According to Statistics Canada, most adult Canadians sleep for an average of 7.1 hours per night, which is about 29.6% of the day. The human body needs rest to function effectively, and most people would agree that the best way to get this needed rest would be on a soft, organic, and comfortable mattress. So, if you need or are searching for the best type of mattress that can improve and maximise the quality of your sleep, you should consider getting a natural latex mattress here in Canada.
Apart from being soft and very comfortable for the body, latex mattresses are made from sustainable, safe, and plant-based materials. They are also popular for their durability, pressure relief abilities, and eco-friendliness compared to synthetic mattresses made from petrochemicals. Owning one can greatly impact how you sleep positively.
We’ll look at some of the things you should keep an eye out for or consider while shopping for a latex mattress in Canada. We will also touch on the benefits and disadvantages of owning a latex mattress, the various types available, and their production process. At the end of this piece, you should be well-equipped with the necessary information needed to purchase your first latex mattress.
NOTE: All mention of the term latex mattress in this article refers to mattresses made with 100% all-natural latex. If used in another way, it will be indicated.
What Is A Latex Mattress?
Before we dive into what latex mattresses are and their various types, let’s first of all look at what latex is exactly.
Latex is those milky or whitish substances found in plants such as the Amazonian rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), which discharges whenever the plant is cut and coagulates upon exposure to air. It is those white substances underneath the bark of adult rubber trees, which are mostly native to the Amazon region of South America and Southeast Asia. Runner Latex is considered the liquid form of rubber as it contains about 55% water and 40% rubber materials, which are tiny polymer molecules. Rubbers are the finished products of latex.
Latex has lots of applications. They are used to manufacture most rubber products, such as gloves, chewing gum, balloons, and mattresses. Latex mattresses are mattresses made with different layers of latex foam or a combination of other types of foam with latex foam on top. This type of mattress has a unique feel compared to other traditional mattresses and has a faster bounce-back time than others. The elasticity properties of a latex mattress allow it to easily support and respond to your body weight, shape, and movement as you sleep while providing great pressure relief. Natural latex mattresses are non-toxic and allergy-free types of mattresses loved by environmentally conscious individuals as they are 100% biodegradable.
Canada isn’t a latex-producing country, so most mattress companies source their raw materials from other latex-producing countries, such as Thailand and Sri Lanka. Depending on the species of the rubber tree, the composition of latex varies from tree to tree, so it is important to know the source of the latex used in manufacturing the mattress before purchasing as the quality of the mattress will be determined by the quality of the latex used.
Why Go For A Latex Mattress in Canada?
For those new to the Canadian mattress market, you might be wondering, “Why should I choose a latex mattress?” Well, firstly, 100% natural latex mattresses are premium mattresses and an eco-conscious choice as they have a minimal impact on the environment compared to synthetic mattresses. So if you want a natural sleeping environment, your best choice would be the latex mattress, as it is made using naturally sourced materials.
Another reason you should consider getting a latex mattress is if you are looking for a sleeping surface that helps relieve pressure points. Due to their elastic nature, latex mattresses are capable of responding to your body weight, shape, and positioning as you sleep. Using latex mattresses also provides superior support to your body’s joints and can help relieve back pain as you sleep. These types of mattresses are mostly ideal for people who are bedridden or spend long periods in bed.
And if what you need in a mattress is durability and the ability to maintain its shape, performance, and integrity over a long period, then the latex mattress is for you. They are long-lasting, durable, and possess a natural resistance to dust and mites. They are considered organic mattresses as no harmful chemicals are used when manufacturing them, making them organic and durable.
What are the Types Of Latex in Canada?
As stated earlier, latex is a naturally occurring substance obtained from rubber trees. This type of latex can be expensive to get as a result of the process involved in harvesting it. So with time, there have been other types of latex made from synthetic materials that are less expensive and readily available. The other types of latex include synthetic and blended.
Natural latex is produced using 100% raw materials (latex) extracted from rubber trees. They do not make use of additional chemicals in their production process. These raw materials undergo a certain complex process where they are baked in layers of solid latex or rubber, which are then used to make different products. Natural latex is soft and cosy and is mostly used to make mattresses, pillows, sofas, and so on.
