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9 Best Non Memory Foam Mattresses

Mattress Guides
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Memory foam mattresses have a lot going for them. They are affordable. They are durable. They are contouring. And they are reasonably hypoallergenic. On the flip side, memory foam is also pretty infamous for a couple of different problems. It is not responsive at all, and it also tends to retain heat.

Another big problem with memory foam is the fact that it is made with nothing but synthetic petroleum products. This makes it very harmful to the environment and also not the healthiest of mattress choices. All this can mean that everyone from eco-conscious sleepers to hot sleepers to active sleepers and even sleepers with certain allergies or chemical sensitivities may want to avoid memory foam.

The good news is with all the amazing sleep technologies on the market today, it has never been easier to get a fantastic mattress that has no memory foam in it. Below, we’ve listed some of the best mattresses without memory foam on the market right now.

Best Non-Memory Foam Mattress Overall:

Amerisleep Organica

Amerisleep Organica
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex Hybrid
  • Firmness: 5 to 6 out of 10 (Medium)
  • Thickness: 13 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Warranty

20 Years

Sleep Trial

100 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Natural latex comfort & transition
  • Support core of pocketed coils
  • Organic textiles of cotton and wool
Recommended For
  • Side, back, and combo sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Sleepers with allergies

Amerisleep Organica Overview

If you want the best mattress without memory foam that offers a little something for everyone, say hello to the Amerisleep Organica.

We found during our tests of this mattress that has all the versatility you would expect of a medium mattress. Our team observed that it even offers many of the best features of a memory foam hybrid without having an inch of memory foam in it. Rather, we experienced that it gets its contouring and pressure relief from light, airy Talalay latex foam.

Like all Amerisleep mattresses, the Organica comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Amerisleep Organica as the best non-memory foam mattress overall of 2024.

  • Talalay Latex Layers

    Natural Talalay foam offers pressure relief and seamless transition.

  • Airy Organic Cotton & Wool

    Organic material ensure breathable, natural comfort.

  • Responsive Pocketed Coils

    By wrapping the coils, they can provide more adaptable support.

The Organica is a Talalay latex hybrid. This means the main things it has going for it are its coolness, its contouring, and its responsiveness. The pocketed coils and latex layers work together to make this a highly flexible mattress that can bend with the curve of your body to keep your spine aligned and your pressure points relieved.

It’s also perfect for hot sleepers and those who like to toss and turn at night, thanks to its incredible breathability and responsiveness.

Comfort Layers

The Organica starts off with an organic cotton cover that can wick away heat and sweat because of its unbeatable breathability. This is also a hypoallergenic fabric that can work to fight common causes of allergy symptoms, such as dust mites and mold.

The organic cotton cover sits on top of an organic wool fire barrier. Not only does this natural wool layer offer fire protection without the need for harsh chemicals or fiberglass, but it also adds another layer of pressure relief to the mattress.

Next, you’ll find two layers of natural Talalay latex foam. The first layer is the plush comfort layer that offers tons of pressure relief and contouring.

Transition Layers

The second layer is a bit firmer and provides seamless transition to the pocketed coils below.

Support Layers

The pocketed coil core in this mattress features individually encased coils that offer targeted support and superior motion isolation. These coils also feature a perimeter of reinforced springs that increases the edge support of the mattress, ensuring it is comfortable no matter where you sleep on it.

Pros

  • Layers of natural latex fight overheating and allergens all at once
  • Organic textiles offer natural fire protection and cooling breathability
  • Pocketed coil support core sports a reinforced perimeter for better edge support

Cons

  • No range of other firmness options

Best Cooling Non-Memory Foam Mattress:

Nolah Natural 11

Nolah Natural 11
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex Hybrid
  • Firmness: 6 out of 10 (Luxury Firm)
  • Thickness: 11 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Warranty

Lifetime

Sleep Trial

120 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Tri-zoned pocketed coils
  • Contouring Talalay latex foam
  • Temperature-neutral organic cotton
Recommended For
  • Back and select combo sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Sleepers with back pain

Nolah Natural 11 Overview

Those who want a natural mattress designed for cooling should check out the Nolah Natural 11. This mattress features layers of cooling latex as well as breathable pocketed coils that offers different zones of support as an added bonus.

The Nolah mattress ships free and comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Our team observed that at checkout, shoppers can remove the sleep trial period for a deeper discount.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Nolah Natural 11 as the best non-memory foam cooling mattress of 2024.

  • Lightly Firm Talalay Latex

    The airy Talalay foam is luxuriously supportive and flexible.

  • Organic Cotton Covering

    The cotton fibers pull away heat and moisture.

  • Three Zones of Wrapped Coils

    The pocketed coils are sectioned into three different areas.

