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Latex Mattress Toppers: Dunlop or Talalay?


Latex Mattresses and Latex Mattress toppers are a great alternative to manufactured mattresses that are typically full of toxic chemicals that out gas causing all sorts of reactions. Natural, pure latex by its own nature is anti-microbial and hypoallergenic. It’s soft support eliminates painful pressure points, and is a favorite for people recovering from injuries and surgeries. Latex is quite durable and lasts more than 15 years.

There are two major processes involved with turning the milky sap from the rubber tree into latex. One is called the Dunlop process and the other the Talalay process. There are advantages and disadvantages to both which are inherent in the way that they are made.

The Dunlop process has been around since 1929. The serum of the rubber tree is whipped into a light consistency and then baked in a mold at a very low temperature creating its firm consistency. As it bakes, tiny particles fall to the bottom of the mold and give the Dunlop latex a firmer feel. It is actually more dense than the Talalay processed latex.

In the Talalay process, after the latex has been poured, the mold is sealed and air is extracted and then it is flash-frozen. These vacuum and freezing steps perfectly distributes the foam liquid inside the mold creating an even consistency. The Talalay latex gives you a soft, cozy feel and is closest to the sensation of a memory foam without the out gassing. The cost of these extra processes and are passed along to the consumer making the price higher.

Is there one that is better than the other? Some Talalay latex contains a percentage of preservatives and other chemicals, but there is some Talalay that is produced without them. The Dunlop process definitely has nothing added and is a chemical-free product. The choice is then is more often based on personal comfort and cost.

Either way, the latex bed toppers and mattresses offer an educated choice in today’s search for a greener bedroom.

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  • Lynda Leonard
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