51 Questions About Latex Pillows Answered

Plush and bouncy, latex pillows are the newest rage among those who hold their sleep dear.

This article answers 51 questions about this popular pillow type to find out if it’s really worth it. show

What Is a Latex Pillow?

A latex pillow is exactly what it’s named — a pillow filled with foamed latex, which may or may not be all-natural. The fill material is originally an immobilized emulsion of polymeric microparticles in water.

Sounds like jargon? Think of the sticky milky sap tapped out of the bark of rubber trees. Yes, that’s latex in its natural form. It’s processed, whipped, centrifuged, either poured into a mold or in layers, and finally baked before being encased in a pillowcase.

Check out the best latex pillows to buy online

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What Does it Look and Feel Like?

With a pillow cover on, a latex pillow looks like any other standard pillow. Without the cover, it might have a plain surface or one with holes punched for ventilation. Whatever the design, latex pillows feel super soft and bouncy.

What Are the Pros and Cons?

  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Soft, firm, and supportive
  • Retain shape
  • Suit all sleeping positions
  • Do not need fluffing
  • Can be washed
  • Eco-friendly natural variants
  • 100% vegan
  • Biodegradable natural variant
  • Recyclable
  • Recommended for back and neck pain
  • Synthetic variants not eco-friendly
  • Cannot be machine-washed
  • Synthetic variants not biodegradable
  • Might carry a rubbery smell
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Types Based on the Source of  Latex

Natural Latex Pillows

Remember we talked about rubber sap a while ago? All-natural latex pillows are filled with it. The latex is primarily sourced from tropical rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) that grow abundantly in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.

The process of sourcing is known as “tapping.” Every alternate day, the bark of one such tree is wounded in the morning by making an incision, and the dripping milky sap is collected in a vessel in the afternoon.

The entire process is labor-intensive and needs to be done manually. Each worker taps nearly 550 trees every day (20 every second!). The latex in a single pillow is the sap of nearly 150 trees. Isn’t that insane?

However, please keep in mind that a 100% natural latex pillow is a myth, which we will bust later in this article.

Organic Latex Pillows

Organic latex for pillows is nothing but 100% natural latex with an organic certification. Well, at least that is what their technical definition is.

The filling in such pillows meets the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). It comes from rubber trees that have been grown without using harmful chemicals or with permissible limits of chemicals that are marked as organic.

The filling in GOLS-certified organic latex pillows undergoes stringent testing and contains the specified polymer and filler percentages. These products have transaction certificates, which allow them to be traced from plantations to stores.

However, just as there are no 100% natural latex pillows, there are no 100% organic latex pillows, either.

Synthetic Latex Pillows

Some pillows contain latex filling that has been synthesized using a chemical known as SBR. It is made up of styrene, a petroleum byproduct, and butadiene, a byproduct of naphtha and gas oil steam cracking.

There’s nothing natural or organic about synthetic latex, which is a man-made material dating back to World War 2.

During this time, the Allies — France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China — were hell-bent on developing synthetic rubber because the Axis Powers – Germany, Italy, and Japan — controlled nearly all of the world’s natural rubber supply.

Since then, demand for synthetic rubber has skyrocketed as natural rubber prices have risen. Meanwhile, the process of creating it is still being refined.

It’s worth noting that approximately 60% of the rubber used today (including latex in pillows) is synthetic.

Blended Latex Pillows

Pillows with blended latex are stuffed with natural latex that has been mixed with a filler additive, which is either natural or synthetic. The objective is to lower the cost of the product significantly without affecting its functionality.

The two materials are usually mixed in a proportion of 70% natural latex and 30% filler, although this can vary from one product to another. Clay and sand are the natural filler materials generally used in blended latex pillows.

Types Based on the State of Latex

Solid Latex Pillows

Solid latex pillows come with a filling of a single large slab of latex created through continuous pouring.

Pillows filled with solid latex are molded into a specific shape and ergonomically designed for a specific purpose. They have a distinct heaviness and density that offer firmness and buoyancy when you rest your head on them.

Shredded Latex Pillows

Shredded latex pillows are exactly what they sound like. The latex in them is broken up into smaller chunks. The individual pieces are 0.5” to 1.5” long and offer a softer, more malleable feel while contouring to the shape of the head.