Lying down on the Natural 11 mattress, you will notice right away that it has a very cool sleep surface, thanks to all of its layers of breathable textiles and latex. Not only did we observe that is this a highly cooling mattress, but we also found it is very buoyant and supportive because of the zoned pocketed coil support layer.

Comfort Layers

The first layer of the Natural is a breathable and luxuriously soft organic cotton cover. This cover sits directly atop a layer of organic wool that increases breathability and pressure relief, while simultaneously providing all-natural fire protection.

The next layer of this mattress is a comfort layer of Talalay latex. This highly breathable latex isn’t just cooling, but it also offers even more pressure relief than synthetic foams and Dunlop latex alike.

Transition Layers

This comfort layer sits atop a transition layer of deep and supportive Talalay latex. This firmer layer of latex gives the mattress its medium-firm feel and helps shore up support even over what the highly supportive pocketed coils offer alone.

Support Layers

Finally, a layer of HDMax™ pocketed coils offers a three-zone support system that provides more lift in the center and more pressure relief towards the ends of the bed so that your heavier parts are supported while your lighter parts are cradled. This provides lift and pressure relief all at once.

Pros

  • Tri-zoned coils offer three zones of support for each body area
  • Talalay latex provides breathability and the ultimate contouring
  • Organic textiles enhance the breathability of the coils and latex

Cons

  • Too firm for side sleepers

Best Dual-Sided Non-Memory Foam Mattress:

Saatva Zenhaven

Saatva Zenhaven
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex
  • Firmness: 4 to 5 or 7 to 8 out of 10 (Luxury Plush or Gentle Firm)
  • Thickness: 10 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Warranty

Lifetime

Sleep Trial

365 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Enhanced lumbar support
  • Antimicrobial treatments
  • Ergonomic comfort zones
Recommended For
  • Sleepers with back pain
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Hot sleepers

Saatva Zenhaven Overview

If you want a two-in-one mattress specifically designed for lumbar support and back pain relief, check out the Saatva Zenhaven. This is one of the best mattresses without memory foam for those with chronic back pain and other issues, in our experience.

Like other Saatva mattresses, the Zenhaven comes with free white glove delivery, a year-long trial period and a lifetime warranty. Saatva will arrange a delivery appointment and even remove an old mattress if desired.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Saatva Zenhaven as the best non-memory foam dual-sided mattress of 2024.

  • Zoned Latex Foam

    Natural latex foam with five support zones.

  • Two-Sided with Different Firmnesses

    Soft and firm sides suit different sleep styles.

  • Antimicrobial Organic Cotton Covering

    The cotton cover goes beyond standard comfort with an antimicrobial treatment.

We found that the Zenhaven is a flippable mattress when we trialed this product. One side offers a luxury plush feel with enhanced lumbar support, while the other side provides a gentle firm feel for those who need extra lift, in our experience. Per our expertise, this makes it perfect for side sleepers who need extra back support and back pain sufferers, especially those who sleep on their backs.

Comfort Layers

The first layer of the Zenhaven is the hypoallergenic organic cotton cover treated with botanical antimicrobial agents to create a hostile environment for multiple allergy-triggering microbes. This cover sits atop a layer of organic New Zealand wool for extra breathability, pressure relief, and fire protection, as our tests showed.

Next, you’ll find a five-zone layer of natural latex that resists mold and dust mites and sports vented airflow channels for enhanced breathability. This layer helps provide you with the perfect balance of support and pressure relief for each area of your body. It also determines the firmness of this flippable mattress.

Support Layers

The support core of the Zenhaven is made of two layers of highly durable, ultra-supportive latex. These support cores are sandwiched between the latex comfort layers so that you can change your firmness from medium-soft to medium-firm with the flip of a mattress.

Pros

  • Enhanced lumbar support can help relieve back pain for a better night’s sleep
  • Antimicrobial botanical treatments help fight allergens
  • Ergonomic zones offer the right mix of pressure relief and support

Cons

  • No offered true soft or firm options

Best Non-Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain:

Birch Natural

Birch Natural
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex Hybrid
  • Firmness: 6 to 7 out of 10 (Medium Firm)
  • Thickness: 11 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Warranty

25 Years

Sleep Trial

100 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Wool comfort layer & fire barrier
  • Organic cotton fabric covering
  • Reinforced edge coils for firm support
Recommended For
  • Back sleepers (no topper)
  • Hot sleepers
  • Sleepers with non-latex allergies

Birch Natural Mattress Overview

Those who want a mattress that offers more layers of fibers for a plusher, cushier feel should check out the Birch Natural. This mattress for back pain features coils, Talalay latex, and multiple layers of wool to create a pillowy feel with more pressure relief.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Birch Natural as the best non-memory foam mattress for back pain relief of 2024.

