Compare latex memory foam mattresses with visco elastic foam beds for price, comfort, support and durability. The results may surprise you because...
Technically latex memory foam mattresses don't exist (just like the unicorn below).
There's latex; the foamed sap of the rubber tree, and memory foam; foamed polyurethane. They are two totally different materials with some similar properties. Some companies are experimenting with putting a layer of latex on top of memory foam beds, but this type of latex memory foam bed isn't that common. The best known are those made by Englander.com and PlanetBed.com.
Latex comes in two types: The product of the traditional and cheaper processing method is called Dunlop latex. Talalay latex is preferred by most people. It's the result of adding chemicals and additional mixing and treatment to improve durability, support and provides a cooler sleeping surface than Dunlop latex mattresses.
The exception is a Canadian company, Essentia, which bills itself as having the "World's Only Natural Memory Foam". They've developed a variation of the Dunlop system that appears to provide a better sleeping surface and improved durability. And they claim that their process doesn't use toxic chemicals. They manufacture in Laval, Quebec Canada and have stores in Toronto, Vancouver and Santa Monica. They offer a 60 day money back guarantee and a 20 year warranty against manufacturer's defects. Click "Classic Skinny" for current sales prices. But expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars for a quality bed like this.
For cheaper alternatives, check out our natural latex mattress page for comparisons of two best selling bargain brands.
Latex queen mattresses
Latex memory foam mattresses are a bit more expensive than visco elastic beds and there aren't many suppliers. $1,725 (12" Earthcare Classic Latex / Memory Foam Mattress by Earthbed.com).
All latex queen beds costs start at about $650 and go to $3,000.
Latex memory foam mattresses
Quality all latex beds can retain their springy-ness for decades, same thing with memory foam. But there really isn't a good track record for latex memory foam mattresses. The real question is whether the bonding between the different layers will hold over time.
Expect your quality memory foam mattress to last 15 to 20 years.
Latex memory foam mattresses
Latex is as soft at room temperature as it's going to get. Support is provided by layers of firmer latex at the core of the bed. Latex conforms closely to the contours of your sleeping body, almost eliminating painful pressure points.
Memory foam is similar in structure to latex. But the cells soften with body heat. The cells closest to your skin soften more than those inches away. So the support adjusts to every curve of your body as the micro cells are heated. All memory foam mattresses also have an inner core of harder foam to provide base support.
Latex memory foam beds
There's a big debate over whether latex is more comfortable than memory foam. They both prevent painful pressure points. Latex remains soft at a much larger temperature range than visco memory foam mattresses and it seems to recover its shape more quickly.
Memory Foam Beds
The tiny microcells in visco foam memory mattresses adjust to your body, almost eliminating pressure points. In colder weather a memory foam mattress may feel hard at first because it takes a short time for your body heat to soften the mattress.
Latex foam mattresses
Latex beds provide comfort and even support allowing maximum uninterrupted sleep time. Latex has a distinct odor that never really goes away, although most get used to it. Some people find that it can be very hot to sleep on. Rubber is a good insulator. Cheap latex can get hard and lumpy in a short time.
Visco foam also allows deep uninterrupted sleep which helps most health problems. Some less expensive memory foam beds can get a bit warm when you sleep on them. Newer models have breathable top layers and don't have this problem.
Visco foam sometimes also has an odor. It gradually dissipates as the material outgases. Make sure you have a good 30+ day return policy in case you really don't like the smell and it doesn't go away.
Latex memory foam mattresses and latex only beds offer many of the same benefits as memory foam. They are similar in support, comfort and durability. Visco foam is less expensive. And there are fewer complaints about odors with latex. Give both types a test, that's the only way you'll know which is better for you.