Latex vs Memory Foam – what are the differences and which material is best for mattresses, mattress toppers, and pillows? The short answer is that both provide comfort and support required for a good sleep. Latex is naturally occurring and can also be synthetic, memory foam is purely synthetic. Keep reading to find out how these two products compare in coolness, feel, smell, allergies, price, durability, and responsiveness.
Latex vs Memory Foam: Comparison Table
What Is Latex?
Latex is a natural material and comes from rubber trees. The sap undergoes a process of formulation once extracted and this is what results in natural latex.
Latex provides you with more bounce and has a faster recovery time when compared to memory foam. There is a type of latex referred to as blended latex, and it contains 30% latex and 70% chemicals.
Another type of latex is synthetic latex. It is made using different chemicals and is the closest to memory foam among the two, as it has less bounce and reduced recovery time as compared to the natural latex.
- Provides great support
- Has good responsiveness
- Sleeps cooler than memory foam
- Has good motion isolation
- Organic latex produces less odor that dissipates rapidly
- Very durable
- Has a higher cost of purchase than memory foam
- some people are known to be allergic to latex
- Synthetic latex produces longer-lasting smell
What Is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is a synthetic material also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam. Due to its viscoelastic properties, the foam takes the shape of the body when pressure is applied and returns to its normal shape when the pressure has been taken away.
The response time of memory foam usually depends on the quality of the foam, but generally, memory foams are known to have low response times.
- Conforms to the body shape properly
- Gives good support to the body
- Offers great motion isolation
- Costs cheaper than latex
- Is hypoallergenic
- Sleeps warmer
- Chemical smell in the first days
- Offers limited responsiveness
Latex vs Memory Foam – Differences
Latex has a feel that is similar to that of memory foam. It is fluffy and soft and conforms to the body of the sleeper so as to provide adequate support and give relief from pressure on the spine.
Latex is bouncier and returns to its original shape faster than memory foam, giving it very fast response time.
Latex isolates motion properly, allowing you to get an undisrupted sleep even if someone moves in and out of the bed.
Memory foam has a fluffy and soft consistent feel which conforms to the sleeper’s body, offering maximum support and giving relief from pressure so as to ease the pain.
Memory foam isn’t as bouncy and responsive as latex, and although it conforms to the body shape, it is more likely to form permanent indentations on the surface due to its lack of responsiveness.
Just like latex, it isolates motion and allows you to have better quality sleep, uninterrupted by movements in and out of the bed by your partner.
Latex material promotes the internal circulation of air, allowing you to sleep cooler. It allows you more comfort and a good quality sleep as you wake up feeling fresh and not in any way clammy.
Latex mattresses sleep much cooler than memory foam, especially if the layers are aerated.
Memory foam has an open-cell which should encourage internal air circulation, but it traps heat and can make the use of such material feel warm and clammy.
This can get uncomfortable and can reduce the quality of sleep. Gels are usually infused into the memory foam to improve its temperature neutrality.
Synthetic latex foam produces some smell in the first days. Natural or organic materials tend to produce much less smell as compared to synthetic ones.
Memory foams emit volatile organic compounds that break down and result in bad smells in the first days.
This happens when the foam is new and just removed from its package. Memory foams are known to produce more smells when compared to latex.
Although it occurs in rare occasions, some people are allergic to latex. This should be put into consideration before making the purchase of any product with latex filling to prevent allergic reactions.
Memory foam is one of the most hypoallergenic materials available. It is dense and in block form, leaving no room for allergens and dust mites to accumulate and irritate you. Memory foam is the preferred option for allergy sufferers.
Latex has a higher cost of purchase compared to memory foam. The difference is not too much but it’s something worth noting. If you are on a budget, the more pocket-friendly option would be to go for memory foam.
Latex lasts longer than memory foam and is known to be highly durable. This is because of the high responsive time that allows the mattress to spring back to its original form and not have any indentations on it unlike with memory foam.
Also for latex mattresses with customizable layers, the layers can be removed and changed if sagging or indentations eventually occur.
Latex has the ability to spring back rapidly after it has been laid upon, or any form of pressure has been applied to it.
This high responsiveness makes latex mattresses the best choice for making love with your partner and reduces the indentations that will form on it.
Memory foam is naturally unresponsive and as such can sink in some parts permanently. These indentations reduce the comfort and support offered by the foam.
Latex vs Memory Foam Mattress
Latex mattresses are constructed with the latex being placed at different layers. In the comparison of latex versus memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses have shown longer life span and can stay for as long as 8 years before needing replacement.
Latex mattresses also show great conformity with the body so as to properly align the spine and relieve pressure from the pressure points, causing a pain-free sleep.
