Latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree. Over generations, people have learned how to tap the trees without having to cut them down. This means that it is one of the most eco-conscious and sustainable ways to create bedding.
After the latex is harvested from the rubber tree, it is treated to create foam. The two most common ways of treating latex for bedding is Dunlop and Talalay. The result is a high response and heavy piece of foam that can be used for bedding. By changing the density, the latex can be more or less responsive.
Those that are used to a memory foam feel (a slow response) will be surprised to know that most latex is highly responsive, meaning that although it will react to ones body, it has a natural bounce. Some sleepers prefer this, though others not so much.
Recently, there has been an explosion in latex bedding with the higher demand for eco-conscious foam alternatives. Though latex is natural, there are some that mix it with memory foam. For those that are looking for pure latex bedding, be careful to do your research on the entire bed.
Pros: High response, differing firmness options.
Cons: High expense vs memory foam, some don't like the latex responsive feel.
Overall Score: 9.7/10
General Support: 8.8/10
Price Value: 8.4/10
Latex bedding starts as sap from a rubber tree. For Talalay latex foam, it is then whipped and then spread onto a mold. When it is on the mold, it is then vacuum sealed for evenness, cold carbon dioxide is pumped into it through small rods that flash freeze it, and then it is baked through the small rods for consistency. The Dunlop method is similar, but is not vacuum sealed or flash frozen. Instead it is steam baked. Natural sediments flow to the bottom of the Dunlop latex so it tends to have a firmer side and a less firm side.
Latex can be used in a variety of bedding products: pillows, toppers, and mattresses. In mattresses, it is common for there to be multiple layers of latex (from less dense to more dense) as the mattress. Additionally, some manufacturers combine latex with memory foam or coil systems for different comfort profiles.