Last Updated on June 22, 2021
By providing head, neck and spinal support as well as neck pain relief, a latex pillow can make your bedroom an all-around more eco-friendly place, with less sneezing and unwanted visitors. And by keeping you cool and well ventilated in whatever sleeping positions you happen to love, a latex pillow is a great option no matter how you sleep!
Latex pillows are like little hypoallergenic rubber bed-time treats that’ll have you sleeping pain-free in no time! But what is a latex pillow, and why are they so good?
What Even Is Latex, and Why Does It Belong in My Bedroom?
Natural Latex, or organic latex, is made from the Hevea Brasiliensis Rubber tree sap and is an excellent, versatile natural material.
Synthetic latex, however, does not start its life on the inside of a tree. Instead, it is made from the petroleum compounds Styrene and Butadiene, and the final product is called Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR).
The natural latex sap is extracted and, by two different processes, it either becomes Talalay Latex or Dunlop Latex. This latex can also be solid or shredded, changing the firmness, pressure relief, bounce back, and additional support the latex materials can provide.
But, all become latex foam pillows, and that is what matters here.
Dunlop vs Talalay Latex Pillows: It’s a Process
Dunlop latex is the most similar latex foam pillow to memory foam (more on this in a bit). It creates dense, bottom-heavy latex pillows that are not necessarily super soft or cushy. But, they provide outstanding support for your neck and back and are perfect for relieving pressure and lessening sleep-related pain.
Talalay latex is a much softer and fluffier type of natural latex than Dunlop latex. This latex is cool and comfortable and is the most similar to down and other traditional pillow types.
The main reason for the differences between these types of latex pillows is how every kind of latex is made.
Dunlop latex is made by filling an entire mould with latex foam and then letting it set. This setting is what gives it its bottom-heavy density.
Talalay latex uses a mould too, but this mould is only partially filled and then vacuum sealed. This seal causes the foam to expand, giving Talalay latex its softness and lighter feel.
Solid vs Shredded Latex
Latex foam pillows come either solid or shredded, with the main difference between the two being their density and airflow.
Solid latex pillows are exceptional at providing neck and spinal support to sleepers of all styles, back sleepers, side sleepers, railway sleepers.
They are springier than their shredded counterparts and are the right pillow to have if you struggle with pain and are looking for pressure relief while you sleep.
Solid latex pillows contour and mould to the shape of your body but are responsive enough that you will never “bottom-out” as you do with some memory foam or down pillows.
And they are by far the longest-lasting pillows on the market. They will not lose their shape over time, and if you look, you can find some pillows that are specifically shaped to fit your body and sleep style.
Shredded latex pillows feel and look a little more like the regular and down pillows you may be used to; however, they are often much cooler.
This is mostly because these pillows provide all the soft and comfortable benefits of a standard pillow, with the temperature regulating and hypoallergenic benefits of latex. What’s more, the shredded design offers excellent airflow, too.
While less supportive and generally less long-lasting than solid latex pillows, they are an excellent alternative for those who want to fluff their pillows now and then!
Latex Pillow in the Bedroom
Talalay or Dunlop, solid or shredded, organic, natural or synthetic, here’s a list of why you NEED some latex in your life!
Hypoallergenic, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Microbial, Anti-Mildew:
No stuffy, sneezy mornings in your future allergy sufferers!
The latex material used in a latex pillow is highly unfavourable to dust mites, bed bugs, and other bed dwelling critters.
Plus, you can spot clean the rubbery pillow material with a damp sponge and a little soap. In the end, this means fewer allergies, fewer dust mites, clearer lungs, and better sleep.
And we all know that better sleep means better productivity and vitality during the day.
Say goodbye to a sweaty sleep! The cell structure of the pillow is made to help regulate your body heat and create good airflow throughout the night, especially shredded latex pillows. Unlike other pillow types, latex pillows do not retain heat or soften when heated, meaning you can expect consistently cool and supported sleep.
Because, while you may or may not be hot-headed, having a hot head while you try to get a good night’s sleep is, well, a nightmare.
Spine, Head and Neck Support:
An essential feature of latex pillows is the level of support based on your specific needs. The different designs and shapes available will allow you to find the perfect loft, firmness, and comfort to give you painless sleep and pain-free waking hours.
These pillows are superb at relieving upper back and neck pressure and will hold the shape of your head without creating hot spots or soft spots. This uniform support is what your body needs to rest well and function at its best when you need it to.
