As foam-based mattresses gain in popularity, more choices are becoming available to consumers seeking a specific sleep experience. Based on individual preferences and needs, latex mattresses and memory foam mattresses are two of the front-runners in the foam mattress space. While both are created with a foam base, the materials used to create them offer very different sleep experiences. Before heading to the mattress store to test each one out, find out what makes them different and what to expect from a latex or memory foam mattress.
Latex Mattress Overview
There are a few categories of latex mattresses. All share the same principle: to create a foam-based mattress out of primarily latex. Latex mattresses are either made from latex that is all-natural, synthetic, or even a combination of the two.
Latex mattresses of any type are known for their ability to provide cushiony comfort to the sleeper. People who prefer soft support mattress will likely choose a latex mattress over a memory foam mattress. By definition, latex is elastic — this means that once a sleeper lays on it, their body will be enveloped by the mattress and it quickly bounces back to its original form when the person gets up.
Latex Mattress Structure
As noted, latex mattresses are made from either all-natural latex, synthetic latex, or a combination of the two.
- Natural Latex Mattresses: To create a natural latex mattress, manufacturers first harvest the latex from rubber trees. Then, the latex undergoes a process that develops it into a foam-like texture that can be layered. Many people like natural latex mattresses simply because they do not use any synthetic materials. There are minimal comfort differences between natural latex and synthetic or hybrid latex mattresses. Natural latex mattresses are revered for their durability; they tend to last a lot longer than other mattresses of any type.
- Synthetic Latex Mattresses: Synthetic latex strives to mimic the feel of sleeping on a natural latex mattress, although some sleepers say that synthetic latex is less bouncy than natural latex.
Latex Mattress Sensation
Latex mattresses are perfect for individuals who seek a mattress that is bouncy and conforms less to the body when compared to a memory foam mattress. The sleeper will find that a latex mattress will support the body while allowing for a freedom of movement during the night. As a bonus, latex mattresses typically retain less heat than memory foam mattresses, giving the sleeper a cooler sleep experience. Some latex mattresses, like aerated latex foam, allow for even more cooling due to the added pockets of air manufactured into the mattress. There is not a noticeable difference between mattresses made from all-natural latex and those made with synthetic latex; it simply comes down to the preference of the customer.
Memory Foam Overview
Memory foam provides sleepers with a feeling of being hugged while asleep. Memory foam is always manufactured; unlike latex, it is not found in nature. Typically, memory foam mattresses are made with polyurethane and other added substances, such as gel beads, copper, or graphite, to create a very specific sleep experience.
Memory foam is known for cradling the body and providing unique support to each pressure point. One way to determine if a mattress is made from memory foam is to sit on it or place pressure on it with a hand; once it is removed, the mattress will take some time to fill back in to its original form. However, manufacturers can make memory foam mattresses of varying firmness, so sleepers can find a mattress strength or softness that is right for them.
Memory Foam Structure
Memory foam is so unique due to its elastic-like feel and capability to adapt to any need. For example, memory foam can be created in a variety of densities, so it can range from very soft to very firm and everywhere in-between. It can even be manufactured with varying ‘response times’, which refers to the time it takes for the memory foam to retain its original shape after being pressed.
Memory Foam Mattress Sensation
There is truly no mistaking a memory foam mattress. The sensation is very unique and memory foam mattresses provide sleepers with pressure point relief and a “hugging” sensation. Some people shy away from memory foam mattresses due to their reputation as making sleepers too warm at night or creating a feeling of sinking into the mattress. In response, memory foam mattress manufacturers are now creating a variety of processes and materials to ensure sleepers stay cool, including:
- Infusing the memory foam mattress with gel or adding layers of gel
- Removing sections of memory foam to promote airflow
- Including special fabrics known for their cooling properties
- Developing specialized memory foam with added air
Like any mattress, a customer’s decision to purchase a latex or memory foam mattress is going to be very personal. The best course of action is to head to a mattress showroom, like Gardner Mattress, and test out a variety of options to make an informed purchase. Contact Gardner Mattress today to learn more about latex and memory foam mattresses.