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How Long Do Latex Mattresses Last? 10 Tips to Boost Lifespan

If you’re looking for a long-lasting mattress then you might have heard that latex mattresses are the best option, but the exact lifespan figures vary depending on the website you visit.

So how long do latex mattresses last?

Latex mattresses last 8-12 years on average – making them more durable than spring (5-7 years) and memory foam (6-8 years) mattresses. The greater the ratio of natural to synthetic latex the longer the mattress is likely to last. Dunlop latex mattresses tend to last longer than Talalay latex mattresses.

The rest of this article reveals 10 ways to increase the lifespan of your latex mattress.

If you’ve yet to buy your latex mattress, then check out the best mattresses to buy online in 2021 here for some high-quality options.

10 Ways to Make Your Latex Mattress Last Longer - Custom Infographic

Maximizing Latex Mattress Lifespan in 10 Steps

When you factor out the inflated marketing claims, you can expect the average latex mattress to last somewhere in the region of 8-12 years – where the mattress is made entirely of latex foam.

This makes all-foam, latex mattress some of the most durable on the market.

Because by comparison, you should expect the average memory foam mattress to last around 6-8 years, whilst a traditional spring mattress has a lifespan of around 5-7 years.

And you can expect a hybrid mattress with latex in the upper comfort layer and a high quality, independently encased coil support core to last around 7-10 years.

Mattress Type:All-LatexMemory FoamSpringHybrid
Lifespan (ave):8-12 years6-8 years5-7 years7-10 years

However, in all cases, there are many variables at play that can affect the durability of these various mattresses before you buy them.

Such as the quality and density of the memory foam, the coil gauge, the coil count, the addition of a Euro top or a pillow top, and how well the mattresses are put together.

That’s quite a lot to unpack in one article, so I’m instead going to focus exclusively on all-foam latex mattresses and explain the nuances of ensuring that your latex mattress is positioned more towards the upper end of the durability spectrum going forward.

So here are the 10 steps that you should follow to maximize the durability of your latex mattress – from pre to post-purchase.

1: Look For a Higher Percentage of Natural Latex

Not all latex mattresses are created equally.

More specifically, latex mattresses are typically made from a blend of natural and synthetic latex at a ratio of 80:20, 70:30, or 60:40 in favor of natural latex.

And the more natural latex included in the mattress then the more durable it is likely to be.

Because as Dr. Lawrence Woods – a chiropractor, author, speaker, and inventor [1] – explains in the video below, natural latex is more durable than synthetic latex; with synthetic latex actually being more liable to tear.

What is the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Latex Foam? (The Spinery)

How to Find a Mattress With a High Natural Latex Content

This is the hard part.

Finding a mattress that genuinely contains a high percentage of natural latex is quite difficult because many mattress manufacturers like to use misleading wording to make it sound like the mattress contains a lot (or 100%) natural latex when in reality, it contains fillers and synthetic latex to keep costs down.

As Dr. Woods said in the video above, you can potentially identify a ‘fake’ natural latex mattress or one that contains a high percentage of synthetic latex with styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) by looking at the latex sample in the showroom and seeing if it has turned yellow, is crumbling, is easy to tear apart at the sides, or has a strong chemical smell.

Another trick that manufacturers like to pull is laminating a thin layer of latex into polyurethane foam to fill it out – all-latex mattresses should bend more easily when compared to these ‘fakes’.

Natural latex mattresses should not have a chemical smell like synthetic latex and polyfoam has and should instead have a light ‘vanilla’ fragrance.

Natural latex should also feel much heavier and have a more bouncy, responsive feel to it than polyfoam.

Trying to find a latex mattress with a high percentage of natural latex in it online is much harder because you can’t perform the above tests and you’re forced to rely heavily on honest labeling.

The best advice that I can give you here is to look for latex mattresses that are labeled as containing ‘organic latex’ or even ‘natural latex’ AND have the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification.

Because whilst there’s technically no such thing as ‘100% natural latex’ due to the presence of trace chemicals being left behind during the manufacturing process [2], such labeling can be an indicator of a high natural latex content – 80:20 blends are typical but 97% natural latex content is possible.

