Latex vs. Gel Memory Foam

Latex Vs. Gel Memory Foam – How to Choose a Mattress

Once you’ve accepted the fact that it is time for a new mattress and is on the mattress shopping hunt, the next decision is latex vs. gel memory foam. You can get an innerspring mattress that has latex or memory foam as a top layer, or you can buy a mattress entirely made from one or the other. There are advantages to both materials, so you should take some time to learn about which may be right for you or your family member.

The Differences in Latex vs. Gel Memory Foam


What is latex? It is a natural substance that comes from the rubber tree, so it’s eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable. However, when making a latex mattress, some manufacturers use petroleum or other chemicals, which takes away the “all natural” quality that some people like about latex.

What is memory foam? It consists mainly of polyurethane but also has other chemicals which increase its viscosity and density. Memory foam itself can trap heat, so some memory foam mattress makers add gel particles to the foam to make it feel cooler during sleep.

Learn more about  the “Guaranteed Benefits of Memory Foam for Your Family.”


While latex can last up to 15 years because of its rubbery quality, traditional memory foam will start to break down more quickly. A medium-density memory foam mattress will usually need to be replaced after about eight years, while a higher density foam bed will last 10-12 years.


Pressure Relief

The great thing about both these types of mattresses is that they can relieve pain and pressure. The differences in latex vs. gel memory foam are small but can make a big difference in how well you sleep.

One memory foam advantage is the way it reacts to body temperature. It softens in reaction to body heat, allowing it to mold to your body quickly which is important for side sleepers since it allows the shoulders and hips to sink into the mattress. A memory foam mattress works well for people with fibromyalgia or arthritis since painful areas put off more body heat. Memory foam senses that and conforms specifically to those areas to relieve pressure.

Latex conforms to your curves but not as much as memory foam. Some say a latex mattress is better for back sleepers since when you sleep on latex you tend to stay on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it. This keeps the spine in neutral alignment and can prevent back pain. Explore more: “Tips on How to Sleep Better With Lower Back Pain.”

Responsiveness and Bounce

Memory foam is named for its ability to conform and then “remember” its original shape, but sometimes it takes a minute or so. Latex returns almost instantly to its original shape, which makes it the preferred mattress for those who change sleeping positions often. However, if you’re seeking contouring comfort you probably won’t mind the extra few seconds it takes to sink back into your position.

Because of its quicker responsiveness, latex provides a better bounce when it comes to intimacy in the bedroom. Memory foam has little to no bounce at all, which is great for couples who don’t want to disturb each other while sleeping but may not be ideal for those intimate nights.

Heat Retention

People who sleep on latex don’t tend to complain about being hot as often as those who sleep on a traditional memory foam mattress because latex allows air to flow through it. Memory foam has a reputation for sleeping hot because of its closed cell technology, but some gel memory foam mattresses make for a much cooler sleep.

We Can Help You Decide Which Bed is Right for You

We’ve given you a few tips on how to choose a mattress, but the best way to decide is to come into our showroom and feel the mattress for yourself. Our knowledgeable sales team can talk to you about the differences in latex vs. gel memory foam so you can choose a mattress that will help you sleep better. To help you better understand all this mattress lingo and your specific sleep needs, find the nearest Mark’s Mattress team for help!

If you’re still on the fence about which mattress type is right for you and your partner, we suggest downloading our eBook for a comprehensive copy of mattress expertise:


Mattress Buying Guide

The Guide Every Mattress Shopper Needs

A good night’s sleep is only as good as your mattress and the elements that accompany it. Explore this buying guide to learn about the importance of quality sleep and how to find the right system.

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