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DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 08 Mar 2015 19:15 #1

Hello,
This is my first post here - what an amazing site and resource! Thanks to all who have made this place a reality.

So, I have a Stearns and Foster Estate Plush mattress (tight top) that I bought along with a 2" latex foam topper. The topper has been gone (long enough story to not bother with) for a little while and my hip pain is back from hockey and NE skiing injuries. I did not have any (much?) pain with the 2" latex, but it wasn't really all that comfortable; it was kind of dense and didn't have a 'pleasant texture'. I do not recall what density/comfort level foam I had previously, or if it was dunlop/talalay or natural/blended. It was from Overstock.

I love the top layer of my S&F - it is cashmere with I believe 1.5" polyurethane foam and some wool or other fiber for temperature regulation, and all tufted together. I just love it. My mom recently got an S&F pillow top and it is unbelievably comfortable (my perfect bed!). It is the same bed, just pillow top.

Anyway, want to get more foam. I was thinking I would do one layer of latex (medium?) for the main comfort layer, and I started thinking I would use polyurethane and fibers for the top layer. But then why not use more latex? So maybe I'll do 1" soft latex with fiber, tufted together with a killer fabric :) I could do a 2" base comfort layer but this would be getting expensive, and I feel like I can always add another 1" under whatever it is I make.

I would love to hear your thoughts about what materials to use for the quilt and tufting, and if anyone has experience or thoughts about using only 1" comfort layer with the added 1" in the top layer.

Oh, and I am 5'10" and 172lbs. :)

Thanks again!

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Last edit: by If It Wasnt For the Foam.

DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 09 Mar 2015 00:22 #2

Hi If It Wasnt For the Foam,

I love the top layer of my S&F - it is cashmere with I believe 1.5" polyurethane foam and some wool or other fiber for temperature regulation, and all tufted together. I just love it. My mom recently got an S&F pillow top and it is unbelievably comfortable (my perfect bed!). It is the same bed, just pillow top.

Anyway, want to get more foam. I was thinking I would do one layer of latex (medium?) for the main comfort layer, and I started thinking I would use polyurethane and fibers for the top layer. But then why not use more latex? So maybe I'll do 1" soft latex with fiber, tufted together with a killer fabric :) I could do a 2" base comfort layer but this would be getting expensive, and I feel like I can always add another 1" under whatever it is I make.

I would love to hear your thoughts about what materials to use for the quilt and tufting, and if anyone has experience or thoughts about using only 1" comfort layer with the added 1" in the top layer.


Stearns & Foster (Sealy) don't provide the information you would need to be able to "match" the feel and performance of their mattresses or even their top layers and I would also be aware that all the layers and components of a sleeping system (mattress plus topper) will affect all the other layers and components and the "sleeping system" as a whole and since your mattress would have different layers and components under the topper than the layers that are under the pillowtop in your mom's mattress it's unlikely that you would be able to "match" it based on specs anyway even if you were able to find them out.

When you are looking at these types of very complex combinations there are too many unknowns and variables to be able to predict how they will feel for you based on specs (either yours or a mattress/topper combination) and the only way to know whether any combination of toppers will "match" the feel you are looking for on your particular mattress will be through trial and error and your own personal experience.

I would tend to keep things much more simple and if I had to guess I would say that your closest "approximation" may be a latex topper with a wool topper on top of it so you would be sleeping on the "feel" of wool with the softness and resilience of the latex underneath it.

Because you won't know the thickness or firmness of the latex or the thickness of the wool topper that would come closest in combination with each other without actually trying it ... the return or exchange options of the latex and wool toppers may be one of the most important parts of your purchase so that you can reduce the risk of being "stuck" with your toppers if you end up choosing a combination that doesn't doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for.

If you do decide to go in this direction then post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you use your sleeping experience on the mattress as a guideline to choose the type, firmness, and thickness for a single topper that would have the best chance of success in terms of PPP and includes a link to the better online sources for toppers I'm aware of. There is also more about wool toppers in post #8 here and the posts it links to which also includes a link to a list of the better sources for wool toppers I'm aware of as well.

Phoenix
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DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 09 Mar 2015 01:00 #3

Hi Phoenix,
Thanks for the response and the rest of the amazing knowledge you've shared on this site - I've been coming across links and reading your other posts this evening (it was hard to be at work late while thinking about foam mattresses!).

I should have been more clear in that I was just curious about making a tufted/quilted top layer and what kind of foam and fiber to put inside. I planned on something like that over another layer of latex, either 1" or 2". The 2" latex I had was missing the nice soft, pillowy top layer.

Now I'm a little confused by the blends/varieties of latex as I read about dunlop and talalay, and while reading dunlop is more dense I found one place that has 18 ILD dunlop blended latex:

sleeponlatex.com/products/plush-latex-mattress-topper
www.mattresses.net/queen-talalay-latex-topper-sale.html


Below is a pic I found of an S&F mattress which inspired me to try a DIY quilt. It doesn't look too complicated, I just want to make sure I get materials that make sense. It looks like S&F uses a gel memory foam inside the quilt now that I look at it again (Primacool gel memory foam with primacool infused cashmere and silk quilt)

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Last edit: by If It Wasnt For the Foam. Reason: TMI :)

DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 09 Mar 2015 03:37 #4

Hi If It Wasnt For the Foam,

I should have been more clear in that I was just curious about making a tufted/quilted top layer and what kind of foam and fiber to put inside. I planned on something like that over another layer of latex, either 1" or 2". The 2" latex I had was missing the nice soft, pillowy top layer.