Shredded latex is usually a byproduct of the leftover latex that goes primarily into making latex mattresses and solid latex pillows. This is a great way of repurposing excess material and reducing landfill waste.

Cross-Cut Latex Pillows

Cross-cut latex is shredded latex pro.

While the latter is leftover latex that’s accumulated by ripping and tearing a larger piece, the former is run through a specially designed machine to cut it into specific sizes.

Unlike shredded latex, cross-cut latex does not leave behind a powdery residue during cutting. Also, the pieces are consistent in shape and size.

Noodled Latex Pillows

Noodled latex is a byproduct of solid latex pillows and mattresses, where holes are punched in a continuously poured sheet of latex using a noodle extruder. The latex thus punched out is then used to fill pillows.

Please keep in mind that only a noodle extruder with a very small diameter can punch out natural latex without breaking it. However, synthetic or blended latex can be punched with large-sized extruders.

Since we have already discussed that 100% natural latex does not exist, the noodled latex used in pillows will almost always be large-sized.

Types Based on the Foaming of Latex

For latex to be used in pillows, it must first be “foamed.” The process makes use of liquid latex to create a matrix of interconnected cells called “bubbles.” There are two distinct processes of foaming, based on which there are two distinct types of latex pillows.

Dunlop Latex Pillows

Dunlop latex pillows are generally filled with 100% natural latex, which is foamed and cured. Developed in 1929, the process involves the following steps:

  • The milky white liquid latex is whipped and centrifuged until it froths.
  • It is then poured into a mold all at once to completely fill it.
  • The mold is then sealed and placed on a conveyor belt.
  • It is taken to a rubber vulcanization oven where the frothy latex is baked.
  • After baking, the latex is removed from the mold and thoroughly washed.
  • It is then rebaked to remove any remaining moisture.

Because the latex is not distributed evenly during the pouring, it tends to become “bottom-heavy,” with the bottom being firmer than the top. For this reason, Dunlop latex is typically used in the core of pillows rather than the entire thing.

Talalay Latex Pillows

Developed in the 1940s, the Talalay process of foaming latex has undergone multiple changes over the years. Modern-day Talalay latex is processed in the following steps:

  • Liquid latex is whipped and centrifuged until it froths.
  • The frothy foam is injected into a sealed mold to partially fill it.
  • Using a vacuum, the latex is allowed to expand inside the mold and fill it.
  • It is then quickly frozen to maintain uniformity and consistency.
  • Carbon dioxide is passed through the latex to form carbonic acid.
  • Carbonic acid is allowed to lower the pH, which causes the latex to gel.
  • The gelated latex is then cured by baking in a rubber vulcanization oven.
  • The baked latex is removed from the mold and thoroughly washed.
  • It is then dried or rebaked to remove any remaining moisture.

The resulting latex foam has a homogenous consistency and doesn’t become heavy like Dunlop latex. For this reason, it can be used to fill an entire pillow instead of just the core.

Types Based on the Overall Design of the Latex Pillow

Latex isn’t always the only material used in latex pillows. It is infused or blended with other materials to improve the pillow’s properties. It is also designed in such a way that it can promote better sleep. Let’s take a look at some of these hybrids.

Gel-Infused Latex Pillows

In some gel-infused pillows, gel beads are infused through latex foam layers to provide a cooling sensation throughout the night without the need to flip the pillow over. The gel infusion actively draws away body heat, providing more effective cooling than a standard latex pillow

Pillows With a Latex Top and Memory Foam Core

Some pillows have a latex layer on top and memory foam in the centre. The memory foam core is firm and resilient, while the latex layer is bouncy and cushiony. Blending the two materials significantly reduces the cost of the pillow

Charcoal-Infused Latex Pillows

Activated bamboo charcoal is infused into latex foam to impart natural hypoallergenicity to the pillow. The charcoal infusion allows the pillow to wick moisture and odor while you sleep.

Zoned Latex Pillows

These latex pillows have zones of smaller and larger holes to provide superior airflow and head and neck support.

Why Is 100% Natural Latex in Pillows a Myth?

