Latex Durability: Dunlop vs. Talalay


Hoping maybe the forum can shed some light on the subject in question. I am growing entirely frustrated with the research I’ve done regarding 100% natural Talalay and Dunlop latex with regards to durability. There are people and sites that swear one is better than the other and I’ve seen inconsistent data pointing both directions.

To be clear, the question being raised is in the context of durability only. Specifically two aspects: The ability for latext to retain most of it’s original size and resistance. Or said another way, which type of latex will better retain it’s height (reducing the likelyhood of impressions) and which will better retain it’s original “feel” (resistance) over time?



Hi Sonic,

This is an ongoing discussion all over the web which has been going on for many years … much of it based more on what people like rather than on fact. The actual durability of any latex will also depend a great deal more on how it is used and how it is protected as it will break down with exposure to ozone and ultraviolet and certain solvents and some of the other substances that are listed here.

IMO … neither can accurately be called better than another as it entirely depends on the use they are being put to. In certain applications … Dunlop is clearly superior when a higher compression modulus is desirable. In other applications … Talalay is superior when softer more consistent foam is desired. Some of the newer continuous pour Dunlop materials are somewhat in between the two in that they are available in softer ILD’s and can be more consistent in terms of ILD variances across the surface and from top to bottom than molded Dunlop (see post #6 here).

I realize though that you are asking strictly about durability so I will deal with that … starting with a comparison with NR vs SBR.

In general terms … denser natural latex is more durable in instances where stretching is required as it is more stretchy (elastic) while SBR is less elastic. NR has a higher tear strength. NR has slightly less abrasion resistance and weathering degradation or thermal oxidative degradation than SBR (according to most research) which is why SBR is often used in tire compounds. 100% NR Talalay is less dense than 100% NR Dunlop but has a more even internal cell structure which is considered by many to be less prone to internal breakdown (although there is little research here … it makes sense).

Overall (balancing all the competing factors that I’m aware of from a great deal of research and many conversations with manufacturers and producers) … I would rate 100% NR Talalay, blended Talalay, and 100% NR Dunlop about equal in the higher ILD’s with a slight edge to Dunlop and blended Talalay as the ILD goes down … but how long each lasts would depend more on the use it was put to than on which type of latex in most cases. The difference in real life is likely to be rather insignificant in the higher ILDs.

As ILD goes down … particularly into the low twenties and teens … 100% NR talalay is likely to be less durable than blended Talalay or NR Dunlop because internal shear forces in the 100% NR in the lower density Talalay may well cause its greater elasticity to work against it and “stretch” the less dense lower ILD NR talalay to the point of “breaking” the cell walls more often. So in terms of the lower ILD’s both Dunlop and blended talalay would likely be more durable than 100% NR talalay.

Latex International introduced 100% NR talalay not because it was a better material in terms of performance but because they wanted to have a product that was more desirable to those who wanted materials that were more natural regardless of durability. They know that it is likely to be less durable … especially in the lower ILD’s … than the blend (or Dunlop) which is why their guarantee is shorter on the NR than on the blend. They themselves will readily acknowledge this.

So to recap … blended Talalay, NR Talalay, and NR Dunlop are likely to be about equal in the higher ILDs. In practical terms this means that used in a mattress core they are likely to be close to equal.

As the densities go down … 100% NR talalay may start to fall behind the other two … assuming the materials being compared are of the same ILD. In practical terms this means that in a comfort layer the lower the ILD the durability advantage may go to the NR Dunlop and blended Talalay … even though Dunlop is not usually seen in ILD’s that are as soft as Talalay so an “apples to apples” comparison cannot really be made for the lowest ILD NR Talalay.

There are also some types of Dunlop being made now that use a continuous pour process from either Latexco or Mountaintop in various blends (including synthetic Dunlop from Mountaintop) that are comparable to Talalay in terms of ILD and consistency and are also proving to be very durable materials. Blended Talalay can be made in lower ILD’s than the NR Talalay and is generally considered to be more durable in the lower ILD’s than NR talalay. This would be particularly true with Latex International Talalay. Radium has told me they use a different “curing paste” in their lower ILD NR Talalay products which creates a smaller cell structure and which they claim and their testing indicates is just as durable as the blend in lower ILD’s.

While there is no way to “quantify” all this because there are so many variables involved and there is no specific comparative information that is publicly available and because the different strengths and weaknesses of each material will have as much to do with durability in a particular application as the material itself (given the exact same use and the exact same ILD) … based on the experiences of manufacturers that have been working with latex for decades and on the information that is available … this is likely to be as accurate as it’s possible to be.

