Difference Between Memory Foam and Latex Mattresses

You have heard about the wonders brought by the memory foam mattress, but you also have heard that latex mattresses work the same or are better than the memory foam. There are differences between the two and your choice depends on what your needs on the mattresses are for.

Memory Foam and Latex Mattresses

Basic Categories

First is to know more about the Latex mattresses. There are 2 basic categories for this kind of mattress – blended or synthetic and the natural latex. The synthetic kind of latex mattress is made out of chemical additives and oils based on petroleum. Some of these blends include a little bit of rubber. The chemicals that are usually added have the flame and formaldehyde retardants, two chemicals that are proven to be dangerous to the health. Such claims include risks of obesity, cancer, infertility and various developmental disorders on the brain like ADHD and autism. There are some of these synthetic foams that contain a small ratio of the plant oils, which are those with names coming with “soy”, “eco”, “hybrid” or “bio” foam. The chemicals inside these synthetic foams have the tendency to “roam” around the household dust and air, either they are microscopic particles or off-gassing vapor that are released each time the foam is being pressed down during its use. These microscopic particles are easily absorbed into any ordinary dust in the house like those dust flecks that are so tiny. Children and infants are the ones that get the most exposure to these chemicals and even have the highest concentration of these chemicals within their bodies.

The natural latex is made out of the sap of the rubber tree whipped into liquid foam through a centrifuge, which are then poured over molds or even continuously onto the belt tray and then goes through the steam baking. The best quality natural latex type contains at least around 95 percent rubber. Some of the products are even given the organic certification. The small amounts of additives and antioxidants are then added in order to produce the natural latex foam. Brands that advertise their products with “100 percent natural” or the “100% pure” latex are not using the language accurately, since 100 percent is actually referring to the absolute term. If this was truly a 100 percent pure sap of rubber and then it was baked without those additional ingredients, the result would have been that unusable goo which could not be turned into foam.

So how do you identify the difference between these two categories of latex foams? This is based on the independent certifications it got. The pure natural latex foam that does not have any fillers or synthetic latex blending in is simply referred to as natural foam rubber. This can be processed in one of two ways which results into 2 different natural latex forms.

Characteristics of Memory Foam Mattress

Now comes the memory foam mattress – this is a kind of polyurethane foam that is added with chemicals. It is easy to spot which of the mattresses make use of memory foam. This is judging on the shape due to the chemical reaction that is triggered by the body heat trapped into the foam. Its proprietary formulas in creating the memory foam are varied, but its action is normally the same. The heat that is trapped underneath the sleeper will cause the foam in conforming to the shape of the body. You will never get or hear any of those “natural” titles attached to memory foam products. Those that did attach that label to their products are lead straight to disciplinary action.

The way memory foam mattresses feel is designed to provide initial relief to pressure. Since the reaction needed for the memory foam is trapped heat, as the contouring of the memory foam is based on the shape of the body, this means that the memory foam will need to be re-heated in order to get that full contouring shape again. If there are repeated lags for the re-contouring process, it can result to restless sleep. The excess heat can also affect sleep as it creates tension between the memory foam and the sleeper’s body. Due to this problem, new formulation was invented such as adding the cool chemicals.

Final Thoughts

There are some memory foam mattresses that end up no longer usable after a couple of years of use, even resulting to uneven support.

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