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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 04 Apr 2022 01:48 #1

I'm posting to seek recommendations for foam material to replace whatever foam initially comes with a commercial tri-mat or futon that is usually placed on the floor. I intend to take the tri-mat with me on airplanes so that I have access to it in case the hotel mattresses are too soft for me.

I have purchased a few trimats in the past. Most have been too soft. One was nice and firm but I had a nasty allergic reaction to the PU foam padding. Accordingly, I'd like to purchase hypoallergenic foam material of sufficient firmness (somehow the ILD value of 36 springs to mind) and substitute this material for whatever comes as original equipment with the trimat.

Preferred dimensions are likely thickness of about 3 inches, with each piece being about 25 inches by 25 inches.

Anyone with suggestions regarding a source for foam material meeting the above specs, please post and let me know.

Thanks in advance.

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 05 Apr 2022 14:44 #2

Hi voyager39,

I'm posting to seek recommendations for foam material to replace whatever foam initially comes with a commercial tri-mat or futon that is usually placed on the floor. I intend to take the tri-mat with me on airplanes so that I have access to it in case the hotel mattresses are too soft for me.

I have purchased a few trimats in the past. Most have been too soft. One was nice and firm but I had a nasty allergic reaction to the PU foam padding. Accordingly, I'd like to purchase hypoallergenic foam material of sufficient firmness (somehow the ILD value of 36 springs to mind) and substitute this material for whatever comes as original equipment with the trimat.

Preferred dimensions are likely thickness of about 3 inches, with each piece being about 25 inches by 25 inches.

As there are a lot of online foam manufacturers and retailers, it can be difficult to find specific densities and composition for replacement futon foam. You may want to start by contacting our trusted member , DIY mattress , who sells specific layers for DIY builds, also member DIY Natural Bedding who provide specifically natural components, since you say you are looking for a hypoallergenic solution. Give them the IFD (Indentation Force Deflection – ILD, or indentation load deflection, is more commonly used to refer to latex components) and that you are replacing a travel-ready futon tri-mat. I searched the forum for similar threads to yours and see that a consumer found reasonable foam in this post on the forum from The Foam factory. Possibly some of our other forum members will also weigh in on possibilities.

Hope this helps

Basilio
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial. Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members. For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 14 Apr 2022 03:58 #3

Thank you Basilio.

I have already contacted DIY mattress by email and by phone and have not heard back. I have also been unable to reach them by phone (goes to voice mail).

In brief I haven't been able to find an answer so far. PU foam seems to always cause allergic reactions. And so far, I haven't been able to get a clear answer as to whether I'll be able to find a latex formulation that is firm enough for my purposes.

Further information that would be helpful would include (a) info on the ILD levels available for Dunlop latex; (b) Info as to where to locate such materials (hopefully from vendors who return calls and/or emails);

Separately, suggestions for other materials that might work would also be appreciated. For e.g., my Plank mattress (which I have no allergic reactions to) lists the use of polyfoam, which I don't know the details of. But it doesn't appear to cause allergic effects the way polyurethan does.

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 15 Apr 2022 17:28 #4

Hi voyager39,

I have already contacted DIY mattress by email and by phone and have not heard back. I have also been unable to reach them by phone (goes to voice mail).

Sorry you have had problems getting in touch with DIY Mattress , I have also reached out to them. You may want to reach out to them through their sister company on the Latex Mattress Factory dedicated forum .

In brief I haven't been able to find an answer so far. PU foam seems to always cause allergic reactions. And so far, I haven't been able to get a clear answer as to whether I'll be able to find a latex formulation that is firm enough for my purposes.

The short answer is: Yes, you can find latex ranging from X-soft to X-firm with ILDs from 14 to 44 depending on the type of latex(Dunlop or Talalay), density, and where it is sourced from. (You can even find higher densities and ILDs Hard and XHard from ECO latex in Sri Lanka)

ILD is only one of several variables or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm an individual layer or a mattress "as a whole" will feel to different people (see post #4 here ). In addition to this the ILD of different materials or different types and blends of latex also aren't always directly comparable to each other (see post #6 here ) so using the ILD of a particular layer or combination of layers as a reliable indication of how firm your trifold mat may feel to you compared to your current PU trifold can be more misleading than helpful.

