A Review of Natural Latex: Why it’s Good For You and The Environment

Choosing the best mattress from all the options available is certainly no easy task, but the natural latex mattress might have an edge when it comes to concerns of health and the environment. While touting products as eco-friendly remains a common marketing tactic, very few can actually live up to this standard. And as consumers, sometimes we value our comfort more than the environmental impact of a purchase. But, what if a bed could be comfortable, healthy, and truly environmentally friendly as well? Here, we’ll look at natural latex mattresses, how they compare to other beds, and whether or not they truly are the best mattress in world.

Latex Mattresses Are Good For You

Usually when we buy a product, we want to know what it will do for us. After all a bed might be good for the earth, but if it gives us aches and pains or proves to be a bad value than it is not practical. Natural latex has a number of benefits for owners, from comfort to reducing chemicals.

  • 85-86% of consumers are satisfied with all-latex mattresses.
  • Effective at reducing back pain and supporting the body’s natural alignment.
  • Naturally dissipates body heat and keeps temperature comfortable.
  • No toxic off-gassing or overwhelming chemical odors.
  • Mold and mildew-proof and anti-microbial, which keeps environmental allergens at bay.
  • Dust-mite resistant, which limits the ability of dust mites to infest your bed (responsible for asthma, breathing issues, allergic reactions and more).

Latex is the Best Mattress for the Environment

Mattresses are a growing problem for waste management industry. Indeed, several states are attempting to pass laws that require mattresses to be recycled rather than sent to landfills, where used beds occupy a significant amount space. Adding to the problem is the fact that most mattress materials are not biodegradable, and often contain multiple chemicals that leach into the earth for decades and even centuries. Plus, the materials used to make many beds come from petroleum-based sources which are non-renewable and possibly dangerous. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages the natural latex mattress offers is its environmental benefits.

  • Derived from a sustainable resource. Natural latex comes from hevea brasiliensis trees which are tapped while continuing to grow, live, and clean the air. Sustainable latex farms utilize a cyclical method to ensure new trees are always planted to replace ones at the end of their lifespan.
  • A latex mattress can last 15-40 years, considerably longer than the 5-10 year average of other beds. This means less mattresses and materials are consumed and discarded.
  • Latex is biodegradable and recyclable. At the end of its time as a mattress, the latex material can be recycled and will eventually degrade if place in a landfill.

Natural Latex vs. Synthetic, Memory Foam, and Innerspring Mattresses

 All Natural LatexSynthetic/Blended LatexTraditional Memory FoamInnersprings
Average Satisfaction85%80%81%62%
Pain ReliefABAC
Off-GassingA+BBA
HeatABBA
Good for Allergies?YesYesSomeNo
Potential Toxins?NoYesYesYes
Renewable Source?YesNoNoNo
BiodegradableYesNoNoNo
RecyclableYesUsuallyUsuallyYes
Average Durability8-12 yrs6-10 yrs5-10 yrs3-7 yrs

How to Choose the Best Latex Mattress

In order to get the best latex mattress, you want to ensure it meets a few key specifications. This will ensure you truly are getting the best bed for you and the earth.

  1. The material is made of 100% natural latex – no fillers, blends, or other mattress cores. Be aware that brands can claim a foam is “natural” when it contains synthetic latex, so make sure you see 100%.
  2. Know what is used to meet flame retardant standards. Wool is the best option for latex beds.
  3. Search for a brand that does not use harsh solvents or chemicals in the manufacturing process.
  4. Look for an organic cover, preferably organic cotton, and make sure that it is certified organic by a legitimate agency.
  5. Look for a bed that meets Oeko-Tex Standard 100, one of the most rigorous testing processes which ensures a product is free of harmful chemicals.
  6. If you are buying online, consider a retailer that ships their beds compressed as opposed to full-size, as this can cut fuel usage significantly.

We often get asked for suggestions when discussing a specific type of bed; for natural latex mattresses we recommend Astrabeds.com. Their collection meets all of the above specifications, and comes with 25 year warranties, 90 day trials, and very competitive pricing.

So is Latex the Best?

Overall, when we look at how a latex mattress benefits the person sleeping on it and the environment, it does appear that latex offers one of the best profiles. Few mattresses will live up to the high standards of healthiness and sustainability that latex sets forth. While not everyone will find their holy grail in this type of bed, a latex mattress should definitely be on your shortlist when comparing mattress types especially if you are concerned about chemicals, allergies, or reducing your footprint.

Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on the site should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

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