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What is Latex

The term latex as used in the mattress industry refers to "latex foam rubber" and in 87% of the time is a blend of natural and synthetic latex. The natural is the 30% extract from rubber trees and the synthetic is petroleum based man made rubber. Both types of latex require certain chemials to ficiltate the manufacturing process. These chemicals act as catalyst and disappear, or are washed away in the final 3-5 washing of cores at end of manufacturing cycle.

NATURAL LATEX:
 
 Harvested from the sap of rubber trees grown in specific regions of the world. Natural latex is not a perfect product by the vary nature of its being natural. The sap harvested is affected by soil conditions, amount of rain, and other factors that make one batch better than another. The degree of difference is not great but enough that makes it necessary for purchasers of the raw material to test for quality. It is much like buying coffee beans to arrive at different blends. Natural and synthetic rubbers have differing properties. Natural rubber is very soft and elastic, synthetic rubber gives the foam good hardness and processes better (is easier to work with) in production. The difference in quality is derived from the process used to produce the latex mattress cores. (Standard process or Talalay Process) Compounders tend to use blends of natural & synthetic to get the best overall properties, and to stabilize prices
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When natural rubber is tapped from a tree it is very dilute, the rubber content being only about 30%. It has to be concentrated before use to above 61.5% solids. Of these solids 60.0% is rubber, the remaining 1.5% are compounds that are unique to natural latex (proteins, phospholipids, carbohydrates, aminoacids). These unique ingredients are very important in explaining the behavior of natural latex.
SYNTHETIC LATEX:
  Man made from chemicals and petroleum with same cell structure as natural minus the emseimes found in the natural. Now in this day and age the mere mention of chemicals sends some people running, but lets put it into prospective. All foam is made from chemicals and petroleum products, and foam is what is used in all mattresses. The reason latex is heads and shoulders above foam in quality is the degree to which natural and synthetic are blended together by 2 different manufacturing process.

 Natural  Latex MattressesBefore the Second World War, virtually all latex used in production was natural. During WW2 supplies of latex from the Far East were very restricted, hence the search for a synthetic alternative. Scientists tried to copy natural latex (derived from cis-polyisoprene) and largely failed: the latex produced was inferior to the real thing. Instead, they developed a latex based on a synthetic polymer that behaved in a similar way. The word ‘polymer' simply means a compound made up of long chains of molecules, each link in the chain being derived from simple chemicals known as ‘monomers'. A number of synthetic latices were developed, the most useful one being made by polymerizing Styrene (a liquid) with Butadiene (a gas) to give Styrene-Butadiene rubber, abbreviated to SBR.

TWO DIFFERENT MANUFACTURING PROCESS USED TO PRODUCE LATEX FOAM RUBBER

STANDARD PROCESS: (sometimes called the dunlop process)the less expensive process for manufacturing all three blends of latex. This process blends a combination of synthetic and natural latex liquid together, which is forced into individual molds approximately 6" x 80" x 39" and put thru specific steps to arrive at finished latex mattress cores. The standard process is a superb process but the talalay process delivers more consistency of firmness throughout to entire core. This process produces a finished product that has a firmer feel.

TALALAY PROCESS: the most advanced process for manufacturing latex mattress cores. This process blends a combination of synthetic and natural latex liquid together, poured into individual molds approximately 6" x 80" x 39" and put thru specific steps to arrive at finished latex mattress cores. The talalay process delivers more consistency of firmness throughout to entire core. This process also produces latex cores superior in comfort, durability, and in a greater range of firmnesses...from very soft to super firm. The three manufacturers in the world using the talalay process are: Dunlopillo, Latex International, and Radium. It is unlikely that there will be new latex manufacturers using the talalay process because of the much higher expense in equipment and technology. The cost per mold is 10 times greater between the talalay process and the standard process.
 

 

70% of Latex sold in United States is a Blend of Natural and Synthetic
The blending of natural and synthetic latex using the 2 different manufacturing processes has resulted in many terms referring to latex foam rubber. Here are just a few with explanations.
  • Pure Latex- Which can mean a blend of natural and synthetic that can contain as much as 80% synthetic and only 20% natural
  • Natural Latex- A blend of approximately 20% synthetic, 80% natural. This can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer
  • 100% Natural Latex- 100% latex from rubber trees & manufactured using standard process.
  • 100% Natural Talalay Latex- a rare product and up until this year only produced by Dunlopillo in England. This year Latex International began offering all natural talalay latex.
  • Talalay Latex- refers to a manufacturing process, not to a type of latex. Talalay is a blend of natural and synthetic which is not stated on most websites
 
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Learn more about Latex, Memory Foam and the Talalay Process

We offer fair no-nonsense information on Latex Mattresses and the sleep indusrty, check out the new Sleep EZ Beds Blog for review, faqs, and other fresh & relevant information on the sleep indusrty and its new products. We use only 100% Natural and Talalay Latex to craft latex beds that represent the best value in the latex mattress industry. We deliver value to your home, Direct from our Latex Mattress Factory in Phoenix Arizona.

Some of our products include:
Latex Mattress Memory Foam Mattress Foam Pillows Innerspring Mattresses Slatted Mattress Foundations Visco Elastic Select Sleep Mattress Line Ultra King Size Beds Round Latex Bed Ultra King Size Linens Set Latex Mattress Topper Memory Foam Mattress Topper Adjustable Beds Solid Latex Mattresses Layered Latex Mattresses Latex & Spring Combination Mattresses 7" Layered Latex Mattress 8.5" Layered Latex Mattress 10" Layered Latex Mattress 13" Layered Latex Mattress Adjustable Bed Bases Mattress Topper See our full product catalog - Buy Factory Direct and Save on 100% Natural Latex Mattresses! We are a Phoenix based factory specializing in latex mattresses. We have been specializing in Latex Mattresses for over 30 years and we are proud to offer a full line of Latex Mattresses and Mattress Toppers Direct to the Public.