What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

What Is The Difference? Latex vs Memory Foam Explained

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Are you tired of reading about the latest latex or memory foam product – and why it’s better than everything that's come before it?

Mattress sales people and manufacturers just love to use acronyms and cool technical-sounding brand names to describe their memory foam and latex foam.

They do this to differentiate their products and to point out their individual advantages.

But it can be incredibly confusing – even for us – and we review mattresses for a living.

It’s high time to shed light on these myths and misconceptions.

The truth is that the main differences between memory foam and latex foam mattresses are significant – but really simple.

Also, most of the cool new names don’t matter nearly as much to you as these few significant differences.

In this brief guide, we’ll dive into the heart of the few main differences between Latex vs Memory Foam mattresses so you can select the right kind for your needs and budget.

What is Memory Foam?

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam made with various chemicals that make the foam exceedingly compact and super-energy absorbing.

When sleeping on memory foam, you will notice there's a noticeably slow recovery period. Meaning, when you press your body deep to the material and release it, the mattress will take some time to resume its original form.

This simple fact makes memory foam extremely comfortable and supportive when it is used in the upper layers.

Decades ago, NASA and mattress manufacturers recognized that this incredible characteristic of this stuff could help individuals who suffer from joint or back pain, especially.

Today, most top mattress manufacturers utilize some form of memory foam in their products.

What is Latex Foam?

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

In comparison to memory foam, latex foam has rapid recovery time and therefore provides far more bounce.

If you press your hands into a bed made out of latex and then lift up your hand, the mattress will regain its original shape very quickly.

There are a couple of different kinds of latex which are used for mattresses.

The first is natural latex. This comes from rubber trees and is the purest type. Natural latex can be made efficiently and is the perfect choice for somebody who wants an all-natural alternative.

Another choice is synthetic latex. This type uses a different type of rubber that's made using a variety of synthetic materials.

The most critical difference between pure latex and synthetic latex is that the artificial version will have less bounce and feels a bit more similar to memory foam.

Furthermore, there are two other subcategories of latex mattresses. We'll briefly discuss both of these types and their related benefits.

Talalay Latex vs. Dunlop Latex

The principal difference between these very popular types of latex is that Talalay is lighter because it incorporates more air.  It is less supportive, however.

Conversely, Dunlop latex is famous for being denser, so it provides more support.

All in all, the Talalay is preferred by most people for a few reasons.

First off, cost: a lighter mattress costs less to ship and makes moving it easier.

Second, Talalay holds more air so it will stay cooler throughout the night. This is great for anyone who cannot stand to sleep in a hotbed.

One of the key reasons people choose Dunlop is that, over time, it tends to maintain its shape and last a long time. Due to its density, beds which employ Dunlop are inclined to prevent sagging, too.

What are the specific differences between latex and memory foam?

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

The most significant similarities shared between these options is that they provide posture support. They conform in some way into the shape of the body, pressure relief is supplied into the spine, neck, and joints.

Aside from that, latex and memory foam are very different regarding how much they conform to your body, movement transfer, and energy absorption.

Body Conformity

The biggest difference between latex and memory foam mattresses is the way they fit your body shape.

Memory foam conforms to the specific contour of each person far better than latex. The latex option will compress then rebound and will only adapt to the overall impressions your body makes.

Which of these options you prefer depends upon your personal taste and your sleep requirements.

Motion Transfer

Another significant difference between memory foam and latex mattresses is their ability to isolate movement.

Memory foam doesn't allow much transfer of energy from one point in the bed to another. So, if your spouse is sleeping on the opposite side of the mattress and often moves around during the night, you will hardly feel it, if at all. This is the reason couples often favor memory foam mattresses.

Latex, on the other hand, doesn't isolate movement nearly as well. During the night, in precisely the identical situation you will feel your spouse tossing and turning through the night because latex has a fast response time and is bouncy.

How to Select The Foam That's Right For You

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

When you are trying to choose between memory foam and a latex mattress, it all depends on what benefits you want with the mattress.

Both serve a function and are a fantastic fit for certain sorts of sleepers.

