Best Latex Pillows

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Latex is a substance extracted from the sap of rubber trees, and then processed using either the Dunlop or Talalay method. The latex used in pillows also varies in terms of its ratio of natural and synthetic/chemical components. Like memory foam pillows, latex pillows are sold in one-piece and shredded varieties. Most latex pillows are medium- to high-loft, though shredded designs with zippered covers are adjustable.

Latex is a popular material for pillows due to its naturally soft and supportive qualities. Much like memory foam, latex sinks beneath a sleeper’s head, neck, and shoulders for targeted pain and pressure relief. However, it is more breathable and cooler than most memory foams. Latex has also been touted for it’s above-average durability. There are, however, some notable drawbacks to latex pillows, such as a relatively high price-point, odor and allergy potential, minimal moldability, and above-average weight.

Read on to learn more about latex pillows, and how they are different from other pillow types.

 

What is the Makeup of a Latex Pillow?

There are two different methods used to process latex. In the Dunlop process, the latex is stirred, molded, and baked, which causes sediment to gather on the bottom and creates a heterogenous, bottom-heavy substance. During the Talalay process, the latex is vacuum-sealed, frozen and baked. This results in lighter, more homogenous latex. Some pillows feature Dunlop latex or a blend of Talalay and Dunlop latexes, but most feature latex that is produced using the Talalay process.

The terms ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ latex refers to latexes that are primarily produced from natural ingredients with minimal petrochemical components. However, by definition, latex cannot be ‘100% natural’ or ‘100% organic’; at most, latex may be 95% natural or organic. The terms ‘blended’ or ‘synthetic’ latex refer to latexes that are primarily made using petrochemical components.

Latex pillows may be crafted from a single piece of latex or padded with shredded pieces of latex. Some shredded designs feature zippered covers that allow owners to remove/add latex pieces as needed in order to achieve their desired loft and firmness.

 

Which Sizes Are Available for Latex Pillows?

Latex pillows are commonly available in the following sizes:

  • Standard: Standard is the most commonly sold pillow size, and typically the least expensive as well. Standards also tend to be the shortest and most compact options.
  • Queen: Queen-size pillows are roughly two inches longer than Standard-size pillows, which makes them suitable for people who find Standards too compact, as well as those who toss and turn during the night.
  • King: King-size pillows are 10 inches longer than Standard-size pillows. This makes them ideal for people who frequently toss and turn or shift positions while they sleep. They are also long enough to provide adequate support as headrests and backrests for people who sit up in bed to read or watch television.  
  • Body: Body pillows are very wide, and are mostly suitable for people who snuggle with a pillow while they sleep.

The table below features the normal measurements for each of the pillow sizes discussed above.

Pillow SizeDimensions
Standard20W” x 26L”
Queen20W” x 30L”
King20W” x 36L”
Body Pillow54W” x 20L”
48W” x 20L”
 

Pros and Cons of Latex Pillows

Pros of latex pillows include the following:

  • Pain and Pressure Relief: Latex conforms closely to the head, neck, and shoulders to help align the spine and alleviate pain and pressure points throughout these areas.
  • Support: Latex pillows provide above-average support, thanks to a closely contoured fit that adjusts to head and neck movements.
  • Lifespan: Latex is a highly durable substance, and most latex pillows perform for years without becoming flat or losing their shape.
  • Sleeping Hot: Most latex pillows — particularly those with aerated latex — retain minimal body heat, allowing them to sleep fairly cool compared to other pillow types (such as memory foam).
  • Noise: Latex pillows produce little to no noise when bearing weight, making them suitable for people who tend to wake up easily during the night.
  • Maintenance: One-piece latex pillows never need to be fluffed, and shredded latex pillows require minimal fluffing. Latex should never be machine washed, but pillow owners can spot clean, rather than pay for dry cleaning.

Cons of latex pillows include the following:

  • Price: Latex pillows tend to run on the expensive side. The average model is priced between $40 and $60, but select products are $200 or higher. Typically, natural or organic latex pillows are significantly more expensive than blended or synthetic latex models.
  • Moldability: Latex pillows are denser-than-average and retain their shape rather quickly, which makes them less moldable than other pillow types.
  • Odor: Latex pillows often emit a rubbery smell when new. These smells may be fairly strong, although they typically dissipate in a matter of days.
  • Allergies: Natural/organic latex pillows may trigger allergies for some sleepers, but fewer issues have been reported with blended or synthetic latex pillows.
  • Weight: Latex pillows tend to be dense and somewhat heavy, making them difficult for some to move and adjust during the night.
  • Availability: The available selection of latex pillows is fairly limited compared to other pillow types, such as memory foam, down alternative, or polyester.
 

Who Is a Latex Pillow Good for?

