Pillows are great for improving your comfort and support while sleeping. Most sleepers use pillows to support the neck and cushion the head. These bed accessories have evolved from the traditional encased fabrics filled with cotton or down to an overwhelming variety in the market today. For example, latex pillows have become increasingly popular due to their numerous benefits, and they are also available in various models.
That could only mean one thing; pillows are no longer a matter of size alone. You can now customize your sleep experience if you find the right pillow for your sleep needs. Here's everything you need to know about latex pillows to make your shopping experience easier.
What are Latex Pillows?
As the name suggests, latex pillows are made using latex foams, which can either be natural or synthetic latex. Both synthetic latex and natural latex pillows share several similar characteristics. However, synthetic latex and natural latex pillows are far apart in terms of durability and quality.
Natural latex is made from the milky sap harvested from a rubber tree. This sap from the rubber tree undergoes several processing methods to convert the liquid into solid material. Because it is natural (deriving from the rubber tree), this type of latex is organic, and doesn't contain any harmful chemicals.
Manufacturers also promote safe and sustainable production by selecting sustainably grown, harvested, and processed latex. As a result, most latex pillows are certified as safe for both the environment and consumers.
On the other hand, synthetic latex is an artificially manufactured foam made using petroleum-based compounds to create Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR). This rubber mimics the properties of natural latex, but doesn't match its quality. It also has a shorter lifespan, and the chemicals used cause unpleasant off-gassing odors. Therefore, if you're sensitive to smell, choose the organic and chemical-free natural latex pillow instead of the synthetic latex.
How are Latex Pillows Made?
The two methods used to process latex are Dunlop and Talalay processes.
The Dunlop Process Explained
The Dunlop process is shorter and cheaper compared to the Talalay process. It begins with whipping the liquid latex until it lathers. The next step involves filling a mold with the whipped latex, and sealing the mold before placing it in a vulcanizing oven to bake.
These steps convert the liquid latex into a solid material. The final step involves thoroughly washing the baked latex to remove any impurities before it is left to dry.
Dunlop latex processing produces a longer-lasting, dense, and durable latex foam than latex processed using the Talalay method.
The Talalay Process Explained
The Talalay process is longer, and produces softer and bouncier latex foams. This process starts with whipping the liquid latex until it becomes frothy, as done during the Dunlop process. The whipped latex is poured into a mold, but partially fills the mold.
Next, the liquid latex is expanded to occupy the remaining space in the mold using a vacuuming method. The expanded latex is then frozen by pushing carbon dioxide through the mold to create a gel-like consistency. Afterward, the frozen latex is baked at a higher temperature than that of the Dunlop process. Lastly, the latex, now in its solid state, is removed from the mold, washed, and left to cure.
Latex pillows manufacturers commonly use the Talalay latex foams because of their soft, bouncy, and weightless feel. However, some pillow models contain both Dunlop and Talalay latex foams, blending the best qualities of both foams to create an exceptional product.
What are the Benefits of Sleeping on a Latex Pillow?
Natural latex pillows are outstanding, and perform better than traditional pillows. Here are some of the benefits of sleeping on natural latex pillows.
Latex Pillows are Allergen Resistant
Natural latex is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial. It naturally keeps away microorganisms such as dust mites, molds, fungi, allergens, mildews, and pollen. This is because natural latex doesn't provide conducive breeding and growth conditions for such microorganisms.
Generally, microorganisms thrive in warm, humid, and protein-rich environments, making mattresses and pillows the perfect breeding ground. However, since latex foams are breathable and dense, they don’t have a heat retention problem, trap moisture, or allow the pests to burrow into the foam. As a result, there's a limited chance for the microorganisms to survive on these latex pillows or latex mattresses.
Natural latex pillows are the best choice if you're allergic to dust mites and other allergens. This is because they are dust mite resistant. These pillows are also easy to clean, enabling you to maintain a cleaner sleep surface, and reduce the chances of uncomfortable allergic reactions.
