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DIY Latex help 28 Feb 2017 13:11 #1

Hey Guys,

I was posting on another forum about mattress help and one user suggested a DIY latex. I looked more into it, and decided that's the way I'd like to go. I did hours of research, on this forum as well as others and watched a lot of videos and searched a lot of stores, and finally made my decision to order everything.

I'm a 6'1, 300 pounds competitive powerlifter. I previously used a stearns foster inner spring, that I now hate (needs to be flipped every week or it kills my back and shoulders). I tried a cheap memory foam mattress I had in my guest room, and it felt a lot better on my back and shoulders, but it was too soft and I'd bottom it out.

After hours of research I ordered the following (from recommended vendors list on this forum) and built my own mattress.
Starting from the bottom up:

Hard Dunlop (58-64ILD)
Extra firm Dunlop (44 ILD)
Firm Talalay (36 ILD)
Puralux Slow recovery latex (28 ILD)

This is all sitting on a bed with wood slats holding up the mattress.

I used a stretch cotton cover from Sleep EZ to hold it all, topped with a cotton mattress protector and percale sheets.

I slept on it for the first time last night, and woke up with my back and shoulders killing me. I think I may have gone too firm. Any suggestions on how to adjust my setup? Should I go for softer bottom layer, or softer layer on second to top?

I'd like to get more of the slow response properties out of the top layer.

I understand this is part of the DIY mattress process, local latex mattresses were $5k+ and wouldn't give any details on their mattress, while I got my setup for ~$2k total so I'm fine with the trial and error.

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Last edit: by gandis.

DIY Latex help 28 Feb 2017 13:53 #2

I was thinking of adjusting to the following:

Extra firm Dunlop (44 ILD)
Extra firm Dunlop (44 ILD)
Medium Talalay (28 ILD)
Puralux Slow recovery latex (28 ILD)

Any feedback is appreciated.

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DIY Latex help 28 Feb 2017 15:28 #3

Hi gandis,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

After hours of research I ordered the following (from recommended vendors list on this forum) and built my own mattress.
Starting from the bottom up:
Hard Dunlop (58-64ILD)
Extra firm Dunlop (44 ILD)
Firm Talalay (36 ILD)
Puralux Slow recovery latex (28 ILD)

I slept on it for the first time last night, and woke up with my back and shoulders killing me. I think I may have gone too firm. Any suggestions on how to adjust my setup? Should I go for softer bottom layer, or softer layer on second to top?

While I can speak of “how” to choose quality componentry, there’s simply too many personal preferences, unknowns, and variables for me or anyone else to be able to pick out a mattress or componentry layers that would be suitable for you, as the first rule in mattress shopping (and DIY building) is that no one else can “feel” what you feel, and you certainly will have very specific needs because of your activity in terms of comfort, firmness and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences). Unfortunately, there isn’t an algorithm or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

With that being said, you certainly have chosen high quality and durable componentry. Post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) has some good information about the DIY process, just in case you haven’t read it yet.

As you’ve only slept upon our mattress as configured for one night, I would tell you to try and sleep on this configuration for at least a week to allow for your body to begin adapting to a new surface and lose some of its “learned alignment” from your old mattress. This will give you a better amount of data to draw upon should you still desire to make a change. Many people on the forum in similar situations have ben amazed at the difference they feel in a product after just a week, as their body adjusts to a new sleep surface.

I'd like to get more of the slow response properties out of the top layer.
Extra firm Dunlop (44 ILD)
Extra firm Dunlop (44 ILD)
Medium Talalay (28 ILD)
Puralux Slow recovery latex (28 ILD)

The compression of each layer (mainly controlled by thickness, firmness, compression modulus, hysteresis, and position along with a few other specs) are what creates the pressure relieving cradle of a mattress in the top layers which re-distributes weight and pressure on the bony prominences and pressure points of the body while the resistance to further compression of the deeper layers is what "stops" the heavier parts of the body from sinking down too far and putting the spine and joints out of their natural alignment. The balance between the opposing needs of pressure relief and spinal alignment is the main factor behind all mattress design and theory and why different mattresses match the body types and sleeping positions and preferences of different people ... or don't. There is more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful.

