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Likelihood same Dunlop product is labeled differently (by ILD and "firmness")?

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25 Apr 2013 12:47 - 07 Feb 2017 14:18 #1 by ehuesman
Forward: Phoenix, and the resources he has put together, has been a tremendous source of help. This thread still concerns my quest to duplicate a particular mattress, but deals with a different part of that quest. I've started two other threads, and tried to title those thread so they accurately describe their content in order to assist others who may be searching the forum for information. I also don't want to unnecessarily clutter the forum, so if you think this should go under one of my other threads here or here , then please feel free to move it.

From looking at the certificates on their website, I discovered that The Natural Mattress Store gets their organic 100% natural Dunlop from Latex Green. I found this link on the Latex Green site that lists the cores they produce and their corresponding densities. If you search the site, there is also a PDF brochure that states they produce a 65 kg/m3 core called e-Core-Lite, but I'm not concerned with that one.

Phoenix has educated us on the difficulties associated with ILD ratings on Dunlop, which is why I have some questions when trying to compare apples to apples between different mattress retailers. For reference:

Phoenix:

65 would be considered quite soft for Dunlop and probably in the range of low 20s or "soft"
75 would be in the range of mid to high 20's or medium/soft
85 would be in the mid 30's or medium/firm
95 would be very firm and in the high 30's to 40's or firm/very firm


It's too big to paste here, but FoamSweetFoam.com has a [url=https://www.foamsweetfoam.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=30[/url] that lists the two types of latex they use to make their mattress, which happen to be the same types that The Natural Mattress Store uses (100% Natural Talalay from Latex International and organic 100% Natural Dunlop from Latex Green). The FoamSweetFoam chart shows the densities of the Dunlop in ft/lbs3 instead of kg/m3, but I did the conversion calculations with the following results:

Medium Firmness Dunlop - 78.49 kg/m3*
Firm Firmness Dunlop - 84.89 kg/m3*
Extra Firm Firmness Dunlop - 88.10 kg/m3*

* +/- 3.20 kg/m3

FoamSweetFoam lists the corresponding ILD as 25, 31, 36.

Aside from the fact the difference between the firm and extra firm appears a little small, I would say this is pretty close to Latex Green's stated densities of 75, 85, 95, which also has a +/- 5 kg/m3.

All of this "research" is being done to try and identify the actual Dunlop being used in the The Natural Mattress Store mattress that I like. TNMS nominally calls the two pieces in question as Medium and Extra Firm, and they provide ILD of 25-30 for the Medium and 40-49 for the Extra Firm. I think it is pretty safe to assume the "Medium" is the 75 kg/m3 density Dunlop, but if I am to assume that the "Extra Firm" is the 95 kg/m3 density, then that means I have to also assume that The Natural Mattress Store's ILD rating on that piece of Dunlop is a little high, especially on the higher end of 49.

Are these safe assumptions, or is there another piece of latex education that I am missing out on? I know a latex manufacturer can probably custom manufacture something (like a core with a density higher than 95 kg/m3), but I think this is probably unlikely...especially in this scenario where we are talking about products that are certified organic. I don't know if they would want to go through that certification process for a custom product.

I'll sum up the question since I've lost myself here (and probably everyone else). Based on all of the above, do you think TNMS's "Medium" Dunlop is the 75 density and the "Extra Firm" is the 95 density?
Last edit: 07 Feb 2017 14:18 by Phoenix.

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25 Apr 2013 14:58 - 18 Sep 2016 08:30 #2 by Phoenix
Hi ehuesman,

First of all ... it's important to realize and accept that there is no such thing as a "single number ILD" for any Dunlop core that will be accurate and manufacturers list an ILD or even a range as a convenience to make approximate comparisons. This is also true to a smaller degree with Talalay although in practical terms it is much more consistent even though it is also "averaged" (in the case of blended Talalay). Even if the ILD is measured and "averaged" across the layer ... it will vary by individual layer and will also vary depending on whether you have the bottom half or the top half of an original Dunlop core that produced the rating. The top 3" of a molded 6" Dunlop core will generally be softer than the bottom 3". It can also vary depending on which side of a layer you are measuring.

