People love latex mattresses for many reasons.
They are comfortable, incredibly durable, hypoallergenic, mold-resistant, and don’t make you sleep hot. What else do you need from a mattress?
Now, latex mattresses are also the most expensive option on the market, so it’s totally natural to have concerns about durability and lifespan. After all, you surely want your purchase to eventually pay off.
So, let’s see how long latex beds can last and what factors impact their lifespan in the long term.
What Makes Latex Beds Durable?
Latex mattresses have the longest lifespan among all types of mattresses available today. They can serve for at least 12-15 years while maintaining their supportive properties. Some latex beds can make it even up to 20 years.
But what makes natural latex so durable?
Well, there are at least three reasons for that:
- Foamy cell structure. Latex foam is made of the sap of rubber trees through the process of vulcanization. This results in a stable foamy structure with a specific latex-like feel. However, the cells of the latex foam are very tiny and have rigid membranes, which doesn’t allow the debris and organic particles to build up there, which means dust mites, bed bugs, and other nasty creatures won’t be tempted to reside in your bed.
- Breathability. Even though latex cells are densely packed, they have an open structure, which means that each of them has tiny pores to connect with the others. This makes latex very breathable (and hence cool to sleep on) and protects it from mold development.
- Rebound. This refers to how quickly a mattress will regain its shape after you remove the pressure. Latex has a great rebound, which allows it not only to cradle your body and relieve your pressure points but also to restore cell structure and keep it more consistent.
Note that even though latex is claimed as hypoallergenic material, some people still may have a hypersensitive reaction to it (also known as latex allergy).
Factors That Can Impact the Lifespan of a Latex Mattress
Now, even though every mattress type has its expected lifespan, certain factors can add or subtract a couple of years from that estimated time frame.
In the case of latex beds, here are the main factors.
Type of Latex
When purchasing a latex mattress, you will be choosing among the three possible types:
- Dunlop Latex. Dunlop latex is manufactured through a more energy-efficient process. To put it simply, latex sap is foamed, poured in a mold, then vulcanized, washed, and dried. This results in the density gradient from top to bottom — the bottom is denser, whereas the top is foamier and less dense. Thanks to that, Dunlop latex layers are more resilient and durable.
- Talalay latex. Talalay manufacturing process involves roughly the same steps as the Dunlop process, but with additional stirring and filtering stages that allow making a more homogeneous structure. Surprisingly, Talalay latex may be less durable and resilient compared to Dunlop, but some users mention that it’s more cradling. Nevertheless, the differences in the feel and durability will be hardly noticeable for an average user.
- Latex blend. This is basically natural latex blended with chemicals in different proportions. Even though this material isn’t completely natural, some additives can make latex more long-lasting and capable of withstanding more active exploitation.
The differences in manufacturing processes might affect the lifespan of your latex mattress, but it won’t be dramatic.
If you want to make the right purchase, check out this review of latex mattresses at Latex Mattress Buyers Guide.
Your Bedroom Conditions
The climate you live in, as well as the microclimate in your bedroom, may also affect the durability of the mattress you choose. For example, high humidity may lead to moisture build-up inside the mattress, so even a latex mattress might develop mold and funky odors when used in a humid environment.
If you live in higher temperatures or use the heater during cold months and place it close to your mattress, latex resiliency may suffer. While this material is naturally fireproof, it might still be affected by higher temperatures and lose its rebound.
So, make sure your bedroom offers proper conditions for your latex mattress.
Aside from all-latex mattresses, there are mattresses that have one or two latex layers along with foam or other materials. This is a budget-friendly solution for those who want the benefits of latex but cannot afford to buy a 100% natural latex mattress.
But here’s the tricky thing about this solution:
Some manufacturers might advertise such models as being “latex”. So, less attentive customers could be deluded into thinking they are buying a product that will outlive its owner.
In reality, though, other materials are likely to reduce the overall durability of the mattress. For example, polyurethane or memory foam might start sagging sooner, so your mattress will no longer offer uniform support.
So, be careful and shop smart. It’s the only way to get a mattress that will last.