Latex allergy and latex mattresses
1 December 2020
3 min

Latex allergy and latex mattresses

Allergies? People would prefer to live without them. Itching, coughing, sneezing, swelling, and so on are not the most desired conditions to live with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, however, some of us need to fight these nasty irritations seasonally or constantly. Allergies in your bedroom are completely unwelcome.

Allergies are rather insidious and they come in all sorts of forms: drugs, food, insects, pets, mould, pollen, and latex. Oh, hold on for a second… Then what about latex mattresses and latex allergies? Aren’t latex mattresses supposed to be completely good for your health? Are latex mattresses troublesome for people who suffer from latex allergy?

As a matter of fact, latex mattresses are relatively safe. Below you’ll see why. In this article, you will read about latex, latex allergies, and how latex allergies can influence your mattress-purchasing decision.

What is latex?

Latex is a soft, white substance harvested from rubber trees. When you extract pure latex from a rubber tree, it will be very milky and its consistency will be liquid-like. This material is used to make natural latex mattresses. There are two main methods to produce natural latex mattresses: the Dunlop method and the Talalay method. You may read more about these processes here. It’s important to note that not all latex mattresses are natural. Apart from all-natural latex, there is synthetic and blended latex as well. They contain chemicals.

Natural latex mattresses are widely known for their luxurious comfort and great support. They are also becoming extremely popular.

Why is natural latex so popular? Many customers have reported pain relief or being able to prevent prevention pain after having tried a latex mattress. This is due to the fact that latex mattresses ensure proper alignment to your body. It is also a very healthy, natural material, and it’s naturally fire resistant without any additional chemicals inserted into the foams. Natural latex mattresses are praised for their hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant qualities. The fact that natural latex is eco-friendly has greatly contributed to its popularity as well.

Of course, latex is not only used to create quality mattresses. Apart from mattresses, the material is widely used in many everyday items, such as:

  • balloons

  • gloves

  • rubber bands

  • toys

  • bandages

  • rubber balls

  • and many more

Since latex is a very durable and stretchy material, it is a perfect fit for these items. Unfortunately, some people may experience allergic reactions when using products made from latex. The allergic response is triggered by the proteins found in latex coming into direct contact with the affected person’s skin.



Can a latex mattress cause allergies?

As we have mentioned above, latex mattresses have become extremely popular recently. So the question of whether a latex mattress can cause allergies is quite relevant today. Apart from mattresses, hundreds of everyday products contain latex. If you are continuously exposed to the protein that can be found in natural latex, you are more likely to develop an allergy.

However, it’s important to note that latex in natural latex mattresses usually does not come into direct contact with your skin. Also, 100% natural latex goes through a washing process that removes the proteins that are responsible for triggering an allergic reaction. As a result, it is unlikely to develop latex allergies because of your mattress.

However, you may have an existing latex allergy, and you may experience mild to severe symptoms. Your doctor can determine if you have a latex allergy by performing a skin test. If you suspect that you are allergic to latex, you should contact your doctor to test it, and discuss if a natural latex mattress is the best option for you.

What is latex mattress allergy?

What is latex allergy exactly? Latex allergy is the immune system’s abnormal response to latex, identifying it as a harmful and foreign substance, thus wanting to eliminate it.

It is a reaction caused by the proteins found in natural latex extracted from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). We know by now that many everyday objects contain latex in its natural form, including rubber gloves, elastic bands, baby bottle teats, balloons, just to name a few. As for synthetic latex, it does not trigger allergic reactions because it has nothing to do with its natural cousin.

How does latex allergy develop?

This type of allergy can develop over time when exposed to latex repeatedly. Health care workers are affected disproportionately because they use latex gloves regularly. Those who undergo multiple surgeries or other medical procedures are at risk too. In most cases, allergic reactions occur when the skin comes into direct contact with a material containing latex, but it can also develop through inhalation when the latex particles become airborne.

The immune system’s response ranges from minor skin reactions like rashes or hives to swelling or even anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction).

