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Old 06-22-2015, 03:29 PM   #15
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Never tested the memory foam mattresses myself. I like the ease of cutting to fit but wondering if those of you who have them would share how well they told up to you sitting on the edge. We are thinking about using a mattress instead of couch or gaucho so that means we'd be eating on them on rainy days with a folding table. Wondering if they give enough support along the edge for that activity. Any information is appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:53 PM   #16
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How to make an informed foam choice for a mattress or seating cushions is much more complex than most people imagine. Generally, all you will get here is what choice others made, liked or didn't like, and you need much more than that to chose wisely for your personal set of 'facts.' Otherwise, your satisfaction truly becomes a crap shoot. Likewise, many of the products offered online (by Amazon or Ebay) lack sufficient specification information in their supporting sales write-up to add clarity to the decision either. I really suggest visiting a store first to try out various foams, get a little education using your body for feedback, and then choose where to make the purchase.

What really matters are your weight, position (sitting/lying), expected lifespan (2-3 years vs much longer), environment temperature (controlled vs extremes), cover (with or without batting, # of cloth layers), foam thickness, and a few other data points to start. In addition, you may want to be concerned with which chemicals are used for fabrication, especially if you have allergies. Foams vary widely from rubber, latex, urethanes, bio-foams (no PBDEs or CFCs), viscoelastic, and is it closed or open cell. Foams can also be treated with or come without fire retardants.

I think there are three performance factors that are of primary concern in evaluating the suitability of foam for any specific application. The first factor is the foam rating: is it High Resilient (HR) or Standard (non-HR) which affects longevity (3-5 years versus 7-9). The next factor is the Density rating of the foam: between 1.8 and 3.5 which identifies pounds of chemical in each cubic foot of foam. The third major factor, the Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating, is of equal importance as the foam's density rating and is measured in pounds of pressure necessary to compress the foam 25% of it's height. The suitable combination of these factors is also complicated by the foam thickness chosen to achieve the desired "feel."

So, when judging if a foam mattress/cushion is good for you, you need to know which specifications you want and whether the one being sold is a match. Likewise, if you want it to be both a mattress and a seating cushion, then you need to figure out which compromise of features you can live with over the expected ownership period. Note: The whole process can get even more confusing when you start to mix and match various layers of different thicknesses and type.

Here is a chart for interpreting specifications for single layer seating use which may make the above more easily understood:
ILD Density Feel; Uses
11 1.8 Extra Soft; Soft back cushion
18 2.4 Comfort Soft; Firm back cushions
26 2.7 Soft; Extra firm back or soft seating cushions
27 2.8 Medium Soft; Medium soft seating
31 2.7 Medium+; Medium seating
33 1.9 Medium Firm; Medium firm seating
33 3.1 Medium Firm+; High quality couch seating
41 2.8 Firm; Firm (ex: 2" dining chairs)
50 3.2 Extra Firm; Extra firm seating (ex: pews)
61 3.0 Extra Firm;

If I have learned anything over the years doing upholstery work it is, "The cheaper the material, the shorter its lifespan." That applies equally to foam and fabric. And, the experience is very different if you are 130 lbs versus 260 lbs.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:06 PM   #17
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Very informative!
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:20 PM   #18
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Paddledipper - FYI, it is possible to do both but requires the 'correct' choice.

My convertible dinette - bottom cushions are 4" HD 35/2.8 bottom cushions wrapped with 1/2" poly batting encased in 100,000 rub upholstery fabric and the backs are 4" HD 18/2.0 with 1/2" poly batting. The original factory foam was probably 18/1.8-2.0 foam for all pieces before time degraded everything. Oh, I'm the 180 lb group.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:14 PM   #19
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To oilman, the 8" hard core mattress with memory foam topper (Walmart online) came with 2 covers. I sewed the mattress covers to fit the new shape after cutting the bed to fit the AS Bambi curves.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:02 AM   #20
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Interesting thread......


