When Shopping, Compare Latex vs. Memory Foam Mattresses
How do they Compare?
It seems like memory foam is everywhere these days. Once solely the domain of Tempur-Pedic, memory foam mattresses and memory foam hybrids are now being manufactured by everyone from Sealy to Simmons to Stearns and Foster. But what about latex mattresses? How does latex compare with memory foam?
Compare Latex vs. Memory Foam: The Basics
One of the reasons that you hear so much about memory foam is because the companies who manufacture memory foam mattresses spend a great deal of money on advertising – particularly TV ads. (This is partly why memory foam mattresses carry such a hefty price tag.)
Because there’s so much buzz surrounding memory foam mattresses, many people assume that any bed that isn’t an innerspring is made from memory foam. Or they assume that latex and memory foam are the same thing. Sleeplikethedead has a great comparison based upon customer reviews.
It’s easy to see why the confusion exists. However, memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses are two completely different mattress types. Let’s look at how they compare.
What is memory foam?
Memory foam is a type of foam that is designed to soften under pressure or heat. Higher density memory foam softens in reaction to body heat, allowing it to mold to your body in a few minutes. Mattresses can be made up of memory foam as a core support layer, or they can have a memory foam comfort layer on top.
Memory Foam Benefits
Because memory foam conforms to the body, it can help relieve pressure points for some people. It can also help keep your spine in alignment while you sleep, which may be beneficial for people who suffer from back pain.
Memory foam also provides great motion isolation, meaning you will be less likely to feel your sleeping partner’s movements while lying in bed.
Memory Foam Disadvantages
Perhaps the biggest drawback for most people is that memory foam mattresses can be pricey. Another big concern with memory foam mattresses is that they sleep hot. Many newer memory foam mattresses are infused with a cooling gel to help keep the temperature down, but many people say that even gel-infused memory foam mattresses still sleep hotter than other types of mattresses.
Finally, since traditional memory foam mattresses are created with VOCs and petroleum products, they can be subject to off-gassing and emit a strong odor for several weeks after purchase.
What is a Latex mattress?
Made by processing naturally existing rubber, latex mattresses offer a naturally supportive, breathable, and more eco-friendly mattress core. Latex mattresses can be either natural or synthetic.
Natural latex provides optimal elasticity, softness, and biodegradability, but is less commonly used and more expensive than synthetic. Synthetic latex, or blended latex, combines natural latex for elasticity and synthetic latex for consistency and durability. To compare Latex vs. Memory Foam is a tough one!
Latex relieves pressure points much like memory foam, but air moves through latex better than through memory foam, making latex much cooler to sleep on. You may also find that latex mattresses have a little extra “spring” that is lacking in a memory foam mattress, which helps lessen that trapped feeling that some people get when sleeping on a memory foam mattress.
Latex is also a natural product, and is not made from chemicals and VOCs like memory foam is, so there is no potentially toxic off-gassing with a latex mattress. Latex mattresses are also eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable. In addition, latex mattresses are anti-microbial and dust mite–resistant, making them a great choice for allergy sufferers.
Latex mattresses are generally more firm in the first few weeks of use, and you may need to break the mattress in a little before you achieve the right comfort level. Latex mattresses may also sleep a little hotter than a traditional innerspring mattress, but when you compare Latex vs. Memory Foam, Latex is much cooler overall when compared to memory foam.
Because it’s a natural substance, the purity and quality of latex may vary between manufacturers, so you’ll need to check with the mattress manufacturer to make sure what kind of latex mattress you are getting. Some latex mattresses are made with “fillers,” or tiny particles of clay and other materials mixed into the foam.
While these will cost less, they will also be stiffer and less durable. The term “pure latex” often indicates higher quality latex without fillers, but it may be made from either synthetic or natural latex. No latex mattress can be 100% natural because minimal amounts of sulfur or other additives must be used to process the rubber. Always ask the mattress manufacturer what percentage of the latex is natural versus synthetic.
Which Mattress is Right for You: Latex or Memory Foam?
Beloit Mattress Company Can Help You Decide
If you have more questions or want to try out a latex mattress, the sleep consultants at Beloit Mattress Company in Beloit, WI, can help you compare latex and memory foam mattresses and choose the one that is right for you.