Foam Mattress Comparison: Memory Foam vs Latex Foam

Foam Mattress Comparison-

So your thinking about getting a foam mattress as an alternative to a more conventional innerspring coil mattress.  Well, you are finding there are essentially two ways to go:

OK, so, if foam isn’t just foam, what are the merits of each type?  Let’s take a look.  Here is a quick comparison as to what you get from Memory Foam mattresses and Latex foam mattresses.

Visco-elastic Memory Foam is what has been developed from the foam product that NASA originally released to the public in the 1980’s and found it’s first incarnation as the Swedish Tempur-pedic memory foam mattress.  Latex foam, on the other hand can be gathered naturally from the sap of the rubber tree, as well as manufactured synthetically.  Both claim hypoallergenic properties and are dust mite resistant.

Properties you will find in Memory Foam mattress and Latex Foam mattress:

The Quick Look:

  • A Memory Foam mattress is more dense and when compressed is slower at easing back to it’s original shape.  Latex is a lighter foam that bounces back more quickly.
  • As Memory foam is more dense, it has a firmer feel, and a Queen size Memory Foam mattress will be about 25 pounds heavier than a Queen size Latex foam mattress.
  • Latex foam mattresses have a softer and lighter feel than Memory Foam mattresses, they feel firm but more ‘springy’.
  • Memory Foam mattresses are put together layer by layer, while Latex mattresses are a mixture of liquid chemicals that are poured in to the shape of the mattress.
  • The Visco Memory Foam mattress has a feeling that presses back up against your body, holding you up, releasing pressure throughout the body.  The Latex foam mattress has a feeling like it is catching your weight and holding it, to release pressure throughout the body.
  • Visco Foam mattresses tend to be and feel a few degrees warmer than Latex foam mattresses.

More on the Memory vs Latex foam mattress difference:

Comfort- Research done by indicates that 88% of Latex and 83% of Memory Foam owners consider their mattresses comfortable.  Latex is not weight and temperature sensitive like Memory Foam, so you don’t get the feeling of ‘melting’ in to the mattress.  Memory foam reacts to the weight and temperature of the body, as it heats, it becomes more malleable.  Latex foam reacts more by air displacement, the body weight presses down and forces air to other areas of the mattress.

Durability- Both types of foam mattresses perform about the same in terms of durability and holding up over time.  However, manufacturers claim lives of up to 20 years, but that appears to be optimistic.  Eight to Ten years of useful comfortable life is what consumer feedback has indicated.

Affordability- Memory foam has the edge in price/affordability, but both types can be expensive.

Motion Isolation- Visco Memory Foam mattresses and Latex foam mattresses are virtually equal- they are both effective in keeping motion transfer to a minimum.


A Foam mattress really does feel different than the traditional Innerspring variety- You need to try one in person.  Lay on it, see if the seller offers more than one variety so you can compare- It is really an eye opener if you have never been on a foam mattress.

Sleep like the Dead has done some great research in to the difference between these mattresses- you can see their results here.

Here is a visual guide to the differences:

foam mattress comparison

Foam Mattress Comparison: Memory vs Latex

We hope this has given you a starting point in your search for the perfect foam mattress, we’d love your comments and feedback as to what you have found out there and your own personal experiences-


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