Why Select Memory Foam?

Memory foam is an excellent solution for many sleepers for many reasons.

We have outlined a few to provide you with a firm knowledge of the numerous benefits associated with this mattress choice.

1. Back Sleepers Like Memory Foam

The first reason to select this stuff over any other is if you're a back sleeper. If you're sleeping on your back, then it's vital that you opt for the mattress that will supply you sufficient neck and spinal bone alignment.

Foam contours to the particular shape of your body, it's excellent for letting your neck and spine to achieve a comfortable and healthy amount of optimal alignment.

2. Side Sleepers Like Memory Foam

If you are a side sleeper, a memory foam mattress is perfect for you. Like all sleepers, the ultimate objective is to be sure your spine is aligned correctly to prevent neck or joint discomfort when you awaken. For side sleepers, additionally, it is vital to focus on the comfort of your hip joints.

Memory foam provides the exceptional advantage of both, aligning the spine and neck throughout your sleep, and providing comfort and support for the shoulder and hip bones that press in the bed through the night.

3. Most People Prefer Memory Foam

We've now discussed back and side sleepers, but the reality is that all sleepers like the comfortability that includes sleeping on a mattress which can take on the shape of the specific body type. That is no surprise.

4. Excellent Pressure Point Relief

For people unable to get out of bed or for people who are ill in a hospital, memory foam is ideal to alleviate the pains of being unable to get up.

Patients frequently experience this when they cannot get out of bed, the lack of flow to the skin tissues and friction and gravity that's always being harmful to the body is going to take a toll and be quite painful.

Painful areas of the skin pressed against the mattress are known as a bed sore or a pressure ulcer. Bedding made from memory foam has the exceptional ability to lighten the pressure on these painful sores due to its capability to contour perfectly to the shape of the body.

5. Great for Allergy Sufferers

Memory foam is also known as one of the most hypoallergenic options in the marketplace.

For anyone who suffers from cloth allergies, such as wool or some other fibers, this is an outstanding option for you.

Since most memory foam mattresses are thick, it's far less probable that dust mites will flourish, and the material is less liable to attract dirt or germs.

Why Say “No” to Memory Foam?

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

Among the few reasons you would not want a memory foam mattress is that this alternative is proven to retain body heat.

If you need a cool bed to sleep well, then this may not be the best mattress for you. While manufacturers are consistently trying to alleviate this problem, it is unclear as of yet, whether they have succeeded in developing a cooling foam choice.

It is important to remember that most memory foam mattresses don't support your body enough to maintain your spine properly when you are sleeping on your back.

Finally, memory foam mattresses are famous for emitting a strange odor when you first open it up and take it from the box. These gases can be harmful, particularly for children that are exposed. Therefore, it's better to let your mattress air out for a couple of days before sleeping on it.

Or if you're concerned about the gas exposure, then pick a more conventional sort of bedding.

Why Select Latex?

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

There are lots of reasons why latex may be right for you.

1. Great for the environment

One big reason to choose latex foam is that latex is the best choice for the environment.

As previously discussed, natural latex comes from rubber trees, as opposed to using artificially produced petrochemicals.

It's important to remember that not all latex mattresses are organic. Artificial latex has many materials used to modify the overall feel of the bed. If you're interested in being environmentally friendly, make sure you know the materials in your bedding in addition to other chemicals used to make it.

2. Firmer and more supportive

There are different levels of comfort available in latex beds, and in general you can get any firmness you want. However, generally speaking, latex beds are famous for being firmer compared to more conventional kinds of mattresses.

When picking a latex bed, be sure to ask about available firmness choices. Many use different layering systems also that adds to the feel.

3. Latex sleeps cooler

If you're a person who needs a cooler mattress, latex is an excellent option for you. If you have never noticed the design of the latex mattress, you would be surprised to discover that almost all latex mattresses have holes punched in their foam layers. These holes allow air to flow through them, which provides a path for heat to escape the bed.

Unlike memory foam, latex mattresses sleep cooler during the night. The punch holes also make them more resistant to mold and bacteria over time.

Why Say “No” to Latex?

