Are you in the market for a new mattress? You should consider a natural latex mattress. Natural latex rubber is among the best mattress materials available on the market today. It’s made with tree sap — the sap of the rubber tree, or Hevea brasiliensis, so buying natural latex actually encourages the growth of trees. The resultant latex foam is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, resistant to mold, free of toxic chemicals, and breathable for a good night’s sleep.
Latex mattresses are also supportive and comfortable, providing support similar to a memory foam mattress, but with more springiness and give. They isolate motion so you don’t disturb your bed partner, and they last a long time. Here’s why you should consider natural latex for your next mattress.
Dust mites produce common human allergens Der P1 and Der P5, which is present in their feces. No one likes to think about poop building up inside their bed, but that’s exactly what typically happens if you don’t use a mattress protector.
Natural latex foam, however, is naturally repellant of dust mites. It’s also antibacterial and antifungal, so it resists the growth of mold and mildew, which can make natural latex a solid choice for humid environments. Even if you don’t live in Florida, though, you can still sweat and secrete other bodily fluids in the night, which can seep into your mattress and create the warm, dark, humid environment most bacteria, molds, and mildews love to thrive in. Make your bed less hospitable to microscopic life forms when you choose a natural latex mattress. You should still use a mattress protector too, of course — dead skin flakes and other debris can build up inside your mattress otherwise — but choosing a mattress material that repels mold, bacteria, and dust mites will do a lot to keep your family healthy and free of allergy symptoms.
If you have back pain or joint pain, you might find that a latex mattress gives you the support you needed to relieve painful pressure points and support your spinal alignment all night. Like memory foam, a latex mattress allows the heavier parts of your body — your shoulders and hips — to sink into the mattress while it cradles your spine and supports the lighter parts of your body. But the natural springiness of the latex foam makes the bed feel soft, too, so if you need support but prefer a softer mattress, latex could be for you. Latex also isolates movement, so if you tend to toss and turn while your partner is out like a light, you won’t disturb them.
Most conventional mattresses are made with synthetic materials that release volatile organic compounds (VoCs) into your home through a process known as off-gassing — when you buy something and it has a weird chemical smell, that’s what’s happening. With a conventional synthetic mattress, you’re buying the opportunity to breathe in harmful chemicals later. Not to mention, the process of creating those synthetic chemicals isn’t environmentally sustainable. Just growing the cotton used in conventional mattresses can take a heavy environmental toll, as cotton is one of the world’s most pesticide-heavy crops.
As previously mentioned, latex is harvested from tree sap, so its production is the most environmentally sustainable of any mattress material. Rubber growers have to keep planting and caring for rubber trees in order to keep production up, and the latex itself is all-natural.
Of course, the labels on new mattresses can be misleading, and some latex mattresses use a mix of natural and synthetic latex, which can still be considered latex. Look for the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) label, which guarantees that the mattress is made from at least 95 percent organic latex and that it’s free from synthetic chemicals and conventionally grown fibers. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is similar, but for textiles. “Made with organic” means the textiles are at least 70 percent organic, while just plain “organic” means they’re at least 95 percent organic.
If you haven’t tried a natural latex mattress yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Natural latex is among the most comfortable, most supportive, healthiest, and most sustainable mattress materials available. And it lasts so long, it’s well worth the high price.