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Mattresses: From Innerspring to Latex & Memory Foam

Once upon a time, hay, leaves, reeds, and even seaweed were the materials of choice to stuff our mattresses -- hardly the comfiest of options. It’s safe to say that human bedding has evolved quite considerably over the years. The 1930s saw a surge in the popularity of the innerspring mattress (a much nicer and more body-conscious option than seaweed and leaves).

What’s the big difference?

Nowadays, you’ll find a plethora of choices when you go shopping for a new mattress; so many, in fact, that choosing involves a whole new level of research. Two of the most popular mattresses currently on the market are among the least understood, and everyone seems to ask us about them. So we’re here to clarify the confusion surrounding latex and memory foam mattresses. Which is more likely to help you achieve that coveted good night’s sleep? We’re here to find your answer and the best place to rest your weary body after a busy day.

Exhibit 1: The Latex Mattress

The latex mattress, which made its debut on the sleep scene in the 1950s, is manufactured from sap drawn from the rubber tree (or, as it’s formally known, Hevea brasiliensis). Latex mattresses are quite firm and springy to the touch, and they’re renowned for being durable, all-natural, and environmentally friendly. When exploring latex mattresses, you might hear or be inspired to say the word “buoyant.”

Exhibit 2: The Memory Foam Mattress

We have NASA to thank for the incredibly popular memory foam mattress. Their development of viscoelastic technology for astronauts put the properties of this pliable material firmly on the map. It wasn’t long before the mainstream memory foam mattress was born. This snug type of mattress has a responsive, cushioned feel that cradles your body and offers a relaxing night’s sleep.

Head to Head: Comfort vs. Support

Though both of these advanced options are known for their enhanced comfort, memory foam wins out on the coziness front. It’s particularly soft and ideal for providing cloud-like cushioning. Memory foam mattresses are designed to mold themselves to the contours of your body. Conforming to your body is an effective way to evenly distribute pressure and promote healthy blood circulation. Heat-sensitive memory foam mattresses can become firmer in cool temperatures and soften up when it’s warm. This natural adjustment to heat and pressure results in an almost “personalized” sleep surface determined by an individual’s physical characteristics.

It’s a toss-up.

As we’ve mentioned before, mattresses are made up of two basic layers: comfort and support. It’s in the support category that Latex mattresses put up higher marks. Though they also provide a sufficiently cushioned sleeping space, latex models tend to be a little firmer. They do not react to heat and pressure in the same way as memory foam mattresses do, and whether that’s desirable or not is a matter of opinion. People who need extra support due to chronic pain or spinal issues will usually have a better experience with latex, which doesn’t give way so easily. Latex could also be the better bet if you’re not keen on the sponge-like feel of memory foam or the cocoon-like effect it can offer. From a practical point of view, latex mattresses are very hard-wearing and made to last. The fact that they are made from tree sap, a renewable natural resource that can be produced organically, is also appealing.

Listen to your body.

To summarize - if you are seeking a long-lasting mattress with a firm feel or an organic option, then a latex mattress could be right for you. If comfort is your number-one priority and you love the idea of being cossetted by a soft mattress you can sink into, a memory foam mattress might be perfect. Consider what properties you are seeking in a mattress – then talk to the sleep experts at A Goodnight Sleepstore. We’ll help you choose a bed that will have you sleeping like a baby for years to come.


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