Is Talalay Better Than Dunlop?
When looking for my own natural latex mattress I came across a lot of misinformation regarding the differences between Dunlop and Talalay – I found the answer usually depends on who you ask.
This is because most info is written directly manufacturers and sellers themselves – biased towards one over the other. You really need to go to an independent source to get to the truth.
I review both Dunlop Latex AND Talalay Latex mattresses – so I’m not trying reccommend one over the other. You can trust in my independent non-biased review to compare Dunlop Vs Talalay objectively.
With that being said, this article breaks down the materials and manufacturing processes of each to discover once and for all the differences between them – and which is better.
Dunlop Vs Talalay
Dunlop latex and Talalay latex share the same main ingredients; 100% natural raw liquid rubber. Both Dunlop and Talalay latex foam are the purest, most natural forms of latex foam available.
So Whats The Difference Between Dunlop and Talalay?
Whilst Dunlop and Talalay share virtually the same ingredients, their point of difference is the method of manufacture.
Lets break down the manufacturing processes of each;
The Dunlop Method – What Is Dunlop Latex?
Invented by Dunlop in 1929, the Dunlop method is the oldest and simplest form of latex foam production. The Dunlop method has fewer steps in its production compared to the Talalay method;
How Is Dunlop Latex Made
- 100% natural raw rubber liquid is whipped, thickened and aerated until it reaches a foam like consistency.
- The whipped rubber is then poured into a mould and steam baked, hardening the foam and to locking in its shape.
- The foam is removed form the mold, rinsed, then dried off.
The end result is a natural latex foam which is strong, very durable and simple to make.
Is Dunlop Latex Comfortable
Dunlop is very dense and has a high tensile strength, giving it a firmer mattresses feel which responds well to pressure – its springy. It’s firmness make it ideally suited for back sleepers and those requiring extra support. Natural Dunlop latex mattresses are often combined with softer pillow tops made from wool or organic cotton to give it more of a soft to medium feel.
- During the baking process natural sediments within the latex settle towards the bottom. This gives Dunlop foam a slightly denser and noticeably firmer underside. Many Dunlop mattresses exploit this feature to create a double sided flippable mattress with two different comfort options.
- Dunlop foam is naturally high in strength making it very durable and long lasting – This is why you see 100% natural Dunlop latex with a 20 – 25 yr warranty.
Pros and Cons of Dunlop Latex
✅ Strong and Durable
✅ All Natural and simple to manufacture
✅ Cheaper than Talalay
✅ Naturally antimicrobial, dust mite resistant and moisture resistant.
❌ Firm feel when used on its own
The Talalay Method – What is Talalay Latex?
Talalay latex has been around since the 1940s. The Talalay method requires two further steps than the Dunlop method;
How Talalay Latex is Made
- 100% natural raw rubber is whipped, thickened and aerated until it reaches a foam consistency.
- The whipped mixture is poured to partially fill a mold which is then vacuum sealed. The vacuum creates negative pressure and the foam expands to fill the entire mold. The vacuum method is what gives Talalay its light, fluffy and uniform consistency.
- The latex is flash frozen in place to fix everything in place and prevent settling.
- Baked at around 220F to lock in the shape
- Rinsed and dried
Comfort & Support
The additional vacuum and flash freezing steps used in the Talalay process result in a more uniform and consistent foam which is both softer and lighter than Dunlop – Ideally suited to top comfort layers.
Talalay is less springy than Dunlop, offering a slower response to pressure which it ideal for side sleepers.
Because Talalay is light air can travel more freely throughout the material – which makes it sleep cooler than Dunlop.
The reduced density makes Talalay a little less durable than Dunlop – although it’s still by any measure a very reliable and durable material.
The image below compares Dunlop latex foam to Talalay latex foam. You can clearly see the difference in composition with Talalay being much more consistent and uniform with smaller air pockets.
Pros and Cons of Talalay Latex
✅ Softer then Dunlop – Suited to top comfort layers and better for side sleepers
✅ Sleeps Cool
✅ Naturally antimicrobial, dust mite and moisture resistant.
❌ More expensive than Dunlop
❌ Less durable compared to Dunlop
Summary; Dunlop Vs Talalay – Which Is Better?
In summary neither Dunlop or Talalay is better than the other – rather each is well suited to different situations. The best natural latex mattresses are most often a combination of the two;
Dunlop is more dense and firm – well suited for use as a strong durable base layer, or for use in a firmer feel for back sleepers.
Talalay on the other hand is softer and lighter, better suited to side sleepers and those wanting a soft to medium feel, which is why its often used as a top comfort layer on top of a Dunlop latex base.
Keep in mind; Any 100% natural mattress will use either the Dunlop or Talalay method – but keep a look out for mattresses using Dunlop or Talalay blends which use synthetic fillers. Visit the reviews page for my list of the best genuine 100% natural latex mattresses here.