Latex questions

I have been looking for small local companies and I found one but after reading their info I am more confused than ever. What do you make of this statement:

Exploring ILD’s

ILD’s refer to a standard firmness test for latex. Our Dunlop processed latex is classified as follows:
Soft: 17-25
Medium: 26-30
Firm: 31-35
Extra Firm: 36-42
Hard: 43-48

ILD is short for Indentation Load Deflection. The test takes a metal disc and compresses a piece of latex 25%. The number of pounds it takes to compress the latex becomes the piece’s ILD. Most simply put, the higher the number, the firmer the foam. Also, the higher the number, the more latex the piece has compared to air. The more latex ,the longer the life of the foam. In other words, a hard piece of latex will outlast a soft piece of latex.

You may have heard that the Talalay processed latex boasts being softer than Dunlop. A quick look at the ILD’s reveals their sneaky advertising. Latex International (the bigger of the two companies that produce Talalay processed latex) posted their ILD’s as follows:
Super Plush: 14
Plush: 19
Soft: 24
Medium: 28
Firm: 32
Extra Firm: 36
Super Firm: 40-44

Is it softer? Quite simply, they produce a foam that uses less latex than our Dunlop process latex. A firm is a firm but they have split the soft category up into three categories. No problem with extra soft pieces, except that the less latex a foam has, the shorter its life. Their Plush and Super Plush latex takes about 5 years to form a body impression, despite its 15 year warranty. But our latex dips down to 17 ILD, you say. Well, yes it does. But in reality I have never sold a piece of latex that soft. The soft pieces we get in are 20 or higher, which is what I prefer. I heard that 21 is the magic number for no body impressions, so I guess you can confirm and hold us to that warranty if need be.

Is there a “better” latex?

Here is a link to the company

Hi avycat,

The first part is roughly accurate and the second part is only partly accurate (the ILD’s they posted are correct for blended Talalay made by Latex International) but also misleading.

ILD is only one of several factors that determines the softness of a foam (it’s only measured at 25% compression in most cases and almost nobody sinks into a layer by exactly 25%)

You can read a little more about the different types of latex in post #6 here.

You can also read more about ILD comparisons between Dunlop and Talalay and polyfoam (which are not apples to apples comparisons) in post #6 here. Their comments about comparing Talalay to Dunlop are somewhat misleading IMO. It is true that softer foam of all types including latex will be less durable than firmer foams but latex as a group is more durable than any other foam in a comparable ILD. You can read more about the many factors that affect durability in post #4 here.

This type of overly simplified information is usually only partly accurate and there is usually much more to the story.

Having said that I have talked with Deborah at naturalmattressco and they are included in the list of better options and possibilities in the Minneapolis area in post #2 here.