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Sleep quality is one of the most important factors in a person’s overall health. A pillow that provides comfort and support can benefit a person’s sleep quality.
Other factors to consider when buying pillows include material sustainability, breathability, and whether they are hypoallergenic.
This article discusses the benefits of latex pillows and lists five of the best available for purchase online, plus some alternatives.
A quick look at 5 of the best latex pillows
- Best for side sleepers: Organic Textiles Talalay Hypoallergenic Latex Pillow
- Best for all sleep positions: PlushBeds Shredded Natural Latex Pillow
- Best with firmness choice: Latex for Less Pillow
- Best organic: Birch by Helix Organic Pillow
- Best adjustable: Sleep Artisan Side Sleeper Pillow
Manufacturers produce pillows using various materials, ranging from the traditional, such as synthetic materials and feathers, to the more modern, including polyurethane (PU) foam, gel, and latex.
Latex is a natural substance that comes from the sap of rubber trees. People consider it sustainable because it needs few resources for it to grow.
Manufacturers sometimes combine pure latex with fillers, such as PU foam and chemicals, to make pillows and mattresses. The result of this is synthetic latex.
However, the most sustainable products contain 100% natural latex, which can be more expensive.
Companies often market latex as an alternative to memory foam. However, it is slightly less spongy than memory foam and springs back much faster. Latex also dissipates moisture and heat better than memory foam.
Solid latex pillows retain their height and shape, so a person cannot compress or mold them to suit their sleeping position. Pillows with a shredded latex filling are easier to mold into an individual’s desired shape.
MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:
- Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
- Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
- Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
- Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
- Firmness: MNT selects products that are available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
- Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
- Shipping: Where possible, MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
- Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Below are five of the best latex pillow options for those looking to improve their comfort and spinal alignment during sleep.
Best for side sleepers: Organic Textiles Talalay Hypoallergenic Latex Pillow
- Pricing: $89.95
- Weight: 3.99 pounds (lb)
Organic Textiles has designed this pillow specifically for side sleepers.
It is filled with 100% natural Talalay latex and covered with an organic cotton cover. The company states its cotton cover is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.
Its pinhole design allows air to circulate to help a person stay cool, according to the manufacturer.
The company also states that this pillow is 5.5 inches (in) thick and compresses to 1.5–2.5 in.
Best for all sleep positions: PlushBeds Shredded Natural Latex Pillow
- Pricing: $99–124
- Weight: no information provided
This eco-friendly pillow features 100% natural shredded latex.
A person can mold it to suit their sleep position without the filling shifting or clumping.
The shredded latex filling also makes the pillow more lightweight than solid latex versions.
The company states this pillow uses Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)-certified organic latex.
This pillow is available in three sizes, including standard, queen, and king.
Best for range of firmnesses: Latex for Less Pillow
- Pricing: $109–129
- Weight: no information provided
Latex for Less offers a choice of solid or shredded latex pillows in three sizes. These are among the more affordable latex pillows included in this list.
People who prefer a lightweight, cooling, and moldable pillow may wish to choose the shredded model.
In contrast, those looking for firm neck and head support might find the solid option more comfortable.
Best organic latex pillow: Birch by Helix Organic Pillow
- Pricing: $99–119
- Weight: no information provided
This pillow uses eco-friendly, natural, and organic materials sourced ethically and sustainably. The company states its products are GOTS and Greenguard Gold certified.
The pillow’s core is shredded Talalay latex sourced from Southeast Asia.
According to the manufacturer, an organic wool layer wraps around the core, which adds plushness and wicks away moisture.
The outer cover is 100% organic cotton that the company says provides a soft, plush surface.
Best adjustable latex pillow: Sleep Artisan Side Sleeper Pillow
- Pricing: $98.56
- Weight: 3.5 lb
Sleep Artisan has filled this pillow with shredded latex, and its cover is a blend of cotton, polyester, and hemp.
This adjustable pillow has a zip-up cover. A person can remove some of the filling to reduce the pillow’s height if they find it too high.
According to the company, its curved design supports the neck to help reduce muscle strain. However, this feature means that it will not fit a standard pillowcase. However, a person can buy matching pillowcases separately from Sleep Artisan.
Many latex pillows offer suitable back and neck support while helping ease pain. They may also provide several other health benefits and advantages.
- Easing certain neck conditions: One
studyfound that an ergonomic latex pillow helped people with cervical spondylosis. However, it is unclear whether the latex itself made a difference to participants’ health outcomes.
- Suiting people with allergies: Latex pillows are also resistant to dust mites, making them a suitable choice for around 20 million people in the United States with a dust mite allergy. Latex is also antimicrobial and resistant to mold and mildew. People with a latex allergy should also avoid using latex pillows.
