Can you describe how a latex mattress tends to wear with age? I assume it gradually “softens” and looses “support” but in what way does that actually translate in terms of feel? Does latex tend to loose support and as a result feel LESS soft because the material actually compresses more densely and creates more pressure points? Or does it feel more soft and is less supportive simulataneously? Or something altogether different?
I’m curious if someone should generally try to buy a latex mattress that is the most firm/supportive they can still feel comfortable on, so that the bed “wears” in a way that provides more longetivity?
Latex wears very slowly and gradually … unlike most memory foam and most polyfoam which have an initial period of softening which is then followed by a more gradual process. Latex on top of a mattress … like any material … will wear faster than a material deeper in the mattress. If you have say 24 ILD on top of a mattress and it softens by 20% … it will be more like say 19 ILD. This will not make a big difference in how it feels but it would depend on the layer thickness and the firmness of the foam below it.
Latex in the support core will soften even more slowly since it is not being compressed as much.
The biggest reason that latex wears out is oxidation which is when it gets crusty and turns into a powder. If you look at the article here … you will see a video of a 50 year old latex core which is still elastic and is only a little crusty on top. Like rubber in general … latex is very durable but the walls of the cell structure in the foam will gradually break (gradual softening) and the latex will eventually oxidize (wear out).
I would buy latex based on how it feels now and not how it may feel in the future. There are already too many variables in buying a mattress to add more that are unlikely to make any real difference for a long time