For natural latex to be 100% pure, it must not contain any additive. However, the latex used in pillows must first be whipped, centrifuged, poured into molds, frozen, and then baked.

If you baked pure latex sap without adding anything else, it would create a watery mess. To prevent this, manufacturing companies add sulfur, peroxides, and metal oxides that act as curing agents during vulcanization.

Therefore, while your natural latex pillow does contain natural latex as claimed, it is never 100%. What you get is generally 95-97% natural latex mixed with 3-5% curing agent, which is harmless.

Natural or Organic Latex Pillow: Which Is Better?

In many ways, organic latex is better for the planet, but costlier for consumers. Also, “natural” does not always imply “less pure.” In fact, several natural latex pillows are Cradle to Cradle Certified, ensuring responsible and sustainable manufacturing.

What Is Thread Count in Latex Pillow?

Thread Count is the number of threads per square inch or the number of vertical warp threads per inch plus the number of horizontal weft threads.

Because the latex in your pillow isn’t made of threads as such, this isn’t a valid metric to gauge its quality. When brands mention thread count for their latex pillows, they are referring to the quality of the pillowcase that encases the latex fill.

A high-quality latex pillow cover should ideally be made of cotton with at least a 230 thread count, which is the industry standard.

In another context, the thread count of latex could indicate the quality of other latex products made of rubber threads, such as socks, stockings, trousers, bands, lingerie, and hosiery.

Are They Toxic?

Natural latex is non-toxic and is regarded as one of the safest pillow materials. However, as previously stated, synthetic latex pillows contain SBR, a chemical compound composed of styrene and butadiene.

Styrene is also known as vinyl benzene, a derivative of ethel benzene. According to the US National Toxicology Program, styrene is a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen.

On the other hand, butadiene, a byproduct of petrochemical steam cracking, is a known carcinogen, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the US EPA.

Are They Vegan?

The latex in your pillow – whether natural (sourced from rubber trees) or synthetic (manufactured from petroleum byproducts) – is 100% vegan.

Trivia time! Thin-film latex products made using the dipping technique, such as condoms, balloons, and gloves, are not vegan because the process also involves the use of casein, a milk protein.

Are They Eco-Friendly?

Pillows made with natural latex can be termed eco-friendly since the collection of sap for its production does not require the destruction of flora or fauna.

Each rubber tree grows for roughly 32 years. They come of age in the 7th year and get ready to be tapped. Thereon, they remain productive for another 25 years or so.

This is a long enough period to grow more rubber trees and increase the production of latex without felling the old ones, which further reduces the carbon footprint.

Moreover, rubber plantations are always done in cycles. Old and unproductive rubber trees are cleared and sold as parawood, which gives them a new purpose. They are replaced with new rubber trees.

The entire process ensures the sourced sap remains renewable and sustainable.

Additionally, the natural latex in your pillow can be recycled after it has been utilized to its maximum. Even if you discard it, it will never add to the landfill waste because latex is biodegradable.

The same cannot be said about synthetic latex pillows, which involve latex manufactured from petrochemical byproducts.

Such pillows have a negative impact on the environment because of the way they are manufactured. They magnify the carbon footprint and end up in landfills without ever naturally decomposing.

Are They Biodegradable?

As already discussed, natural latex is biodegradable, whereas synthetic latex is not. The process of biodegradation of natural latex, however, is very slow.

Are They Suitable for Camping and Backpacking?

Latex pillows are unsuitable for camping and backpacking for the following reasons:

  • Heavy
  • Do not pack small
  • Difficult to wash
  • Stain easily
  • Not suitable for cold environments

Check out our listicle of the best camping pillows if you are looking for one.

Can They Cause Allergy?

Unless your latex pillow has not been cleaned for a long while or is infested with dust mites, bed bugs, mold, or mildew, it is unlikely to cause allergies, even if you are allergic to latex itself. The reasons are discussed below.

  • You will never come into direct contact with the latex filling material as it is encased within a pillowcase of a different material. No contact, no allergy. But, what if the latex leaks?
  • True latex allergy is a reaction to hevein proteins present in the material. Although they can be found in common latex products such as balloons, condoms, rubber bands, and rubber balls, they are completely removed from the latex used for stuffing pillows. No hevein proteins, no allergy.
  • Rubber elongation factor is another allergen present in latex, which has also been successfully extracted from standard bedding products. However, it usually causes allergies in latex-intolerant people with a history of multiple surgeries. No such history, no allergy.
  • Latex for pillows is usually treated with monazite powder (discussed later in the article), which makes the material hypoallergenic. No allergens, no allergy.

