There are more than 300 pressure points placed throughout the human body that can either alleviate or contribute to neck, back, hip, and joint pain, depending on your lifestyle, sleep habits, and mattress choices. Pain throughout the body makes sleep increasingly difficult; however, choosing the right mattress can relieve pressure, helping you to get a good night’s sleep, and wake to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Do You Constantly Wake Up in the Mornings with Pain Throughout Your Body?
Pain throughout the body makes for a rough start to any day. Sleep provides the body with adequate time to perform tissue and cellular repair to prepare for all that the next day holds. Back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers experience pain in various areas, often due to a lack of quality sleep. Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other health conditions may be contributing factors to pain in the mornings, but it is widely caused by using the wrong mattress, improper mattress firmness, or poor sleep position.
How to Relieve Pressure While Sleeping
A well-constructed mattress is designed to comfort the sleeper, while evenly dispersing body weight to allow for pressure-relieving properties. Pressure relief is closely connected to mattress firmness levels and contouring capabilities. A mattress that fails to contour to the body in your preferred sleep position can increase tension built up throughout the body.
A mattress with pressure relieving properties is important for all sleepers, but it should be the first thing sleepers with chronic pain look for. It is important to test out a mattress before committing to the purchase, whether in-store or through risk-free trial periods, as the right amount of support differs from one person to the next.
Best Mattress Materials for Pain Relief
Pressure point relief is primarily determined by mattress construction, mattress materials, and how well the various components work together to provide support. In the mattress industry, most mattress types are constructed with two sections for comfort and support.
The comfort system of a foam mattress is found closest to the sleeper’s body, with at least one layer of cushioning foam that contours to the body, while the support core is home to more firm materials to provide a stable base layer to maintain mattress longevity. The best mattress types for pressure relief are those with a thicker support core, as this allows the mattress to contour more deeply to the sleeper.
Comfort Layer Materials
All foam mattresses have a comfort layer near the surface of the mattress to provide enhanced comfort and sleep quality. Whether you are looking for a mattress with an attached comfort layer, or wish to add additional layers through a mattress topper, you will often find the following materials:
- Micro coils
- Memory foam
What is Latex?
Latex beds are made using the perfect blend of materials, whether it be through all-natural materials, synthetic foams, or a blended variety. The first use of latex for creating a latex mattress dates back to the early 1920s when John Dunlop formulated the perfect blend of latex foam.
Types of Latex Mattresses
Most latex mattresses are made in a few varieties:
All-natural latex is made from sustainably-farmed and harvested sap of rubber trees, with little to no environmental impact. It is blended with other organic materials like cotton and wool to create the optimal sleep environment on the market. Natural latex compared to other mattress types provides sleepers with unmatched comfort, durability, and temperature-regulating properties.
Synthetic latex mattresses are made using petroleum-based materials like Styrene-Butadiene rubber. All latex beds offer comfort and cooling properties, but synthetic latex was created as a similar, less-expensive natural latex mattress alternative. Natural and synthetic latex is breathable, but synthetic materials are not as durable as natural materials.
A hybrid latex or blended latex mattress combines two or more mattress materials to create a comfortable sleep space. Materials may include pocketed coils, memory foam, or a type of latex. Blended mattresses last longer when they are made with all-natural latex as one ingredient.
Talalay latex mattresses require a specific manufacturing process. These latex foams are made by filling the mold only half full, and then infusing it with air to expand the Talalay foam. Talalay latex offers a comfortable, less-dense foam option, helping you to sleep comfortably night after night.
Dunlop latex, name-sake for founder John Boyd Dunlop, is produced by pouring liquid latex materials into a mold in one pour, then allowing it to settle to create a plush top layer and dense bottom. Dunlop latex, like all latex mattresses, offers customizable support, with dual layers of density.
What is Memory Foam?
Memory foam mattresses are made using chemical ingredients like polyurethane foam and other chemical additives to create a durable mattress that prevents motion transfer. Memory foam utilizes body heat emitted from sleepers to soften areas of the mattress, allowing the foam to contour around you.
Types of Memory Foam
Memory foam mattresses are offered in a variety of firmness levels, densities, sizes, and construction. Memory foams can be found with:
Traditional Memory Foam
Traditional memory foam is manufactured with a closed-cell structured polyurethane foam, designed to contour to the body like no other mattress can; however, unlike latex memory foam, it can trap body heat throughout the night, leaving hot sleepers uncomfortable.
Open-Cell Memory Foam
Open-cell structured memory foam offers breathable foam that is more comfortable for those who sleep hot, though, it is not as cool as other mattresses. The open-cell structure allows air to flow throughout the mattress, reducing the risk of dust mites, mold, or mildew building up.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam
Memory foam mattresses infused with cooling gel microbeads are the most recommended for those who are set on memory foam, but sleep hot. While traditional memory foam mattresses are notorious for trapping heat, gel-infused memory foam beds offer comfort, and keep you cool.
Latex or Memory Foam: Which is Best?
Both memory foam and latex foam mattresses are similar in comfort and quality of materials. Latex and memory foam contour to the body to cradle you throughout the night, keeping you comfortable and pain-free in the morning. Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses do not retain heat. Dunlop latex and Talalay latex are among the best latex mattresses that can be found without synthetic materials. Key differences between latex and memory foam include:
A latex bed is more firm than a memory foam bed, but both memory foam and latex offer comfort properties that others cannot match. Latex mattresses are good for those who want comfort throughout the night, without feeling “stuck” the next morning.
