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Latex Mattress Information
Latex Bedding Material.
What actually is it?
Latex is defined as: Any of several natural or synthetic colloidal polymers suspended in an aqueous solution.
Basically: rubber particles in water
WHAT IS NATURAL LATEX?
Natural Latex is a milky substance harvested from rubber tree plants (Havea brasiliensis) which are grown in tropical climate plantations around the world. Most are located in Africa, Malaysia, South America, and Indonesia. Natural Latex is bio-degradable and naturally resistant to mold, mildew & bacteria.
Harvesting the liquid latex is similar to tapping trees for maple syrup. The trees are not harmed, providing a sustainable resource. The latex is collected in buckets and shipped to large rubber factories such as B.F Goodrich, Dupont, etc. for processing. Natural liquid latex is a commodity thats publicly traded in stock markets around the world similar to corn, pork bellies, orange juice etc.
WHAT IS SYNTHETIC LATEX?
Synthetic latex is a man-made molecular copy of natural latex. The scientific name for this compound is Styrene-Butadiene (SBR).
Styrene is named for styrax, the resin from a Turkish tree. Low levels of styrene occur naturally in many kinds of plants as well as a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables & nuts.
Butadiene is produced by dehydration of butane obtained from petroleum. Butadiene is also used in the manufacture of latex paints and nylon fibers used in rope and clothing.
WHAT IS BLENDED LATEX?
Blended latex is just what it sounds like, a combination of Natural latex and Synthetic latex mixed together.
WHICH LATEX IS BEST FOR ME?
This is a question thats answer can depend on your perspective. All latex formulas offer numerous benefits to consumers that far outweigh the benefits of conventional foam bedding materials. Keep in mind that while latex formulations are contrasted with each other below, all latex rubber significantly outperforms foams such as memory foam or traditional polyurethane foam for durability, pressure relief and sleep benefits.
Natural latex, as its name implies, is natural which offers many benefits for use in sleep products. Consumers that have an organic lifestyle and have made numerous changes to remove most synthetic chemicals from their household tend to purchase 100% natural formulations. The elasticity, healthiness, and ability of Natural Latex to conform to your body, reducing pressure on your muscles and circulation is unsurpassed. The resulting benefits and luxurious comfort simply cant be matched by synthetic latex. However, because it is a natural product there are inconsistencies at the molecular level which cause Natural Latex products to wear at a faster rate than Synthetic Latex.
Synthetic Latex is extremely uniform at the molecular level, so sleep products will have greater durability than those made solely with Natural Latex. However, what you gain in durability you lose in feel and sleep benefits as compared to Natural Latex.
When consumers want to know a product is natural and good for the environment while also looking for a product that will help them sleep better with optimum value for their money- they purchase blended latex. By combining Natural Latex and Synthetic Latex together you get the best of both worlds. Natural components, elasticity, conformity, health benefits and luxurious feel from Natural Latex combine with extended durability from Synthetic Latex- to make a product that the Earth provided and we perfected.
Blended latex can be compared to a gold wedding band. No one has a 24 carrot (100% gold) wedding band because it would be too soft and bend if gripped too hard. The solution is an 18 carrot gold ring where the gold is mixed with another, more durable metal. The result is a ring that has the look and feel of pure gold but is less vulnerable to damage or wear.
WHAT MAKES LATEX INTERNATIONAL'S TALALAY SO SPECIAL?
Our commitment to perfection: From the selection and mixing of raw materials to final product testing and assembly, our entire manufacturing facility utilizes the latest technology to create the most supple, resilient and comfortable Talalay Latex sleep products in the world.
But of course, all this technology wont get you anywhere without smart, talented professionals to bring all the elements together assuring great finished products are delivered to your home every time.
Talalay latex is the premier material in bedding, LI Talalay delivers a unique buoyant quality which relaxes muscles and relieves tension, lifting away the pressures of the day while you sleep. Careful attention to detail at every step makes certain this amazing feel comes through in the finished product.
To help understand what makes our Talalay Latex so exceptional, think of an artisan chef creating a light and airy chocolate soufflé!
Start with the best ingredients - We utilize only the highest quality natural and synthetic latex and never introduce fillers that can degrade the feel and durability of our products. Unlike other latex manufacturers, Latex International filters the liquid latex to remove any large particles that might affect the consistency and durability of our end products. It you think of Talalay latex like a soufflé, its pretty clear that using powdered eggs isnt going to suffice- you need real, farm fresh eggs!
