If you’re shopping for a new mattress, a common question that comes up is:
What’s the difference between latex and foam?
With the usual follow-up:
Which is better?
Let’s talk about them both.
What is latex?
Latex comes in two basic categories: natural or synthetic. For our purposes, we’re only going to discuss natural latex here. (Because who wants to sleep atop a mattress made with chemical additives, anyway? Nobody.)
Natural latex is created from rubber tree sap that is whipped into liquid foam in a centrifuge, poured into molds or onto a belt tray and steam baked. Some natural latex producers go above and beyond to qualify for organic certification, so you’ll know you’re getting the best-quality natural latex.
Natural latex is simply natural foam rubber. It can be processed in two different ways, resulting in two different forms of natural latex: Dunlop and Talalay.
Talalay latex is created through the highest-quality natural latex process, resulting in the optimal balance of comfort, support and durability, while maintaining superior consistency and feel. This is why we use it in our mattresses.
Positives of Natural Latex:
- The purity of natural latex
- Versatile, with a quick response time for pressure relief and support
- Very high durability
- Breathable and easy to clean
- Keeps sleepers cooler than memory foam
Negatives of Natural Latex:
- Might have a natural rubber smell when it's first unpacked, but that goes away
What is memory foam?
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam manufactured with chemical additives. Memory foam is best known for conforming to each sleeper’s body, because it changes its shape through a chemical reaction triggered by body heat.
This trapped heat can also be problematic, however, since if a sleeper changes position, it takes time for the foam to morph again. This lag can result in a restless night’s sleep.
Positives of Memory Foam:
- Motion transfer
- Pressure relief
- Conforms to body
Negatives of Memory Foam:
- Can cause hot sleeping
- Can induce restlessness
- Poor durability