Differences in Latex Mattresses – Synthetic (Blended) Latex vs. Natural Latex vs. 100% Natural Latex and Organic Latex

Different Types of Latex Used in Mattresses

Types of Latex Used in Latex Mattresses – An Overview

Understanding Synthetic Latex

Also referred to as Blended Latex, Synthetic latex, also known as styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), is a man-made product designed to mimic the properties of natural latex, which is derived from the sap of rubber trees. Created through a chemical process called polymerization, synthetic latex combines styrene and butadiene, which are petroleum-based compounds, to produce a material that has similar elastic properties to natural latex and 100% natural latex.

The production of synthetic latex involves emulsifying the two chemicals with soap and water before polymerizing them in the presence of catalysts. The resulting emulsion is then dried and processed into the form needed for various applications, including mattresses.

Synthetic Latex in Mattresses

Mattresses often incorporate synthetic latex due to its durability, consistency, and cost-effectiveness. While 100% natural latex can vary in quality due to environmental factors affecting rubber tree sap, synthetic latex offers a uniform product that manufacturers can rely on.

Benefits of Synthetic Latex Mattresses

  • Durability: Synthetic latex is highly durable, which helps mattresses retain their shape and support over time.
  • Consistency: With a controlled manufacturing process, synthetic latex has a consistent feel, providing a uniform sleeping surface.
  • Affordability: Compared to 100% natural latex, synthetic latex is generally less expensive to produce, making it a cost-effective material for consumers.

Drawbacks of Synthetic Latex Mattresses

  • Chemical Sensitivity: Some individuals may be sensitive to the chemicals used in synthetic latex, which could lead to allergic reactions or discomfort.
  • Environmental Impact: The production of synthetic latex relies on non-renewable resources and may not be as eco-friendly as natural latex.

Natural Latex

Natural Latex is synthetic latex. Natural latex is made of a blend of 100% natural latex mixed with some sort of percentage of synthetic latex. Natural Latex can range from being blended with only 10% of synthetic latex to being blended with 90% of synthetic latex.

Buyers need to be aware of this. If you find a low latex mattress price online, most likely it is made with natural latex.

Keep in mind that you if you are buying “natural latex” you are buying synthetic latex.

100% Natural Latex in Mattresses

Understanding 100% Natural Latex

100% Natural latex, often simply called “latex,” comes from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis. The extraction begins with tapping the trees, which entails making cuts in the bark to collect the sap, similar to the harvesting of maple syrup. This latex in its raw state is then refined for use in a variety of products.
The harvested sap undergoes a procedure known as the Dunlop or Talalay process. In the Dunlop method, the traditional approach, the liquid latex is frothed, cast into a mold, and baked to solidify. The Talalay process adds a step where the mold is flash-frozen before baking, creating a more uniform cell structure.
100% Natural Latex is a great choice your mattress’s latex. The only disadvantage is that it’s not certified. Some people don’t mind this when ordering their custom latex mattress.

100% Natural Certified Organic Latex

All certified organic latex is 100% Natural Latex. 100% Natural certified organic latex is only manufactured in the Dunlop process so you can only get organic latex in Dunlop. Here are the certified organic latex farms that we source from. GOLS is the certifying agency for 100% natural certified organic latex.
Here are some examples of organic latex mattresses and organic latex toppers.

Conclusion – Why Choose 100% Natural Latex and Organic Latex?

Choosing 100% natural latex means opting for a product that is eco-friendly and free from synthetic materials. Natural latex is biodegradable and comes from a renewable resource, making it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their environmental impact.

The rubber latex which is used for mattresses and toppers is all originally tapped from rubber trees. After tapping the rubber trees the latex is either manufactured into a consistent product through a Dunlop or Talalay process. Before the finished latex mixture is poured into the molds for these two processes, the latex can have fillers, such as polyurethane and chemicals added to the latex to cut down on cost. When these fillers are added, synthetic latex or blended latex is the final product. Synthetic latex is a blend of latex and fillers which make the synthetic latex less durable and more carcinogenic.

Natural Latex can also contain fillers and most natural latex mattresses do. Actually, most Natural Latex in the mattress marketplace is synthetic. Companies can call latex, Natural Latex as long as there is a certain percentage of natural latex in the synthetic blend. So when shopping for truly Natural Latex make sure it is 100% natural latex as opposed to say 50% natural latex disguised as just Natural Latex. The cost of 100% Natural Latex will be more but the durability and health benefits are worth every penny.

Organic Latex is certified by GOLS. The Global Organic Latex Standard. GOLS latex is 100% natural latex, however it carries the certification verifying that each step in the manufacturing process, from the harvesting of the rubber to the curing of the latex has been organic and has not been cross contaminated with rubber/sap from other non-organic latex.

All of the rubber trees on latex plantations are grown the same way. However, a section of the farm is separated for soil testing to meet the stamp of approval for GOLS. And then the rubber for your GOLS certified organic latex is selected from this part of the farm.

The main taken away is that synthetic latex and natural latex has chemicals and synthetics in it, making it cheaper to produce and therefore decreases longevity. 100% natural latex is great and free of synthetics and chemicals making it a great choice. GOLS latex is the top of the line in 100% natural latex and carries the certification for peace of mind and those who are chemically sensitive.

Learn More About Different Types of Latex