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Latex vs. Polyurethane Foam

Latex

Latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree. Over generations, people have learned how to tap the trees without having to cut them down. This means that it is one of the most eco-conscious and sustainable ways to create bedding.

After the latex is harvested from the rubber tree, it is treated to create foam. The two most common ways of treating latex for bedding is Dunlop and Talalay. The result is a high response and heavy piece of foam that can be used for bedding. By changing the density, the latex can be more or less responsive.

Those that are used to a memory foam feel (a slow response) will be surprised to know that most latex is highly responsive, meaning that although it will react to ones body, it has a natural bounce. Some sleepers prefer this, though others not so much.

Recently, there has been an explosion in latex bedding with the higher demand for eco-conscious foam alternatives. Though latex is natural, there are some that mix it with memory foam. For those that are looking for pure latex bedding, be careful to do your research on the entire bed.

Pros: High response, differing firmness options.

Cons: High expense vs memory foam, some don't like the latex responsive feel.

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is a blanket term that includes any foam that is synthesized using polyol and diisocyanate. These include but are not limited to: memory foam, high resilience foam, and high density foam. Since polyurethane foam can contain additives, a manufacturer that comes up with a new formula can name the new foam whatever they like.

Many memory foam mattresses are a combination of polyurethane foams, layered from dense on the bottom to less dense on the surface layers.

Polyurethane is a synthetic blend of organic compounds and has a tendency to off-gas. If you are susceptible to lung issues, please do additional research on the quality of foams before purchasing.

Pros: Many different types of foams exist under the polyurethane umbrella -- some are excellent for bedding and offer different firmness varieties!

Cons: Off-gassing and durability problems with lower quality foams.

Learn More About Latex

Learn More About Polyurethane Foam

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Material Scores

Overall Score:
Latex: 9.7/10
Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10

Comfort:
Latex: 9.4/10
Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10

Softness:
Latex: 9.4/10
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10

Cooling:
Latex: 8.5/10
Polyurethane Foam: 8/10

Hypoallergenic:
Latex: 9.4/10
Polyurethane Foam: 8.1/10

No Odor:
Latex: 8.9/10
Polyurethane Foam: 8.4/10

General Support:
Latex: 8.8/10
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10

Eco-Conscious:
Latex: 9/10
Polyurethane Foam: 8.5/10

Price Value:
Latex: 8.4/10
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10