The Best Latex Pillows

By Stephanie Janetos

You’ve heard of latex, you’ve heard of pillows, but have you ever heard of latex foam pillows? Foam pillows are considered a very desirable type of pillow due to their resiliency, their ability to retain shape, and their enhanced cushiness. Latex and memory foam pillows have been known to help relieve shoulder and neck pain that comes from sleeping with less responsive pillows.

Natural latex pillows are a great bedding option for those looking to decrease their carbon footprint, as the production of latex adheres to the low-emission textile guideline.

Types of Latex Pillows

All latex is often considered a natural alternative to memory foam and is naturally resistant to heat and moisture. Latex pillow inserts may either be a single slab or shredded. Single-slab inserts are usually perforated with an open cell structure to increase the breathability of the pillow. Shredded latex fill can be molded and will not shift and clump.

With that being said, there are two types of latex pillow fill: natural and synthetic.

Natural Latex

Natural latex is made of the sap of the hevea-brasilienis rubber tree. This sap then undergoes a foaming process, which produces tiny bubbles which gives latex its stretchiness. Natural latex is chemical free, although, they will experience a short period of off-gassing before they’re completely smell free.

One hundred percent all-natural latex products meet the Global Organic Latex Standard (i.e. they are GOLS-certified) which means the latex is certified organic and the manufacturing process meets rigorous standards for human welfare and environmental emissions.

When it comes to natural latex, there are two different manufacturing processes for transforming liquid latex (i.e. the sap of the rubber tree) into foam. They are called Talalay latex and Dunlop latex. The end product of each process is very similar, but Dunlop latex is usually denser.

Synthetic Latex

Synthetic latex is very similar in feel to natural latex, but may be less durable and will need to be replaced more quickly than natural latex. Synthetic latex is man-made from petrochemicals. While more affordable than organic latex pillows, synthetic latex pillows have a shorter lifespan and may carry a smell. Unless a product is marked as 100 percent all-natural latex, it’s likely to be a blend of natural and synthetic latex.

The Best Latex Pillows

We’ve gathered the best latex pillows to improve your quality of sleep.

Editor’s Pick

Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow
  • Price: $109 for queen
  • Sizes: Available in standard, queen and king

The Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow is filled with organic shredded Dunlop latex. Because of the tiny pieces of shredded latex, this pillow has a traditional feel but has the durability, heat resistance, and hypoallergenic properties that make latex great. This is the best all-around latex pillow on the market.


Best for Sensitive Skin

Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex pillow
  • Price: $89 for queen
  • Sizes: Available in queen and king

The Talalay pillow by Brooklyn is an organic latex pillow available in queen or king size in high or low loft options. The high loft version is best suited for side sleepers, while the low-loft version is better suited for back sleepers. Talalay latex is up to seven times more breathable than other types of latex foam due to open cells in the latex insert. Brooklyn Beeding’s Talalay Latex Pillow is the best hypoallergenic pillow for sleepers prone to allergies and sensitive skin.

  • Price: $119 for queen
  • Sizes: Available in standard, queen and king

The Nest Easy Breather pillow is made of organic shredded latex inside of a natural cotton cover. The shredded latex fill may be removed, so sleepers can customize the height to their perfect loft. The adjustability and customization of the Nest Easy Breather makes it a great choice for any and all sleepers looking for a latex pillow.

  • Price: $69 for queen
  • Sizes: Available in standard, queen and king

Sleep on Latex is the largest retailer of latex pillows and mattresses in the world, and they’re done tons of research to get their product right. The Sleep on Latex pillow comes in Standard, Queen, or King sizes in a lightweight knit cotton cover. It comes with a five year warranty. The insert is organic latex with open cell perforations to increase airflow throughout the pillow. This pillow is our pick for the best value option for a latex pillow.


Best Luxury

The Saatva Pillow
  • Price: $145 for queen
  • Sizes: Available in queen and king

The Saatva pillow is a supportive, plush pillow with a core of shredded Talalay latex. The luxury of this pillow is in its unique construction. The latex core is surrounded with plush, natural cotton and downy fiber, encased in a moisture-wicking sateen cover. Users report that these pillows are quite weighty and squishy. The insert of this may be removed so the cover can be machine washed.


Benefits of Sleeping on a Latex Pillow

As a natural material, latex is more durable than other types of foam pillows. It’s quite bouncy and provides head and neck support keeping sleepers from sinking, a common complaint with other types of foam.

Not only is latex long lasting, but it’s also resistant to moisture, dust mites, and other allergens. As a result, latex pillows are hypoallergenic, cool and provide a clean sleep.

Memory Foam Versus Latex

When shopping for a pillow, you are likely to weigh the pros and cons of latex pillows versus memory foam pillows.

The main difference between latex and memory foam is that memory foam is one hundred percent man-made, while latex is naturally derived. There are also differences in texture. Latex is a highly bouncy, elastic material, giving latex pillows a springier feel than memory foam. Rather than “sinking into”  the pillow, it feels buoyant.

Memory foam pillows are available at a variety of price points, from budget-friendly to luxurious. Organic, natural latex pillows tend to be more expensive due to the lengthy manufacturing process. However, latex pillows are better for allergies and those with sensitive skin and may prove to be more durable over time.

How Often Should I Change My Pillow?

Some experts say that latex pillows can last up to ten years with correct care. However, most agree that pillows should be replaced at least every three years. One of the reasons for this is that pillows end up retaining dead skin cells and sweat. The other reason is that the buoyancy and support offered by latex depletes over time. Older latex will not provide as many benefits as newer latex pillows.

Although pillow cases and pillow covers can be machine washed as frequently as you desire, the latex pillow itself cannot be washed. You can spot-clean latex pillows with a damp, soapy cloth, taking care to let the pillow dry completely before placing it back inside the cover.

Conclusion

Organic latex pillows provide support for your head and neck, wick moisture, and control temperature so you have a cool place to sleep at night. Latex pillows are a good alternative to memory foam, for their similarity in texture, while being a natural fill for pillows not treated with chemicals. They may be longer lasting than feather-filled or down filled pillows. The height of the pillow you purchase depends on your sleep position. It may take some trial and error, but if you are dedicated to organic, hypoallergenic products, latex pillows may be a good option for you.

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