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Always free delivery and home delivery over 190€
5-7 days delivery
Always free delivery and home delivery over 190€
5-7 days delivery
Material Guide

What is Talalay Latex?

Talalay latex is a 100 % natural material, which has grown increasingly popular as the core material in more luxury mattresses, toppers, and pillows – but what is so special about Talalay latex? We have gathered everything you need to know!

What is Latex?

Natural latex or latex foam is derived from the sap of the rubber tree (hevea brasiliensis) and characterised by its high point elasticity, dimensional stability, and light springiness. For that reason, it has become an increasingly popular material choice for toppers, mattresses, and pillows alike, while presenting a more environmentally friendly alternative to artificial memory foam products.

What is Talalay Latex?

The name Talalay refers to a unique latex manufacturing process invented by Joseph Talalay, giving the natural latex mixture an innovative open-cell structure and an even density, which other natural latex foams like Dunlop latex don’t provide. The unique, springy structure makes Talalay latex exceptionally responsive when tossing and turning at night while providing optimal spinal alignment and pressure point relief. Its airy consistency also makes Talalay latex one of the most breathable materials on the market – and up to seven times more breathable than other types of latex or foam. Talalay latex doesn’t retain body heat the way, for instance, memory foam does and is a naturally moisture-wicking material. This allows you to maintain an ideal sleeping temperature all night long and makes Talalay latex a perfect choice for those who tend to overheat during the night. These unique properties and the intricate production process, which we will address a little later in this article, place Talalay latex at the higher end of the mattress and pillow spectrum, both in comfort and price range – but they also make it stand out for its longevity and unique properties. Therefore, Talalay latex is often used in more luxurious mattresses and bedroom products.

How Durable is Talalay Latex?

While the initial price point of Talalay latex products is higher than for more common materials, they will serve you for a much longer time and the mattress, topper, or pillow in question won’t have to be replaced as often. Next to its exceptional ventilation and comfort, Talalay latex stands out for its resilience as well. As an example, natural latex mattresses are designed to last 10-20 years, which is significantly longer than any typical mattress type. Thanks to its high breathability, Talalay latex doesn’t absorb heat and moisture from our bodies the way non-latex materials do, which contributes to less material degradation and wear. Considering the material’s longevity and sleep-enhancing properties while reducing the need for frequent replacements, the higher upfront cost is a worthy long-term investment in one’s health.

Chemicals and Health: How Healthy is Talalay Latex?

Pure latex is a natural resource. For that reason, it is free of allergy-triggering chemicals commonly found in synthetic products. However, production processes can vary. Therefore, it is worth choosing reputable brands that offer quality and a sufficient degree of transparency regarding their production process. For instance, Vita Talalay, the supplier CURA chose to collaborate with for the CURA Vita Talalay Topper guarantees certified products and production processes, that meet stringent health standards. Vita Talalay latex has been awarded certifications by Cradle to Cradle ® (Gold), the FSC ® (Forest Stewardship Council), the eco-INSTITUT, and OEKO-TEX® (Standard 100).

Is Talalay Latex Hypoallergenic?

Usually, yes! When it comes to latex allergies, there are two main types. The first one is the Type I Natural Latex Allergy, which is triggered by proteins in natural latex, and the Type IV Natural Latex Allergy, which is caused by direct contact with the material and usually goes back to chemicals used in the production process rather than the latex itself. During its unique production process, Talalay latex undergoes a twofold vulcanization which, usually, effectively eliminates allergenic proteins. Additionally, the latex block is rinsed thoroughly and repeatedly with clean water, further reducing protein levels.

Unlike conventional latex products, the latex used in the CURA Vita Talalay Topper contains no harmful chemicals, which ensures a toxicity score of zero, validated annually by the eco-INSTITUT and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certifications. These rigorous control measures make Vita Talalay latex a safe choice even for those prone to latex allergies.

The high level of breathability also ensures resistance against dust mites, making Talalay latex products an especially hygienic material choice.

Mattresses, Pillows, Toppers: Which Types of Latex Are There?

Natural Latex

100 % natural latex products are available either as Dunlop latex or Talalay latex, both of which specify the manufacturing method used to create the final product.

Artificial Latex and Latex Blends

If none of the above terms is specified with a latex labelled product, there is a high risk that the product contains a latex blend, meaning a mix of natural latex and synthetic materials, or a fully synthetic material, that mimics the properties of natural latex, such as styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) or polyurethane foam. Therefore, it is always advisable to check the material list of a product when you’re unsure.

Artificial Latex vs Natural Latex

While artificial latex or latex blends can be significantly lower in price, they lack the exceptional breathability, longevity, and eco-friendliness that natural latex offers. The very commonly used styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), for instance, is a petroleum-based product, making it significantly more harmful to our environment. Additionally, there is a higher risk of sensitivities or allergies triggered by the chemicals used in the production of synthetic latex or blends.

Not all Natural Latex is the Same: Talalay Latex vs Dunlop Latex

Production Processes

During the Talalay manufacturing process, the latex mixture is filled with air, injected in a mould, and expanded through a vacuum before being flash-frozen at -30 degrees Celsius. This enables round, open cells to retain their shape. Afterwards, the material is vulcanised at 115 degrees Celsius and, finally, the latex block is washed, dried, and then tested for quality control. This process results in a lighter, more consistent, and uniform latex foam with a softer feel, and a bouncier, more responsive structure.

During the simpler Dunlop latex production process, liquid latex is whipped into a foam, poured into a mould, and baked to cure the foam. Finally, the latex block is washed and dried. This process leads to an uneven distribution of the material, often resulting in a “bottom-heavy” composition, meaning that the bottom of the latex block is denser than the top. In general, Dunlop latex is denser and firmer than Talalay latex and possesses a slightly uneven cell structure, which can lead to more pressure points, a heavier feel, and less responsiveness.

Should I Choose Talalay or Dunlop Latex?

Both Talalay and Dunlop latex have their unique characteristics and benefits, and the choice between them often depends on individual preferences and sleep needs. Some people prefer the softer feel of Talalay latex, while others prefer the firmer support of Dunlop latex. Both types of latex can also be layered to achieve specific comfort levels and performance characteristics to reach one’s ideal sleeping experience.

Since Dunlop latex is firmer it can be more well-suited for core mattresses but is typically not as ideal for comfort layers like a topper or pillow, while Talalay latex, with its outstanding breathability, softness, support, and pressure point relief is most suitable to be used closest to the body, as a comforting mattress topper or pillow.

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