Other variables include the percentage compression that ILD is tested at (the two most common are 25% and 40% which makes a significant difference) and on the thickness of the core that is being tested (thicker cores will produce higher ILD results at the same percentage compression). For example you can see some of the results of ILD @ 40% compression testing here which produces higher numbers.

Some rough guidelines that I believe would apply to Latex Green and other manufacturers that produce similar densities of 100% natural latex that may be more accurate that what I posted previously and others I know of (although these also have no guarantee of accuracy and don't take into account the firmer feel of Dunlop) are ...

EXTRA SOFT 16-18 ... 4.05pcf (64.9 kg/m3)

SOFT 19-22 ... 4.36pcf (69.8 kg/m3)

MEDIUM 23-27 ... 4.67pcf (74.8 kg/m3)

MEDIUM FIRM 28-33 ... 4.98pcf (79.8 kg/m3)

FIRM 34-38 ... 5.30pcf (84.9 kg/m3)

EXTRA FIRM 39-44 ... 5.61pcf (89.9 kg/M3)

X-EXTRA FIRM 45-49 ... 5.92pcf (94.8 kg/m3)


For the sake of reference ... here are some densities for Latex International's blended Talalay (these are accurate within the tolerance of LI blended Talalay) ...

14 ILD ... 2.5 lbs/ft3

19 ILD ... 3.0 lbs/ft3

24 ILD ... 3.4 lbs/ft3

28 ILD ... 3.7 lbs/ft3

32 ILD ... 4.0 lbs/ft3

36 ILD ... 4.3 lbs/ft3

40 ILD ... 4.7 lbs/ft3

44 ILD ... 5.0 lbs/ft3

If I was trying to design and build a latex mattress on my own ... I would try to match Dunlop to what I had tested by density (assuming these numbers are available) or ILD if I knew them to be accurate in both the tested mattress and in the layers I was buying.

In blended Talalay I would try to match them by ILD which are usually more accurate and more widely available.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 18 Sep 2016 08:30 by Phoenix.

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25 Apr 2013 15:28 #3 by ehuesman
Thanks again. I did not realize there was more than one method of determining ILD, I assumed it was done to 25% compression. That definitely might throw a monkey wrench in the plans.

Two other questions, although they are unrelated to the exact topic of the thread.

First, what do you make of the study by Latex International titled "Talalay Comfort Zone" that is about halfway down on this technical blog page ? I know that Talalay is LI's main product, so they have skin in the game of extolling Talalay's benefits. It seems LI is extolling the benefits of their Talatech over Dunlop, but it might as be in French because I don't understand how it translates to a mattress component. Can you translate for me?

FWIW, Flobed has some strictly anecdotal evidence of blended Talatech Talalay being more resilient than Dunlop in the long run. Refer to this page . I understand there are a lot of factors that could explain this (4 years stored vs 5 years stored, not too mention conditions of storage).

Secondly, Latex International apparently did a study showing a slight benefit in durability when it comes to blended Talalay versus 100% natural. I also found that info on FloBed's website here . The details are about halfway down.

I realize the performance of the blended was only incrementally better, but might that not add up in the long run? Because of this, I am considering going with blended Talalay for the comfort layer...even though the bed I am trying to replicate used 100% natural. If I went in that direction, based only on your knowledge of the products, which blended Talatech ILD (ILD 19 or 24) comes closest to the feel of the 100% natural in the N2 (20-24)?

Since you seem pretty passionate about the industry, I'm assuming you don't consider these questions about small differences as mundane, but I apologize if you do. Thanks again for your help!

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25 Apr 2013 18:03 - 25 Apr 2013 18:58 #4 by Phoenix
Hi ehuesman,

First, what do you make of the study by Latex International titled "Talalay Comfort Zone" that is about halfway down on this technical blog page? I know that Talalay is LI's main product, so they have skin in the game of extolling Talalay's benefits. It seems LI is extolling the benefits of their Talatech over Dunlop, but it might as be in French because I don't understand how it translates to a mattress component. Can you translate for me?


