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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 18 Nov 2017 15:08 #1

Hello, and thanks for the great forum here. I have read hundreds of posts in the past 4 days or so, and have learned a lot.

This is my first post, but I will get right to it, and appreciate any responses. I am going to be building my first latex mattress in the next couple of months and was wondering if someone could give me some feedback on the latex sources and building technique I have decided to use. My body type is ectomorph, so small bone structure, lightly muscled 140 pounds at 5'11". I measured my arm pit to outside shoulder and it comes out to 3 inches almost exactly. My waist (31 inch) and hips are practically straight down, maybe an inch or 2 max, but I am more concerned about having enough shoulder sinkage personally because this has been a problem with all other beds I have owned(which is what spurred my interest in diy). A few things of noteworthy mention might be; I have slept on firm(surface feel and support) beds and don't like the floating above the mattress feeling whatsoever, or the abrupt transition to support. I like to be enveloped in a puffy softness for the first 2 inches at least, with gradually increasing soft support under that. The problem I have had with all other mattress to this point is that the support layer has been too firm and comfort cradle too thin(apparently), as I have had arm numbness in the past few years, as well as sore hips. I have tried about 6 or 7 memory foam mattresses and finally gave up due to massive heat retention, a big downfall for me. The spring mattresses I have tried thus far, at least for me, feel much too firm(both support, and surface feel). I suppose I am under the weight of the targeted general audience for most beds and am under BMI for my height. One of my aims with this project is too avoid a mattress topper of the memory foam variety for reason previously mentioned. I did try one diy mattress build before this one, a couple years back, 3 inches memory foam over a 35 ILD core of 4 inch 1.8 pound density poly. The problem I had with this setup was, I would quickly "melt through the 3 inch topper I had, abruptly meeting the extremely firm( to me) 35 ILD core. I think I needed some medium in there between the soft and firm transition but instead bought another memory foam pad, equaling 5 inches of memory foam, to soften my hip and shoulder area. While this is working temporarily to some degree it has created problems in other areas; for one, the heat buildup from memory foam, and two; hammocking to some degree. The most memory foam I can appreciate in a mattress is 2 inches on top, but will attempt building a mattress without any, and see if I can create the very plush surface feel I enjoy, while still having the gradual support, not abrupt.

So here are my thoughts:
Since I still have the 4 inch core of 35 ILD 1.8lb poly foam and know how it feels(very supportive albeit firm), I'll be using this 4 inches as the base of the mattress due to a 350 dollar budget. On top of that I was thinking 2 inches (listed as 1.8 inches)of medium 24-28 ild Dunlop from Foamorder.com as the transition layer, followed by 2.8 inches of their soft Dunlop listed at 11-18 ILD. I did get a sample of this softest Dunlop and it does feel quite soft( at least in hand, like it would make the plushness I desire on top, although I have no way of telling which ild it would be between the 11-18 nor how it would feel in an entire layer, not just how it feels in my hand. I will say though, it seems nice and soft.

I suppose my questions are: Does anyone have thoughts on ordering those layers from foamorder.com as opposed to the quality of another source I've found, sleeponlatex.com ? The price is about equivalent for both, around 260 dollars for both layers I was interested. My other question is; would this layering system provide the plushness I'm looking for on the surface while at the same time adding some progressive support and comfort in the 1.9 inches underneath? For some frame of reference here, when laying on the 4 inch core of 1.8lb poly I'm going to use, I barely sink in with my hip or shoulder. So while some people might consider only 4 inches of 35 ILD poly for support inadequate, for my size and weight it seems more than enough. Anyway, if anyone has a rough idea of how this may feel for someone of my size and weight, as well as mattress feel preferences, I would appreciate it. I really do not want to have to send latex back, but at the same time am somewhat desperate here, as the online and store mattresses just aren't comfortable to me, and I would enjoy the DIY aspect if it can workout. I do realize feel is subjectively experienced relative to user, but would appreciate any feedback about this build.

Additional thought: I initially thought about an all HR poly build in the comfort layers, but due to mislabeling of manufactures (discussed here) on what HR actually is, decided against it.

Thanks!
-Gardenguy

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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 18 Nov 2017 15:50 #2

Correction: layers from both sources would be around $320-350. And the foamorder.com latex is 2.9 and 1.9 inches, (not 2.8 and 1.8inches).

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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 18 Nov 2017 18:52 #3

Hi gardenguy,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

Hello, and thanks for the great forum here. I have read hundreds of posts in the past 4 days or so, and have learned a lot.


I’m glad that the information here has been useful to you.

Regarding beginning a new DIY project, 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).

I understand the issue you’re having with the 5” of memory foam on top of your polyfoam core. The latex combination you’re considering certainly would provide more surface support, but still should provide good contouring while you sleep upon your side, and hopefully sleep "cooler" for you. There’s no reason that what you’re considering wouldn’t work for you and what you describe, but as you’re aware this is all quite subjective with a DIY mattress and there can be considerable trial and error, and unfortunately I can’t predict how this might feel for you.

