When you’re shopping for your next mattress, there are probably a lot of things floating around inside your head. What materials should you consider? What size is the perfect option for your situation? What companies have the best return policies? Does any company offer sleep trials?
We’re taking a look at a few of those topics that may help you best choose your next mattress. We’ll specifically consider the different types of latex mattresses, with a particular focus on the best five Talalay mattresses on the market.
What’s the Difference Between Dunlop and Talalay Latex?
Both Dunlop and Talalay are types of latex mattress, but the names refer to two different processes for making the latex used in these sleeping pads. The process makes a difference in the way the latex mattresses feel.
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The Dunlop way of making latex from the sap of rubber trees dates back to 1929, when the process was developed. During the process, liquid latex serum is whipped into a froth, injected into a mold in layers, and then baked in a specialized oven, referred to as a vulcanization oven.
Once the latex has finished baking, it’s removed from the mold, washed, and heated again to remove any moisture. The ultimate result is a durable, dense latex foam that retains elasticity. During this whole process, natural sediment suspended in the liquid latex settles down into the bottom layer of latex, which makes the bottom denser and firmer than the top.
What Does Dunlop Latex Feel Like?
Dunlop is highly dense, so it tends to produce a firmer mattress than other materials. Dunlop mattresses are also highly durable and springy because of this construction. When you press on it, it will recover quickly.
If you happen to have kids – or adults, as in some households – who likes jumping on the bed, the Dunlop latex mattresses are the ones to choose because they can handle that kind of abuse better than other types. Dunlop is also better for anyone who prefers a firm mattress. The durable, dense material of Dunlop latex is often used as the core even in other mattresses because of its firmness and durability.
Is Dunlop Environment-Friendly?
The process of making Dunlop latex is simpler and more energy-efficient than the process used to make Talalay latex. Because of this, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
This is also what tends to make Dunlop mattresses a bit less expensive than Talalay mattresses, though latex mattresses, whether Dunlop or Talalay, tend to be the priciest mattresses around. Dunlop’s high durability also means you don’t have to replace it as often, which means fewer mattresses in landfills.
As to the biodegradable question, the process of making latex isn’t what determines this, but rather the materials used to make it. Mattresses, whether Dunlop or Talalay, that are made of all-natural materials are biodegradable. Mattresses made from synthetic materials are not. Most latex mattresses are a blend of both natural and synthetic materials. If being biodegradable is a concern of yours, be sure to look for 100 percent natural materials.
What are the Advantages of Dunlop?
Dunlop latex mattresses have a few advantages over other mattresses:
- They are durable and long-lasting
- They are firm and supportive
- They are more environment-friendly than other mattresses
- They may be biodegradable, depending on the materials used for construction
- They are less expensive than Talalay latex mattresses
What are the Disadvantages of Dunlop?
There’s one primary disadvantage of Dunlop mattresses: They can sometimes be too firm for some sleepers.
They’re also pricier than non-latex mattresses, but not more so than Talalay mattresses.
How is Talalay Made?
The process used to make Talalay latex is similar to the process used for constructing Dunlop latex, but has a few extra steps to create that lighter, airier, more breathable texture that Talalay is known and desired for. Like in the Dunlop manufacturing process, liquid latex is whipped to a foamy consistency and poured into a mold. But when making Talalay latex, the mold is only partially filled.
The mold is then sealed to create a vacuum. This vacuum expands the liquid latex to fill the mold. The latex in the mold is then flash-frozen, which pushes out the carbon dioxide through the latex. The result is a series of breathable airways that form as the latex solidifies. Then, the latex is baked, removed from the mold, washed, and dried. This process prevents the settling like in Dunlop, so Talalay latex has a more supple, uniform consistency throughout.
What Does Talalay Latex Feel Like?
Talalay latex is particularly good at dissipating heat and moisture. Talalay latex mattresses are lighter, less dense, and more breathable than Dunlop latex. The overall feeling of the mattress is lighter, more breathable, and often therefore more comfortable for many people, especially for people who tend to sleep in warm environments.
Talalay mattresses are also less springy than Dunlop mattresses, but they are still very elastic. They are also softer than Dunlop mattresses, and don’t spring back as quickly as the latter.
Is Talalay Environment-Friendly?
Making Talalay latex is complex and labor-intensive, which means a bigger carbon footprint than other processes. It’s also the more expensive option.
Since Talalay is less dense, it’s also not as durable as Dunlop, so it has to be replaced more often than Dunlop latex.
What are the Advantages of Talalay?
There are a number of things about Talalay latex that make it worth the extra investment:
- More breathable than other mattresses
- More efficient at wicking away moisture and heat
- Uniform and consistent density and texture
- Softer and plusher than Dunlop latex
What are the Disadvantages of Talalay?
