What is latex foam?

What is latex foam?

March 7, 2021

As you guys know, sustainability and ethics are super important to me. Especially as this business has grown from the back of my car to a full-on warehouse, I’ve always been really careful about making sure that Toki Mats is an example of practical sustainability. This means reconsidering everything, from delivery methods to packing process and everything in between.

However, one thing I’ve never had to reconsider is my choice of material for the baby play mat inserts themselves: latex foam!

What is latex foam?

Latex foam may sound synthetic and plasticky (hello cheap shiny leggings!), but did you know it’s actually plant based?

That’s right – latex foam is a 100% natural foam that is made using sap from the rubber tree. This means it’s not just vegan but also non-toxic, which is SO important when we’re talking about creating a safe, comfortable space for your little one to play.

latex foam

How is latex foam made?

Our latex foam is made using the Dunlop process, which is the most energy efficient method of producing latex foam. The process starts by tapping rubber trees and extracting the tree’s white milk-type sap, similar to the way maple syrup is collected from maple trees.

While the latex is in liquid form, it is foamed and poured into a mold where it is then moved into a vulcanization oven. After this process, the foam is thoroughly washed to remove excess soaps and materials while retaining its elasticity and durability. After washing, the foam is dried at a high temperature to remove all moisture from the final product.

The technique for tapping latex from rubber trees eliminates the need to cut down the tree for extraction, creating a sustainable material sourcing process.

latex foam

What are the benefits of latex foam?

There are SO many practical and environmental benefits of latex foam, but here are a few of the most important ones to me:
  • The process of tapping the tree doesn’t harm it but leaves it healthy
  • It’s fully non-toxic and carcinogen free, unlike some other common filler material
  • It has a springy consistency due to its high density, so it lasts a long time
  • It’s naturally resistant to bacteria, mildew, and mold
  • It’s super breathable, making it perfect for long play and rest sessions
Fun fact: These rubber trees account for the removal of 143 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide from the environment every year!

Our latex foam play mats aren’t just comfortable and durable – they’re also responsible. And that’s SO important to me. Click here to shop our natural foam play mats for kids!

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