Are you tired of the same old memory foam mattresses? Ready for something natural and new? Look no further than latex! Often overlooked but packed with benefits, latex mattresses are the sleeper hit waiting to take the bedding world by storm. But don’t be fooled – quality comes at a price.
As you’re in the market for a latex mattress, you’ve probably seen a load of ‘best of’ articles on Google. But most of these are talking about American latex mattresses not sold over here in the UK. All of the below mattresses I have reviewed/tested, are for sale in the UK.
So which latex mattress is best for us Brits?
Below, I will tell you all about my top latex mattresses in the UK and why I decided upon them – and how I tested them out.
What is a latex mattress?
Firstly let’s start with the materials. Latex is simply another name for natural rubber.
Plastics & acrylics have replaced natural rubbers in a lot of things – as plastic is cheaper to produce, and that’s certainly the case for mattresses too. Most memory foam mattress are made of what’s called “PU foam” – or in other words plastic-based foam. Latex, on the other hand, is more of a ‘natural’ product and comes from the rubber tree.
Now, let’s explain what’s inside a latex mattress.
Most latex mattresses are actually hybrid mattresses. That is, they have a layer of latex but also a pocket spring layer too.
If you see something called an “all-latex” or pure latex mattress then that means there is no spring/coil layer, and it’s just quite literally made almost exclusively of latex. These are quite rare – but it’s still possible to buy an “all-latex” mattress in the UK – and I’ve selected a few here in my list.
What’s better about latex mattresses?
Compared with normal memory foam, the main benefit is that they are more comfy.
And that isn’t just my personal opinion, most experts agree with me. Latex offers a softness just not found in regular plastic-based mattresses. The best way to describe it is, have you ever bought an organic cotton t-shirt and compared it to a polyester t-shirt? That is the level of difference here. Side-by-side the differences are much more noticeable, too.
What’s more, latex mattresses are pretty bouncy. If you like soft mattresses, then a latex one may be just right for you.
The other benefit to latex mattresses is that they are not moisture retentive, nor heat retentive. In other words, they’re good at wicking away heat from the body. For all of the benefits of memory foam, a lot of people find them too hot. If you’re a hot sleeper then latex mattresses are definitely worth a look.
Overview: Latex mattresses
I have made a list of the benefits & drawbacks, when comparing latex to memory foam mattresses:
- Bouncy and comfy
- If you’re a “toss and turner”, then bounce absorption is much higher
- If you’re a hot sleeper, then latex is great at wicking away heat
- Minimal ‘new mattress smell’
- Will last longer than memory foams typically
- Expensive to buy
- No ‘retention’ of shape like with a memory foam
- Heavy and bulky to physically move them
Generally, if you’re shopping on a very tight budget, then my advice is to consider a regular memory foam mattress rather than latex. Why? Because these are built using man-made materials, so they are nearly always cheaper than latex.
I’ve written a guide here on the cheapest mattresses you can buy right now in the UK. Don’t think you can’t get a decent mattress for less than £200, as you really can.
What about latex mattress toppers?
To improve the comfort of your bed without breaking the bank, if your budget is tigher, then consider a latex mattress topper.
They can lengthen the life of your mattress while adding a new level of comfort and support. Latex toppers are an excellent option for individuals on a tighter budget who yet like a luxurious bed because they should last far longer than memory foam or down toppers.
Those who suffer from allergies or sensitivities can rest easy knowing that latex is a hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and dust mite-resistant natural substance. If you’re wanting to upgrade the quality of your sleep without maxing out the budget, a latex mattress topper may just be the way to go. 🙂
Aren’t latex mattresses dangerous!?
A quick note about fire retardant latex and the UK regulations. A website visitor has asked me if latex mattresses are fire retardant – because if they are made of 100% latex then they presumably cannot be fire retardant, as latex itself isn’t flame/fire retardant.
Let me clarify: to be able to sell a mattress in the UK legally, it MUST meet or exceed fire regulations. An “all latex” mattress ( made of supposedly “100%” latex) will still have fire inhibitors added to it, such as natural carbon, but this just isn’t included in the headline “100%” figure. A bit misleading perhaps, but that’s the price we pay for safety. There is more information here.
