When you’re shopping for your next mattress, there are some factors that will be more important to you than others. If you’re on a budget, price will be a big factor in your decision. If you have a latex allergy, you’re probably more aware of the materials in your prospective mattress.
But just because you have a latex allergy, that doesn’t mean you have to rule out latex mattresses entirely. We’ll explain more about latex allergies so you understand how likely you are to be allergic to latex mattresses or other latex bedding products.
Are Latex Allergies Common?
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, (AAFA) less than one percent of Americans have an allergy to latex. There are certain high-risk groups for a latex allergy: Children with spina bifida, children who frequently undergo medical treatments, and health care workers (or other workers who regularly use latex gloves).
“Between 8 to 17 percent of healthcare workers and others who regularly use latex gloves are allergic to latex,” the AAFA website explains. “Healthcare workers and children who have other allergies and get contact dermatitis when they use latex gloves are more likely to develop a latex allergy.”
Signs Or Symptoms Of A Latex Allergy
According to the AAFA, symptoms of a latex allergy are generally mild. People may experience itching and swelling where they have touched a latex product, for example on their lips after blowing up a latex balloon.
Symptoms of a more serious allergy include hives, inflammation of the eyes, trouble breathing, and anaphylaxis.
Can I Sleep On A Latex Mattress If I Have A Latex Allergy?
If you have an allergy to latex, you may think you can’t sleep on a latex mattress. Actually, since most mattress latex is placed in a mattress core, not on the surface, it’s not common for people to come into direct contact with latex when sleeping on a latex mattress.
Latex that is used in mattresses is also washed many times throughout the manufacturing process. This washing process helps to remove the proteins that affect people with latex allergies.
Thus, people who have a mild allergy may have no issues with a latex core mattress since the irritant is not coming into contact with their skin. For someone with a severe allergy, it’s likely best to avoid latex products altogether.
Overall, people with mild latex allergies should be safe sleeping on a latex mattress. Because of the washing process that latex undergoes during the manufacturing process and the fact that your skin won’t be directly exposed to the latex contained inside the mattress, most people with latex allergies will not be affected by sleeping on a latex mattress.
If you have a severe latex allergy or you’re just playing it on the safe side, you may want to avoid a latex mattress altogether. Luckily, there are many other great mattress options available. Take a look at our mattress reviews and mattress buying guides to get you started!
If you have a latex allergy and you are concerned about your mattress posing a threat to your health, consult your doctor — or a board-certified allergist — about your options.
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