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DIY Mattress, use old coils, or new LP Combi zone?

24 Apr 2020 07:50 - 24 Apr 2020 07:56 #1 by billbillw
Hi there,
I've been floating around this forum for many years, but never actually posted. I'm at a point where I need some help now though. I have an ~8 year old king size Stearns & Foster Wethersfield Luxury Firm. It has terrible dips on both sides where my wife and I sleep. It is firmer in the middle of course. I believe this would be an Estate Level 1 mattress equivalent from what I've read.

I am a side sleeper mostly, but tend to wake up on my back at times. I am on the heavy side (245) now, but hope to get down under 220 before too long. The current mattress has never really been my favorite. I sleep pretty well in it, but I tend to have back aches often. The kind that go away soon after waking up and moving around.

I really wanted latex back in 2012, but couldn't swing the price back then and I wasn't ready to do a DIY bed. Now I think I am. I was intrigued by the video that Ken posted on YouTube ( ) where he removes the worn comfort layers and reuses a set of springs with new latex foam.

I have been thinking of doing this with my mattress, but I am hesitant because I don't know how tall the original springs (to buy the correct size cover) and if they are durable enough to keep using. Does anyone have knowledge of the springs used in the Stearns mattress, if they are durable enough to use with new latex, or if I would be better off going to the L&P QE Combi Zone springs? I am a hot sleeper, and I'm in Georgia, so a foam or latex core is probably not the best idea for me.

I suppose I could just cut the cover, measure the springs, and go from there. I could try a DIY with the old springs and then upgrade to the L&P springs later if needed but I tend to want to get things done right the first time and not have to keep messing with it. Also, if the L&P springs are not the same height as my current Stearns springs, the cover height would be an issue.

I would also be looking for advice on latex comfort layers. I've seen recommendations here to use a 2" medium layer topped by a 3" soft layer. I had originally thought the opposite (3" medium with 2" soft top) would be best. I remember looking a few years back and the recommendation was often to have a 1" ultra soft topper for pressure point relief, but I don't even see that kind of foam available anymore, at least not though Arizona Premium. So anyway, looking for advice, sorry for the long winded, scattered thoughts. Hopefully it makes sense what I'm thinking.
Last edit: 24 Apr 2020 07:56 by billbillw.

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24 Apr 2020 10:28 #2 by Arizona Premium
Thanks for reaching out, we get these kind of inquiries every day so you are not alone. Stearns uses high quality springs so I don't think you will have any issues reusing it. You do NOT need a cover right away. You can strip it down to the coil and perhaps the layer that is directly on top of the coil along with whatever is under the coils. Then add 3" of Medium #28 Talalay to start with. Another 2" of soft might be necessary and it might not. Don't expect a soft layer however to last forever at your current weight. You can just put a fitted sheet on the raw components until you have the feel where you want it. At that point you can measure the height and then order the zippered cover. Having the zippered cover means that when that comfort layer finally does need replacing you only have to replace that part, not the whole bed. Let me know your thoughts on what I have suggested.

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24 Apr 2020 11:47 #3 by vlcakc
I have been through the DIY mattress process a couple of times, first using the pocket coil springs from the original Serta mattress with a new latex topper and most recently replacing the pocket coils with a latex core.

Some observations:
The Serta pocket coils were still in fairly good condition when I replaced them, but the hard foam surrounding them had broken down badly. Don't know if the S & F mattress uses a similar construction or not, but something to keep in mind.

The Serta foundations were a source of some of the sag problem which only got worse when the heavier latex foam replaced the original memory foam. The foundations were constructed with wire mesh spanning a wooden outside frame. The mesh deformed enough that it caused sags even with the rebuilt mattress.

Ken Hightower's advice has been very reliable. His videos were also my source of inspiration. Good luck with your project.

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24 Apr 2020 12:02 #4 by billbillw
Thanks Ken. I know that my weight will be tough on a soft latex. Like I said, I'm working on getting it down.

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24 Apr 2020 12:09 #5 by billbillw
Thanks for the advice. Last I looked, my foundations were in good shape. I believe they were Sealy PurEmbrace foundations, so they were meant for heavy latex foam. I'm not sure about the Stearns spring edge design. It doesn't seem to have a falling off the edge feel yet.

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24 Apr 2020 14:00 #6 by billbillw
I will not deny, I am the person who always over-researches everything.

So, I've known for years about Dunlop vs Talalay, but I started reading about Pulse latex made by Latexco using their Sonocore process. Some of the articles claim it has advantages to both Dunlop and Talalay. Any insight here?

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24 Apr 2020 14:30 #7 by Arizona Premium
I can't provide any feedback yet because they are still perfecting the process. Once they have their consistency issue solved I will give it a go. The samples I have look very nice in fact I can't even tell the difference between it and Talalay. Once everything gets back to normal I'll bring some product in to try out.

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30 Apr 2020 08:24 #8 by billbillw
Thanks Ken. I will try this approach. I just ordered a 28ILD Talalay topper from you. Hoping for great results.

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30 Apr 2020 09:30 #9 by Arizona Premium
Great, let me know how it works out for you.

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12 May 2020 10:02 #10 by billbillw
Got the 3" topper yesterday and took the scissors to my 8y old Stearns and Foster. Gotta say, it is disappointing how cheaply it was actually made. The springs, and two 1" layers of poly-foam and the quilted top were all that was in the thing. The quilted top was still in good shape, so I am reusing it for now. The springs seemed mostly ok, but there were a few that were busted out of the pockets. Probably from kiddos jumping on the bed. The foam casing for the springs is in decent shape. Overall, I am not convinced they are perfect to keep using for years. I may replace them with the L&P combi-zone or go for a latex base at a later date. There was also nothing significant between the springs and the foam layers. A very think fabric that was mostly ripped. For the time, I just took the outer casing out from under the springs and inverted it so the thick canvas type material is between the springs and my new layer of Talalay. So I have springs (with foam case still intact, outer cover inverted on top of springs, talalay, then the old quilted top. I held everything with a tight mattress protector and it is pretty smooth across with no noticeable dips. I tried laying around it in different directions and couldn't really notice any changes in support, so I think it is good for a little while until I can determine if I want to replace the springs, get a 2nd soft layer or not, and get a zippered case. '

Overall, I think the IDL28 medium is about perfect for what I am looking for. I feel well supported and it does not feel too firm. 1st night sleep was very good (but I was more tired than normal last night). After 7.5 hours of sleep, there was no back pain this morning and I actually wanted to keep laying there for a few snoozes on my alarm. Normally I am ready to get out of bed due to aches.

Overall, happy so far.

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