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Old 01-26-2009, 08:42 AM   #1
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Hi Everyone,

I have terrible allergies to dust mites. In an enclosed space with foam cushion, my asthma will start me wheezing. We are redoing our new to us Casita and I want to redo the cushions. I heard that memory foam does not contain the allergens that regular foam does. I currently use a 4 inch memory foam on my bed at home.

If I use only memory foam is it comfortable? What thickness and firmness do you suggest? What is the down side to using memory foam? How comfortable is it to sit on at the dinnette?

Any other suggestions for people with allergies? I do not want to get a Southern Mattress, so I am looking for ideas for the foam inside the cushions. I am going to cover them with ultra leather on one side ( which I already have) and another fabric on the other. Any ideas are appreciated before I cut up the ultra leather. Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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I dont know about the memory foam. But for the fabric, make sure it is tight enough thread count to keep out the dust mites. Also, watch out for any carpet and curtain hangings for dust mites too. Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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One thing that really helps with alergies and it also helps with getting the foam into the new covers. Cover and seal your foam with real thin plastic material, like the plastic you get when you get your clothes back from the dry cleaners. Works great and you don't even notice it is there under the material. I once had a trailer which the cushions were damp and nasty and i was ready to throw the cushions away. For some reason I decided to take the cover off of one cushion. To my suprise I found the cushion foam covered in plastic. After removing the plastic, the foam was in like new condition with no odors.
One other note if you are senisitive to odors, new memory foam that I have been exposed to has a distinct odor but it usually goes away after 30 to 60 days of airing out. Buy a memory foam pillow first and see if you can deal with the new memory foam smell.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:25 AM   #4
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I noticed in the Ads box to the left links to allergen covers for bedding. Have you checked into these products? Simply Google 'dust mite covers' and have a look. I overcame my allergy (not asthma) to dust mites and other allergens through immunotherapy - shots once a month for five years, along with the use of dust mite covers on our bedding.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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I don't have allergies, so I'm no expert, but haven't I read that latex rubber mattresses are fairly non-allergenic?

Also, aren't Casita walls carpeted? I would think that might abe a problem for someone alergic to mites.... can you clean it somehow?

(I can confirm the memory foam smell. I bought a toppper over a year ago and I can still smell it, even though I left it outside on sunny days for weeks. I found out I don't find it comfortable, so now my dog has a memory foam bed topper. That said, conventional foam has a long-lasting smell too, although not as strong as memory foam (both conventional and memory foam are made with plenty of chemicals). I plan to try latex for my next foam mattress.)

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
I don't have allergies, so I'm no expert, but haven't I read that latex rubber mattresses are fairly non-allergenic?
But be careful for latex allergy or developing it.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:06 AM   #7
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But be careful for latex allergy or developing it.
From what I've read (not deep research, but a fair amount of reading), the latex rubber (in the mattresses made of it), does not tend to affect people in the same "allergenic" way as other types of latex. Since the mattresses are unfriendly to mites, etc. - and are not made with the array of chemicals that polyurethane foam and "regular" mattresses, they seem to be beneficial for people with allergies.

If you have some info that contradicts that, I'm interested though -- I haven't bought yet so links are welcome!

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Old 01-27-2009, 05:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
From what I've read (not deep research, but a fair amount of reading), the latex rubber (in the mattresses made of it), does not tend to affect people in the same "allergenic" way as other types of latex. Since the mattresses are unfriendly to mites, etc. - and are not made with the array of chemicals that polyurethane foam and "regular" mattresses, they seem to be beneficial for people with allergies.

If you have some info that contradicts that, I'm interested though -- I haven't bought yet so links are welcome!

Raya
We are replacing our bed/dinette cushions with 6" of latex after doing a lot of research. We bought a double mattress from the Foam Factory near us (see www.foambymail.com).

We were motivated by comfort and longevity/durability, but I did read about benefits for people with allergies and that latex stands up to moisture and is recommended for marine environments. There is a debate about Talalay vs. other types and synthetic and I couldn't sort that out. The mattress was $414.00...not cheap, but that was the best latex price I could find. And not too bad, as new foam prices are shocking. They also cut it to our templates (as we want the option to convert to a dinette) and put on a dacron wrap. I'm in the process of making covers (big job) out of denim because I happened to have a huge bolt of denim.

Note that with the Trillium 15'-er, the double bed size almost perfectly fits, so there was no waste...which helped with the economics. We bought high density conventional foam for our front dinette from the same outfit. I've covered the latex cushioins with lining material and we've tried them out. They are very comfortable, so we're pleased so far. On the latex allergy...I think that requires skin contact, so it shouldn't be a problem. I also saw natual latex matresses at Ikea for a good price, but they are covered and you'd have to rip into all of that.

Good luck on your project...I'm hoping we aren't delayed in our first Spring outing in our little trailer by the enormity of this project. I've got curtains to sew and a rug to cut as well.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:25 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. I have had allergies for years. When I was a kid, my allergist said they were almost the worst he had ever seen. I had shots for about 10 years. I usually do fine for most things now a days. Sometimes when I stay in a hotel, the wheezing will start up.

