Organic and natural latex has become a popular choice in recent years, as some people look for an alternative to traditional mattresses.
They may be eco-friendly, but how about durability? Do latex mattresses sag over time? And if so, can it be bad for your health?
In this article, I’ll explore the truth about beds made from natural latex, and whether or not they sag.
I’ll also reveal what to look for (and what to avoid!) when shopping for a new organic latex mattress.
Some mattresses manufacturers use a sag factor.
This rating of 1-5 (5 being the best) indicates how likely the mattress is to sag over time.
Natural latex is an inherently durable material, but you still need to look after it.
There are many things that can determine how likely your mattress is to sag, most of which are beyond the manufacturer's control...
There are two main types of latex (Talalay and Dunlop).
Dunlop latex is generally considered more sag resistant than Talalay latex.
You can read more about both types of latex in my Are Latex Mattresses Hot Or Cool article.
Any additional construction materials will also impact how likely mattress sagging will occur.
For example, a latex mattress that has a pocketed coil support system is less likely to sag than one with a traditional innerspring system.
How dense and firm the latex foam is will also affect how likely it is to sag.
A mattress with a softer foam will be more likely to sag than one with a firmer foam.
The weight and body type of the person using the mattress both play a key role in how likely it is to sag.
An overweight person is more likely to cause a mattress to sag than someone of average weight, for example.
Mattress sagging can worsen if you sleep on your side or in a ‘spooning’ position.
If large pets sleep on the same spot at the end of your bed every night, that spot will eventually start to sag.
Getting the right amount of quality sleep comes with numerous benefits, including:
To get these benefits, it’s essential to have a mattress that doesn’t sag.
Sagging mattresses can disturb sleep in numerous ways.
A sagging mattress can cause increased pressure points on the body.
This can lead to tossing and turning throughout the night to find a comfortable position.
If you sleep on a sagging mattress, you may wake up with muscle strain or pain in your back, neck, and shoulders.
This is because your muscles and spine are not adequately supported, leading to strain and discomfort.
A sagging mattress can also cause decreased circulation, as your body is not aligned correctly.
This can lead to numbness or tingling in your extremities.
If the sagging in your latex mattress is being caused by failing springs, they may start the creak and groan.
This noise can potentially wake you or your partner multiple times during the night.
If your latex mattress is sagging, it can cause you to sleep hot.
This is because there is less airflow around your body, leading to increased body temperature and night sweats.
A sagging mattress is simply less comfortable to sleep on. You may wake up multiple times during the night due to discomfort.
New latex mattresses go through a break-in period of between two and eight weeks.
Some small dips and changes to the latex surface might occur during this breaking period. This is normal and not classed as sagging.
However, if it starts to affect the quality of your sleep, you should discuss your concerns with the mattress manufacturer or retailer to see if anything can be done.
You can do various things to stop your mattress from sagging or slow down the sagging process once you notice it's started.
Rotating your mattress from head to toe every few months is essential.
It helps distribute the weight evenly and can slow the sagging process.
If your mattress is double-sided, flipping it over can help to redistribute the weight evenly and keep it from sagging.
This does not apply to all mattresses, though, so check the handbook if you're unsure.
All mattresses can be rotated, but not all mattresses can be flipped. Memory foam mattresses, for example, can only be used with the foam portion at the top.
If your mattress is starting to sag, a mattress topper can help to add extra support and make it more comfortable.
A topper can also help extend your mattress's life by protecting it from wear and tear.
A mattress protector can also help extend your mattress's life by protecting it from spills, stains, and dirt.
A supportive frame for your bed is important for all mattresses but is essential for latex mattresses.
A metal or wooden frame with slats helps to distribute the weight evenly and keep the mattress from sagging.
If your mattress is already sagging, you can try to fill the dip with a pillow.
Latex mattresses have their pros and cons but they generally have the longest lifespan of all mattress types at 10-20 years,
How does this compare with memory foam mattresses and other mattress types?
When you’re looking at mattresses made from natural and synthetic latex, be sure to check the warranty length and small print.
Some companies offer a ‘no sag’ guarantee, while others will only cover sagging if it occurs within the first few years of use.
It’s important to know what you’re covered for in case your mattress does start to sag.
When your mattress has reached the end of its lifespan, you’ll need to dispose of it.
The best way to do this is to take it to a local recycling center that accepts mattresses.
If this isn’t an option, you can always contact your local waste disposal company to see what other options are available.
Arabella has some excellent thoughts on the subject in her mattress recycling tips article.
Natural latex is biodegradable, so it will eventually deteriorate and break down.
This means when your latex mattress reaches the end of its usable life, you’ll be able to dispose of it responsibly.
No, you won’t sink into a latex mattress. The latex foam is too dense for that. You will experience a floating sensation as the mattress contours to your body shape.
To clean a latex mattress, simply vacuum it with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. You can also spot clean any spills or stains with mild eco-friendly dish soap and a damp cloth.
For deeper cleaning, you can hire a professional mattress cleaning service or follow Arabella’s advice here.
Natural latex mattresses have a faint smell when unwrapped, but this should dissipate within a few days.
The smell will last longer in a synthetic latex mattress. This is caused by the chemicals used in the manufacturing process of synthetic latex mattresses off-gassing which can take some time (although these tips can help speed it up).
These chemicals can irritate your skin and respiratory system, so it’s best to avoid them by buying an organic mattress if possible.
Yes, 100% organic natural latex mattresses are naturally hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies.
If you need to store your natural latex mattress for any length of time, make sure to wrap it in a breathable fabric like cotton.
This will prevent the material from trapping moisture and developing mold or mildew.
It’s also a good idea to place the mattress on a raised surface off the ground to allow air to circulate around it. You can check out more latex mattress storage tips here.
No, a 100% natural latex mattress cannot get bed bugs. The material is too dense for them to penetrate, and they can’t live on the surface of the mattress because latex is naturally antimicrobial.
However, bed bugs can hitch a ride on your clothing or luggage and end up in your bedroom that way. If you think you have bed bugs, you should immediately treat the infected area with an eco-friendly bed bug spray.
Yes, a latex mattress is a good choice for the elderly. The material is extremely supportive and can help relieve pressure points that can cause pain.
Additionally, latex mattresses are known for their durability, so they’ll last longer than most other types of mattresses.
The thickness of your latex mattress depends on your preferences and needs. If you’re looking for a mattress suitable for side sleepers, you’ll want a 12”thick mattress.
For stomach sleepers, a mattress around 8” thick should be comfortable. For back sleepers, a mattress between 10” and 12” thick should be comfortable.
So back to the original question: do natural latex mattresses sag?
Yes, latex can sag, but this largely depends on the quality of the mattress and how well it is cared for.
If you’re looking for a durable and long-lasting mattress, latex is a great option (it will sag less than a memory foam mattress, for example). However, like all mattresses, latex can sag over time.
To reduce the impact of sagging, ensure that you follow the care tips in this article and my 12 key points listed below:
Now that you know the truth about sagging, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not a latex mattress is right for you.
Have you experienced sagging with a latex mattress? What about memory foam? Do you have any killer hacks to prevent or fix natural latex and memory foam mattress sagging?
Have you already upgraded to organic latex mattresses? Or do you have a different favorite? Drop me a line and let me know.