Dunlop Vs Talalay
both Dunlop and Talalay are the purest most natural latex foams available – they share the same main ingredients; 100% natural raw liquid latex rubber tapped from the rubber tree. The difference between them is their method of manufacture.
Here’s a break-down the manufacturing processes of each;
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 – see below;
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 poured into a mould and steam baked – hardening the foam and locking in its shape.
- The foam is removed from the mold, rinsed and dried.
The end result is a natural latex foam which is strong, very durable and simple to make.
- During baking the natural sediments in the latex settle towards the bottom giving Dunlop foam a slightly denser and firmer underside. Many Dunlop mattresses exploit this feature to create a double sided flippable mattress with two different comfort options.
- Dunlop foam is the strongest form of latex foam making it durable and long lasting – Dunlop mattresses typically come with a 20 – 25 yr warranty.
Comfort and Support
The firmness of Dunlop makes it ideally suited for back sleepers and those requiring extra support. Dunlop is also well suited for use as middle support layers.
Pros and Cons of Dunlop Latex
✅ Strong and Durable
✅ All Natural and simple to manufacture
✅ Cheaper than Talalay because its easier to manufacture
✅ Naturally antimicrobial, dust mite resistant and moisture resistant.
❌ Firm feel when used on its own
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.
Talalay is less springy than Dunlop and has a slower response to pressure which makes it ideal for side sleepers and for use as top comfort layers.
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
✅ Naturally antimicrobial, dust mite and moisture resistant.
❌ More expensive than Dunlop
❌ Less durable than Dunlop
Neither Dunlop or Talalay is better than the other because each are better suited to different situations.
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 is softer and lighter – better for side sleepers and those wanting a soft to medium feel.
The best natural latex mattresses are most often a combination of the two – using Dunlop for firm strong middle layers and Talalay for top comfort layers.
Visit the reviews page for a list of the best genuine 100% natural latex mattresses here.