  • Latex Foam with Birch Wool

    Specialty wool and latex foam cushions the back and joints.

  • Smooth, Soft Organic Cotton

    Organic cotton cover offers a finished, plush feel.

  • Wrapped Pocketed Coils

    Motion-isolating wrapped coils prevent jarring motions.

Lying down on the Birch definitely has a different feel than lying down on a typical Talalay latex hybrid. Per our experience, you will feel less bounce and buoyancy but more cradling and softness. We discovered that this mattress is still responsive because of its Talalay transition layer, but its wool comfort layers make it feel more like sleeping on a cloud or a huge, supportive pillow than on traditional foam.

Comfort Layers

The Birch Natural starts off with an organic cotton cover woven to be extremely breathable and offer a soft, smooth touch. The cover sits atop the organic wool fire barrier, which is just the first stop along this mattress’s tour of wool layers.

Next, you’ll find the comfort layer of 100 percent organic Birch wool. This wool is woven to offer a pillowy feel and solid support so that you get to enjoy its plush, cradling comfort without having to deal with sinkage.

Despite common belief, wool will not retain heat because it is actually temperature-neutral. This makes it a fantastic option for hot and cold sleepers alike.

Transition Layers

Underneath the comfort layer rests a transition layer of supportive Talalay latex to increase the buoyancy and responsiveness of the wool layers above.

Support Layers

Finally, a layer of individually wrapped coils cradles your body and increases responsiveness even more while controlling motion transfer. This layer also features reinforced perimeter coils for added edge support.

Pros

  • Wool creates a more pillowy and cushiony feel
  • Talalay latex is responsive and buoyant
  • Individually wrapped coils offer responsiveness and motion isolation

Cons

  • Softer pillow top version is more expensive

Best Firm Non-Memory Foam Mattress:

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Natural

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Natural
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex Hybrid
  • Firmness: 6 or 8 out of 10 (Medium Firm or Firm)
  • Thickness: 13.25
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Warranty

10 Years

Sleep Trial

120 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Organic cotton cover fabric
  • Flippable firmness
  • Buoyant latex sides with coils
Recommended For
  • Stomach sleepers (extra-firm)
  • Back sleepers (medium-firm)
  • Heavier sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Natural Overview

If you already know you need a firm mattress, but you’re not sure just how firm, check out the Plank Firm Natural by Brooklyn Bedding. This flippable mattress offers you two options: medium-firm and extra-firm. That way, you can try out which version of firm works for you. You can even change your mind with the flip of a mattress!

Brooklyn Bedding includes free shipping, a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Plank Firm as the best non-memory foam firm mattress of 2024.

  • Firm Latex Layers

    Buoyant latex foam offers support with needed contouring.

  • Flip Between Very Firm or Lightly Firm

    One side offers medium-firm support, the other an extra-firm feel.

  • Pocketed Coils Support Two Sides

    Wrapped coils form the inner core of the mattress.

The Plank Firm wouldn’t have “firm” right in its name if it didn’t live up to it, as we observed when we trialed this product. You can expect this mattress to be quite supportive, per our team’s tests. The medium-firm side will still have some contour, which makes it perfect for back sleepers and those with back pain, in our experience.

Meanwhile, drawing upon our expertise we would suggest that the extra-firm side offers lots of support for heavier sleepers and stomach sleepers.

Comfort Layers

Starting with the firm side, the first layer of the Plank Firm Natural is a quilted organic cotton and wool cover for enhanced breathability and fire protection all in one. This cover wraps the whole mattress to make it flippable.

Next, you come to the comfort layer of Talalay latex. The comfort layer helps decide the firmness of the mattress. One side features a very firm comfort layer, while the other features a comfort layer with a little more pressure relief and cushioning for added contour.

Support Layers

Sandwiched between these two layers is a support core of TitanCaliber™ coils. These ultra-supportive coils help enhance the firmness of both sides of the mattress so that it has tons of support all the way through. These coils also offer superior motion isolation to minimize sleep disturbances – perfect for partners who both need lots of firmness.

Pros

  • Flippable firmness gives you the option between luxe firm and very firm
  • Organic cotton and wool surround the whole mattress to make it flippable
  • Supportive coils inside help enhance the firmness of both sides of the mattress

Cons

  • Too firm for side and combo sleepers

Best Non-Memory Foam Innerspring Mattress:

Joybed LXP

Joybed LXP
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Innerspring
  • Firmness: 5 or 7 out of 10 (Medium-Plush or Medium-Firm)
  • Thickness: 12 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Warranty

10 Years

Sleep Trial

120 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Cotton and wool cushioning
  • Foam-free mattress design
  • Nano coils boost pressure relief
Recommended For
  • Sleepers with latex allergies
  • Side sleepers
  • Eco-conscious sleepers

Joybed LXP Overview

Those with latex allergies aren’t stuck with memory foam or nothing. There are now a few hybrid and innerspring mattresses with plush fiber comfort layers, and the Joybed LXP is one of the best. This mattress features organic cotton, natural wool, and two coil layers for all the amazing benefits of a hybrid mattress sans the foam.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Joybed LXP as the best non-memory foam innerspring mattress of 2024.

