Latex Mattresses – Vintage Product Making Huge Comeback

Latex mattresses, aka rubber mattresses, are definitely a thing of the past and future too. The epic failure of today’s mattresses are creating a huge void, one that can only be filled by a superior product. These rubber mattresses started to appear in the U.S. around 1947 believe it or not. Here’s a ad from 1949 –

Vintage Latex Mattress Ad

Latex was used not only in mattresses but chairs and sofas too. It’s superior comfort and durability made it shine above all other materials of it’s time. Fast forward to today and it’s still true. None of today’s foams can outlast or out perform latex foam. One of the reasons most companies don’t use it is because of that very fact, it simply lasts too long.

Why Sink When You Can Float?

The memory foams of today are much cheaper to produce than latex rubber which is why it’s the choice of just about all mattress manufacturers for the comfort layer of your mattress. But memory foam has many drawbacks compared to latex. It’s much warmer to sleep on because of decreased air flow. It uses body heat to soften it up creating a hole you have to dig yourself out of if you try to change sleeping positions. It has very little push-back once warmed aka “support” and is 100% made with chemicals. Latex on the other hand is botanically derived from the rubber trees. There is even Certified Organic latex mattresses, you’ll find them on our website. Latex foam feels like you are floating instead of sinking as shown in another ad from the 1940’s.

Floating On Latex Foam

Latex Foam is Extremely Durable

Believe it or not we were able to document the condition of a 51 year old latex mattress that was used by 2 generations in the video below.

Now if that doesn’t convince you I don’t know what would. This is the very product featured in the vintage ads in this post. Here is one more just for good measure –

Vintage Koylon Rubber Mattress

From Wikipedia – The Talalay process is a method of producing molded pieces of latex foam rubber. A liquid latex rubber base is introduced to a closed mold that has been vacuumed of air. The mold is then frozen to stabilize the cell structure. Carbon dioxide gas is introduced and the mold is heated to cure the rubber. Leon, Joseph and Anselm Talalay[1] developed the “Talalay” process at various commercial entities. B.F. Goodrich in Shelton, Connecticut, Dunlopillo in Pannal, Harrogate, UK,[2] and Vita Talalay in Maastricht, Netherlands, made this process commercially practical in the late 1940s. The first Talalay production plants were built in England, Canada and the United States.

Although latex is more expensive than memory foam as a rule, your money will be much better spent due to the extended durability and all the other attributes of latex. So if you really want to get the most bang for your buck the answer is obvious, go with latex. If nothing else insist that the top layer of your mattress has it since that’s the part that takes most of the wear and tear. We now offer all kinds of components from pocket coil springs to bare poly foam cores and latex cores to build your own mattress. The key is having a good latex top layer which we have many to choose from.

Latex Mattresses from Past to Present

In the 1940’s and 50’s latex mattresses were made using the Dunlop process. It’s only drawback was it was at times inconsistent. It might be a little firmer in one area than another but no one seemed to mind because the overall feel was still superior to everything else at the time. Over the years the dunlop manufacturers have pretty much eliminated that aspect and today are producing a very consistent product.

Our main supplier of Talalay latex – Radium Foam aka Vita Talalay – since 1961 has been applying its refined Talalay latex production method that make its products so unique. Talalay has a more refined and luxurious feel than it’s counterpart Dunlop. Dunlop latex is more dense and offers good support for heavier people but for me an all talalay mattress conforms better to my body curves and relieves pressure points better for that reason.

In conclusion the real message is “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Latex is a superior mattress component and other poly foams and memory foams pale in comparison.

By Ken Hightower

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