Tough and resilient - coir is very tough. The coconut fibres are extremely strong and can be stretched or compressed without damaging them, and they hardly deteriorate at all over time.
Flexible and adaptable - despite this toughness, coir is also elastic.
Naturally adapted to humans - coir is naturally adapted to the human body, as it can absorb moisture, and its open and resilient structure can be used to create a good micro-climate - an advantage for furniture. Latex is non-toxic, inherently hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial and resistant to mould, mildew & dust mite. It's also not highly flammable, and has little or no off-gassing associated with it.
Renewable and biodegradable - as plant-based products, both coconut palms and rubber trees can be regrown, and both coir and natural latex are biodegradable.
Made from waste - coir is made from a waste product that was traditionally discarded or burned, increasing our carbon problems.
Sustainable options - both coconut and natural latex can be farmed in sustainable planting programs by both large-scale plantations and small farmers.
Water - coir requires significant amounts of valuable water to process it, which is left polluted afterwards.
Biodiversity - the increase of monoculture coconut plantations and the use of pesticides is destroying biodiversity in those areas.
Air miles - coir is primarily manufactured in Sri Lanka and India, meaning it comes with a heavy carbon burden due to shipping.
Energy intensive - natural rubber has high energy production costs, although a smaller footprint than either polyurethane foams.
Local communities - it's argued that the coir industry deprives the indigenous peoples of the coir-producing benefits of a product that they can and do use themselves, just so that richer westerners can use it.
Limited supply of natural rubber - natural rubber is restricted to a limited supply.
Petroleum-based synthetic latex - synthetic latex is petroleum based and made from styrene chemicals, which are toxic to the lungs, liver and brain, in a production process that uses a lot of energy.
Can’t get really wet - though moisture-resistant, coir gets damaged when it gets really wet.
Firm - the tough nature of coir produces a firm padding.
Prone to sagging - coconut fibre padding gets slumped when the body rests on it.