A good mattress is a must for a good night’s sleep and in a country as high on the hot-and-humid scale as Singapore, latex mattresses are the best possible choice. An increase in demand has made the latex mattress a hot commodity. It is both the pinnacle of comfort as well as function. A latex mattress tends to be more comfortable and conforming than the regular spring or memory foam mattress. This is mostly because it’s cumulative synthetic-natural composition. Let’s look at just how these mattresses are made.
- Derivation of latex
Latex is actually a fully natural product that is derived from the sap of a rubber tree in liquid form. The rubber trees are planted in a large scale plantation in tropical areas – mostly Southeast Asia. These are carefully managed so that they do not run out of trees. The average lifespan of a rubber tree is 100 yeas and they have to grow large enough for the workers to harvest the sap.
The sap is harvested by making a deep cut in the tree and removing a small piece of the bark. It is a physical outlet for the sap to come through. It is then collected in buckets and taken for further process.
- Amount of latex needed
A large amount of latex is needed for the mass manufacturing of these mattresses. A single rubber tree can bleed out around 6 hours of sap each day. An estimated 12 acres worth of rubber trees have to produce latex for a whole day to make a single queen sized latex mattress.
It is important to note that the manufacturing of latex mattresses is environmentally friendly. The more latex mattresses you produce, the more trees would be planted.
- From liquid to mattress
The process of converting the liquid sap into a solid mattress is known as processing. The sap has to be mixed for it to be ‘manufacture ready.’ There are a number of ways to manufacture the mattress. Let’s look at the two most mainstream of them.
- Dunlop Method
In this method, the sap is mixed to create a foamy mixture. It is then either put on a conveyer best or ‘shape molder’ then put in a special oven that solidifies the mixture into the shape of a mattress. The solidified mattress is then passed through a washer, which washes away all the residual liquid from the overall formation. The end product is died by hot air and is ready for use.
- Talalay method
Compared to the Dunlop Method, this one is relatively newer. It is different because after the sap has been mixed to a foam, the mixture is put into a shaped mould and sealed properly. After that, a vacuum is applied to it for even distribution of the latex.
After that, it is flash frozen then flash heated immediately in order to solidify the mix. The Talalay method only produces small blocks of latex which have to be glued together to create a bigger mattress.