As more and more of us make the connection between a great night’s sleep and a great mattress we’re paying a lot more attention to the mattresses we choose and just what they are made from.
Latex mattresses are very popular right now, but are they the best choice, considering there are an increasing number of mattress choices available?
That is one of the things we are going to take a closer look at here.
Our Top Picks
#1 – Best Overall
#2 – Best Hybrid
#3 – Multiple Firmness
#4 – Best For Pressure Points
#5 – Best Budget-Friendly
Table of Contents
Why Latex is the Best Sleep Surface
Maybe when you think of latex you think of gloves. Or the trousers popularized by hair metal bands in the 1980s. But latex also makes a great mattress, as more and more people are finding out for themselves.
Latex makes an excellent mattress choice for many reasons.
- It’s super comfortable, offering good support without making you feel like you are sleeping on a board.
- It offers a nice springy feeling that helps alleviate that waking up achy problem so many of us have.
- It’s also very durable, with many latex mattresses offering an industry best 15-20 year useful life.
- And as latex is all natural it’s an eco-friendly option too (so you can sleep more soundly knowing you are being kinder to the planet).
Finding the Best Latex Mattress
Once you start doing your research on latex mattresses things can get a little confusing, especially as it’s fair to say that the latex mattresses most popular with consumers right now can be rather different from each other.
So, before we start talking about the best of those sleeping options, or even what to look for in a really good one, let’s get back to basics and talk about latex itself.
Dunlop, Talalay and How Latex is Produced
When discussing the latex used in modern mattresses not only are there three major ‘types’ to choose from but the substance is also processed in two different ways, each of those resulting in a slightly different sleep surface.
Let’s break it down.
The three types of latex used in mattresses are:
All-Natural Latex: The name actually says it all. This is ‘real’ latex, created using only the sap from rubber trees.
Synthetic Latex: This is ‘lab grown’ latex. Various molecules are bound together to produce a substance that boasts almost all the properties of natural latex. It could be compared to the process of creating lab grown diamonds.
Blended Latex: Blended latex as its name suggests, is a combination of natural latex and its synthetic counterpart. It’s a way to offer the ‘best of both worlds’ at a more affordable price.
Once the type of latex to be used is determined, there is then a choice to be made between the two different processing methods.
The older method, the Dunlop Method (yes, named after the tyres) involves foaming liquid latex and then pouring it in a mold. It is then vulcanized and washed. The difference in the talalay method is that the molds are not filled to the top, but only halfway, and then a vacuum process ‘fluffs’ the liquid latex until it reaches the top. In addition, talalay latex is frozen before it is baked, while Dunlop heads straight for the oven from the mold.
The two different methods result in a slightly different product.
- Dunlop latex is firmer and more durable.
- Talalay latex is lighter and has more ‘bounce’.
It’s not fair to say that one option is better than the other though, as they simply create latex that, in the case of mattresses at least, may be better suited to some people’s sleeping preferences.
Top Features To Look For
Now that we’ve given you a little more insight into latex itself, it’s time to discuss the features you should pay careful attention to when making your latex mattress choice:
There really is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to latex firmness. You may not know this, but there is actually a more precise firmness rating used in the industry than you commonly see. It’s called the ILD, or Impression Load Deflection.
A mattress’ ILD is measured by pressing down on a four-inch piece of mattress material – the ILD applies to all foam mattresses, not just latex, with a flat 12-inch disc. The disc is pressed down until it has sunk an inch into the material’s surface. The amount of pressure required to that is then recorded as the ILD.
In more useful terms, the higher the ILD number, the firmer the mattress.
Pressure reduction is a term associated with mattresses in a lot of advertising. But according to sleep experts what you should really be looking for is balanced pressure. Balanced pressure means that every part of your body, from head to toe, is properly supported, not just pressure points like the knees or shoulders. Many of these same experts feel that latex, especially talalay latex, is the best way to achieve this in a mattress.
Even if you don’t, spinal support from a mattress is still very important, as , so the better aligned and supported it is while you sleep the healthier it will be.
