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What is latex topper

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(Last Updated On: July 21, 2018)

latex topper

Tapping. By cutting the outer skin of rubber trees, you collect the milky fluid (not to be mistaken as sap, which is a different thing) or latex.

Mixing. Rubber liquid is then mixed with curing agents and soaps and cooled down.

Whipping. The liquid is then whipped until it turns to froth.

Molding. It is then placed in a mold. Here’s where Talalay and Dunlop splits.

 

100% Natural Latex: Why You Should Care

Latex mattresses and pillows have been around for more than half of a century. Even till now, latex is still the preference of many and we are here to tell you why the trend hasn’t changed over the years.

One reason to point out is that no chemicals are used to produce 100% natural latex mattresses, nature is harnessed to create a better sleeping experience. That is one strong enough base to use latex. Check out the process of forming natural latex foam.

How Natural Latex Is Made

The source of this is the sap of rubber trees, such as Heveabrasiliensis. All plants produce natural latex, but those that can be used to make natural latex rubber foam comes from rubber trees. Now, these trees produce milky fluid that can be harvested by tapping them. After 5 to 7 years of investment, you can tap these trees for at least the next 25 years.

The process is divided into two types: Talalay and Dunlop. Dunlop is the earlier method and is still a famous method these days. It has been around for almost 90 years and you are probably asking why are we still stuck with it. We’ll get back to that later.

Talalay is a newer method of producing mattresses and in a recent development has additional steps to make sure mattresses are more comfortable to sleep on.

Tapping. By cutting the outer skin of rubber trees, you collect the milky fluid (not to be mistaken as sap, which is a different thing) or latex.

Mixing. Rubber liquid is then mixed with curing agents and soaps and cooled down.

Whipping. The liquid is then whipped until it turns to froth.

Molding. It is then placed in a mold. Here’s where Talalay and Dunlop splits.

1

Talalay

The mold is vacuumed to create air inside the liquid. It is then frozen (the main process that makes it different from Dunlop) to keep the shape consistent.

 Afterwards, it is vulcanized. Vulcanization will finish the process as the latex receives a more solid form.

 The last step differs among manufacturers. It includes washing, drying, and curing the mattresses and pillows again.

2 Dunlop

The mold is vacuumed to create air inside the liquid. It is then frozen (the main process that makes it different from Dunlop) to keep the shape consistent.

 Afterwards, it is vulcanized. Vulcanization will finish the process as the latex receives a more solid form.

 The last step differs among manufacturers. It includes washing, drying, and curing the mattresses and pillows again.

2

Yes, it is. But it’s impossible to achieve it through the Talalay process. Mattresses that go through the Talalay process are injected with lots of chemicals to make them soft and cool to sleep on. Overheating is one of the problems with Talalay mattresses, which lead to many manufacturers adding another cooling agent to solve this. Another chemical in your bed.Is 100% Natural Latex Possible?

However, Talalay latex lasts much longer. The more natural you aim, the shorter it’ll last.

As for Dunlop, it is possible to reach “100%” (which is actually 95%) natural latex condition.

Why Should Anyone Get Natural Latex To Sleep On?

When compared mainly with memory foam, latex is definitely the healthier choice. Due to their firmer shape, they prevent your body from being molded the wrong way. Latex does not allow your body to sink in too much; just enough for comfort and to retain your backbone.

Dunlop is definitely a better choice to make if you are aiming for a more natural latex that has GOLS Certification. Dunlop that is naturally manufactured is both soft and firm. This is due to the earth’s gravity and the dense rubber froths. During the baking process, materials sink and get thicker in the bottom compared to the upper side.

Pain-free sleep

Natural Dunlop works great in giving support and providing a less-painful sleep. While Talalay preferably lasts longer and has a softer feel to it.

When you test both mattresses side by side, chances are that you won’t be able to feel the difference at once. You will notice the difference after sleeping for a while on overheating, but that’s it. Most people, in general, are unable to notice the difference.

Latex basically doesn’t sink in and retains its shape, so if you’re using a pillow of a comfortable height, you can be sure that it will stay so. This keeps your neck and body comfortable and pain-free.

