Myth Busted: Is Latex ‘Hot’?

The topic of hot mattresses is one that is discussed frequently – nobody wants to sleep on a hot mattress! It affects breathability and can cause discomfort, resulting in a bad night’s sleep. There is a common misconception that latex mattresses are hot to sleep on, but this isn’t the case.

The likely origin of this misconception stems from the fact that many people confuse memory foam mattresses with latex mattresses. Memory foam mattresses have a tendency to trap heat as they rely on a person’s natural warmth to mould the foam to the contours of their body. They are therefore made from a closed cell structure.

THE STRUCTURE OF LATEX MATTRESSES

Latex is made from rubber that is processed into a foam block. This foam block has an open cell structure, which allows airflow in its natural construction. Further to this, latex mattresses are perforated with pinholes for the precise purpose of providing additional ventilation. There are therefore additional methods implemented in a latex mattress, designed to further fuel a cooler night’s sleep. Every movement on the surface of a latex mattress will contribute to airflow being channelled through, further ventilating the surface.

The use of mattress protectors and bedding also contributes to the cooling factor of a latex mattress. It’s important to couple a mattress protector that has sufficient ventilation with a latex mattress to further extract the natural airy properties of the mattress. There’s no point in purchasing a well ventilated latex mattress and then blocking it with a thick protector that does not have its own ventilation. A tencel mattress topper is the perfect addition to a latex mattress.

The same goes for bedding, which includes your sheets, pillowcases and quilt covers, as excessively warm and thick bedding will negate the cooling properties of a latex mattress.

MATERIAL

When purchasing a latex mattress, it’s important to check that it is made from 100% natural latex. Some mattresses interlay other foams around a latex core, but this will negate the natural supportive and cooling effects of latex. Therefore, the composition of a latex mattress is important to determining its breathability as well as longevity. This is a very important point and, for this reason, Latex Mattress Australia only sells 100% natural latex.

On the topic of construction, careful research into whether a mattress is 100% natural latex (and not simply a latex core) is important. There are two type of latex: Dunlop and Talalay. The Dunlop processed latex is made from 100% natural latex, whereas the Talalay latex is a synthetic blend of latex. This differentiation is crucial, as a synthetic blend will not exhibit the same cooling characteristics as its natural counterpart.

Ensuring you only purchase 100% natural latex mattresses is the first step to a good night’s sleep with plenty of ventilation. In addition to this, ensuring your bedding is also not restricting the mattress from doing its job and exhibiting its natural airflow properties is vital. The slats that you use on the base of your bed can also have an effect on the overall breathability of your mattress. Slats that are spaced will allow sufficient airflow from underneath, whereas a solid board will trap air, thus contributing to heat retention.

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