Latex versus Memory Foam

Latex versus Memory Foam – How they compare

For a good night’s sleep it’s very important to choose your ideal type of mattress. For that cause, in this article we’ll make a comparative analysis of two of the most popular types of mattresses, memory foam and latex.

Major differences and similarities

The major difference between memory foam and latex is conformity. Memory foam will adapt to exact shape of each individual. Latex will compress and bounce back, though it will conform to the general imprint of your body.

Another big contrast is their ability to isolate the motion. Memory foam doesn’t have any motion transfer, so if your partner moves around in their sleep, you won’t feel most of it, maybe even none of it. That’s why couples love it. Latex doesn’t isolate movement so well, so you’ll feel your partner tossing and turning, because of quick response and bouncy feel of the material.

The main likeness shared between memory foam and latex is that they both provide posture support. They both conform to the shape of your body, more or less. Pressure relief is supplied to the spine, neck and joints.

Memory foam – for and against

First of all, it’s almost ideal mattress for you if you are a back sleeper, because it provides proper spinal and neck bone alignment. Foam takes shape to any kind of body and allows neck and spine to reach an optimal and comfortable line.

Side sleepers like it too, since memory foam gives them that good spine and neck alignment. For side sleepers it’s also important to have good comfort of their hips. It’s also great for the couples, not only because it contort their bodies separately, but also because it isolates the movement, so the sleeper won’t feel if their partner tends to move while sleeping.

This type of mattress is also good for people who cannot get out of the bed for a long time, and for people in hospitals. Lying in the bed for a long time takes its toll and lack of circulation to the skin tissue and gravity combined with friction make skin condition called bed sore. Memory foam can fend off these painful sores because of the ability to contour itself perfectly to any part of the body. You want to learn more about memory foam? Check out our what is memory foam article.

A hand touching memory foam on a mattress

Is memory foam good for health?

Finally, memory foam is great for people suffering from allergies, since it’s one of the most hypoallergenic materials in the market. The material is also very dense, so it’s less likely that dust mites or bacteria will be able to thrive there.


One of the few flaws memory foam has is the fact it tends to retain heat, so if your body temperature rises during sleep, you might reconsider buying memory foam type of mattress. Also, if you are stomach sleeper you might experience discomfort, though sleeping on stomach is not very recommendable in general, because it might cause some health issues. Because of its firmness, the memory foam mattresses don’t give enough assistance in aligning the spine properly when you’re sleeping on your back. Finally, there is an initial odor when you unpack the mattress, which is called off-gassing. These gasses could even be harmful, so it’s recommended to air out for a couple of days before sleeping on it.

Latex – for and against

One of the reasons people decide to go with latex mattresses is because they are the most natural and best for the environment. Natural latex beds come from rubber trees, rather than mixing some questionable chemical elements. Be wary, though, not all of these mattresses are made from natural fabric. If you want to buy natural made mattress, make sure you check the origin and components of your bed.

Latex beds come in varying degrees of firmness, but generally they are known for being firmer comparing to other types. It usually depends on type of layers and their layout. When choosing the bed, make sure to know what each layer is made of.

Latex from a mattress

Who are they good for?

Most of experts agree that latex beds are one of the most comfortable options on the market. If you like cooler surface to sleep on, you’ll find latex mattresses fit to your liking. It’s because the material has a lot of small holes in the fabric, which lets the air flow.

Anything to keep in mind?

There are just a few reasons latex might not be suitable for your needs. First, it’s relatively expensive, but it makes it up with longevity and durability. You won’t have to buy another mattress for decades. Another reason might be an awful smell these mattresses have in the first few weeks. It goes away over time, but these first weeks are somewhat hard to get use to.  The third reason is that some people are allergic to latex. If you or your partner have a latex allergy, it’s advisable to choose another material.

 Memory FoamLatex
  • Good for back and side sleepers
  • Pressure point relief
  • Prevents bed sore
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Isolates motion transfer
  • Most natural material
  • Very firm
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Air circulation
  • Retains heat
  • Bad for stomach sleepers
  • Off-gassing
  • Budget heavy
  • Bad smell
  • Latex allergies
  • Too firm for some users

The Verdict

Of course, there’s no real winner here, because it all depends on you. If you like to sleep on firm and energy absorbing bed and if you worry about your spinal alignment and joints, then you’d likely enjoy sleeping on memory foam bed. And if you’re concerned about the environment and you look for the balance between coolness, comfort and support, then the latex beds are for you. Making the decision depends on which benefits you’d like to use the most.

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