- Is pure natural Vita Talalay as natural as pure natural dunlop?
Yes, it is. Looking at the end result the product is most of the time even more natural, but as long as there are no artificial additives or fillers used you will usually get to an end result of more than 95% natural. Look for the Eco-Institut certification with latex that analyses a product to be made out of pure natural latex.
There are companies and retailers that call products with 85% natural latex already a natural product. We don’t do that. It has to be as pure as possible. We guarantee.
- Is Vita Talalay Eco Friendly / good for the environment?
Yes definitely. There are many good ecological reasons preferring Vita Talalay over any other comfort material.
- Are flame retardants used in Vita Talalay?
No, Vita Talalay does not contain fire retardants. The Natural FR which is specially made for UK legislation does contain a natural flame retardant that is in line with REACH legislation, and is Cradle-to-Cradle Gold and Eco-Institut certified as well.
- Are Vita Talalay products safe for people with allergies?
For somebody with latex allergy, Vita Talalay is safe. We have never received any feedback from consumers with regards to latex allergy linked to the proteins that cause the allergy. The reason is that the proteins are washed out during the production process and the latex is tucked in the mattress.
For people with dust mite allergy, Vita Talalay brings an added benefit as the Talalay process makes such an airy product that it gives no ground for dust mites to live in.
- Are Vita Talalay products recyclable?
Yes, they are. If they are reclaimed by the mattress retailer or given to a recycling point, the latex can be reused for underfloor or insulation.
- How long do Vita Talalay products last?
Vita Talalay is used being part of many mattresses, toppers, and pillows. It is tested to be more durable than memory foam or Dunlop latex. However the brands we use to decide on the warranty terms they can offer. In general bedding brands love Talalay because they get very little complaints on durability exceeding the recommended consumer replacement times of a pillow (3 years) or mattress (7 years) by far.
- Are Vita Talalay products washed ?
All Vita Talalay products have been washed well with pure, clear water, that is only used one single time, washing out soaps and left over proteins. Comparisons (analysis) with other latex suppliers have shown that our washing process is very thorough.
- Where does the production take place?
All Vita Talalay made products are 100% made at Radium Foam in The Netherlands in the city of Maastricht. Radium foam produces latex since 1932.
- Are Vita Talalay products certified?
We have several certifications: all our products are Oekotex 100 Class 1 certified; Natural Vita Talalay has the Cradle to Cradle Gold and the Eco-Institut certification. All certifications show that our products are safe. For the UK we have the FIRA certificate, showing that the Natural Vita Talalay FR is fire-retardant according to UK legislation.
- Are Vita Talalay products 100% natural?
Natural Vita Talalay is made with pure natural latex. In the production process we need a “vulcanization paste” that helps in the baking process. In the end result 97% is natural latex and the other 3% are natural remnants of the production process. The washing process washes out proteins and soaps used during the process.
- What is the composition of Vita Talalay® latex?
The latex used is either a combination of natural and synthetic or made fully with natural latex.
- Superior: A mix of 40% natural latex and 60% synthetic
- Natural: 100% natural latex.
- Embrace: A visco latex with a mix of 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic latex with a viscose supplement.
- Intuition: A mix of 60% natural and 40% synthetic with a supplement of phase change material.
- Natural FR: A flame-retardant latex made up of a mix of 50% natural latex and 50% synthetic latex with a supplement of fire-retardant material.
- What is Synthetic latex?
Synthetic latex is obtained from crude oil. During World War II, there was a shortage of natural rubber. Synthetic rubber was developed as an alternative to natural latex for making tyres, among other products. It is a very stable product and easier to produce than natural rubber, and this is why this is added to most rubber compounds. Even now, many natural latex products contain a certain quantity of synthetic materials. In addition to our pure natural Vita Talalay® without any synthetic latex, Vita Talalay® also offers a combination of synthetic and natural latex products.
- What is Natural Latex ?