Generally speaking, latex pillows are best suited for the following types of sleepers:

  • People who sleep on their side and require enhanced support in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips.
  • People who sleep on their back and weigh 130 pounds or more. These sleepers weigh enough to experience full conforming.
  • People who tend to sleep hot, since latex pillows are typically cooler than those made from memory foam, down, or polyester.
  • People who experience pain and pressure through their head, neck, and shoulders, as latex pillows alleviate these symptoms for most sleepers.

On the other hand, latex pillows may not be suitable for the following sleeper types:

  • People who sleep on their stomach, since latex pillows tend to be high-loft and fairly dense; this causes stomach-sleepers to turn their head, which can lead to pain and pressure.
  • People who sleep on their backs and weigh less than 130 pounds. They may not weigh enough to experience a fully conforming fit, and this can lead to spinal misalignment and added pressure points.
  • People who are allergic to latex, although synthetic and blended latex pillows are much less likely to trigger latex allergy symptoms.
  • People who are sensitive to smell, as latex pillows usually emit a fair amount of off-gassing.
 

Latex Pillow Ratings

CriteriaLatex Pillow RatingExplanation
AffordabilityPoor to FairThe average latex pillow costs between $40 and $60, which makes them more expensive than most other pillow types.
DurabilityVery Good to ExcellentMost latex pillows perform for at least three to four years without losing their shape or supportive qualities.
SupportGood to Very GoodAccording to pillow owners, latex conforms closely for a contoured fit that alleviates pain and pressure.
NoiseVery Good to ExcellentLatex pillows are virtually silent when bearing weight.
WeightPoor to FairLatex pillows tend to be heavier than other pillow types, and may be difficult to move and reposition for some.
OdorFair to GoodWhile latex pillows often produce unpleasant rubbery smells when new, the smells tend to dissipate within a few days. Still, people who are sensitive to smell may struggled with latex pillows.
WashableFair to GoodLatex pillows are not usually machine washable, but owners can spot clean them if needed without spending money for dry cleaning services.
Firmness/Loft OptionsGood to Very GoodLatex pillows are available in a wide range of firmness ratings, though in terms of loft, nearly all fall between medium and high.
AvailabilityPoor to FairLatex pillows — particularly at low price-points — are not widely available.
 

Buying Tips for Latex Pillows

Pillow shoppers will encounter a limited selection of latex models, though they are available through home goods retailers like Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Macy’s. They are sold on exclusively online retail sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com, as well.

The average latex pillow costs between $40 and $60, which puts them on par with memory foam pillows in terms of price-point. Shoppers should expect to pay much more for pillows made from ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ latex, even though these pillows contain some chemical components.

One-piece latex pillows are very easy to maintain over time, and do not require fluffing in order to maintain their shape. Shredded latex pillows may be fluffed as needed, but these also tend to maintain a consistent shape, and may can be adjusted by removing or adding shredded latex pieces.

The graph below features the average price-points of latex pillows and other leading pillow types.

 

Latex Pillow Price Comparison

Latex Pillow Brands and Models

Brand NameMalouf Z (Multiple Models)Naturepedic Organic Sculpted Latex PillowNest Bedding Easy Breather Natural Pillow (Adjustable)Savvy Rest  (Multiple Models)Sleep on Latex Natural Latex Pillow
Latex Pillow Price Range (Standard)$71.99 to $151.99 (Queen)$99$99$99 to $179$69 to $79 (Queen; varies by Cover)
SizesQueen
King
Standard
Queen
Standard
Queen
King
Standard
Queen
King
Body (Select Models)
Queen
King
Latex TypeNatural, Shredded and One-piece
Gel Latex (Select Models)
Organic
One-piece
Natural, ShreddedOrganic, Shredded and One-pieceNatural, One-piece
CoverPolyester/Rayon BlendOrganic Stretch KnitTextured Cotton
Zipper
UndisclosedOrganic Cotton or Organic Cotton/Polyester Blend
Firmness RangeSoft to FirmSoftMedium to FirmSoft to FirmMedium to Firm
Loft RangeMedium to High
Some Models are Adjustable (Zipper Cover)
MediumAdjustable (Zipper Cover)Medium to High
Some Models are Adjustable (Zipper Cover)
Medium to High
Trial30 Nights
5 Year Warranty
30 Nights100 NightsNo Returns Accepted
3 Year Warranty
30 Nights
5 Year Warranty
CleaningSpot CleanSpot CleanSpot CleanSpot CleanSpot Clean
Customer Satisfaction Rating84% (906 Customer Reviews)82% (895 Customer Reviews)85% (1,673 Customer Reviews)80% (2,109 Customer Reviews)79% (1,402 Customer Reviews)
 

Conclusion

For more information about latex pillows and other pillow types, please check out our Pillow Buying Guide.

 
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