The Difference Between Memory Foam And Latex Foam Mattress
1.1 What Is Memory Foam ?
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam, which is a synthetic foam material. The technical term for it is "Viscoelastic Polyurethane Foam," although most manufacturers refer to it simply as "Memory Foam." Unlike regular foam, memory foam responds to body temperature and becomes softer and more snug. When you lie down on memory foam, the material responds to your body temperature and slowly adapts to your body shape. The result is a comfortable feel that modern memory foam has been dubbed "close to the body." When you get up, the foam cools and returns to its normal shape. Memory foam is prized for its comfortable fit. It's an affordable material, so you'll find it used in a variety of mattresses. The biggest downside to memory foam is that it tends to absorb body heat, so those who sleep very hot may want to think twice about using a memory foam mattress.
1.2 What Is Latex Material ?
Latex is a natural material extracted from the sap of the rubber tree. The sap is extracted and processed to form a dense foam. Finished latex foam has a similar consistency to synthetic materials like foam, but there are some key differences. Latex generally feels more stretchy and less compliant than memory foam. It has an elastic, rubber-like consistency and is usually fairly dense. It's also very durable, as latex foam has a longer life expectancy than materials like Styrofoam.
1.3 The Difference Between Two Foams
There are several distinct differences in performance between the two foams. While these are general trends in performance, not all latex or memory foam is created equal. The density of latex and memory foam, as well as the quality of the material, can affect the overall feel, firmness, support, and durability.
Memory foam has a deep, snug feel to the body. It slowly adapts to your body shape when you first lie down and slowly returns to its original shape as you move. Latex mattresses will be more elastic and responsive. It still adapts to your body shape, but you'll find it fits your shape better than memory foam.
Both mattress styles can be considered very supportive. Both materials support the body well, maintain spinal alignment, and improve sleeper comfort. Latex is generally superior to memory foam in properly supporting the sleeper's body in the long run. This is due to its superior durability and responsiveness. While memory foam will eventually begin to sag, reducing support, latex typically retains its shape and remains highly supportive throughout the life of the mattress.
1.3.3 Pressure Relief
A mattress that provides good pressure relief will help relieve pain in certain problem areas, including the hips, neck, and shoulders. Memory foam does an excellent job of this as it adapts directly to body shape, cupping and cushioning common problem areas. As long as the mattress has enough support, different parts of the body can sink into it as much as possible without pushing the spine in the wrong direction, which tends to reduce pain and discomfort for sleepers. Latex also does a good job at this, with a decent profile, but most people find that memory foam provides the best pressure relief.
1.3.4 Sleeper Body Type
The size and weight of each sleeper will also affect the performance of each mattress type. In general, memory foam performs well for sleepers under 230 pounds, but may not be the best for heavier people. Memory foam tends to sink the body, which is usually a good thing, but for heavier sleepers, the foam can be too elastic, resulting in less support. Latex tends to be better for heavier sleepers.
1.3.5 Temperature Neutral
Memory foam tends to absorb and trap body heat, while latex does a better job of maintaining a neutral temperature. That being said, some wholesale mattress manufacturers add extra features or materials to their memory foam to help regulate temperature. Cooling gels, open-cell foam, and various other technologies have all been used to reduce memory foam's tendency to sleep hot.
1.3.6 Motion Isolation
Motion isolation is a measure of how well a mattress maintains motion on one side of the bed so as not to disturb sleepers on the other side. In this category, memory foam and latex earned similar ratings. Memory foam is slightly better at motion isolation due to its comfortable feel, but both materials do a great job of reducing motion transmission.
Latex is much more expensive than memory foam. Regular latex mattresses cost about twice as much as regular memory foam mattresses. Having said that, latex is significantly more durable, so the long-term cost difference isn't that big.
1.3.8 Durability And Warranty
Latex is generally more durable than memory foam. On average, latex mattresses have an expected lifespan of about 7.5-8.5 years, while memory foam mattresses have an expected lifespan of 6-7 years. Also, latex mattresses usually have a longer warranty than memory foam.
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