If you’re still unsure, switch to other pillow types to see what suits you best.

Do They Get Dust Mites?

Latex pillows are thought to be dust mite resistant because of the thick density of the fill material, which is inhospitable to dust mite growth. Most brands highlight this aspect to increase sales.

However, there is currently no scientific evidence to support this claim. Furthermore, dust-mite resistance does not always imply complete protection against dust mites.

Those microscopic bugs can still infiltrate and thrive inside your latex pillow, especially if they find a suitable food source, such as dead skin cells, dander, or even mold, at a suitable temperature (20 – 25°C) and in the presence of sufficient humidity.

Do They Get Bed Bugs?

Almost every manufacturer labels latex pillows as “bed bug-resistant” in order to increase sales. To support their claim, they even point to the dense construction of the fill material, which they believe is unsuitable for the bugs to grow.

The underside of the pillows is rather dark. There is no such thing as a bedbug-proof pillow, no matter the fill material. Every pillow on the market has the potential to harbor those pesky insects. This can only be avoided if you practice good hygiene.

Do They Mold?

Contrary to what manufacturers claim, latex pillows – whether natural or synthetic – can grow mold and mildew, especially if exposed to damp environments regularly. Even their well-ventilated, dense construction cannot keep it from happening.

Those who claim the material is naturally antimicrobial are deceiving you because no scientific explanation currently confirms the same. Those who label it mold-resistant are playing it safe because resistance does not always imply an absolute barrier against the fungi.

The resistance of latex pillows to mold and mildew is usually attributed to the addition of negative ions such as monazite powder, which prohibit their growth and impart hypoallergenicity to the pillow.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that monazite contains thorium, which is radioactive, and emits radon, which is a known human carcinogen. It makes us wonder if the molding of latex pillows is actually a sign of their harmlessness!

Do They Cause Headaches?

Sleeping on a latex pillow is unlikely to cause headaches, but for the following circumstances: 

  • You have an extreme sensitivity to smell and are sleeping on a new latex pillow with a rubbery odor.
  • You are sleeping on a latex pillow that is not suited for your sleeping position (read improper loft).

Do They Cause Hair Loss?

A latex pillow will not cause hair loss unless it has been left dirty for an extended period of time. Dirt attracts dust mites and other allergens, which can enter your scalp and cause itching, dandruff, and weak hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

Do They Cause Ear Problems?

A latex pillow, like any other pillow, can cause two types of ear problems:

  • Pillow ear characterized by swelling and pain in the outside ear because of constant exposure to pressure
  • Ear infection characterized by swelling and pain in the inner ear because of germ invasion

Pillow ears may be caused by the firmness of latex, which can be avoided by purchasing latex pillows with an ear hole. Also, to avoid pillow-borne ear infections, keep your pillow and covers clean.

Are They Good for Toddlers?

Pillows are not usually necessary for toddlers under the age of two. Furthermore, latex pillows are not recommended for children because they might be too soft and elastic for their proper spinal development.

Furthermore, their long-term use might interfere with a child’s brain development. You should also keep in mind that latex pillows are easily stained. You don’t want your little one destroying your pillow, do you?

Are They Good for Side Sleepers?

A latex pillow, particularly one with a high loft, can be extremely beneficial to side sleepers. The latex fill will provide firmness and support where it is most required – around the neck and shoulders.

Are They Good for Back Sleepers?

Back sleepers would benefit from a latex pillow, particularly one with a medium loft. This type of pillow will aid in the maintenance of proper spinal alignment, thereby preventing pain and discomfort in the lumbar area.

Are They Good for Stomach Sleepers?

Latex pillows, particularly those with a low loft, will keep stomach sleepers happy by promoting optimal spinal alignment and relieving neck tension.

Are They Good for Hot Sleepers?

