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Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 13 May 2013 19:52 #1

Hi everyone. I have been reading this forum for about a month now, although in retrospect I should have discovered it before I purchased a bed instead of afterwards!

In short, I am in a trial period for an all-talalay mattress and I've been struggling to make it work for me. I can't seem to find a happy medium, and regardless of how I arrange layers (it's 3, 3" layers, plus a topper), it seems it's either too soft or too firm, or there's just something that feels "off." I was beginning to think I was one of those people who just would not be able to adjust to an all-latex bed, as much as I wanted to. I must admit (sheepishly) that I did not try any beds before purchasing online, and I went with talalay because I thought it was "better."

On a whim today I went to the Clean Bedroom showroom in NYC and tried out a few beds, including a few organic innersprings. The good news is that I think I've decided I don't want another innerspring (it feels good to cross at least one type of bed off the list!). The bad news is that I (reluctantly) tried a few all-latex beds and was surprised that they felt nothing like mine. Turns out these beds were comprised of all-Dunlop. Having never tried dunlop, I didn't realize there was such a different feeling to them, and my preliminary thought is that the problem might not be that I'm not a latex person, but that I'm not a talalay latex person. I tried the Naturally Organic Oyasumi and the Natural Organic Oyasumi Dream, preferring the latter (of course - more expensive!). It's hard to describe the difference to anyone who hasn't tried both, but the dunlop gave me the softness I want on top, and the firm base I feel like I'm missing somehow in my bed. And it just felt more...solid. Not squishy, not jiggly or jello-like - but more like memory foam, without the sink hole or the chemical bath. :)

I'm somewhat concerned about the longevity of dunlop, the breathability, and its ability to resist body impressions. It seems that no matter what or how much you read, you'll always find opposite opinions about both: Talalay lasts longer, dunlop lasts longer, talalay resists body impressions, dunlop is denser and resists sagging, etc. Having never considered dunlop before, I'm a bit behind the curve and feel like I know more about what to ask re: talalay.

Has anyone had experience with both, who would be willing to share their experiences? I realize that one of the most important factors is how the bed feels to me, and which type works better for me - but I'm still interested in people's opinions about dunlop (and particularly if anyone has tried either of these beds).

I'm also a little leery because there is no exchange period and no refunds on these beds, but honestly after 1 1/2 months of swapping layers and purchasing more pieces and trying so many configurations (not to mention the countless hours I've spent considering other possible configurations I might try if I just ordered different pieces), I'm worn out. I think having many options available might work well for some, but I think if I could just try out a bed for an hour in a showroom and be pretty sure it was comfortable for me, I'd sacrifice the ability to make comfort exchanges and just make this bed work for me!

Thanks for your time!

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Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 13 May 2013 23:01 #2

Hi rockalicious2013,

I'm somewhat concerned about the longevity of dunlop, the breathability, and its ability to resist body impressions. It seems that no matter what or how much you read, you'll always find opposite opinions about both: Talalay lasts longer, dunlop lasts longer, talalay resists body impressions, dunlop is denser and resists sagging, etc. Having never considered dunlop before, I'm a bit behind the curve and feel like I know more about what to ask re: talalay.


You can read a little more about both here that is more "fact based" than much of the information on the internet which tends to promote one over the other and that has been sourced from a great deal of research and conversations with manufacturers that have worked with both for decades and I would rate Dunlop and Talalay roughly equal in terms of durability (bearing in mind that durability is also affected by softness so softer versions of both would be less durable than firmer versions). You can also see a video of a Dunlop mattress that was almost 50 years old in this article and there are many examples of both which have lasted decades (usually in firmer versions). In practical terms I would treat them as equals in terms of durability.

Dunlop is also denser and has a higher compression modulus (the rate that a material gets firmer as it compresses more) so it can "start off" softer than a Talalay layer of the same ILD with initial compression and then once it is past 25% compression (where ILD is tested) it would become firmer than Talalay (which is what you felt). This is why it is considered to feel firmer than Talalay because most people don't sink into a layer exactly 25% and for the same reason is often considered to be more supportive even though the surface can feel softer. in other words it has a different response curve.

Dunlop is also less breathable than Talalay but it is more breathable than other foams and most people would not have an issue with heat with any latex (although this too will be affected by softness because you will sink in more with softer layers which puts more insulating foam around your body). There are also many other factors that are part of temperature regulation in a mattress that you can read about in post #2 here which can also make a significant difference.

Has anyone had experience with both, who would be willing to share their experiences? I realize that one of the most important factors is how the bed feels to me, and which type works better for me - but I'm still interested in people's opinions about dunlop (and particularly if anyone has tried either of these beds).


I have certainly tested both fairly extensively although they were not the specific mattresses you mentioned they were similar in construction. I personally prefer Talalay but my daughter who has also tested both has a clear preference for Dunlop (which is what she sleeps on). It really is a matter of personal preference because as your testing indicated they both share certain properties of latex like high elasticity and resilience but they feel and respond quite differently. I think much of the "misinformation" on the internet tries to promote one over the other or present one as being "better" than another when in fact they are just different and the choice is a matter of personal preferences IMO.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 14 May 2013 05:44 #3

Thanks, Phoenix! I read both articles and I feel more comfortable about dunlop. I did notice that many of the sites that promoted talalay as superior to dunlop were companies that did not sell both. Granted, you could argue that if they really felt talalay was superior, it would only stand to reason that they would opt to sell only talalay beds, but the cynic in me thinks that a company is going to promote whatever they sell and try to advise you against what they don't carry.

