How is Latex Density Measured?

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If you’re shopping for a new mattress, chances are good you’ve seen latex as an option. Latex is typically more durable and responsive than memory foam, but can provide comparable pressure relief. 

Interested in buying a latex mattress?  It can be important to find a mattress made with latex layers of a certain density to ensure your mattress meets your needs. Latex density can impact the bed’s cost, temperature regulation, durability and overall quality. Here’s what to understand about how latex density is measured.

How is Latex Density Measured?

Latex density measures the weight per unit of volume, and it’s expressed in pounds per cubic foot. Understanding latex density can give you an idea of how a mattress will perform and it also influences price, durability and temperature regulation. Mattresses are made with low, medium, and high-density latex.

What is Latex Density?

In a mattress, foam latex density is a measurement of weight per unit of volume expressed in pounds per cubic foot. Here’s an example: In a mattress with a latex layer that measures 20 cubic feet and weighs 100 pounds, the latex density is 5 pounds per cubic foot.

Latex Density Ranges 

Low DensityLess than 4.3 pounds per cubic foot
Medium Density4.3 to 5.3 pounds per cubic foot
High DensityOver 5.3 pounds per cubic foot

What Latex Density Means for Your Mattress

Latex density directly affects mattress performance. The higher the density, the more pressure the latex can withstand. Mattresses made with multiple layers of latex will typically pair high-density layer foams in the support layers with lower-density latex in the comfort layers to ensure the right balance of aligning support and cushioning softness. Here’s how latex density affects other performance factors in a mattress.

Pressure Relief

Latex is popular for its pressure relief. Because it distributes body weight evenly across the surface of the mattress, latex does an excellent job of alleviating pressure point pain. Higher-density latex offers more pressure relief than lower-density latex, but lower-density latex offers a gentle hugged sensation.


Latex mattresses are heavy, and you can thank the latex layers for that. It should also come as no surprise that higher-density latex foam is heavier than lower-density latex.


Sleepers who change positions in the night tend to appreciate a mattress with high responsiveness. Unlike the slow-moving sensation of memory foam, latex responds quickly to your movements. Low-density latex actually outperforms high-density latex in responsiveness. But if you’re interested in a mattress that dampens motion disturbances from your sleeping partner,, high-density latex is a better choice.

Price point

Denser latex foams tend to be more expensive than lower-density foams. Fortunately, they’re also more durable, which means you can generally expect a latex mattress made with high-density latex foam to last longer than a mattress made with most memory and poly foams.


People who tend to overheat at night should probably consider a latex mattress. Latex is naturally temperature neutral. However, denser latex foams are more likely to retain some heat than lower-density latex, simply because of reduced airflow.

Latex Density vs Mattress Firmness

It’s easy to assume that higher-density latex means a firmer mattress, but that’s not necessarily true. Keep in mind that latex density is a specific measurement, while mattress firmness refers to how hard or soft the mattress feels as a whole.

Mattress manufacturers use a firmness scale to give shoppers an idea of how a mattress might feel. It’s usually on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. But there is no universal firmness scale, which means a 5 on one manufacturer scale could be a 6 or 6.5 on another’s. Also, while the firmness of a mattress can be generalized based on its construction, an individual’s body type and weight will also affect how firm or soft it feels to them.

How to Choose the Right Latex Density

Choosing the right latex density comes down to personal needs and preferences. Sleepers who weigh less than 130 lbs will likely find lower-latex density conforms comfortably for a softer sensation. Sleepers between 130 and 230 lbs should do well on a combination of both low and high-density latex, or a low-density layer as part of a hybrid construction with support coils. Sleepers who weigh more than 230 lbs should consider higher-density latex to ensure sufficient support.

Your sleep position plays a role, too. Side sleepers need gentle cushioning on their hips and shoulder and will benefit from low- to medium-density latex. People who sleep on their back or stomach typically need additional support to keep their lumbar zone elevated and will do best on medium to high-density latex.

Bottom Line

Latex density can tell you a lot about how a mattress will perform. While the measurement isn’t always easy to find, you can generally find it somewhere on a manufacturer’s website. It’s often listed with the other mattress materials. Keep in mind that high-density latex offers more support than lower-density counterparts, which are best suited to cushioning comfort layers. Understanding latex density can help make it easier to find a mattress that will meet your specific needs for a better night’s sleep.

Jessica Timmons