memory foam versus latex

Hello Phoenix,

First, thank you for offering this web site with all the valuable information. My wife and I are in the market for a new mattress. We tried several in the stores today and felt that the temperpedic cloud supreme was the way to go based on comfort. We are both mainly side sleepers but will some times sleep on our backs. My biggest complaints now on what my wife calls the “W” bed (pillowtop) is that I wake up with my shoulders hurting or sometimes wake up soaked with sweat. My shoulders felt very comfortable today laying on these beds but I’m concerned about the sweat factor. Again I already wake up some times soaked in sweat and my concern with the temperpedic memory foam is that this material draws and stores heat from your body. One saleperson today told me that the heat trasnfers to the sides of the bed. Am I gonna wake up in a pool of sweat on this material? Also, is it worth dropping $3500 bucks on a bed that intially feels great at first but over time breaks down and won’t supply the support later in the life of the mattress? The comfort layer on this mattress I think was 5.1 something? lol.

A few months ago I had the best sleep EVER when I stayed at the Marriot who offer their own line of memory foam. I discovered this becuase I called them today to find out what mattresses manufacture they use. The bed I slept on had a comfort layer of 9. something and again, best sleep I ever had…I’ll never forget it. They also manufacture and sell there own mattresses on their web site!!!

Based on some of the forums and other information, it sounds like latex is the way to go. The stores we visited today had “latex mattresses” but they were “latex materials” not a true latex. The salespeople couldn’t even answer questions that my wife came ready to ask from information on your web site like what type of latex material. It’s funny, one salespoerson stuttered and said it was a “mixture” of latex material…lol. We read a thread about a members concerns the latex bed being “to springy” and worse than there pillow top amd losing more sleep than before - where you replied latex doesn’t retain energy like memory foam, rather it transfers it. I would love to try to lay on a latex foam and feel for myself. I guess aa couple of questions for you. Do you know of a mattress outlet closer zip code 48111 that you would recommend than Buis Mattress in Holland MI which is listed as one of your members? That’s a long drive. What about a brand that is comparable to the temperdic cloud supreme? We’ve read that there are other manufacturers that produce these memory foam beds that aren’t as expensive as the temperpedic brand. And finally, Buis Mattresses web site doesn’t list any pricing or as much information on latex than you provide. Am I gonna be shell-shocked ata the price of a latex mattress? can you ballpark the price for me?

Thank you, Brian

Hi briank,

Wow … that’s a lot to cover :slight_smile:

First of all re Tempurpedic … in a nutshell they are a high quality mattress that IMO is also significantly overpriced. There was a time when they were really the only high quality memory foam mattress but those days are long past and other foam manufacturers have since caught up and in some ways surpassed tempurpedic but at much lower prices. A forum search on Tempurpedic will give you a great deal of information about them and memory foam in general. There is also an article on the pros and cons of memory foam here … although this is generic and not about Tempurpedic in particular.

While there’s no way to know how you may sleep on any particular mattress … I can tell you that memory foam in general is a hotter sleeping material than either polyurethane foam (the more typical foams you find in a mattress) or latex foam which is the coolest foam of the three categories. Having said this there is an amazingly wide variety of different types of memory foam that use different methods to offset heat. These include memory foams with more open cells, holes punched in the foam, air channels under the foam (which IMO is questionable by itself), and additions to the memory foam such as gel, some of which are cooler than others. Part of the reason for how hot they sleep is that you will tend to sink more deeply into memory foam than other materials … especially if the memory foam layers are as thick as you are mentioning … and the deeper you sink into any foam the hotter it will tend to be but this is most true with memory foam. Memory foam also tends to have a less open cell structure than other foams so is more “insulating”. tempurpedic in most people’s perceptions and experience is on the warmer end of the scale.

There are quite a few things that can be done to offset this such as a mattress pad or topper, different types of mattress tickings that are more breathable and help offset heat, and of course different bedding materials including cooler sheets such as linen instead of synthetics and different blankets. Overall though as a group … memory foams are hotter than other foams.

Hotel beds are often a “love them” or “hate them” experience and if you purchase one it rarely translates into the same kind of comfort in the long term. While there are many different types of hotel beds … they tend to have very thick layers of polyurethane in the comfort layers over a good innerspring and can be a recipe for body impressions … especially with a pillowtop version. They are often made by Serta or Simmons and are basically a variation on one of their “regular” lineup … except the value is typically less. I would definitely tend to avoid these partly because of the materials used and partly because they tend to be very poor value.

There are many mattresses that are comparable to Tempurpedic but they aren’t a specific brand but a model that may be made by a particular manufacturer that feels similar to you. To get close you would go to the Tempurpedic website and look at the layering and the density of the foam in the specific model you liked and then look for a mattress with similar layering and similar foam densities. You would also need the knowledge to ask all the right questions about the type of memory foam in the mattress you were comparing. Post #9 here talks about the many variables involved with memory foam and why any memory foam mattress is difficult to duplicate. It’s usually not worth the effort anyway when it is very unlikely that the model you are using as a reference is really the absolute best choice for you anyway of all the memory foam mattresses available or is the most comfortable and suitable for you. You would be limiting your choices to something that feels like a Tempurpedic when there may be may mattress that feel much better to you that you haven’t tried. Having said that … many manufacturers will have a good sense of which of the memory foam models they make will feel similar (at least to some people) to a specific Tempurpedic.

In general … subjective ideas or perceptions of comfort are the worst way to buy a mattress and is the most common “mistake” reason for disappointment after the purchase. It is also the most certain way to overpay for a mattress because the cheapest materials can be very comfortable in a showroom and for a little while after you buy them … until they lose the qualities that you bought them for. Many mattress salespeople are highly trained in how to “manage” subjective perceptions in a showroom and use this to “show” you that more expensive mattresses are more “comfortable”. What feels good based the managed perceptions of short term comfort in a showroom will often not translate into healthy sleep and long term comfort in nightly use.

