Latex foam can be constructed from three different material types; all natural latex, synthetic latex, or a blend of natural and synthetic. There are also a number of different ways to manufacture latex, however, the two most common types by far are the Dunlop and Talalay process.
Brooklyn Bedding mattress layers (top to bottom) – 2″ Talalay latex, 2″ Dunlop latex, 6″ support foam
These foams can be classified by either name. For example, you can have a natural dunlop foam, a synthetic dunlop foam, a natural talalay foam, or a synthetic talalay foam. Some manufactures advertise the technique used to make the foam, while others choose to focus on the materials instead.
Natural latex (material) only uses the raw latex, which is harvested from rubber trees and naturally processed to create the foam layers. For sleepers wanting a “natural mattress,” natural latex can be a great option. A certified organic natural latex mattress uses the purest materials and construction, and there is minimal off-gassing.
Synthetic latex (material) can be made from a variety of different synthetic materials, however, it is usually constructed from SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber). This latex can have a similar feel when compared to an all-natural latex mattress, however, some describe synthetic latex as having less bounce when compared to an all natural latex. A synthetic latex is also not going to have quite the lifespan and durability of an all-natural latex.