In this article I’m talking about the differences between Talalay and Dunlop latex, mostly about their feel and firmness.
One of the most common questions people ask about latex mattresses is what is the difference between Talalay versus Dunlop latex.
Another question they often ask is which one is better.
In this article I will try to clear up the confusion about the two and hopefully you will be in a better position to decide which one will suit your needs better.
First off I’ll explain what are Dunlop and Talalay.
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Generally speaking, there’s no difference in the actual latex between these two materials.
Both of them represent the process in which the latex core is manufactured. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna talk in details about the manufacturing process.
All you need to know is that Dunlop is a much simpler process. The liquid latex is mixed up and poured into a mold. It’s then baked and hardened. In the end, it’s washed.
On the other hand, Talalay is similar to Dunlop, but there are two additional steps in the manufacturing process.
The liquid latex is also mixed up and poured into a mold. But then it goes into a vacuum where the air is sucked out of it. This is done in order to achieve the desired density and firmness.
The next additional step is that the mold is flash-frozen. As a result, the latex has a more consistent feel. In the end, it’s baked and washed.
As you can see, there are two additional steps in the Talalay process, which Dunlap does not have. As a results, Talalay has a different feel and a little different response than Dunlop.
Feel & Firmness
Now let’s talk about the feel and the comfort of the two materials.
Dunlop is more dense than Talalay, giving it a bit more of a firm feel. Because Talalay has more air in it, and because it’s less dense, it has a softer feel. Talalay has a little bit more pillowy type of feel. It also more bouncy than then Dunlop.
If you drop a golf ball on each material, you will clearly see that it bounces back a little bit more with Talalay. The difference is not as dramatic as between latex and memory foam, but there is definitely a difference in the responsiveness between Talalay and Dunlop.
If you prefer more of a bouncy feel, than you should go with Talalay. It has a more consistent feel than Dunlop.
This is because latex is flash-frozen and the particles inside of it are distributed much more evenly in the core.
When Dunlop is being baked, the latex particles settle more towards the bottom. This is because it takes more time to bake it.
This means that the bottom part of the core is a bit more firmer than the top part of the Dunlop core.
I do not like using 3-inch Dunlop layers because of the consistency issues. Two three inch layers cut from the same six inch core can have completely different feels.
Many online companies use 3-inch layers, because it’s a lot easier to ship. But there will be issues with consistency of the feel, unless the 3-inch layer was poured into a 3-inch mold, but that’s very uncommon.
If you’re going to use Dunlop, try to find a 6-inch core in order to have good support and consistency.
Another question people have about Dunlop and Talalay is which one is gonna last longer, is one more durable than the other.
Both of them are very good processes and there in no difference in longevity between the two types.
I’ve seen a 40 year-old Dunlop latex in excellent condition and I’ve also seen a 30 year-old Talalay latex in great condition.
If there’s any difference in durability between the two, it’s very small.
Let’s now talk about the cool factor or the breathability of the materials.
For the reason that Dunlop is more dense than Talalay, it does not breathe as well.
Two additional steps that Talalay goes through during the manufacturing process, gives it a unique open and round cellular structure, allowing ventilation to be much better. It breaths a lot easier.
Talalay is a bit more breathable and temperature regulating. So the winner in this case is definitely Talalay.
Which One is Better?
If you do some research on latex, you’ll find there’s a debate from different companies.
Some people say Dunlop is better, others say Talalay is better.
What I have found is that there’s no clear-cut winner.
They’re both very good they’re both durable and really supportive, but they have different feature and they perform better in certain types of the mattresses.
What I have found that works best is using Dunlop and Talalay as a team.
Use Dunlop as the bottom layer or the support layer because of the firmness and the density. And then use Talalay as the top layer for the pressure relief and the comfort because of the consistency and overall feel.
So, when you’re shopping a latex mattress, don’t get too concerned about which one is better.
Keep in mind that they’re both great choices and ultimately trust what your body is telling you. Go with what feels best for your body.
Why Some Mattresses Sleep Hotter Than Others?
Because of the type of material that’s used in the mattress!
For example, innerspring pocketed coil mattress is gonna sleep cooler than a foam mattress. And a latex mattress is gonna sleep cooler than a memory foam mattress.
Reason why is the breathability of those materials?
So what do you do when you sleep hot?
Stick with a pocketed coil with the latex on top.
Another reason why some mattresses sleep hotter than others is the density of the foam.
High density foam mattress will sleep a lot hotter than the lower density foam.
A higher density foam is gonna be a better quality type of foam, will last you longer, but it will sleep hotter.
Even though it’s an open cellular structure. What I mean by that?
Inside the foam there are a lot of little cells that are open pocket and they provide air flow. But in a high-density foam they’re a lot closer together, it allows less air flow to go through.
You got to take the good with the bad with a high-density foam.
It’s gonna be supportive a lot longer, not get that premature sagging, but the bad is it’s gonna sleep a lot hotter.
Next reason why some mattress sleep hotter than others is the firmness of the mattress.
A firmer mattress sleeps cooler than a softer mattress.
Reason for that is that when you’re in a soft mattress, you’re more inside the mattress, so the mattress is enveloping you, and restrict some of that breathability.
When you’re on a firmer mattress, you’re more on top of it, so the breathability is a lot more easy.
The last reason why some mattresses sleep hotter than others is because what’s on top of the mattress.
This pertains to your mattress protector.
What you want to look for is that it’s going to be lightweight, breathable and that way that your body heat is able to go through the mattress and not gonna be retained at the surface. If it’s all natural, even all the better.
Let’s talk about the sheets.
What you want to look for in sheets is something that is gonna be more natural. The organic cotton sleeps cooler, it won’t hold the body heat like polyester or a microfiber type sheets.
One of my personal favorites is the tensile sheets, which come from the eucalyptus tree.
The flax French linen tends to sleep temperature neutral. It doesn’t hold in your body heat, but it doesn’t stay really cool, it stays temperature neutral. You’re not gonna overheat in these type of sheets.
And they’re really soft, especially after you wash them for the third time.
What you put on the mattress, definitely will affect the breathability of it. You may be thinking why am I sleeping hot? Is it my mattress?
First look at your sheets. Those would be the easier things to replace and get more comfortable.
Alex P. Davis has a BA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design and 10 years of experience expertly designing sophisticated interiors.