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April 02, 2017
LATEX MATTRESSES MAY SEEM like a new trend, but they’ve actually been around for decades. They’ve gained traction in recent years due to increased public interest in environmentally responsible products.
Latex can be natural, synthetic, or a blend of the two. Synthetic latex is a petroleum product, while natural latex is derived from the sap of the rubber tree. The rubber particles are dispersed in water, which is then “whipped” to create a foam product. This foam is used to make mattresses, safety gloves, masks, and some prosthetics. Latex foam offers a surprising array of benefits and is becoming one of the most popular types of mattresses, particularly among people with neck and back pain.
Many latex foam mattresses are composed of a blend of natural and synthetic latex. Mattresses marketed as natural leave out the petrochemical components. However, it’s not possible to create a mattress made entirely of natural latex, because a small amount of additives is required in order to whip up the foam.
Ideally, a natural latex mattress contains about 95% natural latex. The remainder may be sulfur, clay particles, or some other additive. A 100% natural mattress consists of all-natural latex plus a small amount of a natural additive. (Verlo’s latex mattresses are 100% all natural, serving as a healthy alternative to synthetic foam.)
Similarly, an organic mattress is made of naturally-derived latex sourced from tree growers who follow organic practices, and the additives are all-natural as well. Organic latex mattresses often cost more than all-natural latex mattresses due to the additional costs associated with the certification process.
Wondering what makes latex mattresses so popular, despite the addional cost? There are a lot of reasons:
When shopping for a latex mattress, don’t be fooled into thinking they are all alike. Be sure to examine the label and talk to the salesperson to learn more about how it’s derived. Factors such as the percentage of natural versus synthetic latex, whether it’s organically produced, and what additives it contains, all play a role in the overall comfort and quality of a latex mattress.
You’ll also want to consider the price, return policies, and warranty when making a decision. Natural and organic latex are generally more expensive than synthetic, but they often hold their elasticity much longer, making it a worthwhile trade-off.