Latex Vs Memory Foam Pillow: Side By Side

Maybe you are tired of your old microfiber or buckwheat pillow or you are just looking for a new pillow that feels comfortable.

There are various types of pillows on the UK market. Two popular options you’ll probably come across are memory foam and latex.

There are different variations within these types such as shredded memory foam, Talalay latex and so on.

But for the sake of brevity, we’ll compare generally between memory foam and latex pillows to help you choose the right one for your needs. Read on to learn more about the latex vs memory foam pillow.

The Materials

Memory foam is made mostly of polyurethane with several chemicals added to make it firmer and denser.

Memory foam is best known for its ability to regain its original shape and form. It also responds uniquely to heat. As it absorbs the body’s warmth, it moulds to it.

Latex foam was originally made from the sap of rubber trees. Natural latex is still around today but you can also get a synthetic or blended (synthetic + natural latex) latex pillow or mattress.

Latex foam has a bouncy feel because of the network of tiny air bubbles inside it.


A memory foam pillow contours easily, providing soft pressure relief. It’s especially comfortable for people with neck or shoulder pain.

As it absorbs heat, it hugs your body, moulding to the shape of your neck and head.

While memory foam pillows come in different firmness levels, they all have that unmistakable hug.

Latex foam pillows generally feel more turgid. They don’t have the deep hug of a memory foam pillow.

They are also more responsive, springing back to shape quickly when you lift your head.

In contrast, a memory foam pillow takes time to recover.

Like memory foam pillows, latex foam pillows are available in varying levels of firmness. But they all have a signature turgid and bouncy feel.

Support and Contouring

Both latex and memory foam pillows provide excellent support as long as you buy the right pillow.

It should be the right height and have the right level of firmness. If the pillow is too high or too low, it will misalign your neck and your spine, leading to neck and back pain.

As for contouring, memory foam is the clear winner. Shredded memory foam is especially good at moulding around your head and neck, which relieves pressure on your head and face.

If you have neck or shoulder pain, a memory foam pillow is the best choice.

If you have to buy a latex foam pillow, look for a cervical pillow. Cervical pillows have a unique design that enhances neck support and reduces strain on your neck and shoulders.

Temperature Control

If you are looking for a cool pillow, go for latex foam.

Latex foam is naturally cool. It has good ventilation, which allows heat and sweat to dissipate easily. This keeps the pillow cool no matter the season.

Memory foam on the other hand traps hot air within the foam, which makes it uncomfortably warm.

It can be especially uncomfortable for people who already sleep hot and those who experience night sweats or hot flashes.

If you want a memory foam pillow that sleeps cool, look for one that contains cooling gel or perforated foam.

Shredded memory foam pillows also tend to sleep cooler than solid memory foam pillows thanks to improved ventilation.

A breathable and moisture absorbent cover made from cotton, Tencel or bamboo can also help keep the pillow cool.


In this battle – latex vs memory foam pillow – who wins on durability?

Latex foam pillows generally last longer than their memory foam cousins. But a good quality high density memory foam pillow can last just as long as a latex foam pillow.

Most memory foam pillows however gradually deteriorate, eventually going flat and providing inadequate support.

Latex foam pillows do not deform even after years of use. Of course, you have to take proper care of it.

Cleaning and Maintenance

You can’t clean either type of pillow in a washing machine. The only exception is if you have a shredded memory foam pillow.

Like fibrefill pillows, shredded memory foam pillows are machine washable.

For solid memory foam and latex memory foam pillows, the best way to keep them clean is to wash the removable cover.


If you are on a budget, a memory foam pillow is the cheapest option. Low-density memory foam pillows are especially cheap though don’t expect them to last long.

There are high density memory foam pillows that last longer and are generally more comfortably but they cost more.

Latex foam pillows are generally expensive. This is especially so for natural or organic latex pillows.

If you want an affordable latex pillow, look for one that’s made with synthetic latex.

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