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- How high humidity affects natural latex
How high humidity affects natural latex
Thank you for "The Mattress Underground", your in-depth articles and help to educate us toward making great decisions in purchasing mattresses.
I have read and studied all the articles on this website and many of the communications in the "Talk to the Expert and Forum" sections along with other similar sites, and still not found a definitive answer to the question of (How high humidity affects natural latex). There are many references to how natural latex, wool, and cotton can wick moisture away. I have not found information on moisture retention or the lack of it in high humid locations. Having researched dozens of mattress manufacturer websites it seems this aspect is not an issue they talk about either, however, I and millions of others must deal with this situation.
Living in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay, sometimes spring and fall become quite humid and as my residence is built on a concrete slab foundation that tends to cause more humidity to accumulate. I sleep warm therefore I don't want memory foam and would like to purchase a mattress as organic as possible. I will be buying a medium firm mattress due to my sleeping style. Research has shown an innerspring mattress may breath better but I'm concerned about other elements in the mattress retaining moisture. I am even considering a futon mattress if that will mitigate moisture. I see I could place the mattress on a "Natural Bed Rug" and on an open slat bed base for additional breathability.
Any links to and additional information referring to this challenge would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for visiting Luma Sleep in the Experts Forum. Your questions and concerns over humidity and its impact on the mattress are a bit unique, which is likely why there is little information available and definitely not "definitive" information about the impact of humidity. In certain product industries, such as electronics, and in particular in government purchasing processes, humidity chambers are used to conduct product testing so that the impact of environmental factors such as humidity (moisture)on the product performance can be quantified. There is no such testing or data related to using humidity chambers in the testing of mattresses.
Assuming your mattress is not outdoors , the level of humidity inside your residence will be relative to the climate controls of your furnace/air conditioning system. While a highly humid in-home environment will contribute to some moisture on the surface of your bedding (blankets, sheets, etc), the primary source of moisture impacting a mattress comes from perspiration. Most consumers do not realize that a average adult will lose 1-2 lbs while he/she sleeps at night, and this weight loss is primarily water loss from perspiration. What makes perspiration have an impact on the mattress is that the moisture is combined with pressure (body weight gravity) and body heat. The compression of the quilting materials and lower density foams used in many mattresses that result in body impressions is a direct result.
In regards to how latex reacts to high humidity, there are 2 factors that make latex somewhat impervious:
1. Latex is foam rubber that is fully cured when it is molded and dried. In this way, latex does not take a compression set meaning that the latex returns to its original height condition when the body's pressure and heat are removed. The moisture from perspiration and/or humidity will not have an effect on the latex durability.
2. Latex, particularly Talalay latex, has an open cell foam structure. This provides for air flow through the material, which is commonly referred to as the breathe-ability of the foam. The open cell structure of latex foam will help dissipate moisture as well as heat (air), as well as allowing for the moisture to evaporate when then mattress is not being slept on.
Mattresses with fabric covers that contain materials that "wick away" moisture such as Tencel should also be considered if you have a humid environment or perspire/sleep warm.
Hope this helps address your concerns!