So to be sure: all of the latex mattresses I’ve reviewed here, are completely safe and meet all fire regulations in the EU and UK (as are all mattresses reviewed on this website). Double-check your own latex mattress if not buying one of these, to be completely sure!
Summary: Top 5 latex mattresses
Without further ado, here are my very best recommended latex mattresses, all available to buy today in the UK online or in some stores:
1. Simba GO Hybrid – Best Overall
The Simba GO Hybrid mattress is a great choice for those who want an eco-friendly sleeping experience and I’m so glad that Simba have finally launched it in the UK.
It’s obvious that Simba have gone to greath lengths here to create a mattress that is both comfortable and sustainable: the GO Hybrid is made from a mix of new and recycled fibres, organic latex and even organic cotton for the cover; it’s also 100% recyclable. And Simba even uses a carbon-neutral courier service for delivery.
In testing, I noticed that the GO Hybrid provides a decent balance of both support and comfort that will cater to a plethora of different sleeping positions. However, it may not be suitable for everyone as some people may find it too firm. The price point of this mattress is – to be expected – quite high, almost double the cost of many other Simba hybrid mattresses.
Layers: About the latex
The Simba GO Hybrid is made up of six layers, which is a lot! They’ve really packed in all the features here: as a result the mattress can easily hold all of the sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials including a breathable GOTS organic cotton cover, recycled Simba Renew layer, GOLS organic latex comfort layer, supportive Aerocoil Spring Layer, Zoned Base, and breathable 3D mesh.
In my opinion, if you value ethics and the environmental impacts of what you buy, then the Simba GO Organic mattress is a great choice.
The perforated design of the latex layer in the Simba GO Hybrid enhances its breathability, allowing air to circulate and dissipate heat more effectively. This can help to regulate your body temperature and keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
In a nutshell:
Finally, latex is naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and resistant to dust mites, making it an excellent choice for people with allergies or asthma.
2. Dunlopillo Royal Sovereign – Best for Comfort
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, another pricey mattress (prices start at around £1,100). But bear with me.
If you’ve never heard of Dunlopillo before, know that they’re one of the oldest brands in the UK and have been selling latex-based bedding products for ages. They’re not cheap by any means, so if you’re on a tighter budget feel free to skip this one. But I just had to put it at the second spot because it’s an amazingly comfortable mattress.
In a nutshell:
And coupled with a few Dunlopillo/Relyon pillows, there’s really nothing better – but it will probably cost you as much as a small car!
An interesting fact is that Dunlopillo actually pioneered the so-called “Dunlop latex”, which is one of the main latex types available today.
What’s so great about the Royal Sovereign? Well, firstly it’s made of 100% all-latex. In other words, that’s pretty much all the insides are made of – and bearing in mind that Dunlopillo state that it takes up to 500 days for a rubber tree to produce enough latex here for each mattress, you can start to see why it’s so expensive.
This is a premium product, made right here in the UK. So make no mistake, if you’re lucky enough to afford it then go for it. It’s also a Which? best buy.
The downside, aside from the price, is that it can take up to 3 months to be delivered as each one is made to order. 🙁
In a nutshell:
In case you’re concerned, latex extraction does not harm the rubber tree at all, so there’s an argument here for latex mattresses being extremely environmentally friendly when compared to memory foams.
3. Silentnight Lift Renew 1200 – Best Budget Choice
The Silentnight Lift Renew mattress is a cheap-ish option for those of you looking for a latex mattress without having to re-mortgage!
The Intense sleep surface is supposedly scientifically proven to help your body relax, but honestly, I’m not quite sure what that means. It sounds like marketing-speak to me, and I’m always a bit skeptical of these sorts of claims. That being said, I do appreciate that the mattress is approved by Oeko-tex and FR chemical treatment-free, – ideal for those looking for a chemical-free latex mattress without breaking the bank.
