Comparing foam and latex is a little tricky, being that the material called foam is actually produced using a variety of different materials. In fact, the substance called latex is actually an element sometimes used in the production of foam.
Latex is a milky white substance that is extracted from rubber trees. Natural latex is in fact rubber particles dispersed in water. Latex is cured by mixing 95 percent of the rubber-substance with 5 percent mixture of curing agents, including zinc oxide, sulfur, fatty acid soaps and sodium. The curing agents are mostly washed away, leaving 99 percent pure rubber. Synthetic latex is an artificial form of latex made by mixing chemical substances, or by combining natural rubber with chemical additives.
Foam is a porous, moderately rigid or sponge-like material. Foam is manufactured by mixing or “whipping” air into various substances, before freezing and heating it to form its shape. As the air impregnates the particles, the light, porous nature of the material is created. Materials such as polymers (synthetic chemical compounds) are mixed with air to produce foam. Latex is also whipped with air to create latex foam, also called rubber foam.
Foam is generally used for thermal insulation, cushioning and shock absorption. Latex is used in adhesives, paints, gloves, condoms, threads and foams.
Memory Foam Mattress vs. Latex Mattress
The most common occasion where we see comparisons using foam versus latex is with mattress manufacturing. Both mattress types are designed to form to the body of the sleeper. While memory foam is softer, the gel-like feel is a quality that manufacturers claim offers comfort that surpasses traditional mattresses. The major difference, manufacturers note, is that the latex foam mattress will last a lifetime under normal circumstances, while the memory foam mattress can breakdown in as little as three to five years.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Latex Vs. Memory Foam
Latex foam and memory foam are two high-density foam types used in contemporary mattresses and mattress toppers. Both have unique properties that...
3 Pound Vs. 4 Pound Memory Foam
When you are choosing your memory foam mattress or mattress topper, the density of the foam is one factor to consider. The...
High Resilience Foam Vs. Spring Mattress
A traditional spring mattress can be very comfortable and durable, although some people are tempted by the new foam mattresses which mold...
Difference Between High Loft Mattress Toppers & Memory Foam
If you need a little something to make your bed more comfy, look no further than a mattress topper. Although the choices...