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normal Manufacturers - do it yourself online

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29 Nov 1999 16:00 #1 by Phoenix

 

The final category of manufacturers are the "do it yourself" manufacturers. Most of these are found online however some brick and mortar outlets make these available as well. They are growing in popularity and are very representative of the spirit of The Mattress Underground. These are a newer category of manufacturers and are often either smaller local and regional manufacturers who wish to broaden their market and have developed effective ways to custom build and ship their mattresses, or mattress manufacturers who are primarily online and more exclusively specialized in these mattresses. The online version in particular is growing in popularity as they can be ordered and easily shipped from any area of North America to any other.

They usually have several layers of material... often latex or memory foam... that can be put together in varying combinations and enclosed inside a zippered cover. They will often include wool quilting to comply with fire regulations or use more natural alternate methods. These layers and the cover can usually be shipped through UPS, Fedex, or other courier companies at a much lower cost than it would cost to ship a complete mattress with truck freight. They also usually offer the ability to make a "layer exchange" after a purchase where a single layer can be returned and exchanged for another to adjust the feel and qualities of the mattress and make it perfect for your needs. The length of time allowed and the costs involved in doing this vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but are almost always far less than more typical "comfort exchanges" with their restrictive conditions and higher costs that are available through larger mass market outlets.

There are genuine advantages to this approach including quality of materials and the ability to custom build your mattress to a greater degree than a finished mattress from a store.  They are typically very transparent in describing the exact materials that are in your mattress in terms of both the materials themselves and the specific qualities and "feel" of the materials you have chosen. They are usually very helpful and knowledgeable on the phone as well and offer differing... but usually higher levels of service than many larger outlets since most of their customer interaction is online or on the phone.

The concept of layer exchanges can significantly reduce the cost of "making a mistake" whether it is from a store with restrictive exchange policies which represent a profit center for them or from a local manufacturer of a "complete mattress" purchased from out of your area where the entire mattress would need to be returned. These "do it yourself" constructions are particularly suitable for those who have done some reading and research in materials, quality, and methods of construction as well as some "field testing" in local stores, to get a clear sense of the mattress style and layer combinations that are appropriate for their needs. In these cases any "mistakes" in a choice of mattress will generally be small and easily addressed with a single layer exchange.

There are however a few disadvantages as well that you should be aware of all of which can easily be overcome with a little knowledge and field testing. The first of these is connected to their more "standardized" layering and in the lack of knowledge or understanding of many consumers who purchase them.  Their slightly more limited choices of layer thickness and ILD can sometimes mean that these mattresses cannot be customized quite as well as a local manufacturer who has access to any thickness, ILD,  and type of layering and may use different methods of construction, quilting, and ticking to produce a finished mattress that can be "customized" more accurately than a more standardized approach. Of course this is only a limitation in cases where the standardized approach, in combination with toppers and different types of quilting, do not include options that may be either important or necessary for a particular person.

A second difficulty with this approach is in the lack of information and knowledge of some consumers who purchase them in the belief that they are "easy to fix if I get it wrong". While this may often be true if you have done some research and field testing and know exactly what to change and which layer to change, there is sometimes so much confusion surrounding the effect of changing different layers and the effect it will have on the rest of the mattress that some consumers end up with a never ending search for the perfect layering pattern and never quite "get it right". While these circumstances are also more rare, they are common enough that it is well worth understanding exactly what you need both through some reading and research on this site or others, and through some field testing, before you decide to go in this direction. With the appropriate knowledge and testing though, they can represent tremendous value and have the ability to closely "duplicate" the feel of many if not most of the commercial mattresses that are sold in the "bricks and mortar" stores.

These outlets can make very good high value choices for anyone and are particularly helpful for those who may not have or know of a smaller manufacturer in their local area as they combine many of the benefits of local manufacturers with the benefits of online purchases.


