Organic Latex Mattresses: Extraction, Production and Benefits
Organic latex mattresses are a popular choice for homeowners who prefer buying products made of natural materials. Many people choose mattresses made of organic latex over synthetic memory foams because these bedding items are eco-friendly and create a chemical-free environment inside the bedroom. But, some homeowners hesitate in purchasing these all-natural mattresses because they doubt that the materials used are not organic and they might end up getting nothing out of the purchase.
If you have the same doubts, then this blog post is a must-read for you. Our organic bed experts in our Toronto store have elaborated on how latex, an all-natural product, is extracted and processed into the mattress you know and its benefits. Go through this detailed blog post and clear all your doubts regarding natural mattresses.
Everything starts with the rubber-tree or Hevea Brasiliensis. It usually grows in tropical areas and can reach a height of up to 43 metres or 140 feet. This tree produces a milky sap (latex) which is the primary source of natural rubber. The sap is extracted by making a thin diagonal cut to remove the tree bark and allowing the fluid to be collected in a bucket attached to the tree near the incision. This process is known as rubber trapping. The flow of latex stops after six hours but can be restarted the next day with a new cut.
It is noteworthy that it takes about six years for a rubber tree to grow large enough to be harvested for sap and each tree can live up to 100 years. That’s why rubber plantation is managed carefully to ensure that new trees grow consistently and output is not hampered.
The best part is that latex is collected without damaging the tree or creating pollution. In fact, these trees serve the dual purpose of producing latex and removing carbon dioxide from the air.
To transform the milky sap of the rubber tree into a foam mattress, the extracted latex is processed because the original fluid is dilute and needs to be purified. The latex is mixed with small amounts of compounds (about 1.5%) to stabilize and solidify the fluid so that it can be converted into a mattress. This processing gives elasticity and resilience to latex to create mattresses that offer comfortable sleeping experience.
There are two manufacturing processes for making organic latex mattresses, the Dunlop method and the Talalay method. Let’s find out about them in detail.
The Dunlop method is the traditional method of making latex mattresses and was developed in 1929. In this method, processed latex is whipped to introduce air and make it foamy. Once the mixture gets the right consistency, it is poured into large vats where it is filtered to remove impurities and unwanted particles. After that, the filtered mixture is poured into specific moulds and then passed into an oven for baking. The oven is heated to approximately 350° F so that the latex mixture can take the shape of the mould. This process is known as vulcanization. After the baking is complete, the solidified latex is sent to the washing station where the residues of liquid latex are washed away. Lastly, the latex foam is dried using hot air. After the last stage of drying, it takes the form of an organic latex mattress that you know.
The Talalay method of making natural latex mattresses was developed in the 1950s. It is similar to the Dunlop method but has a few significant differences in the process that affects the final product. Like the Dunlop method, processed latex is whipped to create a frothy foam and poured into the mould, but instead of baking, the mixture is vacuum sealed to expand the bubbles caused by whipping. This step disperses the latex evenly throughout the mould. After that, the latex foam is flash frozen at a temperature of -20° F and immediately afterwards it is flash heated at a temperature of 200° F to permanently solidify the mixture and turn it into a solid latex block. After the block cools down, it is sent for washing and cutting so that it becomes ready for use.
The texture of the foam block created through the Talalay method is slightly different from the one manufactured using the Dunlop method. The Dunlop foam is springy whereas Talalay foam is bouncy. That said, in terms of creating a denser mattress, Dunlop method is the winner. But, with the first process, you can create mattresses of various shapes including large ones, unlike the second process that creates only smaller blocks.
Apart from being extremely comfortable and providing support to your body, organic latex mattresses offer a number of other benefits. Some of them are listed below-
1) Naturally Dust Mite- and Mold-Resistant
Unlike synthetic foam mattresses that trap moisture and provide a breeding ground for dust mites and bed bugs, organic latex mattresses are naturally resistant to mold and dust mites. They don’t allow dust mites and other bacteria to thrive inside it. The antimicrobial feature of natural latex makes these mattresses perfect for warm humid places.
2) Naturally Hypoallergenic
As mentioned earlier, natural latex mattresses are naturally resistant to dust mites, mold and other bacteria. Also, these mattresses are not made up of harmful chemicals that produce noxious fumes and cause allergic reactions to people who are sensitive to strong smelling substances. These amazing characteristics of this bedding product make it an ideal choice for people who suffer from various allergies.
The molds in which natural latex mattresses are baked or flash frozen have pinhole patterns that are purposely created to give an open-cell structure to the bedding product. This feature encourages excellent air circulation inside the mattress, thus making it more breathable. As a result, you get a comfortable sleeping temperature.
4) Relieve Pressure Points
Mattresses made of natural latex provide a supportive sleeping surface that keeps your spine in alignment with the rest of your body. Also, latex is a resilient material that places excess pressure on hips, shoulders and contours to reduce or prevent pain.
Unlike synthetic latex mattresses that contain chemical odours, natural latex bedding products don’t have chemicals to break down and release the odour. Even if a smell is detected, it is a faint, sweet smell of the new mattress which is harmless.
Organic latex mattresses are made of the milky sap or latex, a natural material collected from the rubber tree. This sap is processed and moulded using either the Dunlop method or Talalay method to create solid foam blocks. These mattresses are all-natural and offer several benefits including extreme comfort, supportive sleeping surface, mold-resistance, dust-mite resistance and comfortable sleeping temperature.
Hopefully, this blog post has clarified your doubts regarding the authenticity and benefits of mattresses made of natural latex. If you want comfort, body support, a non-toxic environment and an allergen-free bed, then natural mattresses are the right choice. For best results, pair them with organic cotton bedsheets and buckwheat pillows and get a natural sleeping environment inside your bedroom. To buy them for your home, contact Dormio Organic Beds, a leading store for 100% natural mattresses in Canada.