Choosing the perfect pillow for a good night’s sleep is not always an easy task but choosing a pillow that’s good for the environment - such as one made from natural latex - may just help you rest easy at night. Latex pillows are known for being extremely comfortable, but did you know that latex is a renewable and sustainable resource?

You may be surprised to know that latex is actually harvested from trees, specifically rubber trees. Rubber trees are native to South America, however, in recent years it has been commercially grown in parts of Southeast Asia, such as Sri Lanka, where the industry is thriving due to its unique climate.

The big question is, how does a rubber tree give rise to a comfortable latex pillow that you can’t wait to rest your head upon at the end of a big day? Find out below!

Close up of latex being siphoned from rubber tree.

How Natural Latex is Harvested

Latex is harvested from rubber trees through a process called ‘tapping’. Natural latex is a white, milky substance found under the bark of rubber trees. It is not sap, but a separate liquid used by the plant to protect against predatory insects. It is a natural mixture of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins, and gums that become sticky when exposed to the air.

Where Our Natural Latex Comes From

Our pillows are made from latex sourced from Sri Lanka, where farmers harvest it from trees by skilfully removing small sections of bark to expose large latex tubes (also known as “latex vessels”). Small containers collect the slow seeping latex over days and weeks. This latex harvesting and collection process are similar to the farming of maple trees for sap.

What makes this latex production sustainable, is that the process of the collection does not damage the tree, or require any part of the tree (other than a small section of bark) to be removed or cut down. Not only do these rubber trees provide latex, but their sheer existence means that they are also 'carbon sinks' because of their ability to store carbon – another win for the environment!

Rest Organic's natural latex pillow on a bed

Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Pillow Production

Remarkably, a rubber tree can produce latex for approximately 24-30 years, after this period, the trees are cut down and the wood is used to make furniture, retaining its carbon storage.

Interestingly, studies have shown that rubber tree plantations have a far less negative impact on land like monoculture crops (such as palm trees or coffee plantations) because they are generally grown alongside native plants, creating rich biological diversity.

The Sri Lankan rubber plantations aren’t just beneficial for the environment, they are also providing employment for the local communities where they are grown. Interestingly, 85% of all the natural latex harvested in the world is done so by small, family-run businesses in Asia whose plantations cover only a few hectares. This means that farmers are able to support their families and local communities by providing economic independence.

close up of natural latex pillow

Sustainable, Natural Latex Pillows

The natural latex used in Rest Organic’s pillows is durable and made to last longer than synthetic pillows or chemically created latex, resulting in less impact on our landfill. Best of all, our natural latex pillows are 100% biodegradable, so you can have sweet dreams knowing your sleep isn’t harming the environment. Buy your natural latex pillow today – available in Classic and Contour styles, plus we have a kids latex pillow option, too!