Is a Blended Latex Topper Right for You?
Researchers and scientists have tried to match the loft and support of natural latex foam with synthetic products. But despite years of research, no synthetic latex foam has been able to match the unique qualities that make latex so sought after for premium bedding.
Since premium natural latex comes at a premium price, manufacturers have experimented with a blend of natural and synthetic latex known simply as blended latex.? The mix is usually about 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic latex. The goal is to produce latex foam that at least approximates the characteristics of natural latex, at a more affordable price.
Blended Talalay Latex
Talalay latex is produced by whipping air into liquid latex and then injecting it into molds. A certain amount of latex is added into the molds more latex will yield a firmer foam, less latex will yield an airy, softer finished product. The Latex is then drawn up to a thickness of six inches using suction, so that spaces between the latex are further filled with air.
The latex is then vulcanized or "cooked"? so that air pockets are trapped in the foam matrix. Once the foam is released from the molds, the open cell structure of Talalay latex allows air to circulate freely through those air pockets.
Blended Talalay latex is made using the Talalay production process and a blended latex mixture. The resulting latex foam has all the characteristics of Talalay production and a reasonable approximation of the desirable characteristics of natural latex.
Talalay Latex Foam
Talalay latex beds have a reputation as particularly rich and luxurious foam mattresses. But Talalay latex, used alone, can have its downsides. The extra-airy nature of Talalay latex can allow a mattress to sag over time, leaving you with an uneven sleep surface and breaking down quicker.
Also, all Talalay latex foam that's cut larger than twin size natural or blended will have at least one seam. The size of standard Talalay molds and the prohibitive cost of using larger ones ensure the presence of that seam in latex mattresses and latex toppers alike.
Blended Talalay Latex Toppers
If you can't afford an all-natural latex mattress, a topper is a good way to obtain a taste of latex's singular comfort and support without the cost. But the space-age production processes of Talalay manufacturing mean that an all-natural Talalay topper may still be prohibitively expensive.
When even that all-natural Talalay topper is out of reach, a blended Talalay topper is your next best bet. The natural latex in the mix helps approximate the springy softness of natural Talalay at a more manageable price.
Pros of Blended Talalay Latex Toppers
- Affordable pricing: More affordable than all-natural latex mattresses or even all-natural Talalay latex toppers, these blended toppers combine affordability with performance.
- Customizable Support: Talalay is available in a variety of firmnesses and thicknesses, so you can choose a sleep surface that's right for you. A good underlying mattress can give a Talalay topper the support it needs to provide you latex luxury without sagging.
- A luxurious feel: Even blended Talalay gives you the body-contouring, spine-aligning comfort of latex.
Cons of Natural Talalay Latex Toppers
- Lack of stability: Talalay latex, though it can be manufactured to be firm? still holds more air than Dunlop. That airspace makes Talalay more likely to compress under the weight of your body, especially with the marginally less resilient action of blended Talalay. Choose a thick topper or you're likely to bottom out,? so that you're actually lying on the mattress below the latex.
- Lack of endurance: The airy feel that makes Talalay so popular can lead to a shorter lifespan, especially if the underlying mattress sags.
Blended Latex Toppers vs. Natural Latex ToppersA natural latex topper is preferable to a blended latex topper, and a natural latex bed is preferable to a natural latex topper. But latex can be expensive.
If budgetary constraints are hampering your love of latex, a blended latex topper will give you a reasonable approximation of a latex sleep surface on a budget.
The performance isn't quite as long-lasting, but blended latex is more affordable than natural botanical latex, and you've got to start somewhere. Before you spend money on a botanical latex mattress, a blended latex topper may help you decide if you like the feel of sleeping on latex foam.