By: Benjamin Hermsen

Popular in Europe for decades, natural latex has evolved into the best natural sleeping surface on the market today. Beginning on plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, latex is sap milked from rubber trees in a manner not unlike collecting maple syrup. Local workers harvest the liquid latex and prepare it to be processed. The liquid latex is then shipped in drums to locations in Europe and the United States where it is manufactured into mattress cores and toppers, as well as pillows.

Unlike Talalay processed latex foams, natural latex has no added petroleum or other chemical additives making it a truly all natural material. Being a 100% renewable resource, as well as biodegradable, natural latex does not have the taxing effect on the environment of near the same magnitude as other conventional bedding material.

In bedding, natural latex provides support where it is needed most by contouring to the body's natural nuances. It relieves pressure points, particularly at the shoulders and hips, allowing for better circulation and thus less tossing and turning for a deeper more restful slumber. The independent cell construction of natural latex is not prone to transfer movement, allowing two people to comfortably share the same bed without disrupting each other with every motion. Natural latex provides a medium in bedding that can easily be used in custom mattresses.

Available in a wide range of firmness levels, it is simple to build a mattress that caters to an individuals needs; his and her sided beds are easy to construct; toppers can fine tune the feel to fit anybody's preference, and can easily be exchanged to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible when it matters most. Integrating an open cell structure with a pin core design allows for maximum breathability essential for removing excess heat and moisture that can prevent a good night's sleep. For those who struggle with allergies natural latex provides a safe haven as it is naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial. This means that molds, mildew, and dust mites that may help trigger allergies will not be waiting for you in bed, where they can be the most frustrating. A naturally resilient and durable material, natural latex will supply consistent performance for 20 years or more.

Other new age sleep systems cannot offer the same qualities as natural latex. Viscoelastic (memory) foam offers good support and relieves pressure points, but comes up short in other areas. It is a chemical product and not biodegradable and, as such, is not environmentally friendly. It doesn't breathe like natural latex, which translates to a more stuffy and sticky sleeping environment. Memory foam easily retains moisture and is an environment prone to dust mites and molds, leaving allergy sufferers sniffing and congested during what should be the most restful time of the day. Being far less resilient than natural latex, viscoelastic foam has a lifespan of only about 10 years, meaning they will need to be replaced twice as often.

Air beds, such as sleep number beds, offer much less support and pressure point relief than natural latex. They are non-breathable bladders full of air so they offer no way to keep moisture and heat from building up during the night. The only advantage of this type of mattress is its adjustability, which is only an advantage to those who enjoy varying firmnesses. Innerspring mattresses seem a thing of the past when compared to natural latex. They don't provide nearly the amount of support of natural latex. Frequent tossing and turning is the result of pressure points caused by a rigid spring system. The batting material in the cover cultivates any amount of dust mites, molds, and fungi giving them free range to reap havoc on allergies. Motion is easily transferred through the mattress decreasing the quality of sleep for couples. It is clear why the standard is changing.

Natural latex provides excellent support and effectively relieves pressure points. Couples can sleep soundly together without disruption. It is a natural product and is environmentally sound. Designed to be breathable, it is effective in keeping heat and moisture buildup to a minimum for more comfortable sleep. Finally, it is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial to keep allergy sufferers well rested. It is easy to see why natural latex is far and away the best natural sleeping surface available.

To learn more about advances in mattress technology and how they can directly benefit you, visit the home of the best latex mattress at Foam Source and learn more about getting the best nights sleep.

About the author:

Ben Hermsen is the Director of Research for Foamsource Inc. Mastering the art of foam since 1985, is a member of the Better Business Bureau Online and can be contacted at or by calling 1-800-255-0181

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