LATEX MATTRESSES MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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:

Durability

Dunlop latex is generally considered to be more durable than Talalay latex, this is due to the much higher density of Dunlop. With that being said, both versions of latex are exceptionally more durable when compared to most other mattress materials.

Cost

Dunlop is generally less expensive to manufacture, mostly because the process is far less intensive, this can often be reflected in the final price of a new mattress, although the difference in price is generally small.

Feel

Generally speaking, Dunlop latex is more firm and denser, like a pound cake, while Talalay latex is like angel food cake. Often, this means that Dunlop is sometimes used for the support core in latex mattresses, while Talalay is reserved for top comfort layers. However, both versions can be engineered to a variety of firmness levels.

Temperature Neutrality

Talalay latex is generally more breathable than Dunlop latex as it is less dense and allows for better airflow. This results in Talalay offering slightly better temperature neutrality in most circumstances.

Environmental Sustainability

Latex in general, regardless of the manufacturing process, is considered to be more sustainable than alternative foams. It is naturally derived from a sustainable source and is more durable than the alternatives, offering a lower environmental cost in the long run. The Dunlop process is slightly less energy-intensive, so it may be somewhat more carbon-neutral than the Talalay process.

Which Should You Choose?

If you’re mattress shopping, there are a variety of factors to consider. While the choice between Talalay and Dunlop latex is worthwhile to keep in mind, it’s generally not going to be one of the top considerations.
Both manufacturing processes can produce high-quality, durable, and comfortable latex. Ultimately, the overall quality of the mattress and the reputation of the manufacturer are typically more important than whether the bed utilizes Talalay or Dunlop latex.

In short, latex mattresses of all kinds are fantastic, but as everyone’s body is different, people may need different things!
While these differences may be small, they can have very different effects on the body. Arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to find the very best bed for you!