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05 Sep 2017 06:58 #2 by Psychmedic

I feel i've done so much research that i could just make my own mattress. But one thing the DIY method lacks is adhering the layers together. I cannot "hand tuft" the layers at home, for example. Would this affect the comfort of the finished product if the springs and latex are just lying on top of each other?

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05 Sep 2017 11:00 - 05 Sep 2017 11:01 #3 by Phoenix

Hi Psychmedic,

I feel i've done so much research that i could just make my own mattress. But one thing the DIY method lacks is adhering the layers together. I cannot "hand tuft" the layers at home, for example. Would this affect the comfort of the finished product if the springs and latex are just lying on top of each other?


Yes, I think many people reading here on the site feel as if they have done so much research that thy deserve a PhD in mattresses after a while! B)

In most component systems, the layers are held together through the integrity of the mattress encasement surrounding the completed mattress, along with the coefficient of friction of the materials (latex itself tends t be quite "sticky"), and these layers are not glued. The benefit of such a system for most people is the ability to rearrange and exchange layers.

If you do want to create a finished product, you can purchase tufting needles, tufting twine and buttons from craft and upholstery shops, as well as some of the DIY mattress companies discussed here previously on the forum.

Phoenix


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Last Edit: 05 Sep 2017 11:01 by Phoenix.

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21 Oct 2018 18:52 #4 by TooTall513

I have also done a fair amount for reading on this site and am beginning to think that the multilayer system makes the most sense. It seems that since the comfort layer is the first line of defense and one which would degrade first it would make sense that if you could simply replace that layer with a new one, that the system could sustain its self indefinitely if you were to able to replace the affected layer as needed.I am still trying to figure out the correct formula of Laytex layers for myself and girlfriend. I am 6'4" 175 lbs,BMI 21, hot sleeper, that likes a firmish mattress. I have a slim athletic built, like a basketball player. Lumbar gape is 2". My girlfriend is 5'8" 150 lbs, BMI 18, semi-athletic built like a swimmer and likes the firm support with a bit of sinking memory foam feel. Can anyone give me some guidance on ILB and thickness for a layer system?

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22 Oct 2018 16:11 #5 by Phoenix

Hi TooTall513,

I am glad that you did a fair amount of reading and that the site is helpful to you. :)

It seems that since the comfort layer is the first line of defense and one which would degrade first it would make sense that if you could simply replace that layer with a new one, that the system could sustain its self indefinitely if you were to able to replace the affected layer as needed. I am still trying to figure out the correct formula of Laytex layers for myself and girlfriend.


While you are correct that the upper layers in a mattress (the top 3" - 6" which are the most subject to wear and tear and contribute more to the overall "feel" of a mattress) and while I understand what you are trying to achieve, for those that may be reading this thread I’d make an adjustment to your “the first line of defense “ comment because in reality the primary concern should be ensuring good spinal support and proper alignment (see post #4 here for more about primary support, secondary support, and pressure relief and how they are related) because any attempt to "fix" support layers that are too soft by adding layers on top will often only be partially or temporarily successful and would be more of a "band-aid" than a solution because the top layers can still "bend into" the softer layers below them and lead to alignment issues.

I agree with you that latex is a good comfort layer choice for its temperature regulation, supporting and conforming qualities … latex is also certainly a very durable material and at your BMIs I would not be too concerned about having to replace it too soon. (I’d expect at least a 10 years of use), but you are correct that there may be also other factors involved in the durability or useful life of a mattress outside of just the material itself (see post #4 here )

Once primary support is ensured then the suitability and durability of the comfort layer will tell how well you will sleep and for how long you will sleep well. Your long-term approach of considering a bed where you can easily replace the comfort layer is very common as a solution to both fine-tune for a certain feel and also for accommodating any changes over time. (As we age we also usually prefer something a little plusher)

Can anyone give me some guidance on ILB and thickness for a layer system?


