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Dunlop Latex Foam Ltd

Different Latex, Different “feel”

One of the most common questions we’re asked is, What’s the difference between Dunlop and Talalay? I’d like to take a shot at a subjective view about the feel of the latex. It may help you understand natural latex better.

Pound Cake

The Dunlop manufacturing process has been done the same way since 1929. The latex mixture is poured into a mold and baked, producing layers just like the layers of a cake. Natural sediments in the mixture settle to the bottom of the mold and are baked in, so each layer is subtly denser, and therefore just a bit firmer, on the bottom side.

Here’s one example of the versatility of Dunlop—say, heaven forbid, you hurt your back five years from now, and need a much firmer mattress for six months while you recuperate. Dunlop to the rescue. Simply unzip the casing top and turn over any layer of Dunlop for a slightly firmer feel. Try one change for a week, then if you’d like it firmer still, turn over another. Even all three. You will notice the difference. You can also move a firmer layer from the bottom of the mattress to the middle or top for a time if you need to. There’s no harm to the function or longevity of the mattress.

The texture of Dunlop latex really is quite close to pound cake. It has a denser feel than Talalay does. There are lots of tiny irregular air bubbles, and while you can choose a comfy Soft feel if you like, there’s still more “heft” to a piece of Dunlop in your hand. Dunlop is resilient and responsive to your body, but not bouncy. When people say, I really like it soft, but I don’t want a “sinking” sensation, I always suggest Dunlop.

I have a bad back, weigh 148, and am a side sleeper, and my configuration is two Medium Dunlops over a Firm. I’m thinking of adding a 2″ wool topper for extra surface “cush”.

Latex for angels

Talalay (pron. TAL-ah-lay) latex, on the other hand, is softer at every grade than Dunlop. Soft, Medium and Firm Talalay are softer than their Dunlop counterparts. The Talalay process adds two steps that are not used in Dunlop manufacture—after the mold is poured, it’s sealed, and the rest of the process is done in a vacuum environment. Also, the Talalay molds are flash-frozen before they’re baked.

The result is latex for angels—the vacuuming and freezing steps create a very even consistency from top to bottom and edge to edge. Talalay Soft is very like angel food cake. (Angel food cake that lasts for decades, that is.) You won’t “sink like a stone” lying on Talalay, but it does yield more around your body than Dunlop does. Another characteristic of Talalay is a “springier” feel to its response.

For big people who weigh 200 pounds or more, we normally don’t recommend the very soft Talalay, but those who love a pillowy, cushy surface that feels a little “embracing”, Talalay’s the charm.

Sometimes people tell us that although they’re eager to get rid of a memory foam mattress because of the off-gassing chemicals, they did love the feel. Soft Talalay is the closest approximation to the “cradling” feel of memory foam. But better, since you don’t have to “re-heat it” to get it to feel good again every time you roll over!

The reason Talalay is more expensive than Dunlop is not because it’s “better” or “purer”, but simply because the cost of those two extra manufacturing steps—the vacuum chamber and the flash-freezing–is passed along.

Bake Your Own

When you choose layers for your own Savvy Rest organic mattress, open-mindedness is the best approach. Try different combinations, or if there’s no dealer nearby, give us a call. We’ve had a lot of practice walking customers through it and we can help you choose.

The main thing to remember is there isn’t a right or wrong type of latex, just the type and the combination that will feel good to you. Your height, weight, sleeping positions, any pain issues—all those factor in when choosing a natural mattress. It’s a collaboration–an art rather than a science, but we can normally guide you right to the customization you’ll love for comfort and support. And if the first choice isn’t perfect, you still have three months to do a layer exchange if you’d like (about 10 percent our customers do).

About the Author

Laura heads up marketing and does business development for Savvy Rest. She also loves helping people and particularly enjoys educating people about the unique benefits of an organic mattress.

Cocolatex Manufacturing


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