Latex Mattresses. The Facts

In the world of mattresses the newest products available are the latex and visco elastic memory mattresses. It is certain that the popularity and success of these products is down to the Tempur-Pedic mattress which, I am sure we all have heard of. We all desire one but probably cannot afford the hefty price tag attached.

There is a substitute which, is just as good. These are latex mattresses.

What is latex?

A good question what is latex and how does it work? Well latex is taken from the sap of rubber trees. It is renowned for its distinctive elastic properties and enduringness. A latex mattress is either constructed with 100% latex or as a water base latex which, is latex mixed with water. A latex mattress is the closest that you will get without having to pay the premium attached to a visco elastic mattress.

Construction of a latex mattress

There are two modes of construction used in producing latex mattresses. The first and most commonly utilised method is the Talalay process. This procedure is carried out in six stages, firstly, the raw liquid latex is whipped with curing agents and additives into a froth. Stage two is when an amount of froth is administered into the required mould. In the next stage the air is the extracted which, allows the latex to expand and evenly distribute itself throughout the mould. Following this stage it is necessary to flash freeze the product at -20° F to prevent any subsidence happening. To make the mixture turn to gel a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is introduced. During the final stage the latex is vulcanised at a high temperature of 220° F so that the mixture can completely harden.

The other process is the Dunlop process which, is very similar to the Talalay process. The main differences in the Dunlop process is that the mould is completely filled, leaving no room for air. Additionally, there is no vacuum or freezing stage. The result of a Dunlop mattress is a harder, thicker and less uniform product that is used as a latex core. Talalay is deemed to be the better process and the end product is a more desirable one.

The latex mattress offers optimum support where it is ultimately required as it moulds to the body's natural shape thereby, relieving pressure points especially at the shoulders and hips. This in turn allows for improved circulation and results in less tossing and turning during the night leading to a better sleep. Because of the way the foam is constructed it allows people to move individually which, allows people sharing a bed not to be disturbed by the other persons movement.

Advantages of a latex mattress

There are numerous advantages to a latex mattress. A latex mattress provides good conformity and complete support to the body. There is good air circulation which allows the body to breathe. The average lifetime of a mattress is 10 years but a latex mattress can last 20-25 years far exceeding a normal mattress lifetime. As with coil mattresses and other mattresses there is no need to flip or turn a latex mattress. They are environmentally friendly, in excess of 90% of the materials used is natural rubber. Most importantly a latex mattress is allergy free or hypo-allergenic meaning that it dispels household dust and mites which are a major problem for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Disadvantages of a latex mattress

Latex mattresses are heavy and can be difficult to move. They can have a strong unpleasant odour when first new, this will disperse over time. Although it is allergy free it is not recommended for people who suffer from chemical allergies or a latex allergy.