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    What is Talalay latex? Does it matter?

    Talalay process latex was developed in the early 70’s and was pioneered by the new startup company Latex International. It really helped bring back latex to the forefront as a raw material used in mattresses. Essentially the Talalay process uses extreme heat and extreme cold during the vulcanization to produce very good cell structure. The process homogenizes the raw latex, either natural or synthetic rubber into a very consistent state with minimal voids (trapped pockets of air) and variance in firmness across the entire core.

    There are basically three companies that utilized the Talalay process on the planet. Latex International in the US, Radium in Europe and Dunlopillo in the UK. Latex International purchased Dunlopillo a few years ago, so there are now only two producers of latex core product. There is a company in China that produces latex pillow cores using the Talalay process. Latex pillows have benefited greatly from the Talalay process due to the fact that core product at 10 ILD or below can be consistently produced using this process. Also, softer comfort layers on multi layered all latex or hybrid latex mattresses is achieved with the Talalay process. Typically comfort or top layers utilize 14-24 ILD Talalay latex, transitional or middle layers utilize 24-32 ILD latex and support or bottom layers utilize 32-40 ILD latex. Most mattress manufacturers use softer Talalay for comfort layers. This is true of all latex, hybrid (urethane base with Talalay comfort layers) or innerspring mattresses with softer Talalay in the surface layers.

    Latex in general and Talalay latex in particular is very resilient, which is the exact opposite of visco elastic slow recovery foam. Visco elastic foam has been much ballyhooed as being the most pressure relieving surface foam for mattresses. Yes, visco elastic foam is very conforming, however the lack of resilience makes it inferior to soft Talalay latex. The reason for that is resilient Talalay latex conforms as well but pushes back with support in all the unique curves of your body.