Use the best recipe Next, we mix our premium ingredients into a liquid latex formula or batter. Creating different formulas of liquid latex batter, we meet specific customer requests for 100% natural or more commonly used blended natural/synthetic latex recipes. Think dark chocolate vs, milk chocolate- its a matter of personal taste and desired product attributes.
Measure Carefully- As any great baker knows, if you dont measure correctly the soufflé will fail. Our advanced, state of the art automated systems control both the mix of the batter and the precise amount poured into each mold to attain specific results every time.
Test for Perfection - Once the process is complete, every mattress core is robotically tested in 9 areas to assure a consistent feel from head to toe. Each pillow is individually weighed and hand inspected.
Share the Results - Even the best ingredients and the finest materials can be used poorly. To assure great finished products, we follow through by sharing knowledge with our retail and manufacturing partners. Together, we design and deliver finished pillows, mattress toppers and mattresses that bring the uplifting benefits of Talalay Latex to the surface.
LATEX INTERNATIONAL TALALAY - ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS
All of our Talalay products are made with Natural Talalay Latex Rubber, which starts as sap from the Havea brasiliensis tree. These rubber trees have a 25 year productive life and a strong positive effect on the environment as they quickly absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help reduce greenhouse emissions.
Our Talalay process features natural, biodegradable ingredients that come from renewable resources and water-based raw materials: natural latex, air, and water. Our process does not use solvents and does not damage the ozone layer. Our clean and green approach carries through to our end products: Talalay latex contains no toxic chemicals while standard Poly Foam and Memory Foam (visco) can contain as many as seven toxic chemicals*
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (link to oeko website) is the leading global testing and certification process that ensures textile materials and home furnishing products do not contain harmful substances or pose a health risk to consumers. Very few latex or foam producers in the world meet the standards of this independent, third-party certification.Click here to view our OEKO-TEX Standard Certification.
All Latex International Talalay Latex products are certified OEKO-TEX Class 100; the healthiest classification.
This means that our products do not contain allergenic materials that form carcinogenic arylamines of the MAK-groups III A1 and III A2 (see the Oeko-Tex website for a list of chemicals included in these groups,link to oeko), pesticides and chlorinated phenoles, heavy metals or formaldehyde. Our Talalay also meets the standard for skin friendly pH and is free from chloro-organic carriers and biologically active finishes.
In other words, Latex International Talalay is the healthiest material you can sleep on.
*Poly Foam and Visco Foam may contain up to seven toxic chemicals: Tetrachoroethane, acetone, and dimethylformamide, Methyl benzene, Methylene dianiline, toluene-neoprene and Vinilideine chloride, one non-toxic chemical - diphenyl diisocyanate, and one natural material (water.) Synthetic Latex has 5 non-toxic chemicals (2-chloro-13-butadiene, diphenyl diisocyanate, metallic oxides, Phenol-melamine resins, sulfur, Tellerium) and 1 natural material (water.) 100% Natural Latex has 6 non-toxic chemicals (acrylate resins, diphenyl diisocyanate, Phenol-melamine resins, Phenol-urea, Polyvinyl acetate and waxes styrene- butadiene copolymer) and 3 natural materials (fats, hevea brasiliensis milk, and water.)
PRODUCT TESTING & RESEARCH
LI Talalay Latex provides 33% more Pressure Relief than leading Memory foam.
Pressure mapping tests the amount of pressure your body registers on a selected surface. This technology is widely used throughout the bedding industry to determine the quantity of pressure that a mattress or pillow creates on your body.
Pressure from your mattress and/or pillow prevents your muscles from relaxing which makes it difficult to fall asleep and impairs circulation causing you to toss & turn which makes it difficult to stay asleep.
Therefore, the less pressure your mattress and pillow produce on your body the easier it is to fall asleep and the more complete sleep you achieve throughout the night which leads to more energetic and productive days.
Latex International Talalay Latex is 4x more durable than other latex and 20x more durable than traditional bedding foams.
At Latex International, we continually ensure that our formulas will last the test of time. Using the standardized ASTM Cornell Indentation test we prove that our Talalay outlasts any other material used for bedding today.
This is the most rigorous and material damaging ASTM standardized test that exists for bedding components. While Latex International Talalay performs flawlessly over a period of 12 hours representing decades of use, other latexs break down much more quickly and foams such as memory foam and polyurethane foam actually tear apart within minutes.
