‘Latex’ can refer to natural latex from the rubber tree or synthetic latex. Most mattresses combine the advantages of these two types of latex, so they contain a mix of synthetic and natural latex.
Synthetic latex is made from petroleum and is often added to the mattress to boost its stability and hardness. Natural latex is made from rubber milk from the rubber tree, which can be found mainly in Asia. Small notches are made in the bark of the tree, very carefully and without damaging the tree. The milk gradually runs through the small notches and is collected in a tray. Once enough rubber milk has been extracted, the notch solidifies within a few minutes and the tree can produce milk over and over again.
The name Talalay refers to its inventor. The Russian physicist Joseph Talalay - known as 'Mr Talalay' - developed a production process that makes the most of the raw material. The difference between a regular latex mattress and a Talalay latex mattress is purely in the way it is produced:
The production process of Talalay latex
The Talalay production process offers some interesting advantages, which actually result in an improved version of regular latex:
A mould is filled with up to 60 percent of latex and then completely vacuum drawn. This results in an optimal distribution of the latex. The latex is then frozen to -30° C. During this process, small air bubbles are formed in the core which come into contact with each other: an optimally air-permeable core is created. Only then is the latex vulcanised: the open cell structure is perfectly preserved.
The production process of a regular latex mattress
In the production of regular latex, the mould is completely filled and immediately vulcanised (cured). This leaves no room for air and does not create an open structure. As a result, standard latex is less ventilating and less elastic than Talalay latex.
The regular natural latex that is used in Swissflex mattresses, for example, is certainly of top quality, feels very comfortable while you sleep and is also slightly cheaper than Talalay latex. But when we compare the two types of latex with each other, the two main advantages of Talalay latex become clear:
The Talalay process creates a latex that is resilient, supportive, but above all highly ventilating. Talalay latex is more porous than regular latex. Its open cell structure ensures optimal diffusion and drainage of moisture.
Both the Cradle-to-Cradle certificate and the FSC certification mean that the Vita Talalay used in Auping's Maestro and Vivo mattresses, for example, is better for the environment and all the people involved in the production process than regular latex. The production process of natural Talalay latex uses much less energy than the production of synthetic materials. In addition to Auping, there are a number of other brands that use Talalay latex in their mattresses: Magnitude, Schramm and Equilli. All our suppliers also use natural Talalay latex!
Don’t hesitate to visit our showroom to test out the different mattresses with natural Talalay latex and regular natural latex, and judge for yourself! Do you have any more questions? Contact us for more info.