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What Is a Dunlop Latex Mattress?

May 07, 2021

What Is a Dunlop Latex Mattress?

When it comes to foam mattresses and accessories, it can become very confusing. You not only have poly foam, memory foam, and natural foam choices to take into consideration, but you can even break down latex foam into two types as well: Talalay and Dunlop latex. Here, you'll learn a little bit about the differences between Dunlop and Talalay, how latex Dunlop is made, and much more about the Dunlop process.

What Is a Dunlop Latex Mattress?

The Dunlop latex layer is a type of latex production introduced back in 1929. Dunlop latex is typically constructed from 100% natural rubber tree substance, and is then foamed and set. Manufacturers pour the liquid latex mixture into a mold during the manufacturing process, completely filling the mold in one complete pour.

Dunlop is denser than Talalay. Once it's poured, they allow the mixture to settle, meaning the Dunlop latex will usually be softer at the top, and denser on the bottom; Talalay is less dense.

How Does Dunlop Latex Feel?

Dunlop latex is one of the two types of latex that has a softer feel to it, and creates more durable mattresses, pillows, and mattress toppers. It provides:

  • A quick response time to pressure
  • A springy and softer feel
  • High durability mattresses

Dunlop latex production is often used for creating 100% natural latex mattresses.

How Is Dunlop Made?

Latex Dunlop is actually the initial manufacturing process for latex foam. And, the process hasn't changed much since 1929 when it was first developed. The basic Dunlop latex process consists of:

  1. The liquid latex extract from the rubber tree sap is whipped mechanically to produce a frothy foam.
  2. Manufacturers pour the frothy material into a mold.
  3. They then bake the material in a vulcanization oven, locking the foam into a uniform bubble distribution.
  4. They then remove the baked latex out of the mold, and thoroughly wash it.
  5. They bake the material again to remove moisture.

The whole process creates a fairly firmer, dense foam, unlike Talalay, which is less dense. Because the material isn't evenly distributed either, it leads to a "bottom-heavy" composition with the bottom being firmer than the top. But, it's a composition suited well for a mattress support core, and usually not great for comfort and support layers and core. However, there are still various mattresses that do use Dunlop latex in their support and comfort layers.

Where Does Dunlop Originate?

The Dunlop method transforms liquid latex into a mattress foam core. It originates from rubber trees; actually from their sap. These rubber trees (Hevea Brasiliensis trees) are typically found in South America, and have a 25-year lifespan, making them highly productive for obtaining liquid latex through their sap.

The Dunlop process, as mentioned, was started in 1929. It's the oldest method for natural latex sap production. Overall, the production process is simpler and quicker than the Talalay latex method, and it still creates the same standard core every time.

What are the Benefits of Dunlop Latex Mattresses?

There are a number of benefits of Dunlop latex mattresses, including:

1. Feel

Most latex mattresses with Dunlop support and comfort layers provide a firmness-type of feel to them. They don't conform to your body as much as Talalaly support and comfort layers do, however.

2. Responsive

Dunlop latex layers tend to be relatively springy, which means they return to their initial shape after you remove the weight from the mattresses. They're more responsive than memory foam, making them generally better suited for sex than foam versions. But, latex mattresses also don't isolate a noticeable amount of motion transfer.

3. Durability

Since Dunlop latex is made denser than Talalay latex, it's typically less susceptible to deterioration, and more resilient. Both latex types, however, are thought to be exceptionally durable when you compare them with other mattress materials.

4. Environmental Impact

The Dunlop method involves fewer steps, and is less intensive, resulting in it having a lower environmental footprint than does Talalay latex. But, any mattress made with exclusively natural or organic Dunlop latex or Talalay latex is considered an eco-friendly option. There are no synthetic latex materials.

5. Cost

Dunlop latex doesn't cost as much to produce as Talalay latex, mostly because of its less intensive methods, and despite there being no synthetic latex. This is frequently reflected in the mattress's price-point.

How Is Dunlop Different from Talalay?

Let’s compare the differences between the Talalay process and the Dunlop process here. There are also certain differences in how natural Dunlop vs Talalay latex mattresses feel overall, but, for many individuals, these will usually be too small for them to really notice.

  1. There seems to be a smaller range of firmness options when it comes to Dunlop latex mattresses.
  2. While greater density doesn't typically mean it’s firmer, Dunlop's solidness means it provides a less bouncy feel than does Talalay latex, and many individuals like this.
  3. It's springy feel doesn't come with that "sinking" feeling some individuals find with their Talalay latex mattresses. Talalay latex, on the other hand, produces a lot of "hug", which creates that pleasant "cradling" feeling, similar to what you get with memory foam.
  4. Talalay also provides more yield under the shape and weight of your body, resulting in a more buoyant feeling. It may also compress less over time.

These are some of the differences between the Dunlop process and the Talalay latex process.

How is Dunlop Similar to Talalay?

