Latex foam mattresses have many of the advantages of memory foam models with few of the disadvantages. They conform to the body nearly as well as memory foam, but are much easier to move around on and are less likely to produce an unpleasant odor when new. Owners also find them slightly better for lovemaking, although not quite as good at isolating motion. Some sources describe natural latex as more breathable than memory foam and therefore less likely to retain heat. However, SleepLikeTheDead.com says memory foam and latex foam are equally likely to be described as "sleeping hot" in owner reviews.
The biggest downside of latex is that it's "the most difficult bed type to research and shop for," according to SleepLikeTheDead.com. Latex beds aren't as widely available in mattress showrooms as other types and there aren't as many online reviews. So while latex models overall receive an 80 percent satisfaction rating at SleepLikeTheDead.com -- putting them roughly on par with memory foam mattresses -- no individual brand has enough reviews to earn a recommendation on the site.
The only brand of latex mattress that gets a significant number of strong reviews is the Ikea Sultan line, our Best Reviewed pick. Ikea mattresses as a whole earn an 80 percent approval rating in a customer satisfaction survey conducted by Australia's Choice magazine, including memory foam, soft foam and innerspring as well as latex. At SleepLikeTheDead.com, ratings for Ikea mattresses are broken down by type; latex models earn an overall rating of 80 percent based on about 25 reviews. While most latex mattresses cost between $1,200 and $5,000 for a queen size, the two models in the Ikea Sultan line are both less than $1,000. They also come with a 25-year warranty and a 90-day return policy.
Sultan mattresses get somewhat mixed reviews for their comfort and durability, however. Owners who sleep on their backs or stomachs usually call the Sultan model comfortable, but side sleepers often find them too firm. The mattresses are described as easy to move on and good at isolating motion, but they do tend to trap heat. In addition, about 15 percent of owners say the mattress develops an indentation from the sleeper's body over time, which makes it less supportive and comfortable. Some get around this by rotating and flipping the mattress to help it wear more evenly.