Are you considering a latex or memory foam mattress, but aren’t sure which one is better? While both mattress types provide adequate posture support, there are some stark differences that those in the market for a new mattress should be cognizant of. From pros and cons to cooling features and cost, our guide covers everything you need to know when it comes choosing between a latex vs. memory foam mattress.
Memory foam is made from polyurethane foam and other added materials. It is malleable, durable, and has been applauded for its ability to absorb impact. This means that if you share a bed with someone, you likely won’t be able to feel them tossing and turning throughout the night. Memory foam is also known for its heat-wicking abilities. The foam uses your body’s heat to mold and absorb your impact — creating a cushion that is great for aching joints.
Memory foam mattresses are made of multiple layers of foam ranging in size and density. There are three different types of memory foam mattresses:
- Traditional foam: Traditional memory foam mattresses are made with a closed-cell structure that traps heat and polyurethane foam that adapts to the body.
- Open-cell foam: Open-cell foam is constructed with “open cells” that encourage air movement throughout the mattress. It is considered softer and less dense than the traditional foam mattress. The Casper mattress uses open-cell foam and high-density memory foam to create a breathable, supportive mattress option.
- Foam with gel pods: A gel pod foam mattress has gel pods added to the top layer that give an extra layer of support and comfort. These gel pods also help give the mattress a bouncier feel than the traditional and open-cell foam options. For example, the Casper Wave Hybrid is made with gel pods under the lower back and waist to help relieve aches and pains.
Regardless of the type of memory foam mattress you choose, you can expect a soft, durable feel that offers support for aching joints. It has a medium to hard firmness and typically lasts about 8–10 years. In terms of pricing, it is considered mid-tier to luxury.
What Is Latex Foam?
Latex foam can be made from natural and synthetic materials. Natural latex is produced from rubber trees so there are no harsh chemicals in the mattress. The sap from the trees is frothed up and baked to create a foam. It’s a very popular option for those looking for an eco-friendly mattress.
Synthetic latex is made from several materials, but the most prominent is a type of plastic and natural rubber substitute called Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR). This type of latex mattress is less durable and springy than the natural latex mattress.
Latex foam can be made in two different ways. Both methods use the vulcanization process to create the foam. Vulcanization is the chemical process of hardening rubber by using heat. Below are the two ways latex foam is made.