Latex Pillows are Supportive
Not all bulky and soft pillows support your head and neck properly. Some pillows flatten because of a sleeper's weight, losing their support and causing the spine to misalign. However, that's not the case with a latex pillow.
Given that it is a supportive pillow, you won’t have to worry about head and neck pain, flattening, or improper spinal alignment.
Latex is naturally responsive, bouncy, and soft. Its responsiveness allows the pillow to contour your head perfectly, without sinking too deep. That keeps your airways open, and neck in proper positioning to reduce the chances of snoring.
Its softness offers the most comfortable cushioning for your head, so you can enjoy restful sleep without worrying about the squeaking noises made by ordinary pillows. Lastly, its bounciness causes it to spring back to its original shape and size when you get off the bed.
Latex Pillows are Durable
An ordinary pillow has an average lifespan of between 1 and 2 years. By this time, the pillow will have lost its fluffiness and softness, and may have accumulated a lot of dirt and allergens. On the contrary, a latex pillow can last as long as five years and more with proper care.
Latex pillows are durable because of their natural fibers, resistance to allergens, and low maintenance. They also can retain their shape and firmness for longer, unlike contemporary pillows. As a result, these pillows remain supportive and comfortable for a long time.
Although natural latex pillows cost more than other pillows in the market, they are worth the investment. You won't have to replace the pillow every few months.
Latex Pillows are Eco-friendly
Environmental sustainability is one of the most important ways to save the planet from destructive chemicals, toxins, and pollutants. For this reason, many consumers are cautious about the products they use in their homes and their environments. That includes pillows, too.
Buying a nature-friendly natural latex pillow is one of the many ways to contribute to this global agenda. A natural latex pillow is biodegradable, meaning it can't pollute air, soil, or water when you finally decide to get rid of it. You also won't have to deal with the unpleasant off-gassing smells emitted by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Therefore, sleeping on a natural latex pillow is healthy for you and your environment.
Latex Pillows are Breathable
Staying warm at night and sleeping hot are two different sleep experiences. Most sleepers love a cozy, warm bed, and a perfectly aerated and temperature-regulated room. However, constant nighttime sweating contributes to sleep disruptions, leading to health complications resulting from inadequate sleep. Unfortunately, this is common among sleepers who use a memory foam pillow or a memory foam mattress; they don’t provide the ideal sleeping temperature.
On the contrary, a latex pillow comes with the ideal sleeping temperature. It doesn't trap heat from your body, allowing you to sleep cool. That's possible because of its cellular structure, which lets air through the cells and around your body. As a result, you can use a latex pillow throughout all four seasons of the year.
Latex Pillows are Best for Pressure Relief
Have you ever woken up with neck and shoulder pain, or a stiff neck? If so, your pillow could be the cause of your pain.
The neck and the head are among the most fragile parts of the human body. The neck is a part of the spine, and connects the head to the rest of the body. Any injuries to the neck can cause serious complications, including spinal cord damage. That means you have to be very particular about the type of pillow you are sleeping on.
A good pillow cushions your neck, and cradles your head without curving the spine out of its neutral position. It also relieves pressure on the contact points to avoid waking up with headaches and stiffness. All these benefits can be found on the high-quality latex pillow.
What are the Types of Latex Pillows
Latex pillows are available in different sizes, intriguing designs, and many varieties. The most common types of latex pillows are solid natural latex pillows and shredded natural latex pillows.
Solid Natural Latex Pillows
Solid natural latex pillows are often symmetrical. They are made using layers of natural latex foam to balance support and comfort. Due to the natural latex foam, they are highly supportive, responsive, and breathable because of their structure. These pillows are best for hot sleepers because they allow for better airflow.
Despite being supportive, solid latex pillows are also available in different firmness levels and sizes for your selection. That makes it easier for you to find what suits you best in this category.
