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What is a Latex Mattress Topper?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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Latex is an interesting product and when it called “natural,” it is made from the sap of the rubber tree. It has long been used in a variety of products and one common use is to make mattresses and pads from it. For those who aren’t ready to replace their old mattress, and want a little comfort, one choice is to purchase a latex mattress topper, which may add considerable cushion to a bed that feels too firm.

The latex mattress topper comes in sizes suitable for any size bed, and there are many features about these toppers that people like. They tend not to retain odors, a common complaint with some brands of memory foam. They also aren’t prone to becoming misshapen during use. Another plus is that they are much breathable than other foam mattresses and people may find this comforting if they sleep warm or suffer from hot flashes. The fact that these pads can last for up to 20 years is impressive and may partly justify investment in one.

People who have allergies to dust mites, dust or pollen may find latex toppers to be very beneficial. They tend to discourage dust mites and also have some properties that resist mold. However, it should be noted that some people with allergies may be allergic to latex, and if that’s the case, sleeping on a latex mattress topper could be hazardous.

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Those shopping for mattress toppers should be aware that there is some difference between a fully natural latex mattress topper and one that contains synthetic latex. Some pads contain both materials and others are 100% natural latex. There tends to be some price difference with blended latex mattress toppers slightly less expensive, although synthetic latex may actually be more durable. However, if a person is searching for a product from a renewable resource, they must look for 100% natural latex. Those that don’t boast the 100% title may be blended and contain a variety of synthetic materials.

Another difference is the process by which the latex is produced. Two methods exist called Dunlop and Talalay. The Talalay process is more extensive and many feel it results in a superior product. It can also be made thicker than Dunlop latex, and its virtues are usually reflected in higher prices.

Sometimes people like the idea of having a bed topper that is covered with some type of cloth to better protect beds. One option is a latex mattress topper that has either a wool or cotton cover. These may be called latex core pads or toppers.

If price is an object when buying a mattress topper, people may want to look to toppers made of other material. Latex toppers especially when made only of 100% natural latex in the Talalay method are expensive, sometimes even more than new mattresses. Thickness matters, and thicker toppers usually cost more. A topper that is 5 or so inches (about 12.7 cm) in thickness can easily cost several hundred dollars. Some toppers may be less expensive if they use both natural and manmade latex, but many side on the virtues of toppers that are 100% natural.

Probably most important for those considering a latex mattress topper is reason. A latex pad won’t revitalize a bed that has large holes or dips in it. On the other hand, if the bed merely feels too firm for comfortable sleeping, a latex topper can provide great improvement.

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Discuss this Article

bear78
Post 3

The issue with mattress toppers made with other materials is that the topper usually flattens or sags after a year. Considering that most mattress toppers are costly, that was not a risk I wanted to take.

I bought my latex mattress topper two years ago and it's still in perfect condition. It's still plump, there are no lumps or sagging. So I definitely recommend this type of topper.

burcinc
Post 2

@literally45-- I'm assuming that the mattress topper you have is made of manmade latex. I have a 100% natural latex mattress topper and temperature has never been an issue. It's perfect in all seasons and does not heat up or become cool. I think that manmade latex does not breathe as well, so it probably cannot adjust its own temperature.

I know that mattresses usually have a summer side and a winter side. The summer side stays cool in the summer and the winter side stays warm. So one needs to change sides when seasons change. I have no idea if there are latex mattress toppers with the same characteristics, that is a side for summer and a side for winter. You might want to ask a professional at a store selling mattresses and toppers.

literally45
Post 1

Is there a latex mattress topper that can stay cool in the summer and warm in winter?

The latex mattress topper I have now is great for summer since it breathes and stays cool. So it doesn't cause me to sweat but it has the same effect in winter and makes me a bit cold.

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