Have you heard much about the Naturally Organic mattresses? The Oyasumi and Oyasumi Dream seem very similar in appearance and construct as the beds made by Obasan (Acadia 3 & 4). i have a catalog by Obasan and interestingly neither the catalog nor the website specify whether they use dunlop or talalay. I think I read that the Naturally Organic beds were made by Sleeptek? And Jean Corriveau, founder of Obasan, apparently used to work for Sleeptek.

Both beds (Oyasumi Dream and Acadia 3) are 10" mattresses that give the option of a medium or firm base, soft/med/firm middle layer, and the top is always soft. The Oyasumi Dream is priced at $3398, while the comparable (?) Acadia 3 is $3599, and the price for the set is $4096 and $4448 respectively. It does not appear that the Acadia has a split queen option. I also noted that Obasan could customize the middle layer into 3 zones, while Naturally Organic does not; maybe this accounts for some of the price difference? I currently have a zoned mattress, and while great in concept, it's proven frustrating for me to try to get the zones right, so maybe that's not a great option for me.

The Obasan catalog talked about how its founder used to work for Sleeptek but then decided to start his own company because he believed strongly in organic products. Yet it seems that the Naturally Organic line by Sleeptek is organic, so maybe Sleeptek was just a little behind the curve with organic mattresses? The Clean Bedroom rep said that with the Naturally Organic, there was no "comfort guarantee", though you could purchase another core for something like $500 (don't know if that was one side or both). Obasan has a 90-day comfort guarantee, though I can't find much information about what that entails.

Do you have any opinions about either of these companies? It seems that these are very expensive dunlop mattresses, given that talalay is certainly more expensive in general than dunlop, if not necessarily better, as you've pointed out :)

Finally, I tried both the "soft" and the "firm" side yesterday (firm was soft/med/firm layers and soft was soft/med/med, although I have no idea what the ILDs were and will probably call today to find out) - I think I preferred the firm because my hips didn't feel like they were sinking too far (a problem with my current mattress, regardless of configuration). I'm wondering if the firm would be better, and if I find later that it's too firm, maybe I could add a soft talalay topper? I think I'd rather go too firm rather than too soft.

Thanks again for your time and advice, and have a great day!

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Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 14 May 2013 09:44 #4

I have a new mattress with two 2 inch layer of Dunlop on top, one plush and one medium. So far I'm liking it. Still pretty soft and springy, but maybe a touch more supportive.

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Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 14 May 2013 10:03 #5

Hi rockalicious,

Obasan is just one of many brands made by SleepTek which wasfounded and is owned by Corriveau .

Have you heard much about the Naturally Organic mattresses?


They are their house brand ... also made by SleepTek

i have a catalog by Obasan and interestingly neither the catalog nor the website specify whether they use dunlop or talalay.


They are Dunlop.

Yet it seems that the Naturally Organic line by Sleeptek is organic, so maybe Sleeptek was just a little behind the curve with organic mattresses?


You can read a bit more about organic Dunlop in post #6 here . There are two latex manufacturing companies (Latex Green and CoCo latex) that produce certified organic Dunlop but it's not really much different from their uncertified 100% natural Dunlop and carries a substantial premium to pay for the certification process. There are also many manufacturers that call their mattresses organic but only the cover materials are organic and the latex is 100% natural but not certified. If a company is claiming that their mattress is organic (including the latex) you can ask to see the organic certification for the latex. Even organic latex (made by the same latex manufacturer they use) is available through some of the members here at substantially lower prices which in turn has a higher price than 100% natural Dunlop which has the same feel and performance.

Do you have any opinions about either of these companies? It seems that these are very expensive dunlop mattresses, given that talalay is certainly more expensive in general than dunlop, if not necessarily better, as you've pointed out :)


Their materials (Dunlop latex, wool, cotton etc) are good quality and their mattresses are well made but their prices are very high and much higher than many other competing options that use the same latex.

Finally, I tried both the "soft" and the "firm" side yesterday (firm was soft/med/firm layers and soft was soft/med/med, although I have no idea what the ILDs were and will probably call today to find out) - I think I preferred the firm because my hips didn't feel like they were sinking too far (a problem with my current mattress, regardless of configuration). I'm wondering if the firm would be better, and if I find later that it's too firm, maybe I could add a soft talalay topper? I think I'd rather go too firm rather than too soft.


When you are testing mattresses locally and carefully and objectively testing for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) your body will give you much more accurate feedback than knowing the ILD which is not that important. Too soft or too firm is really relative to the overall design of the mattress and how evenly you sink in to it. If you have no ressure points and in good alignment in all your sleeping positions then how soft or firm it is becomes a matter of personal preference.

As you mentioned ... if you have choices that seem roughly equal in terms of PPP then it's usually "safer" to choose the one that is a little firmer because it's easier to improve pressure relief with a topper than it is to make a mattress that is too soft firmer (which normally requires removing or exchanging layers rather than adding to them).

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 14 May 2013 10:10 #6

Thanks for the feedback! Hope you continue to enjoy.

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Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 14 May 2013 10:21 #7

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks again for your assistance. If I wanted to pay the extra for "certified organic" dunlop, could you suggest other manufacturers that would have similar quality to the Sleeptek mattresses I'm considering that would be more reasonably priced?

Thanks!

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Considering switching from talalay to dunlop...advice please? 14 May 2013 14:49 #8

Hi rockalicious,

I don't know every source of course but two that I'm aware of are members of the site that offer the Latex Green organic Dunlop latex in their mattresses (the same as SleepTek uses) and that ship to Canada include ...

www.mattresses.net/

www.sleepez.com/

They would be well worth talking to.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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