Some mattresses – especially some types of– tend to sleep hot, even in the winter. That is not conducive to a good night’s sleep for anyone. One of the things people love most about a latex mattress is how much cooler it sleeps.
Limited Motion Transfer
There are lots of reputable studies that have great things to say about the benefits of sleeping with a partner. However, being woken up by their tossing and turning is not one of them. Seeking out a mattress that limits that disruption – more formally known as motion transfer – can help you get a better night’s sleep however much your sleeping partner moves around.
Buying Tips for Purchasing a Mattress Online
People are shopping online more and more these days and purchasing things ‘sight unseen’ that they might never have done before.
But should a mattress really be one of those things?
The obvious problem in the eyes of many with shopping for a mattress online is that even though you can read all the reviews, understand all the terminology and compare all the numbers you can’t truly tell if a mattress is right for you until you sleep on it. And while people understand how to return a mattress to a physical bedding store, they are not even sure it’s possible if they buy a mattress online.
This is where customer service matters. The top mattress manufacturers – including the top latex mattress brands – will offer you a clearly set out trial period, to allow you to test out the mattress in your own home with a lot less risk. You could buy a mattress online without these trials, but we would not recommend it, so take the time to seek them out.
Is a Hybrid Mattress Right for You?
As you shop, you’ll find that some latex mattresses are advertised as hybrid mattresses. This does not mean they are some kind of mutant product, but rather they make use two mattress technologies in one.
In the case of most hybrid latex mattresses it means that they make use of coils as well. This produces, some say, a higher level of support and pressure balance without sacrificing cooling or comfort, as the coils are contained within the latex and never come in contact with your body.
Is it the right choice for you?
We can’t say, as everyone’s needs and preferences are different, but if you are especially looking for great sleeping support then a hybrid latex bed is worth keeping top of mind as you make your choice.
5 Best Latex Mattresses
Phew! That was quite the education, but now you are better equipped to go out there and find the best latex mattress for you. But before you do that we wanted to offer you a look at our top picks.
To come up with this list of the top five best latex mattresses we took into account what the manufacturers have to say, the opinions of our own sleep testers and the reviews of customers who had purchased the beds in the past. And, without further ado, this is what we came up with.1.
Best Overall Latex Mattress
Why We Love It: Cool sleeping comfort that’s as good for the planet as it is for you!
There are lots of great latex beds out there, but for our money it’s the Plushbeds’ Botanical Bliss that just has that extra edge that sets it apart.
The mattress is a pure latex offering, featuring three layers of Dunlop latex that is GOLS certified organic, giving the mattress that firmer but not too firm support many of us are looking for along with a nice springiness that makes sleeping on this bed far more comfortable.
In terms of cooling, not only does the latex keep you cool but so does a layer of organic wool, and the organic cotton cover helps as well.
Theis available in 9″, 10″ and 12″ thicknesses and soft, medium (most popular), medium-firm, firm and extra-firm, and comes along with a free 100 night trial. Our testers found it to be one of the most comfortable mattresses they had ever dozed off on, and thousands of customer reviews indicate that a lot of people agree!
PROS: durable, supportive Dunlop latex, GOLS certified organic latex, 25 year warranty, 100-night trial, handcrafted in the USA, free shipping and returns, hypoallergenic, sleeps cool, no-chemicals, non-toxic and superior pressure point relief and back support
CONS: not cheap if you’re bargain shopping but compared to store-bought natural latex beds, it’s a downright steal2.
Best Hybrid Latex Mattress
Why We Love It: It’s a ‘softer’ mattress that is still very supportive.
If you are interested in a hybrid latex mattress then theis a great choice. 100% organic talalay latex wraps around steel coils that provide edge to edge support that means there are no ‘sag spots’ likely to develop at any point on it.
Thanks to the talalay process, the latex is a little lighter, leading some reviewers to state they ‘felt like were sleeping on a cloud’, and a couple of our testers felt the same way.
Extra cooling – in addition to the already chill latex – is provided by a layer of organic wool placed over the latex and by the washable cotton organic cover, something that’s a great plus as even when covered with sheets, mattresses get grimy over time!