Symptoms of latex mattress allergy

If you suffer from a latex allergy, you may have symptoms after touching latex rubber products. Latex allergy symptoms may range from mild to severe ones.


Mild symptoms of latex mattress allergy

Milder latex allergy symptoms typically manifest in the following forms:

  • skin redness

  • itching

  • rash

  • sneezing

  • runny nose

  • itchy and watery eyes

  • wheezing

  • cough

  • difficulty breathing


Life-threatening allergic reaction: anaphylactic shock

This is a very severe allergic reaction to latex rubber that may lead to fatality. However, it’s important to note that these types of allergies are extremely rare. Very severe symptoms of latex mattress allergy may include:

  • loss of consciousness

  • difficulty breathing

  • drop in blood pressure

  • confusion

  • dizziness

  • nausea and vomiting

  • swelling

  • rapid or weak pulse

If you experience any of the more severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

How to avoid latex allergy

Though you cannot prevent latex allergy, of course you can avoid the unpleasant symptoms by avoiding household products that contain latex. You should avoid touching, using, or being near products including but not limited to balloons, certain types of makeup, rubber bands, some toys, raincoats, and rain boots. If you suspect that the item may contain latex, always read the label carefully.



Can you sleep on a latex mattress if you have a latex allergy?

When you’re trying to find your new mattress online or in a physical store, some factors will be especially important. Budget is, of course, a significant factor to consider. And if you have a latex allergy, you probably want to pay attention to the materials in your prospective mattress.

We all know about the great benefits of latex mattresses. If you haven’t heard about them yet, you may check the article here. So, can you sleep on a latex mattress if you have a latex allergy? Or do you have to rule it out entirely?

As a matter of fact, you do not need to give up on the idea of having a latex mattress and all of its benefits just because you have an allergy. Fortunately, latex mattresses are reasonably safe to use even for those who suffer from a latex allergy. Why is that?

Firstly, because the latex found in these mattresses doesn’t come into direct contact with the skin as there is a cover between the person sleeping on it and the latex itself. Also, during the manufacturing process, the latex goes through a 5-stage washing process which effectively rids the foam of proteins that could generate allergic reactions. Furthermore, vulcanization is also included in the process. It means that the latex foam is exposed to extreme heat. Its aim is to rule out the possibility of allergy-causing substances remaining in
the mattress.

Consequently, if you want to enjoy a luxurious, healthy, and natural night of sleep, you do not necessarily have to give up on natural latex mattresses.

All in all, there is a negligible chance of developing a latex allergy when using a latex mattress. People with a mild latex allergy will probably not have problems with sleeping on 100% natural latex mattresses such as Talalay and Dunlop mattresses.

Milam Natural Latex Mattresses

Now we know that some people with mild latex allergy can enjoy a good night’s sleep in an all-natural latex mattress as well.

The Milam Original Mattress has a natural coir core surrounded by several layers of GOLS certified natural latex, wrapped into a thin cotton inner cover, and a thick GOTS certified organic cotton and merino wool outer cover.

The Milam Premium Mattress comes with a GOLS certified Dunlop latex core sorrounded by Talay latex wrapped into a 100% cotton inner cover, and a GOTS certified organic cotton and merino wool cover.

At Milam Mattress, we offer only high-quality natural latex mattresses to our customers. You may choose from two types: our Original and our Premium mattresses. When having developing our mattresses, our primary goal is to provide our customers with maximized comfort and a healthy environment during their sleep.

Our mattresses are durable, hypoallergenic, chemical-free, and biodegradable. They are manufactured without using harsh chemicals, and they also provide excellent support for your body. Additionally, all our mattresses are crafted in the UK with superior and natural materials.

If you are unsure about latex allergies, you may contact your doctor for further information. You may also enjoy our 30-day home trial. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, we will pick your mattress up and refund you in full. This will give you time to decide whether a latex mattress is the best option for you and see if you develop any sensitivities to natural latex.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

**Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace any advice from your doctor or other medical professionals.



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