As with memory foam mattresses, latex mattress contours around your body to provide sublime support and wonderful comfort, helping you to get a good night’s sleep and awake the following morning feeling refreshed.
As well as providing firm support, latex also has the benefit of being hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, which means these mattresses are perfect for people who are vulnerable to respiratory problems.
Best Latex Mattress UK
For exceptional comfort and support, natural latex is remarkably responsive, naturally contours to your unique shape and offers excellent pressure point relief for a blissful night’s sleep. Choose the perfect latex mattress for you, from leading brands such as Silentnight, Healthbeds and Dunlopillo, in a range of sizes from single right up to superking. It is also endorsed by Allergy UK.
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Latex Mattress Buyers Guide
1. What is a Latex Mattress?
In its simplest form, a latex foam mattress (and also latex pillows) is a product that has been manufactured using the collected and processed sap of a rubber tree as its internals, instead of using traditional bedding technology like air or springs.
Latex mattresses use latex foam as the support system, in the upholstery layers or both. Latex may be made from plant- or petroleum-based materials.
2. Two Methods of Producing Latex Sheeting
One of the first questions people ask is, what’s the best type or kind of latex for a mattress? The answer depends on what you want the latex to do, here is our guide to the two main latex mattress manufacture methods.
There are two main methods of producing latex sheeting:
- Dunlop (also known as Dunlopillo due to the confusion with the brand).
There are some differences in the manufacture and properties of the end product that you need to be aware of. There is also a detailed article here on the multitude of other latex blends and marketing terms.
– Talalay latex
Is created when liquid latex is poured into special moulds which partially fills them. They are then are vacuum sealed and the air is removed, this makes the latex expand and fully fill the mould. The latex is then frozen at -30 degrees. Co2 gas is then blown through the mix which makes it harden and it is finally baked at 130 degrees to finish it. It is then washed to remove additives and solvents.
– Dunlop latex
Liquid latex is mixed with soaps and air to get the desired density. A gelation agent is added to turn it solid as it is poured onto a conveyor belt or mould and then vulcanised, baked, in an oven. Once baked it is then washed to remove soaps, additives and solvents. Then oven dried again on the conveyor belt and cut to the correct size. Dunlop is incredibly progressive in its comfort and can provide support with lower amounts of latex when compared to Talalay which reduces the cost to the consumer and depth of the overall mattress. Dunlop is also considered the most robust of the two types giving a slightly firmer feel to it compared to Talalay.
– Why is Talalay latex so expensive?
This is because the manufacturing of Talalay is limited by the size of the mould. Also, the process by which is is baked is more expensive than the Dunlop method. This often leads people to believe that ‘Talalay is the best type of latex’ or ‘Talalay is better than Dunlop’. Which is quite confusing. Due to its higher price people have confused Talalay with being the best type of latex which isn’t always the case.
Talalay is better for softer comfort layers, but you would need far more of it to get the same support you can get with Dunlop latex. Thus, the overall cost of a like for like mattress in Talalay would be higher as you would need more Talalay to get the same support, granted the top comfort layers would be softer. There is also an argument that Talalay isn’t as robust as Dunlop latex as it is softer, but again by the time you’re looking at 100% natural latex the differences are very minor.
– Differences Between Talalay Latex and Dunlop Latex
The talalay process takes twice as long to manufacture than dunlop; this manufacturing cost reflects on the overall price of the finished goods, which essentially means that a talalay latex mattress will tend to be more expensive than a dunlop.
Because dunlop is denser it is firmer and widely used as a base platform, whereas talalay latex is good for a more soft or plush finish so makes a great top layer.
Our advice is that neither is better than the other, it all boils down to personal preference and budget.
3. Types of Latex
There are three different types which are used to populate a mattresses inner core. On the outset each type has similar characteristics such as the springy feel and firmness, but differ greatly in price, overall quality and longevity:
– Natural (Organic)
The organic latex mattress is basically made of processed tree sap, or serum, which is a sticky milky fluid found in the rubber tree. It is collected by a process called “tapping” which means incisions are made into the bark of the tree, the fluid then flows out and is collected ready to be refined using a chosen processing method. It is rare to find a 100% natural latex mattress for sale in retail outlets and showrooms because they are relatively expensive compared to other types due to the cost involved in extraction and manufacturing. If you’re after a natural latex mattress the ideal place to look is online as there will be much more choice and at much cheaper prices.
– Synthetic (Man Made)
Synthetic means it’s a man made material, which is made by polymerizing a monomer such as styrene that has been emulsified with surfactants. The result is a material that behaves in a similar way to the organic material mentioned above. The synthetic option is widely available and much cheaper than the natural alternative but has a shorter durability and is not as firm.
– Blended (Mixed)
Blended is literally a mixture of organic and synthetic; usually 80% synthetic and 20% organic, however the mixture could also be a 50% equal mix, but to cut costs, most commonly the synthetic part makes up the majority. Beware of some manufacturers who claim to be selling a blended latex foam mattress but don’t quote the percentage of natural content. The blended type is common, relatively cheap, and offers a good balance of the two aforementioned types in terms of build quality, durability and value for money.