Healthy sleeping is the most comfortable in the long term and to have this you need to test a mattress for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences). Pressure relief, posture, and the preferences that lead to a good sleeping microclimate and temperature control, a “feel” you like, and other variables including durability that are more or less important to each person that are a side effect of the materials used in a mattress are the way to buy a mattress. Better outlets understand this and will help guide you in all of this and explain the properties of different materials that provide them.

Latex is an amazingly versatile material and one of the highest quality mattress materials but like with all things … it’s not everyone’s favorite. There are also many varieties of latex mattresses as well … either all latex, latex over innersprings, or latex over polyfoam … as well as many other variations and combinations with other materials such as memory foam.

While there are too many factors involved in mattress construction to give a ballpark price range for all latex mattresses, it would be reasonable to expect that in a queen you could would have some good choices in high quality “all latex” mattress (mattress only) for under $2000 and in some cases for under $1500. Some will be much more (and worth it) depending on many factors. Part latex mattresses (with say 2-3" or so of latex over a polyfoam core) will generally start under about $800 and go up from there. Factors such as the amount and type of latex in the mattress, other materials or components in the mattress, the type of support system, the type of quilting and ticking used, whether it is one or two sided, and various construction methods or extra features will all play a role in the final price of a mattress. While you could “beat” these general prices in some cases … I also wouldn’t exclude mattresses that were more depending on the mattress and how well it “fit” your needs and preferences.

Some of the more local options that are reasonably near Belleville, MI. that carry latex include … Shelby township. Retail outlet that is run by one of the most knowledgeable “mattress people” in the industry. He has als produced a series of videos that are very educational about mattress construction. They carry Therapedic mattresses which includes latex models and latex/memory foam hybrids and the Pure Latex Bliss which makes talalay latex mattresses. They provide great service and guidance to their customers and are also a member of this site. Toledo. Local factory direct manufacturer which maked a range of mattresses including latex, memory foam, and traditional innersprings. Saginaw. Local factory direct manufacturer. A “mom and pop” business that makes several types of mattresses including latex.

Furniture Row® Store Locations - Store Hours & Addresses Toledo. Regional factory direct manufacturer which makes traditional innerspring mattresses and also has two “mostly latex” models. Doesn’t make any specialty memory foam mattresses and I would also avoid the major brands they also carry and stick to their own mattresses. Farmington Hills. A retail outlet that carries some high quality Dunlop Latex mattresses, latex/innerspring hybrids, as well as “no foam” mattresses and vegan models that have no fire retardant (not even wool) and are available with a prescription. Their prices are very reasonable (similar to factory directs) and when I talked with them I was quite impressed. Farmington Hills, MI. Retail outlet. I have talked with Eric here and he carries several brands which may have some better value and includes latex and memory foam. These include Restonic, Nature’s Sleep, Corsicana, and Symbol. He is committed to providing his customers with the best quality/value he can put on his floor and is “good people”. Napoleon. Retail outlet that carries a large lineup of what appear to be higher quality mattresses that are “Amish made”. I haven’t talked with them so I can’t speak to their value but for those who are close enough they would be well worth a phone call and possible a visit. Westland. Retail outlet. Carry Englander mattressses which make Dunlop latex mattresses as well as various other types of mattress but there is no information on the site about which models they carry. Saline. Retail outlet. They carry Restonic mattresses which makes an all latex mattress in their Helathrest line but in some areas they also use several inches of polyfoam above the latex.

Hopefully this will give you lots of choices to test latex. I would definitely call them first both to get a sense of their overall approach and to make sure they carry either “all latex” mattresses or “part latex mattresses” so you know what to expect when you visit them.

Hope this helps.


Phoenix you are without question a wealth of knowledge - unbiased too! Thank you for the wealth of information. To my wife’s point, buying a mattress is more challenging than buying a house or car! We are going to reach out to some of the contacts you gave us and review the links you provided on temperpedic and weigh out other options before investing in a temperpedic. Your response was lengthy and informative and I want to thank you for taking the time and providing such great information!


Hi Brian,

Thanks for the kind words :slight_smile:

I did a forum search and picked out a few posts and threads which should help you with the different types of memory foam in general and some of the difficulties in “matching” a specific memory foam mattress.

Post #10 herepost #8 herepost #4 here and post #4 here would probably be among the most helpful (and hopefully more helpful than confusing).


:cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

Hello again Phoenix,

In our discussion, you had mentioned the below mattress store. Your comments about Jeff the owner couldn’t be more true. This guy was very knowledgable and was patient and took the time to discuss mattresses over the phone. Needless to say, we are planning the 60 mile trek this week. The videos were the best! And, you couldn’t be more right about pricing. Weather I choose a memory foam mattress or a latex, I’m still looking at saving over $1200 versus purchasing a temperpetic cloud supreme! MY WIFE DESERVES KUDOS FOR FINDING YOUR WEB SITE! THANK YOU AGAIN!

Brian Shelby township. Retail outlet that is run by one of the most knowledgeable “mattress people” in the industry. He has als produced a series of videos that are very educational about mattress construction. They carry Therapedic mattresses which includes latex models and latex/memory foam hybrids. Therapedic tends to use a couple of inches of polyfoam above the latex which will change the feel of the latex compared to sleeping directly on the latex.”

One more thing. I discussed your knowledge and your web site. He said you called and are conducting an interview with him soon! Awesome!!! Thank you!!!