Latex is a Natural Rubber, derived from the Pananma Rubber Tree, and used as a filling in Mattresses and Pillows.
Latex can processed with a blend of chemicals to make it into Synthetic Latex.
Latex is often favoured as a cooler, higher quality, and eco-friendly alternative to Memory Foam.
Latex as a bedding material is characterised by its soft feel, luxurious texture, and moulding properties.
Latex, is has good air circulation, and so does not heat up in the same way Memory Foam does.
Latex foam has natural elasticity and recovers its shape quickly when pressure is removed. Latex is hypo-allergenic and its anti microbial properties inhibit bacteria, fungi and house dust mites, so it can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from respiratory problems.
It conforms perfectly to your body's contours for comfort and back support.
Latex mattresses are available in different firmnesses according to the depth and density of the foam used in the construction process and according to what other fillings have been added to it.
Latex foam has a perforated surface, and a soft and spongy feel. Although it warms to the body's heat, it regulates temperature, and so does not overheat as memory foam does. For this reason, it is good for all round use, as it stays cool in the summer heat, and warm in the winter.
Generally speaking, the thicker the layer of latex, the greater the quality and the more luxurious the mattress will feel. Latex mattresses do not need to be turned as there are little or no subsidiary fillings to settle.
There are three main ways that latex is processed after the sap is collected. These are:
The Dunlop Process
This is the most traditional method, which involves whipping of the sap, pouring into a mould, and steam baking. This method produces a denser latex, and firmer support.
The Talalay Process
This process is similar to the Dunlop process, but instead of steam baking, the foam is vacuum sealed and frozen before it before it baked in an oven. This process produces a softer and more consistent foam structure.
Chemicals will be added to the latex to increase or control lifespan, density, and structure.
Natural V Synthetic
Some latex will have chemicals added in the production phase, to add consistency from batch to batch, as natural products will sometimes differ from. It also gives the manufactures greater control over its density and structure.
100% Natural Latex is not commonly used in mattresses due to the price, and it is more common for mattresses to have a blend of chemicals.
When differentiating between Natural and Synthetic Latex, the following terms are used to differentiate between the two.
Keep in mind that this is just a guide- many companies will use different phrases, and not all will state whether the Latex is natural, synthetic, or a blend.
- Natural Rubber Latex
- Latex Foam
- Innergetic Latex
Most commercially used latex comes from the Panama Rubber Tree.
The Rubber Tree of which latex comes from, also produces Rubberwood at the end of its latex-producing cycle. Rubberwood is also a popular choice in Mattressman's bed frames, due to its high quality and sturdiness.
Natural Latex is favoured as a eco-friendly alternative to Memory Foam, as it is naturally derived and biodegradable, whereas Memory Foam is a chemical-based, non degrading structure.
Because the trees used to source Latex are only felled and used for wood after their latex cycle has finished, this increases its environmental efficiency, and is ideal for those looking to buy bedding with a low environmental impact.