Environmentally Conscious Organic Product:
The natural and organic latex compounds used in natural latex pillows have a far smaller carbon footprint than their synthetic predecessors.
This is because natural latex pillows are made from rubber trees and have a far longer lifespan than the other pillows.
Added to this is the lack of chemical smells than with memory foam and other synthetic pillow materials.
Pillows vs Memory Foam Pillows; What’s the Best?
Memory foam pillows and latex foam pillows appear to be neck-and-neck when it comes to popularity and sleeping functionality, so what is it that sets them apart?
A lot of it depends on what you are looking for in your bedding. Below there are lists of the good and bad of both pillow types.
Why You Should Get a Latex Pillow
There are lots of reasons why a latex pillow is a good idea and here are just a few;
Natural latex and organic latex products are far less harmful than other synthetic compounds to the environment and have more sustainable manufacturing processes.
They are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mildew, fungal, and microbial infestations. This means they are great for people who suffer from a blocked nose. If you want a malleable pillow, like a down pillow, but you don’t want the allergens that come with it, a shredded latex pillow is a great alternative.
Soft but Durable
Pillows made of shredded latex are softer and more malleable, making them far more comfortable than memory foam. Despite this, they are incredibly durable, some of the most durable pillows on the market to date.
They Stay Cool
They are cooler than memory foam, and their construction promotes airflow throughout. This means you won’t sleep hot on a latex foam pillow and can regulate your temperature even on the hottest nights.
These pillows are great for side sleepers or those who sleep on their back. They provide support to the neck and shoulders without compromising your sleep posture.
Cons of Latex Pillows:
Despite all of the positives, there are still some cons that you should consider:
- Latex pillows are unfortunately not machine washable. Although you can spot wash them quickly enough, it can be a process to keep them clean.
- A latex pillow should not be put in direct sunlight, so it can take some time to dry out if you decide to clean yours.
- They can cause an allergic reaction if you are severely allergic to latex. Latex allergy sufferers should test the pillow’s latex first, though. This is because the washing process that the latex pillow goes through during production strips off most of the protein that causes the allergy in the first place.
- Due to their novelty and organic materials, latex pillows can be a bit pricey.
Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows are a great option for many people, too, and have features that appeal to consumers across the globe. They are a chemically produced variation and are increasingly popular.
Contour and Support
It offers good contouring and support options for those suffering from neck pain. Many people find memory foam pillows in various densities to find something that works best for their needs.
They are more common, and therefore you can source several different pillows to suit your price range.
Cons of Memory Foam Pillows:
- They trap body heat and can lead to a very stuffy night’s sleep.
- They respond to heat and tend to soften as the night progresses, changing their shape and making it difficult to get uninterrupted sleep.
- They can smell the chemicals they are made of.
- They are excellent breeding grounds for mildews, fungi, and dust mite colonies.
Caring for Your Latex
If you look after your latex pillow well, they can last between 5 and 10 years, far out-living any alternative.
As stated earlier, spot cleaning your pillow with soap and a sponge is perfect for small mascara stains or patches of the dribble.
If you are looking for more extended-term maintenance of your sleep companion, the process is much the same. You will also use warm water, mild detergents, and an organic washcloth.
You can soak your pillow in a lukewarm bath and apply even pressure to clean any lingering dirt. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly after cleaning. Once cleaned, dry your pillow in an area with free-flowing air but without direct sunlight.
When Should You Replace Your Latex Pillow?
If you are starting to get repeated bouts of acne, you may be using a latex pillow laden with oil and dirt. If any pain or discomfort appears in your neck or back, it might be time to say goodbye.
The same goes for a latex pillow that needs you to change your natural sleeping position to be comfortable. Many latex pillows have a specific shape that lends itself to a particular sleep style. If that changes, the pillow is no longer functioning the way it should.
Toss it! There are plenty of latex wonders out there for you to rest your head on!
Better Sleep, Better Life
You spend one-third of your life asleep. So the quality of this one third will impact the other two-thirds of your life immensely!
You are never too young or too old to enjoy the benefits of good sleep; it is a delicious, indulgent part of all of our existence!
Getting the most out of it can be as easy as changing your bedding, and it should be as easy as that!
Knowing what is a latex pillow and all of the other options out there is important in making the best decision for your sleep.
Getting good sleep can improve productivity, mood, and general health, so be sure to make the right choice for you.