Latex in its raw form is a milky white fluid originating from the lactiferous vessels of the Hevea brasiliensis. Before it can be used in mattresses, the liquid field latex must be converted into a flexible foam rubber. That leads us to the most common question people first ask when learning about latex. What is the difference between Talalay and Dunlop latex? These are simply the two manufacturing processes used to create foam rubber.
The Dunlop process was created in 1929 and, nearly a century later, remains the only manufacturing process capable of producing 100% natural organic latex. Dunlop latex is generally firmer, denser and more durable than Talalay latex.
The process begins by whipping the liquid latex into a froth. Once enough air has been beaten into the liquid, it gets poured into a mould where natural soaps are added to turn the froth into a gel-like mixture. The semi-solid mix is then heated under a process known as vulcanization. The vulcanization process is what creates the permanent bonds between the organic latex polymers and completes the transformation into a solid foam rubber. Once cooled, the latex foam is then extensively washed to remove all residual proteins that remain on the surface.
Although Dunlop latex can be 100% natural or blended with synthetic latex, we use only 100% natural organic Dunlop latex. Using pure, organic Dunlop latex provides numerous health and performance benefits over synthetic blends. Most people are well aware of the health and environmental benefits of using an organic product, but aren’t sure how that relates to getting a better sleep. We go into this in great detail in our Sleep Science section.
In 1961, the Talalay process was created to take advantage of the more consistent chemical and physical properties of synthetic latex. Talalay latex is created in much the same way as Dunlop latex, but with a few important differences. During the Dunlop process, the latex in the mould settles into its naturally strongest bonds prior to vulcanization. When making Talalay latex, the froth is injected into a vacuum sealed mould and then flash frozen in place prior to vulcanization.
Benefits of Organic Latex
Organic latex is the most supportive bedding material available as evidenced by its unparalleled support factor.
Materials with a high support can be softer without sacrificing support.
The pinhole construction of latex foam rubber allows air to circulate through the mattress, creating a cool, ventilated sleeping surface.
According to independent testing, organic latex is the most durable bedding materials available and can last up to 30 years.
The high resilience, low hysteresis properties of organic Dunlop latex allow your body to move with less resistance during rest.
Organic Dunlop latex is 100% natural and is the only foam that doesn’t contain petrochemicals.
The surface characteristics of natural Dunlop latex inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi.