One of the main secrets to a good night’s sleep is having a perfect pillow. A pillow that is soft to lie on, and at the same time provides good neck support.
With a wide range of options available for pillow materials, searching for the BEST pillow can be a pain in the neck. That is why you wonder what kind of pillow is the best fit for you. Hence, to get a good night’s sleep, I would recommend a latex pillow.
Latex pillow benefits include:
- Offers a good neck support
- They are soft and quiet
- Durable and long life span
- Relieves pain and pressure
- Cooling and Breathable
- Easy maintenance
- Dust-mite resistant
Your choice of pillow is a kind of personal thing, because, what you feel soft and comfortable for you, might not be for someone else. However, for some reason, latex pillows became a popular choice in recent years for sleepers, because of the benefits listed above.
Therefore, to give you more information here is a brief introduction to latex pillows.
What Are Latex Pillows
Latex pillows have become known as an alternative to traditional pillows because of their durability and support. Unlike down or memory foam pillows, these types of pillows do not collapse easily under the weight of your head.
In addition to this, latex pillows are natural since they came from extracted sap of the rubber tree; therefore, you can feel good about choosing natural latex pillows for many reasons.
On the other hand, there is also a synthetic counterpart for latex; however, they are not as durable as the natural fiber of latex.
These synthetic latex pillows are human-made and usually offer a low quality compared to natural latex. They are also associated with giving off unpleasant smells since they are synthetic.
Therefore, if you are sensitive to smell, make sure you get a natural and organic latex pillow, which does not give off foul chemical odor-like. Good thing, these pillows are cheaper than pillows made from natural and organic latex.
You can find below is a table to give you a quick overview of the comparison between synthetic and natural latex pillows.
|Type of Latex Pillow||Advantages||Disadvantages|
Soft and long-lasting
No foul odor
Dense and heavy
Gives same support as natural latex
|Gives off chemical like-odor|
Break down and flattened easily
How are latex pillows made?
Listed below are the steps in the production process of latex:
Production of the latex
- Planting of the rubber tree seeds
- During the first two years, nourish the rubber trees carefully
- From three to seven years, this is when the rubber trees grow
- Wait until the rubber trees are fully matured until sap can be extracted from the tree
- To get the natural rubber flow, carve the rubber tree at around four ‘o’clock in the morning
- The collected sap from the rubber tree is now ready to be processed.
During the manufacturing process, there are two methods of how latex foam pillows are made. We have the traditional way called Dunlop and the more modern, Talalay method.
Dunlop vs. Talalay process
There is much information you can find online about these two processes; hence, here is a way simpler to differentiate the two methods:
This is the traditional way of manufacturing latex, wherein a thick rubber sap is whipped until it becomes frothy, then it is poured into a mold, and then capped, and lastly, the mold is moved into a vulcanization oven.
After the vulcanization process is complete, the formed latex can be now removed from the mold and then placed in the washing station. The foam is then thoroughly washed to remove soaps and excess materials.
After washing, the latex foam is now ready for drying at a high temperature to remove all the moisture from the finished product.
This is the most preferred and more modern method of manufacturing latex because it allows manufacturers to create specific levels of comfort and support.
During the process, the raw materials such as natural and synthetic latex, soaps, and rubber curing agents are mixed together in a stainless vacuum mix tank to create the latex foam.
Then the foam is subjected to molding and freezing; this is to form the shape and strength of the foam.
At this point, carbon dioxide gas is incorporated through the latex and causing it to gel.
The last step will be vulcanization, and wherein the temperature is raised to 220 °F.
In simple terms, here is a table of comparison between Dunlop and Talalay process:
|Process||Simple process||Undergoes elaborate process|
More energy-intensive process
|Finished Product||Creates a denser latex that does not bounce back||Produces latex that is bouncy, springy, and weightless feel|
|Consistency||Allows particles in the materials to settle on the bottom of the mold making uneven consistency||The freezing step in this method prevents particles from falling to the bottom to create consistency and uniformity|
|Pressure Relief||Produces non-elastic latex||It can relieve pressure better than the Dunlop process|
|Breathability||Has a smaller cell structure that causes the foam to trap heat, thereby reducing its breathability||Creates an open-cell structure that can provide material with full ventilation and good airflow|
|Durability||Has a snowflake cell structure that breaks down easily when compressed||It has a round cell structure that does not breakdown easily upon compression. |
It is said to be three times more durable than the Dunlop
Benefits of Sleeping on Latex Pillows
Before you buy pillows, there are many things to consider, such as if it is made from natural materials, and if it is skin-friendly?
If you are looking both for these two distinct features, well, I think you are looking for a latex pillow.
Latex pillows come with many benefits making them a great investment, especially for people who are meticulous when it comes to their pillows.
