Latex or Memory Foam: Which Mattress Is Right For You?
If you suffer with low back pain, you’re not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low-back pain at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH). Back pain causes occur for a variety of different reasons, but a mattress that sags or does not provide support can make your back pain worse.
Some common causes of back pain include the following:
- Degenerative or herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Muscle strain
Quite often, people who suffer with back go to the doctor, but no primary cause for the pain is found. Between two and 10 percent of low-back pain sufferers end up with chronic low-back pain, according to WebMD. These people often rely on medications, physical therapy and a new mattress for relief.
Causes of low-back pain can vary by person. Most doctors recommend that suffers sleep on firm, supportive mattresses that relieve pressure points and promote natural spinal alignment to support the lower back and spine.
Mattresses Don’t Last Forever
Your mattress may have started out comfortable, but they don’t last forever. You can turn them, but eventually, they wear out and need replaced. If you’re over 40, you should replace your mattress about every 7 years because your body loses its ability to tolerate pressure points. The risk of developing lower back pain also increases as you age. Being middle-aged or older and being male are two risks factors.
As mattresses age, they breakdown and can no longer support your body weight evenly, which leads to pressure points. The mattress is also unable to support the natural curvature of your spine. This all can lead to back pain, body aches, restless and sleepless nights.
Consider buying a new mattress if have trouble sleeping or other problems, such as the following:
- You wake up tired with aches and pains
- You feel lumps in mattress or feel it sagging
- You toss and turn a lot at night
- Your box springs make a creaking sound
- You sleep better on a bed that isn’t yours (hotel, other family member’s home)
- You and your partner tend to roll toward each other
Keep in mind that your pillow and your sleeping positions also play a role in how well you sleep and the amount of pain you experience. Pillows are made of different types of materials. Memory foam pillows provide support, while snapping back into their original shape. Feather pillows can be a bad choice for allergy sufferers, and they tend to lose their shape over time.
Here are some suggestions for pillows based on your sleeping position:
- If you sleep on your back, choose a medium-firm pillow.
- If you sleep on your stomach, no pillow or a slim one is best.
- If you sleep on your side, you need a thick pillow that can support your neck and head to maintain spinal alignment.
There are three common mattress types: inner spring, memory foam and latex. However, in your search for a supportive, comfortable mattress to help relieve low-back pain you have a couple good choices:
- A memory foam mattress
- A latex mattress
To determine which one is best for your needs, you need to know a bit about each to make an informed decision.
Let’s take a closer look at memory foam and latex mattress.
Memory Foam: What Is It?
Memory foam mattresses are made up a supportive, poly-foam core, memory foam layers and a mattress cover. The supportive core and foam prevents you from sinking down into the mattress to provide proper spinal alignment as you sleep.
Memory foam is made up of polyurethane, which is made up of petroleum and petroleum byproducts. This is not a problem, unless you’re sensitive to these chemicals, or you want to purchase an eco-friendly mattress. However, you can choose memory foam mattresses made from plant-based product to avoid these disadvantages.
How Is It Different?
Memory foam mattresses react differently to weight and pressure than traditional mattresses. Unlike mattresses with supportive springs, memory foam conforms to your body shape, transferring your weight evenly across the bed.
These mattresses eliminate pressure points caused by traditional mattresses that cannot conform to your shape. As you move, the mattress retains its original shape, and this is where it gets its name: memory foam.
How Do Memory Foam and Latex Differ?
Because materials differ, the two mattresses do have their unique qualities. As mentioned earlier, latex is a better choice for those wanting an eco-friendly mattress option, but they do differ in other ways.
Here are some differences to consider when choosing between the two:
- Firmness: Latex is a firmer mattress than memory foam
- Temperature: Memory foam mattresses can vary in firmness depending on temperature: firmer when cool and softer when warm
- Pain Relief: Memory foam is better at reducing pressure points and low back pain
- Affordability: Memory foam is more affordable, but latex mattresses generally last longer than memory foam.
- Resiliency: Latex returns to its original shape quicker than memory foam and owner find it easier to move around on the bed
- Isolation: Memory foam offer better isolation of movement, so your partner’s movements do not disturb your sleep.
- Availability: Memory foam is more readily available than latex.
While both memory foam and latex have similar customer satisfaction ratings, each mattress has its own pros and cons to consider. Here’s some advantages of disadvantages that my help you choose which is best for you.
