The answer depends on what you want the latex to do, here is our guide to the two main latex mattress manufacture methods. There are two main methods of producing latex sheeting.
Talalay Dunlop also known as Dunlopillo due to the confusion with the brand. There are some differences in the manufacture and properties of the end product that you need to be aware of.
There is also a detailed article here on the multitude of other latex blends and marketing terms. Talalay latex Is created when liquid latex is poured into special moulds which partially fills them. They are then are vacuum sealed and the air is removed, this makes the latex expand and fully fill the mould. The latex is then frozen at degrees.
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Co2 gas is then blown through the mix which makes it harden and it is finally baked at degrees to finish it. It is then washed to remove additives and solvents. Why is Talalay latex so expensive? Also, the process by which is is baked is more expensive than the Dunlop method.
Which is quite confusing. Talalay is better for softer comfort layers, but you would need far more of it to get the same support you can get with Dunlop latex.
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Thus, the overall cost of a like for like mattress in Talalay would be higher as you would need more Talalay to get the same support, granted the top comfort layers would be softer. Dunlop latex Liquid latex is mixed with soaps and air to get the desired density.
A gelation agent is added to turn it solid as it is poured onto a conveyor belt or mould and then vulcanised, baked, in an oven. Once baked it is then washed to remove soaps, additives and solvents. Then oven dried again on the conveyor belt and cut to the correct size. Dunlop is incredibly progressive in its comfort and can provide support with lower amounts of latex when compared to Talalay which reduces the cost to the consumer and depth of the overall mattress.
Dunlop is also considered the most robust of the two types giving a slightly firmer feel to it compared to Talalay.
What is the difference between the manufacture methods of latex? Another valid question which is shrouded in some mystery and personal preferences. Others will swear to know the difference and have their own preference.
In a nutshell, Talalay is a softer latex than Dunlop, which is usually firmer with more progressive comfort and support. With latex, the end product has the following differences for each method. Talalay is softer and can be more breathable 2. Dunlop offers better progressive comfort, i. Talalay is the most expensive production process due to the methods described above. Due to this, it has led to only being supplied to a select number of manufacturers who used to pay the premium for having this material.
This has led to some people claiming that Talalay is, therefore, the highest quality as only a few use it.
The Dunlop method offers a wider variety of products due to its manufacture method and it can be produced to almost any dimension. The energy usage is 4 times lower than Talalay. There is an argument that Dunlop latex is more environmentally friendly than its Talalay equivalent. Talalay offers better breathability; though given how incredibly breathable Latex is this benefit may be minimal in the mattress context.
Dunlop is argued to be more durable and resilient than Talalay.
See our density guide here. Latex blends and percentages.
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