Mattress manufacturers reveal that the biggest change in the bedding business is the rise in demand for latex foam which is one of the major components in making beddings. The demand is even higher for the premium materials to be used in rubber bed, cushion and core in beddings. Manufacturers prefer latex foam that is made of 100 per cent natural rubber material such as those from the milky sap of the rubber tree also known as Heveabrasiliensis.
The problem is that majority of the latex foam utilized in modern beds are mostly blended and not pure latex. The blend is composed of natural rubber along with styrene butadiene rubber with a petroleum base. Every company uses a different ratio of the combination but the most common blended latex is usually 60:40 or 80:20 which is SBR to natural rubber ratio. Majority of blended latex manufacturers also make 100 per cent synthetic mix which is called SBR.
In producing latex foam, there are two basic methods used – Talalay and Dunlop. The most common method is Dunlop and uses less resource in manufacturing. The latex foam is made by whipping, placed in molds, went through baking and washed before leaving to dry. The Talalay process is more elaborate because it involves filling a vacuum by 50 per cent before sealing the molds which will aid in rising of the mixture. The latex is then frozen, cured through heating, washed and then wait to dry. The resulting foam is uniform and cell structure is more consistent thus the price is higher compared to those made using Dunlop.
In the last few years, manufacturers employing Dunlop aimed to achieve the same result as Talalaythus, they have improved their methods of pouring and curing. There are those that believe their methods are not the same as before thus classifying their foams as Dunlop should no longer be applied.
Suppliers admit that there is a growing trend for rubber bed and that most of manufacturers use only an inch or half foam on top of the beds in order to deliver a better bed without the high price tag.