Latex mattress vs latex mattress topper — which should you buy in the 4th of July sales?

The Nolah Natural 11 Mattress on a wooden bed frame and dressed with pillows
(Image credit: Nolah Sleep)

Latex mattresses provide consistent support and comfort. In contrast, latex mattress toppers give your sleep set-up a big upgrade by allowing you to add an extra layer to your existing mattress. But which one should you buy? In this latex mattress vs latex mattress topper guide, we'll break down the pros and cons of each, and help you determine precisely which one you should opt for this 4th of July. 

By why latex? First, it offers a lot more bounce and responsiveness than memory foam mattresses whilst still offering exceptional levels of contouring support. Second, the natural cooling properties of Latex make it one of the best mattress choices for hot sleepers. 

There's a downside, though: latex mattresses and latex mattress toppers are more expensive than hybrid, innerspring and memory foam alternatives. But with the 4th of July mattress sales now live, you can take advantage of epic discounts that will bring the cost down leaving you to enjoy a better night’s sleep for less. 

Let's take a look at the differences between latex mattresses and latex mattress toppers, including price, comfort and temperature regulation. 

What is a latex mattress?

Woman sits on Birch Natural Talalay Latex Mattress surrounded by springtime flowers

(Image credit: Birch Living)

Some of the best organic mattresses are made using latex, as it’s a sustainable and non-toxic material. There are two types of latex used in mattresses: Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop latex tends to feel firmer than Talalay, which has a plush, soft feeling. 

The log lifespan of a latex mattress is one of its biggest benefits; they are known to last between 10-15 years (or more, if well cared for). Latex is also hypoallergenic, resistant as it is to dust mites, mold, and bacteria. 

They are also a great choice for hot sleepers. Latex is a breathable material and doesn’t retain heat, meaning that it stays cooler for longer. Bear in mind that not all latex mattresses are made equal. Depending on the brand you opt for, some examples contain only latex foam, while others are latex hybrids which include a layer of coils for additional support. 

What is a latex mattress topper?

Saatva Natural Latex mattress topper

(Image credit: Saatva)

The best mattress toppers are a drop-in bed upgrade. They're a layer of additional material that sits on top of your mattress to provide either softness, firmness, or cooling properties to your bed. 

Latex mattress toppers, in theory, offer you all the benefits of a latex mattress — the comfort, support, and temperature regulation — at a fraction of the price. They are also naturally resistant to allergens found in the bedroom such as pollen, dander, dust mites and mold, meaning that latex mattress toppers can help prevent allergens affecting your sleep.

Like a latex mattress, a latex mattress topper can last up to 15 years. That's a huge amount of time, particularly compared to other kinds of mattress topper: on average, memory foam toppers last up to five years, and feather or wool toppers manage just two. 

Latex mattress vs latex mattress topper: Price

Here's the bad news: both latex mattresses and latex mattress toppers tend to cost more than memory foam or hybrid alternatives. However, they do have a longer lifespan, making that higher initial investment seem less painful. Latex mattress toppers are naturally less expensive than full latex mattresses, as they sit on top of your existing mattress meaning you’re not replacing your whole bed. 

Prices vary depending on which brand you purchase from. Having done some research across the whole market, we'd suggest that (at full MSRP) you shouldn't expect to pay below $1,199 for a latex mattress or $270 for a mattress topper. 

One of our favorite brands, Saatva, currently has up to $600 off their range of mattresses. This means that a queen Saatva Latex Hybrid is just $2,095 (was $2,395).

Size matters. The average price of a queen latex mattress is around $1,750 — although this depends on various factors including the type of latex used and any additional features like organic certifications or cooling technologies. 

When it comes to latex mattress toppers, the average price of a queen is around $350, though this can vary based on the thickness of the topper and the specific latex used. If you want a Saatva but don’t need a new mattress, you can get the queen Saatva Natural Latex Topper for $356 (was $445).