Further information that would be helpful would include (a) info on the ILD levels available for Dunlop latex; (b) Info as to where to locate such materials (hopefully from vendors who return callsand/or emails)

Lower density PU (Polyurethane) foam is one of the least expensive and lowest quality foams used in sleep products, especially when the foam is sourced from abroad and does not have safety certifications and an elevated level of VOCs. Either way you may want to have an evaluation by a healthcare professional to find what chemical you may be reacting to. Generally, more sensitive people can reduce the chances that they would be sensitive to a particular type of material by making sure that it has a certification for harmful substances and VOC's but even here you will sometimes find that some people are more sensitive to certain materials even if they are certified. This would be more common with memory foam which has the most chemicals, less common with polyfoam, and least common of all with latex (see here and here and also here )

As far as the Dunlop latex ILDs (Indentation Load Density), these can vary somewhat depending on latex production source, but generally people with chemical sensitivities tolerate it much better than any other type of foam. Additionally, Latex is one of the most durable materials and generally the higher the Latex ILD and density (there is a linear relationship between density & ILD) the more firm, supportive and durable the layer is.

In your searches I wouldn’t focus too much on the ILD numbers alone unless the latex layers and type of latex are exactly the same and come from the same latex manufacturer. ILDs may be a little bit more complex but if you’d like to dive in a little deeper you can peruse the topic titled Likelihood same Dunlop product is labeled differently (by ILD and "firmness") here .
Also, ILD is only one of several variables or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm an individual layer or a mattress "as a whole" will feel to different people (see post #4 here ). In addition to this the ILD of different materials or different types and blends of latex also aren't always directly comparable to each other (see post #6 here ).

The Trusted members of the site DIY Natural Bedding , as well as Latex Mattress Factory who have a dedicated forum page here , and Arizona Premium Mattress who have dedicated forum here , all have complete transparency on their materials and are excellent at answering questions and helping consumers.

Separately, suggestions for other materials that might work would also be appreciated. For e.g., my Plank mattress (which I have no allergic reactions to) lists the use of polyfoam, which I don't know the details of. But it doesn't appear to cause allergic effects the way polyurethan does.


There is a lot more information in post #2 here and the more detailed posts and information it links to about safe, natural, organic, "chemical free", and "green" mattresses and mattress/mat materials that can help you sort through some of the marketing information and terminology that you will encounter in the industry and can help you decide on the type of materials you are most comfortable having in your mat or on the certifications that may be important to you. Whatever material you consider for your tri-mat you may want to look at the Mattress Durability guidelines .

Basilio
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial. Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members. For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 17 Apr 2022 02:51 #5

Regarding Polyfoam. Basilio: you mention that polyfoam usually has fewer chemicals in it than memory foam.

There may be some confusion regarding the terminology here, but I've had trouble pinning down exactly what polyfoam is. My online searches seem to treat the term "polyfoam" as though I'd searched for polyurethane or other types of foam. It's important because my Plank mattress at home has a 7 inch thick layer of polyfoam, and it doesn't cause any allergies. Also, the Plank polyfoam is listed as having an ILD of 50, which is near the firmness level I'm looking for.

If there's a place where I can purchase custom sized cushions made of the type of polyfoam used in the Plank mattress, I'd be interested in knowing about it.

I will be exploring the various resources you provided for more info on Dunlop Latex and will return to this thread if I have further questions.

Thanks.

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 19 Apr 2022 15:14 #6

Hi voyager39

There may be some confusion regarding the terminology here, but I've had trouble pinning down exactly what polyfoam is. My online searches seem to treat the term "polyfoam" as though I'd searched for polyurethane or other types of foam. It's important because my Plank mattress at home has a 7 inch thick layer of polyfoam, and it doesn't cause any allergies. Also, the Plank polyfoam is listed as having an ILD of 50, which is near the firmness level I'm looking for.

That is correct: the term ‘polyfoam’ does refer to polyurethane foam. This is made up of compounds derived from petrochemicals. PU foam is chemically similar to memory foam, except that it does not have the added chemicals that make it soften or "melt” under pressure or heat. Different PU foams have different formulations at different percentages and without knowing the exact chemical makeup of these compounds, it would be difficult for someone who has had allergic reactions to know what they are reacting to and also the threshold at which they would react. In addition to the main chemicals used to produce foam (polyol, isocyanate and water) various other chemical additives are used to produce a flexible foam with specific properties. The formulations include additives such as catalysts, blowing agents, surfactants, flame retardants and fillers all of which result in hundreds of different foam grades. See this specialty magazine from Polyurethane Fam Association . I would say you just had good luck that the Plank polyfoam did not contain a certain chemical that causes you to react. The ILD (Also called IFD, Indentation Force Deflection) of 50 would indeed be considered extra firm – so you have an idea of what you are looking for in firmness on a new mattress, but keep in mind that a 50 IFD/ILD in PU is considerably different than a 50 ILD in latex so they are not directly comparable.