PROS: cool and comfortable, softer feel than some latex mattresses, below-average price-point, excellent edge to edge support, washable, cooling cotton mattress cover, comes with a 90-night trial, 15-year warranty, free shipping and returns
CONS: may not be firm enough for side sleepers3.
Best Multi-Firmness Latex Mattress
Why We Love It: Being able to adjust the mattress’ firmness is rather neat
What’s a multi-firmness mattress? It’s a mattress that can be flipped to allow you to choose between two different support levels. In the case of the Latex for Less mattress that choice is between medium or firm.
What’s the advantage of this? According to some reviewers it allowed them to get a more customized feeling support option, and a few even said they alternated between the two sides according to how achy they felt after working out (which would certainly be an option!)
In terms of construction theis crafted from organic talalay latex on one side and dunlop latex on the other. This offers even more variation in sleeping comfort and a feature many reviewers liked a lot. Extra cooling is provided by a wool layer above the latex, something we liked a lot!
As its name suggests, this is one of the lower priced high-quality latex mattresses you can opt for but even so it comes with an industry leading 120-night trial, another big plus.
PROS: reversible with 2 firmnesses in 1, very cool, no matter which side you choose to sleep on, very affordable, 120-night trial, 20-year warranty, good choice for couples,
CONS: mattress may be hard to flip for some users, not quite firm enough for some people’s tastes4.
Best For Pressure Points Relief
Why We Love It: A great mattress that contours to the body and relieves pressure points.
Theis available in two different forms, offering you lots of choices. You can opt to supplement the layers of latex with a pocket coil layer OR with a layer crafted from memory foam.
Whichever of the ‘support layers’ you choose the latex itself is cooling and comfortable to sleep on. If your primary concern is limiting motion transfer, then the memory foam does that very well, while if flexible but firm support is more of a concern then the coil option is well worth considering.
Here’s the make up of this bed:
- 14″ Two-Layer Latex Hybrid Mattress with 4 or 5″ of Natural/Talalay Latex
- 11.5″ Pocket Coil/Latex Mattress
- Exchangeable 2″ or 3″ Latex Pillow Top – 3 Choices of Comfort/Firmness
Our testers admitted to being a little overwhelmed by the choices, but found both options to be cool, comfortable and easy to sleep on. Reviewers online were divided, although many felt that the memory foam option was a little too soft. The good news is though that there is a 100-night trial attached to all Luna Hybrid beds, so you have plenty of time to make your mind up.
PROS: lots of choice to find the right ‘fit’ for you, excellent pressure relief, superior back support, and spinal alignment, 100-night trial, excellent customer service support, back and side-sleep friendly, 10-year warranty, free shipping and returns
CONS: the choice between options can be a little confusing, the memory foam option may not provide enough support for some people, a little more expensive then others on this list5.
Best Budget Latex Mattress
Why We Love It: A budget-friendly mattress that doesn’t skimp on comfort and quality.
If you do not want to spend $1,000 or more on a new mattress then you might think you won’t be able to find a good budget priced latex option. At under $800 themight just prove you wrong.
Crafted using all-natural latex this is another multi firmness mattress, making use of talalay latex on one side and Dunlop on the other to offer both medium and firm support. For those looking for flexibility in terms of sleeping support, this mattress can offer it.
Our testers – and many reviewers – were impressed with this option, budget or not, although the lack of a free trial was a concern to some. They found it slept cool, always a plus, and was easy to set up out of the box.
PROS: very affordable, 2-in-1 flippable mattress, suits most sleepers, made in the USA, 10-year warranty, 90-day trial period
CONS: some may not find supportive enough, even when using the firm side, mediocre motion isolation and conforming
If you are looking for a better night’s sleep then we think that a latex mattress is an excellent option well worth your consideration.
While there are a number of great options on our best of list, theremains our top choice. Genuinely all-natural latex mattresses are a hard find; and when you do, the price is often way too high. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this mattress.
We love its superior support and comfort, high-quality construction, the super-efficient cooling and the fact that all the materials used are certified organic. It’s not the cheapest option on this list, but we think that for all it offers it worth every penny, especially as you can expect to get around 25 years’ worth of great sleep on it!