Hence, here are some of the many benefits of latex pillows:
Offers a Good Neck Support
Your pillow accounts for your overall quality sleeping, that is why your pillow needs to support your head, shoulder adequately, and especially your neck muscles, as well as it needs to accommodate your natural body shape.
Therefore, a latex foam pillow is the perfect fit for this since this pillow can mold and adjust to your shape that is right for your head, neck, and shoulder, which helps you to sleep comfortably at night.
Furthermore, latex materials are denser compared to other pillow filling materials such as memory foam, fiber, and even down fillings; therefore, this can be additional support for your neck and spine alignment giving you a good night’s sleep.
Lastly, this pillow can hold and retain its shape for many years while keeping its softness and level of comfort.
Latex Pillows are Soft and Quiet
Latex pillows are known to be soft and quiet. That is why when you lay your head, you will not hear any squeaking and rustling sound while you are sleeping. Thus, this will help you catch a good night’s sleep on the whole night.
Just a fun fact, these latex pillows offer a good level of support, which can help keep your airways clear; therefore, it can reduce the tendency for people to snore. In that way, it can help to lessen the noise too!
Durable With Long Lifespan
One of the main latex pillow benefits is its durability. They are also said to be hypoallergenic. Hence, these pillows can minimize the growth of bacteria and molds, and that means you do not have to replace your pillows as often as you would compare to other pillows.
Due to their unique characteristics and structure, latex pillows can retain its firmness longer than other pillow types, thus providing you the best and appropriate level of support for your head, neck, and shoulder.
You will find natural latex pillows often more expensive than their synthetic-made counterparts.
However, try to consider latex pillows a great investment since they will continue to serve you well for many years.
Latex Pillows are Hypoallergenic
Often recommended for people with allergies, these latex pillows, particularly made from natural and organic latex, helps in promoting a good night’s sleep.
In fact, organic latex pillows are hypoallergenic and have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Therefore, you do not have to worry about harboring molds, fungi, bacteria, and mildew while you are asleep.
Moreover, latex pillows are the best and perfect choice for people who have mild to sensitive skin, just make sure you choose natural latex instead of its synthetic counterpart.
Provide Neck Pain and Pressure Relief
Due to latex’s known ideal support in alleviating neck and shoulder pain from sleeping, these pillows provide a good way to a good night’s sleep.
Latex pillows offer an excellent job in cushioning your head, which aids in ensuring the proper alignment of your neck and spine and can relieve pressure while you are asleep.
Unlike any other pillow that can cause a stiff neck and headache once, you wake up from a long sleep.
Pillows Have Cooling and Breathable Qualities
Natural latex has an open-cell structure, which makes them unique and allows inside airflow to go smoothly.
In simple terms, natural and organic latex pillows have a breathable property that keeps your pillows well ventilated without any stop. This is due to the microscopic air pockets in the latex surface helping to circulate the air well, traps moisture, and can keep your pillows dry.
In addition to this, the surface of the latex has millions of interconnected cells designed with ventilating pin-cores that creates a cooling pillow.
Therefore, if you are feeling hot while sleeping, I recommend you choose latex pillows.
Latex pillows are not recommended to be washed frequently. We can keep them clean and fresh by spot cleaning with soap and water, and then placing them in a cool, well-ventilated, and dry place once a month.
However, if you really need to wash your latex pillows, please bear in mind that these pillows are sensitive to direct sunlight.
This is because organic latex came from rubber trees, therefore, in the end; the latex foam will turn into powder. As we move along, later on, I will share with you how to freshen up and clean your latex pillows.
Since latex came from a natural and organic rubber tree, this helps inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and dust mites.
Moreover, because of its breathable and cooling properties, it keeps the surface of latex well ventilated and dried, which is not friendly for bacterial growth.
Lastly, latex has a distinct special odor that can keep molds and mites from harboring inside the pillow.
On the other hand, despite all the benefits of latex pillows, there are some few and minor drawbacks that other users are complaining of. Here are the disadvantages of latex pillows:
Disadvantages of Latex Pillows
Just like any other pillow fillings, these latex pillows have their own downsides, as well.
The price of latex pillows varies depending on whether it is made through the Dunlop process or Talalay process.
Dunlop latex pillow costs about from 40$ to 60$, while Talalay latex pillows are more expensive, ranging from 60$ to 80$.
However, investing in latex pillows is a good deal since the benefits outweigh the high cost of these pillows, and latex pillows are long-lasting.
Less Availability On The Market
Compared to other pillow fillings such as memory foam, polyester, and down alternative, the availability for latex pillows is limited.
Since latex pillows are made from a mold, you can only look for several forms in the market, such as the granule, contour, and wave pillows.
Another drawback of these types of pillows is they are heavy.