The most noticeable difference in comfort will come from changes made to the uppermost layers of a mattress, so in your proposed new configuration (assuming all layers are 3’ thick) the change of the second layer to the 28 ILD Talalay will be more noticeable than the change made to the bottom layer (replacing the 56-64 ILD Dunlop with the 44 ILD Dunlop).

The softer Talalay in layer #2 will allow the upper layer to “bend into” the second layer a bit more, but I don’t know that it will provide any more of a “slow recovery feel”. The change to the deeper layer will impact your deep support more and be felt a little less in your upper comfort, but it should still be noticeable. When making changes in a DIY mattress, it’s often advisable to change one variable at a time, so in your situation you may wish to start with changing the upper layer #2 first, and then perhaps the base layer after that, as you “seem” to be complaining mostly of surface comfort issues. Of course, this is my “theory at a distance” as I’ve described earlier in this reply, and your own personal testing and note taking will be the best indicator of guidance as you go through this process.

I know how important recovery and restoration are for you chosen sport, so hopefully you’ll be able to find a configuration soon that works well for you and hopefully also your body begins to adjust to your new sleep surface and to having better alignment.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

DIY Latex help 01 Mar 2017 10:07 #4

Thank you for the welcome and the detailed response Phoenix!

I've read most of the posts you've mentioned, but will definitely go through them again to see what I can learn.

I understand what you're saying in that everyone is different and it would be difficult to make a suggestion on the internet. I slept on the mattress again last night and woke up with the same issues. Not sure if I'd like to give it more time or not at this point.

I'm assuming that the mattress is too firm, as I've been sleeping on a cheap memory foam mattress, which I bottom out, with no issues. I may try moving up the firmer 36 ILD layer, but I really don't think the mattress being too soft is the culprit (someone else I was talking to suggested this).

I will give it one or two more nights, but I think I will order a softer talalay second layer (28 ILD).

So we would be at : 58,44,28,24 ILD respectively.
If still too firm, I may try: 58,36,28,24 ILD.

I may even try a memory foam top layer, but we'll see.

I see what you mean by the bottom layers providing the deep support, as such I would rather keep them firmer to provide deep support and help with alignment.

Assuming I will be more comfortable on softer layers that the standard firmness suggested for people my size and weight, are there any drawbacks from going softer or "too soft"? From my research the main issue would be that it would shorten the life of the mattress or the softer layers, which I understand and am fine with.


Sorry if I babbled on too much, just like to get my thoughts out sometimes to help me know where I'm going.
Thanks again for your help, you and this forum have been a great resource and help!

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Last edit: by gandis.

DIY Latex help 01 Mar 2017 13:25 #5

Hi gandis,

Thank you for the welcome and the detailed response Phoenix!

You’re very welcome!

I understand what you're saying in that everyone is different and it would be difficult to make a suggestion on the internet. I slept on the mattress again last night and woke up with the same issues. Not sure if I'd like to give it more time or not at this point.

There can come a time where you just know you made an incorrect choice, and it appears you may be at that point already.

I'm assuming that the mattress is too firm, as I've been sleeping on a cheap memory foam mattress, which I bottom out, with no issues. I may try moving up the firmer 36 ILD layer, but I really don't think the mattress being too soft is the culprit (someone else I was talking to suggested this).

Sleeping on a more basic memory foam mattress that you’ve “bottomed out” could point to your body have a bit of a “learned” poor alignment that will need to adjust a bit as time goes on with a new product, but I would expect that this would come quite quickly for you, as your core strength should be quite developed form the various styles of deadlifts and squats that you perform in your training. I would doubt that your mattress is too soft on top, but you could of course test that (as you mentioned) by swapping around the upper two layers of your product. Nothing can replace you own personal testing and analysis of a product, and that should be your number one priority for guidance.

