Memory Foam vs. Latex Compared – Which is Better for You?

If you plan to buy a mattress, you have probably narrowed down your list to these two mattresses, memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses. These two mattresses are arguably the best on the market and often compared to each other because they are both layered foam beds that adjust to the sleeper's body.

To help you search for the perfect mattress, we have reviewed these two mattresses in detail. By the end of the article, you will know the unique features of each mattress and its strengths to help you make an informed decision. So now, without further ado, let's get into the article.

What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam is a special material made from polyurethane foam. Memory foam was discovered in mid-1960 by Aeronautical engineer Charles Yost and was first used by NASA. It was initially designed to provide crash protection for NASA aircraft seats because of its high density and energy-absorbing properties.

In order to make memory foam, Polyurethane foam usually goes through a series of processes where chemicals, plant oils, or a combination of both are added to give the foam potent viscoelastic properties. Unlike polyurethane foam, memory foam is super elastic and can easily adjust and change shape according to the heat and pressure of the sleeper's body.

Mattresses first used memory foam in the early 1990s because of its incredible ability to stretch, conform and mold. The foam easily stitches and gradually returns to its original shape when the sleeper changes position. If the sleeper stays in one sleeping position for a long time, the mattress foam automatically conforms to their shape to enhance comfort.

Memory foam mattresses are made of different firmness and density. Softer memory foams are ideal for those looking for comfort, while firmer foams are mainly used in the support core. A majority of memory foams mattresses are equipped with copper, gel, and graphite that helps to absorb heat and wick it away from the sleeper's body, thus keeping him cool and comfortable all night.

They are also infused with an open cell structure that enhances the free flow of air without compromising the quality and durability of the foam.

Memory foam mattresses are ideal for all types of sleepers. Their great contouring and conformability make them ideal, especially for people who love sleeping on their sides. The flexibility of the foam helps to relieve pressure, thus maintaining the neutral spine at the shoulders and hips. It also conforms to the head, knees, and waist for ultimate comfort while sleeping. Foam mattresses also provide excellent back support.

What is Latex?

Latex mattresses are made from three different materials. They include synthetic latex, natural latex, or blended latex (a mixture of natural and synthetic latex). Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree. On the other hand, synthetic latex is artificial.

To make latex mattresses from natural latex, the raw material (natural latex) usually goes through two manufacturing processes – Dunlop and Talalay. Latex mattresses made from Dunlop are usually firmer and denser and are often used in the transition layer and the support core of the mattress. Talalay latex usually goes through the aeration process during the manufacturing process, making them lighter and bouncier than Dunlop. However, they are less dense and often not used in the support core. They are also not very durable.

Synthetic latex is made from a variety of synthetic materials. This latex has an almost similar feel to an all-natural latex mattress but has less bounce. They also have a shorter lifespan compared to all-natural latex mattresses. However, they cost less to produce and are generally cheaper compared to all-natural latex mattresses.

Laxest mattresses have more elasticity and more hugs than memory foam mattresses. This means that they have faster response time and more bounce. More so, latex mattresses are naturally cooling while memory foam mattresses sometimes retain heat, which is why most of them are fitted with heat dissipation technology.

What are The Major Differences Between Memory Foam and Latex?

Although these two types of mattresses are similar in many ways, they have major distinct differences, as discussed below.

Motion Transfer

One of the main differences between latex mattresses and foam mattresses is motion transfer. Foam mattresses don't allow motion transfer, meaning that if your partner who is sleeping on the other side of the bed moves frequently, you will hardly feel the movement. This is important because it allows couples to enjoy quality uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. Because of this, foam mattresses are widely preferred by couples.

On the other hand, latex mattresses are not good at isolating motion. This means that if your partner sleeping on the other side of the bed and frequently moves at night, you will feel their movements. High motion transfer in latex mattresses is mainly attributed to their quick response time and high bounce rate.


Another huge difference between latex mattresses and foam mattresses is how they conform to the sleeper's body. Memory foam mattresses usually conform to the exact shape of the sleeper. On the other hand, latex mattresses usually bounce and compress and only conform to the general impression that the sleeper body makes.

Reasons to Choose a Memory Foam Mattress

They are Ideal for Side Sleepers

A memory foam mattress always ensures that your spine is correctly aligned to avoid joint or neck discomfort. They also provide support to the shoulder bone and hips for ultimate comfort while sleeping. This makes them ideal for side sleepers.

They Resist the Accumulation of Allergen

Memory foam mattresses have a design structure that resists the accumulation of dust mites, pollen, and other allergens. Therefore, they are ideal for people who are allergic to natural things such as wool.

They are Affordable

Memory foam mattresses are cost-effective but highly durable and comfortable. A high-quality memory foam mattress cost less than $1000

They Have a Slow Response Time

If you are not an active sleeper, then a memory foam mattress is the perfect choice for you. This mattress allows you to sink into the mattress and enjoy much-needed pressure relief.

They are Available in a Wide Variety

Memory foam mattresses are available in wide varieties, including gel memory foam, traditional memory foam, and responsive memory foam. This means that you can choose an option that suits your personal preference. Each option has been designed to meet the needs of specific sleepers.

Reasons to Choose Latex

They are Very Durable

Latex mattresses made of natural material are usually very durable. They can last for up to 15 years, while blended latex mattresses can last for up to 10 years. Their lifespan is nearly double that of foam mattresses which have a lifespan of about 7 years.

They are Customizable

Many latex mattresses are equipped with a zipper along the edge that you can use to adjust the mattress to suit your needs. This feature also allows you to clean inside the bed, which is not possible on memory foam mattresses.

Natural Cooling

Latex mattresses are natural coolers, meaning they naturally regulate the mattress temperature for a comfortable sleep. A majority of latex mattresses contain breathable materials such as wool and cotton that allow natural cooling.

Mostly organic

Natural latex mattresses are manufactured will no added chemicals. Additionally, the harvesting of materials usually causes minimal destruction to the environment.

If you have been wondering whether to choose a memory foam mattress or a latex mattress, we hope that the information provided above will help you make an informed decision. Both memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses have their own strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is upon you to choose one with a majority of features you are looking for in a mattress.