There are three main disadvantages to Talalay latex, which may or may not deter you from purchasing a mattress made of this latex:
- Generally more expensive than Dunlop mattresses
- Less durable than Dunlop mattresses
- Less environment-friendly than Dunlop latex
As a note, many latex mattresses combine both Talalay and Dunlop, taking the better aspects of each to form the best mattress possible. Usually, this involves a Dunlop core with Talalay comfort levels, which creates mattresses that are firmer, supportive, and have a breathable top.
This combination may be the best option for you in finding a mattress that meets all of your requirements.
Natural Versus Synthetic Versus Blended Latex
Finding a latex mattress that is truly 100 percent natural latex means you’ll have a little digging to do, since this statement isn’t as straightforward as it should be. Look for USDA-certified organic to find mattresses made of absolutely natural materials for biodegradable construction.
If a mattress is labeled “natural,” it’s probably mostly made up of natural materials, but there may be at least five percent synthetic materials in the mix. Synthetic latex is similar to natural latex in its physical properties, but manmade latex is made from various petrochemicals, or petroleum-based chemicals. Most mattresses currently are made from a blend of both natural and synthetic materials. This blending honestly gives the superior support, breathability, and comfort of natural latex without as much effort, and at a much more affordable price than most. Objectively, unless your main concern is biodegradability, neither natural nor synthetic is inherently better or worse than the other.
The Five Best Talalay Mattresses
For the ultimate night’s sleep, you’ve got to check out multiple mattresses. To make that a little easier, we’ve pulled together a list of the best Talalay latex mattresses on the market in 2018. Each mattress is made of Talalay latex, but has its own unique features and design.
- Uniquely conforms to every contour of the body and provides perfect support and outstanding pressure relief
- Luxurious knit cover with suede side panels are soft and silky and work together with the layers to bring the pampering that you crave and the relaxation that you deserve
- Top layer is made of 3 inches of 100 percent natural Talalay latex for a truly individual fit; 8 inches of supportive high density foam base provides unparalleled strength, so no more tossing and turning while you sleep
- Natural Talalay Latex is very soft and elastic, designed for 'breathability' with an open cell structure; special 'pin core' construction allows for ventilation of body heat and wicks away moisture
- Medium-Plush Feel and Adjustable Base Friendly
You can purchase the Classic Brands Natural Sleep Kiera Memory Foam Mattress in virtually any size from twin to California King. This mattress from Classic Brands conforms to your contours, providing precise support and pressure relief. The knit cover with suede side panels is soft, silky, and works well with the combination of the three-inch layer of 100 percent natural Talalay latex and the eight-inch high-density foam, creating the best mattress you’ve slept on.
The natural latex is soft, elastic, and breathable, with an open cell-structure. This mattress has a pin core structure that also ventilates body heat and wicks away moisture. The mattress ships compressed and rolled into a box for more convenient delivery and storage until you’re ready to set up your bed. The Classic Brands company is known for customer service that’s available seven days a week. This mattress is one of the top rated mattresses online.
- ADAPTIVE FOAM: Constructed with freshly poured T&N Adaptive foam, this mattress provides a bouncy yet supportive feel perfect for all sleeping positions. Our foam allows us to compress our mattress to fit into a small box and ships quickly
- HIGH QUALITY: Our high-grade foam is more advanced than outdated materials such as latex and memory foam which cause you to "sink in and feel stuck" and "sleep hot." The T&N Adaptive foam sleeps cool, is just the right mix of "not too soft, and not too hard", and offers great pressure relief and "localized bounce" so you won't disturb your sleeping partner.
- NO RISK: Mattress has a full refund guarantee with a 100-Night Sleep Trial, plus an honest 10-year limited warranty you can actually use (no gimmicks!). Over 95% of our customers keep their mattress and refer it to others
- NOTE: Please allow up to 72 hours for the mattress to fully expand and for any potential odor to dissipate
The Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam mattress can be purchased in any standard size, plus twin XL. This mattress is constructed with freshly poured Tuft & Needle adaptive foam, which provides a bouncy but supportive feel perfect for any kind of sleeping position.
The foam in this mattress is high-grade and advanced, helping you get a cooler sleeping experience with its balance of the right firmness and softness for ultimate comfort. The Tuft & Needle Adaptive Foam Mattress offers pressure relief, and has “localized bounce” technology to avoid disturbing anyone else in the bed when you shift in your sleep. This Tuft & Needle mattress comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial to guarantee that you’ll want to keep it for the long haul. 95 percent of folks who order this mattress choose to keep it after the 100 nights.
- Custom crafted using all-natural materials: a 1" quilted cover made with Joma Wool, for an ultra-plush and breathable sleep surface; a unique Eurotop zipper enclosure that allows you to adjust the firmness level of the 3" Talalaly Latex layer; and a firmer 6" Talalay Latex base that provides deeps compression support.
