Talalay and Dunlop are two different types of latex processing methods used in latex foam mattresses. There are definitely tradeoffs between the two processes, particularly for customers wanting specific things out of their latex mattress.
Dunlop processing overview
Dunlop processing was first developed in the late 1920s and has changed little since. The process involves using a centrifuge to whip rubber sap (serum). This froth is then put into a mold and steam baked. This process makes the sediment drift to the bottom, making the sides of a latex layer slightly different firmness levels. A mattress made with the Dunlop process is all one piece of latex, while Talalay processed latex mattress is made of several sheets, requiring glue to hold them together.
Talalay processing overview
Talalay follows a similar process to Dunlop initially, however after the latex is poured, the process continues in a vacuum chamber. The mold is also flash-frozen prior to being baked to hold the cells in place. This makes the foam more consistent throughout the layer. These added steps make the process significantly longer from start to finish for a Talalay processed mattress – nearly 5 hours, vs 2-3 hours for Dunlop processing mattress.
Which processing method is better?
One processing method is not inherently better than the other, but really depends on your sleep preferences. Dunlop processed foam is denser and firmer, while Talalay is less dense and softer. Talalay also has more of a comfort range than Dunlop, though it tends to be more expensive due to the extra steps in the process. Also, some do not like the glued seams required for a Talalay processed mattress (due to multiple latex sheets being held together), though this seems to be a fairly infrequent complaint.
Continuous Latex Processing
A less available option are mattresses made by Continous Latex Processing. This process utilizes a continuous moving conveyor to shape the latex, thus not requiring a mold. This results in a product that is most similar to a Talalay latex mattress, however it will be all one piece of latex and thus not have the glue seams found in Talalay mattresses.
|Firmness||Firmer||Softer (more range)||Softer|