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Latex mattress toppers may help a person stay cool during the night, which promotes better sleep. They may also reduce body pressure, which could improve comfort.

The best latex toppers come with certifications that show that they are made with natural materials and do not emit harmful gases.

This article discusses how toppers made of latex may differ from those made of other materials. It also examines who they may benefit and provides some products that a person may wish to consider.

A mattress topper is a 1- to 3-inch (in) thick pad that lies on top of a mattress. It differs from a mattress pad, which is a protective and often waterproof cover for a mattress. The purpose of a mattress topper is to increase comfort.

Mattress toppers have varying materials. One type is latex, which may be either natural or synthetic. Natural latex comes from the rubber tree and may contain fillers. Synthetic latex is a blend of natural latex, fillers, and chemicals.

Other mattress topper materials include:

  • Memory foam: Memory foam mattress toppers are composed of a soft polyurethane substance but can be odorous and make a person feel hot. According to the Federal Trade Commission, some memory foam bedding products emit gases that are harmful to health.
  • Polyester blends: Polyester mattress toppers are initially soft, but they may compress and lose their fluffiness with time. They are inexpensive and do not have an odor. Polyester blends can also make a person feel hot.
  • Wool: These mattress toppers provide soft, breathable cushioning. However, they do not mold to the body like mattress toppers made of memory foam.
  • Feathers: Toppers made of feathers are soft but may not provide much support for the body. Feather toppers may not suit hot sleepers or those with feather allergies.

Who might benefit from a latex mattress topper?

Research in the peer reviewed medical journal PLOS One indicates that people with any sleep condition could benefit from using a latex mattress due to its cooling properties.

Based on one study in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, using a latex mattress topper may also help prevent pressure sores in older adults with limited mobility. The findings also suggest that latex may benefit individuals with arthritis and other joint conditions.

A person who would like a topper made solely of natural latex should look for Global Organic Latex Standards (GOLS) certifications. Some other certifications to look out for include the following.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100This certification shows that textiles are free from harmful substances.
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)GOTS ensures that textiles and their packaging are environmentally sustainable, ethically sourced, and socially responsible.
GREENGUARD GoldThis certification means that a product has low chemical emissions.
MadeSafeThe MadeSafe certification means that a product is not suspected of being harmful to a person’s health.

Latex mattress toppers have benefits and drawbacks. The table below looks at some of these in more detail.

Pressure relief: The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine study compared latex with memory foam mattresses and found that the latex variety better reduced body pressure in all sleeping positions. The authors noted that this benefit might increase sleep comfort, and they recommended the use of latex mattresses in hospitalized people at risk of bedsores.

Promotes coolness: Latex is bouncy, making it a high rebound material compared with memory foam, which is a low rebound material. The research in PLOS One found that a high rebound mattress topper reduced body temperature in the initial sleep phase more than a low rebound topper. The authors concluded that this indicates that a latex topper may improve restorative rest in the initial sleep phase.

No odor: Natural latex does not emit odors as memory foam does. However, synthetic latex may have odors from the added chemicals it contains.

Firm: Latex is firm compared with memory foam. This is an advantage for a person who needs a firm topper, but it might feel too firm for some individuals.
Cost: Latex can be an expensive material. This may be because of its durability and how long it lasts.

Allergies: A person may have an allergy to latex, as their immune system can react as though it has come into contact with a harmful organism or substance. However, under 1% of people in the United States have a latex allergy.

Below are some latex mattress toppers for a person to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.

MyGreenMattress.com Organic Latex Topper

The MyGreenMattress.com Organic Latex Topper comprises 2-in thick GOLS and OEKO-TEX certified latex. A GOTS certified cotton cover surrounds the latex, and sizes range from twin to California king.

A zipper easily removes the cotton cover, which is hand wash and air dry only. The mattress topper itself is not washable.

The company offers a 5-year warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.

Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper

The Avocado Organic Latex Mattress Topper is made of GOLS certified latex and GOTS and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified wool.

Its internal quilted ticking is GOTS certified cotton, and sizes range from twin to California king. It also comes in a choice of soft or medium firm. The mattress topper is nonallergenic.

Avocado offers a 10-year warranty and a 1-year trial that has a 30-day minimum.

PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper

The PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper is hypoallergenic and 100% natural latex. It is available in a choice of 2- or 3-in thicknesses.

Sizes range from twin to California king, with firmness choices ranging from soft to extra firm. Certifications include OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and GREENGUARD Gold.

This mattress topper does not include a cover. However, for an additional fee, a person can add an organic cotton cover to their purchase.

Birch by Helix Plush Organic Mattress Topper

The Birch by Helix Plush Organic Mattress Topper comprises 3 in of natural materials, including latex, wool, and cotton, with GREENGUARD Gold and GOTS certifications.

Sizes range from twin to California king, and the mattress is hypoallergenic.

Birch offers a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.

Organic Textiles Soft and Firm Organic Latex Mattress Topper

The Organic Textiles Soft and Firm Organic Latex Mattress Topper has a firm side and a soft side to change according to a person’s preference.

It comes with a choice of 2- or 3-in thickness, and sizes range from baby crib and twin through to California king. The company notes that the topper is hypoallergenic and holds the GOLS certification.

Organic Textiles operates a 30-day returns policy for new and unused products only.

In the process of falling asleep, a person’s body temperature drops, explains the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). For this reason, a person’s bedroom should be cool to make it easy for them to fall and stay asleep.

The NSF adds that a bedroom temperature in the range of 60–67°F (16–19ºC) is optimal.

Further research supports this advice. A Frontiers in Neuroscience study examined the effects of temperature on sleep and found that improved sleep quality is linked to body cooling.

Health benefits and mattress toppers

Although the NSF does not mention mattress toppers specifically, it advises choosing bedding that feels pleasant. If a person is comfortable, they are more likely to sleep well.

Based on the Frontiers in Neuroscience study, the cooler a person sleeps, the better chance they have of achieving good sleep quality. Because latex mattress toppers help individuals stay cool, they may achieve better overall sleep.

Improved sleep has important implications for health in general. The Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion states that getting adequate sleep helps:

  • fight infections
  • promote productivity
  • reduce conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease

Some latex mattress toppers contain fillers and chemicals, so a person who is considering purchasing one may wish to look for those made of 100% natural latex with recognized certifications.

Latex mattress toppers can be costly, so a person may wish to take their time and compare the features of several options before making a purchase.