Since latex is flexible and durable, it’s used in various industrial applications. Latex mattresses are top-rated because it provides pressure relief and body-contouring comfort. This kind of mattress is breathable, so you will be able to sleep cooler. Latex is processed using either the Talalay or Dunlop method. Some mattresses have latex processed using both methods.
Talalay is a more rigorous method than Dunlop. It involves whipping the liquid latex extract into froth and injecting it into a mold partially. The mold is then vacuum-sealed. This causes the latex to swell and fill the mold. Flash freezing the molded latex removes carbon dioxide from it. As a result, the latex foam becomes more breathable and lighter as it solidifies. The frozen latex is then baked and washed after taking removing it from the mold. The last step is allowing the latex to dry. This gives the latex a homogenous consistency. Talalay latex is usually less dense and softer than Dunlop latex. It’s fluffy and light throughout. Talalay latex doesn’t have the density and firmness to become a support core material, so it’s used as a comfort layer.
Dunlop involves whipping the liquid latex extract into froth and injecting all of it into a mold. After baking the latex in a vulcanization oven, it’s taken out of the mold and washed. It will be baked again to get rid of excess moisture. This process makes the latex quite dense. The heterogeneous composition of the Dunlop latex makes it bottom-heavy. Sediment gathers below the foamier material, so one side of the latex is typically denser than the other side. Dunlop latex is usually utilized as a support layer. Some latex mattresses also have a Dunlop comfort layer.
Similarities and Differences between Talalay and Dunlop Latex
Knowing the similarities and differences between Talalay and Dunlop latex mattress will make it easier for you to make your choice.
Dunlop latex is denser compared to Talalay latex, so it’s usually more durable and less prone to deterioration. Both types of latex are more resilient than other materials used for making mattresses. Latex hybrid or all-latex mattress has an average lifespan of 7 to 8 years.
Dunlop is cheaper than Talalay, partly due to its less rigorous methods. Mattresses that contain synthetic or blended latex are usually less expensive than the ones with natural or organic latex.
The firmness of Talalay or Dunlop latex layers depend on the mattress model. Most mattresses that have Talalay latex feel softer than Dunlop comfort layers. Dunlop, on the other hand, conforms more to the body of the sleeper and feels firmer. An all-latex mattress with a Talalay latex comfort layer usually has Dunlop latex as a support core material. Both Talalay and Dunlop latex can be designed for various firmness levels. Some Dunlop layers are naturally denser, but may not feel as hard as some Talalay layers. Both materials offer consistent conforming that can reduce pain and aches in the hips, back, and other areas. This is why latex mattresses are especially preferred by the elderly and the seniors.
Talalay latex retains less heat, partly due to its processing method. Flash-freezing removes carbon dioxide from the latex, which results in a more breathable mattress. A lot of mattress manufacturers, however, choose to aerate Dunlop and Talalay latex layers to enhance air circulation. Natural and organic latex is usually cooler than synthetic or blended latex. It is definitely cooler than most memory foam mattresses. Of course the temperature balancing feature of certain Sleep Number beds use a much more advanced technology; nevertheless, latex is considered one of the more cooler mattresses compared to most available options.
Brand new latex mattresses give off a rubbery off-gassing scent. This is common with beds that contain Talalay or Dunlop layers. Synthetic and blended latex is made using petrochemicals, which cause it to give off more VOCs or volatile organic compounds. VOCs cause the off-gassing scent. Natural and organic Talalay and Dunlop mattress have less off-gassing potential. However, you should expect to off-gas from brand new mattresses.
The processing method for Dunlop latex is less intensive, so its environmental footprint is lower than Talalay. Any mattress that’s made from natural or organic Talalay or Dunlop latex is considered an ideal option for those who are looking for an eco-friendly mattress.
Talalay latex layers feel bouncier when weight is placed on it. Dunlop latex is quite springy, so it goes back to its original shape once you get up from the bed. Both Dunlop and Talalay have better responsiveness than memory foam. However, latex mattresses are not that good in isolating motion transfer.
What You Need to Know About Synthetic, Natural and Blended Latex
Latex mattresses are ideal for those who suffer from allergies. It is resistant to dust mites and mold. Almost all other kinds of mattress gather pet dander and serve as a breeding ground for mold and dust mites. These allergens are almost impossible to remove. This means that you’re breathing in these allergens. By sleeping on a new latex mattress, you can have peace of mind knowing that you will be sleeping on a clean and safe environment due to the allergen-free properties of the mattress.
Not all latex mattresses are the same, so you need to be careful when buying one. Consider the materials used to make the latex. Natural latex is made from rubber tree sap. Synthetic latex is made from petrochemicals. This kind of latex has emulsifying agents that reduce its surface tension. As a result, synthetic latex imitates the shape retention and density of natural latex.
Some brands say that their mattress contains one hundred percent organic latex, but these claims are quite misleading because all latex materials are chemically treated to produce the foam. The GOLS or Global Organic Latex Standard awards certification to latex products with at least ninety-five percent latex. This means that one hundred percent natural latex and organic latex are not the same.
Blended latex is made by combining synthetic and natural latex. Blended latex should have at least thirty percent natural latex. Some brands claim that their mattress contains natural latex. The latex component of their products may be mostly synthetic. You need to be careful when buying a latex mattress. Consider your needs and budget before you purchase one.