Latex is rubber. In its purest form it comes from a rubber tree. There are 2 types of latex; NR or natural rubber and SBR
(styrene butadiene rubber) or man-made latex. All latex is either a blend of the 2 or 100% natural latex. Blended latex is used to
provide greater durability and more resistance to body impressions because of its better resilience. In compression tests some manufacturers
claim that natural latex losses 5% to 10% more of its height in wear and tear testing. Natural latex is a natural substance and therefore
better for allergy suffers, dust mite resistance, antimicrobial and does not contain chemical components like blended latex.
There are 2 processes used to make latex
foam; Talalay and Dunlop. We recommend
that you study more about these processes
before buying a latex foam mattress. Talalay
is generally more expensive and is represented
as a premium version of latex but both
processes have great comfort and support
Talalay vs. Dunlop (regular latex): Reprinted from “Sleep like the dead” sleep products research site
Dunlop vs. Talalay – what are they and which is better according to actual owners?
Dunlop and Talalay are types of latex processing, not types of latex. The Dunlop process has been around for many decades, while the Talalay is newer. Both 100% natural latex and blended latex can be made using either process.
For the Talalay process, a tiny amount of latex is poured in the mold. Air is extracted to evenly distribute the foam liquid inside the mold which creates a consistent round, open cell structure. The mattress core is flash frozen to lock the cell structure in place and to prevent the particles from settling.
For the Dunlop process, the molds are fully filled, air is not extracted, and there is no flash freezing. In fact the Dunlop process uses the traditional method of vulcanization (heat) to cure the foam.
The result is that Talalay processed latex is more airy, less dense / firm and lighter (though still heavy) than Dunlop processed latex.
Another noteworthy difference is that the Dunlop method produces one piece of latex while the Talalay method produces latex in sections which then must be glued together.
Our data includes reviews from owners of both processing types. Based on this, owners as a group do not deem to find a noteworthy difference in overall comfort between the two. However, more owner data is needed to be certain.
In regard to durability / longetivity, many the mattress industry believe that Dunlop is at least slightly superior to Talalay, but our current owner data cannot confirm or contradict this claim.