Both latex and memory foam mattress are newer developments in the mattress world. They do share some similarities, which may make it confusing to understand the differences between them. Yet for all they have in common, latex and memory foam mattresses are very different. Let’s discuss some of the differences and which one is right for you.
What is in a latex mattress?
Latex mattresses are made of blends of natural or synthetic latex foam. They have a bouncy feel and respond quickly to changes, such as a sleeper turning over or changing position.
What is in a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam is an extremely dense polyurethane foam. It does a very good job at absorbing energy and weight, which is how it holds the shape of the body.
One major difference between latex mattresses and memory foam is how they transfer motion. If a mattress does not isolate motion well, any movement on one side of the bed can be felt on the other side of the bed. This may be more important to couples who sleep on the same bed, especially if one of them is a light sleeper.
Memory foam is excellent at blocking motion transfer. You may remember the old commercials with a person jumping up and down on a bed near a wine glass. While it is probably not a good idea to try this out on your own – you get the idea. Motion on one side of a memory foam mattress is rarely felt on the other side of the mattress.
On the other hand, a latex mattress is not very good at blocking motion transfer. Latex has a more bouncy, responsive feel to it. While this is helpful sometimes, movement on one side of the bed can definitely be felt on the other side of the bed. For light sleepers, this may mean waking up more often as their partner moves throughout the night.
Conforming to the body
The other major difference between these mattress types is how well they conform to the contour of the body. Memory foam is very accurate when it comes to this contour. A memory foam mattress may seem to hug the body, conforming itself to the exact imprint of the sleeper.
Latex mattresses do not conform to the body in the same way. They do conform to the body, but more to its general shape and pressure points rather than the exact shape.
How well the mattress contours may also say something about how hot it will be. Memory foam mattresses tend to hold more of the body, and therefore more of the body’s heat. While there are many memory foam mattresses that find ways to cool the body, in general they may not be the best for hot sleepers.
Latex options may be cooler than memory foam, Though they are still generally hotter than some other options.
The main thing both mattress types have in common is that people recommend them for posture support. If you are looking for added support from your mattress, both latex or memory foam mattresses make great tools in the fight against back problems.
The similar supportive texture of each mattress helps hold against the shape of your body, adding some positive pressure that may help relieve physical stress on the muscles and reduce pressure on the spine, neck, or joints.
Choosing between latex and memory foam
If you need support as you sleep, your chiropractor probably recommended a latex or memory foam mattress. They will both give you the support you need, but you should ask about the differences that matter to you before buying.