Natural rubber latex vs silicone
Our pacifier nipples are made with two different materials: Natural rubber latex and silicone. We are often asked by parents which material they should choose, and which one is better. Don’t worry we are here to help and guide you.
Natural rubber latex
Natural Rubber latex is a natural material made from a sticky milky fluid tapped from the Hevea tree. The fluid is refined to the brown/yellow rubber you know from your pacifiers; a super soft, elastic, and resilient material very much resembling the mother’s soft nipple.
The natural material comes with a natural aging process affected by natural influences like UV-light, air, saliva, and heat. The elasticity of the material allows the nipple to change shape and size because of the baby’s strong vacuum, this means that the nipple in some cases can expand if it is not replaced in time.
Silicone is an industrially manufactured hypoallergenic, odorless, and taste-neutral material that is known for its purity. It is 100% free of harmful and endocrine-disrupting ingredients such as BPA, PVC, and phthalates. The smooth transparent nipple is not as soft as natural rubber latex, but it retains its shape, does not age, and can withstand high temperatures.
There exist two different kinds of silicone. 1. Silicone for food-contact products (food-grade), or 2. Silicone for pharmaceutical products and implant devices (medical-grade). The key difference between both grades lies in their use:
- Food-grade silicone is used for food contact products and in our case for silicone pacifier nipples, where especially good tensile values are essential.
- Medical-grade silicone is used for pharmaceutical products and implant devices and is tested for biocompatibility, a property that is not relevant for pacifier nipples. Medical-grade silicone does not mean that better quality or better mechanical properties are achieved for products as a result. On the contrary, the strength values, which are particularly important for pacifier nipples, may even deteriorate with medical-grade silicone.
Both grades are manufactured under high-quality control procedures to meet the existing regulations and to ensure that there is no harm to humans and the environment.
Our silicone nipples are made of food-grade silicone.
For hygienic reasons we still recommend replacing your pacifiers every 4-6 weeks.
What should you choose?
Both materials are very different and have great properties.
Natural rubber latex is a natural material, where silicone is an industrial material. The silicone we use in our pacifiers is food-grade silicone, which is 100% free of harmful and endocrine disrupting ingredients such as BPA, PVC, and phthalates.
Natural rubber latex comes with a natural aging process affected by natural influences like UV-light, air, saliva, and heat. Silicone pacifiers are sturdier than latex pacifiers, it retains its shape, does not age, and can withstand high temperatures and last longer. However, they are not as soft as latex pacifiers.
We recommend that you replace our pacifiers every 4-6 weeks for safety and hygienic reasons – no matter material.
Natural rubber latex is soft and resembles the mother’s breast more than silicone. Most choose to start with natural rubber latex as it has a more natural feel and softness, but most of the time it all comes down to which one your baby prefers.
Silicone is an allergy-friendly material, so is you have latex allergy in the family, you should choose silicone.
Smell & taste:
Silicone is odorless and taste-neutral, whereas natural rubber latex can have a slightly characteristic odor and taste from the rubber.
Natural rubber latex should be scalded rather than boiled! Pour the pacifiers with boiling water and let them soak for approx. 5 min. NO microwave sterilization. Silicone pacifiers should likewise be poured with boiling water and be let to soak for approx. 5 min. Silicone can be microwave sterilized.
Babies are different
When it comes to pacifier’s nipple no material is right or wrong because all babies are different. It can be necessary to try out different materials to find the perfect fit for your child. Some babies prefer a certain material while others do not have any preferences and will take whatever material you offer.