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How to... Ask a Question: chronic pain person needs help choosing RV topper etc. 25 Oct 2019 12:21 #1

1st off thank you for the time & effort it's taken to put all this information on the internet & maintain this forum. Having been a list-serv admin back in the early 90's I know how much time/trouble it can be to do so.
The mattress industry has long been a source of confusion to me since entering adulthood (the 60's). I need help & I can't seem to figure out how/where to post questions so starting here. If it's wrong place please direct me to right place.
We've bought a Roadtrek RV & there are 2 configurations for sleeping: 2 twin benches across from each other, left is 30"x72" & right is 76"x30 or we can make a queen size bed where 2 middle cushions measure 54" by 76" and can lay 2 twin toppers side by side. Some folks make the bed up at beginning of trip but we feel we'll like using the bench seats for eating, using laptops, watching football etc and may make up twins as often as we do the queen bed. I deal with pain on a 24 hr basis & am a poor sleeper. Hubs is a snorer & does his best using breathe strips & mouthpiece to muffle but doesn't work very well. Mattress at home is old & needs replacing but we're selling & moving so will deal w/it till Spring. RV has medium density foam cushions that feel very hard to me & uncomfortable. I sleep best on our couch which has latex foam cushions. I also have multiple chemical sensitivities from working around a neon plant for years. I don't tolerate chemical smells at all.
We're thinking of buying two latex foam toppers or Thermarest pads to use on the twin bench beds & if we want to make up the queen bed we can put them side by side.
Can you recommend to me what is the least smelly, most comfortable latex foam topper? Are latex foam toppers more comfortable then Thermarest pads? There are a gazillion brands out there & I just don't know which to choose. I don't want a lavender scented topper because it is probably there to offset a chemical smell. Cost is not a huge issue, would prefer to purchase a topper that will last with good care but not a $300 each product. $75-$200 each would be a good ballpark figure.
Would also like a recommendation for covers that can be removed & washed, not dry cleaned, and line-dried to keep shrinkage to a minimum.
Given these concerns can you:
1)Recommend natural, GOLS approved toppers that are made with zero chemicals so it won't retain a chemical smell for under?
2) Recommend a topper cover that zips on which we can wash and should it be bigger then topper so topper won't curl up on edges?
3) Should we also put a mattress pad on top of topper cover to maintain topper (and should it be bigger then topper so edges don't curl up?)
Thank you in advance for your help. Much appreciated.

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Last edit: by iluvs2fish. Reason: Spelling error

How to... Ask a Question: chronic pain person needs help choosing RV topper etc. 26 Oct 2019 07:40 #2

Hello iluvs2fish,

Yes, a latex topper is much more comfortable than a thermarest pad, in part due to its spongy bounce that lets you sink in a bit, in part due to the depth possibilities (compare 1/2" or even 1" thermarest pad to 3" of soft and squish) and in part due to the options of different fimnesses.

One question before I answer your specific questions, If you find that the latex cushions on your couch are the most comfortable for you, can we help you replicate those cushions? Do you know their depth and firmness, maybe an ILD number or at least a manufacturer and firmness classification (soft, medium, firm, etc.)

1. People generally say that latex smells either like vanilla or cleaning products. Personally, I like the vanilla smell better as it is more mild. I work with two brands of latex, the Arpico latex is the vanilla smell. For interest's sake, the Arpico latex also has the latex protein that commonly causes skin allergies removed from their formula.

While latex is GOLS certified and the end product is 96% tree sap, all foam requires "foaming agents" in order to stay a foam. Without them, the latex slab would be a flat, brittle brick.

In the end, all natural latex, whether organic or not, ends up containing the following ingredients:

Organic Latex Rubber 96%
Zinc Oxide 2%
Fatty Acid Soaps 1%
Sulfur 1%
Sodium 1%

Item 1 is pure, natural rubber harvested exclusively from the “Hevea Brasiliensis” tree, which grows primarily in South-East Asia.

Items 2 thru 5 are foaming agents that are essential to the vulcanization, foaming and curing process that all latex cores must go though. The finished core is then washed a minimum of 3 times to remove any residuals that may be left over after curing.

That said, while organic latex is not chemical free, it does not off gas and it is pretty darn close to being chemical free, which is impressive for a man made product.

Questions to consider:
a. How deep of a slab do you want?
b. How is the cushion going to be used primarily?

a. As a cushion that is going to be sat and slept on, I suggest a minimum of 3".
b. A sitter and a sleeper require different firmnesses of latex. A sleeper usually likes something softer than a sitter because their weight is dispersed throughout the latex as opposed to a sitter's weight being contained at one point and sinking in heavily at that one spot. A sleeper could comfortably sleep on 6" of latex, 3" would be unusual, though not unheard of.
You have to choose whether you want to sit on something softer so that the cushions are comfortable to sleep OR to sleep on something firmer so that the cushions are comfortable to sit on.

2. There are a number of us that sell zippered GOTS organic covers, we call them ticking. Some of them have wool in them, some have a top waterproof layer that zips off for washing, some are made of a thick, flexible prewashed double knit fabric.

A lot of people who make cushions will have an inner and an outer case so that the inner case contains the latex and does not have to be removed when the outer is removed for washing.

3. Mattress pads as in mattress protectors are a personal choice. If you feel you need one and you don't get a ticking with a waterproof layer, then they could be right for you.

One more thought. Latex needs air circulation. When you are not using the latex in the RV, it is recommended to bring it into a climate controlled place to store so that it is not stuck in a humid environment. It is a natural product and like untreated fabrics, it will deteriorate faster than necessary in an box full of condensation.

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How to... Ask a Question: chronic pain person needs help choosing RV topper etc. 27 Oct 2019 09:25 #3

Hey iluvs2fish,

Welcome to our Mattress Forum ! :)

Thanks for your appreciation and kind words; we’ll be moving your post shortly to a more appropriate topic conversation where other consumer members would have questions similar to yours (How to... Ask a Question: chronic pain person needs help choosing RV topper etc.) .

You certainly have quite a few questions “on the pipe” and thank you for the photos and details you provided. It looks like you are looking to replace the current “medium foam density cushions that feel very hard & uncomfortable” with more comfortable layering for your cozy RV set up. I see TMU trusted member DIY Natural Bedding has offered helpful insights to your questions. They specialize in mattress DIY and custom work with natural products, including options of cutting organic latex in any needed size and shape, providing unique sleep/ support solutions for non-traditional environments such as your RV.

Just curious, you are not stating what your BMI, sleeping preferences and body configuration is for each sleeper?

Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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