Latex Mattresses: The Essential Guide & Unbiased Reviews
One of the most complex and in-depth types to research in terms of understanding features and options is the latex mattress. These are very popular and satisfactory amongst owners when you find the right one; infact recent latex mattress reviews and surveys conducted for our research has shown them to be considered the second best rated mattress in terms of overall satisfaction.
Before you go ahead and start looking to part with your hard earned money you should clue yourself up with all the different types available in 2017, the processes used to make them, the durability, warranties and so on. Our guide to buying the best latex mattress for your needs aims to give you all the info you require to challenge any sales rep with your knowledge, or buy online with confidence in your decision. By the end of this buying guide we aim to give you the essentials without boggling your mind with useless info and jargon.
In its simplest form, a latex foam mattress or pillow is one that has been manufactured using the collected and processed sap of a rubber tree as its internals, instead of using traditional bedding technology like air or springs. They are widely considered to be the best mattress for back pain, most durable, natural and healthy. They are also popular for those with allergies because the hypoallergenic organic material makes them the healthiest and most eco friendly mattress on the market.
The Different Types Of Latex
There are three different types which are used to populate a mattresses inner core. On the outset each type has similar characteristics such as the springy feel and firmness, but differ greatly in price, overall quality and longevity:
The organic latex mattress is basically made of processed tree sap, or serum, which is a sticky milky fluid found in the rubber tree. It is collected by a process called “tapping” which means incisions are made into the bark of the tree, the fluid then flows out and is collected ready to be refined using a chosen processing method. It is rare to find a 100% natural latex mattress for sale in retail outlets and showrooms because they are relatively expensive compared to other types due to the cost involved in extraction and manufacturing. If you’re after a natural latex mattress the ideal place to look is online as there will be much more choice and at much cheaper prices.
Synthetic (Man Made)
Synthetic means it’s a man made material, which is made by polymerizing a monomer such as styrene that has been emulsified with surfactants. The result is a material that behaves in a similar way to the organic material mentioned above. The synthetic option is widely available and much cheaper than the natural alternative but has a shorter durability and is not as firm.
Blended is literally a mixture of organic and synthetic; usually 80% synthetic and 20% organic, however the mixture could also be a 50% equal mix, but to cut costs, most commonly the synthetic part makes up the majority. Beware of some manufacturers who claim to be selling a blended latex foam mattress but don’t quote the percentage of natural content. The blended type is common, relatively cheap, and offers a good balance of the two aforementioned types in terms of build quality, durability and value for moneyTypes Of Latex Mattresses
There are three main categories or types; each has its own unique design and structure and so performs differently to its peers. Below we identify and discuss each one:
This literally means the whole mattress from top to bottom and edge to edge is made of latex, whether it be 100% natural, blended or synthetic, dunlop or talalay; there could be one or more layers, but the trait is that there are no other layers (apart from the flame retardant cover). Unfortunately these are usually less common in the marketplace and more expensive. On the positive side they provide good motion isolation and have no off-gassing issues (unlike memory foam mattresses). They also provide exceptional orthopedic support which also makes them the undisputed best mattress for lower back pain relief.
Latex Over Foam
As the name would suggest this type is a multiple layered design which has a thinner top layer of latex over a thicker foam base which is usually visco memory foam. These are slightly more available than the above but depending on the thickness of each layer would determine the overall price you pay. They are cheaper than an all latex mattress, but are still great for joint pain or reducing back problems, and provide good motion isolation.
Foam Over Latex
Here you’ll find the opposite of the above, which is a thinner visco memory foam top layer over a thicker latex base. In a multiple layered design it’s also commonly seen to be inserted in-between the foam top and a foam base platform, if so this layer could be as little as 2 inches thick.
You may have seen the words dunlop or talalay crop up recently. These aren’t types of latex (which is a common misconception). Dunlop and talalay are infact named after the different manufacturing processes used to process the extracted latex which makes the inner core. We discuss each method below:
This is the traditional processing method which has been in use since the 1920’s. The extracted liquid sap from the rubber tree is poured into a mold and heated, or baked into its solid form. The gradually cooled lump which you’re left with is then removed from the mold which is what makes your dunlop latex mattress core. This method creates an often inconsistent core in that the sediments tend to accumulate at the bottom which creates a softer overall finish at the top and gradually becomes harder at the bottom.