And the addition of the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification can offer greater confidence that you’re buying a mattress that contains real natural latex because to receive such a certification, the product ‘must contain more than 95% of certified organic raw material’ [3].

Now, that 95% can be met by using other organic materials – not just latex.

But in some cases, if you can get your hands on a legitimate copy of a mattress company’s GOLS certificate then you can see exactly how much organic latex is included in the mattress as a percentage.

For example, here’s the GOLS certificate for some of Naturepedic’s natural latex mattresses [4] – notice how the 95% absolute requirement is met by varying contributions of 70% – 90% organic latex.

This higher organic latex percentage means that you’re getting a mattress with more natural latex content and is therefore likely to be more durable when compared to latex mattresses with a greater amount of synthetic latex.

If you can’t find any GOLS certification then you should proceed with extreme caution because you’re then relying on the manufacturer’s word.

And in particular, you should watch out for the ‘pure latex’ label – which paradoxically often contains around 80% synthetic latex! – whilst graphite latex mattresses contain around 70% synthetic latex [5].

2: Choose Dunlop Over Talalay Latex

Identifying the natural latex content is the first step – the next is to find out if the latex in the mattress is processed using the Dunlop or Talalay method.

Because Dunlop latex tends to be denser and therefore more durable than Talalay latex.

This is because although both Talalay and Dunlop latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) [6], the Talalay process utilizes a larger amount of aeration which leads to a lower density foam that typically feels less sturdy and has lower durability.

However, some latex mattresses include both Dunlop and Talalay latex – typically divided across separate layers as the video below visualizes.

If durability is your main concern then you’ll typically want the comfort, transition, and support layers to be made from Dunlop latex – possibly with a graded firmness so that the upper layers provide better pressure relief.

Dunlop Latex vs Talalay Latex: What’s the Difference? (Savvy Rest)

It’s also important to note that Talalay latex cannot be produced 100% naturally – so the more you have of it in your mattress then the less durable it is likely to be by virtue of the information detailed in step 1 above.

When shopping for a latex mattress online, you’ll usually find an annotated cross-section of the mattress that explains what type of latex each layer of the mattress is made from.

And when shopping in store, you should ask the rep what types of latex the layers are made from to get a better idea of the durability potential.

3: Higher Density Foams Last Longer

The higher the density value of the latex foam the more durable and longer lasting it’s likely to be.

Because the denser the foam, the greater its potential resilience to excessive compression and wear and tear.

It’s very important that in an all-foam latex mattress, the support core is made from higher-density foam because once the support core is worn out then the mattress cannot properly support your spine and will cause discomfort.

And whilst the upper comfort layers will typically have a lower density to enable deeper compression and therefore provide better pressure relief on the more angular areas of your body that have immediate contact with the mattress surface – you still don’t want the density rating to be too low unless you have very specific sleeping requirements that demand such qualities.

So if you’re a heavier sleeper over 230 lbs then you should look for a latex mattress that is made with higher density foams across all the layers because the extra weight that you’re putting on the mattress can cause deeper compression which can negatively impact the lifespan of your latex mattress.

But how do you find a latex mattress that uses higher density foams?

Well, that can be a little tricky when shopping online due to many manufacturers not revealing key information.

But you can make a decent approximation if you have access to a few pieces of information – as explained below.

Density ratings are expressed as mass per volume – typically lbs./ft³ or PCF in the US mattress market – and are a fair way to gauge the potential durability of a latex mattress.

ILD (indentation load deflection) values are used to measure how hard or soft different types of foams are and are more of an indicator as to how ‘firm’ the mattress is likely to feel rather than its durability – although there appears to be a positive correlation where as the ILD goes up, so does the density and thus the durability.

In many cases, latex mattress manufacturers won’t disclose the density ratings but you might be able to find out the approximate ILD values.

And nearly always, you’ll be able to find out the firmness ratings (1-10) or the ‘feel’.

