With the number of brands and models of mattresses on the market today, it is difficult to find the most suitable one. Viscoelastic and latex are the favorite materials for those looking for a good feeling of welcome and high adaptability, but which is better of the two? Actually, it depends on the needs of each one.
In this article we talk about the characteristics of both materials, their types, advantages and disadvantages and we guide you with what you should take into account to evaluate which one is better for you.
What is memory foam?
Viscoelastic is a synthetic, viscous and elastic material, which has the property of being thermo-reactive, that is, in contact with body heat, it gains flexibility to mold itself perfectly to it, evenly distributing its weight and avoiding pressure points. . Therefore, it is highly ergonomic and does not transmit movement, very useful features for mattresses.
This polyurethane foam is also highly resilient, that is, it completely recovers its original shape after being compressed, even up to 10% of its size. This also favors great durability.
Its firmness can be low, medium or high depending on the density and thickness of the layer. Keep in mind that the higher the density, the greater the firmness. On the other hand, the thicker the layer, the softer it is.
Types of Viscoelastic
Depending on its manufacturing process or the materials used in it, viscoelastic can be of various types.
On the one hand, there is the closed-pore viscoelastic, denser and, therefore, with a great adaptive capacity, but also, with less air circulation inside, therefore, less breathable.
On the other hand, we find the open-pore viscoelastic, which promotes ventilation, but sacrifices adaptability by having less density.
There are also other types depending on the materials that are added during manufacturing. One of them is vegetable viscoelastic, in which vegetable components such as soy, aloe vera or minerals such as graphene are added. The latter is viscographen, which is characterized by being antibacterial, improving thermal conductivity, reducing heat accumulation and preventing static electricity.
Another class is viscogel, a material that combines viscoelastic with cold gel. This polymer injected into the viscoelastic helps reduce the sensation of heat and allows moisture to be better evacuated.
Advantages and disadvantages of memory foam
Great adaptability and ergonomics. It helps reduce muscle and nerve tension, which has an impact, at the same time, on improving blood circulation.
High bed independence. It is ideal for double beds or people who move a lot when sleeping (in the latter case the layer should be between 3 and 5 cm).
Long durability. As it does not deform, memory foam can be kept in good condition for up to 15 years. However, the durability of the mattress itself will depend on the quality of the materials in the rest of the layers, especially its core.
It is warmer. It does not mean that the material accumulates heat, but rather that, by reacting to body temperature, it can feel warm on contact and this is further enhanced, the denser the viscoelastic. The solution is not to give up its great adaptability, but rather, if you tend to feel hot in bed, it is recommended that you choose mattresses that contain Viscogel (a material that cools the surface), for example, or that you opt for models that have a core of pocket springs, which improves breathability.
It is an expensive material. Yes, it is a material that usually makes mattresses more expensive. The denser the viscoelastic and the thicker the layer, the more the price increases.
What is latex?
Latex is made from the resin extracted from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree which, after being processed, becomes a spongy, soft and elastic material. In its manufacture, it can be mixed with synthetic components that help to shape it. As long as these extra ingredients do not exceed 15% of the mixture, it is called natural latex. Otherwise, it is considered synthetic latex.
Its main characteristics are elasticity and firmness, which is why it also offers adaptability, distributes weight and avoids pressure points. But although it feels fluffy, it is firmer than viscoelastic and, therefore, mattresses are usually a little harder.
There are 2 types of latex:
The first to hit the market was Dunlop latex, which is characterized by being a material with a coarser grain and, consequently, denser, so that it offers a firm and resistant support. It is not, however, the most adaptable type of latex, which is why it is often used for mattress cores.
The second type, Talalay latex, has more bubbles and the cells are more stretched, so it is less dense and more flexible, that is, it is very adaptable and offers much softer support. For this reason, it is usually used in the comfort layers of the mattress (the upper ones).
Advantages and disadvantages of latex
Very good adaptability. It is a material that adapts well to the shape of the body and does not sag more than necessary, which is why it offers good support and allows a correct alignment of the back.
Long durability. Natural latex mattresses with proper maintenance can be kept in very good condition for up to 12 years.
High bed independence. It does not transmit movement, making it a good option for double beds.
Dust mite. Mites cannot nest in it, making it ideal for people with allergies.
Does not evacuate moisture well. It is not recommended for humid climates or homes with humidity and it is not advisable to use it with closed bases.
It requires more maintenance. It is essential to rotate it, turn it over, air it, wash the cover regularly and use a mattress protector, if you want to keep it in good condition.
It is not cheap. They are not usually very affordable mattresses, especially those made of natural latex.
There are people who are allergic to this material.
Which is better: memory foam or latex mattress?
There is no definitive or general answer as to which of the two is better. Both are very good materials and the choice between one or the other really depends on the needs and sleeping habits of each sleeper, whether it is for a single bed or to sleep two people, the climate of the place and the levels of perspiration.
They have in common that both provide a very good adaptability to the body. They are materials that relieve pressure points and allow us to enjoy a more natural posture, which is why they are ideal for people who have back ailments or even circulatory problems.
They also offer a good independence of beds, so either of the two can be a good option for double beds or for people who move a lot when sleeping.
Keep in mind, however, that viscoelastic is never used as the only material, since a mattress cannot have a core of this material because it would sink too much. It is used in the comfort layers, that is, the upper ones, so its characteristics vary depending on the materials with which it is combined (firmness, breathability, durability and price).
Latex, on the other hand, can be used as a layer but also as a sole material. The latter are usually soft, but of medium-high firmness, so they are a good choice for older people, who need a firm mattress, but at the same time soft and adaptable due to the loss of muscle mass.
Latex is not recommended, however, for those who live in very hot and humid climates, since it is not a very breathable material. In fact, if it is not combined with a spring core, it is not recommended to use it on closed bases, because it does not have good ventilation and tends to accumulate humidity inside.
Visco, on the other hand, does not accumulate as much moisture, but it does have a warmer sensation because it is thermo-adaptable, so if the person usually gets hot when sleeping, it is advisable to opt for a visco with gel, for example:
Note: if you see it on mobile, scroll the table with your finger to see all the columns.
|Firmness||low, medium or high||High average|
What are viscolatex mattresses?
Although it may lead to confusion, visco-latex is not a material in itself, but rather a concept created by marketing to call mattresses that combine both materials in a more attractive and salable way.
However, this name not only includes mattresses that have a latex core and visco layers, but also those that combine a core of springs or pocket springs, for example, with layers of both foams.
As we have seen, both viscoelastic and latex are materials with excellent qualities, so the choice between one or the other does not depend on which one is better in general, but, in reality, on which one is better in each particular case.