The latex layer, according to Silentnight will, provide years of cushioning comfort and pressure relief: the fact is that the latex moves when you do, so your weight is evenly distributed as you sleep, helping to relieve pressure and soothe aches and pains.
The mattress is supposed to adjust to your movements throughout the night, resulting in tailored support that’s personal to your body shape. This is a nice feature, as it means you’ll get extra support to your hips and shoulders, which are common areas of discomfort for many people.
As for downsides, there are only 1200 springs here, and it does feel quite firm as a result. If you’re looking for a soft latex mattress, then give this one a miss (and consider others in the ‘Lift’ range). Additionally, the Lift Renew 1200 has a depth of 26cm, which is relatively thin compared to some of its dearer competitors.
Another potential downside is the price point… At £739.00, it’s cheap for a latex, but not exactly dirt cheap, although Silentnight does offer 0% finance if you prefer to spread the cost. It’s also worth noting that while the mattress comes with a 5-year warranty, this is relatively short compared to some other brands that offer warranties of up to 20 years.
Finally, while the Lift Renew is designed to be durable, it may not be the best choice for heavier individuals who require a firmer mattress to provide adequate support. If you fall into this category, you may want to consider a mattress with a higher spring count or thicker latex layer.
4. Dormeo Options Latex – from £499
This is about to be discontinued so the price has dropped a lot. If you’re quick, you may be able to still just about find it for sale – but stocks are running low.
Dormeo mattresses often aren’t that cheap (although the Memory Plus is an exception). This OctaSpring is a med-range latex hybrid mattress, and at 23cm thick it’s one of the thinner ones I’ve seen. But don’t let that put you off, it comes with a 20 year guarantee, which is well above average for the mattress industry although – as always – it’s worth checking the small print of what a warranty covers.
What is so-called OctaSpring? As per the blurb, the Octaspring 9500 Mattress boasts truly ground-breaking technology. The secret ingredient is the unique, eight-sided, 360-degree Octaspring.
Octasprings are actually eight times more breathable than traditional memory foam! They work by drawing in fresh air and removing warmer, humid air through the breathable mattress border. The result is improved airflow and a cooler night’s sleep.
Bear in mind because it’s a latex hybrid it has some of the same features of a regular memory foam hybrid: it’s not flippable (whether you think that’s good or bad is a matter of opinion). You can read more on the drawbacks of hybrids here. Laying down on that sensual mattress made of latex cover though – hard to beat.
5. Sealy Nostromo Posturepedic Pocket 1400 – from £595
The Sealy Nostromo Posturepedic Pocket 1400 is the ideal mattress for those who want the best of both worlds. Unfamiliar to many Brits, the brand Sealy is huge in the US.
It’s not a full latex mattress though… yes you read that right! In fact, it’s predominantely a pocket sprung mattress, and it has a latex layer on top. This seems to be the ideal setup for a lot of people, as there are many glowing reviews of it online, and it’s also won a Which? Best Buy Award.
Of the entire thickness of the mattress (just under 30cm), the latext layer is only about 2cm deep. This latex layer has been engineered in such a way that it adds to the overall comfort of the mattress by relieving some of the pressure from your body.
The rest of the mattress comprises of 1400 individual pocket springs. So you can rest assured that this mattress is very unlikely to sag, which is probably one of the most common complaints of a lot of mattresses nowadays. The mattress is finished with an anti-microbial Tencel cover, which is designed to regulate the temperature for anyone sleeping on it.
Do latex mattresses have layers?
Usually yes, just like memory foam mattresses, a latex will likely have 4 or 5 layers, including a layer of pocket springs if it’s a hybrid mattress.
However, if it’s called an “all-latex” then it will not be made of anything other than latex.
Is latex a natural material?
Yes. It comes from the rubber tree and is basically just ‘liquid rubber’.
If you’re a sucker for technical information like me, then here’s a bit more info: latex is a actually made from a milky substance derived from the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree, which is removed in a process similar to maple tapping. When transformed into a foam, this substance produces loads of tiny air bubbles, giving latex its soft and bouncy texture.