The Benefits of Solid Latex Pillows
These pillows are best known for:
- responsiveness and maximum support, which keep the neck and spine in proper alignment
- conformity, which cradles your head to relieve pressure points
- maximum breathability, ensuring you sleep cool all night long
- bounciness, letting the pillow spring back to its original shape
Shredded Latex Pillows
Shredded natural latex pillows are fluffier and customizable. They are made with shredded pieces of latex foam, allowing you to fluff and mold the pillow to suit your comfort needs. Although these pillows are soft, they have the same benefits as latex pillows, such as breathability, temperature regulation, and durability.
Benefits of Shredded Latex Pillows
Shredded pillows are:
- a better alternative to down and feather pillows as they don't poke through the encasing cotton pillowcases
- easy to customize
What to Consider When Buying a Latex Pillow
Rather than making a wild guess when shopping for a latex pillow, consider these factors for an easier selection.
The recommended pillow thickness for adults is 5 to 7 inches. However, when choosing the ideal pillow thickness, it is best to consider your sleeping position.
If you are a side sleeper, you need a medium-thick pillow to fill the space between your shoulder and neck for this sleeping position. Thinner pillow squash from the weight of your head, causing the neck to gravitate downwards. Similarly, a thicker pillow will arch the neck upwards, obstructing the airway and proper blood flow.
Back sleepers don't need to elevate their heads too high when sleeping. Therefore, the ideal pillow thickness for back sleepers is 4 or 5 inches. Any pillow out of this range may strain the neck, and eventually injure the spine.
Lastly, stomach sleepers need thinner pillows to keep their airways open, and their spine in a neutral position. These sleepers are more comfortable sleeping on 4-inch pillows, instead of thicker or thinner pillows.
The firmness of a pillow is often a personal preference. However, the ultimate best pillow should have a good balance between comfort and support. While pillows are available in different firmness levels, the medium-firm pillows are the most comfortable for most sleepers.
If you have a hard time choosing the right firmness level when buying a pillow, opt for a shredded latex pillow. This pillow allows you to customize your ideal firmness level by fluffing and folding the pillow to suit your desired comfort.
You don't want to buy a pillow that makes you sneeze all night, or wake up with skin rashes on your face. If you are prone to allergies, consider buying a natural latex pillow made from naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial latex foam. Latex is safe for use among children and vulnerable adults because it is chemical-free.
The Size of the Pillow
A pillow's size and shape are also a matter of preference, and may not necessarily affect your comfort. You can choose to have a huge natural latex pillow if you like to cuddle, or a smaller one for simple comfort. Most manufacturers always stick to standardized pillow sizes that range between small and extra-large. You may use different pillow shapes and sizes to decorate your bed to suit your style.
How to Clean a Latex Pillow
Latex pillows are low maintenance, although it's good practice to clean them once every so often. Most manufacturers will include a simple care guide for you to follow when cleaning your latex pillow. If there's no guide available, you can follow these simple steps below:
- Remove the pillowcase, and wash it separately
- ensure you check the label for washing directions to follow
- mix water with a mild cleaning detergent
- soak a towel or piece of cloth with the soapy mixture, and spot-clean the pillow
- remember to pay attention to any folds and corners of the pillow as they collect more dirt
- wrap the cleaned pillow in a large towel, and blot the excess water from the pillow
- let the pillow dry in the open air
- once dry, encase the pillow in a clean pillowcase
Your pillow will be as good as new, and you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep!
Here are some of the things to avoid when cleaning your pillow if you want a good night’s sleep:
- For a good night’s sleep, avoid using harsh chemicals and cleaning detergents or bleach on your pillow, as they may stain or corrode the pillow
- avoid soaking the pillow in water or detergent; it may destroy its inner core and take too long to dry
- don't dry your pillow in direct sunlight. Drying the pillow in direct sunlight damages the latex.
