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Best Latex Mattress

By: Kelly Burgess on July 24, 2017

Latex foam mattresses are growing in popularity

Latex mattresses tend to get better ratings overall than memory foam mattresses, which we cover elsewhere in this report. One reason is that latex mattresses can be made from all-natural materials, which is preferred by those who like the feel of foam, but are concerned about the chemicals that may be hiding in their memory foam. Experts also describe natural latex as more breathable than memory foam and, therefore, less likely to retain heat -- especially those mattresses that combine latex with top layers of breathable fabric. In addition, latex has a faster response time than memory foam, making it easier to move on without imparting that sinking feeling that many feel with other types of foam mattresses.

That's a big factor in the high ratings of this year's Best Reviewed latex mattress, the Sleep On Latex Pure Green (Est. $650 and up). These mattresses come in sizes from twin to California king, two thicknesses -- seven and nine inches -- and three firmness levels, soft, medium and firm. They are constructed in the USA of natural Dunlop latex, with an organic wool/cotton blend top layer that Derek Hales at Sleepopolis.com says helps keep sleepers cool. He also praises the relatively low price point of this collection, compared to other latex mattresses using similar materials. He does find that the specific mattress he tested -- a medium, 9-inch thick model -- was not supportive enough for side sleeping. He recommends either a softer mattress (which has a thicker top layer) or adding mattress topper (which we cover in their own report).

ConsumerReports.org tests the firm, queen-sized, nine-inch Sleep On Latex Pure Green and makes it their top pick in the foam mattress category (however, that's comparing it to ALL foam mattresses, they do not separate them out by type). Still, the Pure Green, in addition to its Recommended nod, earns ratings of Excellent for support for petite, average and large/tall back sleepers; Very Good ratings for petite, average and large/tall side sleepers. It earns a Very Good for stabilization, which means it minimizes motion transfer, something Hales also praises it for. However, he notes that the lack of movement in a very stable mattress can negatively affect intimacy for some people who like that "bounce."

At SleepLiketheDead.com, Sleep On Latex mattresses get ratings that are close across the board with all comparable latex mattresses, however, as we noted, there are far fewer reviews for latex than other type of foam. The company's newness also gives SleepLiketheDead.com editors pause -- Sleep On Latex has only been in business since 2013, so a lack of input overall, as well as the limited time frame in which that input has been gathered makes it tough to estimate true customer satisfaction. It also makes it hard to gauge long-term durability, although when ConsumerReports.org put the Sleep On Latex Pure Green firm mattress through eight years of simulated usage, it came through with flying colors, earning an Excellent rating in that category.

The only user reviews we found for the Pure Green mattresses were at the Sleep On Latex website, and they're not managed by a third-party review screener; negative reviews are allowed to stand, however, so the feedback does seem legit. What we liked was that the owner of the company responds to unhappy customers, either apologizing for their poor experiences or offering to make it right if they haven't yet returned the mattress. Still, most are very happy; although we saw a few complaints about the company that transported the mattress (usually UPS), we saw very few negative comments about the mattress itself. Most say it's very comfortable, doesn't give off an unpleasant smell like most foam mattresses (although some disagree, and say it has a strong, unpleasant odor), and they're pleased with the value. Pure Green mattresses are only available online, but shipping is free as are returns. The warranty is 10 years.

It's pricier, because it's made from American Talalay latex, which tends to be softer than Dunlop, but Zen Haven (Est. $1,300 and up) mattresses are generating some positive buzz from experts. What's unique about this mattress is that it's flippable, with a softer side and a firmer side, and both sides feature a top layer of a cotton/wool blend to help wick away heat and moisture to keep you cool as you sleep.

Hales at Sleepoplis.com makes Zen Haven his top latex mattress pick, awarding it a score of 4.7 stars out of 5. He says the wool/cotton blend does work to keep you cool, and he found it consistently supportive, whether he was sleeping on his back, stomach or side. He also notes that it has good bounce, which can enhance intimacy. It's not as firm as some other foam mattresses, though, with more of a soft or medium-firm feel.

At SleepLiketheDead.com, the Zen Haven mattress earns a customer satisfaction rating of 80 percent, but, as we see with the other latex mattresses in that survey, it's based on a very small sample size -- 33 reviews in this case. Editors are largely complimentary, but ding the company for a lack of reviews and poor access to reviews -- not unusual for online-only mattress purchases.

As noted, Zen Haven mattresses are available online only, however, this company is a division of Saatva which has an excellent reputation. Shipping costs $99, which includes set up, and returns are free within the 90-day period. There is a 20-year pro-rated warranty.

For a latex mattress that you might be able to try in person, we suggest looking to Ikea, specifically their three latex mattresses: the Ikea Matrand (Est. $300 and up), the Ikea Morgongava (Est. $600 and up) and the Ikea Myrbacka (Est. $480 and up). They are also available to order online. The Matrand and Myrbacka are constructed of a synthetic latex layer over a polyurethane core; the Morgongava is made of a combination of 85 percent natural and 15 percent synthetic natural latex. (And if this is all not confusing enough, both the Matrand and the Myrbacka come in memory foam as well.)

At SleepLiketheDead.com, ratings for Ikea latex models are above average compared to all low-priced mattresses. However, with a starting price of $600 for a twin-sized Morgongava, we might argue that it does not belong in the low-priced category. The Morgongava is made from an 85/15 mix of natural to synthetic latex. The other two models are synthetic latex. All three are flippable. Not all Ikea mattresses come in all sizes. Ikea has a one-year, one-time exchange or money back guarantee. If you can return it to a store it's no charge, otherwise, there's a pickup fee.

Ikea mattresses tend to be thinner than other foam mattresses, the Matrand, Morgongava and   Myrbacka are 7.1, 7.8 and 9.5 inches thick, respectively. The main complaint we spotted about all three is that they simply feel too firm; some reviewers soften them up with a mattress topper, which we cover in their own report. They also may not be supportive enough for heavier people either, and durability gets only a "C" rating at SleepLiketheDead.com.

At ConsumerReports.org, all three of these mattresses fall in the middle of the pack in the foam mattress ratings; the Morgongava is the highest-rated Ikea mattress with an overall score of 70 (the top foam mattress scores an 81, the lowest score is 51), the Myrbacka earns a 68, and the Matrand a 63 -- not earning Recommended status, but not bottom-of-the-barrel ratings, either. And Ikea mattresses have been popular for years and definitely have their fans -- and most people can walk into a store and try them out. Our recommendation is to consider a Myrbacka or Matrand if you just want a cheap latex mattress, but step up to Sleep On Latex Pure Green if you're going to pay Morgongava-level prices.

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