Latex’s well-ventilated, cellular structure allows for adequate air circulation, keeping hot sleepers cool throughout the night. Pillows stuffed with it are breathable and provide maximum comfort without creating a damp environment, which is especially important if you sweat a lot while sleeping.

Are They Good for Neck and Back Pain?

Most sleepers who suffer from neck and back pain will benefit from an ergonomically designed latex pillow because of the uniform support it offers. Such pillows are firm enough to cradle the head at an optimal angle while remaining soft enough to relieve tension at all the right pressure points.

Do They Prevent Snoring?

Latex pillow are believed to promote adequate neck support and reduce neck fatigue, which in turn can prevent snoring and improve sleep quality. An extensive study conducted by the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at Kyung Hee University in Korea confirms the same.

Do Chiropractors Recommend Them?

Chiropractors often recommend sleeping on a latex pillow, especially if you suffer from neck and back pain.

For instance, Dr. Lawrence Woods, a Dublin-based chiropractor, believes latex is an excellent pillow material because it conforms to the sleeper’s neck and shoulders, relieving pressure points.

According to him, latex is one of the few materials that can be molded into specific shapes, sizes, and densities, allowing for extensive customization.

Are They Noisy?

Latex pillows are the quietest pillows on the market. There is no rustling, crinkling, or squeaking.

Do They Smell?

A new latex pillow is likely to smell a bit like rubber because of the sealed plastic packaging. However, the odor fades away pretty quickly once you start using it.

To hasten the dissipation, let your pillow air out for at least 24 hours before you sleep on it. If the smell persists, sprinkle baking soda on it and let it rest for at least 12 hours before vacuuming it. If it still doesn’t go away, consider hand-washing your pillow.

Do They Turn Yellow?

Latex pillows, particularly those made of natural latex, have a tendency to turn yellow after prolonged use. This is because latex oxidizes quickly when exposed to air and moisture for an extended period of time.

The yellowing is accelerated if you live in a humid environment, sweat a lot while sleeping, or sleep with wet hair. All of this is normal and nothing to be concerned about. To ensure the health of your pillow, however, you must adhere to the best hygiene practices.

Don’t forget to read our detailed article on why pillows turn yellow.

Do They Flatten?

Latex pillows do not flatten quickly and can retain their original shape for at least three years if used properly. However, as the latex disintegrates with age, they will become flat.

Do They Become Sticky?

The latex inside your pillow tends to become sticky for the following reasons:

  • It is regularly exposed to high temperatures and humidity.
  • You sleep with a mobile device under your pillow.
  • You charge your mobile device while keeping it under your pillow.
  • You put your laptop on your pillow when using it.
  • You keep a hot water bag near your pillow while sleeping.
  • You didn’t wash it properly.
  • You’re using a poor-quality pillow, the latex of which was improperly processed.
  • Your pillow is old and the latex inside is gradually degrading.

Stickiness in latex pillows shows up as sticky lumps that resemble ear wax. If you notice it, dig a grave for your pillow immediately. To avoid it, buy good quality pillows and keep them away from heat.

Do They Go Lumpy?

A latex pillow can go lumpy for the following reasons:

  • Age
  • Exposure to heat
  • Overexposure to sunlight
  • Improper washing

A lumpy latex pillow cannot be fixed. It can only be replaced.

Can They Be Washed?

Hand-washing a latex pillow with cold or lukewarm water and a high-efficiency mild detergent or isopropyl alcohol is the only safe way to wash it. After washing, the pillow must always be air-dried.

Take these 9 steps to wash your latex pillow:

  • Fill a large sink or bathtub with cold or lukewarm water.
  • Mix in a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Submerge your latex pillow completely and gently squeeze it.
  • Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Fill the sink with fresh water after draining the soap water.
  • To remove the suds, gently squeeze the pillow.
  • Rinse and repeat until all of the suds are gone.
  • Allow the pillow to dry naturally by placing it on a dry cloth.
  • Flip it frequently so that both sides dry.

A word of caution: do not wring your pillow as this will cause the latex to break. Avoid using a dryer or ironing the wet pillow because the heat will damage the latex. Make use of a portable fan instead. Also, as a rule of thumb, wash your latex pillow every 2 to 3 months.

Check out our extensive article on how to wash pillows.

Is It Safe to Machine-Wash Them?

