CNET’s Sleep Expert Reveals Her Favorite Bed Material (And It’s Not Memory Foam)

CNET’s Sleep Expert Reveals Her Favorite Bed Material (And It’s Not Memory Foam)

CNET’s Sleep Expert Reveals Her Favorite Bed Material (And It’s Not Memory Foam)

People spend a lot of time on their bed, but rarely think about the materials in it. memory foam is a popular material you’ve probably heard of, as it’s one of the most widely used in the industry. It was first invented by NASA and is a comfortable foam, but it also has drawbacks. The resistance created by the slow-reacting foam can make it difficult to change position, and it also has a reputation for sleeping warm.

Instead, there’s some kind of material that I don’t think is getting the recognition it deserves. It offers health benefits, is much more breathable than memory foam and can be produced sustainably. As a mattress tester in a warehouse with more than 100 different beds, I chose mattresses with this material as the two most comfortable mattresses. I hope I hyped the reveal enough. I’m talking latex foam!

Read more about the bedding below, why I love it so much and why you should consider one latex foam mattress as your next bed purchase.

view more: Best mattress of 2022

What is latex foam?

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about a bed made of stretchy, glossy black material. Instead, imagine a bed-sized sponge that’s smooth, but a little more supportive and firm.

There are two types of latex foam. Organic latex foam begins as a liquid derived from the sap of a rubber tree, also known as the Hevea Brasiliensis tree. The juice is whipped to a foamy consistency, poured into foam layer molds and baked to create latex foam.

Synthetic Latex Foam is made in a factory using petrochemicals. It looks and feels like natural latex foam, but is slightly less resilient and durable. It also doesn’t have the eco-friendly properties of natural latex foam and lacks more of a degassing odor once unpacked.

Whether organic or synthetic, the material looks like a large, yellow sponge with small holes perforated in line formations across the surface. It is light, resilient and breathable.

view more: Best Organic Mattress for 2022

The benefits of latex foam

Organic latex foam has a myriad of different benefits and really sets it apart from most other foams that end up in the layers of your mattress.

It is:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Antimicrobial (helps prevent bacteria, mold and other household allergens from growing in)
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Sustainable
  • Supportive
  • Breathable
  • Cooler than other mattresses because it doesn’t retain heat

This makes natural latex foam especially ideal for people who suffer from allergies and/or sleep warm at night. Synthetic latex foam has some of the same benefits, such as durability, support and breathability. However, it is not hypoallergenic, antimicrobial or environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, the advantage of synthetic latex foam is that it is usually cheaper than organic material. So you can still get that latex foam feel without paying top dollar. One of the most popular beds that use this type of latex foam is the GhostBed mattressand it’s a super comfy bed with a mixed foam feel.

What does latex foam feel like?

One reason I love latex foam is because of its light, airy and bouncy feel. Latex foam is often combined with a pillow top that contains wool and organic cotton, a magical trio that makes sleeping pleasant (and easy). The pillow top makes a bed feel fluffy and soft, while the latex foam is breathable, resilient and supportive.

I don’t feel stuck in the foam like I do with latex foam, and it’s a bit more breathable than memory foam and polyurethane foam. It’s also a lot more durable; a plus if you have pets that like to crawl and scratch in bed with you.

I’ve noticed that latex foam used to lean towards the firm end of the spectrum, but I’m seeing more and more brands making latex foam beds with medium firmness or softer. I personally sleep on the Brooklyn Bedding Bloom mattress and as I said before, it is one of the best beds I have ever tested.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t know what latex foam was before I started testing mattresses, comparing and researching bedding. Just the sound of “latex” foam might put some people off, but I think many will find it quite comfortable if they give it a chance. Keep in mind that most latex foam beds you buy online come with a risk-free trial so you can switch to the type of mattress you’re used to if you’re not comfortable with it.

For more information on choosing the best products for sleeping, check out our post on how do you choose a mattress type? and how do you choose the perfect pillow?.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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