Latex is a popular material in sleeping products such as beds and pillows because it provides a comfortable alternative to a cotton mattress or pillow. According to Health Foundations, there are three types of latex: synthetic, natural and blended. Synthetic is made from petrochemicals, natural is made from the sap of rubber trees and blended is a combination of the two. The main difference between the types is that natural latex has the benefit of being completely environmentally friendly, whereas synthetic latex is not. Synthetic latex also gives off a chemical smell and must be aired out before use.
The main benefit of latex pillows and beds is the comfort level. According to Health Foundations, latex beds are very dense, so they don’t get packed down over time like their cotton counterparts. Latex has elastic properties that make it a very yielding surface to sleep on, so that rolling over during the night is not hindered.
Support and Firmness
Latex provides the perfect blend of support and firmness. Latex is firm, but not too firm, with just the right amount of support. The springy material easily adjusts to movement and latex pillows don’t loose their shape or go flat, so they never have to be fluffed. Ideally, latex pillows with medium firmness are best for those who sleep on their back sleepers and some who sleep on their sides.
All latex products are antimicrobial and mildew proof. According to Health Foundations, natural latex is not a conducive environment for dust mites or other allergens, so natural latex is ideal for people with allergies. Synthetic latex can have a chemical smell, so people with sensitivities may want to opt for natural latex.
All types of latex are very durable. Although latex tends to cost a little more than a cotton pillow or mattress, latex beds and pillows last for many years and have high user-satisfaction ratings. They don’t go flat or get packed down over time like other bedding materials; they maintain their form and last for years longer.
Caring for latex is easy. Since it is already a sterile product, it doesn’t need much cleaning. Latex should not get completely wet; if a latex pillow or mattress does need to be cleaned, it can be spot-treated with soap and water and left to dry. It is important to let it dry completely before putting bed covers or a pillow case over it.
- Photo Credit bed. pillow and duvet.bed head. image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com
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