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DIY bed from latex toppers 26 Jun 2014 10:10 #1

After much deliberation and testing out many beds in stores we decided to try and replicate the pure latex bliss beautiful since we liked that one the most out of all of the memory foam and latex beds we tried. We are in our 30's, I'm a light build and my wife is a medium build and we both tend to like softer mattresses. We are building a queen size bed. We considered going up to a king size, but we like our bed frame so much that we didn't want to buy another one or go through the added expenses of all new sheets.

Over the weekend, I built a foundation for our new mattress using 2x6's for the frame and center support and 1x4 slats spaced 2" apart. The wood, screws and brackets cost about $120 to build. It definitely could have been done cheaper without the brackets, ripping a plywood sheet for the slats, and buying just the number of screws I needed. The frame is covered up by the side rails on our bed so I didn't have to worry about using finish quality wood. It is definitely a heavy duty foundation, but so is the bed, so I think I'm ok without adding a leg to the center support.

We ended up ordering 3-3" toppers (without covers) from Brooklyn Bedding in 19ild, 24ild, and 36ild ($1065). We will be ordering the cotton stretch zip cover from ez after we determine that 9" of latex will be enough for us. The toppers arrived last night and we decided to sleep on it last night. We only used a couple of fitted sheets over the latex since the St Dormier mattress pad ($160) should be arriving today.

We should have let the toppers air out at least a day as the smell was a little strong. My wife couldn't sleep on her stomach due to the smell. When sitting on the bed I do notice that it does bottom out but I expected that with such a soft bed. My first impression is that the bed is a little soft but the cover and pad may change that. We were used to a 10 year old cheap plush mattress so sleeping on the latex was quite a bit different especially with only 2 sheets between the latex and us. We both woke up in the night more than normal and I had a little soreness this first night, but I also expected that. My wife says she loves how soft it is. I'm still on the fence about the softness, but I will try it a couple more nights then try switching the 19 and 24 layers and see if I notice a difference. This finished bed is about 7-8" lower than our previous bed with the smaller foundation and that is taking a little getting used to. It makes the room look bigger surprisingly. I'll try to remember to provide an update until we are sure we are happy with what we end up with.

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DIY bed from latex toppers 26 Jun 2014 16:15 #2

Hi Otter4044,

Thanks for sharing your DIY efforts and experiences ... I appreciate it.

I'm looking forward to any ongoing updates you have the chance to share and I hope that you end up with "your perfect mattress" :)

Phoenix
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DIY bed from latex toppers 26 Jun 2014 16:27 #3

Otter4044, from what I've heard from others, a cover should add at least a little firmness over just the raw layers of latex outside of a cover. I believe the Nutrition PLB model uses a similar construction, if I recall correctly 3" of 28 ild over 2" of 19 ild. I'm wondering also, there are a couple variations in your build from the PLB Beautiful you mentioned. You're using 3" of each, 19, 24 and 36 ild's - and the Beautiful has 3 more inches of 36 ild in the base. Whether this would add firmness or not I don't know.

The other thing I found out when I did some testing of PLB mattresses in the store, the store had them displayed on special foundations rather than a slatted foundation. The floor models were set up as split firmness, though not in the way most people achieve split firmness. (Most have differing layers inside the mattress case itself). The foundations the mattresses were on had an additional 4" of latex acting as 'box springs' and this is where they altered the firmness. Surprisingly, even the Nutrition which had 11" of latex (close to the 12" of the Beautiful) felt noticeably different between left and right sides in terms of firmness due to the varying firmness of the foundations latex beneath all 11" of the mattress.

Unfortunately, the particular store I was able to try them out at didn't have any all latex PLB models sitting directly on wooden slats for comparison. The one model that was on wooden slats felt firmer, but I can't say it was due to the straight wood slatted platform vs latex covered premium foundation or the fact it was 7-8" of poly foam with only 3" of latex on top. That difference may have attributed to the increased firmness also. (Trying to determine why your setup feels softer than the Beautiful model you tried).

The foundation you built sounds heavy duty, though I'm wondering even with the 2x6 center support - you may still be safer adding at least one center leg from the support to the floor on queen/king size. Eventually the 2x6 may start to flex over time with the weight of 2 adults and the weight of a latex mattress as they're heavier than most. Not necessarily going to 'flex' the way a 2x4 would, but slowly sagging over time which may cause a slight dip in the center after awhile. I do think you're better off using the 1x4 slats the way you did. Ripped plywood for the slats may have saved you a few dollars, but plywood isn't very strong especially in narrow slats. Used in flooring for a house, it's usually 2 sheets of 3/4" or thicker on top of each other with joists supporting it every 18" or so making for very short spans.

If you decide to try switching the layers, putting the 24 over the 19 and it works out better for you but your wife likes it with the 19 on top you might ask others who have tried cutting the layers lengthwise from head to foot of the bed. Not recommending you take a knife to your brand new latex, but some have done so. This would allow you to adjust it firmer for your side, leaving your wife's side softer using the latex you already have.