This would be much more complex and uncertain than I would personally be willing to try and even if you were able to quilt or tuft the materials together (which normally takes specialized machinery) you still wouldn't have any certainty of success because you don't know the specifics of the materials that Stearns & Foster is using that you are trying to duplicate (and it would be unlikely that you could find out) so it would be difficult to put everything together and then test it to see how close you came only to find out that it wasn't what you wanted and then have to undo all your work and change the materials and then quilt or tuft it again to test another version to see if it was close to what you wanted and then keep trying different trial and error combinations until you happened to find a combination that feels the way you want it to feel. If it was me the effort and complexity wouldn't justify the potential rewards and risk but if you do decide to give it a try then I would be interested in finding out how it turns out for you.

Now I'm a little confused by the blends/varieties of latex as I read about dunlop and talalay, and while reading dunlop is more dense I found one place that has 18 ILD dunlop blended latex:


There is more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here and there is also more about the differences between Dunlop latex and Talalay latex in post #7 here but the choice between Dunlop and Talalay is a preference choice and the most reliable way to know which one you would tend to prefer would be based on testing both materials in a range of firmness levels.
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Last edit: by phoenix.

DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 09 Mar 2015 09:53 #5

Phoenix, you have some good points there. I started poking around some more and found this 'duvet' style topper from mattresses.net:

www.mattresses.net/3-queen-latex-mattress-pad.html

I like that it has the 'quilted' pattern molded in and think it will give me some of the texture I am looking for. I will certainly report back once I've slept on it!

I talked to the shop owner who said it should be on the softer end of the spectrum - not as soft as the softest talalay topper he first suggested, but still a good option.

I also found this (for anyone else interested), which is exactly what I was thinking about not not able to pay for in addition to the latex topper so I thought I'd try making one. This has just fibers and no foam, but is the same concept:
sleeplikeabear.com/zippered-natural-bamboo-quilted-with-fiber-and-fr-barrier-mattress-topper-cover
also
www.baronstyles.com/40.html

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Last edit: by If It Wasnt For the Foam.

DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 09 Mar 2015 14:32 #6

Hi If It Wasnt For the Foam,

www.mattresses.net/3-queen-latex-mattress-pad.html

I like that it has the 'quilted' pattern molded in and think it will give me some of the texture I am looking for. I will certainly report back once I've slept on it!


If you like the feel of 100% natural Dunlop latex this is certainly a great quality value choice and they are a very reliable and knowledgeable supplier (and as you know are a member of the site).

I also found this (for anyone else interested), which is exactly what I was thinking about not not able to pay for in addition to the latex topper so I thought I'd try making one. This has just fibers and no foam, but is the same concept:
www.sleeplikeabear.com/zippered-natural-...attress-topper-cover
also
www.baronstyles.com/40.html


Sleeplikeabear is also a reliable supplier and this would make a good cover for your topper if you like the feel and performance of the materials and fabrics and the polyester fiber quilting.

I believe that Baronstyles is out of business (they were part of Gateway Mattress Factory that has closed) so you may want to call them to make sure.

Using a quilted topper cover and a latex topper inside it would be a much simpler approach than trying to make the type of topper you were thinking about in your previous comments. A bare latex topper will also last longer with a dedicated cover as well (see post #2 here ).

I'm looking forward to your comments and feedback when you've received them and have had the chance to try them on your mattress.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 15 Mar 2015 19:32 #7

So, I stayed with a friend this past week and slept on a horrible, firm mattress. I ended up using a 1.5" topper (1in poly, 0.5in memory) which helped a lot with pressure points, but hurt with alignment. It made me think think more about my order - I already have a plush tight top mattress and 2in of dunlop latex was enough before to rid the pressure point pain, so I started to think 3" might be too much foam on top of my soft bed.

I ended up changing my order to two 1" toppers of soft blended talalay (19 ILD ). My dunlop topper had worked for pressure point pain but I did wish it was a touch softer. I had tried an extra 1in of memory foam but my torso sunk in too much. I figure this way I can try 1in and 2in of the soft, airy talalay and always add another layer if necessary, and once I have a combination I like I can think about how to package it all.

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DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 15 Mar 2015 20:03 #8

Hi If It Wasnt For the Foam,

I figure this way I can try 1in and 2in of the soft, airy talalay and always add another layer if necessary, and once I have a combination I like I can think about how to package it all.


You would certainly have more options this way and since the only way to know whether any combination will work for you in "real life" will be your actual experience ... the more options you have the better :)

I'm looking forward to your feedback when you have the chance to try them.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 27 Mar 2015 23:12 #9

Well, I just got my foam and found both toppers have lengthwise seams. I thought only the King size toppers had seams and I guess I'm pretty disappointed. I was so excited for this and now I don't even want it and can't spend another $200-300 on more foam.
:(

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DIY topper, simulating store bought top layers? 28 Mar 2015 11:58 #10

Hi If It Wasnt For the Foam,

Talalay is made in either twin XL molds or queen molds but the queen molds are much less common and usually they are only available with a special order and with Talalay latex most sizes other than twin XL will have a seam (see post #2 here ).

The seam normally can't be detected when you sleep on it and for most people the seam wouldn't be an issue. Have you slept on the toppers?

Phoenix
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