We love latex mattresses! However; as we are all different, it is important to understand the pros, cons, and different types of latex mattresses so you can decide if it is right for you. Latex is an organic or natural (depending on the process) material that is manufactured from the sap of rubber trees. It’s used in a variety of manufacturing applications, including modern mattresses. Latex mattresses are valued for their durability, superior cooling, and excellent pressure relief.
Latex mattresses are not as well-known as memory foam mattresses (however, it is the secret of the wealthy and has been around since the 1940’s), but are finally now becoming a more sought after mattress purchase. Manufacturers use two types of latex to make up these mattresses: Dunlop latex and Talalay latex. But, what is the difference between Dunlop and Talalay latex? Which is a better choice for you?
What is the Difference?
The difference between Talalay latex mattresses (a natural Product) and Dunlop latex mattresses (an Organic Product), is in the way the materials are produced.
The terms “Talalay” and “Dunlop” refer to the specific processes used to make these materials. The beginning material is the same and the major difference is in the manufacturing process used.
The Dunlop process is a more simple process, which typically means Dunlop latex products are less expensive than Talalay latex products. On the other hand, the Talalay process is far more involved, but it produces a softer and less-dense latex material that is better suited for certain applications.
Many manufacturers utilize both forms in their mattresses, so you may end up with a mattress that uses both Talalay and Dunlop latex. Dunlop latex has a higher density and firmness that makes it ideal for the support core of a mattress, while Talalay latex has a lower density and a softer feel, which tends to be more preferable for the comfort layers.
How Dunlop Latex is made
Dunlop is the original manufacturing process for latex foams. It was first developed in 1929 and the process has not changed much since then. This is the basic process for Dunlop latex:
- Liquid latex extract is mechanically whipped to form a frothy foam
- The frothy material is placed in a mold
- The material is baked in a vulcanization oven
- The baked latex is removed from the mold and washed thoroughly
- The material is baked again to remove moisture
How Talalay Latex is made
The Talalay process is a bit more involved. It was developed in the late 1940s and has been tweaked over the decades. Here is the modern process:
- Liquid latex extract is mechanically whipped to form a frothy foam
- The foam is injected into a mold; however, the mold is filled only partially
- The filled mold is vacuum-sealed, which causes the latex to expand
- The filled mold is then frozen rapidly, pushing carbon dioxide through the latex
- The frozen material is baked to set
- The latex is removed from the mold, washed, and dried
Differences between Dunlop and Talalay Latex in Mattresses
As mentioned, the main difference between these two foams is that Dunlop is firmer and denser, while Talalay is softer and less dense. When it comes to mattresses, here are the most noticeable differences between Talalay and Dunlop:
2. Cost. Latex mattresses tend to be more expensive than a regular spring coil mattress or polyurethane (PU) foam mattress. However, this is a case where the extra cost represents extra value. A latex mattress is more durable, and part of the cost increase is offset by the reduced frequency of replacing old mattresses. Another factor is the vastly improved performance that a latex mattress offers. You’ll get a more comfortable sleep, healthier body support, and a more hygienic way to sleep when you use a latex mattress. Furthermore, a very high-end spring coil mattress may quite easily cost more than a latex mattress, yet does not offer similar performance compared to a latex mattress.
The take-home message from this list of pros and cons is that latex mattresses deliver a stellar quality of performance. There are many advantages and very few disadvantages to purchasing a latex mattress. You’ll feel more comfortable, well-rested, healthier, and happier after sleeping on a latex mattress.
1. Heavy. A latex mattress tends to be, on average, heavier than many other types of mattresses. That being said, all mattresses differ greatly in their weight, depending on the different types of materials present and their density. Overall though, a latex mattress can require a little more effort to move or lift. However, this is not a big drawback because it does not occur very frequently that you will need to move your mattress.
1. Extremely comfortable. A latex mattress provides ultimate comfort. When you first lie down on a latex mattress, you’ll at first feel a soft sinking feeling, followed immediately by a buoyant supportive sensation. This is due to the natural springiness of latex, and it feels incredibly comfortable.
