Everything about latex pillows
Can't fall asleep because your neck hurts? Or do you suffer from neck pain in the mornings? This might be your problem, because you don't let your head rest on latex pillows.
This article gives all kinds of information about latex pillows, for example, what they are, how they are made, what the differences are between latex pillows, what pillow sizes can be purchased, and how to maintain a clean pillow.
What are latex pillows?
The main ingredient of latex pillows is a natural polymer called latex. Latex is derived from specific plants and trees, however it can also be synthetic.
To use latex as a pillow filling, it has to be foamed to create a matrix of tiny inter-connected bubbles that give it bounce and spring. Latex pillows are very reactive to pressure, and has an instant bounce-back, unlike memory foam pillows. Latex pillows are an indirect competitor of memory foam pillows, because the latex pillows offer different properties and a different experience than memory foam pillows.
One example of the different experiences, is that latex pillows have a better moisture and heat dissipation properties than memory foam pillows. Because of that, latex pillows are a good solution to allergy sufferers, because it eliminates dust mites.
How are the latex foam pillows made?
Production of the latex
The production process of latex consists of 8 steps.
1. Planting of the rubber tree seeds.
2. Nursing of the rubber trees during the first two years.
3. Growth of the rubber tree from three to seven years.
4. Maturity of the rubber tree until the farmers can extract the sap from the tree.
5. Carving of the rubber tree at around 4AM to get the natural rubber flow.
6. Collection of the rubber from the rubber tree after breakfast.
7. Transportation of the rubber to the processing facilities.
8. Separating water from rubber in the processing facilities, before adding the ammonia.
9. Transportation of the latex to the Netherlands by ship.
Read this article if you want to know more about the production of natural rubber latex.
Production of the latex foam pillows
The production process of a Dunlop latex foam pillow consists of 5 steps and takes only 40 minutes.
1 Mixing the pure raw materials, and sometimes pump with fillers.
2 Filling the mould 100% with the latex mixture.
3 Vulcanising the mixture at 100ᵒC/212ᵒF. This gives the product its shape.
4 Washing the product to increase durability and ensure the same firmness for many years (not always washed, and not always with clean water).
5 Final quality control of the product for its firmness.
The production process of a Talalay latex foam pillow consists of 9 steps and takes around 9 hours.
1 Mixing the pure raw materials and pump with air.
2 Filling the mould 30%-60% with the latex mixture.
3 Vacuuming the material to form around the mould.
4 Freezing the material creates the round and open cellular structure to allow the mould to breathe.
5 Gelling fixes the round and open cells so that they remain in place.
6 Vulcanising the mixture at 115ᵒC/235ᵒF. This gives the product its shape.
7 Washing the product to increase durability and ensure the same firmness for many years.
8 Post-vulcanising the product 8 hours at 85ᵒC/185ᵒF to give the round and open cellular its final form.
9 Final quality control of the product for its firmness.
Read this article if you want to know more about the differences between Dunlop and Talalay.
Which latex pillow is the best?
Differences between Dunlop and Talalay.
- Natural latex derived from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree, but sometimes with added fillers.
- Water might be reused multiple times during production, the water isn't clean.
- Soft latex foam pillow that is not so supporting.
- Firm latex foam pillow that is not so breathable, bad ventilation.
- Soft latex foam pillow that is not regulating the temperature.
- Firm latex foam pillow that is not hypoallergenic.
- Soft latex foam pillow that is not durable, traps warmth and moisture.
- Natural latex derived from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree, all materials are completely safe.
- Water won't be used multiple times during production, the water is very clean.
- Soft latex foam pillow that is supporting, as if you’re sleeping on air.
- Firm latex foam pillow that is breathable.
- Soft latex foam pillow that is regulating the temperature.
- Firm latex foam pillow that is hypoallergenic.
- Soft latex foam pillow that is highly durable.
Read this article if you want to know more about the differences between Dunlop and Talalay.
What kind of pillow sizes are there?
Currently, there are a few different pillow sizes, each with their own purpose.
Standard size pillow
The standard pillow size differs per country. In the United States it is 20" x 26", in Germany it is 40cm x 80cm, while in the United Kingdom it is 50cm x 75cm. Although there are many differences in size, it can be agreed upon that the standard pillows are the best for sleeping. The downside to a long pillow is that the filling can move to the ends easily. They are also less squishable due to having more volume. These pillows are also cheaper than the others.
Queen pillow size
The queen pillow sizes of the Vita Talalay Flex Pillow are 40cm x 60cm (15,7" x 23,6") in the UK. The queen pillow is a bigger version of the standard pillow. This pillow is great for anyone who moves a lot in bed, because it provides a lot of room for your head. It can also feel very luxurious and contributes to a retreat-like feel in your bedroom.