VOCs

Another reason is that it is natural and you are sleeping on protein, rubber, and things that won’t smell like chemicals. Talalay that works on more natural ingredients tends to be softer, more elastic and fits the shape of your body better. That means you have a better sleep at night.

Volatile organic compounds are one of the biggest health concerns in Home Depot’s list for paints. And to think that it is in the very mattress that you sleep on every day.

What can VOC do? The fact that lots of manufacturers aren’t sued yet for this must mean it’s not that dangerous, right? Well, VOCs have been commonly referred to as the source of health problems such as dizziness, respiratory problems, and visual issues, VOCs can even damage your internal organs, such as kidneys. What’s worse is that some believe that VOCs also have carcinogens in them.

Greenhouse effect

Another benefit of natural latex is the fact that you are not leaving many carbon footprints. Dunlop is, of course, the preferred way. Many processes and chemicals that are mixed in during the Talalay process are not eco-friendly. You get to know that you sleep without having to hurt the earth just for a more comfortable mattress.

Smells

Off-gassing is famous in a latex mattress. In natural mattress though, this does not last long and will dissipate after a couple of days. With synthetic mattresses and pillows, the odor is more persistent, this is due to their heavy chemical composition.

Natural Latex or Not; How to Know?

The main ingredient of synthetic latex is styrene-butadiene, often abbreviated as SBR. This is different from polyurethane, the main ingredient of memory foam. As for natural latex, the rubber contains polyisoprene.

The most noticeable difference between synthetic and natural latex mattresses is in their change in texture after long-term usage. Natural ones tend to get softer, while synthetic ones will go firmer and harder. Synthetic will also emit chemical odors; a danger that lots of natural latex manufacturers like to point out.

Physical appearance wise, if you walk into a showroom and you want to try guessing which is which, it’ll be pretty hard. There isn’t a significant difference that you can use to distinguish them. However, you can ask to be shown proof of certifications that show the level of chemical ingredients that cause harm when exposed to the skin. These certifications are Oeko-TexStandard 100, GOLS (Global Original Latex Standard), Greenguard Gold, and Organic Content Standard 100.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100

Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification is only given to products that undergo a series of testing for chemicals such as lead, arsenic, and phthalates. It also tests for VOCs or volatile organic compounds. Oeko-tex is one of the highest and most reliable third-party organization that provides certification for wearable products.

OEKO-TEX is pretty strict in their testing procedures. Accessories to the products are also required to be included in the test. Further tests and checks also show how a company is operating in a sustainable way towards the environment.

GOLS (Global Original Latex Standard)

Calling a mattress made of organic latex is a long shot to deciding that you’ve got yourself a true organic latex. That is why GOLS provides the minimum standard and certification to those that manufacture mattresses that are made of 70% and 95% latex (which is commonly dubbed as the 100% natural latex mattress/pillow).

GOLS analyzes the steps and processes from the rubber tree to producers: manufacturing, processing, labeling, packaging, trading, and distributing. The purpose of GOLS is also to encourage others to do things in an environmentally friendly way.

For you, this means that you are buying a mattress or pillow that did not cause damage to the earth and is made of real latex, not just some cheap ‘natural’ latex that contains only 10% natural ingredients.

Greenguard Gold

Greenguard Gold certificates are issued by UL, Underwriters Laboratories. To receive this certification, mattresses and pillows have to go through testing of 360 different chemical reactions and is set on deciding the number of emissions the products are producing.

As mentioned before, synthetic latex produces smells and off-gassing that are potentially dangerous. Any natural latex should have this certificate with no problem. You know how these hazards can cause health problems to not just you, but your kids or parents who sleep on them. This aligns with the purpose of UL, which is to create a healthier environment through environmentally friendly products.

Organic Content Standard 100

The Organic Content Standard 100 is only bestowed on those who manage to prove that their products have 95-100% natural products. They also test and observe the process from procuring the raw materials to the end product.

They also provide different certificates for blended products, so keep in mind to not mix them up.

OCS provides only the level of natural ingredients in the product. So, when you see a 70% OCS certificate, there’s a question mark as to what the remaining 30% is.

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