We love organic and natural latex–there are too many benefits for us to pass up.
Natural latex is breathable, hypoallergenic**, durable, supportive, and moreover, it is chemically safer than polyurethane and memory foam. (1)
Latex is made through extracting a milky liquid from a rubber tree. It is then produced into latex foam using two main methods: Dunlop versus Talalay.
One is not inherently better than the other, as some articles may suggest–but is highly dependent on individual preferences.
They both can be quite durable depending on care and use. Do you use a cover? Do you sleep in one place? How often do you wash your sheets?
So, what is the difference between Dunlop versus Talalay method?
Here, we’ve provided a chart on our research, and our experiences with our own products at Organic Textiles.
|General History||1929 (E.A. Murphy UK)
Named after the findings at Dunlop Tyre and Rubber Company, a research scientist accidentally discovered that mixing together after heating soap, liquid latex, and gelling agents created latex foam. (3)
Since this method has been in the business longer, it has been more time-tested for reliability.
Named after Ansil Talalay, he with his brothers, Leon and Joseph reinvented latex rubber products. (3)
The new engineering has improved and created a process to create a more consistent texture.
|Engineering||Dunlop tends to be a simpler and less expensive method to manufacture.
The rubber liquid is extracted, whipped and frothed, placed in a mold and baked steam.
|Talalay is a method that requires fewer raw materials during manufacturing.
It uses a vacuum and deep freeze method that results in a more consistent cell structure foam structure. (2)
|Texture||During the baking process, sediments in the mixture “settle” towards the bottom, making the final product much more firm on the bottom. (2)
Because of this, Dunlop latex tends to feel dense due to the firmer bottom layer.
However, Dunlop has a softer texture upon first touch because it’s not as porous.
|Talalay has a more consistent cell structure, making it more soft and fluffy.
Because of the more consistent texture of the latex, it may feel plushy when compressed.
Talalay latex also has higher tensile strength, meaning it can elongate more.
|Customers say Dunlop is more bouncy and buoyant since it doesn’t quite sink like Talalay does.
Reports say it feels like “floating” when used.
|Customers often say Talalay is much springier, because of its consistency.
It is able to bounce back easily when folded or compressed.
It also feels lighter and softer to sink into.
|Air Circulation||Dense foam tends to have less air circulation within latex—however the convenient larger pinholes balance air circulation.||Talalay tends to be breathable, making an excellent choice for those who sleeps “hot.”|
|Support||Because of the “settling” effects of Dunlop creating a firm layer on the bottom,there is a higher, desirable quality of support factor. (2)||Comparing Talalay with the same density and size of the Dunlop, Talaly is much softer and springier. However, our firmer Talalay can also provide support when needed.|
|Sleeping Positions||Because of the engineering, the top part of a Dunlop latex is soft enough to release pressure point on the body.
The firmer bottom part of the latex provides more support.
Some of customers say they prefer this mattress if they are a side sleeper, as it’s easier to switch positions and will not feel like it’s “sinking.” Again, it depends on preference.
|This tends to be the most preferred comfort layer of a mattress.
It’s consistently soft texture will feel plushy and completely conform to the body, making it ideal for a cloud-nine experience.
It provides complete relief from pressure point associated with firmer beds, and it is ideal for back sleepers.
The firmer version can also be made into a support layer as well.
In the end, we love them both. We want to provide both options to accommodate to customer preferences and requirements—whatever will make our customers happy.
**Note: hypoallergenic does not mean allergen free. If the doctor says you’re allergic to latex, it’s best to follow a professional’s advice.