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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 07:15 #1

Hi everyone,

I’ve decided to make a DIY all latex mattress, and have a few questions regarding firmness.

Basically, I’m looking for a “medium firm” feel, and this has me considering a 6” firm core (either from latexmattressfactory.com or mattresses.net) topped with a 3” medium foam topper (28 ILD). The top layer will either be from latex mattress factory, foamorder.com, or mattresstopper.com (Brooklyn Bedding).

NOW - my question is…instead of one, 3” medium topper, would I be better off buying one 2” medium topper, and one 2” soft topper? Or will that be treading in to plush territory? Also curious if anyone has opinions on any of the above manufacturers, or suggestions on who might make the best latex for the money.

Lastly - am I correct in thinking the cotton cover/zippered encasement will be enough? Or should I plan on getting a layer of cotton to put on top?

Thanks!

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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 09:42 #2

Hi MichaelJBrooker,

I’ve decided to make a DIY all latex mattress,


Congratulations on your new mattress building adventure! As an overall sort of guidance. 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).

my question is…instead of one, 3” medium topper, would I be better off buying one 2” medium topper, and one 2” soft topper?


Using multiple layers would have more options for fine tuning though both before and after a purchase because for example a comfort layer with a 2” soft over a 2”medium layer would generally be a little softer than a single 3” medium layer. You would also have the option to rearrange the layers to medium over the soft, or even have the option to replace one of the layers over time to customize the feel further. The main advantage of having more layers in other words is that for those who need it can provide more options to customize the layer combinations either before a purchase or by rearranging or exchanging layers after a purchase. While this is attractive to some people ... it can also add some complexity that may not be necessary or may not justify any extra costs involved in having more layers for others. It all depends upon your tolerance for experimentation.

Also curious if anyone has opinions on any of the above manufacturers, or suggestions on who might make the best latex for the money.


The companies you mentioned do not produce any latex, but are either distributors or finished product manufacturers. I would consider almost all latex you’re likely to encounter to be a good quality and durable material.

Latex Mattress Factory, Mattresses.net and mattresstopper.com are all members of this site which means that I think very highly of them and that I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, knowledge, and transparency. They are extremely knowledgeable about latex and different configurations, and I would not hesitate to recommend them for your consideration. For a configurable system, both Latex Mattress Factory and mattresses.net can be good sources for guidance in overall comfort and how different ILDs of various types of latex you might be considering will tend to interact with each other. When designing your own mattress, when you’re not attempting to replicate a specific configuration that you’ve liked and have been able to personally test, then the next piece of advice I offer to phone and obtain the guidance from an experienced mattress designer who has a history of building the type of product you’re attempting to create.

Lastly - am I correct in thinking the cotton cover/zippered encasement will be enough? Or should I plan on getting a layer of cotton to put on top?


The type of encasement you choose to use will also impact the overall comfort of the product, along with protecting your latex layers from mechanical stresses, UV and oxidation. Some people prefer very simple cotton encasements, some people more flexible stretch knits, while others prefer cotton quilted to wool for the unique comfort and protection that wool offers. It really does come down to a personal choice.

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 10:18 #3

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for the info! Edited this post 100 times as I've researched throughout the day : )

I did notice that the firm dunlop core from mattresses.net is 15% natural/85% synthetic, while the firm latexmattressfactory.com core is "100% natural" for about $100 more. Given the negligible price difference, would all natural be preferable?

Lastly - considering that I'm about 190 lbs, and sleep on my stomach, one of my main concerns is avoiding sleeping in a "swayback" position. Would 6" of 38 ILD with 3" of 28 ILD talalay topper be adequate? I'm also considering 3" of 38 ILD, 3" of 28 ILD, and then 3" or 28 ILD talalay, though I wonder if that would be too squishy for a stomach sleeper my size.

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Last edit: by MichaelJBrooker.

DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 18:53 #4

Hi MichaelJBrooker

I did notice that the firm dunlop core from mattresses.net is 15% natural/85% synthetic, while the firm latexmattressfactory.com core is "100% natural" for about $100 more. Given the negligible price difference, would all natural be preferable?


The preference of whether to purchase a blended or natural piece of latex would be more of your own personal preference. I would consider both a durable material. There is more about the differences between types and blends of latex in this post , should you be interested.

Lastly - considering that I'm about 190 lbs, and sleep on my stomach, one of my main concerns is avoiding sleeping in a "swayback" position. Would 6" of 38 ILD with 3" of 28 ILD talalay topper be adequate? I'm also considering 3" of 38 ILD, 3" of 28 ILD, and then 3" or 28 ILD talalay, though I wonder if that would be too squishy for a stomach sleeper my size.


The first choice using the 6” 38 ILD core would provide firmer “deep support” and allow for less of a potential “swayback”. Whether or not this would be comfortable for you can only be determined through your own personal testing, but such a “firmer” item is common for those sleeping prone (see this article ).

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 19:18 #5

Thanks again - invaluable info. Would you say the 6" 38 ILD /3"28 ILD topper combo is closer to a medium mattress, or a firm? I ask because I tried out a few all latex mattresses in a local store, and found that I slightly preferred the medium to medium firm models over strictly firm. Whether this would actually be *good* for my alignment is another story, I suppose.

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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 19:58 #6

Hi MichaelJBrooker,

There are no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "firm" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around.

The best way for you to compare would be to find out the layers within the mattress you chose, so I couldn’t compare what you’re contemplating building versus what you tested in person. But what you’re considering certainly generally wouldn’t be considered plush, and some might place it more in the "medium to firm" range of overall comfort.

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

DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 30 Oct 2017 21:09 #7

Thanks! I'll go with the 38 core, and 28 topper. I think this will be a great combo.

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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 31 Oct 2017 14:31 #8

Hi MichaelJBrooker,

Thanks for your update. I'll be interested in learning about your shopping experience and the results of your DIY combination once you've had a chance to get everything set up and use the mattress for a while.

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 31 Oct 2017 17:17 #9

Will do!

Last note before I pull the trigger here...earlier today, I was able to test a 3” medium topper on top of 6” of firm, and compared it to a mattress that had 2” of soft (22 ILD) on top of 6” of firm.

Surprisingly, they felt comparibly supportive, though the 2” top had the added benefit of being a little more plush. Could this be attributed to the soft layer being thinner? If so, could this possibly be a good option for a 190 lb stomach sleeper?

Thank you!

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DIY Latex Mattress - A few questions about firmness 31 Oct 2017 17:24 #10

Hi MichaelJBrooker,

The difference in plushness between the two configurations you're describing would most likely be the result of the lower ILD of the plush topper, more so than the thinness.

Phoenix
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