"Are you intending to buy a new mattress? The type of mattress you buy can make a huge impact on your sleeping schedule as well as your comfortability and overall health. So, it is one of the main decisions of your life and it must be made with careful contemplation and quite a bit of research to make the buying process easier. If you are torn apart between a memory foam mattress and a latex mattress, you have landed on the right page, because we are going to discuss the pros and cons of both the mattresses here. We will also dive deep into 3 important facts about why you should buy a memory foam mattress or why a latex mattress could be better for you. Keep reading to find out more about each type of mattress and which one could be the best choice based on your lifestyle.
What is a memory foam mattress?Memory foam is a man-made polyurethane foam. Polyurethane is made of petroleum (crude oil), but can also be made from plant oil like soy. The polyurethane foam is mixed with many other chemicals during the manufacturing process to make the material more responsive, energy-absorbing and exceedingly dense. The end product results in a viscoelastic foam that conforms to the exact shape of the body but bounces back to its original shape when the pressure is removed. Aeronautical engineer Charles Yost first developed memory foam (under NASA contract) in the 1960s. It was employed for protecting pilots from air crashes. Memory foams, in general, have a slow response rate. Meaning, when the pressure is applied to the material, the material will conform to the shape of the body, and when the pressure is lifted, the material will not resume to its original shape very quickly. A memory foam mattress has several layers of foam. The mattress will feel soft, firm, or anywhere in between depending on the type and density of the foam layers. Memory foam mattresses are available in the following forms:
Foam mattressA foam mattress comprises several layers of foam. The base consists of firm foam as a support layer and the top consists of a comfortable foam layer.
Hybrid mattressHybrid mattresses use springs as the base layer or support layer and memory foam as the top comfort layer.
Pros of a memory foam mattress
Supports and conforms to your bodyMemory foam mattresses conform and cradle to your body shape. This especially helps in providing pressure relief and aids for a more comfortable sleep during the night. This also makes sure that the mattress doesnâ€™t push against the body but instead makes more space for it. And this alleviates pain rather than building up more pain.
Motion isolation/Low motion transferMemory foam isolates movement like tossing and turning and also prevents movements from transferring across the bed. This is a great option for people who are restless sleepers. Or if you are a spouse trying to find a peaceful place where you will not be disturbed by the tossing and turning of your partner, then you must try out a memory foam mattress.
HypoallergenicMemory foam naturally has a dense structure. The accumulation of dust mites and other allergens are naturally prevented due to this type of structure. If you are someone suffering from allergic symptoms caused by your mattress or you are someone allergic to natural materials like wool, then you can consider adding memory foam mattresses to your next buying list.
Supports back and side sleepersAre you a side sleeper or a back sleeper? That should be the first reason why you should pick up a memory foam mattress over any other mattress - because a memory foam mattress provides adequate spinal and neck bone alignment. As we mentioned earlier, memory foam contours to the unique shape of the body and helps your neck and spine get an optimal alignment level. And this makes up for the most comfortable sleep. Of course, no one wants to wake up with neck pain or joint discomfort while waking up and starting a day afresh. Side sleepers also have to give more attention to get the most comfort for the hip joints. Memory foam mattress helps both back sleepers and side sleepers by aligning the spine and neck or supporting the hip and shoulder bones without pressing into them during the night.
AffordabilityYou can find a memory foam mattress at a cost of less than $500, which is an affordable option for many people. Please check our website for the best memory foam options which start from $150. We promise you will never be disappointed, also donâ€™t forget to check the testimonials page to hear from our most happy customers.
Cons of a memory foam mattress
Not much suited for stomach sleepersA memory foam mattress is not a great option for stomach sleepers and they might experience discomfort when sleeping on it. Although many people recommend that sleeping on your stomach may cause health issues, if you still prefer to sleep on your stomach, then you may have to search for other options. Memory foam mattresses do not provide enough alignment for the spine and neck bones when you sleep on your stomach which may lead to discomfort and other health problems.
Sleeps hot/Heat retentionMemory foam mattresses are known to retain heat. Because the memory foam mattress is dense, it doesn't disperse the body heat properly. If you are someone living in a hot temperature or a generally hotter place, you might find it harder to adjust to this type of mattress. Many memory foam manufacturing companies are already attempting to mitigate the situation using solutions like adding air channels, cutouts, and using conductive material infusions such as gel foams. But it's still unclear if they have succeeded completely in solving the issue. So, staying updated about the topic would be better.
Off-gassingOff-gassing is a term that refers to an unpleasant chemical smell dispersed when the mattress is first opened or unpacked. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, off-gassing is a term that is used to describe the emission of noxious gases. These gases can be harmful (especially for children) and it comes from VOCs breaking down at room temperature. But you do not have to worry much, because the scent disappears within three to seven days of unpacking the mattress. If you are still bothered about these strong smells, you can look out for CertiPUR-USÂ® certification the next you buy a mattress. This certificate means that the mattress you are buying contains low amounts of VOCs.
HeavyMemory foam mattresses are considered heavy due to their density. They are heavier than a futon, air, and regular foam mattress, but are lighter than latex mattresses and water beds. Memory foam mattresses range anywhere between 30 lbs to 150 lbs and might be a trouble when you want to move the bed through stairs or if you are moving it single-handed.
Slow responsivenessMemory foam mattresses are generally less responsive but they may vary according to the brands and different manufacturers. Low-quality foams may take up to a minute to regain their normal shape, but high-quality memory foam can return to its original shape in seconds. So, that is not a major problem to consider, but we mentioned it so that you have an idea when buying your next memory foam mattress.
