LATEX USE IN BEDDING
ON THE RISE
If the spring-form mattress industry thought that sluggish advances in spring-related technology were going to keep it on top, it probably didn't see trouble brewing in a small corner of Sri Lanka, where a modest and sustainable natural resource called latex rubber is proving that 100% natural really is better. The dramatic increase in imported latex for use in mattresses, pillows and toppers over the last ten years is indicative of the growing awareness among consumers that the durable, hypo-allergenic qualities of natural latex are superior to those of a spring mattress or feather pillow.Latex is the milky sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. It is a complex intracellular product of a system of cells that synthesize a polymer (cis-1,4-polyisoprene), which is the main component of natural rubber. This natural rubber is produced in Africa and South Asia, South America, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, where trees are tapped for latex by cutting a spiral groove in the bark and placing a spout and collection cup at the base.
One of the most remarkable qualities of natural latex is that it speaks to a new generation of consumers who are not only more health conscious, but also more apt to draw connections between the allergies they experience at night and the material of the bedding they sleep on. The observation that just a teaspoon of household dust that is found in a regular mattress harbors over one thousand dust mites is not lost on allergy sufferers, and latex is remarkable in that it is both dust-mite resistant and hypo-allergenic. Its natural anti-microbial qualities inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
And if solving the question of allergies in the bedroom is important, addressing the regular tossing and turning that leaves too many people restless and grumpy in the morning is paramount. Latex is renowned for its ability to gently conform to the contours of the body and reduce pressure points during sleep. Where spring-form mattresses are notorious for becoming susceptible to body impressions that result in uneven sleep, the properties of natural latex bring a durability that stands the test of time. As a consequence, natural latex foam mattresses have one of the lowest return rates in the mattress industry.
While spring-form mattresses remained firmly entrenched in the mind of the average mattress shopper, more and more individuals are becoming educated about their bedroom and taking steps to understand that not only are there alternatives, but, as is the case with latex foam, the alternatives are far better than the convention.
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