The talalay process is similar to dunlop but adds two extra steps. After the liquid is poured into the mold, the mold is sealed closed and a vacuum is created (additional step 1) to disperse the liquid serum throughout the mold. The serum is then flash-frozen (additional step 2) before it’s baked into its solid form. The cooled lump is then removed from the mold and what you then have is your talalay latex mattress ready to be wrapped and refined into an end product.
Talalay vs Dunlop
The two additional steps between the processing methods make all the difference in characteristics of the end product. The talalay process takes twice as long to manufacture than dunlop; this manufacturing cost reflects on the overall price of the finished goods, which essentially means that a talalay latex mattress will tend to be more expensive than a dunlop. Because dunlop is denser it is firmer and widely used as a base platform (like in the LUCID 16″ reviewed below), whereas talalay latex is good for a more soft or plush finish so makes a great top layer (like in the DreamFoam Ultimate Dreams 10″ reviewed below). Our advice is that neither is better than the other, it all boils down to personal preference and budget.
Here’s an extremely popular choice from a household name in the US. Widely considered as the best latex mattress in terms of value for money, customer satisfaction and overall general quality, this highly recommended 10″ model offers the same pre and post sales customization as their other mattresses. However, the combination of foam and 3″ talalay latex comfort layer means this one is slightly cheaper than their all latex mattress listed below, but is still suffice for even the fussiest people, and comes with a very appealing price tag too. The choice to place latex over foam means the sleeper is in closer contact to the hypoallergenic area but is still provided with optimal back support by the high density base on which the top layer resides. This combination is becoming increasing popular among consumers due to high value at low prices.
The whopping 16 incher is full to the brim of juicy layers which work together to bring you optimal spinal support and a refreshingly comfortable nights sleep. This unique four layered organic latex mattress (queen size on review) consists of a 1″ quilted bamboo charcoal foam top, 3″ plush visco foam layer, 2″ dunlop latex comfort layer and a 10″ high-density foam base. The combination of latex and traditional visco elastic memory foam provides excellent orthopedic support and pressure relief to help reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain. Now that’s a lot for your money!
We rarely have two reviews from the same manufacturer but this is one of the top rated mattresses for sale which we couldn’t resist writing about. These guys are top players when it comes to combining materials and this is no exception; the 10 inch queen has a 3″ natural latex comfort layer and a 7″ high-density visco memory foam support base. Without fail, the surface responds instantly to your movements which offers immediate pressure point relief and can eliminate sleeping with pain, leaving you fresh and revitalized each morning. Available in all the common sizes and with a 25 year warranty, there’s not much else to weigh up. Our latex mattress reviews and owner satisfaction surveys always rate well with their products and this is a typical example of why.
This is a great value product from an established American family run business. The Roma is a flippable, double sided, 100% edge-to-edge and top-to-bottom dunlop latex mattress. It offers dual firmness (firm on one side and firm-plush on the flip-side). You will be hard pushed to find a fully organic latex mattress at such a low price from any other brand; this is a great entry level effort that deserves 5 stars for comfort, support, build quality and overall value. The only thing which we didn’t like (if we really had to dig) is that currently at time of review there isn’t a King size or California King available (only Twin, Twin XL, Full and Queen); that aside, it comes highly recommended by us and verified owners.
Natural latex feels soft and secure at the same time and has absolutely zero maintenance; it also has less influx of dust mites, bacteria and other types of mold. This medium feel organic latex mattress is 11” deep. The beauty of organic latex is that it is both rigid and conforming to the shape of your body. It therefore gives you the perfect balance between a soft platform and a firm support for the contours of your body. The gel memory foam layer ensures that the pressure points in your body are relieved. That means a more comfortable sound sleep for you and your partner. The Brentwood Home S-Bed comes with Summerweight New Zealand wool liner, which has moisture removing and naturally antimicrobial properties too. What you get as a result is a fresher and cooler sleep surface. The handmade Brentwood Home S-Bed is manufactured in the USA where the Certi-PUR product has been certified free of all harmful chemicals, for a safe and healthy nights sleep.
The Brooklyn based company have been in the industry for decades and are somewhat experts, not just in delivering top end products but especially when it comes to making their customers needs a number one priority. Their all latex dust-mite resistant and naturally hypoallergenic 10″ talalay latex mattress is custom tailored to your desired firmness. After purchase you will be contacted to customize the firmness level, and even then if it’s still not right you can contact customer services to swap out the comfort layer. Combine an excellent customer service feature with a totally organic mattress and you simply cannot go wrong.
