Latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree. Over generations, people have learned how to tap the trees without having to cut them down. This means that it is one of the most eco-conscious and sustainable ways to create bedding.
After the latex is harvested from the rubber tree, it is treated to create foam. The two most common ways of treating latex for bedding is Dunlop and Talalay. The result is a high response and heavy piece of foam that can be used for bedding. By changing the density, the latex can be more or less responsive.
Those that are used to a memory foam feel (a slow response) will be surprised to know that most latex is highly responsive, meaning that although it will react to ones body, it has a natural bounce. Some sleepers prefer this, though others not so much.
Recently, there has been an explosion in latex bedding with the higher demand for eco-conscious foam alternatives. Though latex is natural, there are some that mix it with memory foam. For those that are looking for pure latex bedding, be careful to do your research on the entire bed.
Pros: High response, differing firmness options.
Cons: High expense vs memory foam, some don't like the latex responsive feel.
Orthopedic is a term that in the context of mattresses means supporting joints, bones, and the overall body. It is commonly used for mattresses that help with spinal alignment and recovery from joint or back issues.
In this way, there is no one material that is certified orthopedic, and the term can be used my manufacturers and marketers to help sell their mattresses.
For this reason, it is important to do additional research on any bed that claims to be orthopedic to make sure that it will actually help straighten the spine and alleviate pain.
Pros: For mattresses that stand true to the name, pain alleviation and better posture are some of the benefits.
Cons: It is difficult to decipher the truth from marketing on orthopedic mattresses.