Since all latex is more durable than most other materials and other types of foam … I would make choices based on which had the more desirable qualities in the application it was being used for, on budget considerations, or on individual criteria and preferences rather than a “better worse” comparison.

There is also more about the differences in how Dunlop and Talalay “feel” and respond in post #7 here.


Found these while I was out investigating “which latex is better?”

A bed manufacturer found some latex that had been stored folded and compressed for 4/5 years and opened it up. The Talalay bounced right back. The Dunlop did not. There is a movie of this on the page.
Talalay Latex | Talalay vs Dunlop Latex Mattress at FloBeds

This site says Talalay has a higher tensile strength, will elongate more, and is more consistent.

From an engineer’s perspective, those are better properties.

Hi dparsons01,

[quote]A bed manufacturer found some latex that had been stored folded and compressed for 4/5 years and opened it up. The Talalay bounced right back. The Dunlop did not. There is a movie of this on the page.[/quote]

This is somewhat misleading because latex that has been compressed for a long period of time (especially Dunlop) doesn’t act or age the same way as latex that is uncompressed. You can see a video here of an example of Dunlop latex that was in use for almost 50 years. There are many examples of both blended talalay (they didn’t make 100% natural at the time) and 100% natural Dunlop mattresses that originated from the 60’s and 70’s that were in regular use for decades. I see many articles all over the internet that attempt to portray one type of latex as being “better” than another and all of them miss the point that they are simply different and each has its strengths and weaknesses. I’ve seen comparisons for example that try to say that Talalay is several times as durable as Dunlop (or the other way around) and in fact if this was true then the latex in question would need to last over a century to make the claim accurate which of course isn’t the case.

[quote]This site says Talalay has a higher tensile strength, will elongate more, and is more consistent.[/quote]

It would be interesting to see the specifics that validate their claim including the type, ILD, and manufacturer of the latex that they are comparing. In most cases these are simply claims that aren’t based on “apples to apples” comparisons. These types of comparisons would depend on the specifics of the two types of latex being compared. For example the Latex International site here has a comparison between talalay and dunlop of the same density but this would be comparing two foams with very different ILD’s because in the same ILD Dunlop is denser than Talalay. For Talalay to be as dense as Dunlop it would need to have a much higher ILD which of course would make it more durable (firmness is a durability factor) and would increase the thickness of the cell walls. The same document also says that “impact loss” (that doesn’t say if it measures height or ILD loss) is only 6% vs 16% with Dunlop and yet if you look at their Q&A #4 here they list “Asian 100% natural latex” (without saying which type of Asian latex because there are many manufacturers) is the “worst” at 12.5%. If you look at the durability specs at the Latexco site here you will see ILD and height loss of Dunlop that is much less than what Latex International claims and less than their Talatech latex. There is no consistent standard of comparisons in most areas.

While these types of comparisons often have some truth in them (whether they claim that Talalay is 'better" than Dunlop or the other way around) … they are not the complete picture. Talalay will tend to be more consistent for example (particularly blended Talalay) but there are also newer types of continuous process Dunlop being made by Mountaintop and by Latexco that are very consistent in ILD. Natural latex is also more elastic and has a higher tensile and tear strength than synthetic latex so the blend would also play a role as much as the process. Natural talalay is also not as consistent as blended Talalay which is why Latex International doesn’t rate them to specific ILD’s but to a range. These types of generalizations are often driven by what the specific site that makes the claim is selling.

I have yet to see these types of claims backed up with specific information that includes detailed specifics, are apples to apples comparisons, and have been validated in real life experience over the course of years. I think it’s fair to say that Talalay has a more open cell structure which makes it more breathable than Dunlop at the same ILD and is more “responsive” or “lively” and that Dunlop is more dense and has a higher compression modulus, higher resilience, and lower hysteresis but beyond that the comparisons become more suspect and would depend on the specifics of what you are comparing.


Thanks for the response.

Interesting. Nice to see that. Where does it say its Dunlop?

They say “impact Loss for Talalay Latex Rubber is on average 6% for all ILD’s. Impact Loss for a Dunlop latex Rubber is generally 16% or higher.” (emphasis mine) Also, since ILD measure force for a 25% deflection, that should be what is measured - the reduction in strength.

Yes, their use of “Asian” and “European” latex does limit the ability to verify the comparison. It also may keep them out of liability problems. I’m not suspicious that they are purposely making Dunlop look bad as they could choose to make their own Dunlop as well.

