How Is Latex Density Measured? How to Choose the Right Latex Density? Update 05/2022

High-end mattresses are increasingly using latex as a component. Latex is favored by many customers because to its long-term usefulness, low environmental impact, and perfect combination of responsiveness and conformability. The density of the latex layer(s) is a significant consideration when purchasing a latex mattress.

Mattress performance will be influenced by the thickness of each latex layer. It can also have an effect on the mattress’s longevity and ability to regulate temperature, as well as its price. We’ll go through how latex density is calculated and what that means for potential mattress buyers in the guide that follows.

How is Latex Density Measured?

To put it simply, density is the ratio of weight per cubic foot. Weight per cubic foot is the unit of density for foams like latex, which is used in mattresses (PCF). It is possible to determine a material’s density by weighing one cubic foot of foam.
Latex Density - How Does it Affect the Mattress Performance?

Consider a 100-pound latex foam layer that measures 20 cubic feet in total. To figure out the density of this layer, all we have to do is divide the whole mass by the total volume in cubic feet (100 divided by 20). In this case, the foam would be 5 pounds per cubic foot in density (5 PCF).

The materials and densities used in a mattress are normally mentioned by the manufacturer (in PCF). The manufacturer’s website will almost always have this information listed someplace; however, you may have to look for it.

What is the difference between high and low density latex? In the following table, we compare the density ranges of latex foam to those of memory foam and polyfoam.

  • Low-Density: Less than 4.3 PCF
  • Medium-Density: 4.3 to 5.3 PCF
  • High-Density: More than 5.3 PCF

Memory Foam

  • Low-Density: Less than 3 PCF
  • Medium-Density: 3 to 5 PCF
  • High-Density: More than 5 PCF


  • Low-Density: Less than 1.5 PCF
  • Medium-Density: 1.5 to 1.7 PCF
  • High-Density: More than 1.7 PCF

As you can see, latex foam has a higher density than polyfoam and memory foam, the two main competitors. The optimal density for each foam material varies based on the material’s unique features. Unfortunately, this separation might make it difficult to compare density statistics for multiple items. In order to avoid this, make sure to check not only the advertised density rating, but also the sort of foam being utilized.

How Does Latex Density Compare With Other Foam Types?

When rubber trees produce latex, they produce a liquid sap, which is what gives natural latex its bounce and resilience. The latex’s density and other qualities are affected by the process used to produce it.

Despite the fact that some mattresses are created wholly out of latex, the majority of them are made up of a variety of foams. There is a perfect density range and function for each form of mattress.

Memory foam’s density is more changeable than latex’s since it softens with heat. The greater the air spaces in open-cell memory foam beds, the lighter they are.

The density of polyfoam can vary greatly depending on the formulation method used. Polyfoams that mimic the qualities of latex or memory foam have been developed. Low-density polyfoam is sometimes used in low-cost mattresses, although this material has a shorter lifespan.

The densities of latex, memory foam, and polyfoam can be classified as low, medium, or high in this manner. For comfort systems, lower-density materials are preferable because they may be molded to the shape of the body to reduce pressure accumulation. Foams with a higher density are typically used in transitional and core layers to provide additional stability and support.
Latex Density - How Does it Affect the Mattress Performance?

What Does Latex Density Mean?

As we’ve just discussed, density is determined, but what are these figures used for?

How a foam feels and performs will be greatly affected by its density. To sustain more pressure, a higher-density foam is often more durable. To get the most out of a lower-density foam, it’s best to use a higher-density foam as a base layer.

Multiple layers of foam, each with a different density, are commonly used in modern mattresses. In addition, a variety of materials are frequently employed. A single mattress can feature anywhere from two to five unique layers of latex, memory foam, polyfoam, or a combination of all three.

Price is influenced by the density of the foam, with denser foams often costing more. Durability, motion isolation, responsiveness, and other characteristics are all influenced by the density of a foam. Following is a breakdown of how latex density impacts several mattress performance metrics, including firmness and motion transfer.

How Latex Density Affects Performance


The more dense a substance is, the more long-lasting it is likely to be. Even low-density latex foams may outlast memory foam and other mattress materials because latex in general is considered quite durable.

Conforming/Pressure Relief

Denser foams adapt to the curve of the sleeper’s body more precisely and more consistently, whilst lesser density materials sink in and don’t do this. Latex, regardless of density, is only minimally conforming.

Temperature Neutrality

Because of the reduced airflow, higher-density latex tends to trap more body heat. Latex, on the other hand, is more breathable than other foams, regardless of density.

Pressure Relief

This category’s pressure relief results are very comparable to those of the conforming category. Generally speaking, high-density latex is superior to lower-density latex because it conforms more easily.


Latex with a lower density tends to perform better as a sex surface. When compared to high-density latex, this material is more sensitive and holds on to less heat. Latex, on the other hand, is generally responsive and shouldn’t be lacking in this department at any point in the design process.

Mattress Weight

Latex with a lower density is lighter than that with a higher density. Latex is heavier than most other foams used in mattresses, so bear that in mind. Between 90 and 125 pounds, a latex mattress might be expected to be.


The more dense a material is, the more expensive it is to manufacture. The long-term cost of high-density foams may be comparable to that of standard foams. Keep in mind that high-quality latex beds can cost up to $2,000 or more, and that latex in general is an expensive material.

Latex Density and Mattress Firmness

There is a correlation between density and firmness, but they are not identical. In spite of the fact that some manufacturers use them interchangeably, they are two separate criteria.