- Fewer toxic substances: Latex pillows include less toxic ingredients than memory foam alternatives. However, synthetic latex may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) because it contains PU foam and other synthetic materials.
Some people are allergic to latex, do not like how it smells, or do not wish to pay a higher price for latex pillows.
However, there is a wide range of alternative pillow materials a person can consider. Each has a different feel and may suit the varied needs of different sleepers.
PU foam and memory foam
PU foam and memory foam pillows provide a “sinking in” feeling and contour to the shape of a sleeper’s head and neck.
They can take a while to spring back into shape, so they may not suit people who change their head position frequently throughout the night.
Feathers and down
Feather and down pillows are compressible and moldable, so people can adjust them to give support where they need it.
The “sinking in” feeling they provide may not be preferable to people who prefer their pillow to retain its shape.
People refer to synthetic pillows as hollow-fiber, microfiber, or polyester pillows, and they are generally the cheapest pillows on the market.
They are soft and compressible, and a person can fold them in half to give extra support. However, synthetic pillows may not have a long lifespan because the filling tends to clump together when washed, which can make it lose its shape.
Gel pillows offer cooling properties. Manufacturers make them by integrating PU foam with gel or placing separate layers of gel and foam together.
Other pillow materials
Pillows can come in many other materials, including:
The table below compares all of the products included in this list.
|Organic Textiles||PlushBeds||Latex for Less||Birch by Helix||Sleep Artisan|
|Sizes available||standard, queen, king, travel||standard, queen, king||standard, queen, king||standard, king||one size|
|Additional materials||organic cotton cover||organic cotton cover||organic cotton cover||organic wool, and organic cotton cover||cotton, polyester, and hemp cover|
|Certifications||GOTS||GOLS||none||GOTS, Greenguard Gold||none|
|Sleep trial||no||no||no||100 nights||30 days|
|Warranty||none||3 years||5 years||1 year||3 years|
A person should consider the following factors to help them choose a latex pillow:
- Type of latex: Some pillows feature natural latex, whereas others are synthetic. Although they may feel similar, the natural latex will have more durability. Talalay latex is another type that may have a fluffier feel than other types.
- Firmness: Firmness preference usually varies between individuals. Some people may require firmer support, whereas others may prefer a softer comfort.
- Allergies: Although less than 1% of people in the U.S. have a latex allergy, people who are affected by this should never purchase a pillow containing latex. Anyone prone to other allergies may find latex pillows a good option as they are naturally hypoallergenic.
- Additional features: Some pillows may have additional features such as cooling properties or adjustable thickness. A person should consider if they have any other particular needs and seek features to accommodate them.
- Cost: Various products are available in different price ranges, meaning there is something for all budgets.
Latex is a suitable option for people looking for a supportive, long lasting, eco-friendly pillow. However, their high cost may not be suitable for people working with smaller budgets.
Below are some alternatives a person can consider.
Bamboo pillows, such as the Xtreme Comforts Bamboo Pillow, offer eco-friendly properties, including latex, but with a lower price tag.
Wool pillows offer temperature regulation throughout the seasons. However, wool pillows can be difficult to wash.
Pillows, such as Organic Lifestyle’s Natural Wool Pillow, provide softness and support.
Memory foam pillows
Memory foam pillows, such as those that Brooklyn Bedding offers, provide similar support to latex and are available in numerous shapes, sizes, and lofts.
Some memory foam pillows are designed to be cooling and feature gel or breathable foams.
Below are some of the most common questions about latex pillows.
Are latex pillows healthy?
Latex has naturally hypoallergenic properties, meaning it repels dust and other allergens. Natural latex may also contain less toxic chemicals and compounds than some other pillow materials, such as polyurethane foam.
Additionally, research suggests that latex pillows may help to promote sleep quality and spinal alignment.
How long do natural latex pillows last?
Natural latex pillows are more durable than those made with synthetic latex. A person can aim to replace their pillows — of any material — every 1–2 years, although there is no research that definitively states a person should do this for health reasons. However, pillows can pick up sweat, skin cells, mites, and bacteria with use. As a result, it may be most hygienic for a person to replace their pillow every 1–2 years and wash pillowcases and covers regularly.
Are latex pillows machine washable?
Usually, a person cannot wash their latex pillows in the washing machine, but instructions may differ between brands.
However, latex pillows often come with a cotton cover. This cotton cover is usually machine washable.
Latex pillows are a suitable option for people who prefer an eco-friendly pillow that offers long-lasting durability.
Although they come with a higher price tag, they may offer good value in the long term. For people with latex allergies, or those put off by the smell of the material, there are plenty of alternatives available, including pillows made from synthetic and natural materials.