So to help simplify everything, here is a table that shows the approximate relationship between the estimated durability, density values (lbs./ft³), ILD values, firmness ratings, and feel for organic and natural latex foam mattresses.

If you can find out just one piece of information per row – either the feel, firmness, ILD number, or actual density value – then you can make an educated guess at the durability of the latex mattress overall, or for different foam sections of the mattress.

Please note that the values are very approximate and can vary – I’ve also not factored in the difference between Dunlop or Talalay latex because it would be too confusing.

Est. Durability Density ValuesILD ValuesFirmnessFeel
Low<4 lbs./ft³16-181-2Extra-soft
Low – medium4-4.4 lbs./ft³19-223-4Soft
Medium4.4-4.6 lbs./ft³23-275Medium
Medium4.6-5 lbs./ft³28-336-7Medium-firm
Medium5-5.3 lbs./ft³34-388-9Firm
High5.3->5.6 lbs./ft³39-4410Extra-firm

Durability + Foam Density vs Comfort

I think that it’s important that I point out how durability and thus foam density can potentially affect comfort.

Because it’s no good having a mattress that lasts a long time if it’s so uncomfortable that you can’t use it!

So given that the above table shows a clear trend whereby as the durability of the foam increases, so does the density, here’s another table that highlights the foam density ranges that you should be aiming for based on your dominant sleeping position and body weight for better comfort.

Again, these are just approximate guidelines.

Under 130 lbs130 – 230 lbsOver 230 lbs
Side Sleeper<4 – 5.3 lbs./ft³4.4 – 5.3 lbs./ft³4.4 – >5.6 lbs./ft³
Back Sleeper<4 – 5.3 lbs./ft³4.4 – >5.6 lbs./ft³5.3 – >5.6 lbs./ft³
Front Sleeper4.4 – 5.3 lbs./ft³4.4 – >5.6 lbs./ft³5.3 – >5.6 lbs./ft³

4: Make Sure the Warranty Lasts at Least 10 Years

Mattresses tend to last less than the length of their warranty.

For example, an independent study found that out of more than 4,000 people surveyed, mattresses with a warranty of 5 years had an average useful lifespan of 4.7 years; mattresses with a warranty of 10 years lasted 7.1 years on average, and mattresses that came with a 20-year warranty lasted 8.2 years on average [7].

Therefore, it would make sense to ensure that the warranty for your new latex mattress is at least 10 years in length for a bias towards durability.

Yet despite this favorable correlation between durability and warranty length, it’s important that the warranty is actually fit for purpose!

So it’s imperative that you actually read the terms of the warranty before you buy it to find out if it’s prorated, non-prorated – or a mixture of both – and what is and isn’t covered.

Non-prorated warranties are favorable because they mean that you usually won’t have to pay for the repair or replacement of your defective mattress – whilst a prorated warranty typically requires some cost from you; potentially with increasing percentage contributions as each year passes until the warranty expires.

5: Use a Firm and Compatible Base

Many modern mattresses don’t require that you use a box spring to provide adequate support.

But it’s important that you select a base that is compatible with the mattress for several reasons – including that of increasing durability.

For example, if you use a slatted base with slats that are too far apart (typically more than 3-4 inches) then the mattress may feel uncomfortable, the materials may degrade faster, and you may even end up voiding the warranty.

All-foam, latex mattresses tend to be quite heavy and so they do best on a firm base with little give and have a centre support beam for larger mattress sizes.

This will help to limit premature material degradation and sagging – thus maximizing the durability potential of your new latex mattress.

Also make sure that the dimensions of your mattress match up with the frame.

6: Rotate Your Mattress Every 3 Months

Although many latex mattress manufacturers may say that you do not need to rotate their latex mattresses due to their highly durable nature it’s typically still a good idea to do so – as long as it doesn’t void the warranty (more likely if your mattress has some kind of unilateral zoned support foam, which is more common in memory foam mattresses than latex mattresses).

Rotating your latex mattress once every 3 months can help to distribute the cumulative load that the mattress is exposed to more evenly to guard against sagging and indentations.