What Is The Difference: Latex vs Memory Foam?

There are 3 reasons why a latex mattress may not be suitable for you, as follows:

The first reason is they are relatively expensive.

However, because of durability and longevity, you might discover that you won't need to get a new mattress for decades – so this might end up being affordable after all.

The second reason is that latex mattresses are famous for producing a terrible smell, especially when you open them for the first time. While this does have a tendency to go away over time, the smell can last a few weeks.

The third reason is that some individuals are allergic to latex. In reality, very few people are allergic to latex. However, it's still important to point out. If you or your spouse are allergic, then you must find another appropriate option.

See My Favorite Products of 2022!
Select a list >MattressesToppers & PadsCooling/HeatingPillowsSheets
Touch a tab above to reveal my top picks for that category.
Of the 60+ beds I've reviewed, these are my current favorites:
My Top PickType of MattressPrice
1. Saatva ClassicInnerspring$887 - $2,075
Save Upto $450 Now
2. Puffy LUX
Luxury Foam$1,145 – $1,695
Save $300 + Free Accessories Upto $433
3. Leesa Original
Budget Foam$722-$1189
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4. Sparrow Signature HybridLuxury Hybrid$854.10 - $1799.10
10% Sale
5. PlushBeds Botanical BlissLuxury Organic Latex$1,149- $2,148
save $1,250 On Bedroom Mattresses + Free Luxury Sheet Set.
6. EcoterraBudget Latex$849 - $1,349
Save $150 Usecode: SAVE150
7. DreamcloudLuxury PillowTop$599-$1,099
Save $200 + $399 Free Accessories(Sheet, Protector, Pillows)
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Save $200 With Code: HOME
10. HelixCustom-Fit$500 - $1,149
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Mattress toppers & pads are a great way to cool your bed and extend its life.
Topper SizeMaterialFirmnessWarr.
LINENSPA 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Twin
Best Value2"Gel memory foamMedium3 years
Best Comfort3"Memory foamMedium-firm5 years
MyPillow Three-inch Mattress Bed Topper (Twin)
Best pressure point relief3"FoamMedium-firm10 years
LUCID 2-Inch Ventilated Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Full
Best cooling2"Gel memory foamSoft3 years
Pure Green
Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper - Firm - 2 Inch - Queen Size
Best for stomach sleepers2"Natural latexExtra-firm5 years
Sleep Innovations
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Enhanced Support, King, Made in the US Mattress Topper
Best for side sleepers4"Gel memory foamSoft10 years
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Best temperature regulation-Forced Air-1 year
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper Medium Firm, Full, White
Best memory foam3"Memory foamMedium-firm10 years
Avocado Green
Avocado Green
Best organic2"Organic latexSoft/firm10 years
Latex Mattress Factory
best extra firm mattress topper
Best for heavy sleepers 3”Natural Dunlop latexMediumNot specified
Lucid zoned gel memory foam topper
best full size mattress topper
Best for back pain2” (3” option available)Zoned gel memory foamMedium soft3 years
AmazonBasics down alternative topper

most plush mattress topper
Best for softening a firm mattressVariableDown alternative (polyester fiber)SoftNot specified
Bed cooling/heating systems have come a long way – especially the BedJet, my favorite.
SystemTypeBest For...Temp. RangeControl
BedJet V3
BedJet V3
Air cooledBEST OVERALL (esp. for night sweats)66°F-104°FWireless remote control/smartphone app
ChiliPad Cube 3.0
Chili Technology chiliPAD Cube 3.0 - ME and WE Zones - Cooling and Heating Mattress Pad - Individual Temperature Control, Great Sleep Enhancement, Wireless Remote Integration (Queen (80" L x 60" W))
Water cooledBest water cooling system55°F-115°FWireless remote control
Ooler Sleep System
Ooler Sleep System
Water cooledBest temperature control55°F-115°FSmartphone app via Bluetooth
The Pod by Eight Sleep
The Pod by Eight Sleep
Water cooledBest smart cooling system55°F-115°FSmartphone app/smart voice assistant
Mattress Cooler "Classic"
2020 Mattress Cooler "Classic" Chilled Water Sleep Cooling System (Now with a Spare "27x63" Cooling Pad)
Water cooledBest budget cooling systemN/AWireless remote control
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
Air cooledN/ARemote control
bFan Cooling System
bFan Cooling System
FanBest bed fanN/AWired remote control
These pillows excel at relieving neck and shoulder pain:
PillowWhy I Like It
PlushBeds Shredded Natural Latex Pillow
Best Cooling Mattress Pads