Even though they aren't a member of the site, I would consider Foamorder to be a reliable supplier. Sleep on Latex, a site member here (which means I think highly of them) would also be a good source of latex componentry and I wouldn’t hesitate to contact them directly via phone for their advice on how their Dunlop latex might work with your particular situation, as I do trust in their product knowledge.

I’m hoping that whatever configuration you eventually decide to choose that it will work well for you. If you have more specific questions, I’ll do my best to answer them as best I can.

Phoenix
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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 18 Nov 2017 19:19 #4

Thank you Phoenix! I think I will contact sleeponlatex and ask them about my preferences, and build idea to get their opinions on how it might feel. Thanks again for the guidance and suggestions.

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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 19 Nov 2017 15:48 #5

Hi gardenguy,

That sounds like a good plan and I'll be interested in learning about your discussion/decisions.

Phoenix
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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 20 Nov 2017 09:24 #6

Hi Phoenix,

Just a bit of an update here. After contacting Sleep On Latex it was suggested omitting the medium firmness entirely and just going with 5 inches of 20 ILD, since their medium 30 ILD would be so close to the ILD of my base foam that it would not add to the comfort factor. I suppose I was under the assumption, and maybe this is from looking at so many online mattress constructions, that a transition layer with an ild between the base and top layer would make the feel less abrupt. However, I suppose with latex being a completely different "animal" than poly foams, this isn't necessarily the case always. Do you think a transition layer is less needed in latex Phoenix, or would you say that may be more beneficial in an all poly or memory foam bed? I know you had said the feel of a mattress is subjective and bound to each user. I do have two separate questions for you if it is possible for you to objectively clue me in:
1. Would using a 3 inch -15 ild layer in the top and a 2 inch-20 ild layer below that(both in dunlop) make much of a difference in feel? If not I thought of just ordering from Sleeponlatex, and not foamorder. Foamorder however carries the 11-18ild super soft.

2. If I truly want a pillowy type feel on top (similar to 10 ild soft memory foam) should I be looking for Talalay instead of Dunlop to begin with? Or should I be looking for low ILD hr poly foams. * I had mentioned I wanted to steer clear of memory foam.

Thanks for any suggestions!

-gardenguy

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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 20 Nov 2017 09:29 #7

Additional mention: Foamorder is the only place I have seen latex (dunlop) in the mid teen(11-18) ilds. Sleeponlatex carries it only down to 20 ild. Suppose it's an average low of 15 for foamorder(?)

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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 20 Nov 2017 16:35 #8

Hi gardenguy,

After contacting Sleep On Latex it was suggested omitting the medium firmness entirely and just going with 5 inches of 20 ILD, since their medium 30 ILD would be so close to the ILD of my base foam that it would not add to the comfort factor


That could make very good sense - they have an excellent point.

I suppose I was under the assumption, and maybe this is from looking at so many online mattress constructions, that a transition layer with an ild between the base and top layer would make the feel less abrupt. However, I suppose with latex being a completely different "animal" than poly foams, this isn't necessarily the case always. Do you think a transition layer is less needed in latex Phoenix, or would you say that may be more beneficial in an all poly or memory foam bed?


There’s much more information about how all of the layers of a mattress work together in this post . I wouldn’t get too “caught up” in the labelling of certain layers of the need to have a certain number of layers within a mattress. Latex has the ability to firm up as you sink into it more deeply, as this is discussed in more detail in this post , and because of this higher compression modulus, especially with Dunlop latex, you can start out with an initial soft feel (softer layer above “bending into” this layer gradually) and then as more weight is applied the comfort can firm up and become more supportive/firmer, so in some cases a single piece of latex can act similarly to two layers of progressive ILDs laminated together. Without getting too far down the rabbit hole, I speak to this a bit in both the progressive and differential construction articles.

Would using a 3 inch -15 ild layer in the top and a 2 inch-20 ild layer below that(both in dunlop) make much of a difference in feel?


I’m not sure what you’re comparing this to. If you mean would the 5” 15/20 ILD combination feel different from the 5” 20 ILD? If that is the case, most people would be able to notice this difference and would say that the 15/20 combination would feel softer.

If I truly want a pillowy type feel on top (similar to 10 ild soft memory foam) should I be looking for Talalay instead of Dunlop to begin with? Or should I be looking for low ILD hr poly foams. *


In the very soft feels, Talalay at the 14/15 ILD range is usually the most popular. You can also look for convoluted latex layers which will be quite plush. There are some sources for latex componentry here .

I don’t have a listing of what latex distributor carries which particular softness currently (and I don’t have time to comb through that right now -sorry), but the softest you’ll tend to find in Dunlop would be in the 55 kg/M3 range. 65 kg/M3 is more common.

There are some newer generations of high performance polyfoams that are higher in density but can be made quite plush. Those would generally be the only ultra soft types of polyfoams I would consider.

Phoenix
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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 20 Nov 2017 19:12 #9

Thanks Phoenix! I appreciate the links to that bit of reading and will further my education there. Looks like I have some mulling over to do and a few options to consider. I will keep you posted as far as to what I decide to do.

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DIY latex mattress help ( budget ) 21 Nov 2017 09:55 #10

Hi gardenguy,

Sounds good. I'll be interested in learning what you decide to do.

Phoenix
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