A good night’s sleep is dependent on a lot of factors: health condition, stress level, comfort level, etc. But before addressing those factors, you might want to start with the basics first – getting the perfect mattress. There’s a lot of different kinds of mattresses, but latex seems to have more edge than the others. Then, you wonder, “what is a latex mattress? How is it different from the other mattresses? How do you know what mattress is best for you?”
What Is A Latex Mattress?
A latex mattress is a kind of mattress that uses latex. Latex foam can be natural or synthetic, or a blend of both.
What Should You Look For In A Mattress?
Mattress manufacturers and sellers might label their product as the “best” or “medically-approved”. They may be telling the truth, but you still have to be careful when selecting.
There is no way to say what mattress is the best because every individual is unique. We all have our preferences. What’s comfortable for you might be too soft for me, or what’s best for you might be harmful to me. So, what are the things we should look for in a mattress?
A good mattress supports the body in a neutral position. That means the spine is at a natural curvature, and the buttocks, head, shoulders, and back are aligned correctly. Aside from being comfortable, it should reduce pressure points; thus, preventing any sleep-related body pains.
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Types Of Latex
Natural Latex (Organic)
For a good reason, natural latex is more expensive than synthetic latex. The 100-percent natural latex is made from the milk of a rubber tree, which provides a supportive and comfortable feel. While it does release an odor, it is mild, unlike synthetic latex, memory foam, and chemically-made products.
While synthetic latex is cheaper and more available, it’s not as supportive as a natural latex mattress. Because it also uses a lot of chemicals, it’s not as safe.
It also has a tendency to “off-gas” which means it produces an odor because of the chemicals that are escaping. Synthetic latex foam mattresses are also not as durable as the natural latex which means it will tear easily.
Manufacturers and retailers might say that a blended latex foam mattress is a way to bring together the best qualities of the natural and synthetic. However, much of the reason is that a blend is a cheaper alternative than the all-natural latex foam. In fact, blended ones probably contain more synthetic than it the natural does.
Ask the retailer or manufacturer about the ratio of materials used. Their marketing strategy focuses on saying that it contains natural latex. However, it is not specified as to how much. You might end up buying a mattress that is 80 percent synthetic with only 20 percent natural.
Types Of Latex Mattresses
All-latex mattresses mean that the mattress is made of latex – from top to bottom and all edges. Whether it be natural, synthetic or blended, it has no other material except for the anti-flame cover.
Latex Over Foam
As the name suggests, it is a multi-layered mattress, with the top layer being latex, and the bottom, foam. It’s cheaper than the all-latex foam, but it’s still great for joint pain and back problems.
Foam Over Latex
This is another multi-layered mattress. As the name suggests, the top is a layer of memory foam with a thick latex base layer. The thickness of each layer depends on the manufacturer.
Firmness or softness of the foam affects the comfort level of the mattress. According to latexmattress.org, “To measure ILD or Impression Load Deflection, you need to press a 12-inch round disk into a 4-inch piece of foam until it presses one inch or 25 percent into the surface of the mattress.”
For firmness and softness, the rule is this: the lower the ILD rating, the softer it is, so the higher the rating is, the firmer it is.
Some manufacturers and retailers might say that if the ILD is the same, then, the foam mattress is the same. However, you also have to consider the materials used for the mattress.
Latex Mattress Vs. Memory Foam
There are a lot of comparisons between latex foam mattresses and memory foam mattresses. There is a question of “which is better” but only you can truly answer because your preference trumps everything else.
Your spine health should indicate what type of mattress to sleep on. Both latex and memory foam are great for support, considering, of course, it is the right density. Since memory foam can mold to your body curvatures, it works well in reducing pressure points and relieves back pains.
The disadvantage of memory foam is that it retains heat so it can become uncomfortable during warm months. It also seems to emit an unpleasant odor, probably because of the chemicals it uses. But unlike latex foam, memory foam has a slow recovery time. That means that it takes a while for the mattress to return to its original shape when a great deal of weight is placed on. It gives a sinking feeling, which doesn’t happen with a latex foam. Latex foam is consistently firm and springs back to its original shape immediately.
Regarding budget, memory foam mattress is cheaper. However, latex has good reasons for being expensive. The 100 percent natural latex foam uses natural products (from a rubber tree) making it safer to use. It is also comfortable, supportive, and more durable than memory foam. Natural latex has hypoallergenic and antibacterial qualities. Plus, it is also resistant to dust mites. Also, it is environment-friendly because it’s biodegradable.
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Ultimately, the best mattress for you is something you feel most comfortable in. It’s something only you can really determine for yourself. So if possible, maybe ask the retailer if you can test it out before you end up buying one that doesn’t suit your needs. After all, your preference is the most important factor in selecting a foam.
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