There is no noise from the mattress when you get on it, and so you do not get disturbed when your partner climbs into bed.
Also, the mattress isolates motion and this ensures you get a good night’s rest, free from disturbance. Its unpacking doesn’t have great odor potential except the latex mattresses made with synthetic latex. The responsiveness of latex mattresses is great and it sleeps cool.
Best Natural Latex Mattress in 2021
Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam is also known as viscoelastic foam and it is used in the manufacture of mattresses too.
This viscoelasticity allows the foam to change its shape when the body comes in contact with it so that it conforms to its shape and gives good support to your spine as you sleep.
This gives you relief from pain due to bad sleeping posture and prevents the occurrence of pains in the future.
Memory foam is also good at absorbing motion transfer so that you are undisturbed as you sleep even if someone gets in or out of bed. This together with little or no noise production ensures you get good sleep each night.
Differences between Memory foam and latex mattress are that memory foam sleeps a bit warmer as it retains body heat. Memory foam mattresses are usually cheaper than latex.
It is common that memory foam mattresses have a chemical smell for the first day or two, so you should let it air a bit.
Latex or Memory Foam Topper
Latex Mattress Topper
Latex is also used in the manufacture of toppers. These toppers are placed at the top of mattresses to give additional cushioning or alter the firmness of the mattress.
These latex toppers are very durable and can last for very long as compared to memory foam mattress toppers. Latex also conforms closely to the user’s body, giving support to the spine and causing a gradual alleviation of pain.
Since latex has good responsiveness, it is better for couples to make love on it, and it sleeps cooler too. If you are easily disturbed by noise as you sleep, this is perfect for you as this topper makes little or no noise when bearing weight.
Memory Foam Topper
Memory foam mattress toppers versus latex toppers have a lot in common. Both are highly durable and conform closely to the body of the sleeper.
Both also produce no noise upon bearing weight. The differences between foam and latex mattress pads, however, are responsiveness as latex is more responsive.
Memory foam sleeps warm as compared to latex and memory foam mattress toppers are usually cheaper than latex.
Latex or Memory Foam Pillow?
Latex pillows conform closely with the neck and back, giving you relief from pain due to bad sleeping position. It gives you adequate support to maintain a comfortable position and has a long lifespan.
With latex pillows, you sleep cooler unlike with a foam pillow. There is little or no noise production as you use it and you do not have to fluff so much before use.
Latex pillows may, however, trigger allergies and synthetic latex pillows produce much more smell than the natural types.
Memory Foam Pillow
Memory foam pillows offer a lot of similarities with the latex pillows. Both pillows give you great support so that the pressure on your spinal muscles is lowered and you can have a pain free night’s rest.
There is little to no noise produced as you lay on it so you can sleep and toss around without getting disturbed by the noise from the pillows.
A difference however between foam and latex is that foam sleeps warmer. Its lifespan is somewhat short as it tends to degrade quickly. Foam costs less and so is the best option for a shopper on a tight budget.
Does Latex Provide More Support Than Memory Foam?
Yes, latex provides more support than memory foam. This is because latex is more responsive and is less likely to sink beneath the sleeper’s body as he or she lays on it.
Due to this, the latex foam can withstand indentations for longer periods.
Does Latex Mattress Topper Smell?
Just like latex foams, latex toppers have the tendency to smell depending on the type of latex material that is used.
When removed from their packaging, the natural latex toppers smell just a little and it is soon dissipated but the synthetic types smell for much longer.
Is Memory Foam Hypoallergenic?
Yes, memory foam is hypoallergenic. This is because the material is densely packed and into a single thick block of foam, leaving no breeding grounds or space for accumulation of dust mites and other forms of allergens and so you can sleep without having allergy reactions.
Does Latex Make You Sweat?
Latex sleeps cool and doesn’t make you sweat. This is because of the open cell structure of latex.
The open cell structure allows for internal air circulation and lets you sleep cool and wake up feeling refreshed rather than clammy.
Can People With Latex Allergies Sleep On Latex Mattress?
Yes, they can. But this is not without careful considerations so that they can safely use their mattress without going into shock or having an allergic reaction.
You should avoid coming in contact with the naked latex but have your mattress covered up properly before you lay on it.
Are Latex Toppers Machine Washable?
Latex toppers are not machine washable and if you need to clean it, you can only do this by dry cleaning. You will need a piece of cloth soaked in water to scrub off the stains on the topper.
Latex vs Memory Foam – And the winner is…
The use of latex and memory foam are all to ensure that as you make use of your bedding, you get a night of peaceful and high-quality sleep.
Both materials are great for pillows, mattress toppers, and mattresses. They have their differences and similarities and your choice of one over another should be based on what works best for you.