Latex pillows have the tendency to be dense and somewhat heavy, which makes people have trouble moving and adjusting them during the night.
However, most sleepers do not consider this as an issue at all.
Usually, latex pillows have a rubbery smell that some people find unpleasant.
However, the smell just came from the pillow’s packaging, and the smell eventually disappears after several days of using the pillow.
Keep in mind that this issue applies only to synthetic latex pillows, and if you are sensitive to the smell, even though it will disappear, later on, there is another way to resolve this issue by opting for organic and natural latex pillows.
You already know the advantages and disadvantages of latex pillow, therefore before you shift on replacing your pillows, here are the things you might want to consider when buying latex pillows.
Things to Consider When Buying Latex Pillows
If you are looking for the best latex pillows that will best suit your bedroom, there are few things you should take into consideration before you buy latex pillows.
There are two known ways to create latex pillows that offer a variety of levels of comfort, feel, support, and pressure. Therefore, grab your pen and a piece of paper to list down your needs and preferences before you go shopping for new latex pillows.
When buying a latex pillow, one feature you should take into consideration is the firmness level, whether you want it to be firm or soft pillows.
For the firmness level of these types of pillow, it is determined through latex density. Therefore, be sure to check the comfortability of the pillow before you buy it.
Another thing that can affect the quality of your sleep is the thickness of your pillow, whether you prefer a thick loft or just the normal loft.
Your choice for the thickness of your pillow should depend on your personal preferences and your sleeping position, whether you are a side sleeper or a back sleeper.
Friendliness to Skin
If you have skin allergies or you have a mild to sensitive skin, latex pillows are the perfect choice for your skin. This is because latex pillows have a natural hypoallergenic property that works best, especially if you have skin concerns.
In addition to this, these pillows are resistant to bacteria, dust mites, molds, mildew, and other forms of allergens. However, just make sure you are not allergic to latex since this can be more problematic; therefore, as a piece of advice, you should avoid latex pillows at all costs.
Furthermore, I would also suggest looking for a pillow that is easy to clean and maintain just like latex pillows. You can see below is a simple guideline and some tips on how to properly care for your latex pillows.
How to Clean Latex Pillows
One of the many benefits of using latex pillows is their easy maintenance property; therefore, for today, I will share with you how to clean and wash these latex pillows.
Latex pillows are recommended not to wash too frequently; however, you can still keep them looking at their best by spot cleaning them.
Spot Cleaning Your Pillow
Here are tips below on how to spot-clean latex pillows:
Before you do the spot-cleaning, make sure you remove as much dust as possible to avoid making its way through the fabric.
What you need to do is to take the pillows outside and smack it with your both hands to get rid of the dust and some debris.
Once you are done, vacuum the surface of the pillow to ensure you remove all the dust and light debris.
Tip: If your vacuum is adjustable, use the low suction setting
Blot the stains
Blotting up a small spill right away can help you prevent creating a potential stain. For this step, you need a cloth or paper towels to absorb the liquid that gets into your pillow. Here is what you need to do:
- Press the folded white cloth or pieces of paper towels on the wet area
- Remove as much as liquid as possible
- Get a new white cloth or paper towels to absorb even more liquid in the pillow
- Continue this step until no more liquid comes out from the pillow
Tip: Never use a dyed cloth to ensure no tint will bleed onto your pillow
Prepare the soapy solution
Prepare the solution by mixing water, mild detergent liquid, and baking soda in a bowl until you achieve the syrupy consistency. Dip a white cloth onto your solution, and then you blot to the spot you wish to spot-clean.
Leave it for at least 15 minutes, and then gently wash off the pillow by wiping the treated spots with a damped cloth until you can no longer see remained residues on your pillow.
Air-dry your pillows to remove all the moisture and helps to freshen up them.
Tip: When you clean a large spot or spill, wipe off the stain outward to an inward direction to prevent the stain from spreading.
For Sticky Spots
For sticky spots such as chocolate, chewing gum, or pancake syrup, you need to harden the stain to scrape it off easily by placing an ice bag on top of it.
Once the stain hardened, using a plastic knife or any with a sharp edge, scrape away the stain by pushing it from the outside to the inside. If the stain softens, place again the ice bag until it firms up, and then you scrape again.
Tip: If there are still some spots remaining, follow up by damping a white cloth with the soapy solution you made in Step 3.
For Inky Stains
Dab the spot first using a white cloth to test if the ink transfers from the pillow onto the cloth. Pour rubbing alcohol to the cloth you use, and then you dab it again to the ink stain.
Tip: Test the alcohol first on a small area of your pillow to ensure colorfastness
Washing Your Latex Pillows
Even though you regularly spot-clean your pillows, there will come a time that you just feel the need to wash them.