I think it is an informative document but a detailed technical commentary on each of its points is outside the scope of the forum (or the time I have available). This information as well as a great deal more research including some lengthy conversations over the years with some very knowledgeable people who have decades of real life experience in how different types of latex last and perform are all part of what I took into account and "translated" when I wrote some of the more detailed posts I have included on the forum about the differences between natural and synthetic rubber and the Dunlop and Talalay process and the differences between different types of latex. Among others ... they include post #2 here and post #6 here and post #2 here and post #6 here which would deal with most of the points in the page you linked. Post #28 here also references the graph on the page you linked in a comparison between innerspring support cores and latex support cores.

FWIW, Flobed has some strictly anecdotal evidence of blended Talatech Talalay being more resilient than Dunlop in the long run. Refer to this page. I understand there are a lot of factors that could explain this (4 years stored vs 5 years stored, not too mention conditions of storage).


Yes ... I have seen this and commented on it before as well. I don't believe that Dunlop latex does as well when it is severely compressed over the long term as Talalay would because of its cell structure and I don't believe this is an accurate reflection of "real life" performance. You can see a video here of a dunlop latex mattress for example that was in use for almost 50 years (and there are many examples like this of both Talalay and Dunlop) which certainly didn't suffer from these problems. I don't think that this type of "evidence" reflects real life use or results.

Secondly, Latex International apparently did a study showing a slight benefit in durability when it comes to blended Talalay versus 100% natural. I also found that info on FloBed's website here. The details are about halfway down.


Yes ... this has also been referenced on many occasions on the forum (the common belief in the "superiority" of 100% natural talalay is one of the mistaken beliefs that I have addressed more often than many others on the forum) and I have talked with them as well about this. As you will see from the previous links I believe it would be particularly true in softer ILD's and not so much in firmer ILD's. Some of the reasons why this is most likely true is also addressed in the links.

I realize the performance of the blended was only incrementally better, but might that not add up in the long run? Because of this, I am considering going with blended Talalay for the comfort layer...even though the bed I am trying to replicate used 100% natural. If I went in that direction, based only on your knowledge of the products, which blended Talatech ILD (ILD 19 or 24) comes closest to the feel of the 100% natural in the N2 (20-24)?


In Talalay ... the ILD's would be roughly comparable so the closest in terms of ILD would be 24 ILD although it would not be exactly the same. The Talalay GL fast response is also a blended Talalay and has phase change gel added to it and comes in an ILD of 21 which may also be close to the "nominal" value of the N2 that you tested (which could be anywhere in the ILD range that covers N2).

Since you seem pretty passionate about the industry, I'm assuming you don't consider these questions about small differences as mundane, but I apologize if you do. Thanks again for your help!


The "researcher" hat is among one of many that I wear to develop this site and the information it contains so I certainly do understand how important some of the smaller details can seem although you may find that in "real life" some of the smaller differences you are trying to decipher or translate may not have as quantifiable an answer as you would like and may not be as important or meaningful as you currently believe they are.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 25 Apr 2013 18:58 by Phoenix.

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25 Apr 2013 20:29 - 25 Apr 2013 20:32 #5 by ehuesman
Thanks for the links. I read all or most of them in the beginning of this little quest, but I would do good to go back and read them again now that I have a learned a couple things. Those posts might make more sense the second (or third) time around.

Phoenix wrote: The "researcher" hat is among one of many that I wear to develop this site and the information it contains so I certainly do understand how important some of the smaller details can seem although you may find that in "real life" some of the smaller differences you are trying to decipher or translate may not have as quantifiable an answer as you would like and may not be as important or meaningful as you currently believe they are.


This is one of my many faults. I start researching something from a consumer standpoint, but then end up finding the material interesting enough that I get caught up in the minutiae. Now I have to fight off "paralysis by analysis"....

Thanks again.
Last edit: 25 Apr 2013 20:32 by ehuesman.

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25 Apr 2013 21:50 - 25 Apr 2013 22:11 #6 by Phoenix
Hi ehuesman,

Here's one more forum article which has a more simplified explanation of the durability difference between Dunlop and blended and all natural Talalay. Interestingly enough I found this in a google search because I didn't list it as a reference post when I first wrote it quite some time ago. It's not as technical as some of the others but it's perhaps it's more clear because of its simplicity.

