Latex or latex rubber is a naturally occurring material that exists since ages. Known as styrene butadiene rubber or SBR in its synthetic form, latex is widely used in the manufacturing of latex mattresses, which have many takers.
With every latex products manufacturer shouting the virtues of their products from the rooftop, it puts the buyers’ in a dilemma.
To clear all the confusion, here’s an all-inclusive guide to latex mattresses. Without further ado, let’s dive into it.
WHAT IS LATEX? HOW IS LATEX MANUFACTURED?
Latex is broadly classified as pure/all-natural latex, synthetic latex and natural/synthetic blend latex. There’s nothing known as all-synthetic latex.
Pure latex or latex rubber is derived from the Hevea brasiliensis in the form of a milky white sap, extracted from the trees. The process is laborious as the sap is collected manually. This liquid is poured in vessels, homogenized and frothed before putting in a special vulcanizing oven. This leads to the formation of “core” or blocks of a material, that is exceptionally lightweight and elastic. It is then removed from the mold, washed and once again heated to make it moisture-free.
Synthetic latex is a synthetically created compound that mirrors the properties of natural latex. The material is made from petrochemicals. The most common type of synthetic latex is the SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber). The appearance of the synthetically manufactured latex foam is dull with a lesser degree of “springy feel.”
Synthetic blend latex is created by monomer polymerization. In this process, a monomer binds to other molecules and forms a polymer. This is processed further to create latex that looks and feels like natural latex. Contrary to the popular belief, the quality of a natural/synthetic blend latex mattress isn’t inferior in terms of quality. In fact, it includes the best of both worlds!
HOW IS PURE LATEX MANUFACTURED?
There are two main methods for manufacturing pure latex. These are:
The Dunlop method
This is the older method for creating pure latex. It works amazingly for the base layer and involves a quick steam cook. The energy used in manufacturing the mattress is lower in Dunlop as opposed to Talalay.
The process: Liquid latex is mixed with soaps and air as this lends the perfect level of density to it. Next up, a gelling agent is added to the mix, which converts it into a solid form. This mix is ready to be vulcanized, baked and then washed and oven dried before getting cut into different sizes.
The Talalay method is the newer and a more refined process, where a quick flash freeze takes place during vulcanization. As a result, there’s a more precise control of the density. This is used for creating the top layers in pure latex mattresses. It is more expensive than Dunlop method.
The process: The liquid latex is poured into various moulds, which are partially filled and then, vacuum sealed. Due to lack of air, the latex expands and fills the space in the mould. The mix is then frozen to -30, with carbon dioxide blown through the mixture. This helps harden it. Finally, the mixture is baked at 130 degrees and then finished and washed.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LATEX MATTRESSES?
The benefits of latex mattresses or any other latex product for that matter include but are not limited to the following:
They are Hypoallergenic – Latex mattresses are antimicrobial and resistant to dust mites, which make them hypoallergenic. This is great for those suffering from chronic asthma, dust-allergy and other allergies.
They are Eco-Friendly – Pure latex mattresses are devoid of VOCs (toxic volatile compounds), formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals. Created using sustainable material, these are extremely eco-friendly. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that these mattresses meet the most rigorous textile and furniture emissions certifications.
They Are Off-Gas Resistant – Mattresses that include petroleum products, glues and other chemically treated fabrics emit a typical chemical odor, which can be harmful to the users. This odor increases with the amount of such materials used in the mattresses. Latex mattresses made using natural latex and without any other chemical products like adhesives, glues and chemical flame-retardants, will be resistant to off-gas. Although synthetic latex is made from petrochemicals, the amount of off-gas is nominal and doesn’t create a problem for the users.
They are Firm – Latex foam mattresses are firm and while this can be a deterrent for many of the buyers; it is an advantage for those who like their bedding to be firmer.
They are Extremely Durable – Latex is one of the most durable materials. Hence, latex mattresses last comparatively longer with no loss of shape or comfort. They also come with a warranty period of up to 20 years!