However, some people are quite unsure if these pillows are machine-washed or just hand-washed.
For the record, I would NOT recommend latex pillows to be washed by machine since natural and organic latex came from a rubber tree; therefore, the material is too soft that it can be torn easily.
Here are the steps on how to wash latex pillows properly by hand:
1. Remove the Pillowcase
Take out the pillow out of the pillowcase to access the core pillow. You can wash the pillowcases along with the pillow to save time and energy.
NOTE: If you see any stains on your pillow, make sure you spot-clean them first before you wash them
2. Fill the Sink or Bathtub With Hot Water
If you are washing your pillows in the sink, make sure it is big enough to accommodate the pillows. Pour very hot water until it is half-full and then put the plug in the bathtub or in the sink.
Tip: Use hot water to eliminate bacteria, molds, and dust mites that are living in your pillow
3. Use a Mild Laundry Detergent
You can use your standard mild detergent even though you will be washing your pillows by hand.
For each pillow, pour 1 tablespoon or 15mL of laundry detergent in hot water. Then swirl the water vigorously to make the water bubbly.
Tip: Consider using low-suds laundry detergent so that you can rinse the pillows faster and easily
4. Soak the Pillow and Massage the Surface
Submerge the pillow into the hot soapy water. Press the pillows down to absorb water, and then you use your hands to squeeze and massage the fillings of the pillow.
Continue doing this until you remove all the dirt on your pillows, and the soapy water reaches the middle core of the pillow.
Tip: You can wear a pair of gloves if the water is too hot that can irritate your skin
5. Rinse the Pillow
Once you are done, you can now remove the pillow and squeeze out the soapy water.
Place the pillows in a large basin, and then you drain the sink or the tub. Rinse off the sink or tub with fresh water until it is no longer soapy.
Fill the sink or the tub with fresh water, and then you submerge the pillows. You have to repeat this step a few times until the pillows do not feel soapy.
NOTE: If pillows are not rinsed carefully, soap residues will turn into stains later on and will make your pillows harder to dry
6. Squeeze out Excess Water
Turn off the water and squeeze your pillows with your hands to remove excess water. Then lay flat your pillows on a dry towel and then press down to remove water.
Tip: Avoid twisting your latex pillows to get out more water, since wringing these pillows can damage the latex and tear them easily
7. Dry Your Pillow
Choose a dry and sunny day to dry your pillows. Make sure you position your clothesline not too direct to sunlight. Hang your pillows with the most airflow to dry it faster.
Alternative: You may also consider laying your pillow flat to dry; however, make sure that you check the pillow every hour or two to break up any lumps.
As your pillows dry, make sure you shake and massage the fillings because this will make it comfortable once it is fully dried.
To complete these here are some things you should keep in mind on how to take care properly your latex pillows:
Keep These Things in Mind
- Fluff your latex pillows every night to maintain its shape and texture. This also helps keep the fillings intact
- Look for a pillowcase that can protect your pillows against stains. Make sure that your pillowcase is machine-washable so that you can wash and replace it regularly
- It is advisable to wash your pillows every 3 to 4 months to get rid of the bacteria, molds, and dust mites. Make sure you read your pillow’s care label instructions first for more informative instructions
- Never ever, let your pillows get wet or get some spills, as this can help bacteria to grow, which makes your pillows smell stinky. If ever this happens, make sure you hang the pillows to air dry and remove the moisture
- Spot-clean your pillows with stains, make sure you use a mild dishwashing liquid, or you can use a baking soda paste to dab on areas with stains
- When storing your pillows, avoid placing them inside a plastic bag, as this can trap moisture inside the latex fillings that can cause the growth of mold and mildew. Instead, keep your pillows inside breathable bags.
Even though you have done all the things and tips listed here, there will come a time that you need to replace your latex pillows. You can see below is the guideline about when should you replace a pillow.
When Should I Replace My Latex Pillow
As a rule of thumb, pillows must be replaced every 1 to 2 years. However, there are certain types of pillows that can last longer than other types of pillows, just like your latex pillows can. I have listed below the average lifespans for different types of pillows, and they are arranged from the most durable to the least durable.
|Type Of Pillow||Average Lifespan|
|Memory Foam||1.5-3 years|
|Down Alternative/Synthetic Down||1.5-2 years|
|Polyester||6 months – 2 years|
Signs You Should Replace Latex Pillow
If you notice any of the following signs, it is the right time to say goodbye to your latex pillows:
- There are lumps in the filler materials
- There are noticeable and permanent body sweat and oil
- You wake with a stiff neck, shoulder pain, or headache
- You wake up restless
- You wake up sneezing due to the dust mites
Other factors that can affect your pillow’s lifespan includes the following:
- Different sleeping positions
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