  • Foam-Free Cushion

    Instead of latex, the mattress relies on cotton and wool.

  • Individually Wrapped Coils

    By wrapping supportive springs instead of using open coils, the mattress deters motion transfer.

  • Nano Coil Support

    The transition layer of coils improves surface responsiveness.

Lying down on this mattress feels so good that even those without latex allergies might consider it, as our team found. Our tests found the hand tufting, cooling cotton, and breathable wool all combine to create a sleep surface that is plusher than any foam could ever dream of and more breathable than latex. This means those who need extra pressure relief and cooling power would do especially well on this bed, per our expertise.

Comfort Layers

The first layer of the LXP is a hand-tufted organic cotton cover. This lightweight cover brings the breathability right off the bat, and it helps wick away body heat and moisture all at once. It sits atop a plant-fiber fire barrier for added allergy protection.

Next, a comfort layer of thick cotton stuffing provides even more allergy protection, as well as proper airflow and cushiony pressure relief. A layer of supportive and heat-wicking wool sits directly underneath this comfort layer for added support.

Transition Layers

Next, a cotton transition layer helps add even more pressure relief and comfort before progressing to the nano coils. These coils help increase the contouring and flexibility of the mattress, and they also provide a buffer between the plush layers and the support coils below.

Support Layers

Finally, a layer of individually wrapped support coils enhance the lift of the mattress to fight sinkage and ensure spinal alignment.

Pros

  • Nano coils enhance contouring and pressure relief
  • Cotton and wool offer latex-free all-natural comfort
  • Organic cotton and hand tufting create a smooth and soft cover

Cons

  • May not be as responsive as latex hybrids.

Best Vegan Non-Memory Foam Mattress:

Avocado Vegan

Avocado Vegan
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex Hybrid
  • Firmness: 6 or 7 out of 10 (Gentle Firm or Medium Firm)
  • Thickness: 11 Inches or 13 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Warranty

25 Years

Sleep Trial

1 Year

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Organic latex comfort foam
  • Protective graphite infusions
  • Zoned pocketed coils
Recommended For
  • Vegan sleepers
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Hot sleepers

Avocado Vegan Overview

Those who want a mattress free from animal products should check out the purely plant-based Avocado Vegan mattress. This hybrid mattress avoids the use of wool in favor of plant materials only, so you can rest assured you’re resting on a cruelty-free sleep surface.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Avocado Vegan as the best non-memory foam vegan mattress of 2024.

  • Wool-Free Fire Protection

    The graphite infusion establishes a flame-resistant wool alternative.

  • Pillow Top Softens Surface

    Optional pillow top adds more pressure-relieving cushion.

  • Five Zones of Bouncy Support

    Pocketed coils are arranged into different support sections.

The Vegan is an organic Dunlop latex hybrid. This means it will be incredibly buoyant and supportive. Indeed, there are only two firmness options for this mattress: medium-firm and firm. This means it’s perfect for back sleepers and stomach sleepers, but side sleepers who want this vegan mattress may have to put a plush topper on it.

Comfort Layers

The Vegan features an organic cotton cover with organic cotton batting. This eliminates the need for wool or synthetic batting while still offering superb pressure relief.

In place of wool, the Vegan also uses natural fire protection methods. It features graphite-infused organic latex. This natural mineral protects your mattress from flame by making the foam itself inflammable. This eliminates the need for wool as well as synthetic fire retardants.

The comfort layer is made of 100 percent organic latex with graphite infusions. Not only do these infusions help protect you from fire, but they also help draw your body heat away from you to create a cooler sleep surface, thanks to their high thermal conductivity.

Support Layers

Finally, the pocketed coil support layer is arranged into five ergonomic zones that offer the right mix of support and pressure relief to each area of your body.