King pillow size
The king pillow sizes of the Vita Talalay Flex Pillow are 50cm x 70cm (19,7" x 27,6"). King sized pillows are a bigger version of the queen sized pillows. These pillows are designed for proportionally bigger beds, but can also be suitable for a twin bed. King pillows also provide a good support for your back, for when you are reading or using your laptop in bed. It can also be used as a shorter body pillow.
Euro pillow size (squares between 65cm x 65cm, 26" x 26" and 40cm x 40cm, 16" x 16")
Due to the many different sizes of the Euro pillow, it is very easy to find a suitable pillow. The purpose of these pillows is decorating your bed, while it can also be used as a back support for when reading or using your laptop in bed.
Hygiene of the latex foam pillows
Most non-latex pillows, like memory foam pillows, are full of dust mites, fungus, and bacteria crawling around. They can be dangerous to anyone who is allergic to them, or who suffers from asthma.
Non-latex pillows and mattresses contain dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that are related to spiders and ticks. These creatures are worse in humid areas and feed themselves on dead skin from people and pets.
Non-latex pillows and mattresses contain fungus. Non-latex pillows can contain up to 16 fungi, according to a study from the University of Manchester. Some of the pillows were found to have aspergilluss fumigatus, which is a common fungus, but can be deadly to those with weak immune systems.
Non-latex pillows and mattresses contain bacteria. Bacteria arrive in non-latex pillows from various sources. The major source are you and your pets. Humid environments also encourage bacteria on your pillow. Depending on what type of bacteria is present, it can contribute to colds, pimples, and other irritations.
Non-latex pillows and mattresses need a lot of maintenance. Washing your non-latex pillow and your pillow cover once a week is a great way to remain a clean pillow. It should be washed with high heat to kill all the harmful germs. The water should be close to 160 degrees to effectively disinfect your pillow cover.
Latex pillows inhibit the growth of mold, fungus, and dust mites. Talalay latex foam pillows are considered naturally hypoallergenic and protect your health from these creatures. The open cell nature of the Talalay latex foam pillows and the lack of tasty fibres make it hard for the creatures to live in the pillows.
You cannot wash your latex pillow in a washing machine,. A washing machine will damage the material of the pillow. Instead, it has to be done manually, with a mild detergent and warm water. However, the Vita Talalay Flex Pillow can be washed in a washing machine, because the latex flakes can be taken out.
When the washing of your latex foam pillow is finished, it should dry naturally, and not in a dryer. If you take good care of your latex foam pillow, the life span will be atleast 5 years.
Experts are still debating on when you should buy new pillows. Some experts say that you should use a new pillow every 6 months. However, almost all experts state that you really shouldn't have one pillow for more than 3 years.
How latex pillows are reviewed
The ratings show how latex pillows are evaluated by consumers, as an overall comparison between latex pillows and all other pillows. The sample size is 4,060 and 84% is satisfied. According to the sample, latex pillows tend to be:
|Very comfortable|| A|
|Very quiet|| A|
|Very maintainable|| A|
|Very durable|| A-|
|Good for neck|| B+|
|Good for support|| B+|
|Good for conform|| B+|
|Good for side sleepers|| B+|
|Good for break-in|| B|
|Good for reducing snoring|| B|
| Good for back sleepers|| B|
| Good for hot and warm temperatures|| B|
| Good for fewer allergies|| B|
| Not so cuddly|| C+|
| Not so moldable1|| C|
| Not so cheap|| C-|
| Not so good for stomach sleepers2|| C-|
| Not so fresh smelling|| C-|
| Not easy to lift3|| D+|
| Not easy to clean4|| D+|
| Not stable5|| D|
1. [The Vita Talalay Flex Pillow is very moldable, due to the shredded inside, which can be taken out]
2. [The Vita Talalay Flex Pillow is very good for stomach sleepers, if you have the right amount of flakes in the pillow]
3. [The Vita Talalay Flex Pillow is very light, it is the lightest latex pillow currently.]
4. [The Vita Talalay Flex Pillow is very easy to clean, it can be washed in the washing machine if you take out all the flakes]
5. [The Vita Talalay Flex Pillow is very stable, due to you being able to change the volume of the pillow]
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Fun pillow facts
Here are a few very interesting facts about pillows:
The concept of a pillow dates back to prehistoric times, when a pillow was a stone, piece of wood, or bundled grass.
Pillows were already used by the ancient Greeks, and also have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.
Pillows became widely used by humans during the Tudor period of England (1485-1603). The Industrial Revolution introduced the mass production of decorative textiles and decorated pillows.
The word 'makura', which is 'pillow' in Japanese, is believed to have derived from 'tamakura', which means 'resting your head on your hands'.
Decorative pillows can be a great way to change the look and coziness of a room. Plus, it is very quick, easy, and an inexpensive way to do so.