A new mattress is a purchase that can make a significant impact on your life. It can be easy to overlook the degradation of your current mattress since it occurs so gradually. However, when it’s time for something new, you’ll be impressed with what a difference the right product can have on your overall well-being, comfort, and quality of life.
If this time has come for you, you’re going to come across a number of product types featuring a variety of components. If you’re considering the purchase of something containing latex, there are a number of reasons why we feel you’ll be pretty happy with the investment when it comes to durability. Let’s delve a little bit deeper into this material and take a look at some of the best latex mattresses on the market that we’ve personally tested.
Latex in History
All great ideas start somewhere, and the story behind latex can be traced as far back as the fourth century B.C. when Lydian natives were noted playing with bouncy balls made from latex rubber material.
Charles Marie de la Condamine Andes noted in the mid-1700’s during his travels along the Amazon that he observed the natives “milking” trees for liquid used to waterproof fabrics. He first used the word “latex” to describe the milk, and, in 1751, he presented his work on the study of this material to the Paris Academy of Science. You can learn more about the early developments of his discoveries in the book Tears of the Tree: The Story of Rubber — A Modern Marvel by John Loadman.
As people began to realize the many potential uses of latex, they began to create a variety of products. Just a few that made their way into the market shortly following Andes’ discovery include:
- Rubber bands
- Pencil erasers
- Waterproof fabrics
- Elastic strips
- Rubber hoses
By 1914, entrepreneurs around the world were making efforts to discover the next big innovation in latex technology, and a new genre was introduced when P Schidrowitz and HA Goldsborough patented the manufacture of foams from latex as opposed to dry rubber using latex concentration by centrifugation. While the idea wasn’t an initial success, during the 1990’s, there was a revival of the latex bed, and innovations that manifested since this time have presented the mattress industry with a number of excellent latex mattress brands to consider as you shop.
Talalay vs. Dunlop Latex
In order to make informed latex mattress comparisons, there are two terms you’re going to want to be aware of. These are Talalay and Dunlop latex. Both terms describe the manufacturing process used to create mattress products, and you’re sure to come across them as you shop around.
The Dunlop Process
The Dunlop process preceded Talalay, so first let’s take a look at what goes into making a batch:
- Rubber trees are tapped for liquid latex
- After being whipped, the latex is placed in a mold.
- The contents of the mold are heated in a hot oven.
- When finished, latex is cleaned.
- Moisture is removed through heating.
A Few Key Differences in the Talalay Process
The manufacturing of Talaly latex is much the same except for a small change. When pouring the mold, there is a small space remaining, and this allows for expansion of the latex. Since carbon dioxide escapes, this makes small pathways that can aid in keeping your mattress cool.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, and it can be difficult to visualize these processes through reading alone. I’d encourage you to check out this video from Talalay Global that visually walks you through each step of the Talalay manufacturing process.
A Word on Talalay vs. Dunlop Durability
It can be difficult to gauge the durability of any product even if you have a chance to test it out in a store. Typically, we look at the density of a material to get an idea of how well it will stand the test of time. However, when it comes to any latex material, you can usually expect good durability. Since Talalay does have tunnels within the material to help it breathe, this can cause it to feature a lower density. However, keep in mind that two processes can be manipulated in ways that impact the overall durability. That’s why it’s good to understand a few other features to decide what will prove best for you.
Talalay for Responsiveness
If you’ve ever had a mattress that lacked in responsiveness, you know how difficult it can be to move around in bed or get in and out of it. Your bed is a place for relaxation, and you want a mattress that reforms quickly when pressure is removed. If this is something that’s a high priority for you, Talalay latex is better known for this feature.
Most of us are aware of the strains we are putting on our environment with all of our technological advancements, and our desire to benefit mankind can be a primary driving factor in the purchase of a slew of products and services. As a general rule, the more mechanical processes that are involved in manufacturing process, the more harmful byproduct released into the atmosphere will result. Talalay does require a few extra steps in manufacturing. Therefore, if eco-friendliness is high on your priority list, you may want to focus on Dunlop latex products.
The Price of Cool Sleep
We all want to get the most bang for our buck, and, when you shop latex, you can generally expect a high overall durability. However, you also want to ensure you find a product that allows you to sleep cool so you can enjoy the more restorative stages of sleep. Since the Talalay process creates tunnels due to the vacuum that’s created prior to freezing, you can generally expect these products to more easily release heat.
