The Best Mattress For People With Allergies: A Mattress Engineer And Bedding Industry CEO With 25 Years Of Experience Discusses Your Best Options


Of the most frequently asked questions I received as a bedding company CEO and mattress manufacturer, I think the concerns people had about choosing a hypoallergenic mattress was always at the forefront. Many people suffer relentlessly from allergies of all kinds, and often their current mattress is the source of many of the most toxic allergens.

If you’ve got a mattress that’s been around longer than 8-10 years, the odds are it has become a petrie dish and an incubator of the most noxious allergens, from dust mite egg casings, to dust mite feces, animal hair, human skin cells, and even mold and mildew.

When you consider how much water is being respirated from the average human being every night, and multiply that by thousands of nights, our mattresses might as well be in our backyards being saturated by a sprinkler running full blast.

After only short periods of time, mold and mildew can creep into the crevices of mattresses, especially this made with certain kinds of foam, fibrous components, and especially inside pillow tops, which are immediately adjacent to our bodies, are are kept at ideal warmer temperatures, providing a natural incubator for these organisms. 

Worst case scenario of mold growth on the underside of a foam mattress.

Worst case scenario of mold growth on the underside of a foam mattress.

Although mold is uncommon in mattresses for the most part, I have seen it grown in foam type beds and grow in the form of a silhouette of the person lying above it, like a shadow of the individual.Certain foams, because of their cellular like structure, act like top soil or peat moss, a kind of starter garden for a variety of fungal organisms to take root.

Dead Skin Cells, Sweat, Body Oils, Dust Mites, Mold, And More…Yuk!

Since we spend about 30% of our lives snuggled in our mattresses, slowly, over time, our beds  start to collect pounds (literally) of dead skin and body oils, the perfect buffet for dust mites. 

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The average mattress that is 12 years old or older can be a nest for as many as 10 million of these terrifying organisms, according to Ohio State University entomologists and sleep experts. And when you factor in dust mite feces, you’re sleeping in a pretty nasty stew.

Horrifying, right? Thankfully, the little bugs are invisible—and most of us seem to tolerate them with little or no issues.. But, if you suffer from allergies, dust mites can be a real problem. Dust mite allergies can cause itchiness, runny noses, sneezing, eye discharge, coughing, and sinus problems.

The symptoms are far worse if you have asthma or even sleep apnea, which can be made far worse by dust mites. You could be at risk for chest tightness, respiratory stress, or trouble sleeping.

Like TV’s, batteries, and appliances, we generally don’t think of our mattresses as things we need to replace fairly frequently,  and we get attached to them, since they are nests, our sanctuaries, and let’s face it, shopping for a mattress is often a nightmare and an anxiety inducing experience. In reality, we need to think of our mattresses kind of like we do our clothing, they have a limited lifespan, wear out, become tattered, and need to be replaced.

An old mattress is essentially a waste receptacle for things that our bodies discharge, and to maintain a clean and hypoallergenic environment, we need to sanitize our sleep situation, about every 8 years or so.

Also, the kind of mattress you purchase is very important when you are shopping for a hypoallergenic bed. For example, I recommend that you steer clear of petroleum based foams, mattresses with thick pillow tops, and poorly ventilated beds. Mattresses that are made using polyurethane foam, memory foam, or hybrids that are made with coils and foams are fine for most people ( so long as you replace them periodically), but for someone suffering from relentless allergies or those who have any level of immune system compromise or autoimmune disorders, your best bet lies with only one kind of mattress- Natural Latex.

Designed By Mother Nature

Natural latex mattresses are pretty ubiquitous, but you’ll find only a handful below that we recommend, carefully chosen by our team. Why is natural latex the only real option for allergy sufferers? It is the material that is naturally hypoallergenic. It resists mold, mildew, repels dust mites, gives off little if any smell, and it doesn’t break down like petroleum based, denser foams.

Ever unzipped a couch cushion, and discovered the crusty brown or yellow foam, crumbling in your hands? That is synthetic, petroleum based foam that has degraded due to photo-reactivity, or exposure to light. Natural latex will not break down this way because it is not photo-reactive.

Natural latex with pin core holes from the process of vulcanization.

Natural latex with pin core holes from the process of vulcanization.

But why is natural latex antimicrobial, anti-fungal and capable of sending dust mites scurrying? It is very acidic, and having a low pH, these organisms do not thrive, even factoring in body moisture.

Also, most natural latex mattresses are designed with a fairly low profile outer cover to promote ventilation and to keep you as close to the latex as possible so that you reap the benefits.

Natural latex is also excellent for your back, is buoyantly supportive, delightfully spongy and elastic, and cradles your body without that sinking, trapped feeling. Add the antimicrobial and anti-allergy elements to a natural latex mattress, and you’ve got the perfect sleep surface, designed by nature.

Natural latex mattresses are made using a unique process, unlike anything else in the bedding industry. First, the liquid latex is hand collected by tapping into a rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. There are rubber tree plantations in certain areas of the world where the temperature and humidity are just right. The liquid latex is then collected, and poured into large Belgian waffle style ovens which steams the liquid latex, converting the liquid into a jiggly solid material, with no added chemicals or toxins.

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The latex cores, as they are called, once solidified, are cut to typical American mattress sizes and then covered with an outer fabric, the most ideal hypoallergenic material being a natural fiber like bamboo or even wool.

six outstanding options for a naturally hypoallergenic mattress

We’ve created a selection of Trusted Dealers that we have carefully vetted and evaluated, from the method of construction, the nature of the outer covering for hypo-allergenic use, customer reviews, price, warranty, and even trial period, so you can easily shop for a hypo-allergenic mattress that will give you a new lease on life. Here are our recommendations for the best natural latex mattresses you can find. All of them can be ordered from your home, and will ship to you rolled and compressed, which causes no harm to natural latex.