Never put a latex pillow in the washing machine unless you want to permanently damage the fill material. Your washer uses brute force, which raises the temperature slightly during each wash cycle. Both these factors can damage your latex pillow beyond repair in just a single wash.

How to Spot Clean Them?

To spot clean your latex pillow, follow these 4 steps:

  • Gently dab the stain with a clean, white cloth to soak up excess moisture.
  • Wet another clean, white cloth with a generous amount of isopropyl alcohol.
  • Dab it on the stain without rubbing it in.
  • Air-dry the pillow using a portable fan.

Should You Put Them in a Pillowcase?

Although all latex pillows on the market come with a protective cover, using a pillowcase adds an extra layer of protection against dust, dead skin cells, allergens, and even some stains.

Can You Expose Them to Sunlight?

Because natural latex is biodegradable, sunlight is its greatest enemy. If exposed for an extended period of time, the latex inside your pillow will harden and crumble into powdery dust.

How Long Do They Last?

Latex pillows typically last 2 to 4 years depending on how they are used and maintained. depending on how they are used and cared for. Other factors, such as manufacturing quality and the environment in which the pillows are stored, can also have a significant impact on their lifespan.

Do They Soften Over Time?

Although the structural integrity of latex foam keeps your pillow firm and extends its life, continuous load-bearing softens it over time. But, this is a lengthy process that takes several years.

When Should They Be Replaced?

As a general rule, you should replace your latex pillow every 2 to 4 years. However, consider tossing it out if you notice the following warning signs:

  • Physical damage to the pillow
  • Tear in the original pillowcase exposing the latex
  • Loss of the pillow’s shape and support
  • Stains that can’t be removed
  • Sticky lumps within the latex
  • Frequent skin allergies
  • Smell that won’t go away after washing

Can They Be Recycled?

Latex from a pillow gone awry can be recycled in a variety of ways. If it’s natural, it can be put in the green bin for recycling. Because the material is eco-friendly and biodegradable, it can be composted.

Synthetic latex, on the other hand, can only be repurposed because it does not biodegrade. For instance, you can use it to stuff soft toys and make carpet overlays.

It can also be recycled by professional recycling companies and used to make gloves, sneakers, rubber bands, toys, or even new latex pillows and mattresses.

Natural latex from pillows that have been discarded can also be used in waste-to-energy plants to generate affordable and clean energy for homes, farms, and factories.

Are They Better Than Memory Foam Pillows?

Before we pass our verdict, let’s compare and contrast latex and memory foam pillows.

Latex PillowMemory Foam Pillow
Can be natural or syntheticIs always synthetic
Effective in alleviating neck and back painEffective in alleviating neck and back pain
Not recommended for people with joint pain and weight distribution issuesRecommended for people with joint pain and weight distribution issues
More durable than standard pillowsMore durable than standard pillows
Retains original shapeRetains original shape
Does not require fluffingDoes not require fluffing
Carries mild odorCarries strong odor
Does not heat upHeats up
BreathableNot breathable
Ideal for all sleepersIdeal only for side and back sleepers
Quick response to pressureSlow response to pressure
ExpensiveAvailable in a variety of budgets
Can be hand-washed onlyCan be hand-washed only
100% vegan100% vegan
Can be eco-friendly if naturalIs not eco-friendly

Latex pillows can be a natural alternative to memory foam pillows. However, they are more expensive. Both offer the same kind of support and conform to your head and neck. However, latex pillows are bouncier and retain their shape faster.

Also, while latex pillows suit all kinds of sleepers, memory foam pillows would not excite stomach sleepers. So you see, both have their pros and cons. Your sleeping preferences will decide what suits you best.

Are They Better Than Down Pillows?

Before deciding the winner, let’s compare and contrast latex and down pillows.

Latex PillowDown Pillow
Can be natural or syntheticIs always natural
Soft and sturdySoft and fluffy
Does not retain body heatRetains body heat
Recommended for hot sleepersNot recommended for hot sleepers
Dense and heavyLightweight
Best suited for all types of sleepersBest suited for stomach sleepers
Recommended for neck and back painNot recommended for neck and back pain
Lasts 2 to 4 yearsLasts 5 to 10 years
Can be eco-friendlyAlways eco-friendly
100% veganNot vegan
Cannot be machine-washedCan be machine-washed
Does not need refluffingNeeds refluffing

If you care about neck and back pain and need a pillow that offers optimal support, latex pillows are your best bet. However, if neck and back pain doesn’t bother you and you simply need something plush to rest your head, down pillows are the way to go.