On elongation, Latex Intl says “Talalay Latex Rubber has much better elongation than Dunlop latex Rubber. The higher elongation means the latex Rubber can stretch farther and absorb more energy before breakage occurs. The property is not only important to durability but also to material handling. The source of Talalay Latex Rubber’s superior elongation lies in the thicker cell walls and quality starting materials.”

The better scores on impact and elongation tests do correspond to the behavior observed on the 5-year old foam unpacking video. Yes, it isn’t exactly normal conditions other than that is the way the latex foam is shipped and is part of what it endures. The video does give a visual of how the materials behave. The Talalay recovered its shape better.

In the paper Latex Intl. also presents testing the airflow through the latex, getting 2x the flow with Talalay using the same pressure, due to the larger porosity. This translates to breathability and comfort.

Hi dparsons01,

You can see the title here and I’ve also talked to Ken who is one of the members here.

They don’t define what impact loss means (it’s used to test height loss or ILD loss) although either way this doesn’t match many years of experience in “real life” where softer latex ILD’s certainly will soften and break down faster than higher ILD’s (which is why some manufacturers avoid any Talalay ILD lower than 19 or so). It’s always easy to take selective specs and then compare it to an unspecified competitor or material to make things look better than they are. Not all ILD measurements are at 25% (especially with latex) and ILD loss also depends on the depth of measurement. It’s practical effect also depends on other specs as well including compression modulus. These types of increasingly granular and non specific comparisons in the absence of all the other connected information that is just as important becomes less and less meaningful and useful.

The undue emphasis on which is the “better” latex (usually based on limited and carefully selected or in some cases misleading information) is fruitless IMO because there are too many definitions of “better” which depend on the subjective experience and preferences of each person and on the type of comparison and the specifics of what is being compared. In most cases these types of comparisons lose sight of the forest for the trees.


Is one example of this PLB (looking at their mattress specs from your previous post). Is this why they separate the 14-15 ILD Talalays as mattress toppers? So the toppers can be replaced as necessary without having to refurbish the entire mattress?

I was debating getting a custom mattress and thought about having 15 ILD Talalay as the final comfort layer, but would I be better off just leaving that out of the mattress, and getting it as a separate topper?


Also, one other question (apologies if there is a better thread for this elsewhere):

What’s the difference between Talalay Classic (Talatech) and Talalay GL (

Thanks again

Hi djag67,

I don’t know the thinking process behind their design choices or if this was their primary consideration but it’s more likely that it was intended as a design choice that would give people options to customize their mattresses (their 2" and 3" topper can be used on top of any of their mattresses). The side effect of this though would certainly be that the topper could be replaced without having to replace the entire mattress and I would think that this was part of their thinking as well although they (and their retailers) are not as likely to mention that ILD’s in this softness range would be less durable.

If I was using latex this soft I would either tend to add it as a topper or as a separate layer inside a zip mattress cover. Either way it could be replaced independently without changing the entire mattress. I wouldn’t tend to use it inside a finished mattress that would require cutting open the cover to replace a layer and then having to resew the cover or buy a new one.

Of course for someone that was very light this softness level would be less risky in terms of durability.

talalay GL is basically the same as Talatech (blended talalay latex) except it has gel capsules blended into it that contain a phase change gel which changes phase from solid to liquid when temperatures reach certain levels. Phase change gels have the ability to either absorb heat or release heat (depending the direction of the phase change) so it can assist in maintaining temperatures within a certain range.

It comes in both a fast response and slow response version. The fast response is similar to Talatech while the slow response uses a different formula for the synthetic latex that gives it some of the slow response “feel” of memory foam.

The Talalay GL fast response used to be called Celsion (and still is in some places) and the slow response latex replaced a previous version that didn’t have the gel called NuForm.

Pure Latex Bliss (which is owned by Latex International) calls the same material “Active Fusion” fast response and slow response.


Informative thread. I am looking to add a 2 inch layer of a “medium” latex in between my current layers of firm Dunlop 5.5 inches and soft natural talalay 3 inches. My plan is to put the medium inside the mattress cover, and then use the soft as a “topper.” For this application, would blended talalay or natural be better? There is of course a cost savings with the blended but not huge. Thanks.

Hi Pspa123,

I don’t think one would be “better” than another although they would be slightly different. The blended is more pressure relieving and would probably be more durable in lower ILD’s (in the medium range you are looking at any difference would be small) while the 100% natural would be a little more elastic and “supportive” (gets firmer faster with deeper compression) and would be attractive to those who preferred more natural versions of latex for their own personal reasons. You can read a little more about some of the differences between blended and 100% natural Talalay in post #2 here.