Because extra steps are taken to deliver this quality in a latex product, you will often find that Talalay latex is a little bit pricier. However, if you tend to sleep really hot, the added investment can easily be one that pays off in the long run.
A Look at Synthetic
Not all latex is natural. There are synthetic latex materials on the market that mimic the overall feel of natural latex but use petrochemicals. This can be a good option if you’re on a tight budget but think the latex feel could be a good fit for your needs. However, be prepared to experience a few downfalls with that lower price including:
- Higher tendency to develop rips and tears
- Lower durability than natural latex
Usually lacks certifications from institutes like eco-Institut, Oeko-Tex and Greenguard
- Prone to strong offgassing
Best of Both Worlds
Let’s face it. Money can be tight, but that shouldn’t mean your sleep must be compromised. There is a third option that allows you the cheaper price of synthetic latex with the durability features of its natural counterpart. Blended latex products do just what the name implies: blends both natural and synthetic latexes into a single product.
If this sounds like a good option in your situation, there’s a little hint that’s well worth noting. Pay close attention to the way the company features the natural latex. It’s very common for them to say things such as “Made with 100% natural latex.” While this is technically true, they are often hoping customers will confuse the “100%” with the composition of the whole unit and not just a small part of a whole. Oftentimes, you’ll find that such products only contain a small amount of natural latex in order to make such a claim at a cheap price.
Overview of Latex Pros and Cons
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in your top rated latex mattress, let’s take a moment to review the primary benefits this material has to offer consumers like you:
- It’s among the most durable materials in the sleep industry
- Can be purchased natural, a plus for those who do what they can to go green
- Reported 33 percent reduction in aches and pains among users
- High ability to isolate motion, a great quality if you have a sleeping partner
- Often features the ability to customize depending on the manufacturer
There are two sides to every coin, and it’s important to also take a look at the disadvantages of latex:
- Can take around 30 days to break the product in and determine if the firmness is going to work for you.
- This is typically countered with a trial period depending on the manufacturer.
- Synthetic latex is known to develop impressions over time.
- Natural latex can be pricey. This makes online purchasing a good idea in that you can save on overhead expenses when you have the product shipped directly to your door.
- Latex can be heavy and difficult to move around.
- All-latex products tend to sag when you try to move them as they tend to slump over.
Is This the Right Choice for Me?
So, let’s go ahead and answer the question you really want to know the answer to: Is latex the right choice for me? From a durability standpoint, you usually can’t go wrong. But, let’s review a few unique circumstances that may indicate it is a viable option:
- You tend to sleep hot on other materials
- You suffer with painful pressure points
- You have a sleeping partner
- You want a customizable product
- You want to remain eco-friendly
We’ve covered quite a bit of valuable information, and you’re now likely feeling much more confident in your ability to pinpoint the right product for you. We’ve had the chance to try out a number of quality latex mattresses, so let’s showcase a few of our top picks that may be just what you’re looking for!
Latex Mattresses Reviews
1. Spindle- An All-Latex Solution
- Materials: Continuous Pour Dunlop Natural Latex
- Warranty: 10 year limited
- Trial: 365 day comfort adjustment
- Price:Twin- $899.99, Twin XL- $949.99, Full- $1,149.99, Queen- 1,349.99, King- $1,699.99
Many products utilize a combination of different material types to offer various features for consumers to take advantage of. Spindle, on the other hand, uses only latex, and it’s certainly made it way on to our list of top-rated latex mattresses. This product is a little bit different in that you put the three layers into the cover yourself, and this allows you the ability to mix and match on firmness as well as replace layers in the future if the need arises without having to buy a new mattress unit.