Apart from being soft and cosy, mattresses made from natural latex are free from harmful or toxic chemicals, which can cause irritation and adverse allergic reactions in people. They are also resistant to mould and bacteria growth and have a nice vanilla-like smell capable of absorbing and overshadowing foul odours.
Synthetic latex is the man-made version of natural latex. It is synthetically or artificially produced latex or rubber that shares similar properties with natural latex. Unlike natural latex, they are made using petroleum byproducts such as styrene and butadiene. This type of latex is less expensive to produce (which is its only advantage) compared to natural latex.
Mattresses made from synthetic latex are not as durable as natural latex and are more likely to break down faster. They are more prone to moisture problems such as mildew and mould growth over time and have the tendency to off-gas, which can be harmful to humans. They can also be harmful to people with sensitive skin.
The third kind of latex available is blended latex, which is a combination of both natural and synthetic latex. Most blended latex is made by combining both types of latex in a ratio of 70% to 30% in favour of synthetic latex. There is also blended latex made with equal amounts of both natural and synthetic latex, but these are the premium versions and are more expensive.
The reason blended latex exists is to combine the attributes of both types of latex: durability, firmness, and resistance to mould that natural latex provides with the low cost of production associated with synthetic latex. Mattresses made from blended latex contain fewer toxic chemicals and last longer when compared to synthetic latex mattresses, but not those made from natural latex.
How Are Latex Mattresses Produced in Canada?
There are two main processes used to produce natural latex mattresses. The result of both processes is slightly different from each other in the feel and firmness of the mattress. It is important to note that no method or process is better than the other; rather, it is a matter of preference.
The Dunlop process of producing mattress foam is the most simple and energy-efficient method of both and has been in use since the 1920s. It shares similar steps or processes with the Talalay process, but with fewer steps.
In the Dunlop process, the liquid latex is first foamed or whipped to form a frothy foam, which is then poured into a mould. The lid of the mould is closed and then placed on a conveyor belt that transfers the mould into a vulcanization oven, where it is baked or heated till it becomes solid. After the vulcanization process is complete, the newly formed mattress foam is removed from the mould and then placed into a washing chamber, where it undergoes thorough washing to remove any excess soap, impurities, or materials from the foam. This also helps the foam retain its elasticity and ensures purity. After that, the foam is dried at a high temperature to remove moisture.
Latex mattresses made using the Dunlop process are firmer and dense, especially at the bottom. This is due to the uneven distribution of latex materials within the mould during vulcanization. The bottom part of the foam is often firmer than the top, making them great for use as support layers but not ideal as comfort layers.
The Talalay process is more energy intensive and sophisticated compared to the Dunlop process. Its processes are similar to those of Dunlop, but it has some extra steps that make the difference between the two. It was initially created in the 1940s, and over time, significant changes have been made in the process.
Just like the Dunlop process, the raw latex material is whipped and poured into a mould, but in the Talalay process, the mould is only filled halfway. The lid of the mould is tightly sealed and left alone for the latex to expand in the vacuum. When the mould is fully expanded, it is quickly frozen to stabilize the cell structure, and then carbon dioxide gas is pushed through the frozen latex. After that, the mould is placed in a vulcanization oven and allowed to bake, to cure, or set the foam. After the baking process, it is thoroughly washed to remove excess materials and impurities and then dried at a high temperature to remove moisture.
The Talalay process was designed to produce a fluffier and softer latex foam with a more uniform consistency. Due to their soft and fluffy nature, they are ideal to be used as comfort layers and not great for support cores. Mattresses produced using this process are also more expensive compared to their counterparts.
Benefits Of Owning A Latex Mattress in Canada
When it comes to comfort, latex mattresses are the best. It has lots of benefits and advantages over traditional mattresses. Even among latex mattresses, all-natural latex mattresses are far superior compared to those made from blended and synthetic latex. Below are some of the benefits of latex mattresses.
Promotes Pain Relief And Natural Spine Alignment
The cushioning effect and buoyant support latex foam provide are beneficial for people with joint and back pain. Latex foam is capable of holding the weight of the sleeper without collapsing like memory foam. It cradles the body’s pressure points, which in turn provide pressure relief near the joints, lower back, and the body in general.
Latex foam also promotes proper spine alignment. Latex foam allows for heavier parts of the body to slightly sink into the mattress, while the lighter areas, such as the neck and back, are still strongly supported. This keeps the body in a straight and aligned position, which is great for keeping pain at bay.
