Latex mattresses, like any foam mattresses, are very simple in their construction. There are typically few (2-6) layers of foam stacked or glued together. The bottom layer (referred to as the Core) is the thickest (4-8 inches) and firmest, providing support for the mattress. Top layers are less dense providing comfort and pressure relief.
The quality and price of the latex mattress depends on the construction of the core – the support portion of the mattress. High quality mattresses use high-density latex only core (4-8 inches) whereas lesser-quality products (sometimes referred to as latex hybrids) use polyurethane foam as a support layer.
To utilize the entire surface of the mattress and prevent rolling off the bed some manufacturers reinforce the sides of the mattress. Typically they incorporate walls of extra dense foam on both sides or all around the mattress. This design allows for keeping the body in the mattress instead of rolling off. Some manufacturers prefer not to use this type of edge construction because, as they claim, they favor consistent and uniform feel across the mattress.
The upper, comfort layers provide the mattress with softer feel and pressure relief and are typically made from lower density latex, memory foam or polyurethane foams.
Latex foams usually contain deep holes throughout the entire layer to provide softer feel. Some products may have various size holes distributed to different parts of the mattress to offer specific zones of support and comfort for different parts of the body. These holes also provide improved ventilation.
Latex foam is based on open cell structure, which allows air to go in and out of single cells, thus enabling the mattress to “breath” and better control body temperature.