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Old 06-23-2015, 08:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMore View Post
How to make an informed foam choice for a mattress or seating cushions is much more complex than most people imagine. Generally, all you will get here is what choice others made, liked or didn't like, and you need much more than that to chose wisely for your personal set of 'facts.' Otherwise, your satisfaction truly becomes a crap shoot. Likewise, many of the products offered online (by Amazon or Ebay) lack sufficient specification information in their supporting sales write-up to add clarity to the decision either. I really suggest visiting a store first to try out various foams, get a little education using your body for feedback, and then choose where to make the purchase.

What really matters are your weight, position (sitting/lying), expected lifespan (2-3 years vs much longer), environment temperature (controlled vs extremes), cover (with or without batting, # of cloth layers), foam thickness, and a few other data points to start. In addition, you may want to be concerned with which chemicals are used for fabrication, especially if you have allergies. Foams vary widely from rubber, latex, urethanes, bio-foams (no PBDEs or CFCs), viscoelastic, and is it closed or open cell. Foams can also be treated with or come without fire retardants.

I think there are three performance factors that are of primary concern in evaluating the suitability of foam for any specific application. The first factor is the foam rating: is it High Resilient (HR) or Standard (non-HR) which affects longevity (3-5 years versus 7-9). The next factor is the Density rating of the foam: between 1.8 and 3.5 which identifies pounds of chemical in each cubic foot of foam. The third major factor, the Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating, is of equal importance as the foam's density rating and is measured in pounds of pressure necessary to compress the foam 25% of it's height. The suitable combination of these factors is also complicated by the foam thickness chosen to achieve the desired "feel."

So, when judging if a foam mattress/cushion is good for you, you need to know which specifications you want and whether the one being sold is a match. Likewise, if you want it to be both a mattress and a seating cushion, then you need to figure out which compromise of features you can live with over the expected ownership period. Note: The whole process can get even more confusing when you start to mix and match various layers of different thicknesses and type.

Here is a chart for interpreting specifications for single layer seating use which may make the above more easily understood:
ILD Density Feel; Uses
11 1.8 Extra Soft; Soft back cushion
18 2.4 Comfort Soft; Firm back cushions
26 2.7 Soft; Extra firm back or soft seating cushions
27 2.8 Medium Soft; Medium soft seating
31 2.7 Medium+; Medium seating
33 1.9 Medium Firm; Medium firm seating
33 3.1 Medium Firm+; High quality couch seating
41 2.8 Firm; Firm (ex: 2" dining chairs)
50 3.2 Extra Firm; Extra firm seating (ex: pews)
61 3.0 Extra Firm;

If I have learned anything over the years doing upholstery work it is, "The cheaper the material, the shorter its lifespan." That applies equally to foam and fabric. And, the experience is very different if you are 130 lbs versus 260 lbs.
Very helpful and informative post! Many thanks.
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #22
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I am starting to research foam options for our newly build dinette that will convert into a bed. I think I hit every variable! We live in a hot area of Southern CA and our trailer gets pretty toasty when it's parked in the summer, we need to use it as a bed and as seating, I'm 130# and my husband is 200#. There are six of us, so it will definitely get use as a seat. We planned for 4" cushions, but after reading all the intricacies, I'm stumped. Any advice? Oh, and I'd prefer not to have it off-gassing too much as some of us are sensitive to that sort of thing.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:42 AM   #23
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TinCanCookie - Who will be the primary sleepers on the dinette? If the kids, then a thin (1") layer of soft foam (1.8 lb & 15-18 ILD) on top of a medium firm 3" HD36 (2.8 lb & 38 ILD) base foam will be both nice to sit on and sleep, too. You can put the firmer side up when sitting and flip it over, soft side up, at night. The addition of a 1/2" batting wrap is a personal choice I'd make if you plan on more than 30 days of use per year. The cushions will last longer.

You can mail order in either finished pre-cut sizes or big sheets and cut it your self if doing the sewing at home: foambymail.com

If you use an upholstery shop, they can source whatever you wish. Ask for the bio-foam if off-gassing is an issue you need to avoid.
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