The strength of our material allows LI to match any warranty that retail stores choose to offer on their products and assures maximum value for consumers.
Latex International Talalay Latex breathes up to 7x better than other latex or foams for cooler sleep.
One of the fastest growing concerns with bedding today is sleeping hot. This is a legitimate concern because not only is it uncomfortable, sleeping too hot interrupts the quality of our sleep as we continuously move to find a cooler spot. This can occur from both mattresses and pillows.
The heightened awareness of sleeping hot is primarily due to increased use of Memory Foam in mattresses. Memory Foam has a collapsible cell structure that traps body heat and radiates it back at us resulting in uncomfortable perspiration.
Talalay Latex is sometimes confused with Memory Foam because of extensive Memory Foam advertising. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Talalay Latex rubber cell structure resists collapsing and allows air to circulate. This breathability whisks away our body heat preventing mattresses and pillows from becoming an oven.
Latex International has gone one step further and developed Talalay GL which is a unique formulation of Talalay Latex with special phase change properties. Talalay GL actually helps regulate the consistency of body temperature for a temperature neutral sleeping experience.
Bedding Allergens BEDDING ALLERGENS
LI Talalay Latex is Mold, Mildew & Bacteria proof and Dust Mite resistant
Most people dont consider their mattress as a contributing source for respiratory problems and allergic reactions. We think of our bed as a safe haven. The reality can be much more yucky.
Mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites love our beds & pillows. We shed millions of microscopic skin cells and perspire nearly 1 pint of water every night. The microscopic skin cells and water vapor fall through the weave of our linens and mattress cover landing on the cushioning layers below where they become a food and water source for mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites- it cant be avoided, and it's gross.
Whether your landing pad cushion layer is hospitable to these infestations is the controlling factor to the amount of hazardous dust created from your mattress & pillow.
Foams such as Memory Foam & Polyurethane Foam are environments where these contaminants thrive, so if they compose the top cushion layers of your mattress you may have a problem.
Independent testing shows that Latex International Talalay Latex is mold, mildew & bacteria proof- these organisms simply wont grow on it. Furthermore, its dust mite resistant so these critters will prefer to be elsewhere, not right next to your face as you sleep.
Try to find a healthier bedding material, we dare you.
In a perfect world all bedding products would be as safe as Latex International's Talalay Latex. The reality is that todays technology for producing foams like Memory Foam or Polyurethane Foam simply aren't.
Todays foams may contain any or all of the following, each are known carcinogens.
Latex International Talalay Latex contains none of these.
Zero cases of allergic reactions to LI products have been reported.
Latex International has been making Talalay pillows and mattress components for over 35 years. Every year millions of products are sold using Latex International Talalay.
The FDA tracks allergic reactions to latex products in the USA. Not once has there been a report of an allergic reaction attributed to any of our Talalay products.
CONSISTENCY TESTING- MATTRESSES & PILLOW
Latex International is the only latex producer that tests every block of mattress material in 9 separate areas to insure consistency throughout each piece. This means that retailers and consumers can be sure that products delivered or brought home will match the products experienced in the showroom every single time.
Because pillows are not able to be measured in the same way as block mattress material, we electronically weigh and then hand inspect every pillow for quality and consistency. This is an extra time consuming step in our process, but its the only way to be completely sure that consumers receive the very highest quality pillows every single time.
Latex International manufactures Talalay Latex Support Cores and Pressure relief layers used by top mattress manufacturers around the world. The Talalay process and our advanced technologies allow us to create a wide range of firmnesses (ILDs) from ultra plush to extra firm.
Our most popular and widely used Talalay Latex. Available in all standard
Talalay Natural (100% natural)
Unlike so called natural soy based foams that have a maximum
of 10% natural content, Talalay 100% Natural utilizes 100% natural liquid
latex for a true eco-friendly solution.
BLOCK LATEX RUBBER BASICS
Block latex foam rubber is the general term used to describe latex foam rubber produced with a large enough cross section to be used for mattresses, pillows, and cushions. Block latex foam rubber is produced by two different processes: the Talalay Process and the Standard (Dunlop) Process. Both processes use the same basic ingredients: natural rubber latex (NR), polystyrene-butadiene rubber latex (SBR), soap, reinforcing filler, sulfur, and vulcanization agents.
Natural Rubber Latex Naturally occurring polyisoprene polymer produced by rubber trees and extruded in the sap. The rubber tree sap is collected, concentrated, and preserved with ammonia before being sold.
