When shopping for a new mattress, you might be torn between a hybrid or memory foam mattress, but maybe you should look for the best latex mattress on the market, instead. Popular among eco-friendly mattress brands like Avocado Green Mattress and Awara, plus bed-in-a-box companies like Birch by Helix, Nolah, and Brooklyn Bedding, latex mattresses differ from foam and innerspring mattresses in their feel and potential benefits.
What makes latex mattresses different from other types of beds?
Made of materials derived from rubber trees and plants, latex mattresses can range from medium-firm to very firm, depending on their level of processing, Robert L. Brady, MD, tells SELF. Steve Zhou, MD, tells us that they're usually made up of several distinct layers of latex, which gives them a “contouring yet responsive feel.” He describes that feel further: “If a person pushes or sleeps on the mattress, the mattress will push back.”
It isn't just that uniquely bouncy feel that sets latex beds apart from standard mattresses. They tend to have noticeably longer lifespans than other types of mattresses, thanks in no small part to that multi-layer construction, Dr. Zhou explains. Dr. Brady says you can expect a latex mattress to last between 10 and 15 years.
Finally, If you're shopping with environmental values in mind, Dr. Zhou adds that, since latex comes from a natural source, these beds are likely to be the more eco-conscious choice compared to, say, memory foam beds.
Who stands to benefit most from a latex mattress?
“Latex mattresses are very supportive and are highly recommended for patients with spine conditions,” Dr. Brady says. As SELF has previously reported, people who deal with back pain should look for a mattress that doesn't let them sink into the bed—a mattress that's too soft (or has too much “give") will cause uncomfortable pressure points. Given their responsive feel, latex mattresses are definitely pressure-relieving, so they'll help you avoid waking up with a knotted, aching back. And, since they're available in different firmness levels, all types of sleepers (yes, even stomach sleepers) can find a latex mattress that suits their preferred style of snoozing.
Additionally, hot sleepers and those who find regular household allergens (dust, dander, and mold) irritating will appreciate latex mattresses as well. Not only do these mattresses tend to have perforated layers that allow for greater airflow through the night, but they're also usually hypoallergenic and resistant to allergens.
Of course, if you have a latex allergy, you'll definitely want to avoid these beds, Dr. Zhou says. He also notes that they tend to be on the heavier side and come at a higher price point than you may expect from a new mattress, so keep these factors in mind during your search. Provided that they meet your price range, won't be too heavy to set up, and won't cause an allergic reaction, Dr. Brady sums up latex beds as such: “In my opinion, the benefits of latex mattresses or latex hybrid mattresses far outweigh the disadvantages.”
So, whether you're a back sleeper looking for relief or just curious about beds made of more natural materials, a high-quality latex mattress may be the missing piece to a great night's sleep. Here, we've selected our top picks for the best latex mattress available right now.
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