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The latex vs memory foam mattress debate is one with critical implications. Did you know that sleep plays a key role in your overall health and wellness? It improves productivity, mental concentration and reduces the risk of life-threatening diseases. Regardless of how important a good night’s sleep is, most of you still struggle to shuteye even after having a tiring day. Tossing and turning the whole night and waking up feeling worn out, you might be asking yourself this question- ‘What is wrong with me?’ If you find yourself in this situation, just chill! Nothing is wrong with you - your mattress might be the culprit.
Finding the right mattress is not just about looking for the biggest luxury brand or spending the most money. An ideal mattress is the one that makes you feel comfortable and supported so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and not achy or stiff. With foam mattresses like latex and memory foam trending these days, you might be confused about choosing the one that fits your sleep style best. Even though both of them are popular in the mattress world, the feel they offer is very different. So, what is the difference between latex and memory foam?
Memory foam is crafted using polyurethane foam and additional chemicals to give a viscoelastic effect. If you haven’t heard the term ‘viscoelastic’ before, let me make it easy for you - the so formed material is powerful enough to respond to one’s body temperature and weight in order to adjust to the exact shape of your body.
Latex foam is derived from the sap of rubber trees. When used in a mattress, it has a faster response time and more bounce than memory foam. There are three different categories that come under latex - Natural, synthetic, and blended.
To make a natural latex foam mattress, the manufacturers have to harvest the rubber tree’s sap. After that, the sap goes through the Dunlop or Talalay process. While Dunlop latex has a denser and firmer feel, Talalay offers a lighter and bouncier feel.
Not every latex foam mattress is natural, however. Synthetic latex foam is made using petrochemicals. It looks very similar to all-natural latex foam, but it costs less. Similarly, blended latex foam is a mix of synthetic and natural latex foam. However, neither of them last as long as an all-natural latex foam mattress.
Now that you know they’re not the same, let's take a look at the major differences between latex and memory foam mattresses.
Memory foam mattresses prevent motion transfer. This means that if you are sleeping with someone who frequently moves around during the night, you're less likely to feel it. If your partner is an active sleeper, consider a memory foam mattress to improve your sleep quality!
Latex mattresses respond a little differently. Even though latex absorbs motion across the bed, it doesn't prevent motion transfer as well as memory foam. This means latex foam mattresses are bouncier and more responsive. That doesn't mean however, that the motion is transferred to the other sleeper- responsiveness is localized. It does mean that a latex mattress is well suited for active sleepers themselves, as the mattress can quickly conform to your body as you move.
Memory foam mattresses are designed in a way that conforms to the exact shape of each person. When you sleep on it, you feel as if you are sinking in, and the mattress is enveloping you.
On the other hand, a latex foam mattress will compress, bounce, and will only conform to the general impressions that your body makes. That is, latex pushes back against your weight and prevents the sinking in feeling. This means latex mattresses are more firm, while memory foam mattresses are more soft.
If you are a back sleeper or side sleeper, you would probably love it! The feel that this mattress provides is very distinct, making it one of the best foams in mattress construction. When you are sleeping on your back or side, it allows your neck and spine to reach a comfortable level of optimal alignment. Memory foam also supports your hip and shoulder bones that press into your bed when you sleep.
We’ve discussed above that mattress made of this material contours perfectly to every part of the body. Due to this super ability of memory foam, it is well suited for those people suffering from painful bedsores. They are also a great option for allergy sufferers.
While there are many reasons why it might be best for you to choose a latex mattress, we will pinpoint a few general reasons. All-natural latex foam comes straight from the rubber tree, and so they are environmentally friendly. As said before, there are synthetic and blended options available, but if you want a sustainable and chemical-free option, then always go for 100% organic latex mattresses.
If you are looking for a firm mattress, then latex is the best of all. Mattresses made of this material are much firmer than other traditional types of mattresses, including memory foam.
Is latex cooler than memory foam?
Another awesome benefit of latex mattresses is that they provide less heat retention and better cooling than memory foam due to their open cell structure. Many manufacturers aerate the latex foam to improve cooling and breathability. These mattresses look as if they have holes punched into them, lol! And, you know what? These holes make the mattress more resistant to mold and bacteria growth.
Well, there is no accurate answer to this question. Both memory foam and latex mattresses have their pros and cons. Making the right decision ultimately depends on which benefits among the above will give you your best night's sleep.