Polystyrene-butadiene Rubber Latex Polymer produced from styrene and butadiene designed to mimic and improve upon natural rubber. The polymer is produced in water on both batch and continuous production lines. After polymerization, the latex is stripped of residual reactants and concentrated before being sold.
Soap Natural soaps are used to stabilize the various components in the mixture.
Reinforcing Filler Hard materials are added to the mixture to increase firmness.
Reinforcing fillers are of two general types; mineral or plastic. Mineral fillers are generally aluminosilicates such as Feldspar or calcium carbonate (talc). The most commonly used plastic filler is polystyrene resin. Mineral fillers incorporate well into the rubber matrix and tend to be well dispersed. Plastic fillers are typically introduced as a latex and tend to form clusters in the rubber matrix. The plastic clusters are prone to breaking apart under use leading to softening.
Sulfur Elemental sulfur forms crosslinks between polymer chains when heated giving the latex rubber foam strength and structure.
Vulcanization Agents Agents used to increase the crosslinking rate and effectiveness of sulfur. The agents are typically consumed in the process. The above components are mixed together in a water based system to form what is termed compound for both processes.
THE TALALAY PROCESS
STANDARD (DUNLOP) PROCESS
Advantages of the Talalay Process: the resulting feel, the uniformity, and the ability to reach low densities of the foam block as a result of the expansion of the foam to fill the mold under reduced pressure (rather than the complete filling of the mold as in the Standard (Dunlop) Process).Advantages of the Dunlop Process: shorter production times and ease of manufacture.
Talalay Comfort Zone
By: John Lean, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Development
Latex International - Shelton, Connecticut
Talalay Latex Rubber rubber has superior feel and comfort in bedding materials because of its unique compression profile. Compression is how a material responds to a weight or load being placed on it. A material will resist the load and push back in proportion to the load and the materials ability to carry the load. The manner in which a material responds to a load defines how the material feels to the touch and how it supports the load. Below is a graph showing the amount of force needed to compress a piece of latex Rubber rubber and a coil spring a percentage of the original height.
As shown in the above graph, a coil spring has avery linear response to the applied load. The linear response of a spring is an inherent property. Talalay Latex Rubber on the other hand responds to the applied load in a non-linear fashion. Initially Talalay Latex Rubber increases in firmness in response to the load, but as the load increases Talalay Latex Rubber compresses to a greater extent. Talalay Latex Rubber will support just as much weight at the coil spring, but it has more give keeping the material from having the feeling of bottoming out.
The increased compressibility of Talalay Latex Rubber is what allows the material to shape itself and comform to the human body. The human bodys profile is not flat and its weight distribution is not even. A coil spring is only able to respond to a bodys weight and not its shape. Talalay Latex Rubber with its non-linear compression curve can respond to a bodys weight and shape. A person may have similar weight distribution between the shoulders and hips, but the body parts have very different shapes.
Talalay Latex Rubber has the ability to allow for more compression without a proportional increase in weight to conform to various body shapes and weights.
Also contributing to Talalay Latex Rubbers unique feel and support is the materials resiliency. Resiliency is the amount of energy returned by a material after compression. Resiliency in a Rubber material is important for support. Below is a graph of showing the compression and decompression of Talalay Latex Rubber and a Dunlop latex Rubber. The arrows indicate compression and decompression.
Dunlop latex Rubber behaves more like a coil spring on compression with a fairly linear increase in compression with load until the material cannot be compressed much more. Talalay Latex Rubber once again has an initial increase in firmness followed by increased compressibility under load. Upon decompression, Talalay Latex Rubber is much more resilient than Dunlop latex Rubber providing more support to thebody. Talalay Latex Rubber is able to compress more at a given load while at the same time return more energy and provide increased support.
The unique, non-linear compression profile of Talalay Latex Rubber is the result of the materials large, open cell structure. Every cell of Talalay Latex Rubber behaves as a micro-spring.
The initial increase in firmness upon compression is the result of the latex Rubber cells resisting the compression until the cells buckle. Cell buckling results in the non-linear response of Talalay Latex Rubber to compression. Talalay Latex Rubber has a more non- linear response than Dunlop latex Rubber because of its larger cell size.
üüüBuckling latex Rubber cells are nothing to worry about since there are hundreds of other cells backing them up. Talalay Latex Rubber cells are also made of one of the most durable materials around, rubber, so they bounce back into shape. The millions of Talalay Latex Rubber cells work together to provide just the right amount of support and comfort.