- Great comfort and support
- Uses natural products
- Great motion transfer reduction
- Can be a little too firm for those who don’t carry much weight
- Can be difficult to move around
2. Dreamfoam Bedding
- Materials:Bamboo cover, Talalay latex, High-density polyfoam base
- Warranty: 10 year limited
- Trial: 90 days
- Price:Twin- $599, Twin XL- $649, Full- $799, Full XL- $899, Queen- $899, Short Queen- $899, King- $999, California King- $999, Split California King- $699
Another great latex option can be found in Dreamfoam Bedding products. I had the chance to try out their Ultimate Dreams Eurotop latex mattress, and I loved the way it kept me cool through the night. I accredit this capability strongly to its Talalay composition found in the three inch comfort layer. It’s supported with an 8-inch, high-density polyfoam base. I appreciated the fact that, upon ordering, you have the choice of three firmness levels to meet your needs, and the luxury Euro Top cover features 100 percent biodegradable bamboo fibers that are very soft and durable.
- Great price for the quality delivered
- Helps reduce aches and pains
- Great motion isolation capabilities
- Sleeps cool
- Quick, helpful and personalized customer service support
- Some off-gassing but typically gone in 24 hours
- Materials:9 inches of all-natural Talalay latex
- Warranty: 20 years
- Trial: 120 days
- Price:Twin- $1,299, Twin XL- $1,349, Full-$1,699, Queen- $1,899, King- $2,499California King- $2,499
Spinal alignment is key in a good night’s rest, and it goes a long way in the dictation of the quality of your day as well. Zenhaven offers Talalay latex comfort along with a proprietary 5-zone design that helps keep you properly aligned. The product is encased in a quilted organic cotton cover, making it one of the world’s healthiest natural latex products. You can further rest assured that they minimize the use of chemicals in their product, and this adds to its overall health benefits and reduces off-gassing.
- Reduces aches and pains
- Proprietary 5-zone design keeps your spine aligned
- Open-cell structure makes it easy to distribute heat and allow you to sleep cool
- Mattress is flippable, allowing two firmness settings
- Can be a little pricey if you’re on a tight budget
4. PangeaBed Copper Mattress
- Materials: Talalay latexGel memory foamBase support foam
- Warranty: 10 year limited
- Trial: 100 days
- Price:Twin- $495, Twin XL- $595, Full-$675, Queen- $745, King- $895, California King- $935
If you want the durability of latex with the added comfort provided by memory foam without having to worry about sinking too far into your mattress, the PangeBed copper mattress may be a great solution. It features a top 1 ½ inch layer of copper-infused Talalay latex followed by a 1 ½ inch transitional layer of gel memory foam. With the open-cell structure combined with the copper of the Talalay along with the gel beads found in the memory foam, the product does a pretty good job at helping you sleep cool, and it can be purchased at a very reasonable price considering the quality of the materials.
- Medium firmness accommodates most sleepers
- Facilitates side, back and stomach sleepers well
- You can enjoy memory foam properties without sinking in or sleeping too hot
- Good bounce and motion isolation
- Good option when shopping on a budget less than $1,000
- Low edge support
5. My Green Mattress Natural Escape
- Materials:Organic cotton and all-natural wool coverNatural Dunlop latex
- Warranty: 10 year limited
- Trial: 100 days
- Price:Twin- $729, Twin XL- $789, Full- $999, Full XL- 1,099, Queen- $1,099King- $1,419, California King- $1,494
If you’re looking for a high-quality natural latex mattress, you’ll definitely want to take a moment to check out My Green Mattress’s Natural Escape. This product was specifically developed by the company’s founder to help his own daughter fight the irritating symptoms of eczema and allergies, and this product features a combination of organic cotton, all-natural wool, and natural Dunlop latex to help you enjoy the best of what an organic latex mattress has to offer. This product features an innerspring base that offers that extra bounce without negatively effecting motion isolation. This allows for that added support heavier people or sleeping partners need.
- Little off-gassing
- Low motion transfer
- Reasonable price for quality of materials
- Offers good support for those who carry a lot of weight
- Some reports of mattress being too firm
We all want to get the most for our money, and, when considering an item like a mattress, you want to make sure your investment lasts. The last thing you want is to find yourself shopping for another mattress in just a few short years. Latex is a great option when durability is high on your list of priorities, and the products featured here can accommodate a variety of situations.
If a natural product is what you’re looking for, I would recommend My Green Mattress. This product features some of the best materials in the industry, and they only add to the expected durability found in the latex. If this is out of your budget, PangeaBed is a great alternative. Now that you’ve done your homework and know what to look for in a quality latex mattress, you can more easily pick out the one that will prove to best meet your specific needs.