Based on the information you provided it is not possible to predict how well you will do with any mattress suggestion that I or anyone may have for you. Both thickness and softness are dependent and there can be numerous combinations that can work for you. Also, you can also find different categories of “multilayered systems” such as polyfoam/latex combos, all latex, pocket coil latex and you’d first need to decide on the type that would be best for you and your girlfriend. Each mattress category can also include hundreds of different mattresses with a very wide range of different designs, different "feels", different characteristics, and different firmness levels. Every individual layer and component in a mattress (including the cover, FR barrier, any quilting material, and of course all foam layers) will affect the feel and response of every other layer and component both above and below it and the mattress "as a whole" so each mattress category will generally include some mattresses that have a design that will be a good "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP and others that use the same type of materials and components and are in the same category and may be just as durable but have a different design or firmness level that may be completely unsuitable for you to sleep on ... even if it uses the same general type of materials and components.

My first suggestion would be that you do some local testing which will give you a much better sense about the types of mattresses (see this article ) and general firmness levels you tend to prefer which can help you narrow down your choices regardless of whether you end up purchasing locally or online. Then some guidance from a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer will usually result in a mattress choice that is well inside a suitable comfort/support range and will generally be "close enough" so that if any fine-tuning is necessary it would be relatively minor and involve different mattress pads, sheets, mattress protectors, or perhaps even a topper if a mattress is too firm (see post #4 here and post #10 here ).

Once you manage narrow down your research and have more specific questions then I or any of our Expert Members we'll be happy to assist you.

Phoenix


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31 Oct 2018 11:24 #6 by LisaL0115

I'm looking for some feedback on a DIY mattress. I am trying to build my own Sapira by Leesa. I've got the specs of the mattress and have been able to match things fairly well but I'm stuck on one specific layer and would like some advice on how to replicate.

Here are the Sapira layers and where/what I've found to match them. Any help is appreciated. The first layer is what I cannot figure out. Also, I've bumped all the 1.5 inch thickness to 2 inch because the 1.5 thickness isn't readily available and 1 inch seemed too thin.

1) 1.5" of 3.75 lb high performance "latex like" polyfoam (3.6 pcf density 20-26 ifd) They are calling this Avena Foam - made by Carter - the image looks like convoluted (egg crate).

*No equivalent found

2) 1.5" of 4 lb memory foam
Foam Factory 2 inches 4lb $113

3)Pocket spring innerspring unit Quantum Edge from Leggett and Platt
Arizona Mattress 8 inches coil unit L&P zoned pocket coil $395

4) 1” of 2 lb. poly foam on top and on the bottom of the innerspring unit.
Foam Factory 1" LUXR $31

I'm still undecided on a cover. Theirs is a poly/cotton blend and I'd like to have that or all cotton. A full zip and washable top is preferable. But this comes in at 13 inches and most covers only seem to go to 12.

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02 Nov 2018 11:54 #7 by Phoenix

Hi LisaL0115.

Welcome to our forum! :)

I'm looking for some feedback on a DIY mattress. I am trying to build my own Sapira by Leesa. I've got the specs of the mattress and have been able to match things fairly well but I'm stuck on one specific layer and would like some advice on how to replicate.


Because of the uncertainty involved in "replicating a mattress" the risk of getting it just right is much higher... unless of course all the components, layers and design or your DIY “build” is an exact replica and matches in every way the mattress you have tested or slept on (in effect resulting is the same mattress). "Replicating" a mattress component by component in view of a DIY mattress based only on "specs" without the specific guidance of a manufacturer/retailer that is familiar with your reference mattress and materials is unreliable because in most cases:
1. Consumers would tend to rely only on the ILD of the layers or other more basic specs which by themselves can be very misleading and inaccurate because of any design specific properties, response, or factors that can make a significant difference in how a mattress feels and performs.
2. Consumers don't have access to all the information they would need about either the mattress they are using as a reference point or all the components they are gathering to make a meaningful comparison and even if they did (which is rare) most consumers wouldn't have the knowledge or experience to be able to "translate" how the many seemingly small differences between two mattresses may either accumulate or offset each other and "feel" in real life.
3. Also sometimes what a consumer "thinks they need" is often different from "what they really need" and this is better done with the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced online retailer or manufacturer will usually be more focused on "what they really need".
The "target" with these types of choices is generally how closely a consumer believes one mattress will match the one that they are building which is often very inaccurate, this is why I always suggest that those who take on a DIY mattress replication project work closely with a manufacturer who is familiar with all the components of the “blueprint” mattress .