Memory Foam Pros
Memory foam’s biggest advantage is its ability to evenly distribute weight and eliminate pressure points. Another big advantage is memory foams ability to absorb energy and isolate movement. If you have a partner that tosses and turns during the night, memory foam can prevent his or her constant movements from keeping you awake or waking up at night.
A wide variety of memory foam mattresses are available, making it easy for you to find the right mattress for your needs.
Memory Foam Cons
On the downside, memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot. The deeper your body sinks into the mattress, the more heat it produces. This can cause problems for some people. This issue can be solved by purchasing a memory foam mattress that incorporates cooling gel foams.
While you sink into memory foam, it can take a few minutes for the mattress to conform to your body when you change positions. Some sleepers may find this an uncomfortable disadvantage.
New memory foam mattresses may give of an odor, known as offgassing. The offgassing can vary based on what materials were used in the manufacturing process. People sensitive to this odor may have a bad reaction to the smell or experience respiratory problems.
To avoid an odorous memory foam mattress, research the memory foam manufacturing to determine which brands do not contain the materials that are more likely to cause offgassing.
Latex Mattress Pros
An advantage of latex mattresses is that their hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties. You can choose a mattress made from natural materials or synthetic latex—if you do not require a bed with eco-friendly materials.
With natural latex, you don’t have to worry about offgassing. However, a small percentage, about 8 percent, of customers complained of odors from synthetic latex.
These mattresses also sleep cooler than memory foam, and the mattresses has less “springiness” but still helps relieve pressure on the body, while also remaining firm.
Latex mattresses are durable, and this is true whether they’re made from natural or synthetic materials. Many latex mattresses can last 15 years or more.
Latex Mattress Cons
The biggest con of latex mattresses is the price. They tend to be more costly than other types of mattresses, including memory foam.
Latex mattresses are not always the best choice if you suffer from moderate to severe low-back pain. They’re not designed to support more severe aches and pains.
Because latex is made from natural materials, these mattresses are not always on the showroom floor, so you may have to wait or special order one.
How Do You Choose?
When choosing between latex and memory foam mattresses, you should take the pros and cons into consideration. You should also determine your needs.
Consider latex if you want any of the following:
- Extra firmness
- A cool night’s sleep
- No odors (offgassing)
- A small carbon footprint
Consider memory if you prefer:
- Support to relieve pressure points
- A plush mattress you can sink into
- Isolation so that your partner’s movement doesn’t bother you
- A readily available mattress
Remember that your mattress is only part of the equation when searching for low-back pain relief. It’s important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of chronic back pain, which is back pain lasting 3 months or more.
Firmness: Does It Matter?
While some people with low-back pain look for extra-firm mattresses to provide relief, firmness is not always an indicator of a good mattress. Comfort should trump firmness when you want a good night’s sleep and low-back pain relief.
When choosing a mattress for low-back pain relief, consider these tips:
- Your mattress should conform to the natural curves of your body and support natural alignment of the spine.
- It should be designed to distribute body weight evenly across the mattress to promote better circulation and a more restful sleep.
- The mattress should have perimeter-to-edge support.
- It should be comfortable for you!
There is not one type or brand of mattress that works well for all people suffering from low-back pain. You should also buy your mattress from a trustworthy company, like Dr Snooze.
Here’s why you can trust Dr Snooze to give you the best mattress-buying experience.
Sleep on It Before You Commit
Dr Snooze offers you a comfort guarantee. We guarantee the comfort of all of our mattresses for a minimum of 30 days, and if you don’t like it, you can exchange it for another.
Many Brands to Choose From
Dr Snooze offers a wide selection of mattress and bedding products that offer excellent support, durability, comfort and value for the customer. This includes some of the most popular brands:
We shop all of our competition sites to ensure the best prices, and back that up with our Beat Any Price Guarantee. If you find the mattress at a lower price anywhere within 45 days of delivery, we will refund the difference plus up to 15 percent. Our mattresses are delivered in 7-21 days.
If you have questions about the different mattress brands, contact our knowledgeable customer service team by phone, email or chat.
Your Satisfaction is Our Priority
Dr Snooze won’t rest until you can. Whether you buy a mattress in store or online, our priority is your comfort. Our staff is here to help you until you’re satisfied with your new mattress.
Don’t spend another night tossing and turning or losing sleep. Get help for your aching back by checking out the variety of comfortable mattresses Dr Snooze has to offer. Ask about our financing option. Even if don’t have perfect credit, you may still be able to pay for your new, comfortable mattress over time.
Contact us to learn more about mattresses that are specifically designed to provide better back support and pressure relief. Our mattresses are designed to last.