Pros

  • Graphite-infused Dunlop latex is naturally breathable and thermally conductive
  • Plant-based alternatives eliminate the need for animal products
  • Zoned coils provide the ideal support and cradling to each area of your body

Cons

  • Softer version is more expensive

Best Non-Memory Foam Mattress for Couples:

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss
  • Price Range: See Price
  • Mattress Type: Latex
  • Firmness: 5 or 6 out of 10 (Medium or Medium-Firm)
  • Thickness: 9, 10, and 12 Inches
  • Available In: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Split Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King

Warranty

Lifetime

Sleep Trial

100 Nights

Shipping

Free

Mattress Highlights
  • Variable organic latex foam layers
  • Organic cotton mattress cover
  • Organic wool
Recommended For
  • Couples with different preferences
  • Back and combo sleepers
  • Sleepers with back pain

PlushBeds Botanical Bliss Overview

Those who want an all-latex mattress to share should check out the PlushBeds Botanical Bliss. This natural latex mattress features Talalay latex in its comfort layer and organic Dunlop in its support layers for the ultimate durability and buoyancy.

The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend the Botanical Bliss as the best non-memory foam mattress for couples of 2024.

  • Split Firmnesses Available

    Securing a couple’s comfort is the option to have a contrasting firmness on each side of the mattress.

  • Organic Cotton and Wool Textiles

    The natural materials ensure adequate airflow and protection.

  • Talalay and Dunlop Latex Foams

    Talalay foam provides comfort and Dunlop foam offers support.

Lying down on the Bliss, you’ll notice the buoyancy of the latex right away. When we trialed this product, we observed that this dense latex stands up to sinkage to ensure you have a bouncy, supportive sleep surface. The medium and medium-firm options also give combo sleepers and back sleepers their ideal firmness levels.

Comfort Layers

The Botanical Bliss starts off with an organic cotton cover and an organic wool fire barrier for added comfort as well as fire protection. These two layers sit directly atop another organic cotton panel that keeps the wool from bunching and allows you to unzip your mattress cover.

Transition Layers

Next, the transition layer of natural Talalay latex offers cushioned support and pressure relief to help provide the ultimate in luxury. This natural Talalay latex is also bouncy and responsive – perfect for active sleepers!

Support Layers

The transition and support layers of this mattress are made of 100 percent organic Dunlop latex. This dense and durable latex increases the buoyancy of the sleep surface and ensures it will stand the test of time.

Pros

  • Dunlop latex transition and support layers increase durability and buoyancy
  • Talalay latex comfort layer provides contouring and pressure relief
  • Organic cotton and wool work together to create breathability and coolness

Cons

  • No offered softer options

How to Choose the Best Non-Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are so ubiquitous on the bedding market today that you may fear you will have difficulty finding an alternative. However, there are plenty of options for those who do not want this synthetic, petroleum-based foam.

In fact, avoiding memory foam mattresses might be a lot easier than you think. Plenty of other alternatives to memory foam have become very popular in recent years. Just be aware you may have to pay a little more or look a little harder for certain materials.

Memory Foam Alternative Materials

The good news for those who do not want a memory foam mattress is that there are plenty of other material options to choose from, letting them still enjoy one of the best mattresses. If you want to avoid a memory foam mattress, you have alternative foam options, springs, and even plush fibers, though these are not as common.

Natural Latex

For those who want a foam mattress that is not memory foam, latex foam is the natural option. Latex is an all natural foam derived from the sap of the rubber tree. To construct latex mattresses, the liquid sap is purified and processed into a foam that has a lot of advantages over memory foam, especially in the responsiveness and cooling departments.

Natural Latex Types

There are two types of natural latex foam that you will find in mattresses, Dunlop and Talalay. The liquid rubber sap that goes into these latex varieties starts out the same, and the process is the thing that creates the two different types.

Each latex type has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the one that you choose depends on what you are looking to get out of your mattress.

Dunlop

Dunlop latex is the most energy-efficient and sustainable natural latex type because the process to refine it is much simpler. This simpler process creates a denser latex foam that is more buoyant and supportive, but less contouring and breathable.

Dunlop latex is also the most durable and affordable of the latex types. Denser Dunlop can stand up to years upon years of use and abuse without losing its shape or sagging, establishing a long-lasting latex mattress. Because its manufacturing process is simpler, it is also a little bit cheaper than its Talalay counterpart.

Despite what some people will tell you, Dunlop is also quite responsive, so a supposed lack of springiness is no reason to avoid it. You can not only enjoy a mattress free of memory foam but also a mattress without springs if you wish.

Talalay

The process to manufacture Talalay latex is a bit more energy-intensive. There are a few more steps than in the Dunlop process, and these steps help fill the latex foam with millions of air bubbles.

This makes it lighter and more breathable than its Dunlop counterpart. If you want a mattress that contours and relieves pressure like memory foam but is not memory foam, a Talalay latex mattress may be up your alley.

Talalay latex is also quite springy and cooling. It might not be quite as durable or affordable as Dunlop latex, but it has all the flexibility of memory foam and all the bounce and breathability of natural latex.

Natural Latex Features

Natural latex beats out memory foam in several key categories, although it does fall behind in a couple – price being the biggest of them.

