Memory Foam vs Latex Mattress: What’s the Difference?

Mattress shopping can be a huge challenge for many, especially when it comes to navigating the abundance of options out there in the market today. From spring and foam mattresses to hybrid mattresses, choices are aplenty. But since the importance of sleep is not something that can be easily pushed under the rug, it is crucial to be well aware of the many factors to consider when choosing the right mattress for you. And if you’ve been in the market for mattresses recently, you’re sure to have chanced upon latex mattresses and memory foam mattresses. With a vast array of styles and materials, memory foam and latex mattresses have become two of the most popular mattresses in Singapore today. But what exactly are memory foam and latex mattresses, how are they different and which should you opt for? We cover them all in this blog. 

Understanding Memory Foam Mattresses

First designed back in the 1960s, memory foam mattresses were actually produced for use in seats and seatbelts for NASA missions due to their shock-absorbing and pressure-relieving properties. Then, in the 1990s memory foam was introduced as a mattress material, which led to its eventual explosion. Mainly made out of the polymer known as polyurethane, the viscosity and elasticity of memory foam mattresses remain unrivalled to date. Stretching and conforming in various ways only to return to their original shape and size, the resiliency of these mattresses is revered across the globe. 

Like every other mattress, memory foam mattresses have unique characteristics that can either turn people off completely or make them fall in love with their sleeping surface. For example, while the adaptive feel of memory foam mattresses is indeed loved by many, there are some that simply find such qualities downright uncomfortable. So what are the plus and negative points of these mattresses? 

Benefits of Using Memory Foam Mattresses

  • Pressure Relief

    Since memory foam mattresses conform to the shape of your body, they can provide much-needed relief to areas where most of the pressure is placed while sleeping. From the hips to the shoulders, memory foam mattresses take the weight and stress off of these pressure points and evenly distribute the body weight so that you will not wake up with any pains.

  • Motion Isolation 

    Sharing your bed with someone else? Perhaps you’re constantly being awakened by the slightest movements of your partner? These will be issues of the past when you have a memory foam mattress. Given the density of these mattresses and their ability to distribute weight and pressure, motion is effectively isolated to one part of the bed. Moreover, due to its composition, there will not be any squeaking or strange noises coming from the mattress when one party is getting out of bed. 

  • Promotes Spinal Alignment

    As mentioned, the conforming quality of memory foam mattresses provides loads of benefits. And one of these is that it promotes good spinal alignment. By responding efficiently to the natural curves of your body, regardless of your sleeping position, the memory foam mattress will work to keep your spine in neutral alignment and offer optimal lumbar support so that you do not wake up feeling sore the next morning. 

Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses

Despite the benefits, there are some factors that may affect the desirability of a memory foam mattress:

  • Retains Heat

    Since memory foam mattresses are designed to respond to the shape and heat of the body, the added density of the mattresses can end up trapping more heat than desired. Therefore, it is important to look for cooling mattresses to beat the heat instead. 

  • Heavy to Move

    While they seem soft and lightweight, these mattresses can actually be heavier than other types of mattresses. So when it comes to changing the sheets or shifting the position of the mattresses, it can be a tad bit more tedious. 

  • Gives Off Unpleasant Odours

    It is common for new mattresses to give off a distinct, chemical-like smell, and memory foam mattresses are no different. Known as off-gassing, the smell can stick around for days or even weeks. As such, it is important to get high-quality memory foam mattresses like our Green Tea Memory Foam Mattresses that have natural seed oil instead of petrol-based chemical oils. 

Understanding Latex Mattresses

As its name suggests, latex mattresses are made from latex foam and other support features like springs to create a durable sleep surface. A material that was discovered in the 1900s, these mattresses have a long history of offering amazing comfort and pressure relief. Since it is made out of natural materials, it is considered a “natural” mattress and is also touted to be eco-friendly. Just like memory foam mattresses, latex ones are known to provide a soothing night’s sleep because of their natural resiliency and pressure-relieving properties. But what are its other pros and cons? 

Benefits of Using Latex Mattresses

  • Durable & Cooling

    Naturally resilient due to its material composition, a latex mattress can retain its shape and performance for many years. But that’s not all. Since latex is naturally a cool material, and manufacturers leverage innovative processes and designs, its breathability is improved. At Zinus, our iCoil Latex and Memory Foam Hybrid ‘Cool’ Spring Mattresses, for example, are designed with an ultra-cool fabric cover that is cool to the touch, improves ventilation, and offers more air flow. 

  • Naturally Allergen Free

    Given the natural structure of latex, you can rest assured that these mattresses are resistant to dust mites. Adding to its ability to maintain a healthy sleep environment is the fact that the natural latex layer is biodegradable and boasts organic antimicrobial properties, efficiently deterring bacteria growth. And since the material is also hypoallergenic, latex mattresses are a great option for those with sensitive skin.

  • Eco-Friendly

    Since the main material is harvested from rubber trees, these mattresses are incredibly eco-friendly. Compared to other types of mattresses that require several synthetic ingredients to create, they can directly or indirectly harm the environment; this is simply not the case for latex mattresses.

Cons of Latex Mattresses

While it may seem like the list of benefits associated with latex mattresses is never-ending, there are some cons that might throw some people off. Some of these include: 

  • Too Bouncy

    Unlike memory foam mattresses that retain the shape of your body for longer, latex mattresses return to their original shape more quickly. This unrivalled responsiveness is partly due to its buoyancy. While the light and bouncy feel is much appreciated by many, it may not be ideal for some. 

  • Does Not Conform or Isolate Movement Enough

    Tapping on its responsiveness and bounciness properties, latex mattresses will have you feeling your partner’s movements while sleeping. But that’s not all. While latex mattresses will indeed fit the contours of your body, they may not conform to the natural curves as snuggly as some would like. 

  • Can be Costly

    As with any other high-quality mattress, latex mattresses can be a little bit more expensive than other options, especially since natural latex is already considered an expensive material. However, as they become the go-to option amongst homeowners, the cost of these mattresses is bound to go down.

Which Mattress Should You Choose?

When it comes to choosing the right mattress for you, the first step is to understand the different types of mattresses in the market and narrow down to the ideal one from there. When deciding between latex and memory foam mattresses, however, you’ll first have to determine if a highly responsive mattress is something that you’d find comfort in. If you are looking for a mattress that will reduce chronic pain symptoms effectively, then a memory foam mattress is worth considering. If you are looking for a cooling, durable, eco-friendly mattress that just so happens to be hypoallergenic, then a latex mattress is one to try out. 

Shop for Quality Mattresses at Zinus

Still deciding between a latex and memory foam mattress? Get up close and personal with our collection of mattresses at the Zinus showrooms across Singapore. Alternatively, you can check out our collection online to see which suits you best. Offering a wide range of cheap memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses online, find the one that will help you sleep better.

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