Latex or memory foam?
This is something we’ve all wanted to know at some point in our life when shopping for pillows. Latex and memory foam are the two commonly known pillow types. Both Latex and memory foam pillows exude comfort and malleability, but they vary drastically in their support, durability, price, and even maintenance.
If you are also wondering which one is better than the other, this latex vs. memory foam pillow comparison guide will help you understand the differences between memory foam and latex pillows.
What are Latex Pillows?
Latex pillow is constructed from material derived from the silky sap of the rubber tree. Usually, latex may come in three different varieties including natural, synthetic, and blended. Each has different qualities, but natural latex is known to be the superior variety compared to synthetic and blended latex which are mostly avoided in pillows.
Natural latex pillows are made by developing latex foam with thousands and millions of tiny air bubbles which gives it that incomparable bounce. These are also sometimes called pin core holes and are the reason why latex pillows are so incredibly soft, plush, and gentle to the touch.
Latex pillow is extremely supportive and is especially useful for back and side sleepers. Offering medium firmness, latex foam pillows are very effective in preventing excessive neck pains and supporting the spinal column.
There are two different methods used to make latex pillows; dunlop and talalay. Talalay latex pillows are softer as compared to pillows made using Dunlop process.
What are Memory Foam Pillows?
Made up of viscoelastic polyurethane foam and a few added materials, memory foam is a modern and innovative type of foam. Brand new memory foam pillows may feel hard to the touch, but they soften rapidly by absorbing the sleeper’s body heat. This makes memory foam pillows incredibly unique as they possess the quality to mold and bend to the shape, weight, and curvature of your head.
Memory foam pillow is incredibly supportive for the neck and shoulders due to it’s adaptability, but it can be unbearable for some sleepers as it is quite hot to sleep on. These special pillows have several benefits, but they are not very eco-friendly thanks to the numerous chemical compounds used in their construction.
Latex vs. Memory Foam Pillow Comparison
We all want to sleep better without any kind of back pain. And only a good latex or memory foam pillow can ensure that. However, deciding between the two is tricky. Let’s take a deeper look into what benefits each pillow offers and which one is best for your sleep needs.
Latex pillows are often recommended by professionals for those who may suffer from orthopedic problems as they provide excellent posture support. They also maintain their shape and loft despite consistent use. You will not notice any indentations or ‘sinking feeling’ when you lie on your latex pillows thanks to their excessively malleable and supportive characteristics.
However, latex foam pillows don’t have the ability to contour to the shape of your head and neck which makes them less ideal for pain relief as compared to memory foam pillows.
Memory foam pillow, on the other hand, is best for a perfect spine alignment. These pillows can contour to the shape of your head, shoulders, and neck, and in doing so they support the natural curve of your cervical spine. If you have been waking up with severe backaches, memory foam pillows can significantly help in reducing them or eliminating them entirely.
Memory foam pillows also come in several different shapes and sizes that are modeled to relieve pressure and pain from other parts of the body. These pillows gather and absorb the heat from the body and contour accordingly providing you with good support.
Latex pillows exude luxury support and comfort by cushioning your neck and back, and keeping the spine aligned. The tender, soft clusters of natural latex relieve pressure from aching points around the head and shoulder area by engulfing them in a cottony soft embrace. The medium firmness of these special pillows ensures that your head is relaxed and supported throughout the night.
While latex foam pillows are good for pressure relief when sleeping, memory foam pillows are widely applauded for their more specific pressure relieving properties that stand out within the bedding industry. Memory foam molds to the shape of your head, neck and shoulders, thereby providing better weight distribution, customized support and comfort for your body. This unique quality relieves pressure points by conforming to the body shape, instead of pressing against it.
Latex pillows consist of a unique open cell structure that consists of several pin holes, allowing ample ventilation and bounce. This is especially useful for sleepers who sleep hot, as latex naturally stays cool and delivers maximum breathability. In fact, latex foam pillows will keep the same temperature all night, even if the room gets too hot. The efficient breathability of latex pillows will help you maintain the ideal sleeping temperature, especially if you live in a warmer climate or are naturally a hot sleeper.
On the other hand, the biggest downside of memory pillow is it’s heat retention and lack of airflow. Memory foam pillows do not have the same tiny holes inside their closed-cell structure that allows airflow and temperature regulation. Instead, these pillows absorb body heat to manage the contouring of the filling to the shape of your head. The absorption of body heat may lead to feeling increasingly hot during the night. The lack of breathability in memory foam pillow may also cause sweating while sleeping. If you are a hot sleeper, memory foam pillow is not for you.
