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What is a Talalay Latex Mattress?

April 30, 2021

What is a Talalay Latex Mattress?

Talalay latex is one of the different types of latex known for its amazing pressure relief and luxurious feel. It's frequently compared to angel food cake.

What Is a Talalay Latex Mattress?

Natural Talalay latex, not synthetic latex, has been referred to as "the most perfect sleep material on Earth." Manufacturers extract natural latex from rubber trees, and it's processed through the use of natural biodegradable ingredients derived from renewable sources. Along with being an inherently hypoallergenic and safe material, latex is also a highly desirable sleep material, due to the unique buoyant quality it delivers that relieves tension, relaxes muscles, and lifts the day's pressures away while you're sleeping.

How Does Talalay Latex Feel?

Talalay provides a decent amount of "hug", which creates an incredible "cradling" sensation similar to memory foam. It provides more yield under the shape and weight of your body, and leads to a more buoyant sensation. Some say it has a “springy” feel to it.  Over time, it might also compress less.

How Is Talalay made?

The Talalay process is a more intensive and newer method than Dunlop. The steps involved in the Talalay process are:

  1. Manufacturers whip the liquid latex extract into a froth, and it's poured into a mold, like with the Dunlop latex method, except the mold is filled partially.
  2. They vacuum seal the mold which causes the latex to expand and fill the mold eventually.
  3. They flash-freeze the molded latex, which then begins to push the carbon dioxide through the latex, making the latex foam more breathable, and lighter, as it solidifies.
  4. Then they bake the frozen latex.
  5. After the latex is baked, it's removed from the mold where they wash and dry it.

These extra steps lead to latex with a homogenous consistency. Talalay latex is fluffy and light throughout, and usually less dense and softer than Dunlop latex. This leads to the Talalay latex being used almost exclusively as a comfort layer material. It doesn't have the density and firmness that would serve as a support core element.

Where Does Talalay Originate?

Dunlop and Talalay latex are two different methods where liquid latex is transformed into mattress foam cores. They both come from the sap of the Hevea Brasiliensis rubber trees that are frequently found in South America. The rubber trees have around a 25-year productive lifespan before they're tapped for harvesting the sap, which is where the liquid latex comes from.

The manufacturing process of collecting the sap is similar to how maple sap is extracted from maple trees. Collectors cut into the bark, removing a small section where they tap into the tree, and collect the sap. The process is then repeated with another fresh cut the next day, until the extraction process is finished.

After they extract the sap, they ship it to the production facility to be combined with other natural ingredients, forming a liquid latex, not synthetic latex. The process features biodegradable, natural ingredients that are derived from water-based raw materials, and renewable resources.

They then mix the liquid latex batter together, forming a light, airy batter. This process is kind of the same process as whisking eggs into a meringue, or baking a cake.

What are the Benefits of a Talalay Latex Mattress?

Some benefits of Talalay latex mattresses are:

1. Breathable

Talalay latex consists of a breathable cell structure and design that helps to create a temperature-neutral environment that delivers more airflow than other types of latex foam. This provides you with a more comfortable, cooler night's sleep.

2. Conformable

Talalay latex mattresses provide outstanding natural pressure point relief. Latex's unique buoyant quality helps to relax your muscles, and relieve tension while lifting away your day's pressures while you're sleeping. It's frequently preferred by people looking for amazing contouring, without memory foam's more sinkable quality.

3. Resilient

Latex has natural resilience, allowing the foam to immediately go back to its initial shape following compression. Talalay latex cores won't dip excessively or break down over time.

4. Eco-Friendly

The Talalay process features biodegradable, natural ingredients that are derived from raw materials (water, natural latex, air), and renewable resources. The rubber trees are kept safe during the latex harvesting process, and they stay productive for 25 years. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and help to decrease greenhouse gases.

5. Hypoallergenic

Talalay latex is perfect for individuals with asthma and allergies. It's naturally mildew, mold, and dust mite resistant, and inherently antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial.

5. Odor-Free

Talalay doesn't off-gas like polyurethane or synthetic latex foam. You might notice a "new bed odor" when the latex first arrives at your doorstep, but it won't release any harmful chemicals. Talalay is crafted only from natural ingredients.

6. Safe and Healthy

Talalay latex is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. This certification shows the latex product is safe, free from harmful substances, and not made of synthetic latex. Not many foam or latex producers worldwide meet this third-party, independent certification standard. Also, Talalay latex often goes through a five-stage wash and rinse process in a water and soap solution, which makes it the healthiest sleeping product around.

How Is Talalay Different from Dunlop?

When comparing Dunlop vs. Talalay latex, the difference between Dunlop latex and Talalay latex is how the materials are produced. The terms "Dunlop" and "Talalay" refer to certain manufacturing processes used for making these materials. The starting material is the same. The manufacturing process used is the major difference.

The Dunlop latex process is easier, which usually means Dunlop latex products aren't as costly as Talalay. There's a more involved process with Talalay, but it generates less dense and softer latex material that's suited better for specific applications.

Many manufacturers use both types in their mattresses, so you might wind up with a mattress that uses both Dunlop latex and Talalay latex. Talalay's softer feel is ideal for comfort layers while Dunlop's firmness and higher density are ideal for a mattress's support core.

