In this article I’m not going to get stuck in an individual review, a comparison or a best list. No, I’m just going to talk broadly about two of some of the most common materials found in online mattresses, that being memory foam and latex foam.
I’m going to talk about how they compare generally, so you can find out which type of feel will be more suitable to you.
If you want any more information about beds that use those materials inside of them, search this website. I have many reviews. But in this article I’m just talking broadly about how these two foams stack up against each other.
Let’s get into it with latex foam versus memory foam.
Let’s first get into a little bit of background about memory foam.
It has been around for a long time. I’m sure you’ve seen the ads on TV of people jumping around on a memory foam bed with a wine glass on it.
The whole thought behind memory foam is that it will remember the shape of your body and conform to it.
In terms of latex foam, this is a natural occurring material that is actually made from the sap of a rubber tree. There are two different ways to make latex foam and in general it’s a little bit more expensive than a typical chemical based foam.
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Let’s talk about the feel of each foam, starting with memory foam.
In general memory foam is going to remember the shape of your body. There are a ton of different types of memory foam and while some are more dense and viscous, others are more responsive. But the ultimate idea behind this material is for it to conform to the shape of your body while you sleep.
The feel of latex foam is a lot more responsive, bouncy and squishy. It does provide pressure relief, but once you change positions, the pressure is relieved from the bed and the material will spring back into shape almost instantly.
I like to think of latex foam as being the opposite of memory foam.
While memory foam is slow to respond, latex foam will pop right back into shape instantly. Basically these are two very different types of foams.
But they’re both comfortable nonetheless.
They also come in various different firmnesses. Since memory foam has been around since the 70s, you’ll see it in a variety of styles, ranging across the entire firmness spectrum.
The most common memory foam firmness is near the medium to medium firm end of the spectrum. This is because of the dense sinking qualities of memory foam. Beds with it just feel firmer because it is slow to respond and conforms to the shape of your body.
Again there are all different types of memory foams that span the whole firmness spectrum, but as a rule of thumb, we see it being a little firmer than a medium.
Another thing to note about memory foam is that it starts a bit firmer, but it softens up as you nestle in.
I’ve also seen that in higher temperature environments, a memory foam bed will soften, whereas in lower temperatures it’ll feel more firm.
Some examples of a really firm memory foam bed is something like a Cocoon, where a really soft memory foam bed would be AS5 from amerisleep.
Now let’s move on to latex foam.
In general latex is a firmer material when you sleep on it, but there are so many different types of beds out there that you probably can’t really pinpoint the exact firmness of a latex foam bed.
Based on my findings, I have seen that latex foam beds are on the firmer end of the spectrum, but that is definitely not a steadfast rule as there are some really soft latex beds as well.
The firmness of latex foam won’t really change based on the temperature you’re in.
An example of a really firm latex bed is the Avocado mattress without the pillow top. And a really soft one is the plush Nest latex hybrid mattress.
Now that you have an idea of the feel and firmness of each of these materials, how much are you going to be paying for a bed with those materials inside.
That’s I’m going to cover starting with memory foam.
Memory foam beds span the entire price spectrum. There are very cheap memory foam beds and pretty expensive ones as well. Most of the time you’ll end up paying more if you’re buying into a brand or a certain feature.
But memory foam is a very broad material and is made everywhere, so it may be one of the materials that you want to research if you are concerned about where the product is made or certifications that it has.
From my testing I have seen that there is no hard and fast rule when talking about price for a memory foam bed. It largely depends on the other materials making up the construction of the rest of the bed.
For example, if a bed uses really big pocketed coils, like Layla hybrid, it might be more expensive. But if it’s just a two layer all foam bed, something like Lucid, it’ll be a lot cheaper.
There are really expensive memory foam brands, like Tempur-pedic and then there are more affordable ones like Bear or Nectar.
But it’s all going to depend on what kind of materials make up the rest of your bed. Does it use a pillow top or a celliant cover. In general though memory foam is going to be cheaper than latex foam.
I find latex foam beds to cost more because it’s usually a more premium material that costs a bit more to make. You can definitely find cheap latex foam beds and even beds with synthetic latex, but latex beds are usually more expensive because the process to make the materials is a little more involved.
Final Verdict: Latex Foam vs Memory Foam
Who is going to like each of these materials?
Let’s start with memory foam.
Memory foam is for anybody who wants to sink into the bed. Again, there are so many different types of memory foams out there. You definitely want to check that out when you’re purchasing a bed, but if you like to be cradled or sleep in a little nook, memory foam might be right for you.
This is also a good option because there are so many different beds at so many different price points, you can definitely find the one that will fit into your budget. You’ll also be able to find the firmness that is right for you since memory foam is such a broadly used material.
Latex foam is best for those who want a natural and organic material. If you like a responsive spongy feeling bed and probably something a little firmer, while not being afraid to spend up for more premium material, latex foam might be right for you.
I hope you learned a thing or two about memory foam and latex foam, how they differ and some of the main findings that I’ve observed.
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Alex P. Davis has a BA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design and 10 years of experience expertly designing sophisticated interiors.