Talalay vs. Dunlop Latex

Types of Latex: Organic Rubber Latex -Synthetic Latex -Or a Combination of the Two

Organic Latex: Organic latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree which is processed (see manufacturing process for Dunlop and Talalay). A mattress made from organic latex does not contain any chemicals, synthetics, pesticides, herbicides, or other man-made products.

100% Natural Dunlop or Talalay Latex: Like organic latex, 100% natural is made from the sap of the rubber tree which is processed (see manufacturing process for Dunlop and Talalay). 100% Natural latex does not carry the associated USDA agricultural certification. The manufacturing process for organic latex and 100% natural latex is the same. The quality of the end product is identical.

Synthetic Latex: Latex that is not 100% organic is mixed with petroleum based plasticizer like butadiene and styrene that creates synthetic latex.

Blended Latex: Some companies combine organic and synthetic latex in their mattresses. Our latex mattress isn’t like this, but some combination latex mattresses also include fillers which are particles of clay (or other materials) that are mixed into the latex. Fillers make latex cheaper, but also less durable and stiffer.

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Latex Extraction and Sustainability

The rubber for latex mattress comes from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand. Sleeping Organic extracts our rubber sap from sustainable plantations in Sri Lanka, and manufactures our mattresses in the United States. The technique for tapping latex from rubber trees eliminates a need to cut down the tree for latex extraction, creating a sustainable relationship between sleep and sap. Latex is extracted by carefully cutting the bark of rubber trees (which heals rapidly) to allow the flow of the white milk-type sap without damaging the tree. Rubber trees can yield latex for as long as 30 years. When the trees are harvested, the land is replanted and the Rubber-wood is used to create furniture. Latex is all-natural, and biodegradable. In order to appreciate the value of latex, it is necessary to understand that each rubber tree weeps 15 grams of latex, daily. The core of a queen sized mattress requires the daily output of 2,500 trees that spread over 12 acres of rubber plantation. This provides a living to eight rubber tappers. Interestingly, these rubber trees accounts for the removal of 143 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide from the environment over one year.

Latex Manufacturing Process

Differences Between:



Manufacturing Process

  1. Process has been used in latex manufacturing since 1929
  2. Thick rubber sap is whipped into a froth in a centrifuge
  3. Sap is poured into a mold, the mold is covered and steam baked
  4. Natural sediments in the mixture settle to the bottom of the mold making Dunlop layers slightly firmer on the bottom side
  1. Newer process that has two additional steps
  2. Thick rubber sap is whipped into a froth in a centrifuge
  3. Sap is poured and the mold is sealed
  4. The process continues in a vacuum chamber where air is extracted
  5. The mold is flash frozen using chemicals to stabilize the materials
  6. The mold is then baked


Dunlop is denser than Talalay which makes it a bit firmer, heavier and more durable Talalay has a more consistent cell structure, making it more soft and pillow-like

Major Uses

This firmer latex is typically used as a base core component Talalay is typically preferred as a top cushion layer

Latex Allergies

Allergies are caused by the presence of proteins in a material. The protein in latex can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Some proteins in organic latex are similar to food proteins such as: bananas, avocados, chestnuts, kiwi, and tomatoes. Allergic reactions differ in severity from one individual to another. Severity often depends on the extent of contact between latex and the human body. People often suffer from extreme allergic reactions when being exposed to balloons, gloves, condoms, and other products that come in direct contact with the body. However, people seldom experience intense allergic reactions to organic latex mattresses due to barriers like sheets, pillows cases, and mattress covers that act as a shield between the body and the latex. One-hundred percent organic latex manufacturing processes helps prevent allergies by extensively washing off all of the free proteins. We use 1.5 cubic meters of good drinkable quality water in the final wash through to keep latex allergies to a bare minimum. Therefore, the quality and availability of clean drinking water is essential in producing organic latex mattresses. In our case, the government sponsored Board of Investment Export Processing Zone in Avissawella, Sri Lanka makes sure this quality water is available in abundance during our manufacturing process.