With Dunlop vs Talalay latex, many of the natural Dunlop latex process steps are similar to the Talalay latex process steps. For instance with Dunlop and Talalay latex:

  1. Natural Dunlop latex foam is poured into a mold (like with the Talalay latex method), although it totally fills the mold, whereas, in the Talalay latex method, it's only partially filled.
  2. The lid on the mold is sealed, like with the Talalay latex method.
  3.  A vacuum expands the latex, like with the Talalay latex method.
  4. Once totally expanded, the mold is flash frozen.
  5. After it's flash frozen, the carbon dioxide gas is forced through the latex, leading it to gel.
  6. The temperature is raised to vulcanize the latex, like with the Talalay process.
  7. The natural Dunlop foam is removed from the mold, and totally washed and dried, once it is vulcanized.

These are some of the similarities of the Dunlop process and the Talalay latex process.

How Does Dunlop Latex Differ From Memory Foam

Memory foam is made (by man) with polyurethane and other materials that produce viscoelastic properties. When you apply pressure to memory foam, the mattress hugs, and contours to those pressures. The specific type of memory foam will determine the response times (how fast the mattress will change to pressure), but, in general, memory foam will respond slower than other foams.

Memory foam latex mattresses can come in various feels and firmness levels. One thing to consider with memory foams, however, is all memory foam is polyurethane foam, but not all polyurethane foam is memory foam.

Now, with latex foam, you're on the opposite side of the spectrum. Latex provides more elasticity as well as a more generalized hug than memory foam. When latex is used in latex mattresses, it provides more bounce, and a quicker response time. You'll find latex foam in synthetic latex, natural latex, and blended latex varieties.

FAQ

Here are a few frequently asked questions about Dunlop Latex.

1. Is Dunlop Latex Natural?

Dunlop latex is typically constructed from 100% rubber tree substance, where it's then foamed, and set. The liquid latex mixture is then poured all the way into a mold.

2. Does Dunlop Latex Have an Odor?

There is usually a rubbery off-gassing smell associated with most latex mattresses when they're new. The same goes with Dunlop latex layers. However, synthetic latex and blended latex are processed using petrochemicals that lead to the material emitting more VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are responsible for off-gassing odors like synthetic mattresses.

3. Is Dunlop Latex Toxic?

Dunlop latex is not toxic, and is not considered blended latex. It's the industry's highest quality natural latex, and is typically GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified.

4. Is Dunlop Latex Better than Talalay Latex?

Dunlop is usually more on the durable side than Talalay latex because of its much higher density. However, both are outstandingly durable as you’re comparing them with other mattress materials.

5. Can I Sleep on a Dunlop Latex Mattress if I Have Latex Allergies?

Because the latex goes through washing processes during the manufacturing processes, and also because your skin won't even come in direct contact with the latex that's inside the mattress, most individuals with latex allergies aren't affected when they sleep on a latex mattress.

6. Do You Need to Flip your Dunlop Latex Mattress?

Usually, there's no need to rotate or flip your latex mattress. This is due to the natural latex layers being constructed from rubber. There’s no harm in rotating or flipping your natural latex mattress, however, if you feel there might be unusual wear or pressure from not flipping it.

7. Does Latex Mattresses Get Softer With Time?

All new latex mattresses (or any mattresses) go through a “break-in” period initially in the first several weeks after you bring them home. This is because the foams and covers stretch, and go through an initial softening. After this is finished, any further softening is a lot slower. This also occurs with latex, too, but not as much as with other foams.

Buy an Eco Terra Natural Latex Hybrid Mattress

Because sleep makes up a third of your life, you don't want to waste your nights sleeping on a mattress that provides anything less than the best night's sleep. The Eco Terra Natural Latex Hybrid Mattress is a healthy and eco-friendly way to sleep with no chemicals, no toxins, and no polyurethane.

It's constructed with:

100% Natural / Organic Latex

The Eco Terral natural latex mattress contains 100% natural and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified Talalay latex from sustainable growers. No synthetic latex here.

Certified Organic Wool

Eco Terra's GOTS certified organic wool is naturally flame-resistant and temperature regulating, and provides you with the best sleep possible. There's no need for chemicals here. It even has unique properties that fight mildew and dust mites, providing you with relaxing, restorative sleep each night.

Certified Organic Cotton

Eco Terra's natural latex hybrid mattress contains pure, organic cotton, providing you with an incredible softer, plushy texture. It's free of pesticides and chemicals, and the moisture-wicking, cool GOTS certified organic cotton offers you an amazing sleep surface.

Quantum Coils and 100% Natural Latex

Eco Terra's natural hybrid latex mattress provides single-origin natural latex, so you'll experience total comfort as well as pressure-relieving, advanced coils that offer support with no partner disturbance.

It's the all-natural, safe, and non-toxic way to sleep. You’ll experience a blissful, restorative sleeping experience, leaving you waking up refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.

Be sure to take a look at our frequently asked questions about Eco Terra and our hybrid natural latex mattress.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 11 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.



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