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designing a lightweight single bed 26 Feb 2015 04:37 #1

i've just joined this forum as i am impressed with all the useful information in your articles -- much more detailed than the dozens of blogs i've gone to. i spent hours reading and taking notes. (so i am much smarter today than yesterday)

i want to build a lightweight wooden platform 4-poster with hinged side panels (later this year when i move to queensland, australia). why, you ask? because i need to easily slide the bed around the open-plan room.

so i have been researching the kind of mattress i can buy that will keep the weight down but be as high-quality as i can afford. originally i was attracted to latex but that is too heavy (and expensive). memory foam is even heavier. after reading about HD and HR polyfoams, i think that is the answer -- medium firm HD for core support and soft HR for comfort on top. any advice on how many inches of each? i've found local foam wholesalers and manufacturers so hope i can have made what i need.

i am a side sleeper of average weight. i've always used a contoured latex pillow.

i'm also planning to use a wool mattress topper as that can be washed and replaced when needed. also, it is suitable for humid tropical places. should i choose a natural knit fabric cover -- if so, what kind? do i really need to have quilting or is this an optional expense? i'd also like a zippered mattress cover for cleaning but i don't want that to spoil the breathability, etc. (hemp or bamboo fabric?)

all advice and opinions welcome :)

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designing a lightweight single bed 26 Feb 2015 10:00 #2

Hi gingerperty,

after reading about HD and HR polyfoams, i think that is the answer -- medium firm HD for core support and soft HR for comfort on top. any advice on how many inches of each? i've found local foam wholesalers and manufacturers so hope i can have made what i need.


If you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own mattress out of separate components and a separate cover then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project ... the best approach to a DIY mattress is a "spirit of adventure" where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

If you decide to take on the challenge then I would either use the specs (if they are available) of a mattress that you have tested and confirmed are a good match for you in terms of PPP as a reference point or use a "bottom up" approach (see post #2 here ).

i'm also planning to use a wool mattress topper as that can be washed and replaced when needed. also, it is suitable for humid tropical places.


Wool can absorb up to about 30% of its weight in moisture and still feel dry against the skin and help maintain a lower humidity microclimate on the sleeping surface so it's a very good material in humid environments. Wool is also a very good temperature regulator in both directions and has been used historically in very cold environments along with hot desert environments (in thinner layers) to regulate temperature.

should i choose a natural knit fabric cover -- if so, what kind? do i really need to have quilting or is this an optional expense? i'd also like a zippered mattress cover for cleaning but i don't want that to spoil the breathability, etc. (hemp or bamboo fabric?)


There is more about the pros and cons of quilted covers vs more stretchy knit covers in post #12 here and the posts it links to. The choice between them would be a personal preference.

There is also more about the pros and cons of different types of fibers and fabrics in post #7 here and the posts it links to as well.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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