Deciding to purchase a new mattress is easy. It is deciding what type of new mattress to purchase. With all the choices on the market, how are you to know what is best? Traditionally, innerspring mattresses have been the most popular. That standing is no more.
Memory foam and latex mattresses are new and improved options. While these materials have been around for decades, using them to construct a mattress is fairly new. Consumers have taken notice of the benefits they bring. They are paying attention to the differences in how they sleep and how they feel each morning.
Memory foam and latex foam are two different materials. Consumers may have trouble deciding what the best one is. In this article, we are going to tackle that question and a few more.
What is Latex?
Latex is a material derived from the sap of a rubber tree. The tree sap is a natural substance at its origins, but manufacturers now offer a synthetic version. On the market today, you can find three types of latex. They are natural, synthetic, and blends.
Natural latex is made from organic material of the tree sap. This allows a natural latex mattress to have a natural feel. There is minimal off-gassing due to the organic makeup of natural latex. Synthetic latex is constructed with styrene-butadiene. It has a similar feel to natural latex but less bounce. Blends are designed using a combination of natural and synthetic latex.
What are the Dunlop and Talalay Methods?
Latex mattresses are built in one of two ways. Some are constructed in the Dunlop method and others in the Talalay method. This is important to know because they do affect how the mattress feels.
Dunlop latex is when the latex is poured into a mold in one continuous motion. It tends to be more dense with a soft top. The process of creating Dunlop foam is less energy-intensive and leaves you with a springy dense foam mattress.
The Talalay method is when a mold is only partially filled with latex and carbon dioxide is pushed in by a vacuum output. This gives the mattress a less dense outcome. Talalay is more energy-intensive. Talalay foam is more bouncy than springy.
Most people are led to believe that Talalay latex foam is softer than Dunlop foam. This has not been proven though. The real difference is in the motion. Talalay is bouncy and Dunlop is springy. Manufacturers tend to produce more Dunlop foam mattresses because they believe it meets more of the needs of consumers.
What are the Benefits of Latex?
Latex offers some great benefits in comparison with memory foam.
- Natural latex is hypoallergenic.
- Resistant to dust mites.
- Sleeps cooler than memory foam.
- Environmentally friendly choice.
What are the Cons of Latex?
- High price point
- Can have a rubbery smell.
What is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is made from polyurethane. It is a synthetic material that was first introduced in the Sixties. Its prime purpose was to help NASA keep astronauts safe and comfortable during flight. Due to its denser nature, memory foam can be found in other products such as shoes and chairs. It has quickly become synonymous with comfort.
The most noted characteristic of memory foam is its density. This enables the mattress to absorb energy well and cradle to a person’s body. The reaction to body heat leads to this cradling effect but can make for hot sleepers.
Types of Memory Foam
There are four main types of memory foam mattresses on the market. The traditional type is high-density visco-elastic polyurethane foam. It is a synthetic material known to sleep on the hotter side.
Due to complaints of sleeping too hot, an open cell structure was designed. In a memory foam mattress, this means you will sleep cooler due to there pocket design. Pockets are placed in the memory foam to allow air to move freely. Due to the pockets, this memory foam can be less dense but will not trap body heat.
Our third memory foam mattress is the newest design. It is a gel memory foam and is noted to be the best at absorbing body heat. Gel beads are infused into the memory foam for a cooling effect. Some memory foam mattresses have copper gel beads that keep you cooler and provide an antimicrobial defense.
Finally, there is also plant-based memory foam. Plant-based memory foam uses plant-based materials in the production, helping reduce the carbon footprint of the bed and also creating a more breathable foam.
What are the Benefits of Memory Foam?
Just like latex, memory foam has some great benefits as well.
- Pain relief. (If you’re experiencing back pain, consider finding the best mattress for back pain.)
- Relieves pressure points such as hips and shoulders.
- Offers back support for healthy spine alignment.
- Reduces motion transfer.
- Works well with all sleeping positions.
- Higher affordability.
What are the Cons of Memory Foam?
- Can be hard to get out of.
- Slower recovery to its original shape.
- Off-gassing ( will dissipate)
- Without an added cooling feature, it can sleep too warm.
Latex vs Memory Foam
As we stated before, choosing between memory foam and latex is the hardest part of shopping for a new mattress. There are characteristics of both that could be right for you or your family.
Memory foam mattresses are in a class all their own. The options are endless it seems. If you sleep hot, you might choose a gel-infused memory foam. Maybe you like a high-density mattress and don’t mind a slower recovery time. Memory foam can deliver. Noted for its deep contouring, a memory foam mattress will relieve sore muscles and aches.
Because memory foam absorbs energy well, it offers a cradling effect that relieves pressure points and pain. Sufferers from arthritis or fibromyalgia will reap benefits from a memory foam mattress. Motion transfer is reduced making this a great choice for couples and those who sleep using all sleeping positions in one night.
A latex mattress is more firm and has more bounce than memory foam. If contouring is what you are after, this is not the one for you. While it does have a slight cradling effect, you will find that you sleep on top of a latex mattress. They are easy to get out of because their recovery time is quick.
Latex is a natural choice for consumers who want an environmentally friendly option. It is derived from plant materials and is naturally hypoallergenic. If harmful off-gassing is a concern, latex is a viable option.
Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses tend to fall on the cooler end of the spectrum. This type of foam is a good choice for those concerned about sleeping too hot. They are also resistant to dust mites and reduce the buildup of allergens that are harmful to your health.
In the case of how they feel, latex foam is more firm than memory foam beds and has a greater elasticity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is better latex or memory foam?
Memory foam mattresses tend to provide the most pain relief due to softer layers. Higher-density memory foam is designed for heavier sleepers. Latex is a better option for those who sleep hot and want a mattress that conforms to the body moderately.
Is latex or memory foam better for back pain?
According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the worldwide leader in the cause for disability. Memory foam mattresses are better for low back pain sufferers and relieve pressure points that could cause back pain. Latex mattresses are firmer and tend to cradle the body less. This could be a problem for back pain sufferers.
What are the benefits of a latex mattress?
The health benefits of latex are high. Because of the natural material used to construct this type of mattress, you get a hypoallergenic, pest-resistant mattress. Latex is resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew. They are more firm than memory foam giving them a higher rating in pain relief.
Which is the best material for a mattress?
Memory foam and latex both are great options to consider. If you want an environmentally friendly material, latex is best. If you are looking for a more affordable option that will aid in the reduction of low back pain and pressure points, memory foam is a better option. Choosing the best mattress is about evaluating what your needs are and making an educated decision.
So, Is Memory Foam or Latex Foam Better?
Latex foam is for consumers who want to sleep without being cradled. They want the feel of a spring mattress without the springs. Sleepers who toss and turn a lot need a mattress that can keep up.
Memory foam mattresses are the best choice for those who want more contouring as their bodies sink into their foam mattress. Memory foam generally receives the best reviews when it comes to pressure relief and motion isolation. Plus, this kind of foam can also be infused with many natural elements like copper, green tea extract, and aloe vera.
We said it before, but it still rings true. There are pros and cons to both mattress types. Memory foam has more comfort options while latex offers a better allergen barrier. Ultimately what is best is what works for your family. Weigh the pros and cons and decide based on you and your family’s needs.