We have a sailboat and I redid the cushions there and I was fine for about two years. And then the wheezing started and gradually got worse. I cannot sleep in the boat until I figure out what to do. I used closed cell foam, really good marine quality for the cushions there. There is no carpeting, and the wheezing is worse in the small enclosed spaces. So have have to redo the cushions again in the boat. I hope to come up with a solution that helps in the boat and the Casita.

I will look into the dust covers and the latex. I am worried about the carpet on the walls. but I did not want to tear it all out and redo it. I hate to think about how much work that would be. Since the boat has no carpeting, and I have such a strong reaction, I hope it will only be the cushions.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:53 AM   #10
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Kirsi,

How frustrating about the boat. If it's a fiberglass boat, I'd guess perhaps the slight outgassing that continues (for years sometimes) from the resin - or perhaps some concealed mold? Depending on what construction style it uses. We took apart a boat that was built the modern way, with fiberglass stringers bonded to a liner, and there was mold inside some places that would have been impossible to reach normally.

If you'd like some ideas on that, feel free to PM me from here (for all I know you could be a boatbuilder and designer, of course, and have no need of further info... )

Kathleen,

Thanks for the additional input on the latex. Sounds like your research was similar to mine - only I haven't acted on mine yet. The problem I was having was that I only wanted 4" of foam (boat cushions -- and now camper mattress), and the "real" mattresses available in firmnesses only came 6" or more. Then the "toppers" (1" - 3") were usually only soft. But recently I found a place that has toppers in various firmnesses, so I'm leaning towards a combination of two different 2" layers (so I could have some flexibility by alternating the top/bottom layer). Just have to decide which firmnesses now (firm, very firm, medium firm, medium, etc. etc. )

If anyone is wondering, it was www.sleeplikeabear.com that had the toppers in different firmnesses. I read one good review of them on the Internet, from a customer who not only bought from them but needed to exchange (always brings out the true colors!), but have not patronized them myself yet. Here is a direct link to the toppers:

http://sleeplikeabear.com/talalay_latex_toppers.html

There were a couple of other latex mattress places that seemed to be very friendly and top notch, but again, they only had the 6"+ mattresses in choosable firmnesses, not the thinner toppers.

The Talalay and Dunlop methods are (as I'm sure you figured out, Kathleen), two different ways they process the natural latex rubber to make the mattresses. Talalay is newer, and involves "whipping" with more air, IIRC. I'm not sure there is a good way to choose without having tried both (just when I would decide "Oh yeah, Dunlop for sure," then some new factoid would come to light). Actually, since I like firm mattresses (I'm the one who drags the hotel top mattress off onto the floor so I can sleep properly; then has to wrestle it back onto the box spring the next morning), the Dunlop sounded a bit better. But then the graded toppers at sleeplikeabear come in Talalay. You can't win for choosing!

Raya
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:11 PM   #11
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Thanks Raya. Our boat is an old fiberglass boat from the 70's so I don't think it is the outgassing. We totally redid it (took 3 years) and I did not have the problems until we used it for a few years. Now I cannot use the V-berth. Since it is out of the water, I can try taking the cushions out and see if I can stay in the boat. Unfortunately, I do have a mold allergy too. Thanks for bringing that point up, because it did not occur to me. I hope it is not that .

Thank you Raya and Kathleen for all the info on the latex. I will have to look at the sites and start doing my homework.

I have been looking at the allergy covers. Maybe I can get several twin bed ones and reduce them to fit on the cushions. I think I will give that a try.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:39 PM   #12
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I agree, I've also read about Latex not supporting mites (antimicrobial) and being hypoallergenic. Not so sure about memory foam, though maybe...

The thing will be to get foam that's pretty firm. They come in different weight or firmness. You won't be distributing your body across a whole mattress but will be sitting on it as a cushion, right? So you want a firmer foam than you would get for sleeping... but if you turn it into a bed regularly you could have a 1" topper that's soft to go over the rest.

Here's a site with some latex foam:
http://www.foamsource.com/shop/product/31
They will even custom laminate 3 layers of foam to make your cushion.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
We are replacing our bed/dinette cushions with 6" of latex after doing a lot of research. We bought a double mattress from the Foam Factory near us (see www.foambymail.com).

We were motivated by comfort and longevity/durability, but I did read about benefits for people with allergies and that latex stands up to moisture and is recommended for marine environments. There is a debate about Talalay vs. other types and synthetic and I couldn't sort that out. The mattress was $414.00...not cheap, but that was the best latex price I could find. And not too bad, as new foam prices are shocking. They also cut it to our templates (as we want the option to convert to a dinette) and put on a dacron wrap. I'm in the process of making covers (big job) out of denim because I happened to have a huge bolt of denim.

Note that with the Trillium 15'-er, the double bed size almost perfectly fits, so there was no waste...which helped with the economics. We bought high density conventional foam for our front dinette from the same outfit. I've covered the latex cushioins with lining material and we've tried them out. They are very comfortable, so we're pleased so far. On the latex allergy...I think that requires skin contact, so it shouldn't be a problem. I also saw natual latex matresses at Ikea for a good price, but they are covered and you'd have to rip into all of that.

Good luck on your project...I'm hoping we aren't delayed in our first Spring outing in our little trailer by the enormity of this project. I've got curtains to sew and a rug to cut as well.
Thanks for the info Kathleen! This is exactly what I'm looking for I think!
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