Latex mattresses are antimicrobial by nature and are very unlikely to cause any form of allergic reaction. After a while of using traditional mattresses, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi can accumulate on the mattress, leading to the growth of mildew, mould, and dust mites, which are unsanitary and can cause allergic reactions. To prevent this, most companies treat their foam with chemicals, which is also harmful as it can lead to off-gassing.
But latex mattresses are naturally resistant to mould and mildew infestations and their antimicrobial properties make them repellant to the microorganisms causing these allergic reactions.
Eco-conscious And Environmentally Responsible
The production process involved in creating natural latex mattresses is environmentally friendly and has little impact on the environment. Firstly, the sap used in producing them is obtained from rubber trees. During the harvesting process, the trees are not cut down and can produce latex for about 30 years. And for more latex to be produced, more trees need to be planted, which is very beneficial to the environment as they help eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen.
Also, during the manufacturing process, harmful chemicals are not used, leading to a final product that’s organic and safe for both the user and the environment. They are also 100% biodegradable and recyclable, meaning that at the end of their lifespan, you can dispose of them in a landfill.
Highly Durable And Breathable
Latex mattresses are very durable and sustainable and have a longer lifespan than other types of traditional mattresses. High-quality latex mattresses can last up to 20 years or more if properly cared for. This is possible due to its ability to quickly bounce back to its original shape and position after pressure is relieved.
They are also very breathable and allow for easy airflow within the mattress, which is great for quickly eliminating heat and odours. This is possible because of the open-air cell structure it possesses. To further increase air flow, pinholes are punctured into the mattress to create a cooler and more comfortable sleeping environment.
Extremely Comfortable And All-natural
One of the most important reasons why people prefer latex mattresses over traditional mattresses is mainly because of the level of comfort it provides. The soft feeling sensation and the ease of pressure points and joints on the body you feel when you lie on a latex mattress are a result of the natural springiness of rubber or latex.
The materials used in producing latex mattresses are also all-natural. Most traditional mattresses make use of chemicals to keep mould and mildew at bay and act as flame retardants. Natural latex mattresses do not make use of these additives, as they have their natural flame-retardant and antimicrobial properties, thereby eliminating the need for chemicals.
Drawbacks Associated With Buying Of Latex Mattresses
Latex mattresses typically cost more than conventional mattresses because of the high quality they are known for. Depending on the type of mattress, all-natural latex mattresses are the most expensive, followed by those made from blended latex, and finally, those made from synthetic latex. This is because the processes involved in harvesting the sap and finally producing the mattress are expensive and time-consuming.
All-natural latex mattresses can cost from 1,000 CAD to over 2,000 CAD, depending on the manufacturing company and the composition of the mattress. To reduce the cost, synthetic latex was developed. This is way cheaper than natural fibre and has similar features, but involves the use of chemicals in its production process.
Another disadvantage of a latex mattress is that, on average, it can be somewhat heavier than other types of mattresses. Although latex mattresses come in different sizes and densities, they can be heavier to move around and set up, especially when you have your room upstairs. Always have additional hands to help you when moving your latex mattress upstairs to prevent injuring yourself. This is not a problem, as once it is placed in its permanent location, you won’t have to move it again.
What Should I Put Into Consideration When Choosing A Latex Mattress in Canada?
Before purchasing your latex mattress, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Knowing the types of latex available and how they are made is important, but not enough. Knowing and understanding these important points will help guide you in picking the best mattress in a box that will meet and satisfy your sleeping needs.
Composition Or Latex Foam Type
The number one thing to consider when getting a latex mattress is the composition of the mattress. The type of foam used will affect the performance of the mattress. The best option would be 100% natural latex mattresses. As stated earlier, natural latex mattresses are made from raw latex harvested from rubber trees. They are softer, last longer, and are more expensive compared to those made from synthetic or blended latex.
If you are allergic to chemicals or love eco-conscious products, then you should consider getting a mattress made from latex foam. And if your budget is not sufficient enough to cover the bill, you can go for a blended latex mattress, as it possesses similar features as the all-natural latex mattresses but at a lesser cost.
Latex mattresses come in a range of firmness levels, from soft to firm. Depending on your current needs, you should go for a firmness level that will meet your needs. Thanks to the trial period offered by most companies, you can test a mattress for several days to see if it is the perfect fit for you, all with a full money-back guarantee.
