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Dunlop or Talalay Latex Foam

Dunlop Latex Foam Sample with "Snowflake" Like Cell Structure

Talalay Latex Foam Sample with Uniform Round Cell Structure

Dunlop and Talalay are both latex foam manufacturing processes. The process used to create Talalay latex is the more modern of the two and includes two additional steps in the manufacturing process. Neither foam is superior over the other.

How Do I Choose the Right Latex Foam For Me

Are you confused about the differences between Dunlop and Talalay Latex Foam? You are not alone. This is one of the most common questions asked by consumers. These two terms, Dunlop and Talalay, are used to describe the different manufacturing processes used to make latex foam. Though both are made with similar materials, each offers unique characteristics that will differentiate one from the other, helping you decide which mattress is best for you. We use Dunlop latex in our Natural Flex® Supreme mattresses and Talalay, or a combination or Talalay and Dunlop, in our Natural Flex® Ultra mattresses.

Dunlop Latex Foam

The traditional Dunlop process has been used to manufacture latex since 1929 and this process is known for creating a firmer form of latex. The thick rubber sap, or serum, is whipped into a froth in a centrifuge, poured into a mould where aeration begins, and then steam baked. Unlike the Talalay manufacturing process, aeration does not take place in a vacuum chamber, and natural sediments in the mixture settle to the bottom of the mould and are then baked in. Each layer is subtly denser, therefore a bit firmer, on the bottom side. The cell structure of Dunlop latex is more of a snowflake structure. (As seen in the top left photo) After baking, the latex is allowed to cool naturally. During this cooling process, the pockets of air inside the latex will rise towards the top. The latex is then washed and dried.

When people say, “I really like the top of my mattress to be soft, but I don’t want a ‘sinking’ sensation,” we usually suggest a Dunlop latex mattress. Dunlop is slightly denser, and may be a bit firmer overall than Talalay. Dunlop latex is generally not as yielding as Talalay latex, and gives less when pressure is applied. Dunlop latex may be manufactured using a metal mould or through a continuous pouring process.

Talalay Latex Foam

The manufacturing process used to create Talalay latex is the more modern of the two. The Talalay process adds two steps. The first step occurs after the latex is poured in the mould. Unlike the Dunlop process, aeration takes place in a sealed vacuum chamber that allows the latex to stretch more than during the Dunlop process. This aeration also creates a more uniformed round cell structure that improves durability and creates a softer feel when complete. (As seen in the bottom left photo) The second additional step is to flash freeze the mould right after aeration is complete and before baking. The vacuum and freezing steps create a very even consistent cell structure from top to bottom and edge to edge. The reason Talalay is more expensive than Dunlop is not because it’s “better” or “purer”, but simply because of the cost of the two additional manufacturing steps—the vacuum chamber and the flash-freezing. Talalay is also washd and dried in its final steps.

Talalay will produce a more yielding and conforming feel around your body than Dunlop latex does. Because Talalay is aerated in a vacuum chamber, the stretched latex allows your body to sink into the mattress and provides a relaxing contoured feel. Another characteristic of Talalay is a “springier” feel. Talalay latex can be designed to achieve plusher feels than Dunlop latex. The industry term to quantify the plushness of a foam is called IFD (Indentation Force Deflection, also known as Indentation Load Deflection or ILD). The manufacturing process of producing Talalay latex allows for a greater range of firmness (IFD) than Dunlop latex.

Which Latex Foam Is Better

There isn’t a right or wrong type of latex and we can say with confidence that neither is superior to the other. Your height, weight, sleeping positions, degree of restlessness, and any pain issues all factor into your choice. Dunlop is generally denser, which makes it a bit firmer overall than Talalay. Talalay is a good choice if you'd like a pillowy-soft surface "feel". What matters is which type of foam, or which combination of foams, will create the right comfort and support for your needs. Both Dunlop latex and Talalay latex make a fine mattress support system and are extremely pure in comparison to conventional mattress materials.

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