There are essentially two types of foam mattress; the latex foam mattress and the memory foam mattress. The latex foam mattress is made using latex foam and can be either natural or synthetic in its origin. Latex is comfortable and durable when used in a mattress, in fact, it is able to retain its shape and characteristic even after many years of use.
Memory foam is, of course, a viscoelastic product that becomes more liquid when it comes into contact with a warm body giving it the tendency to mold itself around a body providing both significant comfort and support.
You can purchase a memory foam mattress and you can purchase a latex foam mattress but as yet you cannot purchase a latex memory foam mattress because of course latex foam and memory foam are essentially two different products.
However, both types of mattress are very popular so it is worth spending a little time comparing both products in order to give a sensible view of which perhaps is the best product to buy.
There appears to be something of a geographical split when it comes to the popularity of the different types of mattress. In the US the memory foam mattress is clearly in the ascendency and has become a very popular product for use in household products with perhaps the memory foam mattress at the top of the list in that regard.
Latex foam mattresses and indeed latex foam products generally have much more traction in Europe. There does not seem to be any particular cause of this difference; perhaps it is just historical but latex foam products are strong in European countries and likely to remain so.
The Feel Of The Mattresses In Use
Generally speaking, the feel of memory foam mattresses is well known. Users describe a sort of “sinking” or “melting” feeling when they first lie on the mattress and because the mattress molds itself around them supporting at all points they tend to describe the sensation as “cocooned” and of course exceptionally comfortable.
Not everyone likes the sensation experienced when lying on memory foam however and for those who do not the latex foam mattress which is springier and generally firmer to sleep on is an ideal alternative.
Good quality memory foam products are quite expensive. A good quality memory foam mattress, such as a Temper-Pedic mattress will set you back up to $3000 and even cost around $800 at the starter end of the market.
On the other hand, the latex foam mattresses are a little less expensive, starting at around $300 and moving up to perhaps $1500 at the top end.
Other Similarities And Differences
Both latex and memory foam mattresses tend to give off a strange almost clinical smell when they are first bought. This usually wears off pretty quickly but in the case of memory foam especially the weird smell can last for several weeks.
Latex foam mattresses tend to last longer than memory foam, perhaps being twice as durable. Memory foam mattresses are better for those suffering from backache or chronic fatigue due to the way it molds to the body, reducing movement generally.
However molding effect can also be a drawback for memory foam as it tends to be slow to re-mould when you do change your position and can make sitting up a little awkward. Latex foam mattresses, on the other hand, are firmer, do not mold but over time can get a little out of shape.
Memory foam mattresses can absorb moisture and can get very hot, whereas there are fewer issues with latex foam mattresses in this regard. Memory foam is heavier and therefore harder to maneuver around, especially when initially installing. Although having said that, what mattress is easy to maneuver. None that I have ever come across.
In summary, latex foam mattresses are generally popular in European countries, are springy and durable but perhaps less therapeutic in benefiting sleep. They are however less expensive than their memory foam equivalents.
Memory foam mattresses are on the other hand popular in the US, fantastic for therapeutic sleep and generally more expensive than their latex counterparts. They both have a weird smell. Perhaps, in conclusion in order to get the best of both worlds a latex memory foam mattress should be manufactured. It would clean up in both Europe and the US 😉 .