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is there a way to tell what type of latex by looking at it? 28 Feb 2014 03:21 #1

Here's a question for someone familiar with latex - is there a way to tell what process it is by looking at it? I'm guessing it's dunlop from what Phoenix has said, but i'm not familiar with latex types so the information out there is somewhat confusing. Got a sample that's 2" by 2" by 3" high from fbm so it's not a great way to tell compared to a sheet of it. (trippy stuff btw for anyone who's never had latex in their hand - much 'drier' and bready feeling than i imagined). Just going by the info readily available out there, dunlop is like pound cake texture while talalay is more angelfood cake in texture. Most pics of dunlop show offset holes every other row where talalay seem to be even rows of holes. Also, dunlop appears to have a much more random texture than talalay from photos i've managed to google. Some videos, like the one from savvyrest say dunlop is more 'deadened' while talalay is springier, more lively.

So here's what happened, having never messed with any latex i ordered the sample. It's pretty uniform in texture and resembles angelfood cake. Given the 2x2x3" sample there are 3 visible air bubbles, though not very large (1/8" diameter is the biggest), but the rest of the texture is extremely uniform. It's quite 'bouncy' though is this possibly due to the small sample size? IE, i held the latex in place on a flat surface, dropped a weight on it (an 18mm stubby socket wrench socket - decent weight) from about 6" high and it sprang back off a good 2-3". If i hold the base and catch a corner with my finger and let go, it jiggles all around about 5-6x like a cube of jello. The 2x2" top surface, there are 4 holes from the mold slightly smaller than a bic pen (1/4" diameter) evenly spaced. Holding it between my palms, compressing repeatedly it feels like a spring. (maybe this is all latex?) If i hold it half compressed, it almost feels like it builds up energy if that makes any sense. I'm sure it's more of a 'feeling' than anything scientific, but almost as if initially it's soft to compress but as it's held, the pressure between my hands slowly increases. Maybe it's just the sensation of my hands fatiguing under steady resistance. Repeated compressing (ie, pushing my hands together in a clapping motion to compress and releasing, cycling this way) feels like it progressively firms up faster..like the first couple times compress it 80%, then 75%, until it feels like it's fighting back at just 40-50%.

So anyway, it's really confusing trying to tell what process it is to a 'noob' and as you can probably tell i've been fooling with it a lot since i got it. Still amazed how something so 'ordinary' in appearance has so much spring and support for it's weight and size. I also expected it to be more tacky feeling or slick textured (just the way it appears in videos). If in fact this is dunlop and talalay is considered 'more bouncy' i can't even imagine what talalay must feel like. Thanks for any thoughts.

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is there a way to tell what type of latex by looking at it? 28 Feb 2014 07:30 #2

Hi brass,

fbm + "their talalay latex" = fraud

I don't even care to speculate. I'd recommend you find a more reputable dealer for latex. Since you mentioned savvyrest, they send samples of both talalay and dunlop and are a far more reputable option. (No doubt countless others including retail members of TMU).

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Last edit: by dn.

is there a way to tell what type of latex by looking at it? 28 Feb 2014 10:09 #3

Hi brass,

As dn mentioned ... if your sample came from FBM then what you are looking at is Dunlop. They don't sell Talalay.

Some of the visual differences between them are that Talalay has a finer more even cell structure and tends to have less irregularities than Dunlop and the pincores usually have sharper better defined edges than molded Dunlop.

Talalay also has a "sweetish" smell while natural Dunlop will usually have a more "rubbery" smell.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

is there a way to tell what type of latex by looking at it? 28 Feb 2014 15:25 #4

If i'm not mistaken, i think i ordered samples from savvyrest as well..to see the difference (since they're more reputable) but haven't received them yet. I'm not doubting you guys, hopefully you don't take it that way. If this is 'junk' latex then i guess i'm just impressed with latex in general as a first impression. The one side is cut so the pinholes are extremely crisp, the other end appears to be a 'skin' side that was directly against the mold. The edges of the holes are pretty defined i suppose, it seems like the side against the mold is very 'velvety' compared to the cut surface. I must be way off from everyone else when it comes to smell, because i don't smell anything distinct. The best i get is a faint 'new car' smell maybe? I worked in an auto shop for years, i'm sure it didn't help my sense of smell being around fuels, degreasing chemicals, brake cleaner etc. Only time i can recall a serious 'rubbery' smell was working in a factory where they made sports equipment, cutting huge slabs of extra heavy duty foam for the various pads that are inserted in baseball and football helmets and this is nothing like that. Even the memory foam samples i got didn't have much odor to me either. The latex definitely breathes better, regardless what it is. I placed the latex against my mouth and blew with force and there was very little resistance. Did that with the memory foam and felt like i just had my mouth sealed. Explains why people sleep cooler on latex than memory foam. Not sure why, guess in my head thinking dunlop and everyone describing it as firmer, less bouncy, more dense.. i was thinking like stout packing foam, or a very firm surface unsuitable for most people to sleep directly against unless they were into futons. Very possible that such a small sample can be deceptive since it doesn't have the surrounding support structure of being attached to more latex around it like a sheet of it would. Part of my initial thoughts were, if a 3" thick piece just 2x2 inches square has enough resilience to shove my hands back apart under moderate pressure, how many times the resilience would be there if there was a solid sheet of the stuff.

One thing is for sure, the advice you folks give about trying to test it yourself (which is sort of what i did with samples since there's no latex mattress for sale right near me) is invaluable. I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person, and no amount of watching how a material handles or reacts in someone's hands on a video, or hearing their personal 'descriptions' of how it feels or reacts really prepares someone who has never experienced it first hand.

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is there a way to tell what type of latex by looking at it? 28 Feb 2014 15:36 #5

Hi brass,

If this is 'junk' latex then i guess i'm just impressed with latex in general as a first impression.


I don't think it's "junk" latex (although it may well be seconds or imperfects) ... it's just not what they say it is.

Not sure why, guess in my head thinking dunlop and everyone describing it as firmer, less bouncy, more dense.. i was thinking like stout packing foam, or a very firm surface unsuitable for most people to sleep directly against unless they were into futons. Very possible that such a small sample can be deceptive since it doesn't have the surrounding support structure of being attached to more latex around it like a sheet of it would.


Dunlop is also very resilient compared to other foams ... it's just not as springy as Talalay. Your right though that squeezing a small sample won't tell you much if anything about how you may sleep on it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

is there a way to tell what type of latex by looking at it? 28 Feb 2014 16:20 #6

@brass,

Naa, I don't think it's that you doubt us or anything like that.. It's just that if dealing with a company that deliberately misrepresents the product who knows what you have, and who knows if that's what you'd get if you ordered a full layer. Bait and switch?

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