This 10″ high 4-layer natural latex mattress is built with a cleverly infused graphite. Processed using the talalay method, as the manufacturer claims, gives you firm support while conforming to your body shape for a good night’s sound and restful sleep. What makes the graphite infused talalay latex such a wonderful sleeping solution? It has patented heat absorption technology, which absorbs heat and gives you a cooling sensation throughout the night. Underneath there are three more layers. The second layer is a 1” gel swirl memory foam that adds durability and extra cooling for hot sleepers. The third layer is a 1” 4.0 viscoelastic memory foam. This is what gives the capability to give consistent support and ensures longevity. The final layer is a high density support base. This is also designed to offer increased support to your body.
Of our latex mattress reviews, the ComfortMax 400 is the only one marketed as an overweight or bariatric mattress for heavy people, and being especially designed for those between 300 – 400 lbs. Overweight people need a combination of support and comfort that ordinary coils or other materials cannot provide. The ComfortMax 400 supports heavy people very easily, but it serves well for those who weigh much less too, so an overweight person will have no problems sharing with those who weigh much less. Designed using blended talalay latex, it has excellent body support ability allowing you to enjoy a good night’s sleep and rejuvenate your mind and body. The bariatric mattress has a 5″ latex top layer which sits above non-fatiguing ultracell high resiliency base foam support for added stability; it is 10″ high in total and each piece is custom made and shipped directly from its production base.
For those with musculoskeletal problems and allergies the My Green Mattress Simple Sleep is quite possibly the best latex mattress for sale in 2017. Aptly named, it’s organic, and simple. The initially soft and springy nature of the material conforms to your body structure, but then the rigidity kicks in supporting your body weight. Being a 100% natural latex mattress all the way through the 7″ height, it’s a very good sleep option, as it provides an excellent combination of soft touch, yet a firm support that is ideal for relieving pressure from the sensitive joints of the human body. It comes with an organic cotton and natural wool cover which all adds to the “greenness” of this product. Being hypoallergenic and containing zero synthetic foams means this is about as close to being at one with nature as can be during healthy slumber. It comes with a 10 year warranty and a 100 night in-home trial.
The Pure Green 100% natural latex mattress is an ideal choice when it comes to choosing the best mattress for side sleepers due to its soft yet supportive capability. A total of 9″ in height, the base layer consists of 6″ pure organic latex. This is the layer that maintains the rigidity which adds support and the durability required for all body size and weights. Above this is a 2″ deep softer variety which has been used to add a plush and more cushioned feeling which gracefully accommodates hips and shoulders to provide the perfect spinal alignment. The final layer at the top is the 1” quilted wool cover. Combined togther this is a good construction, and considering there are no harmful chemicals or inorganic substances used for the manufacturing of this mattress, it certainly lives up to its name. It is GreenGuard Certified which means there is no fire retardants, no polyfoam or no synthetic latex used. This is a relatively new product which is certainly worth considering, especially given that it’s hand made to the highest standards and comes with a 10 year warranty for added peace of mind.
Although latex mattresses are generally made of a pure material, as you may have learnt throughout this guide there are various ways in which it can be used for sleeping on. For example, it could act as a base platform or a top level layer, usually in conjunction with viscoelastic or gel foam which are man made materials. This combination of the two materials to form an inner structure makes the product more of a hybrid if anything, and takes away the wholly natural product which latex mattresses are well known for. There is nothing wrong with hybrids, it’s just that an all latex mattress is better in many ways. Therefore our mattress reviews conclude with the Ultimate Dreams Total being the best latex mattress of our top 10 reviewed. Here’s why:
The company who manufacture and supply this product offer a great service which allows you to request the comfort level as soon as your order is placed. Once it’s in your home, if unhappy with your selection for any reason regarding comfort you simply contact customer services and they’ll happily exchange the comfort layer and tailor for you a different density which would make it either more soft or firm, whichever you request.
The excellent customer service and flexible pre / post sales options isn’t the only reason why we think this is the best latex mattress of the six; the product itself has a high quality all natural talalay core (not blended) which can be swapped for a dunlop if preferred when you place the order. It also uses organic wool which is great for countering allergies. This is a USA made product where checks and compliance are about as stringent as can be, so be assured you’ll be sleeping safe. All of this combined along with the verified high owner satisfaction surveys make this top of our latex mattress reviews for 2017.