How Is Talalay Similar to Dunlop?

A lot of the steps of the Talalay process are similar to the Dunlop latex process. Like with Dunlop latex process foam, manufacturers foam and pour the latex into a big mold. However, in the Talalay process, they only partially fill the mold. They seal the lid of the mold, and expand the latex by vacuum filling the mold.

After it's completely expanded, they freeze the mold. Then, carbon dioxide gas becomes pushed through the latex, causing it to gel. They then raise the temperature to 220 degrees F to vulcanize the latex. Like with the Dunlop latex process, Talalay process foam is washed thoroughly, and eventually dried after it's vulcanized.

How Does Talalay Latex Differ From Memory Foam

Memory foam and Talalay latex have more differences than they do similarities. Talalay latex is more elastic than memory foam. When it's used in mattresses, this means more bounce, and a quicker response time. If you press your hand into a latex mattress and lift it up, the mattress will go back to its initial shape very fast. When you apply pressure to a memory foam mattress, the mattress contours, and hugs your body. Memory foam conforms to each individual's exact shape.

Some individuals like this feeling, while others say it's too hot. How fast the mattress changes to pressure varies depending on the certain type of memory foam, but generally, it's going to bounce back a bit more slowly than Talalay latex.

FAQ

1. How Long Do Talalay Latex Mattresses Last?

A natural latex mattress is meant to last about 10 to 20 years. This is far longer than your average mattress-in-a-box. Natural latex mattresses provide peace of mind, since they last for years, but also when it is time for you to buy a new mattress, your old latex mattress won't leave behind a nasty carbon footprint.

2. How Is Talalay Latex More Healthy?

The chemicals are where the difference lies. A lot of mattress adhesives contain various toxic chemicals. For instance, solvent-based mattress adhesives consist of 48 toxic chemicals, and the foam has another seven. Talalay latex mattresses are 100% Talalaly. Typically, Talalaly beds are constructed with water-based adhesives, and only contain non-toxic chemicals like:

  • Diphenyl diisocyanate
  • Phenol-urea
  • Acrylate resins
  • Polyvinyl acetate
  • Phenol-melamine resins
  • Waxes styrene-butadiene copolymer

They also typically contain a few natural materials like hevea brasiliensis milk, fats, and water.

3. How Is Talalay Latex Eco-Friendly?

The manufacturing process doesn't damage the ozone layer, and doesn't use solvents. Talalay latex is typically Oeko-Tex certified, which is the highest environmental consumer product standard in Europe. This means it's free of chemicals and harmful substances.

  • Talalay latex rubber is constructed using an environmentally friendly production process: The Talalay process features biodegradable, natural ingredients that are derived from water-based raw materials (air, natural latex, and water) and renewable resources. Latex is derived from the hevea brasiliensis tree, and is a rubber-based material. The rubber trees have a powerful effect on the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide fast from the atmosphere, helping decrease greenhouse emissions.
  • Talalay latex rubber is constructed with water and energy conservation in mind.

4. How Does a Talalay Latex Mattress Improve My Sleep Quality?

Talalay mattresses help relax your muscles by offering a pressure-less feel and uplifting support. A lot of people describe it as a "floating" sensation, or being suspended. Relaxing your muscles can help manage anxiety, relieve stress, and ease stiffness.

5. What Benefits Do Talalay Latex Mattresses Provide?

A Talalay mattress provides a soft support layer that offers essential pressure point cushioning. This is perfect for individuals who prefer softer foundations, and individuals who sleep on their sides.

Indulge in an Eco Terra Hybrid Latex Mattress

Eco Terra Hybrid Latex Mattresses are non-toxic and safe. Eco Terra handcrafts each of their mattresses from single-origin, organic materials, with no chemicals or toxins. You can rest assured the natural latex mattresses from Eco Terra contain no chemical adhesives, no polyurethane, and no chemical fire retardants.

Eco Terra mattresses are constructed with:

100% Natural Latex

Eco Terra goes beyond standard manufacturing bringing you more comfortable, healthier sleep. Using Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, sustainable grower 100% natural Talalay latex, its comfort can't be matched by synthetic latex foams.

Certified Organic Cotton

Eco Terra sources organic, pure cotton bringing you outstanding, soft plush texture. It's free from pesticides and chemicals, and is moisture-wicking and cool. The GOTS-certified organic cotton generates the most amazing inviting sleeping surface.

Certified Organic Wool

Naturally flame-resistant and temperature regulating, Eco Terra's GOTS certified organic wool provides the best in sleep, with no chemicals used or required. Its unique properties fight mildew and dust mites, and provide you with a restorative, fresh sleep each night.

Other mattress companies "greenwash" their latex mattresses by stating their foams are eco-friendly and plant-based, when in actuality, only a small percentage are. This is why Eco Terra believes you should observe the law tag prior to purchasing any mattress, which will help to separate truth from hype. Eco Terra has no problem showing you what's on our legal label — natural cotton, wool,  and latex foam — and nothing else.

Eco Terra Natural latex hybrid mattress is available in medium and medium-firm support.

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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