2.Promotes pain relief. Latex mattresses are an ideal choice for those with back pain or joint pain. Many health professionals such as osteopaths, physical therapists, and chiropractors recommend latex mattresses for pain relief. This is because of the comfort and cushioning properties of the latex, as well as its ability to promote natural spine alignment. In any case, if the pain is interfering with your sleep, a switch to a latex mattress could help you significantly.
3.Natural spine alignment.A huge advantage of latex mattresses is their ability to promote proper spine alignment. Heavier parts of the body such as the shoulders and hips sink into the latex, yet lighter areas are still strongly supported to align the spine naturally. The ability to support the natural curvature of the spine is a huge bonus for health and wellness, as well as keeping pain at bay. Furthermore,with this good pressure distribution, blood circulation is improved on a latex mattress.
4.All-natural.Latex is a natural product, produced from the sap of the rubber tree; the milky-white sap is processed into a comfortable foam mattress block. The springiness you feel when you lie down is entirely due to the natural properties of the latex. Because of its all-natural origin, you do not have to worry about toxic chemicals or metals being present in a latex mattress, unlike other mattresses.
5.Natural resistance to mold and dust mites. Latex is naturally mold resistant and dust mite resistant without the use of any added chemicals. This factor alone is a huge advantage in warm humid climates such as that of Singapore. Other types of mattresses are either not resistant at all – resulting in big problems such as visible mold growth – or they are resistant but only because harsh chemicals have been added. You won’t want to sleep on a mattress that contains dust mites or mold, and neither would you want to sleep on a cloud of chemicals. Hence, latex is the ideal choice for a naturally hygienic and healthy sleeping environment.
6.Naturally allergen-free.Did you know that the vast majority of allergies in the bedroom are actually caused by the body’s reaction to proteins produced by dust mites or mold? Latex mattresses arenaturally resistant to mold and dust mites, so they simply do not contain these allergens. Therefore, those who suffer from year-round allergies may find relief with a latex mattress.
7.Environmentally responsible.When you purchase a 100% pure latex mattress, you are supporting the growth of the rubber tree. Tapping the rubber tree to collect the latex-containing sap will not kill the tree. Therefore, the production of latex mattresses encourages the growth of rubber trees. Plantations are carefully managed to ensure their growth is sustainable. The trees in these plantations remove carbon dioxide from the air, so you are helping the environment when you purchase a latex mattress. There is simply no other type of mattress which is as environmentally responsible. All other types of mattresses require a lot of synthetic ingredients and harm the environment instead of helping it.
For those who want the ultimate in environmental friendliness, organic latex mattresses are available. This is becoming increasingly popular, especially among eco-conscious shoppers and parents of babies and young children. Organic latex is 100% natural latex that has been grown without the use of pesticides.
Whether or not you opt for the organic variety, you can feel good about doing your part for the environment when you purchase a latex mattress.
8.No metal, therefore no amplification of electromagnetic radiation.The zero-metal content of latex mattresses makes them very popular among those who want to sleep safely. In contrast, the metal springs in spring coil mattresses are believed to amplify electromagnetic radiation, acting as an antenna: this is not a good environment for our bodies to sleep on.
9.Excellent air circulation.Latex has a natural open-cell structure, allowing for good airflow. In addition, a series of pinholes are added during the processing of latex, and this increases airflow even further. This excellent air circulation makes for a cooler night’s sleep – a big advantage in the warm humid climate of Singapore. In addition to comfort, hygiene is another benefit of the superb air circulation of latex mattresses. Perspiration does not linger or make a latex mattress feel damp.
11. Highly durable. Latex mattresses are among the most durable types of mattresses. They last a lot longer than other types of mattresses before needing to be replaced. This high durability is one of the many reasons for the high level of owner satisfaction with latex mattresses
10.Does not transmit movement easily. The natural resiliency of latex means that movement on one side of the mattress is not transmitted easily to the other side. This means that if you sleep with a partner, you will both be a lot more comfortable and will sleep more deeply than you would on a mattress which transmits movement.