Mattresses are not made from of the pure latex but rather from the foams that are derived form latex. Latex foams can be manufactured from either natural or synthetic latex or, as in most cases, the blend of both. They can be manufactured using either the Dunlop or Talalay methods.
Natural latex (sometimes referred to as Botanical latex) is a renewable product produced without synthetic alteration or chemical treatment. It can be harvested from the same trees on a regular basis without harming the living plant. Natural latex is characterized by its elasticity and softness. It is biodegradable and provides natural resistance to bacteria, mold and mildew. On the other hand, as a natural product, it lacks the consistency in quality. Mattresses made only from the natural latex foam are rare and typically the most expensive.
Synthetic latex, engineered version of latex foam is made from petroleum-based materials. It matches the most of physical characteristics of natural latex and its controlled consistency and quality is better suitable for mass commercial production. It tends to provide a firmer feel, and arguably, it can sustain its resiliency for a longer time.
Blended latex,the mixture of both, natural latex and synthetic latex, offers the benefits of both and is the most common material used in latex mattresses. Such mixtures are usually 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic. The mixture of both elements combines elasticity and allergen resiliency of natural latex with consistency and durability of synthetic latex.
Some less expensive latex products can also contain “fillers” small fragments that are added to the foam, making it firmer and less durable. Natural, synthetic or blended latex that doesn’t contain any fillers is often referred to as Pure Latex and can be found in most high quality latex mattresses.
Visit our Latex Section for more information about latex foam.