Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer you are looking for,
please contact us.
How do VARILITE cushions work?
How is the cushion adjusted properly?
Why do some seat cushions have an indentation?
Will a 16” x 18” cushion fit in a 17” x 18” chair?
Are VARILITE cushions available in custom sizes?
Is there any latex in VARILITE cushions or covers?
Is the cushion and cover fabric waterproof?
What is the difference between Mesh and Incontinence covers?
Is there an up-charge for Incontinence covers or Mesh covers?
Are the cushion covers washable?
What do I do if I get a hole in my cushion?
What do I do if the valve breaks or comes loose?
Is my VARILITE cushion under warranty?
Are the secondary supports washable?
What’s the purpose of the elastic in the harnesses and Band-its™?
How do I maintain my VARILITE seating system and back support?
What is California Proposition 65?
What are the requirements of Proposition 65?
Why has VARILITE placed a Proposition 65 label on its products?
Are consumers using a VARILITE product with a Proposition 65 warning at risk?
What is the weight capacity for VARILITE seat cushions?
Q: How do VARILITE cushions work?
A: Air in a VARILITE cushion supports the load, while foam keeps the air where it’s needed and preserves the cushion shape. See Air-Foam Floatation.
Q: How is the cushion adjusted properly?
A: For both Pressure Setting Valve (PSV) and standard valves, begin with the cushion fully inflated and valve closed. Transfer onto the cushion.
For a PSV, turn the valve clockwise until the pre-determined number appears in the indicator window. Air will escape until the valve automatically shuts off (approximately 10-15 seconds). Once the valve has shut off the release of air, close the valve by turning it clockwise. See PSV Operating Instructions for more information.
For a standard valve, slowly turn the valve counterclockwise to release the air. Listen for a change in pitch and close the valve by turning clockwise. Air level is determined by the amount of support or stability needed by the user, comfort, and activity level. See Seating Systems instructions for more information.
Q: Why do some cushions have an indentation?
A: The cushion is designed to indent in the sacral-ischial area. The soft, less firm foam of the sacral-ischial area, by design, exerts less “push back” on the cushion fabric than the surrounding firmer foam. See Sacral-Ischial Foam Indentation Explanation for more information.
Q: Will a 16” x 18” cushion fit in a 17” x 18” chair?
A: No. Select the cushion that is 1” larger. For example if you wheelchair seat size is 17” x 18”, select an 18 x 18 cushion. The cushion will accommodate the 1” size difference without affecting its performance.
Q: Are VARILITE cushions available in custom sizes?
A: VARILITE cushions are available in a wide range of widths and depths. We frequently update our size selection to meet the needs of our customers. We welcome your size suggestions for planning future product sizes. Customers tell us that our standard sizes often accommodate customer wheelchairs well. If you need a size that is not currently available, select the cushion that is 1” larger. For example if you wheelchair seat size is 17” x 18”, select an 18 x 18 cushion. The cushion will accommodate the 1” size difference without affecting its performance.
Q: Is there any latex in VARILITE cushions or covers?
Q: Is the cushion and cover fabric waterproof?
A: Incontinence covers are available for all VARILITE seat cushions, meaning fluid will not penetrate the cushion cover and will wick away from the user. In addition, the cushion itself is waterproof.
Q: What is the difference between Mesh and Incontinence covers?
A: Mesh covers are made of an open weave material designed to allow for best available air flow through the material. Incontinence covers are made of a waterproof material which will not allow fluid to penetrate the cover.
Q: Is there an up-charge for Incontinence covers or Mesh covers?
A: No. With every cushion purchase, the buyer is entitled to their choice of an Incontinence cover or Mesh cover.
Q: Are the cushion covers washable?
A: Absolutely. All covers may be machine-washed and air-dried. We suggest zipping the cover closed and using the gentle cycle setting when machine-washing our covers.
Q: What do I do if I get a hole in my cushion?
