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Memory Foam vs Latex

Updated October 20, 2019

Choosing a mattress is one of the most important decisions you will take and making sure you get a comfortable pad can totally change your sleep quality.

If you’ve been researching, you might feel overwhelmed by the choice available. What does it all mean? And which is better, memory foam vs latex?

Memory foam has better motion transfer, molds around your body and insulates heat whereas latex is durable, also changes to your shape but is a bit more responsive and is made from a natural substance.

If you are struggling to make a decision, then read on and discover all the information you need to make the right choice for your bedroom.

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

Although it seems like a super modern invention, memory foam was actually first designed and created in the middle of the 1960s. It was originally made for NASA to use in airplane seats as it is soft.

Memory foam moulds around your body in response to pressure and also heat. The mattress helps your body weight be distributed evenly but slowly springs back to the original shape when you get up from it. This cushioning and molding means memory foam is very comfortable. As well as mattresses, it is used for shoes and seating pads.

As well as buying a full memory foam mattress you can also buy this material as a mattress topper. Memory foam is made from a lot of different chemicals which are mixed together to create the perfect, moulding substance.

Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses tend to be more comfortable when you’re looking at memory foam vs latex vs spring. They are tested on comfort, how they ease pressure points and aid blood circulation as you sleep.

A memory foam mattress boasts the best sleep surface because it is designed to cocoon your body as you sleep and change to suit your sleeping position. As you roll around in your bed, the foam depresses to fit your shape and then springs back into shape.

As the memory foam is quite supportive without being too hard, it can help bedbound people relieve the risk of pressure sores. Unlike a spring mattress, the memory foam absorbs movement which means if you’re partner moves around in their sleep you won’t feel it as much as you will on a sprung mattress.

Downsides of a Memory Foam Mattress

Although a memory foam mattress is comfortable, it does tend to offgas more than latex foams because. Memory foam is also heat conductive which means it warms up as you lay on it and this helps it mould to your body shape. This is great to help your body feel comfortable but if you live in a hot climate or prefer to be cooler when you sleep you might find memory foam too warm to sleep on.

When you first unwrap a new memory foam mattress, you might notice a strong, chemical smell. This is where the chemical substance used to create the memory foam is exposed to the air. To stop breathing in this chemical, you should air your mattress or mattress topper for at least 24 hours before sleeping on it.

Having said that, mattresses are tested by organizations to make sure any VOC’s are under any harmful levels.

What is a Latex Mattress?

Latex mattresses have been around since the 1950s and are a great alternative to spring or traditional mattresses. There are three types of latex mattress made from natural latex, blended latex or synthetic latex.

Natural latex is made from the Hevea milk which is collected from rubber tree sap. This is an expensive substance so any pure, 100% natural rubber tree sap mattress will cost quite a lot of money.

However, a properly made natural mattress will last more than 15 years. You should make sure the entire mattress is made from natural latex rubber as some designs will just have a rubber “topper” with the rest of the mattress made from synthetic or more traditional methods.

Benefits of a Latex Mattress

An all-natural latex mattress is hypoallergenic so it suits people with breathing difficulties or allergies. It is also resistant to bed bugs, mites or other bacteria that might find their way into your mattress. Latex does conduct heat but they are cooler than a memory foam mattress so if temperature is important to you then you might want to consider this material.

A latex mattress can be made via two processes. The sap from the rubber tree is collected and processed either by the Talalay process or the Dunlop process. In Talalay rubber, the process makes the latex much softer feeling. This means that air and synthetic material to achieve this puffier feeling. You cannot get a rubber mattress made in the Talalay process that is 100% natural. The Dunlop process creates a firmer foam which some people prefer.

Downsides of a Latex Mattress

One of the biggest downsides to buying a latex mattress is the cost. Pure, 100% natural latex rubber is an expensive resource so a mattress could easily cost somewhere in the low thousands if it is made completely from latex.

Some people may also find a latex rubber bed too firm. While it will change and soften over time, a latex bed is typically firm to begin with. It is worth thinking about this when you choose a mattress as if you typically favour a soft mattress this might not suit you. You can also experience compression which is where a depression occurs when someone sleeps in the same place every night. This is a much lower risk when the mattress is 100% natural but it can still occur if you sleep in the same place. However, it’s more common is memory foam.

A latex mattress can be very heavy and cumbersome. If you’re planning on installing this mattress and not moving it for 15 years it won’t matter but if you are moving around, for example living in rental accommodation, you might be best to invest in a more lightweight mattress.

Memory Foam vs Latex Comparison Table

Memory foam Latex
Adjusts to pressure and temperature Can be synthetic or a natural substance
Excellent Motion Transfer Molds to your body
Good pressure relief More expensive
Molds to your body More response and bounce
Very durable

 

Conclusion

So, if you’re deciding between memory foam vs latex then you really should review the pros and cons and decide for yourself. We all have our own comfort levels and expectations, so what’s best for you may not be best for someone else. Personally, I think latex is great. But memory foam has tons of amazing benefits, too.

Hopefully you have found this information helpful and you will now be able to make the right choice for your home.

If you have any helpful tips or want to share your advice for choosing the right memory foam or latex mattress, then please comment below and share this article with anyone you think will find it useful.