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DIY bed from latex toppers 26 Jun 2014 19:08 #4

If you decide to try switching the layers, putting the 24 over the 19 and it works out better for you but your wife likes it with the 19 on top you might ask others who have tried cutting the layers lengthwise from head to foot of the bed. Not recommending you take a knife to your brand new latex, but some have done so. This would allow you to adjust it firmer for your side, leaving your wife's side softer using the latex you already have.


Oh yea, I would do that. Use an electric knife, it's pretty easy and simple. Do a search on the board on recommendations. If you do cut the foam, you can really play around with the layers and even move the 36 to the middle to see how it works.

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DIY bed from latex toppers 27 Jun 2014 21:42 #5

Pheonix-thanks, me too, :)

Brass - that's interesting about the extra latex as a base. I noticed that adding the st dormier pad did help so I imagine a cover would help even more. That's good to hear about the 1x4s and the electric knife. I wouldn't mind cutting it, but I doubt my wife would even notice if I switched the 19 and 24 layers, shhh don't tell her. She had a hard time telling the difference between a lot of the beds we tried. I have some left over 2x6 pieces that would make a great center support so I'll probably add that when I add the cover.

Jankdc-thanks for the recommendation. I have access to an electric knife, I'll just have to clean the fish guts off it. :)

Covering up the latex with the mattress pad and opening up the window a few hours yesterday helped with the smell quite a bit. I was expecting the st dormier mattress pad to be a little thicker but it is real nice quality and I noticed it slept a little cooler last night compared to just an extra fitted sheet.

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DIY bed from latex toppers 30 Jun 2014 06:17 #6

We switched the 19ild and 24ild layers last night, and we really like how it feels, so now its a 24ild on top, 19ild in the middle and then a 36ild on the bottom. It made a world of difference especially when sleeping on our stomachs.

Phoenix, Would you have any reservations about keeping the softer layer in the middle? I don't mind swapping out the 19ild layer with a 24ild layer from bb, but I'm worried we may lose the softness that we like especially since we haven't added the zipper mattress cover yet.

I noticed a section that is about 2ft by 2ft and located next to an edge that is darker on the 24ild layer, like it looks older. The surface of that section is smooth unlike the grippy/rubbery texture of the rest of the topper. I'm think that area might have been out of the plastic bag or something and it seems like it might have been exposed to air for awhile. Any ideas? I was going to ask bb about it when we got some other things figured out.

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DIY bed from latex toppers 30 Jun 2014 08:59 #7

Hi Otter4044,

Phoenix, Would you have any reservations about keeping the softer layer in the middle? I don't mind swapping out the 19ild layer with a 24ild layer from bb, but I'm worried we may lose the softness that we like especially since we haven't added the zipper mattress cover yet.


I wouldn't have any reservations about reversing the layers no ... and it makes sense that a slightly firmer sleeping surface would be an improvement for stomach sleeping.

I noticed a section that is about 2ft by 2ft and located next to an edge that is darker on the 24ild layer, like it looks older. The surface of that section is smooth unlike the grippy/rubbery texture of the rest of the topper. I'm think that area might have been out of the plastic bag or something and it seems like it might have been exposed to air for awhile. Any ideas? I was going to ask bb about it when we got some other things figured out.


It's quite normal for latex to have some variations in color and texture across the surface ( see here ) and it's not likely something that I would be concerned with but it would really depend on the specifics and degree. If you send a picture to BB they would tell you whether this was a normal variation or something that could be of concern.

Phoenix
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DIY bed from latex toppers 27 Aug 2014 11:42 #8

So far the bed has been doing well for us. We stuck with the 24ild on top, 19ild in the middle, and 36ild on bottom. The 4 way stretch zipper cover and wool pad on top of that did stiffen it up a little, but I feel like it has softened a little over the past 2 months to make up for the cover. I would have probably preferred swapping out the 19ild for another 24ild so I would have two 3' 24ild layers on top of each other over the 36ild, but I am sleeping well with no aches, and my wife is happy, so that's enough for me.

The foundation hasn't been creaking or anything and is holding up well. I haven't added the center support yet, but I'll have the saw out this weekend, so now would be a good time.

I can still smell the latex, so the smell isn't dissipating as fast as I thought it would, but it is a non-offensive smell to me. My brain is probably correlating it with a good nights sleep anyways.

We never did contact Brooklyn about the discoloration in the mattress and don't intend to.

Below is what we spent:
Foundation $120
3-3" latex layers $1065 with discount
Zipper cover $190, I think with shipping
Wool pad $180, I think with shipping
All in $1,555

If all of the items hold up well, I'd definitely go through the process again. Thanks to all for the feedback. This is a great site that provides a lot of information.

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DIY bed from latex toppers 27 Aug 2014 13:40 #9

Hi Otter4044,

Thanks for taking the time to share such detailed feedback ... I appreciate it :)

It's great to see that things worked out so well for you.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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