They Offer Better Airflow – Ventilation is another major advantage of latex mattresses as they are manufactured with pinholes both at the top and the bottom. This property comes to play especially in tropical climates, as they are cooler than memory foam!
They Provide Body Pressure Distribution – Latex mattresses are highly recommended for those who suffer from musculoskeletal issues because they offer a more even body pressure distribution.
They Offer Motion Isolation – Foam mattresses tend to warp, when two people sleep on them. This is not the case with latex mattresses, which restrict the motion to a particular area. This guarantees that someone else’s sleep is not disrupted.
They can be Easily Customized – Latex foam is a versatile material and is incredibly customizable.
All these benefits make latex mattresses a bedding material that finds wide range of use for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
WHAT ARE MATTRESS TOPPERS?
Mattress toppers are an extra layer of cushioning right on the top of a mattress. In layman’s term, it’s the part that can be seen right before the bed sheets are put.
Chosen wisely, these can provide extra support and comfort to the users. Prepared using various materials, these are not to be confused with mattress pads.
Mattress pads also offer protection to the mattress. They too add to the comfort and softness of the mattress, but to a less extent than the toppers.
Mattress toppers also cost more than mattress pads and are much thicker.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A LATEX MATTRESS TOPPER?
A latex mattress topper offers several benefits such as:
Upgrading an Old Mattress – Over the time, a mattress’s comfort levels go down because it flattens out. This downgrade can heighten the risk of back pains and other musculoskeletal diseases, which makes the mattress harmful. In such scenarios, it surely helps investing in a mattress topper to restore the comfort factor. At the same time, it helps upgrade the old mattress without the need to purchase a new one!
Providing Support and Firmness – When people purchase a new mattress but aren’t very comfortable with it, latex mattress toppers can help them correct the firmness level and also lend extra support.
Increasing the Comfort Levels – Different individuals have different preferences for their comfort levels on a mattress. Latex mattress toppers increase the comfort levels for two people sharing the same mattress as it adjusts it for at least two levels of firmness.
HOW TO CHOOSE A LATEX MATTRESS TOPPER?
When you’re familiar with the basics, it’s not difficult to narrow down your choice when it comes to mattress toppers. Here’s the entire lowdown you need, to take an informed decision:
Know the material
Material tops the chart for selecting the mattress topper. Talking about latex mattress toppers in specific, these are beneficial because they deter the growth of mold, dust and other allergens/parasites. Also, these are extremely durable and hence, offer maximum returns on investment for the buyers.
Consider the cost
Material along with the thickness of the product are the two essentials that can help you calculate the expense of mattress toppers. Ergo, if you’re buying a thicker topper made from natural latex, it will be pricier.
Know the Latex Content
The latex content is another crucial pointer that you need to take into consideration while purchasing a latex mattress topper. Make sure that you ask the manufacturer this question upfront, if you don’t see any information about this on the website or anywhere on the brand.
Ask About the Layers
Every now and then, brands promote their latex mattress by surreptitiously hiding the fact that not all the layers in the mattress are made from 100% natural latex. Don’t be misled and end up buying synthetic or faux latex, ask the manufacturers to provide information about the layers in the mattresses.
STEPS FOR PURCHASING LATEX MATTRESS FROM SUPPLIERS/MANUFACTURERS
Now that you’re familiar with the nitty-gritties of latex mattresses, you’re ready to purchase them from suppliers and manufacturers. Here’s what you need to do:
Select a reputable company that has spent years in perfecting the process of latex mattress manufacturing.
Understand their manufacturing process to get a thorough idea of what you’re in for.
Know whether their products are certified by a recognized body or not.
You can also take a trip to their plant and spend the time to test the products for design, function and other features and functionalities.
CALLING IT A DAY
Latex mattresses bring forth state-of-the-art technology and exceptional manufacturing standards. But why stop there, when you can also opt for customized latex pillows, latex foam mattresses and latex toppers relevant to your requirements? Feel free to contact us for more information and bulk orders or any other assistance that you need for latex based products!