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stretch covers 28 May 2014 23:20 #1

Hello, I'm wondering if anyone with stretch covers could help answer some questions. I'm referring to the stretchy encasement covers like the PLB for putting latex pieces into. Most all the information have been people examining the feel difference between stretch and quilted covers. It was hard to tell how thick or substantial the PLB cover is, it seemed substantial enough and offered a nicer surface feel than a quilted type. Of course the PLB floor models looked great, however a lot of pics I've seen online of other stretch covers don't look all that wonderful. Looks like a twisted floppy sock in some instances. Like putting a fitted sheet on a bed with lines or patterns that are all skewed. I'm not sure if this is due to cheapy versions, using the wrong size or just a caveat of a diy stretch cover. They just don't seem to fit 'snug', the mattress ends up looking misshapen with excessive bagging of the cover here and there and I personally wouldn't want to feel it bunched up under my sheets.

There are some well fitting looking examples like Mark in Texas posted I think it was of his SleepEz cover. Do these type of stretch covers end up losing their 'stretch' and bag out over time? All new things tend to look fantastic, but elastic things tend to wear and stretch and no longer snug back up to the way they were. Many people here move their layers around in their zip covers and hoped maybe they could give some insight after having a stretch cover for some time how they hold up in that regard. (just like old socks I have where they become 'baggy' and fall down..obviously they're old and need replaced, but a pair of socks isn't a $200+ cover)

Also I'm having trouble understanding what constitutes a 'proper' encasement or ticking for latex. I've read that latex requires something thicker, more protective to block uv rays (sunlight) and ozone (which I'm guessing is just slowed down since O3 is in the air and all covers breath to an extent). In the case of a thicker cover or ticking like a quilted version this makes sense since there's multiple layers. Outer surface cloth, inner cloth and usually some sort of foam, wool, cotton or other fibers in varying thickness. For anyone who's used one of the stretch knit type covers, are they a single layer? Double? The one from SleepEz looks fairly thick but people have pointed out it's a matelasse type fabric (woven to include 3d texture, rather than true quilting). My concern is it's not all that thick, just appears thicker. What makes one thinner (non quilted) cover suitable for protecting latex while other less expensive stretch covers are considered lacking protection?

I guess in my head, I can see the difference between a quilted cover @ $220ish - a thin jersey sheet type cover around $40ish. But then some stretch knit covers are also around $200 while others are $80 and that's a big leap comparing thin to thin.. Is the stretch cover from SleepEz (or similar) really that much more protective/suitable than other zippered covers?

So far the quilted seems the most durable, likely to last with least amount of wear. The stretch cover feels a bit nicer since it doesn't interfere as much with the latex but my concern is before long it will lose its' 'stretch' and become loose and baggy. In the $200+ range, it's more of an investment and longevity is important to me. If a thinner stretch cover is just as protective, then wouldn't something like this also be thick enough to protect the latex? Granted it's not 'stretchy' but it does appear thinner than a standard quilted wool or cotton cover and would have more 'give' to it. Much as I like the thinner stretch cover because it has more feel, the thinner quilted cover would also provide more feel of the latex than traditional quilted ticking and at half the price of a PLB type cover. Despite a nicer initial feel, I'm concerned with longevity of a stretch knit PLB type cover and problems down the road. Rather not be kicking myself in a year or two fighting a bagging bunching mattress cover (if that's a problem) knowing the heavier ticking was the same price. I've also been avoiding cheapo encasements, but if the thinner ones are just as good for latex then I can't see paying double for essentially the same thing. (referring to the thinness of the cover to allow the latex feel, regardless of 'stretch' properties).

Thanks for any input, hopefully some owners of stretch covers can chime in with their experience as to how it's holding up or give a heads up to any pitfalls to be careful of.

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stretch covers 29 May 2014 00:25 #2

Hi brass,

I don't have personal experience with any of them so hopefully some others that do will share their thoughts about the cover they own but there are a few stretch knit cover options listed in post #4 here (from the larger list of cover suppliers in the component post here ). The manufacturers that sell them are all very knowledgeable and will be a reliable source of information and answers to your questions about the covers they sell.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

stretch covers 29 May 2014 05:30 #3

Do these type of stretch covers end up losing their 'stretch' and bag out over time?


Yes and no. All fabrics, even woven fabrics have some stretch to them. Even twills and denims come in at 1-2%. For example a pair of jeans might come out of the dryer fitting pretty snuggly, but they loosen as you wear them. When I wash our twill or our knit 100% cotton cases, they always shrink a bit. But in a few months, they will loosen up and fit as they were supposed to fit. Upholstery and bedding services always make their cases a little bit smaller than the pillow or cushion size because of this growth factor. Perhaps since a stretch cover has elastic threads as opposed to a knit cover being made of just cotton it will stretch less over time. However, between the weight of the pillow at one end and the sheets at the other end, even if its expansion is minimal, I wouldn't think it would be cause curling of the latex.

I've read that latex requires something thicker, more protective to block uv rays (sunlight) and ozone

Quilted vs. Stretch - In my house, we have three arrangements of latex. 1. On my kids' bed, they have 3" of natural latex with 2 batts of wool around them encased in a thin twill futon case. We have had these for 4 years. 2. In our showroom of the living room we have a day bed with 6" of latex with one batt of wool, a twill case and a sheet over that. We have had this for two years. 3. Under the day bed in the trundle we have more 3" samples each encased in their own 100% cotton double knit case. We have had these for 1 1/2 years. The wear on these three pieces is different and interesting. 1. The bedroom mattresses have latex that is still quite fresh, no yellowing. 2. The day bed, exposed to sunlight from the big window and lots of kitchen air since we cook a lot, has very slight yellowing on edges if you pull the wool away to peak. 3. Although the trundle samples get no sunlight as they only come out for a showing, they have the most yellowing. True, it is slight, but it is interesting since they have the thinnest case and still get the kitchen air. I can see the slat lines on the bottom piece, white where the slats are and more yellow where they aren't. Also the surface, particularly of the top piece, is also slightly aged.