Firmness in latex mattresses is expressed as indentation load deflection or ILD. The higher the ILD, the firmer the mattress. 14 to 22 is considered soft, 23 to 29 is medium, and 30 to 39 is considered firm. So when shopping for a latex mattress and you are not sure what firmness level you fall into or need, always go to a retailer that has all firmness levels available so you can test and see what works for you.
The density of the mattress is also important, as those with higher densities tend to last longer. In higher-density foams, cells are tightly knit together, which increases toughness and also helps maintain the mattress shape after years of use.
High-density foams also help prevent motion transfer to other parts of the foam and provide support and comfort. Latex mattresses come in a range of densities as well. The higher the density, the more comfortable and expensive it will be.
Knowing your sleeping position will be important when searching for a latex mattress. If you mostly sleep on your back, a firmer to soft latex mattress that would be able to support your weight without dipping but still be soft enough to mould the curve of your back would be ideal for you.
For stomach sleepers, a firmer mattress would be better, as gravity will tend to push your stomach down into the mattress, which can overextend your spine, leading to spinal misalignment. A firmer latex mattress should be able to prevent this shrinkage.
For side sleepers, the best type of mattress would be one with a medium-firm feel. This will help reduce the pressure that builds up on your hips and shoulders.
Your weight would determine the amount of pressure you would be exerting on the mattress. Knowing your weight would help you understand the kind of mattress that would suit you best without causing joint pains.
Someone who weighs more than 230 lbs is considered heavy and would need a firmer mattress to help withstand the pressure of the sleeper’s body. A soft mattress would cause the body to shrink into it, leading to joint and body pains.
For someone who weighs less than 130 lbs, a softer mattress would be ideal. Using a very firm mattress may feel like sleeping on a rocky surface and can be too hard on the body, leading to body pains. Always test the mattress before purchase to see if it is supportive of your body type before purchasing.
Certifications are given to manufacturing companies that produce quality mattresses that have passed certain stringent quality tests and adhered to internationally approved standards during production. So when searching for a latex mattress, always go for companies with certifications. This shows that they’ve followed all the laid-down rules when producing their mattresses, and they are of high standards.
Where Can I Get Latex Mattresses in Canada?
There are a lot of latex mattress manufacturers in Canada who produce high-quality products. You can get them from most showrooms across Canada or online. By buying online, you will have more options to choose from than when buying from a retailer.
But before purchasing, always do your research on the company selling the mattress. Check for reviews left by past customers to get an idea of what to expect. Also, read reviews on the exact mattress you wish to buy.
And finally, always buy from certified vendors and manufacturers. Do not buy from companies that don’t offer free trials or returns. This will be important if you mistakenly purchase a mattress that is not a good fit for your lifestyle. Also, check out the mattress warranty to be sure it is up-to-date and valid before purchasing.
Latex mattresses can positively affect the way you sleep. They are not only soft and comfortable but also eco-conscious and great for the environment.
Before purchasing any latex mattress, always consider its composition. Not all latex mattresses are the same, so always go for all-natural latex mattresses.
If you are reading this part of the article, I believe you should be well-equipped with the necessary information needed to make the right choice when buying a latex mattress.
Frequently Asked Questions About Latex Mattresses in Canada
Do latex mattresses get softer over time?
Yes. Latex mattresses in Canada, just like every other type of foam mattress, have a break-in period. After years of continuous and frequent use, foam mattresses will start to soften up. But fortunately, latex mattresses take longer to become softer due to their ability to bounce back to shape after each use.
Do new latex mattresses smell?
Latex mattresses made from synthetic fibre will likely give off some kind of chemical odour when newly bought as a result of the chemicals used in their production process. But 100% latex mattresses in most instances will give off an organic smell, and most people have described their latex mattresses as having a sweet vanilla scent.
How long can a latex mattress last?
All-natural latex mattresses have a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years, with some high-quality ones reaching up to 40 years. Those made from blended latex materials can last about 6 to 10 years, while those made from synthetic latex have a lifespan of 6 years.
Can I flip my latex mattress?
It is possible to flip your latex mattress, but it isn’t necessary as it can take over a decade before any sign of wear and tear appears. Also, most latex mattresses are designed with a top layer for comfort and a bottom layer for support. Flipping it will change the feel of the mattress.