I really wouldn’t treat one as being “better” than the other in terms of performance even though in the softer versions the blended would have an edge in terms of durability and has a longer track record (blended Talalay has been used and proven over many decades while the 100% natural was only introduced in 2005)


I came back to this thread after visiting the site. They are big Dunlop proponents, although they also sell Talalay at a higher price. Some quotes:

One wonders if there is a hidden agenda–if their margins are higher on Dunlop, for example–but overall their site seems pretty straightforward, so I’m inclined to believe that they believe what they write. Of course it is only anecdotal, not scientific, but I thought the warranty comparison was particularly interesting, especially given that they are promising NO body depressions for 15 years.

Hi sdmark,

It’s amazing to me how many retailers or manufacturers make these kind of statements about either Talalay or Dunlop (you will see the opposite said with equal conviction).

As I mentioned In the earlier post in this thread … in the 50’s and 60’s single layer Dunlop latex mattresses were being sold that lasted decades. Later on in the later 60’s and 70’s single layer blended Talalay latex became more popular and became the dominant latex material (until a fire destroyed the production facilities) and they also often lasted decades.

Most of the “this type of latex is better than that type of latex” comments you see all over the internet (on both sides) are not based on fact and both are very durable materials. For example this statement …

Has no evidence to support it and Talalay latex has a stronger cell structure than Dunlop.

In 15 years both will have some degree of body impressions and softening although they will be much less than other foam materials.

They may believe what they write (just like many others that believe the opposite) but I don’t believe it’s accurate. They are different and each has its own strengths and weaknesses and I really don’t see the need to portray one as being “better” than the other and most of these kinds of statements are more about marketing than anything else…


Thank you Phoenix for clarifying the many conflicting claims of “which is better”…Talalay or Dunlop. I recall either in this post or another one that blended Talalay lasts longer than NR Talalay (in same ILD). I read somewhere that this is not the case because as with conventional foam mattresses, which is synthetic, it tends to breakdown quicker compared to an all natural product. Is this claim true? We thought we were going with 100% Natural Talalay but now were not sure.


  1. First ShowroomTest - We went to Foam Sweet Foam in Anaheim, Ca to try out their beds. What’s nice is they have many variety of layering options to test out. From all Dunlop to all Talalay or soft Talalay, medium Talalay, medium-firm Talalay (9" mattress - each layer is 3"), which is the one we liked. We didn’t care for the Dunlop as much because it seemed to produce more motion and was too firm. My husband and I are both side sleepers so firm is not an option for us. When we first started our search, we thought the best way to go is have Dunlop as the core (bottom layer) for support and longevity and Talalay for the top for comfort. After trying several Dunlop models, we are reconsidering it. Why is the Dunlop more bouncier than Talalay? I thought it was suppose to be the other way around. The huge plus with FSF mattress is that the layers are removable for a one time exchange for comfort.

  2. Second Showroom Test - Next, we tried several Pure Latex Bliss beds at CG Mattress in San Juan. Ron, the sales manager was extremely knowledgeable and patient with all of our questions. He wasn’t hard selling us at all. Just friendly, honest and helpful. The bed we ended up liking most was the Sustain model. we liked it a lot because there was less motion and the comfort level was great with great support. Though I would like to have a softer Talalay as the top layer but my husband doesn’t like it as soft so we compromised on the medium firmness.

Here is the mattress design:

  • 10" mattress height
  • 4" all natural Talalay latex pressure relief layer
  • 6" all natural Talalay latex support core
  • layers are glued

Wish we knew what the ILD is for each layer. Ron didn’t know. Said manufacturer did not provide this information. We like the comfort on this better than FSF but my only concern is once we’ve slept on it for 30-60 days and need to adjust the comfort or should there be any issues with to layer breaking down/sagging, then we would have to return the entire mattress instead of the layer that is causing the issue. I wish they didn’t glue their layers.

I’m puzzled as to why both of the above mentioned beds were different in comfort and motion control because they were both ALL 100% NATURAL TALALAY. Only difference is one glued their layers and the other didn’t. Do you know what the reason may be? They both get their latex from Latex Int’l.