Allergy Protection

Natural latex is extremely hypoallergenic, establishing excellent mattresses for allergies. It is not a welcoming environment for most microbes and will resist the growth of many common allergens, including mold, mildew, dust mites, and bacteria.

Contouring

Part of the reason that natural latex is so responsive and supportive is that it wants to maintain its own shape. This means it is not as contouring as memory foam. If you want a highly contouring mattress, Talalay is more contouring than Dunlop, but even Talalay is not quite as flexible as memory foam.

Density

Natural latex is comparatively dense, especially Dunlop. This makes it highly durable and very supportive. So it is perfect for those looking for a little extra buoyancy in one of the most durable mattresses.

Durability

Latex is the most durable of all the mattress types. This goes for both Dunlop and Talalay, though if you stand the two against each other, Dunlop will come out as the most durable of all. Latex, as a natural material, can outlast springs and other foams.

A well-maintained natural latex mattress will last at least two decades. Many have been known to last much longer, so you can rest assured that if you purchase a latex mattress, you will be resting on it a long time.

Price

Price is the category where latex does not shine. This is the most expensive mattress material on the market. If you purchase a queen size latex mattress, you will pay over $2,000 for it up front. This cost is offset by latex’s unbeatable durability and high value over time, but it will definitely be a painful purchase in the beginning.

Responsiveness

Natural latex is the most responsive foam on the market. If you want an all-foam mattress that bounces back like it has springs in it, natural latex is virtually your only option. It can spring back into place as soon as you move, ensuring you never have to wait for body impressions to clear or deal with slow response time.

Temperature Control

If you want a foam mattress that can keep you cool all night, latex is the foam for you. This highly breathable natural foam keeps cooling air flowing all night to ensure that your mattress never overheats and can also wick away moisture.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are made by taking a support core made of open coils and combining it with a comfort layer made of plush material. Unlike hybrids, innerspring mattresses typically do not have foam upper layers.

Instead, they may have any one of a number of plush materials, including cotton, wool, fiberfill, and other fillings. This means most innerspring mattresses will not contain memory foam, and you will not have to look very hard for one that does not have it.

However, the lack of memory foam does not make innerspring mattresses a good choice. In fact, they have a number of serious problems that mean they are best avoided in favor of other memory foam alternatives.

Allergy Protection

Innerspring mattresses are decent at allergy protection. They do not build up moisture, so they do not make good growth mediums for common allergens like mold and bacteria. However, open coil systems do tend to build up dust, which can trigger allergies in some people. So innersprings are not the best hypoallergenic mattresses.

Contouring

Of all the mattress types on the market, innerspring mattresses are the worst at contouring. These mattresses feature open coils that are linked together in a network that runs from one end of the bed to the other. The coils are tied together using steel cable, which means the entire bed moves as a unit.

This means the mattress is stiff and rigid and cannot alter its shape to fit yours. These mattresses tend to sag underneath your heavier parts instead of contouring to your shape. This can lead to back pain because of spinal misalignment.

Durability

Innerspring mattresses are terrible at contouring and even worse at durability. They are the least durable mattress type, and they typically do not last longer than ten years. This is because their coils lose tension and wear out very fast, leading to sagging. Furthermore, these mattresses also have serious problems with noise because of the metal rubbing on metal inside them.

Price

Price is the one area where innerspring mattresses shine. These are the most affordable mattresses upfront, and you can expect to pay less than $1,000 on average for a queen size innerspring mattress. However, when you take into account their decreased durability, they wind up becoming much more expensive in the long run because you have to replace them more often.

Responsiveness

Innerspring mattresses are highly responsive because of the networked coils inside their support cores. However, this responsiveness goes too far in many cases. Some people believe that spring mattresses bounce like trampolines underneath them. These mattresses are also terrible at controlling motion transfer. They amplify motion and transfer it all over the sleep surface.

Temperature Control

Innerspring mattresses are great at staying cool because open coils do not impede airflow at all. This means your mattress can breathe cool air in and push hot air out all night, keeping your sleep surface cool. However, considering all the other problems that innerspring mattresses have, temperature control does not make up for them. It’s better to find cooling alternatives elsewhere.

Non-Memory Foam Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are made by combining a pocketed coil support core with at least two layers of comfort foam. For most hybrids, this foam is indeed memory foam. However, there are plenty of Talalay and Dunlop latex hybrid mattresses, and there are even some hybrid mattresses that use natural textiles, like wool or cotton, as their comfort layers.

The pocketed coils are what make hybrids a far superior alternative to traditional innerspring mattresses. Pocketed coils fix a lot of the problems inherent to open coils, thanks to the fact that they are individually wrapped in their own fabric or foam casings, rather than being networked together.

