Dunlop Latex Creation
The Dunlop method of latex mattress construction has been used in the natural latex industry since 1929. Generally speaking, the Dunlop method is a simpler construction process than the other major latex mattress construction process (the Talalay method).
From Tree to Bedroom
When natural latex is extracted from the Rubber Tree, Hevea brasiliensis, it has approximately the consistency of maple syrup. In order to build a comfortable, functional mattress from this basic building block, experienced technicians start with the time-honored Dunlop process.
In Dunlop mattress construction, the natural liquid latex serum is injected in layers into a mold and allowed to set. Because it takes time for the liquid to set into a solid latex form, some chemical particulates that are naturally suspended in the liquid settle to the bottom of each molded layer.
This natural process doesn't affect the quality of the latex or of the sleep you'll get on your mattress. You may find, though, that one side of your mattress tends to be slightly firmer than the other – though improved modern Dunlop construction minimizes this effect.
Dunlop Latex Mattress Construction
Many mattresses are made entirely of Dunlop latex, especially as the process has been streamlined and improved in recent years. Mattresses made solely of Dunlop latex tend to have a firm feel and to retain their shape over long periods of time.
Many latex mattress companies will construct their mattresses from several independently-molded layers of latex, each with its own specific properties that are precision-engineered to give you the perfect night's sleep. Many of these mattresses will incorporate at least one layer of lighter, "airier" Talalay latex that better accommodates pressure points and works well for those who like a "memory foam" feel.
Most mattresses that are finished with Talalay latex are still built around a Dunlop core. Since Dunlop latex is firmer, hardier, and generally more substantial, it's the latex of choice for most mattress cores, even those finished with a Talalay sleep surface.
If you sleep on your back or have a general preference for firm mattresses, the Dunlop process can create the perfect mattress for you. If you simply know you want a mattress that might last more years than you may need it, then Dunlop latex will likely meet with your most exacting expectations.
The durability of the final product also makes Dunlop mattresses popular with parents. Whether your kids like to jump on the bed or just spend hours in it curled up with a good book (or DVD), Dunlop latex will give them sturdy, long-wearing support. And you'll know that your children are sleeping on a natural, toxin-free, and environmentally sustainable product.
Pros -- Dunlop Latex is:
- less expensive than most Talalay latex mattresses or Dunlop/Talalay blends;
- Firm; and
Cons -- Dunlop Latex can also be:
- Less breathable than Talalay latex alternatives, so it tends to "sleep hotter";
- Harder than Talalay, so that side sleepers may experience pressure-point discomfort (as with any firm mattress);
- More firm on one side than the other due to particulate settling during the drying process.
The Fine Print
Keep in mind that in the United States, the law requires mattresses to be treated with a flame retardant. Most natural latex mattress companies meet this requirement with a flame-retardant mattress cover that can be removed if you so desire. But many synthetic latex options have the flame retardant build right into the material of the mattress itself.
Make sure to ask questions and make decisions that are right for you and your family. If having a chemical-free sleeping surface is important to you, seek out a mattress company that provides a removable mattress cover and a bed made entirely of pure, natural latex without harmful additives. With a little knowledge and a little planning, you can find a bed that's safe and comfortable for your particular needs.