Bottom line, we need to make a decision by this weekend because we need to return the i8 Sleep Number bed we were testing. The choices so far comes down to Pure Latex Bliss or Foam Sweet Foam. and FSF were the two contenders if we were going with combo of Dunlop and Talalay, but after several showroom tests on Dunlop, is out. Need your expertise opinion to help us make the final decision. We want a mattress that is going to last a long time (at least 10 years or more). We’ve had so many mattresses including the one now that sagged within a few months. I’m sure latex will last longer than most other mattresses but at what point may we face with potential sagging? I know that most companies offer the first 10 year full coverage warranty but you would have to prove the 3/4"-1" sagging in order for them to fulfill it. Now I would imagine that would be difficult. We had a memory foam and air bed that sagged (hammock feel). Though looking at it, it’s difficult to determine this but once you laid down, you instantly felt it. So, this is why we want to make sure we are purchasing the right mattress comprising of the recommended type of latex and ILD for each layer to hopefully avoid this issue.

By the way, do you own an all latex bed (no springs or other foam)? If so, what kind and which company did you go with?


Hi Bedseeker,

It would depend to some degree on whether you are talking about Latex International Talalay or Radium Talalay but no it’s not true (although there is a great deal of misinformation about this in the market). The blended from both companies would either be similar or more durable than the 100% natural … particularly in the softer versions that are generally used in comfort layers. There is more about the differences between blended and 100% natural Talalay in post #2 here.

It’s generally the other way around and Talalay is more resilient than Dunlop but it also depends on the firmness of the latex and on the strength of the movement (“springy” vs “bouncy”). You can see more about the differences between them in post #7 here. However you feel or describe the differences for the specific mattresses you are testing … the choice between them would be a preference choice.

The differences would be in the specific design, firmness levels, and layer thicknesses in each mattress along with any difference in the cover. As you mentioned … the type of material is the same and the only differences would be in the differences in the designs.

When you are down to finalists that are choices between “good and good” then the only thing I can help with is “how” to make your final choice based on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you. Only you can decide which one is the best “value” or best “match” for you. Neither of these mattresses has any weak links in the design and both should last you for at least 10 years (and beyond 10 years your own changing needs and preferences may be the limiting factor in the useful life of any mattress).

I would also consider that with a component mattress you can change individual layers if one of them softens earlier than the rest of if your needs and preferences change down the road while with a “finished mattress” you can only replace the whole mattress … not individual layers.

In most cases the gradual loss of comfort and support over time (not visible impressions) are the reason that most people will need to replace a mattress since warranties only cover manufacturing defects (and the loss of comfort and support isn’t a manufacturing defect). There is more about mattress warranties in post #174 here. There are many variables that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress and it’s also relative to each person so there is no way to quantify this on an individual basis but there is more information about the many variables that can affect durability and the useful life of a mattress in post #2 here and the other posts it links to. If both of them are a good match for you in terms of PPP … I wouldn’t have any concerns about the durability of either of your choices because latex is the most durable of all the foam materials.

You can see the specifics of my mattress in post #4 here.

Speaking from working with them for a few years, yes, Foamorder believes what they write and is a reputable company.

Foamorder stopped carrying Talalay latex because of compressions and durability problems , at least that is what I was told when visiting the store. It can still be special ordered , but the store claims it is in the process of being phased out on the website as well ??? Do not know what to believe ???

Hi Turtlebed,

It may be the result of several factors. Part of it may be the result of some of the issues mentioned in post #2 here and some may be because they are more focused on selling their own “branded” Dunlop latex in the mattresses they make and wholesale to other retailers and like many manufacturers who sell one or the other type of latex they may want their customers to feel better about the choices they offer and sometimes this is at the expense of the ones they either don’t or are phasing out.

Their basic premise that Dunlop is more durable than Talalay isn’t accurate unless there are mitigating circumstances that are the exception rather than the rule (in either direction). There is more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here. Both blended Talalay and natural Dunlop have a very long history of being used in mattresses that have lasted decades (see post #9 here).


Phoenix: I agree with you . But when one visits a store and gets contradictory information , one just wants to throw their arms up in the air and… The Foam Order store claims that they had many returns on Talalaay latex due to compression problems around the 7 years mark = or -. I have no idea what quality of Talalay Latex , the process and if it was if it was 100% Talalay. I think Foam Order is a Good Company and Alan knows his stuff and is honest when one asks questions. I would recommend Foamorder if they have exactly what the customer wants or if one is willing to settle for a product that has most of one wants . Foamorder products are good and priced fairly .

Hi Turtlebed,

I completely understand … and the contradictory and often self serving information that is so common in the industry is one of my own and most consumers biggest frustrations. In many cases it can also be a matter that one manufacturer may have had experiences that are not the “norm” in the whole industry and may be sharing information that they genuinely believe is accurate based on a more limited set of experiences … even if it’s not.

For example you can see a completely opposing view based on a different set of “facts” that is also from a very knowledgeable and experienced manufacturer in the video here.

I would agree with this as well :slight_smile: