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A latex pillow could solve your stiff neck problems

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse
Your neck should be straight, not bent up or down

Your neck should be straight, not bent up or down

Do you wake up with a stiff neck in the mornings? Understanding how to use your pillows is an important part of sleeping well that’s often overlooked. Do you know how high your pillows should be and why? If your neck is stiff in the mornings, getting the right pillow could significantly improve your quality of sleep. I recently reviewed a customer, Kevin who bought a latex pillow and asked him to tell me about his pillow. As I asked him how the pillow is working for him, he smiled and said, “Ah, that pillow…” with absolute rapture on his face. Kevin then went on to tell me about good the pillow made his neck feel, relieved his allergies, and gave him sleep that’s restful and much deeper than it used to be. If you are waking with neck pain, struggle with sinus, and sleep restlessly, perhaps the solution is a latex pillow.

Superior support:

The Mattress Warehouse’s latex pillow is a lot more solid and firm than the soft and squishy pillows you may be accustomed to using. Just one latex pillow can easily take the place of 2 pillows, which may be what you’re currently using because one is too flat. My customer admits that the first few nights that he used the pillow, it felt alien to have one solid pillow under his head rather than two, and it almost seemed too high. However, if you continue to use a latex pillow for a few nights until your neck adjusts, you neck will thank you. Kevin says he is so glad that he persisted in using the pillow, because as his neck adjusted to the height and feel of his new pillow, he began sleeping much better. This is due to the way the pillow keeps your neck in a straight line with the rest of your back, rather than bending it up and pinching your nerves.

No tossing and turning:

Latex pillows keep you in a blissful, peaceful state of sleep

Latex pillows keep you in a blissful, peaceful state of sleep

Latex is very resilient and unlike feather pillows, latex pillows can’t really fall flat. As feather and other conventional pillows are lain on, the air inside them is slowly pushed out, until they’re flat and offer very little support beyond the stuffing itself. Latex pillows give constant support all night long, leading Kevin to say he no longer has to wake up and adjust his position on the pillow to find support during the night, as his old pillow would sink in and become flat. Having a pillow that stayed constantly supportive changed the way, Kevin, as he now finds that he, usually a restless sleeper, now lies still all night long without waking up to readjust. He wakes up feeling more rested than he used to before, as his body can enter a deeper phase of sleep without constantly waking up to find a comfortable position. Although it was strange not to have his pillow sink away under him when he first started sleeping under it, Kevin now really enjoys it, especially because he wakes up feeling so rejuvenated.


Latex pillows are hypoallergenic

Latex pillows are hypoallergenic

Kevin also used to struggle with allergies. Dust, pollen, everything can and will set him off. Pillows are one of the greatest breeding places for dust mites, which feed on naturally shed skin cells. They then excrete the cells in microscopic faeces which gets breathed in by the person sleeping on the pillow they are inhabiting. Of course, this clogs the breathing canals and makes a person wheeze and sneeze. Dust mites are probably the true reason Kevin would find dust making him sneeze and clogging up his sinuses so much: not he dusts itself, but the mites inside. However, latex pillows don’t get infested with dust mites or harbour the creatures. This is because latex is hypoallergenic, which means it repels dust mites. The hypoallergenic properties of a latex pillow are why Kevin finds that he sleeps more deeply and wakes without feeling congested: his pillow allows for clear breathing and clean oxygen all night long. Every night Kevin can draw oxygen in more deeply and have a clear head when he wakes up because his pillow keeps allergy-inducing factors at bay and gives him rest every night.

If you’re convinced that a latex pillow is a good idea, you might be interested to know more about latex and how it works. Latex is used in mattresses too.

What is latex?

Latex is a rubber

Latex is a rubber

The context where latex is most popularly used is in mattresses, especially in foam mattresses. However, even though latex mattresses are classified by most mattress retailers along with their foam mattresses, latex is, in fact, a type of rubber. Knowing that latex is rubber will help you to understand what gives latex its trademark resilient, bouncy quality. Why should you care? Because latex is exactly the opposite feeling as memory foam, and if you dislike the feel of memory foam mattresses such as Silentnight because you do not like the conformity of memory foam, then you may be missing out on the benefits of having a latex mattress. If a dislike for memory foam has made you avoid foam beds, you might enjoy the feel of a mattress with latex on top, like Genessi, Serta, or Rest Assured’s latex mattress. A second reason you should care about latex and how it works is because latex mattresses are very durable and long-lasting, and make a good investment in your home.