1) 1.5" of 3.75 lb high performance "latex like" polyfoam (3.6 pcf density 20-26 ifd) They are calling this Avena Foam - made by Carter - the image looks like convoluted (egg crate).
*No equivalent found


Avena is a High Resiliency polyfoam which is high quality and durable material introduced by Carpenter in 2010 that has “latex like qualities”. It is more costly than conventional polyfoam but not as costly as many more premium foam materials such as higher quality memory foam or latex. You can read a bit more about Avena here . To find something similar in terms of quality and durability you may wish to check out the foam suppliers listed in the same thread in Post #4 here ( a few links were recently updated) with latex being the closest in feel, but you may wish to talk to each of the manufacturers you are considering purchasing the component from to see how closely they compare.

I'm still undecided on a cover. Theirs is a poly/cotton blend and I'd like to have that or all cotton. A full zip and washable top is preferable. But this comes in at 13 inches and most covers only seem to go to 12.


Arizona Premium Mattress (member of this site) has a cover that would fit your criteria and generally a large selection of mattress covers, bamboo, organic wool cover, organic cotton. The zipper is made with Teflon and zips around all four corners making it easy to assemble. Some models come in sizes from 6” to 15”

You may also wish to contact some of the manufacturer members below who make their own covers to see if they would be willing to adjust mattress size for you.
Latex Mattress Factory (member of this site) has a removable and washable 360-degree zipper cotton cover from 2” to 12” in thickness.

Memory Foam Comfort (member of this site…Canada) carries zippered and removable Tencel (eucalyptus), Bamboo, Teddy (terry cloth) or Wool quilted 100% organic cotton sizes 4-12”.

Sleep EZ (member of this site) has Natural and Organic cotton & wool Zippered Mattress covers between 6” and 12” in thickness

Sleep On Latex (one of our members) has organic cotton covers sizes from 1 to 12” in thickness which has a zipper all around and allows for the top part to be removed and washed. They can also custom make them but it takes a little longer to ship.

Sleeping Organic (member of this site) has organic full zip off covers that can be custom made with or without wool.

It seems that you are in the latest stages of your “built” and hopefully some of the information listed above will be assistive with your DIY.

Phoenix


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02 Nov 2018 13:51 #8 by LisaL0115

Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Of course, you are correct, in assuming that I'm looking to closely match the numerical ratings of the components of the Sapira and have no knowledge of each "part" other than basic information.

I suppose I didn't realize that getting one foam with the same density and firmness rating may not be that similar in feel to a different foam with the same ratings. The learning curve for this is HUGE!!

I have to say that maybe I'm overestimating my knowledge and ability to take on this project. While my current mattress has GOT to go, and most anything would be an upgrade at this point, I'm worried of sinking over a thousand dollars into a project that fails. On the other hand, buying a $1,600 bed is really out of the question for me at this point so I'm unsure of how to move forward.

I'm not sure if it is really this complicated or I'm making it this complicated. When I've looked in mattress stores or online and been "matched" to a mattress from a manufacturer, I've been unhappy with the suggestions. Which is in part, why I'm choosing to DIY. I'm a side sleeper, and 140lbs so everyone wants to put me in a softer mattress. I hate them! A lot of people complain the Sapira is too firm, but for me it's perfect at it's firmness of 6 -6.5 on the scale.

At the end of the day - what I'm looking to build is a 6 to 6.5 firmness rating that has the bounce and support of latex and no sink of memory foam. I've had foam toppers and an all foam mattress and I dislike them. I suppose I'm going to re-evaluate my material choices based on your feedback.

