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Building a memory foam mattress 21 Dec 2012 02:37 #1

Hi, this is my first post! Well, I am building my own memory foam mattress after having bought a cheapo mattress off amazon.com and am questioning the durability of it long-term, although it feels fine. ( www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009PFHJZA/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00 )

I am about 240 pounds and my wife is about 200 pounds. We sleep on our sides mainly, and she switches to her back sometimes. We prefer a firmer mattress, too many comfort layers tend to make our arms fall asleep or our legs sore. Other than that, we're young and we don't need crazy combinations of layers to get that perfect mattress. The only reason we upgraded from our crappy 7 year old flippable queen size spring was due to its smaller size. So we're not really picky about what we sleep on, as long as it doesn't hurt us and is decently comfortable. Of course that will change in 10 years but we'd like this new mattress to last that long, and the amazon one probably won't last more than 3.

I would like to build a mattress around that, mainly just buying a polyfoam base, an eggcrate, and a 5.3 pound density topper. The only question is the inches needed for all of it. Would a 3 inch, 2.8 pound hd polyfoam base, with a 2.5 inch 1.8 pound egg crate, then a 2 inch, 4 pound topper, then a 3 inch, 5 pound sensus topper be fine, or should I throw in a few more layers? Or less layers? Any suggestions based on your experience, and our weight, would be welcome. Thank you

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Last edit: by dparham70907.

Re: Building a memory foam mattress 21 Dec 2012 07:01 #2

Hi dparham70907,

It will be interesting to see how the Dynasty mattress holds up because the shipping weight doesn't match the listed densities and layer thicknesses.

I don't generally recommend trying to design and build your own mattress, especially with memory foam, unless you already have the knowledge and experience to know exactly what you want to build and the types of memory foam variants you prefer.

As you can see in post #15 here ... this type of approach (Option 3 in the linked post) can be challenging and even fun but because there are many variables of foam type and layering and individual needs and preferences to take into account that can vary widely ... there isn't a formula that can be used to design a mattress that would be suitable for you based on specs alone (yours or the mattress) or "theory at a distance".

I would personally would go in the direction of option #2 where you can work with a knowledgeable manufacturer (who will know and provide guidance that you would otherwise need to learn) ... but if you do go in the direction of a complete DIY where you are buying individual components ... you would be best off testing local mattresses where the type and density (and hopefully ILD) of all the layers is known and then use the one that you prefer as a rough model (different memory foams can be very different so even if you duplicated the density of the memory foam and the ILD of the polyfoam base layers it may still be different). You could at least come reasonably close to your reference mattress this way however. Some of the better component suppliers are listed in post #4 here .

Without personal reference points of mattresses you have tested ... you would really be working in the dark and there would be no real way to know how you may respond to your design.

For some general guidelines ... I would focus on memory foams that were 5 lbs and above (your weights and the length of time you are hoping the mattress will last indicates the need for greater density and durability) probably in the range of 4" of memory foam, and I would tend to avoid convoluted foam unless it was high density and firmer Convoluted foam is less durable than a non convoluted layer but would be softer than the equivalent non convoluted layer which is why it's often used as a transition layer between the memory foam and the base layers. I would also use a thicker base layer if you eliminate the convolute (at least 6"). 2.8 lb base foam would be fine (possibly overkill depending on whether you were looking for foam with a specific type of response) and lower would probably be fine as well depending on the type of foam. The base layer won't likely be the weak link of the mattress although I wouldn't make it low quality either (probably 2 lbs and above would be OK).

You may also want to consider a thinner layer of memory foam (say 2") and then a thinner layer of latex (say also 2") and then a high quality base layer. This would give you a little more resilient feel and a little more freedom of movement while at the same time having the surface feel of the memory foam. This has a hybrid feel that can be very attractive to many people.

I would personally work with a manufacturer though rather than taking the risk (and incurring the possible expense of mistakes) of buying foam combinations that you haven't tested before you buy them. They have already "matched" the different memory foam and polyfoam combinations that work well together for different body types, sleeping styles, and preferences. For example Rocky Mountain Mattress has some component memory foam mattresses here and they have polyfoam layers in different ILD's and different memory foam layers as well. Other good memory foam options are listed in post #12 here .

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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