- Available in three firmness levels: soft (19 ILD), medium (28 ILD) or firm (36 ILD)
- Compressed and rolled for easy and convenient parcel shipping and set up
- Please allow up to 24 hours for mattress to expand and potential odor dissipate
- Offered with 10-year warranty, proudly made in the USA
The Ultimate Dreams Total Latex Mattress is ten inches thick and comes in any standard size. The mattress is made of organic wool to reduce chemical usage in production to make it safer and healthier for you and your family. The Talalay latex used in this mattress is naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and dust mite resistant.
One of the things we love about this particular mattress is that you can custom-tailor the firmness level you need. After you purchase, you have the opportunity to determine your precise firmness level. The Ultimate Dreams mattress is also made in the USA. This mattress from Ultimate Dreams Bedding is one of the highest rated mattresses on Amazon.
- Talalay latex layer performs perfectly in response and pressure relief, free of any flame retardant. 100% natural latex extracted from Thailand's rubber tree bears, non toxins, zero odor and allergens, working well in dust mite prevention, molding and temperature regulation. Note: can't be flipped.
- Independent encased spring support layer is made of tempered steel coils (2.0mm Diameter & 4 Lines of 2.2mm Diameter on the Edge), no signs of sagging and don't sink in. 825 coils are encased in individual pockets to provide localized bounce in different zones for excellent motion isolation.
- Cushion firm feel from cooling inner spring bed, plus comfortable latex layer greatly relief pressure points on back, shoulders and waist, no matter you are side, back or stomach sleeper.
- Perfect latex coil hybrid mattress has good responsiveness to increase airflow. Enjoy comfortable and environmentally friendly sleep on mattress. Fit bed frames: box spring, platform, slats, bunk beds, trundle beds even just the floor, not for adjustable beds.
- Natural latex mattress is compressed and rolled in a box/bag, delivery to door, 120 night home trial, 20 year warranty. If you feel the mattress too firm, add a 2-3 inch corresponding size topper for the best sleep experience.
The Sunrising Bedding natural latex mattress is made from 100 percent natural latex, extracted from Thailand’s rubber trees. That means the mattress contains no toxins, heavy metals, formaldehyde, allergens, or bad odors. The Sunrising Bedding mattress is great at preventing dust mites, molding, and handles temperature regulation well.
The Talalay technology used in this mattress offers fantastic pressure relief. It is free of those nasty flame-retardant chemicals found in artificial mattresses, yet it still meets fire code standards for safety. The Sunrising Bedding latex mattress has a layer of independently encased springs, made of tempered steel coils, for support. This provides the best support and prevents sagging and sinking. The individual casing of the springs also creates localized bounce that prevents you from disturbing your bed partner when shifting or getting into bed. The mattress comes compressed and rolled into a box for direct delivery to your home, and has a 120-night sleep trial. If you decide to keep the mattress, and likely you will, there’s a 20-year warranty. The Sunrising Bedding natural latex mattress comes in all standard sizes.
- HIGH QUALITY : We engineered our mattress using high-quality and innovative materials like Talalay latex and copper to deliver you the best night's sleep.
- COOLER SLEEP : Talalay latex's open-cell structure combined with copper's ability to wick heat away from your body to allow you to stay cool and comfortable while you sleep.
- CLEANER SLEEP : Talalay latex is naturally hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, mold- and mildew-resistant, and antifungal. Copper is inherently antibacterial and antimicrobial. Together these materials work together to deliver a cleaner sleep than any other mattress.
- MEDIUM-FIRM FEEL: The PangeaBed is a true medium-firm mattress with a dense but uplifting feel. The mattress delivers superior support to all sleepers and body types and works to reduce pressure points while
- 100 NIGHT FREE TRIAL : The copper mattress is custom built in the USA and shipped right to your front door. You can sleep on the PangeaBed risk-free for 100-nights. If you're not getting the sleep you've been dreaming of you can get a full refund. The mattress is also covered by a 10-year limited warranty.
The PangeaBed Copper Mattress is made of copper-infused 100 percent pure Talalay latex, which does an amazing job of keeping you cool and offers an antibacterial and hypoallergenic layer on which to sleep.
The mattress has a soft foam quilted cover made of premium plush, durable, and breathable material for ultimate comfort. The mattress is designed to reduce heat retention, pressure points, and to limit tossing and turning through the PangeaBed Cloud Foam. It offers contouring support through the varying layers and materials, resulting in an amazing night’s sleep.
Finding the Right Mattress
Ultimately, you’ll find the best mattress for your sleep by examining a number of options and weighing the pros and cons of each type. The price will be a factor, as well as the biodegradability and the breathability that can also affect which mattress will be most suitable to your needs.
Be sure to shop around a bit, examine mattresses side by side, and ask questions. We’d highly recommend shopping in person to get an actual physical feel for any mattress you may be considering. Lie down on it in the store, even take a nap if you can manage it, and just see how the different mattresses you’re eyeing really feel.