Allergy Protection

Latex hybrids are highly effective at preventing allergens from flourishing. Of course, natural latex is hostile to microbe growth. But pocketed coils also circulate air to keep moisture at bay. This improves the latex comfort layer’s ability to fight mold and bacterial growth. But pocketed coils are much better at fighting dust at the same time because of their fabric or foam casings.

Contouring

Individually wrapped pocketed coils can all move independently of one another. This means each coil can compress or rise underneath your body based on your weight and position. This makes hybrid mattresses some of the most contouring mattresses on the market.

They are even more contouring than many all-foam mattresses. This is especially good for latex hybrids because the flexible pocketed coils can help improve the adaptability of the occasionally stiffer latex.

Durability

Hybrids are moderately durable. The latex foam in the comfort layers will last just as long as the latex in an all-foam mattress. However, the pocketed coils will lose tension and break down faster than base foam will. They will outlast open coils, but they will not outlast all-foam support cores. You can expect to replace hybrid mattresses between one and two decades after you buy them.

Price

Hybrids are not fantastic when it comes to price. They are just behind latex in terms of upfront costs. You can expect to pay around $1,800 for a queen size hybrid mattress, on average. However, when you consider a hybrid mattress’s decreased durability in comparison to latex, it actually becomes the most expensive mattress type over time.

Responsiveness

Hybrid mattresses are highly responsive, especially those of the latex variety. However, unlike innerspring mattresses, hybrids do not transfer motion because the coils are not wired together. This means they will bounce back underneath you, but they will not transfer motion around the rest of the bed. This makes hybrids a better choice for couples.

Temperature Control

Latex hybrid mattresses are some of the most cooling mattresses on the market because both latex and pocketed coils are very breathable. This means your entire mattress can keep cooling air flowing from cover to base. This can ensure heat does not build up inside your mattress.

Ideal Non-Memory Foam Mattress Firmness

Even if you are not getting a memory foam mattress, you still have to think about the firmness of your non-memory foam mattress. Mattress firmness is incredibly important because it is the main factor that determines how your spine aligns and how much pressure relief you get. If you get your firmness wrong, you pretty much get your whole mattress wrong, and such a too soft or too firm mattress tends to cause pain and lost sleep.

Mattress firmness is measured on a scale of one to ten, with one being the softest. However, you will rarely, if ever, find a mattress that is softer than around a three or firmer than around an eight. This is because mattresses that are on one end of the two firmness extremes would either have no support or no pressure relief whatsoever.

As you can guess, this would be comfortable to almost no one. This is why soft mattresses are generally considered to fall around a three, while firm and extra-firm mattresses are sevens and eights.

Sleep Position

There are a couple of different factors that determine the firmness level that you need, but your sleep position is the main one. Your preferred sleep position decides everything from how your body contacts the bed to where your pressure points are to what mix of pressure relief and support you need.

This is why you should always consider your sleep position the deciding factor when choosing your firmness baseline. You will go up or down from there based on other factors, like your preferences or your body type.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers can have a tough time getting the right firmness because they have issues with both overly soft and overly firm sleep surfaces. If a mattress is too soft, it will allow the body to sink into the bed. This bends your spine forward and leaves you lying in a hunched position.

Inversely, if a mattress is too hard, it will not follow the shape of your spine and will allow your lower back to collapse onto the bed because it does not have proper support. This can lead to pain in the lumbar region. This is why you will need a mattress for back sleeping that can both follow the curve of your spine and keep you lifted onto the sleep surface at the same time.

Medium-firm mattresses (6) usually fit this bill best. These mattresses offer a balance of contouring and support that slightly favors support. This means the medium-firm mattress can keep you lifted and fight sinkage while at the same time following the curve of your spine to ensure it remains naturally aligned while you sleep.

Combo Sleepers

Combination sleepers do not have a strong preference for any specific sleep position. Rather, they may choose any position at any point during the night. This can make it difficult for combo sleepers to find a mattress that is versatile enough to accommodate their diverse sleep style.

When you’re a combo sleeper, you need a mattress that is soft enough to relieve pressure when you’re on your side and firm enough to keep you lifted when you are on your back or stomach. You also want a mattress for combination sleeping that can contour without allowing sinkage.

Usually, you find the most versatility in medium mattresses (5). Medium mattresses offer an even balance between firmness and plushness. They are equally supportive and pressure relieving, and this makes them versatile enough to adequately accommodate most combo sleepers regardless of the position they adopt.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers typically have problems with inadequate pressure relief. When you sleep on your side, your body weight presses your hip and shoulder joints into the sleep surface. A sleep surface that cannot absorb pressure will exert it. This means an overly firm mattress can cause pain in your pressure points if you sleep on your side.