best shredded latex pillow for side sleepers
Coop Home Goods Memory Foam
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow - Hypoallergenic Cross-Cut Memory Foam Fill - Lulltra Washable Cover from Bamboo Derived Rayon - CertiPUR-US/GREENGUARD Gold Certified - Queen
perennial, proven Amazon Choice with over 16,000 reviews
MARNUR Contour Pillow
MARNUR Cervical Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Contour Pillows for Neck Pain Ergonomic Pillow with RoHS Certification and Pillowcase Covers, White(23.5×14.5×5.5 Inch)
perfect spine support using a groove down the middle
SleepRightSplintek Side
SleepRight Splintek Side Sleeping Pillow Memory Foam Pillow – Best Pillow for Sleeping On Your Side – 24" x 5" Standard Size
full facial cradle plus a perfectly-angled shoulder cradle
Xtreme Comforts Adjustable Pillow
Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic, Adjustable Thickness, Kool-Flow Micro Vented Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow for Sleeping, Back, Stomach & Side Sleepers, Queen Size, Made in USA
thinner and softer than most, so your head will not bend back
UTTU Sandwich Pillow
UTTU Sandwich Pillow, Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, Bamboo Pillow for Sleeping, Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain, Neck Support for Back, Stomach, Side Sleepers, Orthopedic Contour Pillow, CertiPUR-US
designed specifically for neck support and alignment.
Mediflow Water Pillow
Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow, clinically Proven to Reduce Neck Pain & Improve Sleep. Therapeutic, Ideal for People Looking for Proper Neck Support
clinical tests prove it reduces neck pain
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow - Orthopedic Contour Memory Foam Pillow for Back and Side Sleepers with Neck and Spine Support - Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
best overall design with lots of position choices
KaUa Neck Roll
K Ka Ua Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster with Bamboo Cover – Memory Foam Spine Lumbar Traction Spondylosis Support 4” Diameter x 17 “Length (4 Inch)
1,000s of satisfied customers & rave reviews
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
J-Pillow Chin Supporting Travel Pillow - 2020 Version - British Invention of The Year Winner - Supports Your Head, Neck & Chin (Blue)
added chin support prevents your head from falling forward.
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Sleeping Pillows, Ergonomic Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain - for Side Sleepers, Back and Stomach Sleepers, Free Pillowcase Included ( Firm & Queen)
Designed to support and cushion you neck and shoulders
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
AVOCADO GREEN PILLOW-Loveable non-toxic pillow has an adjustable fill, made from GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified kapok.
An all-natural, organic and vegan pillow with an adjustable loft to suit all sleeping positions
These are my favorite luxury sheet sets sold online:
Best Luxury SheetsIncludesSizesColours
Fitted sheet + two pillowcasesTwin to Cal KingSand, Slate, White, Light Grey, Blue
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set – Includes 1 Flat Sheet, 1 Fitted Sheet + 2 Pillowcases – 480 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set – 100 Percent Long-Staple Cotton – Oeko-TEX Certified – Smoke – Twin
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Cream, Steel, Smoke, Smoke Stripe
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Ivory, Grey
Boll and Branch
Boll & Branch Luxury Fair Trade Long Staple Organic Cotton Sheet Set - Full, Natural
one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.Full, Queen, King, Cal King onlyWhite, Solid Natural, Striped White, Pewter
Best For Specific Needs Soft and Warm: Parachute’s Sateen sheets Most Luxurious: Brooklinen’s Linen sheets Organic Luxury Sheets:  Saatva Lofton Organic sheets Breathable/Cool: Percale sheets from Parachute or Brooklinen

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