Dunlop vs. Talalay Latex. What's the difference?

May 01, 2015

Rubber tree sap harvest
You may have been perusing our site and wondering what exactly do Dunlop and Talalay mean?
The terms Dunlop and Talalay describe the two main ways to create latex foam. As mentioned in our post about natural latex, liquid latex is first harvested from the tree sap in rubber plantations near the equator. The substance is then mixed with various foaming agents to get it to expand when exposed to heat, like the way bread is baked. 
Both types of production use vulcanization, a process by which liquid latex is hardened into solid. Hardening happens when latex particles are cross-linked with sulfur though the application of heat and accelerators. 
The Dunlop Process
  1. Liquid latex is foamed and poured into a mold
  2. Mold is sealed and sent to vulcanization oven
  3. Solid latex is washed to rid excess materials
  4. Foam dried at high heat to purge all moisture
The Talalay Process  
  1. Liquid latex is foamed and partially poured into a mold
  2. Latex is expanded via vacuum to fill out the mold, then flash frozen
  3. Carbon dioxide gas is pushed through latex, forming gel
  4. Gel latex is sent to vulcanization oven
  5. Solid latex is washed to rid excess materials
  6. Foam dried at high heat to purge all moisture
Natural Latex Manufacturing Process
Washing is an important step of both processes, because it ensures the foam’s elasticity, purity, and longevity of use. Talalay is the more time and energy consuming process overall, so Talalay products are usually more of a premium item.
So, what is the difference in result?
  • Dunlop foam is the firm and more dense option. It's also more long-lasting. The "settling" effects of Dunlop create a firm layer on the bottom for support, and a soft top layer for pressure point relief, providing a nice balance for side sleepers.
  • Talalay is the more airybouncy, and soft foam that feels like sleeping on a cloud. Sleepers report sinking into its plush consistency, making it ideal for back sleepers. 

That being said, differences between the two types are often not very noticeable. Both types of latex are still quite responsive and breathable because of the air bubbles in the foam, as well as 100% natural, hypoallergenic, and anti-microbial.

Here at MyOrganicSleep, you can find pillows and latex toppers made of Dunlop latex. We also offer a natural latex pillow made from Talalay foam for the softest and coolest rest imaginable. 

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