This is why side sleepers usually need medium-soft mattresses (4). These mattresses for side sleeping offer enough pressure relief to ensure that you do not suffer pain in your hip and shoulder joints. But they still have enough support to provide spinal alignment to most side sleepers.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers usually have issues with inadequate support. When you sleep on your stomach, your pelvis sinks into the bed. This sinkage can pull the lower back out of alignment by overarching the spine in the lumbar region. This can cause severe lower back pain.

The best way to counter this issue is to go with a firm mattress (7). Firm mattresses for stomach sleeping help counter sinkage and keep your pelvis lifted onto the sleep surface to ensure that you do not suffer lower back pain because of your preferred sleep position.

Body Type

Your body type is not the deciding factor when it comes to your firmness needs. However, it can influence whether you need to go softer or firmer.

If you fall into what the mattress industry has deemed the average human weight range (130 to 230 pounds), then you do not have to worry about how your body weight impacts your firmness needs. You can just stick with your baseline firmness. However, if you fall outside this range, you may need to increase or decrease your firmness to accommodate your weight.

Petite Sleepers

Petite sleepers are under 130 pounds. When you are lighter-weight, you tend to have problems getting sufficient pressure relief out of your mattress. You may experience inferior contouring or even pressure-related pain from a mattress that matches your preferred sleep position.

This means petite individuals usually do best on a mattress for lightweight sleepers that is one level softer than the one that would normally match their sleep style. For instance, if you are a petite combo sleeper, you might want to go down from a medium to a medium-soft mattress.

Plus-Size Sleepers

When you weigh more than 230 pounds, you are considered a plus-size sleeper. Heavier sleepers tend to get insufficient support from a mattress that matches their sleep position. This may lead to spinal misalignment, back pain, sinkage, and other issues. Mattresses for heavy sleepers need to offer reinforced support, essentially.

This is why it’s usually best for heavier sleepers to go up a firmness level from the one that would normally correspond to their sleep position. For instance, if you are a heavier stomach sleeper, you may want to increase your firmness from a firm to an extra-firm mattress.

FAQs

How much should I pay for a non-memory foam mattress?

This depends on what type of non-memory foam mattress you get. If you choose an innerspring mattress, you will be paying the least amount up front but replacing your mattress much more frequently, which means you will be paying more over time.

With hybrid and latex mattresses, you will be paying more upfront but will not have to replace your mattress as often. As far as other alternatives are concerned, newer sleep technologies are typically much more expensive, especially if their patents have not run out. This means you may have to be aware and do some research to find out how much you can expect to pay.

Are there alternatives to foam and spring mattresses?

There are alternatives to foam and springs. For example, plush fibers are some of the oldest sleep technologies on the planet and are still in use today. You can find many high-quality wool mattresses that offer lots of contouring and breathability.

There are also plant-based fiber mattresses for those who do not want animal fibers. Kapok is gaining popularity because of its silky smoothness and squishy, comfortable feel. A more traditional route is cotton, which is highly breathable and also hypoallergenic.

Can I get a non-latex organic mattress?

Yes. You can get an organic mattress that is not made of latex. If you want an organic mattress without latex, you will have to search for natural fibers such as kapok, wool, cotton, and other materials that come from plants or animals. However, any one of these fibers can be certified organic if it meets the proper standards to earn the organic label.

What is the most contouring memory foam alternative?

If you want a highly contouring memory foam alternative, you have two options. Talalay latex is highly contouring because it is lighter and full of air bubbles, which gives it flexibility. If you want a foam that feels like memory foam and latex at the same time, this latex type may be for you.

Another highly contouring mattress option is a latex hybrid. With this setup, the contouring comes from the pocketed coil support core. Each coil in a hybrid mattress can move independently of all the others, which makes latex hybrids highly flexible. The mattress can alter its shape to fit yours, much like a memory foam mattress.

Is a non-memory foam mattress healthier?

A non-memory foam mattress can be a healthier alternative to synthetic, petroleum-based foam. Most memory foam mattresses on the market today are perfectly safe. They must adhere to strict manufacturing standards that forbid them from containing potentially toxic materials.

Even so, memory foam is not as good as some other materials at fighting allergens. It is also not as healthy for the environment as natural materials. Some people may also have sensitivities to some of the chemicals inside memory foam mattresses.

So memory foam is safe, but it is not necessarily the healthiest choice. Healthier alternatives include latex foam mattresses, latex hybrid mattresses, and natural materials like wool and kapok.

Bottom Line

In this day and age, you are not limited to synthetic foam mattresses if you want to avoid older sleep technologies like innerspring mattresses. You have tons of fantastic natural and coil options that can offer comfort, support, pressure relief, and more when choosing a mattress. All you have to do to find the best mattress without memory foam is a little digging!

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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