Latex mattress vs latex mattress topper: Pressure relief

Both latex mattresses and latex mattress toppers offer exceptional pressure relief. They distribute weight evenly across the entire sleeping surface, so there’s a huge reduction in key pressure areas like the hips, shoulders, knees and back. Latex conforms to the body’s natural shape but it doesn’t offer that sink-in feeling that you get with memory foam. 

Latex mattresses are a great choice for those that suffer from chronic back or joint pain, because they often feature multiple layers of varying densities. This enhances the ability to relieve pressure, with generally softer top layers for comfort, and stiffer lower layers which offer firmness and support. 

Brooklyn Bedding 3” Latex Mattress ToppeR

(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

Latex mattress toppers add a layer of comfort and pressure relief directly under the sleeper. They can enhance the pressure relief of your existing mattress, but they are limited in what they can do because they're reliant on the quality of the mattress underneath. This means they generally provide less comprehensive support than a full latex mattress would.

Latex mattress vs latex mattress topper: motion isolation

Latex mattresses do a good job of isolating motion. Not as good as a memory foam mattress, but decent enough. However, a little bounce and buoyancy isn’t a bad thing, particularly if you’re a combination sleeper or you move around a lot at night. It means you can move freely without the feeling like you’re stuck or trapped inside your mattress. 

As with pressure relief, a latex mattress topper's motion isolation abilities are dependent on the mattress you have underneath. If you have a memory foam mattress, you’re likely to experience a similar level of motion isolation to a full latex mattress — and if you have an innerspring or hybrid mattress, you’re going to experience the same bounce and movement that you would from those springs. 

So, while both latex mattresses and latex mattress toppers can dampen motion isolation to an extent, they’re not as good as memory foam, but they are at least better than hybrid or innersprings. 

Latex mattress vs latex mattress topper: Comfort and support

Both of these choices are great when it comes to comfort. That's the key benefit of latex.

Latex mattresses tend to provide a consistent level of comfort across their entire surface. It doesn’t matter where you lie: you’ll get the same level of cushioning and support at the centre, the side, or the edge. This is something we don’t always see in memory foam or hybrid mattresses with zoned support. Latex also offers adaptive support, conforming to the body’s shape to provide support in those areas that need it the most. 

A woman in silky blue pyjamas rests on top of a Turmerry latex mattress topper

A latex mattress topper can add an extra layer of comfort (Image credit: Turmerry)

Latex mattress toppers will significantly improve comfort levels, regardless of the mattress that's underneath. It's worth noting, though, that if your existing mattress is dipping or sagging, a mattress topper is just a temporary fix. It won't be long before the comfort levels drop. But if your current mattress is too firm or lacks cushioning, a latex topper is an easy fix and one you won’t regret. 

Toppers do come in various thickness levels. The thicker your topper, the more comfortable it will tend to be. Both latex mattresses and latex mattress toppers are better suited to side, back and combination sleepers. Side sleepers will find them especially comfortable, while stomach sleepers may find they lack the required support.  

Latex mattress vs latex mattress topper: Which to buy

Buy a latex mattress if…

 You need a new mattress: If your mattress is old, sagging or uneven, it's not even worth considering a latex mattress topper. A topper can’t fix the issues of a bad mattress. Whilst it may be a large initial investment, latex mattresses do last a lot longer than the average memory foam or hybrid alternatives. 

 You sleep hot: If you’re a hot sleeper, latex is a great choice. Latex is naturally breathable due to its open-cell structure, enhancing cooling properties. This will be particularly noticeable if you’re moving from a memory foam mattress as these are known to hold on to heat. 

 You suffer from chronic joint or back pain: Latex mattresses offer exceptional pressure relief. If you’re suffering from pain, upgrading your mattress to latex could provide the necessary cushioning to alleviate discomfort in areas such as hips, back and shoulders.

Buy a latex mattress topper if…

 You want a latex bed but don’t have the budget: If you want the power of latex but you can’t afford to spring for a full mattress, a latex mattress topper is a great choice. You’ll gain the same comfort levels but save a lot of money. 

 Your bed is too firm or has no cushioning: If you have a great mattress but it’s too hard or doesn’t have enough cushioning, a latex mattress topper is a simple solution that will offer supportive results. 

