What is it? How is it made? What are its benefits?
The Natural Bedding Company started using latex in mattresses over a decade ago with so much positive feedback. “Its supportive, comfortable and natural…” To this day we still use latex and we want to share with you all we know about this fascinating, versatile, sustainable material. Our range of Handmade Sydney latex mattresses are all natural with no use of glues or treatments. Read on to learn the truth about latex.
How is Natural latex produced?
There are two ways to produce natural latex;
1) The Talalay process,
2) The Dunlop process (which has nothing to do with Dunlop, the brand name).
Both processes begin by mixing a large amount of rubber polymer (tree sap) with a small amount of a VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) producing gelling agent and then poured into a mould and Vacuum treated.
The Talalay Process freezes the mixture. The Dunlop process does not.
Then both are stabilised, and vulcanised using an Open Steam system. The latex is then removed from the mould. The next stage is to wash the latex several times in water which leaches out the VOC content. The natural rubber latex is then dried cut and trimmed .The end result is then quality control checked, tested and packaged.
How is Synthetic Latex made?
Synthetic latex can be made using either the Talalay or Dunlop process. The only difference is that the raw material the process begins with 100% manmade or a blend of synthetic and natural (the polymer or rubber content). Synthetic latex won’t last very long and may start to pack down quickly.
What is the Difference between the Talalay & Dunlop processes?
The Mixture is frozen which gives a better consistency to the density over the life of the mattress. This means that when you buy a 75kg per cubic meter natural latex mattress it will remain at 75kg per cubic meter until the end of the life of the mattress. Often this is not considered to be a cost effective method as this process is highly expensive for what might be considered a very small advantage.
This mixture is not frozen which means that the density may change 2 - 3 kg over the life span (up to 25 years) of the natural latex rubber mattress which for the majority of sleepers will be unnoticeable. The natural latex rubber mattress will feel as comfortable and supportive as a natural latex rubber mattress produced using the Talalay process.
What is 100% Natural Latex?
The ingredients for natural latex rubber are tree sap from the rubber tree and VOC's . It is very common to see advertisements for 100% Natural Latex because when the tree sap content is higher than 95% of the total products ingredients the latex can be referred to as 100% Natural. This seems a little silly as the purest natural Latex can contain only 98% tree sap and the rest (2%) is VOC's. This is the most natural material used in the production of a mattress.
Natural Latex v Synthetic Latex
Natural latex and synthetic latex can be made using either the talalay process or the Dunlop process. 100% Tree sap from the rubber tree is used to produce natural latex rubber. Whereas man-made rubber polymer is blended with the natural tree sap in the production of Synthetic latex.
Synthetic latex is not necessarily cheaper than the natural latex rubber as the Talalay process may increase costs. This can make the finished product more expensive in comparison to the natural latex rubber. The Talalay Process is beneficial as the finished product will maintain a consistent denisty for its life of 5 - 10 years. However Natural Latex rubber has a lifespan of 15 - 25 years. Synthetic latex also contains petrol chemicals which outgas - these are very smelly and can even trigger allergic reactions consumers.
Natural latex is not necessarily more expensive than synthetic latex but we consider it to be far superior. Natural latex will feel the same to lie on, from your first nights sleep, to your last on the mattress, up to 25 years later.
Natural & Synthetic latex contain a very small amount of VOC's (these turn the goo into a foam) which are washed out of the final product before it reaches the manufacturer (us).
Which latex is the best?
We consider the best latex to be natural latex rubber. The best value for money is natural latex made using the Dunlop process.
|Natural Bedding Latex• fine, homogeneous & strong|
• bright and shiny creamy white
• has a pleasant smell
|Commonly Used Latex• rough & weak cell structure|
• dull colour
• has a malodour
Where does the best latex come from?
The entire raw latex polymer (rubber tree sap) must come from within a 200 km distance of the equator. The raw material is shipped around the world to many different companies and countries and is processed using either the Talalay process or the Dunlop process. This means whether it’s made in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Belgium, Germany, or Netherlands there is little to no difference in the finished product.
Where does your latex come from?
The company we have been working with for over 20 years is situated in Sri Lanka. We have learned a great deal about the processes of latex - how it is manufactured, what its capabilities are - from this company. We have compared many samples of latex and believe we are using the most natural latex in the world.
Our Latex is thoroughly washed piece by piece to achieve optimum cleanliness. No perfume/fragrance, masking agent or pigments are used in production. Only the natural latex ivory colour and sweet odour are retained in our mattresses. In addition, no chemicals are used in the manufacturing processes. The health enhancing properties of the products are the result of many years of research in natural latex properties.
For many years this company has been certified by world-renowned institutes as a manufacturer of durable, high quality, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, hypoallergenic, dust-free and hygienic sleeping products
How much should a latex mattress cost?
Talalay Processed latex, if made with 100% natural raw latex polymer, should cost upwards of $5000 - $6000. If made with 100% synthetic raw polymer it should be extremely cheaper possibly $2000. If made with a blend of synthetic and natural it will be around $3500 - $4500.
Dunlop Processed latex if made with 100% natural raw latex polymer should cost $1500 and upwards. If made with 100% synthetic raw polymer or a blend of synthetic and natural it should only cost $500 - $800.
If the mattress also contains foams, comforters, expensive fabrics, and/or fancy coverings, these will all increase the price.
What is latex like to sleep on?
Many customers love the feel of our latex mattresses; so much so we have customers who bought our mattresses right at the beginning of our career and who are now coming back to replace them. It is hard to explain in words what it feels like so we encourage you to pop by and give them a try yourself! Although firm (latex is a dense material), our mattresses are comfortable and supportive. Due to our posture zoning, our latex mattresses will hug your body and allow it to sink into the right places, just enough. They also provide excellent back support. We have different combinations of materials in our mattresses to give a different feel; we have a great range to suit almost all individual preferences! Choosing a mattress is a very personal thing, and an important decision considering how much time you spend in your bed. Come in to our shop and try them out to see what you like!
Why choose latex?
The many benefits include;
- Value for money
- Unparalled support
- Life span of up to 25 years
- Reduces partner disturbance
- Naturally anti-fungal & anti-bacterial
- Naturally dust mite resistant
- No toxic outgas/smell
- Carbon disulphide free
- Penta-chlorophenol free
- Nitrosamine free
- Toxic free
From inquisitive customers to chemically sensitive consumers if you’ve got a question hopefully we’ve got the answer.
If not, we'll find it. Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on (02) 9569 4834.