It’s the classic Pepsi or Coke debate of the bedding world. Do you need a natural latex mattress or a synthetic latex mattress? Is one better than the other? What differentiates one from the other?
When it’s time to buy, you should make that purchase with information on both natural latex and synthetic latex mattresses. If someone believed that all latex was created equally, it is not. There are distinct differences, pros and cons that can heavily influence your decision.
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Natural Latex Mattresses
Natural latex comes from sap that has been tapped from rubber trees and contains no synthetic chemicals, such as SBR, or Styrene Butadiene Rubber. It is then either vulcanized (hardened by sulfur treatments at high temperatures) or frozen and then vulcanized. Natural latex is known for its durability, its resilience, and its support.
Resistant to dust mites, natural latex is also hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and antifungal. Price can depend on the purity of the natural latex and how many fillers have been added to make it last longer. You can ask what percentage of natural latex is contained within the mattress. The higher the percentage, the steeper the cost, yet the health benefits and safety are also increased.
Synthetic Latex Mattresses
Synthetic latex (also known as polyurethane foam or memory foam) is constructed from petrochemicals and is often mixed with varied amounts of natural latex. Synthetic latex tends to break down faster than natural latex and may exhibit a tendency to off-gas (release chemicals from inside the mattress). Synthetics also tend to have issues with moisture, which can develop mold, mildew, and dust mites over time. Thus, synthetic latex is less durable. While synthetic latex is usually a cheaper option, you will also find it to be less springy and more prone to losing its durability.
Unless you are in need of a short-term mattress that will be disposed of within a few years, the natural latex mattress is the clear choice for those interested in safe, durable, long-term bedding options. Natural latex is also the choice for someone with allergy issues, adverse reactions to chemicals, and skin irritations.