Natural latex comes from the Hevea brasiliensis tree that grows in Asia. The milky-white rubber sap from this tree is used in our product. We use a mix of natural and synthetic rubber in our products. However, for our Natural Vita Talalay® latex, we do not use synthetic latex. The Natural Vita Talalay® latex is made from pure natural latex.
- What is Dunlop latex?
Dunlop latex is made according to the Dunlop process. It can be made in a mold or with continuous pour process. For both Dunlop methods a chemical foaming agent is used to give the latex a bit of an airy feel. With the Talalay process you do that with a combination of vacuuming, to create round bubbles, and freezing, to create openness. More information on Talalay vs Dunlop can be found here.
- What is memory foam?
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that has viscoelastic properties, giving the foam its slow response properties. This makes you sink in your mattress. Talalay however gives a lifting softness that allows you to sleep on your mattress instead of in it. More information about Talalay vs Memory Foam can be found here.
- Where does our latex come from?
Most of our latex is sourced from Thailand in South East Asia.
- Is Vita Talalay latex biodegradable?
The natural latex used is bio based and also biodegrades. However, there is no such thing as a foam being biodegradable! Not a memory foam, not a Dunlop latex and not a Talalay. Claims like “biodegradable as an oak leaf” are misleading. Indeed, the tapped liquid natural latex rubber itself is biodegradable, but the finished product is not. The reason is that in the process crosslinks are made of the molecules, that cannot easily be undone. This is a good thing, because otherwise your bed would be degrading while you are sleeping in it.
- Is Vita Talalay safe without being organic ?
Food can be fully organic. But with a latex mattress that does not make sense. Harvested organic latex always need an addition of some inorganic materials to process it into a latex mattress, topper or pillow. Organic certifications do some traceability of the latex itself but do not trace whether the added inorganic materials (needed to get from liquid to a solid material) are safe. All Vita Talalay is Oekotex 100 Class 1. With Natural Vita Talalay we even have two more certifications that test the end product to be safe. And on top Cradle to Cradle chemists have analysed not only the latex, but also the inorganic additives. It shows that the latex and the additives contains zero harmful materials for the health of humans and the environment.
- How does the Talalay production process looks like and how does it differ from Dunlop?
More on the production process here.
- Why are there pinholes in Vita Talalay Latex?
During the Talalay production process, we use molds with pins. These have a functionality during the process. They are needed for cold and heat transfer. This creates an airy open cell structure. The ventilation features of Vita Talalay are a result of the production process, and not as some foam manufacturers will say because it has been “perforated”.
- What makes latex loses it's color over a long period of time?
The aging of the foam is caused by thermal and UV factors. Over time, this will result in a yellow discoloration of the foam, which is normal. To counteract this, we add an harmless antioxidant to our compounds. If there is no high thermal or UV influence (unlikely in a mattress), the Vita Talalay® product will be more durable than any other product in a mattress.
- Is Vita Talalay environmentally friendly?
Yes! There are many ecological reasons for Vita Talalay® preference over any other comfort material.
- Do I sleep cool with Talalay?
Yes, you do. Tests show that the resistance to the heat (and moisture, which is produced by the human heat, which can sweat) with Talalay is much less than with memory foam. See also the illustration below where Talalay compared with memory foam.
Test by Custom8 2013.
This shows that the vertical penetration much less (in cm) in the latex of heat and humidity is compared to a generally-known memory foam.
- Which tests should be performed to ensure that the latex is of acceptable quality and without risks?
We test the synthetic latex for pH, dry matter and viscosity. We involve the product of European manufacturers who provide a complete product specification and we make sure they work according to European legislation. For natural latex we test pH, dry matter, mechanical stability and chemical stability. Radium Foam uses its own method of measuring chemical stability and connections are tested on a daily basis.
- Is there a risk of an allergic reaction to latex used in the mattresses?
