Posted on by Amber Merton

The Latex Mattress Core: Dunlop or Talalay? - PlushBeds

Shopping for mattresses can be very confusing, with a wide variety of mattresses available nowadays. But, if you are looking for an organic mattress that is be eco-friendly, and will provide the necessary comfort and support to get you a refreshing sleep experience, you need to invest in a latex mattress.

Natural Latex Foam

If you are thinking of investing in an eco-friendly organic mattress that is durable and chemical-free, natural latex will be your best choice. Natural latex is a liquid sap that is extracted from rubber trees. The liquid latex is then solidified into a foamy texture that is molded to make a variety of objects.

Natural latex foam molded from rubber trees is a renewable product that is free from nasty chemicals, and eco-friendly when compared to memory foam. They have a soft and bouncy texture, with great supportive qualities, and are more durable than most mattress materials available.

Liquid latex foam can be molded to make objects, like mattresses and conveyor belts, that are sturdy, resilient, and durable products.

Natural latex has the following benefits:

Purity

Natural latex foam does not have harmful chemicals, like fillers, and can help you in sleeping organic. The purest form of latex has 95% to 97% pure rubber sap extracted from the rubber tree.

Generally speaking, sleeping on a natural latex mattress can help you get a better sleep experience than on a synthetic or blended latex mattress.

Comfort

Natural latex comes in two varieties - Dunlop and Talalay latex. Both have pin holes that allow airflow, which is great if you are a hot sleeper. Latex foam comes in a wide variety of firmness and comfort. While Dunlop latex can be a little firm, Talalay latex provides a comfortable top layer.

Durabilty

Natural latex foam is durable, and has a long lifespan without shape distortion compared to synthetic or blended latex, and other materials like memory foam.

Eco-Friendliness

Natural latex foam is derived from rubber sap, and is a sustainable way of sleeping organic. With latex foam, the rubber tree sap is processed into a foam layer that forms the latex mattress core. Latex foam is durable and breathable, and will not cause off-gassing from chemicals.

How is Latex Foam Processed?

Natural latex is derived from the sap of a rubber tree. Liquid latex extract is then processed into a solid foam using foaming, gelling, and vulcanizing agents to mold it into a latex product.

Based on how they are manufactured, natural latex mattresses typically come in two varieties- Dunlop and Talalay. You can buy them on their own, or get a latex mattress that combines the two layers of foam to get the comfort and support you desire.

Natural Latex vs. Memory Foam

When turned into a mattress, natural latex foam can provide the same comfort as memory foam. However, they differ in the following ways:

  • Latex foam can provide the necessary support and comfort layer, allowing more breathability and responsiveness than memory foam. The firm layer of latex mattress provides support and motion-restricting properties, in case you move around in your sleep.
  • Latex foam is natural, and allows air circulation, improving your sleep experience, if you are a hot sleeper.
  • Natural latex mattresses are eco-friendly, and made from rubber trees that are sustainably grown, and are chemical-free, unlike synthetic latex and memory foam mattresses. However, not all latex mattresses are natural; some are made using synthetic latex, or blended versions.

Why Choose the Natural Latex Mattress?

If you are in the market to buy a new mattress, a natural latex mattress can be your best choice if:

  • You are a hot sleeper
  • You prefer to have more supportive features and motion restrictions while you sleep
  • You like sleeping organic
  • You prefer eco-friendly sleep products
  • You have a flexible budget

On the other hand, you need to get a mattress from other materials if:

  • You are allergic to latex
  • You don't enjoy the sturdiness and responsiveness of latex foam
  • You have a limited budget

What is Organic Latex Foam?

All-natural latex is not automatically considered organic. Organic latex foam is made when natural latex has undergone strict quality testing. To be branded as organic latex mattresses, companies must comply with strict compliance standards, like GOLS certification.

Companies like PlushBeds offer 100% natural organic latex mattresses that comply with GOLS certification, and have strict standards regarding toxicity, sustainability, and ethical production of latex.

Organic natural latex is made from rubber trees that are sustainably produced to create high-quality natural latex.