This is one of my many faults. I start researching something from a consumer standpoint, but then end up finding the material interesting enough that I get caught up in the minutiae. Now I have to fight off "paralysis by analysis"....


I certainly understand this as well and if it's a "fault" then I share it and your tendency to go into finer and finer grained layers of detail out of interest alone even though in many cases it's past the point of the law of diminishing returns (and in some cases the time I have available compared to research that will benefit more people) and the raw data to get more and more specific is sadly lacking. In many cases I've spent hundreds of hours in deep searches on some topics over the years in efforts to find missing information that can help connect more data points.

In a site like this which is more about helping the majority to find a better mattress than they otherwise would ... the amount of technical detail can already be overwhelming and it's important to me to find a balance between too much information and not enough ... both of which can lead to less then ideal choices. If anything I have crossed the line into too much (for the majority of people) on many occasions which in some cases can have the side effect of encouraging an undue focus on technical specs without the complete context to fully understand them at the expense of personal experience in testing mattresses.

Sometimes too, articles like the technical blog also need to be questioned according to what they are being compared with. You can see for example on the Latexco International site here that some of the specs for their Dunlop latex don't agree with the specs of the Dunlop latex that Latex International was using for its comparison and they are also using different test methods.

You can also see in this Latex International document which has more detail yet than their technical blog that g1981c linked earlier that some of the information or underlying assumptions are also questionable.

For example they compare talalay cell wall structure and thickness at the same density as Dunlop instead of roughly the same ILD. While this may seem like a fair comparison on the surface it doesn't reflect real life because if someone wanted a 20 ILD comfort layer that's what they would choose regardless of the density which would mean that different densities with similar ILD's should be compared to reflect real life choices. The cell walls of lower density Talalay would be thinner. The testing parameters are also different from the testing described on the Latexco site and different types of testing may be more favorable than others to certain materials. They also talk about impact loss for all ILD's "on average" which doesn't deal with the specifics of the materials that would actually be used in different layers. Averages don't differentiate between softer and firmer materials and can make the softer materials seem more durable than they really are.

All of this means that each new set of datapoints needs to be "translated" to some degree ... sometimes with some reasonable or educated guesswork or extrapolation involved ... so that different sets of information can be more accurately compared.

With this type of technical and complex information (and if you get into some of the math it becomes even more complex yet) ... the more you know the more you realize how little you know and how much more you may want to know before you really believe you know anything at all. At least that usually seems to reflect my own ongoing experience and learning curve :)

Phoenix

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Last edit: 25 Apr 2013 22:11 by Phoenix.

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27 Apr 2013 21:13 #7 by ehuesman
Thanks for those posts, I agree that the older one you found via Google was a little more concise and would be a good one to tag

I hadn't even looked into the Talalay GL (fast response), but I am interested in it now simply because it seems like a "safer" option in regards to trying to match the ILD of the 100% natural talalay in N2. I understand what the GL is trying to accomplish with the gel, but what I am giving up in exchange for that? I'm specifically interested if the gel effects the durability. I'm assuming that since Latex International states the GL fast response "feels just like" the Talatech, that the GL is blended in the same ratio? By the way, I've seen you refer to the Talatech ratio as 70/30 (synthetic/natural), and I've had a vendor tell me the Talatech is 60/40. I don't know if it matters, but I'd still like to know and couldn't find it on the LI site.

Phoenix wrote: ... the more you know the more you realize how little you know and how much more you may want to know before you really believe you know anything at all. At least that usually seems to reflect my own ongoing experience and learning curve


lol, I've always said that if you do something long enough, you'll laugh at yourself when you look back at the first time you thought you were an expert on the topic.

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27 Apr 2013 22:57 - 17 Apr 2014 21:30 #8 by Phoenix
Hi ehuesman,

I understand what the GL is trying to accomplish with the gel, but what I am giving up in exchange for that? I'm specifically interested if the gel effects the durability.