Synthetic (man-made) rubber can be produced through a chemical process, but boffins have not been able to produce a synthetic rubber that has all the properties of natural rubber. So, natural rubber cannot be replaced by synthetic rubber in most of its applications. This is why natural rubber is still very important to human society – and all mattresses I’ve reviewed here are natural latex only.
Although this video is from 2018, it is still very good:
Who should buy a latex mattress?
There are a few things to keep in mind if a latex bed is on your list of possible replacement mattresses.
If you like to sleep warm but still need some cushioning, a latex mattress may be the best option for you because of its moderate conforming, bounce, and reduced heat retention. Latex is a popular choice among consumers looking for a long-lasting mattress due to its resilience and the fact that it can support weights up to 230 pounds.
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a latex mattress to make sure you choose the right one. Latex beds were were among the most expensive on the market, but their price has decreased in recent years without compromising their high quality. Coupons and discounts are a terrific way to save money.
The perfect mattress for you will depend heavily on your individual sleeping habits. Because of its low sinkage, a latex mattress is a good option for side, stomach, and back sleepers. Most side sleepers prefer slightly softer latex beds.
What about all-latex?
If you have a preference for either all-latex or latex hybrid choices, you can use this method to narrow down your search. While both Talalay and Dunlop latex provide some degree of body contouring and softness, Talalay latex is noticeably more so and feels slightly softer.
Many latex mattresses also incorporate organic elements, which contribute to their superior performance and longevity. Selecting a mattress with the right level of firmness is essential to a good night’s sleep; if you’re not sure what that is, though, look into options with reversible designs or “comfort exchange policies” during the sleep trial.
Is it bouncy/soft?
Latex has a more noticeable bounce, making it more susceptible to motion transfer than materials like memory foam. Despite this, latex should insulate motion sufficiently to keep you from being upset by your partner’s movement and to keep them from disturbing you. Latex provides great pressure relief for most sleepers due to its mild contouring and limited sinkage, both of which are essential for maintaining proper spinal alignment when sleeping.
Latex gives stronger edge support than most all-foam beds, but will still compress around the edges; a reinforced perimeter helps keep your mattress from collapsing around the edge when you get in and out of bed. When it comes to latex mattresses, edge support is typically better in the firmer versions and hybrids.
What about heat retention?
Last but not least, latex doesn’t trap heat like other foams do, so it’s a good choice for keeping things at a comfortable temperature. Many manufacturers perforate the latex to provide ventilation, and the latex hybrids’ coils generate constant circulation, making them even more resistant to heat buildup. Even while newer designs have reduced squeaking from coils, a latex hybrid may be a bit noisier than an all-latex bed, so it’s best to try both before making a final decision.
What’s this about Talalay and Dunlop!?
The resilience, temperature regulation, and pressure reduction features of latex mattresses have contributed to their meteoric rise in popularity in the UK.
And there are two ‘types’ of latex here: Teh Dunlop and Talalay varieties of latex used to make these mattresses are 100% natural and sourced from the sap of rubber trees. When shopping for a new mattress, knowing the difference between these two latex varieties is crucial.
Invented in 1929, the Dunlop method entails mechanically whipping a liquid latex extract into a foam. The foam is then cooked in a vulcanization oven, rinsed, and baked again to remove moisture, all while in a mould. The technique results in a dense, hard foam that is perfect for the mattress’s support core. However, it works better as a support core than a comfort layer.
On the other hand, the Talalay procedure, which has its origins in the 1940s, is more complicated than the Dunlop method: the liquid latex extract is pumped into a mould in sections after being mechanically whipped into a foamy consistency.
Then, the latex expands when the mould is vacuum-sealed after being fillled. Rapid freezing of the packed mould forces carbon dioxide through the latex. After being heated until solid, the frozen material is then washed and dried. The resulting foam is less dense and softer, making it excellent for comfort layers — but not really so much for support cores. 😉
So which is the best of the two?
Honestly, it’s a matter of opinion.
- Dunlop and Talalay latex mattresses each have their advantages and disadvantages, so it might be difficult to decide which one is best.
