THE GOOD: Latex toppers can significantly alter the comfort of a mattress by making it softer or firmer. They come in many thicknesses and varieties, including all-natural types, to suit individual preference.
THE BAD: They are the most expensive type of mattress topper, and their availability is limited. Some initial odor is possible. New latex toppers can appear aged with minor rips, discoloration and flaking. Returns can be both a hassle and expensive.
The ratings below show how latex topper-pads as a group compare to the average topper.
|Affordable||d-||Prices often range $70-$360 ($262 average price) which makes latex toppers more expensive than other topper types. The wide price range is due mainly to differences in thickness.|
|Value||C-||While latex toppers provide some unique benefits, toppers with similar owner satisfaction and general benefits – namely memory foam – are available for significantly less money.|
|Conforming ability||B+||A highly conforming topper is one that molds and contours to one's body resulting in a cradling, cloud-like, pressure-point-free sensation. Latex toppers are second only to memory foam in their conforming ability.|
|Less pain||b||30%+ of owners with back or joint pain report their topper helps to significantly reduce it.|
|Support||b+||Latex has potential to improve mattress support somewhat – often better potential than memory foam.|
|Durability / longevity||b+||Latex tends to have somewhat better longevity / durability than other topper types. Excessive softening, body impression development and loss of support over time are the main durability complaints.|
|Motion isolation||c||A topper that provides effective motion isolation helps to keep movement of one person from disturbing another person. Motion isolation is neither a clear strength nor weakness of latex toppers. Dunlop-processed latex performs somewhat better than talalay-processed latex on this issue.|
|Easy to move on / get up off||C||Firmer varieties especially are generally easy to move on and get up off. Latex tends to not conform to the body as strongly as memory foam. It also tends to recover quickly from being compressed / lied on.|
|Easy to move, lift, handle||d||They tend to weigh 20-70 lbs depending mostly on thickness and size – making them at least as heavy as other toppers. Roughly 6% of owners say weight is a disadvantage.|
|No initial odor||B-||Roughly 7% of owners (1 out of 14), especially owners of synthetic and blended latex toppers, report a chemical- or rubber-like smell. Latex overall has far fewer complaints than memory foam on the issue of initial odor.|
|No sleeping hot||C-||Heat problems are reported by about 5% of owners (1 out of 20) which is less than the rate for memory foam toppers. Softer, thicker, and higher density toppers have the greatest likelihood of retaining heat.|
|Mold resistant||A-||There are few reports of mold problems with latex toppers. Natural latex is resistant to mold and mildew.|
|Sex friendly||b||Latex provides pressure-point relief but is not as bounce absorbing or restrictive of movement as memory foam.|
|Proper fit / secure||c||Like many mattress topper types, latex toppers may not fit properly to the dimensions of the mattress. And they may not stay fully secure or in place especially without a mattress pad covering them.|
|Appearance||C-||They have a higher-than-average number of complaints for appearance or condition even when new. A significant number of owners report discoloration, tearing, flaking. When the bed is made, however, the topper usually has a non-lumpy, clean, even appearance.|
|Washable||D||When needed, they can be spot cleaned by hand or steam cleaned. A cover can help keep them clean and preserved.|
|Easy to maintain||A-||The only maintenance required is the occasional turn / flip which may aid longevity.|
|Availability||D||Unlike most other types, latex toppers are usually available only online.|
The following comparison includes latex toppers with 85% or higher owner satisfaction.
|Pure Green||Select Luxury E.C.O. Latex Topper|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|Cost per inch (queen)|
|1," 2", 3"||2"|
|natural dunlop||natural dunlop|
|soft, med, firm
(22 ILD estimate)
|4-5.9 lbs/ft||4 lbs/ft|
|14-66 lbs||25 lbs (estimate)|
|Distinctive Advantage or Trait|
|few odor complaints||comes with polyester cover|
|twin, full, queen, king, CA king||twin, full, queen, king|
|amazon - soft
amazon - med
amazon - firm
* Thickness. 1" is best for those seeking to merely fine tune mattress comfort. 2" and 3" are most popular due to their ability to significantly change and improve mattress comfort.
** Type. Latex is usually either a natural / synthetic blend of varying percentages or 100% natural. Based on collected owner experience data for latex toppers and latex mattresses, all-natural latex rates about 15% higher in overall satisfaction than blended (natural / synthetic combination) latex. All-natural latex, however, is usually more expensive.
Dunlop, talalay and continuous are types of latex processing. They tend to rate virtually the same in owner satisfaction. Natural latex and blended latex can be made using any of the processes. Talalay is more airy, less dense and lighter than dunlop. Another difference is that the dunlop method produces one piece of latex while the talalay method produces latex in sections which then must be glued together. The continuous process produces latex with consistency similar to talalay but without the glued seams.
*** Firmness. ILD is short for Indentation Load Deflection and refers to firmness. ILDs of 14-22 are often considered soft; 23-29 medium; 30-40 firm; 41 and higher extra firm. Most consumers seem to prefer an ILD of 22-30. Our research suggests that most consumers buy a latex topper-pad to soften a firm mattress, while about 20% buy one to firm up a soft mattress. In addition, back sleepers tend to be pleased with medium to firm ILD; stomach sleepers with medium ILD; side sleepers with soft to medium ILD.
Latex toppers can often be added to just one side of a mattress. This can provide
a different firmness and feel to each side – making a mattress more couple friendly. Read more on how to have a topper on one side of a bed.
Ratings are based on over 1,600 latex mattress topper-pad owner reviews collected from credible sources – namely review sections on retailer web sites.
– Prices for latex toppers usually start at $80 which makes them pricier than other topper types.
– Owner experience data suggests that paying more for a latex mattress topper does not tend to result in noticeably higher satisfaction.
– Latex toppers tend to be heavier than other mattress topper types, and the thicker the topper is the heavier it will be.
– Latex toppers (along with memory foam toppers) offer significant potential for pain prevention and relief, including back pain relief.