Memory Foam vs. Latex – Which is Better for You?

May 28, 2019

Memory Foam vs. Latex – Which is Better for You?

When shopping for a new mattress, there are two types of mattresses that seem to reign supreme in the mattress market today. At least that is the case if you’re looking for a mattress that will add more value and durability to your sleep than traditional innerspring mattresses. The two options are: memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses.

But which one is truly better for you? This article explores each mattress type and how they compare to each other so you can make an informed decision when it’s time for you to buy your next mattress.

What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam is a material developed by NASA scientists to protect their pilots from crash-related impacts. What it is, is a polyurethane that has been supplemented with many different chemicals to create dense, shock-absorbing materials.

In mattresses, memory foam conforms to the shape of your body. This creates the sensation, for some, of sinking. For others, it feels like they are being surrounded by softness. Unfortunately, there is little support in memory foam mattresses, which is problematic for stomach and back sleepers. That’s because the mattress isn’t very resilient. For instance, when you press your hand into a memory foam mattress, and then remove it, the indention will remain for a while. Recovery takes a long time.

For people who sleep on their sides as well as those who experience joint pain while sleeping, this mattress can feel soft and comforting. However, latex mattresses also come in soft models, offering solutions that work for side sleepers and those with joint pain as well.

What is Latex?

Latex is different than memory foam. Especially if you choose 100 % natural latex mattresses. The first notable difference is what goes into the mattress. Latex mattresses are made from the sap of rubber trees. This means it isn’t a space-aged material filled with a variety of chemicals to create artificial density. This means you’ll sleep healthier on a chemical free and non-toxic latex mattress. If you choose an Eco Terra natural latex mattress, you can buy with confidence that you’re getting a mattress that is healthy for your family and the planet.

Below, you will learn about a few key differences between the two types of mattresses, so you can make the buying decision that’s best for you.


Memory foam conforms to the precise shape of your body while you sleep. As your body heat warms up the mattress, it creates a sort of cocoon around you that cradles your body while you sleep.

Latex mattresses, by comparison, are bouncier mattresses that tend to bounce back immediately once you get out of bed. This helps them have incredible resilience and longevity, and prevents indentions from forming along the way.

Motion Isolation

When memory foam mattresses were first introduced to the public in the 1990s, it was common to see televisions commercials where a filled wine glass was placed on the mattress while another person on the other side of the bed walked in place. This was to show the incredible motion-isolating properties of memory foam. What this translates to is that the motions of your partner at night will not necessarily disturb your sleep (as long as your partner remains on his or her side of the bed).

Natural latex does provide motion-isolating properties, though not to the extent of memory foam. However, the Eco Terra Latex mattress is a hybrid latex mattress that is made with individually wrapped, fabric encased coils, topped with a 3 inch layer of 100% natural Talalay latex. Individually wrapped, fabric encased coils are well-known for their motion isolating capabilities, making Eco Terra the perfect mattress for those with restless sleeping partners.

Sleep Positions

People who sleep on their sides may often prefer the softness that memory foam offers. However, the Eco Terra latex mattress gives memory foam a run for its money when it comes to pressure point relief. This is thanks to the soft 3 inch talalay latex layer that tops the supportive fabric-encased coils below. This adds the perfect combination of support and cushioning softness to provide soothing pressure point relief.

People who sleep on their backs often find the lack of support in memory foam mattresses to be problematic. It can leave them waking with incredible back pain, and may even make it difficult getting into and out of bed for people who have mobility issues. Our natural latex mattress with the individually-wrapped coil core, offers edge to edge support, making our mattress a great fit for back sleepers as well as people who have mobility issues, and need to avoid that sinking feeling while attempting to get into and out of bed.

Stomach sleepers, in particular, struggle with memory foam beds while sleeping exceptionally well on natural latex mattresses. Not only do these mattresses offer resilient support, but they lack the sinking, quicksand feeling of memory foam.


Memory foam mattresses tend to have more “give” than latex mattresses, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are better for all sleepers. Our latex mattresses come in your choice of medium and medium-firm levels, allowing you to choose which mattress offers the most comfortable night’s sleep for your needs. Regardless of the mattress firmness, however, our 3 inch top comfort layer of 100% natural latex foam provides an abundant amount of luxurious cushioning that cradles pressure points, without sacrificing support that is needed to maintain proper spinal alignment.


Memory foam mattresses cannot hope to achieve the unparalleled level of support a natural latex mattress has to offer. Latex mattresses are widely reputed to be among the most supportive mattresses on the planet. In fact, WebMD Sleep Expert and author, Michael Breus, suggests that firmer mattresses, that offer outstanding support, like latex mattresses, are better choices for people dealing with lower back pain.

Coolness and Comfort

Another area where memory foam presents no competition to natural latex mattresses is when it comes to cool and comfortable sleep. Latex has an open cell structure that allows air to flow more freely through the mattress, creating a sensation of coolness that allows you to sleep better throughout the night.

This contrasts heavily with memory foam mattresses where excessive heat retention is one of the most common complaints. The reason heat retention with memory foam is such a problem is also the reason why it is so malleable in conforming to the body’s shape. It forms a tight cocoon, surrounding the body, because your body heat causes it to do so. The unfortunate side effect is that it also holds your body heat close to your body, causing you to overheat, and often disturbing your sleep.


Because so many chemicals are used in the making of memory foam mattresses, one of the biggest complaints upon opening a new memory foam mattress concerns the noxious odor. It can cause massive headaches, respiratory distress, dizziness, and more in the first several days after opening your mattress. It’s a process known as off-gassing, and while the smell may dissipate in a few days, or even weeks, the potentially harmful health effects it can have on your family linger much longer.

Natural latex mattresses are made without the potentially harmful petrochemicals, and do not produce the chemical off-gassing that can be so problematic with memory foam mattresses.

Planet Friendly

For people who are concerned about the planet, you may want to stay clear of memory foam mattresses. Almost everything about these mattresses leave imprints on the planet that aren’t very favorable. From the petrochemicals to the manufacturing process and beyond, these mattresses are not good for the planet, and not good to expose your family to either.

Natural latex mattresses, on the other hand, are made with botanical sap from a rubber tree and they create a comfortable sleep experience for you that lets you wake up without any regrets over the impact your mattress has on the planet. 

Picking a mattress doesn’t have to be a challenge. Simply consider what you need in a mattress, the way you sleep, and the planet to make the decision that meets your needs. 

Talk to Us Here at Eco Terra

If you’re on the fence about buying a latex mattress or a memory foam mattress, feel free to reach out to us here at Eco Terra. You can call us toll free at 1-888-605-0409, chat with us online, or email us through our contact us form. We look forward to hearing from you!

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.