A mattress’s density is determined by the density of its individual components. However, firmness ratings refer to the overall mattress experience.

All of a bed’s components contribute to the mattress’ overall firmness and comfort. Multiple diverse layers of materials and densities are standard in most modern mattresses nowadays. It’s possible to have a firm mattress with high-density latex foam, low-density memory foam, and even metal coils in it.

Dimensions and weight statistics make it simple to figure out what something’s density is. Firmness, on the other hand, is a difficult concept to quantify objectively. A scale from 1 to 10 is commonly used to measure firmness, with 10 representing extreme firmness. Nevertheless, because there isn’t a standard way to measure stiffness, these values should only be regarded as rough guidelines.

How to Choose the Right Latex Density?

When deciding on a mattress’ density, various factors must be taken into account. Strong support and a level of conforming that keeps your entire body straight throughout the night are the most crucial things a bed should give in order to minimize pressure building that leads to discomfort and agony. It all boils down to your personal preferences for weight, resting position, and sleep style.

Weaker people (those who weigh less than 130 pounds) tend to favor softer, less densely packed mattresses. High-density mattresses may not be able to accommodate their little frame, thus they wind up sleeping on top of the mattress. As a side sleeper, you need a soft surface to alleviate the pressure on your shoulders and hips.

High-density materials, on the other hand, can be felt by heavier people, thus they tend to prefer firmer choices. They don’t seem to be getting enough support from the softer models, especially in the regions that bear a lot of weight. Back and stomach sleepers need a level surface that keeps their spine in a neutral position throughout the night, while side sleepers need extra padding beneath their hips and shoulders. Mattresses that provide adequate support and a good deal of body contouring tend to be preferred by people of average weight.

Check out our guides and reviews if you need additional help deciding on the ideal bedding product for you.
6 Best Latex Foam Mattresses In SG For That Perfect Slumber (2021)


How heavy is a latex mattress?

There is another popular concern about all-natural botanical latex beds, and it is accurate. The weight of a queen-sized mattress ranges from 100 to 130 pounds, while the weight of a king-sized mattress is between 130 and 160 pounds.

Is a latex mattress soft?

A foundation layer of firm to extra firm foam is often found on most all-latex mattresses, allowing the bed to maintain its shape and provide a sturdy support base. Foam in the top layer might be soft or medium-firm, depending on what is needed to conform to the body and alleviate pressure points.

What does ILD mean in latex?

Natural latex, polyurethane, and other foams’ indentation load deflection, or ILD, is a measure of the force required to compress the material.

Is latex mattress too firm?

There is too much firmness in latex mattresses. As a result, they need to opt for a mattress that is in between soft and medium-firm. Latex mattresses are also available in a variety of firmness levels.

Do natural latex mattresses sag?

When a person sleeps on a mattress that is excessively supple, latex mattresses, which are famed for their long-term durability, are susceptible to sinking in the middle. Latex made from natural latex is regarded as the most resilient foam.

How can I make my latex mattress firmer?

How to Firm Up a Soft Mattress

  1. During this time, you can try out the mattress. If your new mattress comes with a sleep trial, don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
  2. Make a New Box Spring Purchase. Over time, box springs degrade and need to be replaced.
  3. A Plywood Board Is All That’s Required.
  4. Allow It to Air Dry.
  5. Rotate the mattress.
  6. Firm Mattress Toppers are recommended.
  7. Your Thermostat Isn’t Working.
  8. Miniature beds.

Is latex softer than memory foam?

Memory foam is a good option if you want a softer mattress. It is because of the structure of latex that it is firmer than memory foam. When it comes to mattresses, memory foam is the best option if you want to sink in. Choosing a latex mattress is best if you intend to sleep on top of it.

Is latex or memory foam better?

For those searching for a mattress that is environmentally friendly, has more bounce, and responds quickly, latex foam is the best option. Deep compression support, a delayed response time, and motion isolation are all advantages of memory foam.

Is latex a firm?

In general, latex mattresses are believed to be firmer than memory foam and fabric-topped spring mattresses, however this is not always the case. If you like a firmer mattress, you can choose from a variety of latex and other types of mattresses like memory foam, springs, and hybrids.

What does 40 density foam mean?

Weight per cubic foot of a given mattress foam type divided by its volume is the density. A 40 density would be high density in polyfoam (PU Foam), not so much in memory foam, and very low for others. People in the Indian population, for example, prefer PU Foam with a density between 32 and 40 percent.

What does 50lb ILD mean?

Foam is assigned an ILD 50, which means it is firm, if it requires 50 lbs. of pressure to compress a block by 25%. Firmer foam kinds are subjected to more force, whereas softer foam types are subjected to less. Firmer foam can be achieved with a higher ILD number, as more force is required.

Why does my natural latex mattress smell?

Certain enzymes and bacteria in latex are responsible for the scent of rubber products. In its most natural state, latex contains several naturally occurring compounds. Certain odors are released during the manufacturing of latex when it is heated.

How long does it take for a latex mattress to break in?

When it comes to luxury mattresses, latex is the fastest to break in. Two to 14 days, depending on whether the latex is synthetic or real and whether the mattress is 100% latex or some form of hybrid.

Is natural latex safe to sleep on?

Natural Latex Mattresses are Safe, Comfortable, and Extremely Long-Lasting. Healthy sleeping conditions can be provided by a natural latex mattress, which is devoid of harmful fire retardants, petroleum-based foams, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Do not be deceived by “eco-friendly” petroleum foams or blended latex foams; only natural latex is available.

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