Vita Talalay® is absolutely non-allergenic, all products meet the Ökotex 100 Class I standard. This means that our products are also safe for babies. The washing process of the Vita Talalay® method ensures that all proteins and soaps are washed out. People sometimes link the allergic reactions to latex gloves with latex beds, but the material can not be compared. Latex allergies are available in different forms. A very rare form is hypersensitivity to latex. In this case, the allergic reaction can be caused by exposure to particles in the air. These particles can be derived from inexpensive unwashed latex. Frequent but still rare is the allergic reaction of the skin to latex, caused by long-term intensive contact with the skin. An allergic reaction may occur. Causes can be chemical substances in the latex or the protein in the natural latex. Since the production start in 1961, Radium Foam has never heard that our products have caused an allergic reaction. There are various reasons for this. The high quality of the latex used. That each product is thoroughly rinsed and washed and that the residues of proteins and soap are removed. Or because there is no direct contact between the skin and Talalay. But a reason may also be that Vita Talalay® products are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 product class I certified, which means that they are free from harmful substances and even safe for the baby's skin. But also because Vita Talalay® is permeable, which means a lower accumulation of dust mites and fungus. Much more often people are sensitive to house dust mites or have an asthma allergy. That is why Vita Talalay® is recommended to people who are prone to allergies.
- Is "washing" a standard practice with other manufacturers?
Surprisingly, that is not the case. From information we have received, some Talalay producers do not wash their latex. Do not wash Talalay is a choice made by a number of manufacturers, especially to reduce costs. It improves the margin of the Talalay manufacturer, but it delivers a significantly less qualitative product, which is not in the interests of the consumer.
- Why is washing the latex so important?
During washing, soap, ammonia and any water-soluble residues have been removed which have served their purpose and are no longer necessary or desired. If the latex is not washed, the product deteriorates more quickly. The remaining additives can, for example, reduce the sustainability and contribute to discoloration or cause odor. The end result is that Vita Talalay® is certified both Oeko-Tex Class I (safe for the baby skin) and Cradle-to-Cradle Silver (safe for health and the environment). The waste water then goes to a processing plant and is then drinkable again.
- How does the washing process works?
That's the clean-up of the latex blocks. The washing machines in our production hall are equipped with 4 pairs of rolls (8 rolls in total). Water is added in a decreasing volume of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd pair of rolls. Each time the block is soaked with water and the water is repeatedly pressed again. The last few rolls squeeze out the rest of the water, so we need less energy to dry the mattresses. All the residue is washed out of the Talalay latex and tests show that rinsing and washing takes place completely and thoroughly.
- Do you doubt the purchase of memory latex or Talalay?
Once you have slept on Vita Talalay® you will not want anything else. Consumer research has shown that Talalay consumers have the largest product loyalty (based on repeat purchases). Vital Talalay® is made of millions of air cushions interconnected. This makes the product extremely ventilating and highly resilient. That's why it's supportive, soft and comfortable at the same time. If you like the feeling of memory foam then you can also try the Vita Talalay® Embrace. This is the best-ventilating memory foam in the market and with more pressure than any other (known) memory foam. Pressures have shown this.
- Why does the Talalay process produce latex better than the Dunlop process?
With standard latex, the mold is filled 100% than baked (or vulcanized). The dense structure leaves no room for air, so the ventilation possibilities are a lot less and no open open cells result, which makes it much less elastic. At Vita Talalay® the mold is filled for about 30-60% and the product is evenly distributed due to the vacuum that develops. Then the product is frozen and vulcanized. As a result, Vita Talalay® gets the unique, open, round cell structure as opposed to the closed structure of the Dunlop latex, which is comparable to coral. For more details about the process please click here.
- How does the Vita Talalay® production process look like?
The Vita Talalay® production process is composed of freezing, vulcanizing and gelling / oxidation (air is applied in the latex compound to create a unique open cell structure) of the purest latex that end up providing the best product inside mattresses toppers and pillows. Years of market research and product development have shown that there is no higher-quality production process than the Vita Talalay® latex.