That said, even though a thicker cover does prolong the life of the latex and help it retain its antioxidant that keeps it from succumbing to age, I can see a reason for picking a stretch or a knit cover. If getting 30 years out of your mattress isn't as important for you as letting your the latex absorb every single pressure point and feeling that return of support, I can see where a less fabric would help that cause.

The one from SleepEz looks fairly thick but people have pointed out it's a matelasse type fabric (woven to include 3d texture, rather than true quilting).

If you see vertical channels in the case, that's quilting. Usually diamonds indicate that as well.

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stretch covers 29 May 2014 20:06 #4

Hi Brass

I bought a cover from TemperPedic...they won't sell to a retailer, but I got an older model strtch with zip bottom. Works great..I have a 10 ' cover with foam in 4 layers in it. Does not bag or sag. The 49$ one on Amazon is cheap..I did not like it. The quilted stuff looks nice, but I have been reluctant to try...they often have wool on underside, and I am not sure what that does to the "give" of the knit covers. Hope that hel;ps.

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stretch covers 29 May 2014 22:36 #5

diynaturalbedding, thanks for the information about the different types of covering and results with the latex. That's really interesting how much noticeable difference there is. It almost sounds like air itself is a large culprit since there's so much effect on the latex even without direct sunlight.

Princess and Pea, which cover are you referencing on Amazon? The only covers I've seen there for around $50 are usually called velour jacquard zippered covers, is that the one? (they seem to pop up everywhere from Amazon to Ebay).

The covers I was looking at, one is the 4 way stretch from SleepEz. My concern with that is the stretch possibly losing its' elasticity after a few years as far as shape retention/original snugness and the fact stretch covers are inherently thinner. While I like the feel of the latex unimpeded I also don't want to risk premature degradation.

The other option I was considering was the quilted organic cotton from mattresses.net . Has anyone used this one personally? It doesn't look overly stuffed with batting, so it looks like it may be thick enough to protect the latex well and yet thin enough to feel the latex a little better. With less amounts of filling or batting (whatever it's called in the loft of the quilting), hopefully it would also be less prone to body impressions. High loft quilted covers look great and feel good in the beginning but my concern is if that batting flattens out down the road, there's no way to replace it (vs replacing a worn out top layer inside the cover at a later date).

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stretch covers 30 May 2014 18:29 #6

Brass, I had many of the same questions and ended up ordering the quilted cotton cover from mattresses.net I'm waiting for the delivery now and can hopefully report more soon. Still, it will come down to personal preferences, and you may prefer being closer to the latex, which is what we have enjoyed since buying the latex layers first.

That specific cover seemed like middle ground between their bamboo cover, which is thicker, and the SleepEZ stretch, which was my other choice. It was also good to learn that the senior staff member at mattresses.net uses the cotton cover. I figure that he can probably easily choose components so it was nice to know that he likes that cover. But, as Phoenix says, it will come down to your own preferences.

For me, there were also practical considerations. I want to be able to easily move the mattress and didn't think the stretchy one would help in that regard. I've also noticed that the top two latex layers can drift a few inches and I'm hoping that the cover will hold things together better.

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stretch covers 30 May 2014 20:19 #7

bbny, thanks for your input. That was something else I thought about too like you did, how easy it would be to move for rotating it. Might stay together better, more to grip with the cotton quilted. It's hard to tell from the pics on their website, the still shots almost look a little yellowy (I've seen organic cotton that looks an off white or with flecks in it), but the video of their covers it looks like it really depends on the lighting. In some shots it looks darker, others it looks pretty white. Not that it matters, it'll be under sheets and a mattress protector. Kind of a shame since so many covers look great just to have to cover them up :P If you can, let me know what you think of it.

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stretch covers 20 Jun 2014 18:45 #8

Brass

We received the Organic Cotton Zippered Mattress Cover from Mattresses.net a couple of days ago. They make the covers to order in their factory so it takes a couple of weeks to receive them. The quality is excellent and we are very happy so far.

The cover does exactly what we wanted it to do. It not only protects the latex, it also keeps the layers together so we're not constantly having to adjust them. It helps that the dimensions of the cover are accurate and the latex fits snugly within the cover.

It does change the feel somewhat - I get the impression that it is firmer. My wife remains happy with the configuration of the layers, however, I'm adjusting and need a few more nights to be certain. But, the case definitely gets a thumbs up.

Hopefully this is a help :)

bbny

PS - You asked about the color and it really is an off-white.

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stretch covers 20 Jun 2014 22:57 #9

Hi bbny,

Thanks for the feedback on your Arizona Premium cover ... I appreciate it :)

Phoenix
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stretch covers 24 Jun 2014 02:38 #10

bbny, thanks for your input. The wait time doesn't seem too terrible, especially taking into consideration they're made as ordered and not simply stocked. I had a feeling it might firm things up just a bit, but I'm glad to hear you like it and that it's as nice as it appears. The off color I think would be more common with organic cotton (vs bleached) and doesn't concern me either since regardless of what a cover looks like it'll be covered by sheets and a protective cover. Definitely helps that it's nice and snug to the latex dimensions. This is the cover I'll most likely end up with since I keep coming back to it. I appreciate your feedback since you got it and glad it's working out well for you :)

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