  You move around a lot at night: If you’re happy with your mattress but find it difficult to move around at night (maybe you’re a restless or combination sleeper) then a latex mattress topper can help. Latex is naturally buoyant, so it feels bouncier and doesn’t make you feel trapped within the mattress making it easier to move about. 

Top 5 latex mattresses and toppers to buy in the 4th of July sales

1. Brooklyn 3” Latex Topper:$422.30

1. Brooklyn 3” Latex Topper: from $422.30 $316.80 at Brooklyn Bedding
This 3” latex topper comes in three firmness options to offer customized comfort. It has a high-end organic cotton cover that enhances the cooling properties of the latex and also boosts the hypoallergenic sleep environment. Brooklyn are offering 25% off their entire range by entering the code JULY25 at checkout. This brings the cost of a queen down to $487.60 (was $663.30). There is no sleep trial with this mattress topper, but you do get a 10-year warranty and free shipping. 

2. Saatva Natural Latex Mattress Topper: $325

2. Saatva Natural Latex Mattress Topper: from $325 $260 at Saatva 
The Saatva natural latex mattress topper is a 1.5-inch layer of hypoallergenic natural latex foam which can bring life to your old mattress. This topper is great for hot sleepers, as it has vented airflow channels which promote additional airflow, and it also offers responsive support. Saatva don’t offer huge discounts on their accessories, but during the 4th of July sales there’s up to $130 off mattress toppers depending on size. A queen is now $356, a saving of $89, and you also get a 180-night home trial, a one-year warranty, and free shipping. 

3. Avocado Green mattress:$1,399

3. Avocado Green mattress: from $1,399 $1,189 at Avocado Green
This firm mattress uses GOLS-certified organic latex alongside GOTS-certified organic wool and cotton and up to 1,459 individually wrapped coils for an eco-friendly yet super comfortable and supportive mattress. This mattress does come in medium and plush firmness options, but opting for these will cost you up to $1,360 more. Avocado Green currently offer 15% off their mattress range, which isn’t the most exciting sale price we’ve seen but it's still pretty good. It also means a queen Avocado Green mattress will cost just $1,699 (was $1,999) and it comes with perks including a 365-night home trial, 25-year warranty and free shipping. 

4. Saatva Latex Hybrid mattress: $1,595

4. Saatva Latex Hybrid mattress: from $1,595 $1,395 at Saatva
Saatva constantly tops our best hybrid mattress list because of its quality build and unbelievable comfort. It features an ergonomic five-zone organic natural latex foam layer with vented airflow channels for extra breathability and also enhanced lumbar support. There’s also a layer of individually pocketed coils which contour and respond to your body and movement. Saatva don’t offer evergreen sales, but they're offering up to $600 off their mattresses right now. This brings the cost of a queen down to $2,095 (was $2,395) and comes with a 365-night sleep trial, a lifetime warranty and free white glove delivery. 

5. Nolah Natural latex 11” mattress: $1,499

5. Nolah Natural latex 11” mattress: from $1,499 $974 at Nolah
This is one of the best value latex mattresses currently on the market. This hybrid has an 11” profile and features a breathable organic cotton cover, moisture-wicking organic wool, two layers of cushioning latex, and HDMax Tri-Zone coils for targeted support and spinal alignment. Nolah offers frequent discounts throughout the year; we're used to seeing up to 40% off during bigger sales holidays. This makes their current 35% discount a good deal if you’re looking for a new bed before the end of the summer. A queen mattress has been dropped down to $1,364 (was $2,099) and that comes with 120-night trial, lifetime warranty and free shipping. 

Rachael Penn

Rachael is a freelance journalist based in South Wales who writes about lifestyle, travel, home and technology. She also reviews a variety of products for various publications including Tom’s Guide, CreativeBloq, IdealHome and Woman&Home. When she’s not writing and reviewing products she can be found walking her Sealyham and West Highland terrier dogs or catching up on some cringe-worthy reality tv.