essence, this is how natural latex mattress manufacturers can cover the risk of a product being returned. Mattress companies that sell their products directly to consumers online keep the portion of the profits that would normally go to brick and mortar mattress stores. Hence, should a return or refund take place, natural latex mattress companies can absorb the loss and ensure full customer satisfaction.
If you absolutely must test a selection of mattresses in a store in order to pick the most comfortable one for you, you’re out of luck. However, most mattress companies have dozens of comments on their websites for each model. These comment sections will give you insights into the softness, firmness and overall comfort of your mattress.
2. Delivery Options Vary
This section refers exclusively to online natural mattress companies and is more of a reflection on the overall buying experience and not about the actual mattress.
Most brick and mortar mattress stores provide store to customer delivery and also have options for full setup in the home.
Some natural latex mattress companies offer full setup as an option. This service varies from one manufacturer to the next. Check the shipping options for your preferred natural latex mattress brand to see if full-service delivery is an option for your order. Be sure to budget additional fees for this service.
1. Old Mattress Removal Options Vary
Removal of your old mattress may not be offered at delivery. In some cases, you could be responsible for discarding your old mattress. Fortunately, some local goodwill organizations will offer to pick up your old mattress free of charge.
Let’s Review Some Pros. And Cons. Of All-Natural Latex Mattresses
Here’s a quick overview video about the pros and cons of natural latex mattresses. It’s the same content as the text below.
- Durability: 100% natural latex mattresses last longer than their polyurethane counterparts.
- Firmness: natural latex mattresses are available in a variety of firmnesses.
- Environmentally friendly: Natural latex is biodegradable. Other natural mattress construction materials like cotton and wool are also biodegradable.
- Comfort: Your natural latex mattress may alleviate chronic muscle and body pain.
- No Off-Gassing: natural latex mattresses won’t time release chemicals into your sleeping environment and house.
- Natural Fire Retardant: the wool top layer of latex mattresses acts as a natural fire retardant.
- Great Option For Allergy Sufferers: natural latex mattresses are hypoallergenic which means that the materials are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
- Less Nighttime disturbances: natural latex foam attenuates motion from a partner that is changing sleeping positions.
- Better Heat Regulation: all-natural latex, cotton, and wool regulate heat better than polyurethane and nylon.
- No Toxic Chemicals: chemicals that are used if any are non-toxic.
- Cost: natural latex mattresses can be more expensive, but this depends on the model and manufacturer. You can get a natural latex queen size mattress for as low as 779$. (See which one)
- Weight: natural latex mattresses generally weigh 25% more than their polyurethane counterparts.
- Limited Testing Opportunities: most natural mattresses are available online so you won’t be able to compare them side by side in a store. On the other hand, online mattress sites have customer reviews that can help you make an informed decision.
- Delivery and Takeaway options vary: full setup and mattress disposal might not be available.
If a slightly higher cost and fear of the unknown are two things you can overcome, you should go for a 100% natural latex mattress. The benefits of a natural mattress far outweigh the disadvantages. In recent years, natural latex mattress prices have decreased. Some models are even on par with polyurethane store brand mattresses. And, with a risk-free trial, you can make sure you’re fully satisfied before committing to your all-natural latex mattress.