What is a latex mattress?Before understanding latex mattress and its meaning, let us get to know the meaning of Latex. What is latex? Latex is a type of rubber. A latex mattress may only contain latex or it may have any other type of foam mixed with it to give a different level of comfort to the sleeper. The mattress might also contain latex foam on top of the supportive coils. There are several options available in a latex mattress, like a synthetic mattress, blended mattress, or a purely organic mattress. A latex bed can be one of your best decisions if youâ€™re looking for a durable and eco-friendly mattress. Weâ€™ll further discuss how a latex mattress might be a better fit for you.
Pros of a latex mattress
SpringinessLatex is bouncier when compared to memory foam mattresses. Some people prefer this feeling as it will conform to the body and will quickly spring back to the original shape, unlike a memory foam mattress which may take a few seconds to bounce back to the original shape. If you prefer a bouncier bed and a springy feel overall, then you must consider a latex mattress.
Eco-friendly and organicThe primary reason why one should go for a latex mattress is that these mattresses are made from natural materials and are considered best for the environment. As we discussed earlier, natural latex beds are born from rubber trees and are not mixed with a bunch of unknown chemicals to make them more responsive and dense. But not all latex mattresses are natural or are considered to be made from pure rubber trees. They too have some synthetic options which may contain chemicals that may change the overall sleeping experience provided from the bed. So, if you are an environmentalist and prefer latex mattresses, you need to make sure that the latex mattress you are deciding to buy is free from chemicals and is purely original.
DurableAlthough durability varies depending on the type of latex, a natural mattress will still last longer than a blended latex mattress. A natural mattress will last for about 15 years, while a blended mattress will last between 6 to 10 years. An average latex mattress will last for 7 or more years.
CoolingIf you are a regular memory foam sleeper, you may already know that a memory foam mattress retains body heat and causes a â€˜sleeping hotâ€™ scenario for most sleepers. But unlike memory foam mattresses, a latex mattress is naturally cooling and many manufacturers use the foam for added breathability.
Customizable and breathableMany latex mattresses are provided with zippers along the side to open the mattress and adjust the feel. Unlike many mattresses which don't come with the option to open the zipper of the mattress, a latex mattress can let you clean inside the bed and provide you with an overall greater experience.
Cons of a latex mattress
ExpensiveOf course, you must have seen this coming. And the reasons are obvious. Due to all the pros the latex mattress comes with, they usually cost more than memory foam mattresses. Many natural queen mattresses cost anywhere around $2000, which makes them an expensive option in the marketplace to some buyers.
Too much bounceSometimes an advantage can also become a disadvantage. The quick responsive nature of the mattress can be a great experience but also can cause a problem if you decide to share the bed with others. Because the latex mattress absorbs motion but cannot prevent motion transfer unlike memory foam mattresses, it can cause a problem to couples or people who like to share their bed.
Initial odourNew latex mattresses have gained complaints from users about having a strong and horrible odour. Although the smell can vanish after a few weeks or a month, it's still a problem for many people who are sensitive to odours and smells.
Increased weightLatex is one of the heaviest mattress materials because of its deep density. To compare, the average queen mattress weighs around 140 pounds. This might be a problem for some people who might be deciding to shift their home to another place or want to carry the bed all over to the top floors.
Lack of availabilityLatex mattresses are not generously carried in offline stores like other mattresses. So most shoppers can only buy different types of latex mattresses from an online seller. There are very few brands that sell latex mattresses and there are more brands that sell memory foam, but the numbers are increasing day by day and the future may look different.
How to choose between memory foam and a latex mattress?
Deep compression supportMeaning the level of sinkage on a high-quality, classic memory foam mattress is more than a latex mattress. While a memory mattress is considered good for back and side sleepers because of its soft and cushiony nature, a latex mattress is more firm and better for stomach sleepers. Hence, a more sinking mattress, which is a memory mattress, is a better choice for someone who wants to get more body contour and hug.
A slow responsive timeMemory foam mattresses have a slow response rate and hence they do not get back to their shape soon when the pressure is released or lifted from the mattress. This is a plus point for sleepers who want to sink deep into the mattress and get deep pressure relief.
Varied materialsIf you want to choose between an array of options, a memory foam mattress is the best for you, because it comes with a wide range of options like traditional memory foam mattress, gel memory foam mattress, responsive memory foam mattress or much more. With each type of foam, you can get the needs met, all while maintaining the viscoelastic property of the memory foam.
More bounceWhile memory foam mattresses are softer and cushiony, latex mattresses are more springy and bouncy. If you do not like the sinking or stuck feel of the memory foam mattress, a latex mattress can be the ultimate option for you.
Faster responsive timeActive sleepers always find a faster response time to be more beneficial and comfortable. A latex mattress has a faster response time and it is going to move and respond according to your movements throughout the night. If you do not like the late responsive rate of the memory foam mattress, you can choose a latex mattress for a night of comfortable night sleep.
More natural materialsNatural latex is an â€œorganic mattressâ€ since it is produced with natural rubber. Although not all latex mattresses are purely made from rubber trees, you can read the label and confirm if you want an organic mattress for yourself. A natural or organic latex mattress is considered hypoallergenic as well, so that is indeed beneficial.
Final thoughtsBoth memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses are enjoyable and comfortable for all sorts of sleepers. Deciding on the right bed for you depends on your individual preference and several other factors that we mentioned above. To summarize,
- If you are going for a memory foam mattress - make sure that you like to sleep on a responsive bed and are a back or a side sleeper.
- If you are concerned about spinal and neck alignment and want to avoid joint stiffness, then you are making the perfect decision.