- Dunlop, thanks to its increased density, is typically regarded more long-lasting than Talalay. Its production costs are lower than Talalay’s since the technique requires fewer steps.
- However, Talalay is ideal for comfort layers since it is softer and more breathable than Dunlop. The use of Talalay or Dunlop latex is less crucial than the overall quality of the mattress and the standing of the company producing it.
What are the drawbacks?
Though I touched on these above, here’s a longer clarification of the drawbacks to latex:
- Latex mattresses tend to be more costly than other available options. Producing something of high quality can be expensive. However, latex mattresses might be an excellent long-term investment due to their durability.
- While latex mattresses are known for their responsiveness and ability to conform to the shape of the sleeper’s body, some users have complained that they are too stiff. It’s possible that a memory foam mattress would be preferable here.
- The dense construction of a latex mattress might make it cumbersome to move or flip too. It really does weigh quite a lot when put into mattress form!
- Some latex mattresses have a distinct rubbery odour when first unpacked (due to off-gassing). This is because to the use of natural latex components, which may be disagreeable to some. However, the unpleasant smell normally disappears within a few days.
- Because they are not as common as innerspring or foam mattresses, latex mattresses might be difficult to track down. There is a wide selection of latex mattresses available from many different internet merchants.
Firstly, I began my research by scouring the internet for the top-rated latex mattresses in the UK. Once I had a list of the most popular products, I went to each mattress retailer’s website to learn more about their construction, materials, firmness level, and other key features.
Next, I ordered the top mattresses that fit within my budget and criteria and waited for them to arrive – unlike other websites I buy the mattreses myself and don’t usually accept freebies. Once the mattresses arrived, I unpacked them, checked their condition and let them expand for the recommended time.
After the mattresses were ready, I tested each one by sleeping on them for several nights in a row. During this time, I took note of key factors such as the level of support and comfort, pressure relief, temperature regulation, and motion transfer.
I also evaluated each mattress for its edge support, noise level, and overall durability. For mattresses with removable covers, I washed and tested them separately.
To ensure my testing was as fair and consistent as possible, I followed the same process for each mattress, including testing them in various sleeping positions and with different types of bedding.
Finally, I compared my experiences with each mattress and considered factors such as price, customer reviews, and warranty before selecting the best and worst options for my website.
Conclusion: So is a latex mattress best?
This guide to latex mattresses has shown that these mattress mostly provide a superior blend of comfort, support, and longevtiy. A latex mattress is a good option for those in the market for a new sleepnig experience because it is hypoallergenic, stays cool throughout the night, and relieves pressure points well.
Getting a good night’s sleep is worth the extra cost for many people, and it’s worth noting once again that latex mattresses WILL be more expensive than other options.
When looking for a latex mattress, there are several key considerations to keep in mind, including price, sleeping position, mattress type, contouring, quality materials, firmness level, motion isolation, pressure relief, edge support, temperature regulation, and noise. By taking these factors into account, you can find the latex mattress that best addresses your personal sleep needs.
In summary, a latex mattress is generally a great choice for those looking for excellent support, temperature regulation, and pain relief – if you have the budget to match, of course. With its hypoallergenic properties, durability, and ability to provide a comfortable/supportive sleeping experience for folk of all body types, a latex mattress is the creme de la creme of mattresses, and they’re hard to fault. Let me know in the comments below what you think!
Is latex better than memory foam?
Not necessarily. It just depends on your personal preference. If you are looking for a mattress that offers durability, lots of "bounce" i.e. movement, and wicks away heat from your body, then a latex mattress should be worthy of your consideration. But that said, they aren't the cheapest mattress to buy - and memory foams have some benefits over a latex anyway.
Do latex mattresses ever sag?
Yes. All mattresses will eventually sag, even a handmade one by a high-end company like John Ryan By Design. However, a latex mattress by its very nature is more robust than a memory foam one, and should last longer. Of course, that is reflected in the price - but a latex mattress will generally have a longer warranty period too.
Are latex mattresses suitable for people with allergies?
Yes, latex mattresses are often a good option for people with allergies, especially if they are made with natural latex. This is because latex is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and other allergens.
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