4. Types Of Latex Mattresses
There are three main categories or types; each has its own unique design and structure and so performs differently to its peers. Below we identify and discuss each one:
– All Latex
This literally means the whole mattress from top to bottom and edge to edge is made of latex, whether it be 100% natural, blended or synthetic, dunlop or talalay; there could be one or more layers, but the trait is that there are no other layers (apart from the flame retardant cover). Unfortunately these are usually less common in the marketplace and more expensive. On the positive side they provide good motion isolation and have no off-gassing issues (unlike memory foam mattresses). They also provide exceptional orthopedic support which also makes them the undisputed best mattress for lower back pain relief.
– Latex Over Foam
As the name would suggest this type is a multiple layered design which has a thinner top layer of latex over a thicker foam base which is usually cooling gel or visco memory foam. These are slightly more available than the above but depending on the thickness of each layer would determine the overall price you pay. They are cheaper than an all latex mattress, but are still great for joint pain or reducing back problems, and provide good motion isolation.
– Foam Over Latex
Here you’ll find the opposite of the above, which is a thinner gel or visco memory foam top layer over a thicker latex base. In a multiple layered design it’s also commonly seen to be inserted in-between the foam top and a foam base platform, if so this layer could be as little as 2 inches thick.
Latex Mattress Reviews
Latex mattresses are well-loved and growing in popularity every day. It may cost you more initially, but if bounce, response, balanced contour, and breathability are important to you, then a latex mattress just might be the right choice.
- Type: Latex Pillow Top | Pocket Sprung (2000)
- Approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute 2016
- Natural Latex provides tailored support
- Pillow topped for a sumptuous feel
- Hand crafted
- 2000 individual pocket springs for responsive support
- Clean and fresh mattress cover
- Prevents dust mites and mould without harmful chemicals
- Tufted throughout
- Cosy yarn fillings
- 5 Year Guarantee
Rest Assured’s Knowlton Natural Latex 2000 Pocket Spring Mattress features plush latex to create a sumptuous sleeping surface for a truly peaceful night’s sleep. (Read customer review)
- Type: Latex | Pocket Sprung (1200)
- 1200 individually pocketed springs offer responsive support where you need it
- Luxurious 4cm latex for the ultimate in comfort
- Hand tufted for enhanced performance and a supportive finish
- Complete with turning handles
- Air vents for enhanced breathability
- Single-sided for your convenience – no need to flip
- Available in a firm support
- Mattress depth: 22cm
- Made in the UK
- 5 Year Guarantee
Constructed from 1200 pocket springs for zoned support throughout the night, the Latex 1200 is a great addition to your adjustable bed. This mattress is paired with 4cm of luxurious latex that offers tailored comfort and soothing pressure relief to ease those aches and pains. The ultimate adjustable mattress, the Latex 1200 comes complete with air vents to keep you cool and fresh – even during summer! (Read customer reviews)
- Type: Latex | Pocket Sprung (1200)
- 1200 multi zoned pocket springs for responsive support
- Featuring a deep layer of Innergetic Latex for enhanced comfort and pressure relief
- Silky-soft Tencel cover finish – an innovative fibre with natural cooling and anti-microbial properties
- Medium firmness
- Made in the UK
- 5 Year Warranty
The Casoli, part of Sealy’s Posturepedic Silver Pocket Collection, has been endorsed as a Which? Best Buy!
Featuring a deep layer of Innergetic Latex resting on top of the pocket springs, the cover is finished in temperature-regulating, anti-microbial Tencel fibres for a cooler, fresher night’s sleep. (Read customer reviews)
- Type: Latex
- Natural Dunlopillo latex for blissful sleep
- Seven comfort zones with tailored support
- Progressive comfort to respond to your unique shape
- Pressure-relieving technology for a refreshing night’s sleep
- Breathable properties for enhanced temperature regulation
- Luxurious medium support
- 18cm total mattress depth
- Hypoallergenic for a healthy sleep environment
- Durable for supreme support
- Knitted cover with Actipro technology for a healthier sleep environment
- Single-sided for your benefit
- 8 Year Guarantee
- Made in the UK
The Diamond is hypoallergenic, complete with a soft-touch, knitted cover, infused with Actipro technology: no more unpleasant odours and the ideal choice for your health and wellbeing. (Read customer reviews)
- Type: Pocket Sprung (1000) | Latex
Exclusive Silentnight Limited Edition Mattress
Tailored support from 1000 individual Mirapocket springs
Responsive layer of latex
Knitted cover infused with Purotex technology
Hypoallergenic for a healthy sleeping environment
Balanced medium support
Single-sided for added ease – no need to turn
Mattress depth: 26cm
Made in the UK
5 Year Guarantee
The all-new Mirapocket 1000 Latex Limited Edition Mattress from Silentnight – enjoy blissful slumber all night long. Start your day right with this limited edition mattress, created with your total comfort in mind. (Read customer reviews)
- Latex mattresses are widely considered to be the best mattress for back pain, most durable, natural and healthy. They are also popular for those with allergies because the hypoallergenic organic material makes them the healthiest and most eco friendly mattress on the market.
- Talalay latex is softer than Dunlop latex but carries a higher price tag. Dunlop is much more progressive and you need less of it to get the same support you could get from Talalay. Again, it is personal preference but if you have any other questions please get in touch with our expert team to assist you.
- The actual depth of the latex in your mattress is of vital importance. The best latex mattresses will be solid core, fully turnable. If your mattress contains a latex layer than you need at least 5cm depth to make sure you get the full benefits and lifespan of the latex.
Read more: Best Mattresses Recommended