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Published on December 10th, 2012 | by Mattress Journal

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Natural Latex Mattresses vs Synthetic – What’s the big deal?

Determining the differences between natural latex mattresses and synthetic latex will help consumers make a wiser choice when replacing a worn-out set. This is considered the best type of bed for anyone hoping to avoid or reduce pain and sleeping problems. Factors that should be taken into account when choosing a mattress type include comfort, support, healthiness, durability and price. Both of these products are used to create comfortable mattresses good for alignment and pressure point relief, however all natural latex mattresses are considered the superior of the two, and we’ll explain why.
Production of Natural Latex Mattresses vs. Synthetic

Natural Latex Mattresses

Natural latex mattresses are healthier than those made of synthetic foam, particularly for anyone who suffers from allergies. They are created using a process which begins with tapping rubber trees, using a method which allows the tree to continue growing, rather than cutting them down as in the past. Rubber trees were originally raised in Brazil, however they are now cultivated in Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, specifically for this purpose. They produce a milky sap which is captured to produce the rubber via methods which are considered eco-friendly.

There are two main methods used to produce the foam for natural latex mattresses, these are known as Talalay and Dunlop. The Dunlop method began to be used in production of rubber in the late 1920’s. Here the latex is whipped using a centrifuge, and then poured into large baking molds. This is the least expensive method of creating latex; however it does have one drawback. Any sediment that remains in the latex after whipping will settle to the bottom of the finished product, making it firmer. The Talalay method begins the same as the Dunlop; however after pouring the product into the mold it is then vacuum sealed and flash-frozen. The even cell structure created using Talalay commands a higher price than those created using the Dunlop method.  Aluminum pins may be used to create pierced holes at regular intervals, allowing the mattress to compress easily while providing a comfortable sleeping surface.

Synthetic Latex Mattresses

Synthetic latex is created to chemically duplicate the features offered by natural, creating a cheaper product. This is accomplished through the careful combination of chemicals including petrochemicals, to create polymer-based latex foam. There are advantages to this type of foam including a lower a price more controllable consistency. It is slightly less comfortable than its natural counterpart, although it is still preferable to traditional innerspring construction. The cons of synthetic include the fact that the polyurethane foam releases environmental toxins during manufacture and will continue to emit carcinogenic gases as it breaks down over the years. It also is not moisture-resistant which increases the possibility of trapping mold or mildew in moist climates. Some mattresses are composed of natural and synthetic blended latex foam, which is generally a 70/30 mixture, to enhance comfort and reduce price, but still offers the drawbacks of synthetic foam.

Benefits of Sleeping on Natural Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses have many benefits over conventional bedding. It’s ability to conform to the body and provide springy support are unsurpassed. By providing this support the body is able to assume a natural position, eliminating pressure points, while allowing the spine to decompress and extend into a natural position. They are excellent for people who suffer from back and hip problems. Arthritis sufferers and people who live with the constant pain of Fibromyalgia have reported enhanced comfort and rest when using both natural and synthetic latex mattresses. Unlike a conventional innerspring mattress, latex allows air to breathe, creating a cooler bed during the summer and warmer bed during cold winter months. The elasticity of the sleeping surface provides a soft, cushiony support system that is unsurpassed.

Doctors often recommend natural latex mattress to their patients to counter the effect of dust mites, mold and mildew. Due to its breathability, latex reduces the occurrence of mold and mildew. It is considered hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making it the perfect solution for allergy sufferers.

Latex mattresses are available in multiple thicknesses which may affect their support level. Choose one based on the guidelines which reflect your main concerns and preferred sleeping positions. Pricing will vary according to whether they are made of 100% natural latex, synthetic or a blend. A high quality, firm support system is deemed necessary for supporting the integrity of latex. It is important to rotate and clean these mattresses according to the manufacturer’s suggested guidelines to maximize benefits. .For the best comfort available when choosing between natural latex mattresses and synthetic, go with natural if at all possible.

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