How is latex different from memory foam?

latex pillow verses memory foam

Even though latex can’t fall flat like feathers or microfiber, it does have small cells of air pockets as well as the holes it is manufactured with which makes it more breathable than memory foam. Latex has bigger breathability due to the way it is produced (see below). The breathability gives latex a very neutral feeling. Unlike memory foam, latex doesn’t change based on temperature. Latex will not get too hot or need to be infused with a cooling gel. Latex foam is also a lot firmer than memory foam, as it does not sink in as much under pressure as memory foam does, creating a different sleeping sensation. A sleeper sleeps on latex rather than sinking into it.

How is latex different from a spring mattress?

latex pillow spring mattress

Although latex is firmer than memory foam, it still depresses under a sleeper’s weight and curves around the body’s contours. The way the latex shapes itself to your body ensures correct spinal alignment while sleeping (straight spine). However, unlike springs, latex not only responds to bodyweight but to shape as well, and it is more resilient under the pressure, giving the same amount of push back to the object pushing on it, making it very supportive. Spring mattresses are also not as solid as latex mattresses. Latex mattresses have no motion transfer, meaning that if one person turns over on one side of the mattress, the other person won’t feel a thing. Spring mattresses, with the exception of pocket coils, carry motion around the entire mattress.

Different types of latex:

latex pillow

There are two main different types of latex, (Talalay and Dunlop) that are made slightly differently and therefore react differently to being used as a mattress inner or outer layer. Talalay is the more expensive of the two. Dunlop is your average rubber type, used most famously for Dunlop tyres. Talalay is manufactured directly for mattresses in the way that it is made. Talalay also uses naturally produced rubber compounds from Rubber tree sap.

What’s the difference?

Talalay is more breathable, more durable, and has a more consistent density. It’s also more resilient, meaning it has a greater upward push against the weight on top. This is due to the process in which it is made:

  1. The latex compound is injected with air and frothed to form a foam.
  2. The foam is poured into an aluminium mould with small fingers. The mould is only partially filled to give room for the foam to expand.
  3. The mould is closed and the pressure INSIDE the mould is decreased to create a differentiation between the pressure in the air in the mould where there is no foam and the air bubbles that are in the foam. This causes the air bubbles (which are minute) to expand, slowly filling the entire mould with foam, and evenly distributing the foam, creating a consistent density.
  4. Various processes that cause the compound to form rubber occurs and the rubber is vulcanised (hardened to form solid rubber).

The processes that cause the compound to become latex are different from the Dunlop process, but not by much, and the only reason they are important is because it is a less chemical process than Dunlop, but otherwise the end result is the same. The important factor is that the air bubbles in the latex expanded and created a more durable and breathable latex than the Dunlop process does. Talalay latex is used in Rest Assured’s Evermore bed and in our memory foam pillows.

With Dunlop rubber, the mould is filled with latex compound and forms and hardens due to a gelling agent and reinforcing fillers, made of minerals or plastic. The consistency of the density is less even because it is dependent on the foaming process where air and the gelling agent are mixed with the latex. This latex is less breathable because the air bubbles are the size they were when the compound was frothed, and it is less durable because the plastic or mineral reinforcing agents slowly break down under pressure, making the latex softer and less supportive, unless the pressure is uniform, such as it would be if the Dunlop is used as the core part of the mattress. Dunlop latex is rarely used in mattresses in South Africa. Here we prefer to use chip foam for the cores of mattresses.

Genessi beds are made with an artificially created latex. Genessi uses artificial latex because some people are allergic to natural latex. In this way, they can have classical latex feel without worrying about any of the risks. However, a latex allergy can only be triggered if you actually touch the raw latex itself, so it’s not really something you should worry about if you’re looking to buy a latex pillow or mattress, as the latex is covered by materials and other foam.

Latex mattresses and pillows make for happy, healthy sleep!

Latex mattresses and pillows make for happy, healthy sleep!

To buy a pillow or mattress that will completely change your sleeping experience, order online on our website, or call us on 0861 007 000. Apart from the latex pillow and mattresses, we sell memory foam pillows, mattresses with memory foam and linen and headboards. We sell Serta, Sealy, Edblo, Genessi, Rest Assured, Cloud Nine and more! Call today for great service and great products!

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