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Sleep is important and affects every part of our lives. If you don’t get enough sleep—or if your sleep is of poor quality—not only can you expect to be tired the next day, but you could be at a greater risk of illness, and your physical and mental health can suffer.

Even if you understand how important sleep is, it may not be as straightforward to facilitate a good night’s rest. For instance, if you’re taking medication that keeps you awake at night, or if you suffer from insomnia, you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Or maybe it’s simply that your old mattress isn’t cutting it anymore.

There are plenty of actions you can take to make sure you get a good night’s rest, and one of those is to think hard about your mattress. If your mattress is old, it can make falling asleep more difficult than it should be, and it could be causing problems such as aches in the morning or even worsening your allergies. Your mattress is important to creating a comfortable and comforting atmosphere. Investing in a good mattress will create powerful improvements in your sleep cycle and quality of sleep. Here are four reasons why purchasing a natural latex mattress might be the best decision you make this year.

1. A high-quality mattress is good for your health.

A mattress that matches your needs will relieve aches and pains instead of making them worse. With the proper mattress, chronic back pain from old, broken mattresses will be a thing of the past. Your old mattress has been compounded by many nights of you sleeping in the same positions, which can create pressure points and misalign your body. Your chiropractor might like you since they’ll see you more often, but as a result, you’ll feel sore and your joints may ache. You can develop lower back pain, neck pain, and pain in your hips.

When you bought it, your mattress may have been good for you simply because it was new. A high-quality mattress will not only promote a healthy sleep posture but will also support your body and the curve of your spine, in whichever position you find comfortable. The most important thing to be aware of when shopping for a new mattress is that you find one that will evenly distribute your weight. This will negate stress on any one particular body part. Chronic pain and morning aches will be a thing of the past when you bring a latex mattress into the equation.

2. A natural latex mattress is cleaner.

If you have sensitive skin, allergies, or asthma, a natural latex mattress is a great option and will reduce your exposure to allergens. Your old mattress is a magnet for dust mites: they thrive in warm, humid conditions with lots of food (such as your dead skin cells). Here in Oregon, humidity is a fact of life as well—it seems like we’re always battling it. Dust mites are what make you wake up with a sneezy, stuffy nose and watery eyes, and they can exacerbate breathing problems such as asthma. The good news is that dust mites cannot live in a latex mattress. Switch out your old mattress for a new germ-resistant latex one, and you can kick those bugs to the curb.

Of course, you should take additional precautions in order to minimize dust mites as much as possible because they can still live in your bedding and pillows. This includes vacuuming your mattress (especially if your vacuum has a HEPA filter), running your pillow through the dryer every so often for 15 minutes, and washing your bedding in hot water once a week. To combat humidity, run a dehumidifier or an air conditioning unit.

3. A natural latex mattress is good for the environment.

Your investment in a natural latex mattress means that you won’t have to replace it as soon as you would a traditional mattress. This means fewer items that go to the landfill.

The previous “new” standard of mattress used to be memory foam. However, memory foam is a synthetic, man-made product, whereas a latex mattress is derived from the sap of rubber trees. The latex is made when the sap from the tree is whipped until it is frothy (like you do with an egg white). The froth is then poured into molds and baked. This means it’s more durable than memory foam and doesn’t break down as easily. Once the mattress makes its way into your home, there’s no toxic off-gassing and no harsh chemicals that can break down over time. Latex is also breathable, so you won’t feel as hot as you might with a memory foam mattress.

Also, over time, a memory foam mattress will have more difficulty bouncing back from your impression on its surface. One of the major drawbacks of a memory foam mattress is that it will eventually dip and/or sag. Since a natural latex mattress is much more durable, unlike memory foam, latex mattresses quickly bounce back or reshape to your body whenever you get out of bed or move.

4. A natural latex mattress is good for your wallet too!

Since latex is a natural substance, and so much more durable than other mattresses—memory foam or otherwise—you can expect it to keep you comfortable for longer at night. This saves you time and energy shopping for another mattress sooner than you’d like, on top of saving you money. Natural latex mattresses are meant to last between 10 and 20 years, so you can rest assured that you’ll be reaping the benefits far into the future. Compare that to other mattresses, which may only last seven years on average.

Here at Plank and Coil, we keep your health in mind as we source our natural fibers and materials, in order to set an example for home furnishing retailers. It’s our responsibility to protect our customers and provide the best materials we can find. Our Oregon roots run deep, and we look forward to answering your questions about how a natural latex mattress can change your life.