Latex pillows, in our opinion, outperform down pillows in many ways. However, when it comes to durability, the latter takes home the crown. Yet again, your sleeping preferences will decide the winner.

Are They Better Than Kapok Pillows?

Let’s compare and contrast latex and kapok pillows to decide which is the better option.

Latex PillowKapok Pillow
Can be natural or syntheticIs always natural
Can be biodegradableIs always biodegradable
Soft and sturdyCushy and fluffy
More supportiveLess supportive
Recommended for hot sleepersRecommended for hot sleepers
Suitable for all sleeping positionsSuitable for all sleeping positions

Kapok pillows are the vegan equivalent of Down pillows. They differ from firm latex pillows in that they are soft and plush. Furthermore, they are light, whereas latex pillows are heavy. However, when it comes to providing neck and head support, only latex pillows come out on top.

Are They Better Than Wool Pillows?

Before we declare the winner, let’s compare and contrast latex and wool pillows.

Latex PillowWool Pillow
Can be natural or syntheticAlways natural
Soft, sturdy, bouncySoft, fluffy, springy
Quick in responding to pressureSlow in responding to pressure
Can be eco-friendlyEco-friendly
100% veganNot vegan
Suitable for all sleeping positionsSuitable for all sleeping positions
Recommended for hot sleepersRecommended for hot sleepers
Unlikely to cause itchingLikely to cause itching
Doesn’t shrink when washedShrinks when washed
Does not need refluffingNeeds refluffing
Cannot be machine-washedCan be machine-washed

Choosing between latex and wool pillows can be difficult because they have similar benefits and drawbacks. Both are durable, supportive, and breathable. However, latex is a vegan option, whereas wool is not.

Are They Better Than Buckwheat Pillows?

To find out who wins between latex and buckwheat pillows, let’s compare and contrast the two types.

Latex PillowBuckwheat Pillow
Can be natural or syntheticIs always natural
100% vegan100% vegan
Can be eco-friendlyAlways eco-friendly
Less supportiveMore supportive
Not fluffyNot fluffy
Firm and not malleableFirm and malleable
Rubbery smellEarthy smell
Quick response to pressureDelayed response to pressure
Retains shapeDoes not retain shape
Lasts 2 to 4 yearsLasts upto 10 years
Can only be hand-washedCan ever be washed

Latex pillows are the middle ground between memory foam and buckwheat pillows. They are resilient, responsive, and supportive.

Although buckwheat pillows can outdo them in terms of support, they are super quiet, which is not one of buckwheat’s strong suits. Moreover, you can wash a latex pillow whereas you would never be able to wash a buckwheat pillow.

How Do You Choose a Latex Pillow?

To choose the right latex pillow, focus on the following aspects:

  • Process of manufacture: Dunlop latex is more durable than Talalay latex
  • Density: Higher the density, more durable would be the pillow
  • Thread count of the pillowcase: Anything lower than 230 isn’t of the best quality.
  • Certification: Look for any of the following: GOLS, STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, LGA, euroLATEX Eco Standard, Morton Thiokol, Thepex, or Centexbel. 
  • Loft: High for side sleepers, medium for back sleepers, and low for stomach sleepers.
  • Price: Some of the best latex pillows sell between $100 to $500.

How Much Do They Cost?

A standard latex pillow would cost you anywhere between $20 and $700 depending on the size, brand, fabric of the pillowcover, its thread count, type of latex used, and other aspects.

Why Are They So Expensive?

For the following reasons, latex pillows cost more than other pillow types:

  • The process of sourcing natural latex is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • Vulcanization of latex isn’t particularly cheap.
  • Latex sheeting is costly; only a few global companies do it.

Synthetic latex pillows are, however, cheaper than natural latex pillows, but the latter are of higher quality.

Where Can You Buy the Best Latex Pillows?

You can buy the best latex pillows online on the following sites:

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