If there's a place where I can purchase custom sized cushions made of the type of polyfoam used in the Plank mattress, I'd be interested in knowing about it.

Unfortunately, since Plank does not disclose their foam source (and foam formulations are usually kept under lock & key) I cannot offer any sources for their materials; you may want to contact them directly, although it’s doubtful they would or could provide such information.

I will be exploring the various resources you provided for more info on Dunlop Latex and will return to this thread if I have further questions

Happy to provide some information you found of use. it sounds like you have a good plan in place, and I wish you success. Please let us know if you have any more questions going forward.

Basilio
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial. Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members. For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 24 Apr 2022 20:58 #7

Thanks Basilio.

Back to the drawing board. All of the approaches I tried have hit dead ends.

Update: Plank indicated that they got their foam from Elite Foams. I wrote to Elite but have not heard back. It appears to me from their web site that they deal with corporate buyers, not individuals, so it doesn't appear that that approach will work.

I received foam samples from a latex manufacturer, and I developed allergic reactions to the samples in the order of minutes.

Some good news, and perhaps a clue: I had an "eggshell crate" foam layer that places like Kmart used to sell that I used to create my own comfort layer some time back. I pulled one out of storage and I've not had a any allergic reactions to it. I don't know whether that will help locate material for the cushions I need or not, but I thought I'd mention it here.

So if you have any suggestions at this point, please let me know.

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 26 Apr 2022 19:18 #8

Hi voyager39,

Update: Plank indicated that they got their foam from Elite Foams. I wrote to Elite but have not heard back. It appears to me from their web site that they deal with corporate buyers, not individuals, so it doesn't appear that that approach will work.

I received foam samples from a latex manufacturer, and I developed allergic reactions to the samples in the order of minutes.

Sorry to hear you have not resolved your search for non-allergenic foam so far. Even though Elite Foams producers don’t have a direct to consumers (D2C) program, it never hurts to ask. Great idea to request samples when possible – I am glad the reaction occurred very quickly, as you can then discount that brand from the get go. It is not clear to me if you actually developed this quick reaction to latex samples or to another type of material “foam samples” you received? Either way there are extensive discussions about different type of allergic reactions and you’re certainly reacting to something. While it is a complex subject, if “latex” is the culprit, the essence of it is that there are basically 3 types of latex allergy or sensitivity (although two of them aren't really an allergy to latex).There is more detailed information about latex allergies and links in this thread that you may want to read.

So if you have any suggestions at this point, please let me know.

You may want to try the suggestion in this post , one of the TMU trusted members, Jeff at Mattress To Go suggested to another consumer they check out ISPA Bed Times Supplies for a custom memory foam pillow the consumer wanted – you may find sources for samples from them for your own search. This post has a consumer recommendation for Foam Factory (AKA Foam by mail) Though in the past others have had uneven experiences with the company.

Some good news, and perhaps a clue: I had an "eggshell crate" foam layer that places like Kmart used to sell that I used to create my own comfort layer some time back. I pulled one out of storage and I've not had a any allergic reactions to it. I don't know whether that will help locate material for the cushions I need or not, but I thought I'd mention it here.

Great that the old ‘egg crate’ K-Mart type foam you had did not trigger your allergies – that foam is extremely inexpensive and mass produced, so all is not lost! You’d still want to check on the density to know how long before the foam starts breaking down. You are on the right course, trying and crossing off foams you have a reaction to, but as I mentioned before this may be hit and miss and you’d still want to get to the root of the issue and I’d recommend you have the allergy confirmed and evaluated by a healthcare professional to ascertain completely what you may be reacting to, as unless you've had a previous positive latex diagnosis it could be something other than latex, including some of the chemicals used to make latex.