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03 Nov 2018 05:27 #9 by MFC

To All,

We are now offering Do it yourself Mattresses. For cores and comfort layers you can choose from 2lb HD foam (high density) 2.75lb HR foam (high resilience) 4lb & 5lb memory foam and organic dunlop latex. For the mattress covers we offer the top zip covers for easy access to all the loose layers, and are available in Bamboo, Tencel (eucalyptus), Teddy (velour terry) or wool quilted 100% organic cotton.

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03 Nov 2018 14:52 - 03 Nov 2018 14:55 #10 by Phoenix

Hi LisaL0115.

I have to say that maybe I'm overestimating my knowledge and ability to take on this project. While my current mattress has GOT to go, and most anything would be an upgrade at this point, I'm worried of sinking over a thousand dollars into a project that fails. On the other hand, buying a $1,600 bed is really out of the question for me at this point so I'm unsure of how to move forward.


A DIY can be a great way to go and can certainly represent tremendous value and also has the ability to closely "duplicate" the feel of many if not most of the commercial mattresses that are sold in the "bricks and mortar" stores provided that there is appropriate knowledge behind the build, some field-testing and … more reliably … the guidance of an experienced manufacturer/retailer.

When I've looked in mattress stores or online and been "matched" to a mattress from a manufacturer, I've been unhappy with the suggestions. Which is in part, why I'm choosing to DIY. Which is in part, why I'm choosing to DIY. I'm a side sleeper, and 140lbs so everyone wants to put me in a softer mattress. I hate them!


I understand your frustration… while the level of knowledge of the staff in many outlets may vary, I’d say that generally sales reps of large chain stores or larger national brands have a level of knowledge that it is usually restricted to what they have been told or taught about how to sell the specific mattresses they carry and have been given some very general guidelines about matching sleeping positions with levels of comfort. This type of advice can do more harm than good and is the opposite of what I mean by advice coming from an experienced and knowledgeable retailer/manufacturer that has consumer’s interests at heart. This is why it is so important that consumers learn to discriminate between marketing people and the real mattress people who are manufacturers and retailers that give consumers facts, better information, better service, advice, and finally better value. Knowing who they are and where to find them is just as important as knowing what should be inside your perfect mattress.

A lot of people complain the Sapira is too firm, but for me it's perfect at it's firmness of 6 -6.5 on the scale.
At the end of the day - what I'm looking to build is a 6 to 6.5 firmness rating that has the bounce and support of latex and no sink of memory foam.


I wouldn't use or trust any kind of firmness rating or "theory" as anything more than a general guideline that is subject to change based on your own unique preferences and circumstances. There is no such thing as firmness scale and the best a scale can do is to rate mattresses made by the same manufacturer against each other and create an internal firmness rating scale (which most retailers/manufacturers do) to help the shopper compare models to each other in terms of firmness. This is to say that there no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. As you’ve experienced different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science. In other words ... the only reliable way to know whether a mattress will be "firm enough" or "soft enough" for you will be based on your own careful testing or your own personal experience.

All in all, you seem to be heading in a good direction. You’ve determined the type of mattress and feel you prefer according to your particular needs which is a good starting point. Many people go the DIY route I’ve seen you contacted one of the manufacturers who has a great deal of experience in helping DIY customers. Generally, there are two ways to make effective initial choices for the design and feel of a mattress that is the best match for you. One is with your own careful and objective testing and the other would be through more detailed conversations on the phone with a knowledgeable manufacturer/retailer where you can provide them with more information that can help them use "averages" and your own past experiences as a way to help you make the best choice.

Phoenix

@MFC
Thanks for mentioning the new DIY offerings, especially for the Canadian market that has fewer options available, we’ll make sure to update MFC’s business profile on TMU to reflect this.


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Last Edit: 03 Nov 2018 14:55 by Phoenix.

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