- avoid using an abrasive to clean the pillow
How does a Memory Foam Pillow Differ from a Latex Pillow?
Memory foam pillows are just as popular as latex pillows. However, these two pillow types have a lot of differences.
The first notable difference between memory foam and latex pillows is their pillow materials. Memory foam is 100% synthetic manufactured using polyurethane and other chemical compounds. Due to these chemicals, memory foam pillows release unpleasant odors, which irritate sensitive sleepers, including those with sensitive skin.
Memory foam pillows also can't be considered eco-friendly because of the multiple chemical components.
Memory foam pillows are generally soft and good at relieving pressure points. In addition, they cradle the head of a sleeper, and offer proper support to keep the spine in proper alignment.
However, unlike latex pillows, memory foam pillows aren't instantly responsive. As a result, they tend to lose shape and support after a while. This is one of the reasons why these pillows have a shorter lifespan than latex pillows.
Memory foam pillows tend to sleep hot. This is because these pillows have an irregular cell structure that restricts airflow. As a result, they retain heat within the cells, making the sleepers sweat excessively.
On the contrary, latex pillows are good at temperature regulation, enabling sleepers to enjoy a breezy and comfortable sleep.
A memory foam pillow may be relatively cheaper than a latex pillow. However, its quality is incomparable to that of latex pillows.
Benefits of Latex Pillows FAQs
Here are common questions about the popular latex pillows.
How Long do Latex Pillows Last?
Latex pillows can last an average of 5 years, almost twice as long as regular pillows do. In addition, these pillows are low maintenance and eco-friendly, so you don't have to worry about damaging the environment when it's time to dispose of them.
What are the Signs I Need to Change My Natural Latex Pillow?
You know your pillow needs to go when it shows the following signs:
- deformed and out of shape
- offers no more support
- torn, saggy, and worn out
- causes you to wake up with neck pain, headache, or back pain
- older than 2 years, or 5 years if it's made of latex
- feels lumpy and unbalanced
- has permanent stains from sweat and oil from your skin and hair
- infested with dust mites, allergens, or other microorganisms
Who Needs to Sleep on an Organic Latex Pillow?
Latex pillows are good for every sleeper. However, these pillows are best for sleepers with allergen sensitivity because they are resistant to molds, mildews, dust mites, allergens, and such microorganisms. Besides being dust mite resistant, they are also a great choice for sleepers who need better support for their neck to improve spinal alignment.
How Much does a Natural Latex Pillow Cost?
Latex pillows vary in price from one retailer to another. However, they are a good investment considering that they last longer and have a lot of sleep benefits that most pillows don't offer. However, you can get yourself one of these pillows at affordable prices by taking advantage of discounted sales and offers online.
Where can I Buy an Organic Latex Pillow?
You can buy organic latex pillows online from Latex For Less without the need to visit several shops to find the perfect pillow for you. Shopping online is also convenient, cheaper, and less time-consuming. You'll also learn more about the pillow you are buying from the seller's website, making it easier for you to make an informed decision.
About Latex For Less Latex Pillows
Latex For Less is a one-stop shop for your favorite natural latex pillow, whether you prefer the shredded natural latex or solid model. Natural latex pillows are chemical-free, have hypoallergenic properties, and can last as long as 5 years!
The shredded Latex For Less pillow suits you if you love to customize your comfort with a fluffy, soft pillow, that’s breathable. However, if you prefer extra support and responsiveness, go for the solid latex pillow option.
Both types of pillows are available in three different sizes (standard, queen, and king sizes) to choose from. They are also encased in a soft organic cotton cover for extra freshness and soothing comfort.
Call us today at 1-888-601-2027 to place your order, and enjoy incredible discounts on your favorite natural latex pillow. You can also chat with us from 9am PST to 9pm PST 7 days a week.
Alternatively, you can browse the wide variety of the best latex pillows available in our online store, place your Latex For Less latex pillow order today, and enjoy free shipping!