So we would be at : 58,44,28,24 ILD respectively.
If still too firm, I may try: 58,36,28,24 ILD.
I may even try a memory foam top layer, but we'll see.

As you like the feel of memory foam, you could consider placing a memory foam topper (if you have one) on top of your current configuration and see if that points you in better direction. Your progression of proposed changes certainly make sense and are logical. If each successive version feels better, you may even wish to try as a third option 44, 36, 28, 24. Keep detailed notes of your reaction to each version. Even a 44/36 combination would be a firm and durable base combination for most individuals of your mass, but again I would always defer to your own results at home.

Assuming I will be more comfortable on softer layers that the standard firmness suggested for people my size and weight, are there any drawbacks from going softer or "too soft"? From my research the main issue would be that it would shorten the life of the mattress or the softer layers, which I understand and am fine with.

While the upper layers of any mattress are placed under the most mechanical stress, the larger concern would be if you went “too soft” on top that it would allow you to sink in too deeply with a loss of surface support and also cause too abrupt of a transition to the deeper support layers, both of which would be uncomfortable and possibly cause alignment issues. In order for you to achieve full recovery and restoration at night, you need to maintain as natural an alignment as possible and keep your postural muscular micro-contractions to a minimum. Sleep, specifically good restorative sleep, is one of the most powerful recovery tools you’ll have in your training arsenal.

Sorry if I babbled on too much, just like to get my thoughts out sometimes to help me know where I'm going.
Thanks again for your help, you and this forum have been a great resource and help!

I find “talking out loud” to be very useful and it helps clarify things, and also provides you something to which you can refer.

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.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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DIY Latex help 01 Mar 2017 18:01 #6

There can come a time where you just know you made an incorrect choice, and it appears you may be at that point already.


I think you may be right here.

Sleeping on a more basic memory foam mattress that you’ve “bottomed out” could point to your body have a bit of a “learned” poor alignment that will need to adjust a bit as time goes on with a new product, but I would expect that this would come quite quickly for you, as your core strength should be quite developed form the various styles of deadlifts and squats that you perform in your training. I would doubt that your mattress is too soft on top, but you could of course test that (as you mentioned) by swapping around the upper two layers of your product. Nothing can replace you own personal testing and analysis of a product, and that should be your number one priority for guidance.


I see what you mean here. The thing is the first time I slept on the mattress was Monday night, and the weekend right before I had spent 2 nights at a beach house, first night I slept on a 10+ year old innerspring mattress that felt like it was going to pop on me bc it was so old and worn out, second night I slept on a couch that was also older and soft. Both times I woke up very stiff, but nowhere near the pain/stiffness as I've felt the past two mornings. So it really leads me to believe I would be more comfortable with a softer mattress.

If each successive version feels better, you may even wish to try as a third option 44, 36, 28, 24. Keep detailed notes of your reaction to each version. Even a 44/36 combination would be a firm and durable base combination for most individuals of your mass, but again I would always defer to your own results at home.


I ordered a softer 28 ILD talalay, so I will have 58,44,36,28 and 24 ILD, so I will be able to try all sorts of configurations, including the 44/36 base which I think would be the best for me with a 28/24 top. But I will gradually go softer until I find the sweet spot.
If those don't work, then I think I would try memory foam for the top layer.


Thanks again for your help, and you're absolutely correct on proper sleep being the best recovery tool for my sport!

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Last edit: by gandis.

DIY Latex help 02 Mar 2017 09:58 #7

Reply to gandis,

I'll look forward to your results after you've had some time to do your "testing" with the different configurations.

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.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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DIY Latex help 03 Mar 2017 19:32 #8

Thanks, I'll be sure to post an update when I'm done.

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