Dunlop Latex Foam

Dunlop latex, developed in 1929, uses rubber sap extracted from rubber trees to make organic latex mattresses. During the process, liquid latex is poured into a mold, in one complete pour, filling up the mold in the process. The sediments move to the bottom, forming two Dunlop latex layers - a firm bottom layer, and a lighter top layer.

The Dunlop latex layers are distinct, with the bottom layer being a bit firmer than the top layer. Due to the latex firmness, the Dunlop process can be an excellent option for making the latex mattress core.

Dunlop Latex Process

Dunlop latex is made using the following manufacturing process:

  • Liquid latex is derived from a rubber tree, and then turned into frothy foam
  • The foam is put into a mold in one pour, filling up the mold
  • Liquid latex is turned into solid foam, using the vulcanization process
  • The shaped latex mattress is then washed and baked for a second time to eliminate excess moisture

Pros and Cons of Dunlop Latex Mattresses

Because of its firmness, the Dunlop method can make an excellent latex mattress core. It provides support and motion control, while sleeping organic, throughout the night.

The Pros:

  • Dunlop latex uses a simple latex manufacturing process that makes it less expensive than the Talalay mattresses
  • Dunlop latex is made using a less energy-intensive process that is more eco-friendly than other materials like memory foam and synthetic latex mattresses
  • Dunlop layer is firmer and denser, and is best for building the latex mattress core
  • Dunlop foam is considered more durable than other materials available for mattresses

The Cons:

  • Dunlop foam can be more expensive than other materials like memory foam or synthetic and blended latex
  • A Dunlop layer does not provide temperature-neutrality like Talalay latex does

Talalay Latex Foam

Talalay latex is a newer, and more advanced form of latex production where the liquid latex is poured partially into the mold. It is then vacuum sealed to expand and fill the shape of the entire mold. Then the latex is flash frozen, by allowing the flow of carbon dioxide through the latex, and later baked into solid foam using the vulcanization process.

Talalay latex mattresses have a uniform density, and are more porous than the Dunlop method. It provides more comfort and breathability than the Dunlop layer.

Because of its intensive manufacturing process, the Talalay process offers more responsiveness and comfort, while maintaining medium firm support. The Talalay process creates a softer latex texture, a more porous nature, and is preferred as the comfort layers in latex mattresses.

Talalay Latex Process

The manufacturing process of Talalay latex foam is a bit more intense and complicated, which makes it a more expensive mattress. A Talalay mattress is made using the following method:

  • Like the Dunlop method, the liquid latex derived from rubber trees is turned into a frothy foam.
  • The latex foam is then poured into a mold, but only partially filled. The liquid latex is then vacuum sealed, so that it expands and takes the shape of the mold.
  • The expanded foam is flash frozen, allowing the flow of carbon dioxide through the latex layers, making it porous and more breathable in texture.
  • The frozen latex is then transformed into solid latex, using the vulcanization process.

The intensive Talalay manufacturing process uses flash frozen and vacuum sealed methods, allowing carbon dioxide to pass through the latex layers, creating pin holes in the latex. It makes Talalay latex more soft, porous, and breathable.

The Talalay process makes a softer and breathable foam than Dunlop latex, while lacking the latex firmness and supportive features of the Dunlop foam. It is best used as a mattress topper or comfort layer in mattresses.

Pros and Cons of Talalay Latex Mattresses

The intense manufacturing process of Talalay mattresses gives them a uniform, softer, and more breathable feature that can make the best mattress toppers. Here are some pros and cons of getting a Talalay latex mattress:

The Pros:

  • The manufacturing processes of Talalay latex give it a uniform, soft and porous texture that can make it an excellent option as a mattress topper.
  • Because of its porous nature, Talalay latex is more breathable, and provides better temperature regulation that helps hot sleepers.
  • Even though Talalay latex is not as durable as Dunlop latex, it has a long lifespan compared to mattresses made from other materials like memory foam or synthetic latex.

