latex v. memoryfoam equivalences

I’d like a recommendation what density latex topper to get.

I’ve been sleeping on a high density foam mattress topped with 3" pretty standard memory foam. Right now, the whole shebang needs to be replaced and I’d like to move on to latex. Before I make the investment, however, I’d like to try a latex topper to see how I like the feel. I have no idea what soft, medium, medium firm and firm mean in latex speak. Can anyone tell me what firmness would be closest to your basic good quality (not the absolute best) 4lb or so memory foam?

Hi karolyn,

Latex and memory foam are very different materials and can’t really be meaningfully compared to each other. It would be like asking which type of apple would be closest to an orange and the only meaningful answer would be “none of them”.

Latex is highly resilient, has a more “on the mattress” feel to it, and responds to pressure. What you feel on latex stays the same over time. You can read more about the pros and cons of latex in this article and more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here.

Memory foam on the other hand has very low resilience, has a more “in the mattress” feel to it, and changes its feel and response with pressure, temperature, humidity, and length of time it is subject to compression forces. It can feel firm in some conditions or circumstances and soft under different conditions. You can read more about the pros and cons of memory foam in this article and more about the different formulations of memory foam in post #8 here.

Memory foam is more motion restricting while latex is more resilient and doesn’t restrict free movement on the mattress.

Both are good at motion isolation because they are both very “point elastic” (one area can compress without affecting the area around it) but memory foam is a little better at this.

Latex is more breathable and tends to sleep cooler than memory foam.

Latex also comes in a wider range of firmness levels than memory foam and in firmer versions can be used in the deeper support support layers of a mattress while memory foam is in a softer range and can’t be used in the bottom support layers of a mattress (it needs a firmer material or component underneath it). Latex in general is also a more “supportive” material (gets firmer as you compress it more deeply) than memory foam.

Latex is also a more durable material overall than memory foam although higher density memory foam is also a very durable material.

The only way to really know or appreciate the difference between them is to test both of them in person at local retailers or manufacturers and if you let me know the city or zip where you live I’d be happy to share some of the better retailers or manufacturers I know about in your area where you may be able to test different types of latex. This can give you a reference point about how different types of latex feel to you and how they may compare with different types of memory foam in your own personal experience (which may be different from the next person).

Both can be equally pressure relieving but it’s also important to know that any topper (or top layer) will interact with all the other layers in the mattress you have and the same topper can feel quite different on different mattresses. Your own body type, sleeping style, preferences, and sensitivities to different foam properties will also change what one person feels on a material compared to someone else.

Having said all that … if your mattress is too firm and only needs some extra pressure relief and it has no soft spots or “dips” in it, then a topper can be a good choice to improve the pressure relief and comfort of your mattress and the topper guidelines in post #8 here and the posts it links to along with conversations with a knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer you are considering buying from who can give you specific information about the toppers they sell that you are considering can help you make the best choice for your own personal circumstances


My zip code is 80904. I’m interested in trying out latex beds and/or toppers.


Hi wacomme,

I switched your post to a new topic so your question wouldn’t get mixed in with another members topic.

The better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Colorado Springs area (subject to the guidelines here) are listed in post #3 here. You would need to check with them to confirm that they sell latex or latex hybrid mattresses or toppers.


Thank you. However, the options in Colorado Springs are very limited. So, I’m planning to head to Denver on Saturday. Suggestions for 80128?

Hi wacomme,

The Denver area list is in post #2 here.


SleepNation seems to have a selection.

Hi wacomme,

Yes … they are one of a fair number of latex options in the Denver area.


I’m wondering if i give you our city/zip you could refer us to retailers/manufacturers we could visit to check out latex toppers for our RV and king size bed. I’m trying to read all the information listed here but haven’t made a great deal of headway and need to buy soon.
We’re at 47403, Bloomington, IN & traveling to our winter home in Florida just south of Sarasota March 6th after receiving 2nd Covid vax shot.We stayed in IN this winter due to Covid and surgery I needed… We’re hour south of Indy and 1.5hrs North of Louisville, KY and will be 25 mins South of Sarasota and 1.5 hrs North of Ft. Myers when we get to winter home. We are willing to travel to any of these cities or others up to 4hrs from either North or South location to get this accomplished.
I think we want latex topper owing to my pain issues/pressure points etc but open to either latex or memory foam toppers. We want the best that’s out there for our bed and RV but prefer to shop with companies who are customer service oriented, use quality materials and don’t waste a lot of $ on fancy advertising with big words if you catch my drift.
We’re inexperienced mattress/topper consumers as well. We are both side sleepers, me 5’7" 165lbs, hub is just under 6’3", 205 lbs. I am a VERY light sleeper, he can sleep thru a train going by. Both 68yrs old. My sleep quality is poor and if I could improve it I’d be in less pain.
Would greatly appreciate your passing on companies we can check out either here or down in Florida. Thank you again for the enormous amount of time and dedication you’ve put into this site. Our daughter used TMU to research their mattress purchase and they’re thrilled with mattress and service. She recommended TMU to us and several friends who also purchased. We’re looking forward to toppers and then a new mattress when we get moved this coming Fall.


