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Latex vs. Memory Foam – What’s The Difference Between Them?

Latex vs. Memory Foam – What’s The Difference Between Them?

Are you torn between a latex and memory foam mattress? While the two are among the most popular players in the sleep industry today, they have dissimilarities. Whether you are keen on edge support features or firmness levels, this guide will clear out any questions.

While both offer pressure relief and motion support, memory foam mattresses provide better edge support than latex mattresses. Contrarily, Latex is firmer, bouncier, and has more motion responsiveness. 

We did our research on the difference between latex and memory foam. Here are our findings;

woman sleeping mattressComfort

Even though both mattresses offer comfort, it depends on your body size, sleeping position, and preference. For instance, memory foam is not the best choice for heavy people, as they might find it suffocating. It sinks in to accumulate your weight and therefore flattens if the person is too heavy. Alternatively, latex mattresses may appear too firm for some people, especially side sleepers. The reason is that, unlike memory foam, Latex is very firm and bouncy and does not contour your body.

Firmness

While Latex has excellent firmness, many people might find it too firm. However, there is still an option since there are two available types. We classify them according to their manufacturing process. There is Latex made from the Talalay process, which is softer than the one from the Dunlop process. Unfortunately, if you want Latex made from the Talalay process, you will have to dig deeper into your pockets. Unlike Latex, memory foam is not as firm. It offers just the right amount of stability but tends to sink in when laid on. However, it puffs back into its original shape and size once you get up from the mattress. Due to this property, memory foam is the best option for side sleepers.

Support

Latex tends to offer more support than memory foam. It is because of its firmness that it can support people of all sizes. It does an excellent job at keeping your neck in place and aligning your spine. The amount of support you receive from your memory foam mattress depends on your mattress size and weight. To support considerable weight, you will need bedding of higher density. Memory foam is not as supportive as Latex since it sinks a lot and might even flatten at times. However, doctors recommend it due to its ability to align your shape due to orthopedic reasons. The downside to this is that it loses its supporting ability fast, as it wears out quickly.

Feel

Both latex and memory foam mattresses are soft. However, memory foam will contour your body to give a warm engulfing feeling. It bounces back into its original shape a while after lifting the weight. Its downside is that it wears off quickly and will lose its ability to bounce back after some time. For this reason, memory is less durable than latex. When it comes to latex mattresses, you can experience a soft yet firm feel with a bouncy effect. Due to this reason, many prefer Latex for bedtime activities.

Responsiveness

After the weight gets off, Latex quickly takes back its original shape and size. It can adapt to your new sleeping position almost immediately due to its elasticity. Memory foam is a little bit more responsive to pressure than Latex. Once you exert force, you can immediately see a depression on the surface. Due to its sinking and contouring properties, it will take more time to adapt. The memory foam mattress had initially contoured your shape in the original sleeping position. Hence, turning means that it will have to recover from its original shape, then slowly conform to your new place.

Motion Isolation

Due to its bouncy nature, Latex does not offer the best motion isolation. Any slight movement on the mattress travels through the entire surface. People who share beds will find this unbearable. The reason is that they can feel all the moves made by their partner on the other end. For this reason, couples prefer memory foam mattresses that can cushion specific movements. It happens due to its contouring property which prevents your partner from feeling you turn.

Flexibility

Memory foam is generally more flexible and lighter than Latex. It is easier to fold and move about due to its adaptable nature. For Latex, it is almost impossible to fold it, especially when new. This behavior is because it is firm and bouncy and will therefore resist any strenuous positions. However, Talalay latex is almost as flexible as memory foam due to its elastic nature. It can easily take up any shape but quickly bounces back into its original form and size.

Allergy-friendliness

Latex can be natural or synthetic. Synthetic Latex is similar to natural Latex but less durable. Due to this property, Latex is hypoallergenic for most people. However, it may trigger an allergic reaction in people allergic to Latex. On the other hand, Memory foam is artificial and might trigger an allergy. Furthermore, it might cause other health issues like asthma, headaches, and nausea. It contains isocyanate, a chemical common in most artificial mattresses.

Eco-friendliness

The process of making Latex is environmentally-friendly because it is a natural process. Harvesting of Latex is from rubber trees by tapping and is broken down in a factory. The breaking down of Latex is short and easy since it is natural. On the other hand, memory foam mattresses take a long time to break down. Memory foam contains polyurethane, which is a byproduct of petroleum. Polyurethane is highly flammable, and therefore, companies must use fire retardants that comprise toxic chemicals in processing. Hence most environment-conscious people prefer Latex over memory foam.

Bacteria and Mold Resistance

Both Latex and Memory foam mattresses are dust, bacteria, and mold resistant. However, Latex offers better protection due to it being natural. 

Temperature

If you are looking for a mattress that will stay temperature neutral, then Latex is the one. Latex is good at dissipating heat, creating a refreshing environment throughout. As a result, Latex is a worthy investment, especially for people in hot areas. It is quite the opposite for memory foam mattresses, as they absorb your body heat. However, some companies have tried modifying their memory foam mattresses by adding cooling-gel and open-cell foam. These allow air circulation and provide a cooling technology that provides a fresh sleep.

Durability and warranty

Latex mattresses are generally more durable as compared to Memory foam mattresses. Memory foam tends to lose its firmness and support after a while. Its life span is approximately 6-7 years, unlike Latex which lasts up to 7.5-8.5 years. Most latex mattresses have a more extended warranty than memory foam mattresses.

Price

Generally, latex mattresses cost almost twice the memory foam mattress price. However, Natural Latex is more expensive compared to synthetic Latex. The price difference is because natural Latex lasts longer than synthetic Latex and memory foam.

foam white mattressOdor

Due to it being natural, Latex does not give an off-gassing odor. However, you are likely to smell rubber. Memory foam mattresses will produce an odor after purchase. The odor should not worry you since you can get rid of the smell. After receiving your mattress, air it for a while before use. The time duration for this differs from one mattress to another. In most cases, you will find it on the instructions that come with the mattress.

More like this: The Best Memory Foam Pillows (TOP MODELS)

Conclusion

When torn between latex and memory foam, look at your preferences. Do you want a firm and heat-dissipating mattress? What about motion isolation, responsiveness, and support levels? Also, knowing how much you are willing to spend will help you make the right choice.

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