All major manufacturers now include at least 3 natural or mixed Dunlop or Talalay latex mattresses in their product line. People show great appeal for these beds and experts say latex foam is the mattress of the future. So what makes latex so special when compared to memory foam? Let's find out.
Memory foam is made of open cells, billions of balloons with holes in them. When you sit on it, air moves from one cell to another and the foam bed contours your body in a unique fashion, relieving pressure points and supporting your weight.
When you lie on a visco foam mattress there is no air in the cells to push back and cause discomfort. The air is spread to adjoining cells and the foam simply 'melts' under you to provide long-term, balanced support and comfort.
First of all, what is latex: natural latex (see below) is pure rubber obtained from rubber trees while synthetic latex is an industrial product made by processing chemical substances or by mixing natural rubber with special additives.
Natural latex is usually made of 95% natural rubber and 5% vulcanization and curing factors, such as zinc oxide (2-3 %), fatty acid soaps (1-2%), sulfur (1-2%) and sodium (1-2%). These added chemicals are usually washed out in the final stages of the production process, so the end product is around 99% natural rubber.
Latex is a milky white liquid made of tiny rubber particles dispersed in water. Whipped with air to become foam, then heated, vulcanized and cured, it becomes the prime matter for making latex mattresses, toppers and pillows. This is called the Dunlop method. It is the traditional and least expensive way to produce latex mattresses. The other method is Talalay, an 8-hour-7-step process that has as end result a finer and more resilient form of latex, called Talalay Latex.
In short, this is what the Talalay latex method consists of:
In short, Talalay latex combines the benefits of natural latex with chemicals meant to improve mattress durability and support. It has an open-cell structure, which ensures conformity with your body, elasticity (it bounces back instantly when you get up or move on the mattress) and free air circulation through and within it, to keep you cooler in summer and warmer during winter nights.
I had a latex mattress on my bunk bed as a kid and it still remains for me the standard of wonderful comfort against which all other mattresses are judged. Thirty years later it still seems just as good. I presume they breathe, since it's not a smooth surface, has airholes.
Not long after we took the mattress from storage we started noticing the "mountain" in the center. On the "mountain", the mattress is nice and firm. On either side (where we sleep), there are big, soft, sags. My husband is experiencing back pain from the sagging mattress. We are very disappointed and frustrated.
We've had our latex mattress now about a month and really love it. There really is a difference not having those springs pushing back at you.
Sometimes, I just lie in bed and feel so comfortable, because I can actually feel that the memory foam is "hugging" a pressure point. This is mostly when I'm lying on my abdomen and I can feel it on my knees and ankles.
A Critical Eye On The Latest Mattress Technologies
How can you check if your purchase as good as a genuine Tempur bed? You can try the wine glass test, the egg test, or the fridge test.
The most commonly reported problem consumers have with memory foam beds is that they sleep hotter when compared to conventional sleeping surfaces.
But sleeping conditions are influenced by environment temperature, the material's heat sensitivity and your own body heat.
Which to choose from a 2lb foam mattress pad versus 3.5lb Tempur-Pedic bed pad comparison? Higher density alone does not make a quality sleeping surface. The formula behind the best sleeping surface uses best quality, high-density foam that responds to body temperature.