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Gelin’ and Foamin’

Novaform_bed_topper02Yep. I’m gelin’! No, I’m not talking about Dr. Scholls. I’m talking about my bed. While on vacation a few months ago, I picked up a 3″ thick gel memory foam topper for my RV mattress. I have had the RV mattress for around 9 years now and it has never been particularly comfortable though I wouldn’t say it was all that bad either. I can sleep on it but have to turn constantly all night due to my bad back. This would be a problem with any standard mattress and my back. While I have been aware of mattress toppers for many years, I have been avoiding them. My parents used the 1″ egg crate toppers made of standard foam and liked them but I truly doubt those would be enough to make a difference for me. Memory foam, I have always heard, gets hot. It doesn’t “breathe”. So, I waited. I waited for something better to come along. I had about given up when I spotted a conversation on the topic on Facebook. Many users were gushing over a topper made with gel beads injected into the memory foam to handle the heat issue. I started doing some investigating and checking reviews on Amazon and other sites. They were mostly extremely positive. Of course, something that personal is not going to be right for everyone so I specifically looked for those mentioning back issues and found many happy users. With all that in mind, I stopped in at Costco while on vacation and spotted the Novaform 3″ gel memory foam topper sold in a box. Luckily, my RV mattress is actually close to a standard queen mattress size. If it weren’t, I could still cut the topper to the right size if needed. I bought it and kept the box in my motel room until I got back from vacation.

Once I got home, I opened the box to find the topper tightly rolled up inside and a set of directions. Silly me. I usually read the directions before doing something. I cleared all the sheets and mattress covers off the bed and put the new mattress roll on top of it. Per the directions, I carefully cut away the outside wrapper while being careful not to cut the topper. Then I stood back and watched the show. It was like lighting one of those black snake tablets on the 4th of July. It grew and grew! I didn’t touch it as advised. I just let it stretch and stretch more out. Finally, it stopped while double over in half. When I was sure it was done, I unfolded it and moved it gently into position. *Note: a new memory foam topper does have a bit of a smell for the first few days. It wasn’t all that strong and didn’t particularly bother me. I let it air out for a couple days and slept on the couch.* The topper came with a new mattress cover which I put on. Then I grabbed fresh sheets while praying that they would fit a bed that was now 3 inches higher all around. To my amazement, the sheets fit fine! No special sheets required.

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Now it was testing time. I crawled up on the bed. Oh my! It was like crawling onto a cloud! I laid down on it and felt fully supported as well as cuddled. No pain yet. Then the real test came, laying flat on my back. Wow! I can actually lay flat on it. On just the RV mattress, I have to keep one leg bent up to take the pressure off my back when laying flat. This is nice. Bedtime couldn’t come soon enough for the final test. I crawled onto my cloud and wafted off in the middle of a Texas summer night with the temp in the bedroom in the 80s and my usual fan blowing a breeze on me. I slept soundly all night with no sweating and very little turning over. Yay! It’s a keeper. I have been very happy with it for the past few months and now day dream about going to bed on my cloud.

Along with the topper, I have been looking for a new pillow. My favorite pillow of 25 years was standard foam with breathing holes through it that I bought at Sears so long ago. It finally got so old that it was falling apart and getting too thin. I tried to replace it with several different polyester filling pillows over the years but none felt right and the filling tends to bunch up and get obstinate, especially after you wash them. I looked all over for a standard foam pillow but only found one that was too thin and not stiff enough. Where did all the standard foam pillows go? It was like trying to find chocolate or lemon pudding cake mix. I loved them as a kid but they’re nearly impossible to find in grocery stores anymore. Of course finding a regular full Sears store has gotten more difficult now too.

I tried one memory foam pillow I found at Camping World but hated it. I woke up every couple of hours all night and it was too high. I took it back. I wasn’t going to try another memory foam pillow till I came across one in Wal-Mart. It wasn’t cheap but it looked promising. It is solid memory foam but one side is covered with gel. They call it a summer winter pillow. In summer, the gel side keeps you cool. In winter, you flip it over to the non-gel side to stay warm. I like the gel side for when I go to bed with my hair wet too. I’m not a hair dryer person normally unless it is truly freezing outside. The gel must work because I did have to flip the pillow over the other night when we finally got some cold nights here. Brrrr!

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My pillow quest did not end there though. I still needed pillows for the other side of the bed and my couch which I sleep on a lot due to work requirements. While cruising through Costco with the new foam topper, I found packages of 2 shredded gel memory foam pillows for only $9.50. I took a chance and love them too. They provide good support and when they smush into odd shapes like polyester pillows, all you have to do is shake them to redistribute the contents easily. You are not permanently stuck with the odd shape as with the polyester pillows. Quest over. Nighty night. Zzzzzzz…

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