Due to their impeccably plush, cotton candy-like softness and luxury aspect, latex pillows can be quite expensive. The price tag on latex pillows is sometimes seen as a drawback for potential customers, especially if they are looking to buy 100% natural latex. However, these pillows will last a long time and will retain their original bounce and malleability.
Memory foam pillows are generally available at every price range, depending on the quality and brand. They cost less than latex pillows, but this is because they are also less durable than latex pillows. A very cheap memory foam pillow may not last long or provide you with the same benefits as a better-quality option.
Durability of a latex pillow largely depends on the type of latex material. Natural latex pillows are resilient and robust. They can last you about fifteen years or more if proper care protocols are followed. Blended latex pillows, on the other hand, may last from six to ten years. Natural latex is more expensive than blended or synthetic options because of its durability. In addition to this, these pillows have hypoallergenic properties which means that they are protected against dust and bacteria, hence you will not have to replace them as often.
Memory foam pillows can last up to 2-3 years, depending on the brand and build quality. While they may not be as durable and long lasting as latex pillows, they can still be adequate and impressive, especially considering the lower price tag. The heat absorption quality that helps the tender memory foam filling to shape and contour against your head can flatten the pillow overtime with excessive use. Memory foam pillows eventually lose their sturdiness, support, and shape and you will need to replace them after a couple years.
If you want unmatched comfort, with the relief of knowing that you are not hurting the environment in any way, latex pillows are the perfect match for you. Latex is arguably a much more sustainable and eco-friendly natural material compared to cotton, wool, polyester, or memory foam. Extracted from rubber trees which oxygenate the planet on a large scale, natural latex pillows create little to no waste or pollution making them a healthier pillow choice.
However, memory foam pillows are constructed with a variety of chemicals and may not be the most ideal option for those who care about the environment. However, sleepers still have an option to invest in plant-based memory foam. While not made of 100% eco-friendly ingredients, this type of memory foam replaces the number of oil-based products within the filling with sustainable plant-derived elements.
Latex is already a sterile material and does not require regular washing. In fact, caring for your latex foam pillow is incredibly easy and time efficient. However, it is essential to note that these pillows should never be chucked in a washing machine or dryer. You should also avoid placing them in direct sunlight or submerging them in a tub or bucket of soapy water.
In case of a stain or mark, the best way to clean your latex pillow is by using the spot-cleaning method. All you need is a small amount of water, soap, and a clean white cloth or paper towel to spot clean the stains from pillow and transfer it to the cloth.
Memory foam pillows are also incredibly susceptible to severe damage and cracking if exposed to water or tossed in a washing machine or dryer. The rough spin, wringing, and thrashing inside the machine is sure to crumble the delicate memory foam filling and you will no longer be able to use it.
In order to clean memory foam pillows, you should only use spot cleaning as it is fool-proof and effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is latex or memory foam better for back pain?
Both memory foam and latex pillows can be extremely effective for back pain relief. It depends on the sleeper’s needs, requirements, or any pre-existing conditions.
In some instances, memory foam pillows are regarded as a better measure against lower back pain, and they help in reducing pressure points. This is due to their ability to contort and mold delicately to the shape of your body. In this way, your spine is perfectly aligned. Latex pillows maintain the same height and loft, so they may be too thick or too high for some people and may exacerbate pain if the right height is not used.
Do latex pillows get dust mites?
Latex pillows are hypoallergenic, which means that they keep bacterial growth, mildew infections, and dust mites at bay. However, depending on the brand and construction there is still a chance that dust mites may begin to accumulate on the surface, especially if you are not regularly washing your pillowcase. If there is suitable nourishment and food such as skin cells and human dander available, dust mites can exist almost on any bedding surface. Make sure to keep your pillows clean to avoid any chances of dust mites on your pillows.
Can latex pillows be washed?
Latex pillows should never be washed using a washing machine or dryers. The rough agitation and constant thrashing may destroy the delicate filling of your latex foam pillow. These special pillows are hypoallergenic, which means that they do not need constant washing. However, in case of a spill or stain, the spot-cleaning method should be used to transfer the mark to a clean white paper towel or cloth. Make sure you always dry your pillow of excess water in open air or in a well-ventilated room.