There are a few ways you can leverage this site to find recommended mattress retailers in a certain area:

  1. Use this forum’s search functionality to search for the state/city of interest. There are lots of past posts where people have asked for recommendations for retailers in certain areas. Just click Search Forum above to get started.
  2. Look at the Trusted Member Directory on this site. You will find that there’s 1 member in Indiana and 3 in Florida.

I have personal experience with one of these, Trusted Member DIY Natural Bedding, which is located near Indianapolis. I see from a previous thread you started back in 2019 you have gotten advice from them in the past through this forum. I purchased several items from DIY Natural Bedding recently and found them to have high quality products and excellent customer service.

Best of luck,

Hi iluves2fish.

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation for TMU and our wonderful team. Great to hear of your daughter’s experience on TMU and that she is passing the word around in trying to inform others. Hope your surgery turned out well and you are well on your way to recovery. Yes, a good sleeping setup would definitely help.

“Ditto” to Emily’s response, our Trusted Member, DIY Natural Bedding is located in Lafayette, Indiana and may be an option you wish to look into and consider. You can call for an appointment and I am sure Deborah will try to accommodate it so that you can try this before purchasing the topper.

Nice to see that EBS has also given you the steps to do a forum search using keywords to pull up more information that may be useful to you. And if you did not do so perhaps skim over this article on how to identify a quality mattress retailer if you want to visit a retailer that is not on our Trusted Members board.

Latex is a good choice of a topper material as it has unique properties that would certainly fit your criteria. If you are used to the memory foam feel and depending of how high your sensitivity threshold around pressure points is (especially after the surgery) you may wish to consider a slow recovery Dunlop latex variant which has similar responsiveness to that of memory foam and is a softer version of the softest Dunlop. A slow recovery Dunlop latex topper can be successfully combined with a mattress that is in good shape and not sagging… This Slow Recovery Latex Foam is produced in the U.S. by Latexco in their Georgia plant. Because of the nature of this product it only comes in “Plush” but I do not know who carries it in your area. I’d avoid the use of memory foam in an RV due to the temperature changes and the possibility of forming mildew and dust mites. Latex is naturally antimicrobial and mildew resistant.

Finally, because I am not very sure how much you’ve read since finding our site I’d make sure that before visiting any local shop you peruse some of our website resources I’ll list below with the following in mind.
• the RV topper is not the only part of the equation when it comes to a best match sleeping environment. A topper generally is selected for a particular surface feel and for adding pressure point relief to an existing mattress or foam layers that are too firm. Because every layer and component in a mattress can affect the feel and performance of every other layer and the mattress “as a whole” … the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) will be based on your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) or your actual sleeping experience.

• I’d try to capitalize on the advantage that you are able to drive your RV to the shop and if you prearrange it (by making a phone call in advance) perhaps the rep would agree to let you try the mattress/topper combo directly in the RV. Choosing an appropriate topper/mattress combo is as much a science as an art as all layers, components, and features work together and each person’s body type and sleeping position are an important part of how each person interacts with a mattress. As you may have noticed throughout the site, there are many other interrelated variables as well and this is why I am glad that you are doing a bit of research to understand your own needs and preferences and reach out selectively to a retailer/manufacturer that knows about mattress construction. This can save much time, energy, and frustration.

• Pressure points and pains while sleeping on your side can come from a mattress that is too firm and puts direct pressure on the shoulders, and/or hips that can also result in soreness or numbness and tingling in the arms or can come from postural issues as well. There is a bit more information about sleeping positions and posture in this article here and post #10 here [/url]also include a list with links to many of the forum posts that talk about different symptoms and fine-tuning a mattress that may also provide more insights and be helpful in identifying some of the underlying causes behind different types of discomfort or pain in a sleeping system (the first one links to this post).

• There is more about primary or “deep” support and secondary or “surface” support and their relationship to the firmness and pressure relief and the “roles” of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between “support” and “pressure relief” and “feel” that can also provide some useful insights into the reasons for pain and/or discomfort on a mattress.

Looking forward to any updates or questions you may have.