A: Although the bladder of the cushion is puncture-resistant, it is not puncture-proof. If you do get a hole in your cushion, there are two options; we can send you a repair kit (click here for repair kit instructions) or you may send it to us for repair. See VARILITE Warranty for more information.
Q: What do I do if the valve breaks or comes loose?
A: If the valve breaks or comes loose, there are two options; we can send you a valve replacement kit (click here for valve replacement instructions) or you may send it to us for repair. See VARILITE Warranty for more information.
Q: Is my VARILITE cushion under warranty?
A: All VARILITE products, excluding cushion covers, are protected by our warranty. See VARILITE Warranty for more information.
Q: Are the secondary supports washable?
A: Yes. The best way to wash the belts, harnesses and Band-Its™ is to remove the hardware (consider marking the webbing so you know where to reattach it) and place the product in a large sock or pillowcase. Once wash cycle is completed, air dry. For hand washing, consider using a mild detergent.
Q: What’s the purpose of the elastic in the harnesses and Band-its™?
A: The elastic is designed to allow the body some freedom of movement while still offering the positioning support needed. Movement is necessary for functional tasks such as reaching, propulsion and weight shifting or during a spasm.
Q: How do I maintain my VARILITE seating system and back support?
A: We recommend that you leave the valve open and allow your VARILITE cushion to fully inflate overnight at least once a week to maintain optimal cushion performance and foam integrity. Check your cushion’s inflation level daily to ensure optimal seating and positioning.
Q: What is California Proposition 65?
A: Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act passed by voters in the State of California in 1986. The act was created to inform people about possible exposure to chemicals known by the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or other reproductive harm.
Q: What are the requirements of Proposition 65?
A: Proposition 65 requires that the Governor of California maintain and publish a list of harmful chemicals. The list is updated annually and includes chemicals that can be found in solvents, drugs, dyes, food additives, by-products of certain processes, pesticides, and tobacco products.
A chemical is listed if it has been classified as a reproductive toxicant or carcinogen by an "authoritative" organization on the subject. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer are considered authoritative for carcinogens. For reproductive toxicants, the authorities are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and International Agency for Research on Cancer. Chemicals will also be listed if they are required to be labeled or identified as a carcinogen or as a reproductive toxicant by an agency of the state or federal government.
Q: Why has VARILITE placed a Proposition 65 label on its products?
A: Any company with ten or more employees operating or selling products within the State of California must comply with the requirements of Proposition 65. To comply, businesses are: (1) prohibited from knowingly discharging listed chemicals into sources of drinking water; and (2) required to provide a "clear and reasonable" warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical.
A Proposition 65 warning means that the business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the "no significant risk level,” or that the business is providing a warning based on the presence of a “listed” chemical without actually evaluating the exposure.
VARILITE is providing a warning based on our knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals without attempting to evaluate the level of exposure. While using a VARILITE product, the exposure to a “listed” chemical may be well within the “no significant risk” range, but out of caution, we have placed the Proposition 65 warning labels on our products.
Q: Are consumers using a VARILITE product with a Proposition 65 warning at risk?
A: The California government states: “The fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe.” The government also explained, “You could think of Proposition 65 more as a ‘right to know’ law than a pure product safety law.”
A Proposition 65 warning means that the product contains one or more listed chemicals. By law, a warning is required unless the business proves that the exposure to the chemical poses "no significant risk." The "no significant risk" level for carcinogens is defined as the level which is calculated to result in not more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. Therefore, if you are exposed to the chemical in question at this level every day for 70 years, theoretically, it will increase your chances of getting cancer by no more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals so exposed.
The "no significant risk" level for reproductive toxicants is defined as the level of exposure which, even if multiplied by 1,000, will not produce birth defects or other reproductive harm. Therefore, the level of exposure is below the "no observable effect level," divided by 1,000. (The "no observable effect level" is the highest dose level which has not been associated with observable reproductive harm in humans or test animals.)
For further information about California’s Proposition 65, please visit http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/background/p65plain.html
Q: What is the weight capacity for VARILITE seat cushions?