Latex vs Memory Foam

What to consider when comparing...

Latex vs Memory Foam is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are popular alternatives to innerspring mattresses and each have their own distinctive characteristics. Determining which is best for you is a personal preference based on a variety of factors. Our comparison guide will cover the common features and benefits of both.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam was first introduced by Tempur-Pedic in 1992. This NASA inspired sleep surface revolutionized the bedding industry. Through the years, this unique foam has grown in popularity and availability. No longer only a Tempur-Pedic exclusive, countless competitors have emerged. The most notable challenge has come from Serta’s i Comfort series but they are not alone.

latex vs memory foam

Latex Mattresses

latex vs memory foam

Materials used to produce latex mattresses can vary significantly. Natural Latex beds offer the best support, buoyancy and pressure relief. Lower priced mattresses (under $1000) are typically made of synthetic latex. Theses materials have a flatter less responsive feel than natural latex. They also do not have the same durability but for the price are still decent options.

Pressure Relief

Memory foam and latex mattresses are both well known for providing great pressure relief. Latex provides great conformity and is more buoyant than memory foam. It has a feel often described as bouncy. The difference between how latex and memory foam feel is pretty distinctive. You sleep “on” Latex, you sleep “in” Memory foam. Latex is two-dimensional in the way it supports the body. Both types relieve pressure but, latex pushes back in a way memory foam can't. Due to it's support qualities, mattresses are frequently made entirely of latex. Memory foam relies on dense polyurethane cores to create stability.

Memory foam contours to your body and provides deep compression support. Its open celled structure responds to your body heat and molds to your hips, shoulders and spine. Its superior support and alignment is achieved without creating pressure points. As a result, a reduction of pain is often reported. Quality memory foams usually have a density ranging between 3 - 5 lbs. Their polyurethane cores also have varying densities that result in differing support levels. The more dense the foam the better the pressure relief. Higher density does mean steeper costs when buying a memory foam mattress.

While latex does offer great pressure relief, it doesn't compete with the body contouring support of a memory foam mattress.

Advantage: Memory Foam


New mattresses sometimes emit an odor, this is known as off-gassing. Very much like a new car smell or that of drying paint, mattresses can give off a chemical-like odor. Memory foam mattresses are most commonly associated with off-gassing. The higher the density the foam, the greater the chance of a strong off-gassing smell.

Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree. It's tapped in much the same way that syrup obtained from maple trees. 100% natural latex is softer and more conforming than synthetic blends. Its also more durable and has no off-gassing issues. However, the price difference can be substantial compared to synthetic or blended.

Synthetic Latex (like memory foam) has the potential for some mild off-gassing. As is the case with any lower priced foam, temper your longevity expectations.

Blended latex (mixtures of both natural and synthetic) bridge the gap in price and quality. When evaluating these offerings, make sure the manufacturer is forthcoming. Many blended latex mattresses have only small amounts of natural product. If a manufacturer is unwilling to disclose Latex specifications, take your business elsewhere.​​

Natural latex is your best option if you're concerned about off-gassing.

Advantage: Latex

Motion Isolation

Sharing a bed can mean dealing with disruptions from your partner's movement. Motion isolation refers to a mattress' ability to keep movement localized. When your partner's movements are less detectable, you're bound to get a better night of sleep.

When it comes to not sensing movement, Latex is a better choice than a traditional innerspring mattress. However, Memory Foam is in a world by itself. Its open celled structure slowly responds to your body and limit motion detection.

A memory foam mattress is your best choice for a disruption free night of sleep.

Advantage: Memory Foam

Heat Retention

Sleeping while hot can be very uncomfortable. That's why it's important to consider a mattress’ heat retention characteristics.

Because memory foam responds and conforms to body heat, for some, it sleeps on the warm side. Most quality memory foams use cooling gels in an attempt to offset this effect. For most, this addition is a great improvement and heat is not a problem.

Natural latex retains less heat than memory foam leaving you feeling cooler at night. If you constantly toss covers and open windows in the winter, you may want to consider latex.

Advantage: Latex

Back Pain Reduction

Sleeping with back pain is difficult. Latex offers great pressure relief and body conformity. However, Memory foam's deep body contouring offers more contouring. This keeps the head, neck and spine in proper alignment. It also does a superior job of alleviating pressure points.

Memory foam is most likely to help reduce back pain.

Advantage: Memory Foam

Sex Friendly

By design memory foam responds slowly to your movements. This is generally not favorable for sex. Latex has a buoyant, bouncy feel that allows for greater freedom of mobility. 

Advantage: Latex

Ease of Motion

Latex is far more buoyant and responsive than memory foam. Ease of movement is one of the primary attributes of latex. While on Memory Foam, movement is much more limited and has often been compared to the sensation of sinking in quicksand. Advantage Latex.

You will have much easier mobility in a latex mattress.

Advantage: Latex


Memory foam is widely accessible both online and in bedding or department stores. Latex, although gaining in popularity, is not as abundant online or in brick and mortar stores.

Advantage: Memory Foam

Pick what's best for you

Choose a mattress that best meets your needs for comfort, support and budget. The next step is to zero in on the right brand and price point that is right for you! Like apples and oranges, there are different varieties and flavors and we're here to help.

​Latex Mattresses

Memory Foam mattresses​

Loom & Leaf Review ​- Memory foam

Zenhaven Review​ -Latex