I don't think you would be giving up much if anything in terms of durability with the phase change gel they add (assuming equal ILD's) and it would be very similar to the Talatech in terms of durability (although I haven't seen any specific testing comparisons about this). The main benefits of the phase change gel is that it may make a small difference in temperature regulation but Talalay latex is already the most breathable foam category and temperature regulation is usually not an issue. Once temperatures have evened out as well, all foams will become insulators to differing degrees so phase changing technology is not as long lasting in terms of temperature regulation as ventilation (see the end of post #4 here ). I think that the main reason that the phase changing gel was added was for competitive reasons to make it more easily comparable to the gel memory foams that are so common. The down side of course is that it costs more.

I would also bear in mind that ILD differences this small may be below the ability to detect for most people or would be less than the normal variations in the material itself (ILD variations across the surface or differences in the average ILD of different layers in each material). I would also keep in mind that 100% natural Talalay is a denser material and is not quite as pressure relieving as the blend (you don't sink in quite as far) and has a higher compression modulus so a little higher ILD in the blended may be a little closer to equivalence if the ILD's were exact and consistent across the surface of the layers (which they aren't).

By the way, I've seen you refer to the Talatech ratio as 70/30 (synthetic/natural), and I've had a vendor tell me the Talatech is 60/40. I don't know if it matters, but I'd still like to know and couldn't find it on the LI site.


As far as I'm aware ... LI and Radium both use a 30/70 blend.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 17 Apr 2014 21:30 by Phoenix.

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30 Apr 2013 09:31 - 30 Apr 2013 09:36 #9 by ehuesman
It is very hard to find information on Radium Foam. I did a search of the forum on Latex International vs Radium Foam, and found your previous comments. To sum up, it seems you believe the blended talalay by the two manufacturers to be products of equal quality, and any preference by a mattress manufacturer probably has more to do with their individual experience with the companies from a business perspective rather than with the latex products themselves. Is this still your stance?

Based on the Radium website, their blended product is called the "Superior". Maybe it used to be called "Talalux"? Do you know what ILDs the Radium Foam blended Talalay comes in?

FWIW, I still can't find anything on the LI site that states the composition of the Talatech, but Radium states their blend is a 30/70 here .

I'm hoping to be able to get back to The Natural Mattress Store later today so that I can try the mattress out again, just to make sure that it is the right fit for me and allow to finally make a purchase decision.

Thanks again.
Last edit: 30 Apr 2013 09:36 by ehuesman.

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30 Apr 2013 11:05 #10 by Phoenix
Hi ehuesman,

It is very hard to find information on Radium Foam. I did a search of the forum on Latex International vs Radium Foam, and found your previous comments. To sum up, it seems you believe the blended talalay by the two manufacturers to be products of equal quality, and any preference by a mattress manufacturer probably has more to do with their individual experience with the companies from a business perspective rather than with the latex products themselves. Is this still your stance?


Yes ... and you can add that sometimes a good manufacturer that deals with both will be able to identify different batches that may be lower or higher quality (which sometimes happens) and "shield" their customers from the materials that they believe are not up to "normal" quality standards.

Based on the Radium website, their blended product is called the "Superior". Maybe it used to be called "Talalux"? Do you know what ILDs the Radium Foam blended Talalay comes in?


They don't provide this information on their site so I don't know the specific ILD increments no although the manufacturers that deal with them would probably know the ILD's of the layers that they carried. I believe it ranges from a low of about 17 to a high of 40+ and they have smaller increments than LI but I don't know the specifics.

The main distributor of Radium in the US (Latexco) calls it Talalux but it would be the same yes. When I talk with Latexco next (and it may not be that soon) I will ask them about the ILD's they carry.

FWIW, I still can't find anything on the LI site that states the composition of the Talatech, but Radium states their blend is a 30/70 here.


The LI information comes from information they have provided to manufacturers and conversations I have had with them but they can also change the composition if they choose to so it may not always be 30/70 historically or in the future. I'll also see if I can confirm this when I talk with them next.

The Radium 40/60 information also comes from information they have provided to manufacturers over time and they didn't provide the blend information on their site previously. I would treat their site though as being accurate so they may have changed the blend from what they used in the past or they could be making it differently for each market. Nice catch (I hadn't seen the link you provided) :)

Phoenix

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