Hopefully some of the extra info and links above help with your search

Basilio
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial. Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members. For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 27 Apr 2022 03:12 #9

It is not clear to me if you actually developed this quick reaction to latex samples or to another type of material “foam samples” you received? Either way there are extensive discussions about different type of allergic reactions and you’re certainly reacting to something. While it is a complex subject, if “latex” is the culprit, the essence of it is that there are basically 3 types of latex allergy or sensitivity (although two of them aren't really an allergy to latex).There is more detailed information about latex allergies and links in this thread that you may want to read.


I've learned a little more about this, and so will now be more specific. I noticed a bad respiratory reaction after having some latex foam samples in my bedroom for about an hour. I didn't have any skin reactions, which I noticed is often discussed in connection with latex allergies.

I’d recommend you have the allergy confirmed and evaluated by a healthcare professional to ascertain completely what you may be reacting to, as unless you've had a previous positive latex diagnosis it could be something other than latex, including some of the chemicals used to make latex.


I brought this very idea with my doctor today. He emphathized, but indicated that his allergy labs were unlikely to have an inventory of foam processing chemicals against which to test my allergies. (I asked if they could duplicate the more standard allergy tests involving things like cat hair, hay fever, etc.). I will ask around about getting tested for allergies to specific chemicals though.

I assumed that the processing chemicals were likely the issue rather than the foam or latex itself, but didn't see what difference that made, since it seems that I'm stuck with both, once I have the latex or PU foam product.

Even if I were able to identify one or more specific chemicals that are responsible for my allergies, I'm not sure how I'd use the information. Perhaps you could help here. My impression is that most of the vendors at the various foam providers don't know the names of the chemicals used the processing of their products. Accordingly, I'm not sure how I'd be able to use any knowledge of specific chemical allergies to sort out the foams I can use from those I can't.

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Foam Replacement for Tri-mat / Futon 28 Apr 2022 09:59 #10

Hi voyager39,

I've learned a little more about this, and so will now be more specific. I noticed a bad respiratory reaction after having some latex foam samples in my bedroom for about an hour. I didn't have any skin reactions, which I noticed is often discussed in connection with latex allergies.

I brought this very idea with my doctor today. He emphathized, but indicated that his allergy labs were unlikely to have an inventory of foam processing chemicals against which to test my allergies. (I asked if they could duplicate the more standard allergy tests involving things like cat hair, hay fever, etc.). I will ask around about getting tested for allergies to specific chemicals though….
I assumed that the processing chemicals were likely the issue rather than the foam or latex itself, but didn't see what difference that made, since it seems that I'm stuck with both, once I have the latex or PU foam product.

Good to hear you spoke with your doctor. Also, interesting that your allergic reaction to the foam you tested
caused respiratory distress rather than skin irritation. Even though latex allergies present themselves more typically as skin irritation, anyone can honestly be allergic to any natural or man-made chemical, and in differing degrees. I agree it would be impossible to get reaction tests for any possible chemical you may encounter, there are common ones you can rule out that are most likely the culprits. Glad to hear you are looking into getting some tests done, for your own safety and knowledge, if not for any other reason. I’d recommend that you leave the latex samples to air out for a few days somewhere where they don’t affect you and then try to see if you have the same reaction. (keep the latex out of the sun though) This can give you some extra clues as to what may cause the reaction to happen.

In short, latex allergies are a reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, a product made from the rubber tree. “Latex allergy may cause itchy skin and hives or even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause throat swelling and severe difficulty breathing. Without testing for reaction to latex, its’ impossible to say whether you have a reaction to the latex itself, or any of the processing or binding chemicals that may be present.”(per the Mayo Clinic
Page
on Latex Allergies).

Even if I were able to identify one or more specific chemicals that are responsible for my allergies, I'm not sure how I'd use the information. Perhaps you could help here. My impression is that most of the vendors at the various foam providers don't know the names of the chemicals used the processing of their products. Accordingly, I'm not sure how I'd be able to use any knowledge of specific chemical allergies to sort out the foams I can use from those I can't.

While it is true that some foam providers are not ‘transparent’ with their materials and processes, legally they have to know exactly what is in their product, for liability reasons as well as to conform to government regulations. I would advise only dealing with providers that have details of the chemicals used, and are willing to give you this information to consumers. Like everything else that is out of the norm, it will take a bit of research and It does come with an extra challenge, but the result is not only comfort in sleeping, but being assured any material you choose does not affect your health.

Basilio
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial. Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members. For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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