Motion transfer through a mattress keeps some partners up at all hours of the night. Both memory foam and latex foam offer motion isolation properties. Though latex contours gently to the body, it is a naturally springy material, with more bounce than memory foam mattresses.
Natural latex mattresses offer pressure relief for every sleep position, including back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and side sleepers. Memory foam provides deeper contouring with its slower-moving properties.
The breathability of a mattress is crucial to keeping sleepers cool; however, only latex beds offer better sleep through aerated foam layers.
Are Latex Mattresses Good for Pressure Relief?
Foam beds like latex mattresses made using natural materials reduce peak body pressure, unlike other polyurethane memory foam mattresses. Stomach sleepers, back sleepers, side sleepers, or combination sleepers experience body contouring and cushioning from a latex bed, regardless of their preferred sleeping position.
Who Should Buy Latex Mattresses?
A new mattress purchase, while expensive, is an investment in your overall health. Although natural latex mattresses are typically more expensive than synthetic latex or memory foam, they offer a sleeping experience that a traditional foam mattress cannot.
Latex mattresses are great for those who are looking for comfort, without feeling like it is too difficult to get out of bed the next morning due to deep contouring, as well as those who sleep hot. Natural latex mattresses are also excellent mattress options for those who are heavier in weight, as they can bounce back to normal shape easier, and are more durable with natural material.
Latex Mattress Pros and Cons
Pros of Latex Materials
If you are looking for a mattress that conforms to your body while you are asleep, but is bouncy enough to make it easy to get out of bed, a latex mattress is the best option for you. While memory foam mattresses contain deep contouring properties, they often leave you feeling stuck in bed as you try to get up in the morning. The best latex mattress leaves you to feel supported, while keeping you “on top” of the mattress. In addition, latex foam beds are made with naturally cooling materials, organic cotton, organic wool, and other natural materials to ensure air flows sufficiently throughout.
A latex mattress made with 100% natural latex is the most durable mattress on the market, lasting upwards of 15 years or longer. While synthetic and blended latex mattresses come in a close second with an average life of up to 10 years, memory foam and mattresses with pocketed coils are only expected to last 7 years or less.
Many latex mattresses are manufactured with the customer in mind. They are fully customizable mattress options with a zipper alongside the exterior of the mattress where you can remove or adjust foam layers to fit your comfort and firmness needs.
Millions of Americans have an allergy to products containing latex, but latex mattresses made with all-natural ingredients offer hypoallergenic properties, making them safe for those with latex allergies. Natural latex also is free from harsh chemicals that emit odors that can harm your overall health.
Another important aspect of your overall health is to live a pain-free life, but without adequate support from your mattress, this becomes difficult. Latex mattresses help to maintain proper spinal alignment throughout the night, providing pressure relief to key areas like the hips, back, and neck.
Cons of Latex Mattresses
Difficult to Find
Latex mattresses are not often readily available in a storefront setting, as fewer manufacturers produce latex beds in comparison to other less-expensive options. Many mattress companies sell latex mattresses primarily online, and they often come with a specified amount of nights that you can test the mattress risk-free in your own home.
Latex is a heavy, denser material, especially Dunlop latex, making the mattress itself heavier than others that are the same size. The average queen-size latex mattress weighs nearly 140 pounds compared to a 75-pound queen-size memory foam mattress.
Higher Price Tag
Synthetic or hybrid latex mattresses range in a similar price range as chemical-based foam mattresses, while natural latex mattresses can cost several thousands of dollars. Remember, sleep is an investment in your health. If you are sleeping on an unhealthy mattress, you are putting your health and safety at risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Latex Mattresses Better than Memory Foam?
Choosing the right mattress for you boils down to personal preference, and the most important mattress elements you are looking for. If you tend to sleep hot, or have health concerns, a latex mattress will be the better option.
Do Latex Mattresses Sleep Hot?
Unlike memory foam, latex foam is naturally cooling with aerated foam throughout for optimal breathability. Because it is so breathable, dust mites, mold, and other allergens have a harder time building up inside, making them more health-friendly options.
Does My Sleep Position Increase the Risk of Joint Pain?
Joint pain can make sleep more difficult. Choosing the right sleep position can help.
- Fetal position sleeping can be achieved by laying on either side, with your knees curled towards the body. The fetal position is an excellent sleep position for those with chronic back pain.
- Sleeping in a supine position is the most recommended sleep position, as it helps to protect the spine, and maintain proper alignment to reduce pressure.
Is Latex Good for Pressure Relief?
Natural latex is an excellent mattress choice when looking for pressure-relieving properties. It provides top-quality support, without feeling like it is “too much” to make for a good night’s rest.
At Latex For Less, we understand the importance of a good night of sleep. We also know how many people sacrifice comfortable sleep due to higher prices of high-quality mattresses.
Designed and handcrafted in the United States, our mattresses are the most affordable organic mattress options in America. We set out with the main goal of providing safer sleep options to those around us, and we did just that. Our mattresses are Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Organic Latex Standard certified, in addition to other hard-to-get quality certifications, like Eco Institut, and certified organic cotton.
We offer several mattress options in addition to a mattress topper, pillow, and bed foundation. At Latex For Less, we believe in the quality and durability of our mattresses - so much so that our mattresses are backed by a 20-year warranty. Are you still unsure about which mattress to choose? Take advantage of our 120-night risk-free trial period today!