The Cons:

  • Because of its elaborate processing, Talalay latex mattresses can be more expensive than other materials.
  • As it involves an intense manufacturing process, the Talalay method is not as eco-friendly as the Dunlop method.

Dunlop and Talalay Mattresses - Which One is Better?

Both Dunlop and Talalay latex mattresses have their benefits and drawbacks. Before you decide on your perfect mattress, consider your comfort preferences, sleep position, body type, mattress reviews, and budget.

What Makes a Better Mattress Core? Dunlop vs. Talalay

The best latex mattresses usually have a firm mattress core that gives a well-defined form, shape, and structure to the mattresses. A premium quality latex mattress must typically have a firm, supportive bottom layer with a softer, responsive top layer.

Dunlop Latex as Mattress Core

Because of their simple processing method, Dunlop latex mattresses have a firmer latex layer at the bottom that provides pressure relief and motion restriction properties. Because of its firmness, Dunlop latex is an excellent option for building the mattress core of a latex mattress. Moreover, it is resilient and durable, and maintains its structure for a long time.

Generally speaking, when it comes down to latex mattress core, Dunlop latex is a clear winner. Because of its simplicity, the Dunlop process makes a durable latex mattress with latex firmness that provides extensive support, and motion-restricting properties.

Talalay Latex as Mattress Core

On the other hand, Talalay latex mattresses are made from softer latex that is more malleable, and provides medium firm support.

Talalay latex has excellent pressure-relieving features. Its soft latex texture provides unmatched comfort and responsiveness that few can contest. Its softness, porous texture, and higher breathability make it a great option when used as a comfort layer for the mattress.

Ideally, a perfect mattress will have a comfortable Talalay latex layer of 2- 4 inches at the top, supported by a solid 6 inches of Dunlop foam as a core, to provide an unmatched sleeping experience.

Tips for Choosing Natural Latex Mattresses

If you are shopping for a new mattress, here are some tips you need to consider:

  • Make sure to read the labels before purchasing, if you prefer to buy a 100% natural latex mattress. Latex is made from liquid rubber sap known for its durability, strength, resilience, and breathability properties.
  • Research brands. Very few brands like PlushBeds actually offer 100% natural organic mattresses. Most often, the mattresses available are made from synthetic latex or blended latex that are loaded with chemicals, and can harm you.
  • Look for GOLS certification to help you choose authentic organic latex mattresses and other sleep products. PlushBeds offers natural latex mattresses that are GOLS certified for their purity and sustainability.
  • Look for layers, like a supportive core, and comfort layer. All latex mattresses offered by PlushBeds are built with a supportive latex mattress core, and a softer comfort layer on the top.
  • Check if the online mattress retailers offers natural bedding accessories. For example, do they offer covers made from organic cotton and wool?
  • Learn about what sleep specialists recommend. Sleep specialists prescribe organic mattresses to hot sleepers and those having sleep issues, as the mattresses are made using sustainable materials and methods, and have naturally breathable ingredients.
  • Ensure the latex is retrieved and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner. Organic latex is derived from rubber trees that are grown sustainably, following sustainable farming practices, and eco-friendly pesticides.
  • Prepare to research mattresses based on the market reviews, your comfort preference, body type, support level, and sustainability before choosing the best mattress.

Why Choose PlushBeds Organic Latex Mattresses?

We at PlushBeds offer natural organic latex mattresses of varied density and comfort, depending on your comfort preferences and sleep position. All our mattresses are made using natural and organic materials, and are handcrafted in the USA.

PlushBeds offers organic latex mattresses, with a supportive ARPICO mattress core, and a comfort layer of world-class Talalay latex that provides pressure relief and comfort features.

We offer hybrid latex mattresses with a comfort layer of Talalay latex, with the latex core formed by supportive fabric-encased coils, supporting motion restriction properties.

All mattresses are made with 100% natural and organic latex with no blends, synthetics, or chemicals to help you get the healthy sleep you deserve.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a natural latex mattress that offers a supportive latex core, and a softer comfort layer on the top, you need to try mattresses with Dunlop latex as a mattress core, and Talalay latex as a mattress topper to get your best night's sleep.

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