Latex Frequently Asked Questions

Derived from the hevea brasiliensis, or rubber tree, latex has natural qualities that simply make it the PERFECT MATTRESS MATERIAL.

100% Natural Latex provides the best comfort and support for your individual sleep needs AND consumer peace-of-mind. Good for you… good for our environment!

Here are some of what we have found to be the most frequently asked questions about latex

  1. What is Latex?
  2. What’s so good about Latex?
  3. Is your latex 100% latex?
  4. What is Talalay Latex?
  5. What is Dunlop Latex?
  6. Is a firm edge better?
  7. What is the “Laytex” in Englander’s mattress?
  8. I have heard Talalay latex is a blend of natural and synthetic, is it?
  9. What other stuff is added to your latex?
  10. I heard about latex allergies, can this hurt me?
  11. Isn’t this the same as Urethane or Furniture Foam? What’s the difference?
  12. Is Infinilux latex?
  13. Why wasn’t latex available for so long?
  14. Why is it so expensive?
  15. What kind of frame do I need?

  1. What is Latex?
    Latex is a milky white liquid composed of rubber particles dispersed in water. This material is whipped with air to form a foam, which is cured to make our mattresses.

  2. What’s so good about Latex?
    Latex is naturally conforming, so you are assured optimal orthopedic support in any sleep position. This unique ability to conform to your body alleviates areas of high pressure that cause you to toss and turn at night. Latex is also hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, dust-mite resistant and breathable. Because it breathes to remove body moisture, it keeps you warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer.

  3. Is your latex 100% natural latex?
    Yes!

  4. What is a Talalay Latex Mattress?
    The Talalay method produces the finest latex available. The Talalay process steps:
    *Liquid rubber whipped into a foam. Poured into a mold.
    *When closed the mold has rods that go through the foamed rubber.
    *A vacuum is placed on the mold, which removes air bubbles/pockets and distributes the liquid rubber evenly through the mold.
    *CO2 is run through the rods, freezing the foamed rubber and locking in the consistency.
    *Heat sent through the rods, providing even temperature and yielding a consistent latex cores without air pockets or uneven firmnesses.
    *Impact test results indicate an amazingly low loss of 2-8%.
    Talalay Global (formally Latex International) in Connecticut is one of two producers of Talalay latex in the world. The other is Vita Talalay (Radium) in The Netherlands.
  5. What is Dunlop Latex?
    Dunlop Latex uses the continuous Dunlop process. This latex does not have the consistent or supple characteristics of Talalay, and because it does not require the extensive processing of Talalay, it can be produced much cheaper. Originally we could not get our natural latex in Talalay, so we imported natural latex made in the Dunlop process by the container from Sri Lanka. We couldn’t help but notice that our Talalay Global (formally Latex International) Talalay Latex kept its shape and resiliency much better than the Dunlop. Here is a link to a 2009 study on the resiliency of Talalay and Dunlop methods.

  6. Is a firm edge better?
    No. You want edge-to-edge comfort. Many companies try to save money by eliminating latex from their “latex bed”. A 4 inch “firm” edge of polyurethane foam will save 20% in latex costs. Yet, although it may start out feeling firmer, it will break down faster than the latex portion of the mattress. Two inches of polyurethane layers (“supersoft”, “contour-foam” or ???) will save another 20%. Your FloBeds will be 100% Talalay Latex, edge-to-edge and top-to-bottom!

  7. What is the “Laytex” in Englander’s mattress?
    Englander’s latex is made of 100% natural latex imported from Sri Lanka. Englander uses the same supplier we used to use for our 100% Natural Latex Mattress. It was the best 100% natural latex we had seen, until Talalay Global (formally Latex International) started making Talalay in 100% natural.

  8. I have heard that Talalay latex a blend of natural and synthetic, is it?
    Talalay Global (formally Latex International) makes two kinds Talalay latex: Talatech, which is a blend of 30% natural and 70% synthetic, and Talalay Natural, which is 100% natural latex from the rubber tree.

  9. What other stuff is added to Talalay latex?
    Unlike some competing products, our product contains no fillers or extenders. We only add the components needed to convert the material from a liquid to a solid that lasts. We add soap, ammonia, zinc oxide and sulfur. The ammonia evaporates and the soap and zinc oxide are washed out. The sulfur is needed to cure the product so that it bounces back after you sleep on it.

  10. I heard about latex allergies, can this hurt me?
    The problems you have heard of are related to medical latex products. The key culprit is a protein in natural latex that is not present in properly produced latex. Our talalay latex, processed the way we do, contains none of these proteins that cause allergic reactions. Talalay Global (formally Latex International) is the largest maker of latex Cosmetic Sponges in the world and have never had an allergic reaction. With this track record, you can be assured you won’t have a problem. Besides, with the cover, you never contact the product. Follow this link for more on latex allergies.  We asked the same question of Talalay Global (then called Latex International) back in 2002.  Here is a copy of their response.

  11. Isn’t this the same as Urethane or Furniture Foam? What’s the difference?
    No, latex product is not the same as urethane or furniture foam. Urethane is a plastic. It doesn’t have the longevity and resiliency of rubber. They don’t make rubber bands or tires out of urethane (plastic), because urethane can’t stretch and return to shape like rubber. In short, when worked, they lose resiliency and shape. The just won’t give you the same comfort a year from now that they do in the showroom. Urethane foams are also made from isocyanates, and can give off deadly hydrogen cyanide gas in a fire. Our product is rubber and has all the resiliency inherent in rubber.

  12. Is Infinilux latex?
    No, they are advertising it as a latex like product. It is actually a plastic foam, a polyurethane.

  13. Why wasn’t latex available for so long?
    It was used in bedding and autos until the introduction of urethane. The large manufacturers of latex were primarily interested in automotive foam, and as urethane replaced latex in car seats, they dropped out of the market. Latex is heavier than urethane, and costs more to produce. In car seats, the extra weight becomes a problem for those worried about gas mileage. (Cheaper also made Detroit happy;)

  14. Why is it so expensive?
    It is expensive because it is pure latex rubber, and it is the best latex foam bedding available. It is very unlike polyurethane, which is a plastic and much cheaper and lighter than latex foam. Because this product lasts a lifetime, it really isn’t more expensive. In the long run, it’s actually less expensive.

  15. What kind of frame do I need?
    If considering a metal bed frame you need a four-legged frame for a twin size mattress. For a full, queen or king size mattress, you need a six-legged frame with middle support, running head-to-foot. Center support for any type of mattress is very important, so that it doesn’t sag in the middle. Since all full, queen or king size FloBeds’ foundations are split (left and right), they require center support. FloBeds foundations are also built with threaded t-nuts to receive wooden legs if desired in place of a metal bed frame.

If using a bedstead with headboard, foot-board and sider-ails you can use a center head-to-foot rail or you can use four cross slats with center legs in the middle two slats.

More Frequently Asked Questions about Latex

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