This is something that you should consider if you sleep as a couple – especially if one person is heavy and the other is light because the uneven load distribution may cause valleys and ridges to appear.

However, in most cases you should NOT flip your latex mattress.

Because it’s pretty likely that your latex mattress follows a layered foam configuration where the density and firmness of the foam on the top is lower/softer than the foam on the bottom.

In which case flipping the mattress over would cause you to end up sleeping on the higher density support core whilst the softer comfort layers are crushed beneath your weight.

This would damage the latex foam, reduce the durability of the mattress, and almost certainly void the warranty.

7: Use a Mattress Protector

A mattress protector goes over the top of your mattress and can help to increase the lifespan of your latex mattress by guarding against spills, stains, and wear and tear if you get a waterproof one.

A mattress protector can also help to guard against dust mites, keep sweat and oils out of the mattress materials, and prevent skin irritation in some cases.

8: Keep Pets Off the Bed

Even if you’re using a mattress protector, it’s a good idea to keep pets off your bed so that they don’t damage it with their claws.

And in addition to ripping up the cover of your new latex mattress, pets can also introduce ticks, mites, bacteria, parasites, fleas, and fecal matter to your sleeping surface [8].

9: Don’t Let Your Kids Jump On the Bed

Whilst all-foam latex mattresses are less likely to become damaged by force when compared to traditional spring mattresses, the foam layers and the frame itself are still at risk.

So it’s probably not a good idea to let your children use your bed as a bouncy castle or for practicing WWE wrestling moves on.

10: Don’t Let Bed Bugs In

Despite what some manufacturers may claim, imply, or allude to – bed bugs can still live inside a latex mattress to some extent.

Bed bugs can ruin a good latex mattress by laying their eggs in any gaps that they can crawl in to and can live inside your mattress for up to one year when their food supply is cut off with a bed bug encasement.

So the best course of action here is to try and stop bed bugs from entering your living space in the first place by inspecting clothing and luggage cases before entering your home if you’ve been staying in a hotel or sleeping somewhere else.

Conclusion: Steps 1-3 Are The Most Important

Out of the 10 steps that I’ve listed, I’d say that the first 3 are going to have the biggest impact on how long your latex mattress will last because they influence the integrity of the foam and its resulting properties.

So before you buy your new latex mattress, be sure to look for one with a high natural/organic latex content, a GOLS certificate, and is made mostly from Dunlop latex.

You should also look for medium to higher density latex foams with a value of 4.4-5.6 lbs./ft³ or more if it fits with your comfort preferences – especially if you or your partner weigh more than 230 lbs.

You should also make sure that you’re using a suitable frame and give preference to non-prorated warranties over 10 years.

And once you’ve bought your latex mattress, consider rotating it every 3 months, using a mattress protector, keeping pets and kids off the bed, and guarding against bed bugs to maximise the potential lifespan of your latex mattress.

I hope that you have found this guide useful – but if you still have questions then leave them below and I’ll do my best to help you.

If you’re looking for a durable latex mattress that’s well priced, then I recommend the Real Bed hybrid spring-latex mattress – click the button below to see my review.

Sources and References

[1] Dr. Lawrence Woods – Overview. Accessed 22/5/20.

[2] Savvy Rest – Organic Latex vs Natural Latex: What’s the Difference? Accessed 22/5/20.

[3] Global Organic Latex Standard – Certification Program. Accessed 22/5/20.

[4] NaturePedic – Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) Certificate. Accessed 22/5/20.

[5] John Ryan By Design – Natural Latex Mattresses; How to Tell the Real From the Fake. Accessed 22/5/20.

[6] Wikipedia – Hevea Brasiliensis. Accessed 23/5/20.

[7] Sleep Like the Dead – Mattress Warranties: What You Should Know – 2018. Accessed 23/5/20.

[8] SheKnows – 9 Gross Reasons You Shouldn’t Bring Your Pet to Bed With You. Accessed 23/5/20.

Image Attribution and Licencing

Main image: ‘Elegant Bedroom’ by GreenPimp (Getty Images Signature) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

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