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DIY Latex--Have We Missed Something Obvious? 08 Nov 2013 13:45 #1

Phoenix & MU:
First--my sanity & wallet thank you for so generously teaching us latex mattress consumers. Six months of research has yielded MU as my top reference--to which all other sites are measured. I've read the recommended MU tutorials/posts; considered PPP, value equation factors; and, of course visited local latex mattress retailers.

Despite the risks of DIY latex layering, we're ready to take the plunge. We're convinced that a 2-3 layer 100% botanically derived latex mattress is right for us. After months of research, narrowing down choices, and countless configurations, I finally feel worthy of asking you some (HOPEFULLY well-informed) questions. :) We'd be so thankful if you could read our stats & our specific goal, and answer the 5 questions listed below the stats.

Goals:
1) Save $--build Queen DIY latex mattress (under 9") to emulate feel of Savvy Rest's split comfort: Female-SMF & Male-MMF
2) Must last 2 yrs until we sell our tiny house & upgrade to King latex m. We plan to re-use Queen components for the King m.
3) Make it under 9" Why? 2 major factors I've read over & over again: a) "Changes in mattress deeper than 5" aren't detectible by most sleepers"; and b) "for SOME sleepers, a 9" m. can be more than needed, depending on style, preference, etc."

SPECIFIC QUESTIONS:
You normally recommend people consult the retailer with these types of questions, and I will, but I value your feedback, too. :) When answering questions 1-4, please consider the encasements detailed in question 5.

1) Please take a look at Configurations A & B (attached image) for the female sleeper (left column). Which of the 3--Config A, Config B (Rev-Zone) or Config B (Dual-Zone)--would better suit the average side-sleeping woman with these stats?
2) Regarding your top choice for female sleeper, how would you change or improve the configuration?
3) Please take a look at Configurations A & B for the male sleeper in the attached image. Which of the 2--Config A or B--would better suit the average stomach-sleeping male with these stats?
4) Regarding your top choice for male sleeper, how would you change or improve the configuration?
5) RE: encasement. We plan to buy it after we've confirmed which total height of latex works best for us. We know we must shield the latex from UV, but want the thinnest barrier between us and the latex; and would prefer to not have any synthetic fire retardants. FYI: we plan to run a wool "puddle pad"--roughly 36" x 60" x 1/8"-1/4"--across the critical middle third of bed. Considering these factors, which of the following 2 options would you choose?
Option 1: Zipper case but, remove zippered top
Option 2: An extra jersey (stretchy) sheet
Option 3: a thin "dust-mite/bed bug style" protector, but I don't think those are stretchy
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DIY Latex--Have We Missed Something Obvious? 08 Nov 2013 15:55 #2

Wow, I'm impressed with the precision with which you're planning this!

The only thing I'll contribute is that there's no magic equation that guarantees success. The benefit of the DIY approach, as Phoenix has written, isn't usually saving money - instead, it's the opportunity to learn and experiment. To that end, I'd recommend you treat your DIY mattress a process where you iterate to perfection, which may include some mis-steps or purchases that don't work out. I would set your expectations around that, and not around cash savings.

Since you've already got PPP and the basic principles down to evaluate for yourself, know how to evaluate the materials, and have much of the theory down I'd remind you to let your comfort (or lack thereof) guide you with the DIY process. Don't become trapped and ignore PPP or your comfort in order to force your mattress be made a specific way because that's what your logic or theory says it should be.

I would comment that looking at your blue prints, I don't know how easily you'll find foam layers in such precise non standard thicknesses. 1", 2", and 3", and 6" is common. I'm sure you could have it professionally / custom cut, but that'll no doubt come at a cost.

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Last edit: by dn.

DIY Latex--Have We Missed Something Obvious? 08 Nov 2013 22:51 #3

Hi Thankful Consumer,

I'm also impressed with the details of the designs you are considering but they are so complex and specific that they are outside of basic "averages" (such as single layers of S/M/F) and there is really no way to predict with that degree of specificity how well each design may work for you without specific reference points of mattresses you have slept on that have a closer layering and design. With self designed mattresses then your own experience will be much more meaningful than any "theory at a distance" and as dn mentioned that's part of the challenge and learning experience of a DIY construction so that you are comfortable with the idea that you may have to change out layers or change the design. Your experience on each iteration and some thoughtful analysis would be the reference point for any changes.

None of the designs are similar to any of the Savvy Rest mattresses and "feel" is so subjective that there really isn't any way to know for certain how any of your designs would "translate" to the Savvy Rest. It would also make a difference knowing whether you were testing a Savvy Rest with Talalay or Dunlop layers. I would consider testing a 6" 2 layer Savvy Rest so you can "bracket" the two designs because yours are in between these two (outside of the zoning).

I'm also not aware of any retailer that offers the designs of mattresses you are considering so I'm not sure if a retailer could offer you specific suggestions without direct experience with the designs you are considering. Some of your layer thicknesses may also be difficult to find.

I don't mind making a few general comments though but I would need more specific reference points based on your actual experience to make any ILD suggestions so that part I'll leave with your "best judgement" ...

1) Please take a look at Configurations A & B (attached image) for the female sleeper (left column). Which of the 3--Config A, Config B (Rev-Zone) or Config B (Dual-Zone)--would better suit the average side-sleeping woman with these stats?
2) Regarding your top choice for female sleeper, how would you change or improve the configuration?


I would move the cut points of the middle zone up towards the head and make it a little narrower (about 4" wide) so that the bottom of the zone starts about 1 - 2" above the belly button and above the iliac crest.

With a more curvy figure I would also lean towards the 3 zone configuration (and as you have done I would also use softer under the shoulders, a little firmer under the pelvis, and then a little firmer yet under the recessed part of the lumbar).

3) Please take a look at Configurations A & B for the male sleeper in the attached image. Which of the 2--Config A or B--would better suit the average stomach-sleeping male with these stats?


Again this is too detailed to use averages and again I don't have any reference points that are close to this design but both would probably be in an "average range". Option 2 would be a little firmer because the bottom layer and the total mattress height is thinner but it would also be less adaptable to other sleeping positions because it's thinner as well.

4) Regarding your top choice for male sleeper, how would you change or improve the configuration?


I would test the 6" Savvy Rest that was closest to this configuration and then "imagine" it a little softer with the extra inch of Talalay on top and use this as an additional reference point.

5) RE: encasement. We plan to buy it after we've confirmed which total height of latex works best for us. We know we must shield the latex from UV, but want the thinnest barrier between us and the latex; and would prefer to not have any synthetic fire retardants. FYI: we plan to run a wool "puddle pad"--roughly 36" x 60" x 1/8"-1/4"--across the critical middle third of bed. Considering these factors, which of the following 2 options would you choose?
Option 1: Zipper case but, remove zippered top
Option 2: An extra jersey (stretchy) sheet
Option 3: a thin "dust-mite/bed bug style" protector, but I don't think those are stretchy


I would personally use a stretch knit cover with the top zipped up to help the mattress keep its structural integrity and keep the latex under some tension.

While I wouldn't go with either of the two options you mentioned ... of the two I would probably go with the extra jersey sheet to get the "feel" you seem to be looking for and to have a thicker layer of cotton for moisture wicking. If water resistance wasn't an issue I would probably use a thicker stretch knit cotton protector instead of a jersey sheet.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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