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Simmons Beautyrest Mattress Rebuild
The problem I ran into is that as a big guy (I'm 6'2 and 250 lbs) and my wife a foot shorter and half my weight, we have dramatically different mattress preferences. The problem boils down to density of each person (not overall weight or height). Think of it like 2 identical size bowling balls but the weights are very different. The heavier ball will obviously sink further into the mattress than the lighter one or said another way, the lighter bowling ball will find the same mattress firmer than the heavier one. We bought a Simmons Beautyrest Gavin Eurotop mattress around 8 months ago after our prior Kingsdown mattress (from Sears) we used for 8 years started giving me lower back problems. The new Simmons mattress wore out very fast and caused such hip pain I had trouble sitting or even rolling out of bed. So instead of just buying a new mattress I decided to modify the one we had just bought so that it actually works as intended for the long haul.
Here's the mattress we got (king was around $2100 + tax) :
One of the keys I found in the past was to make sure to stick to (core) innerspring mattresses since they tend to be more durable for larger folks like me. We originally started out with a firm version of the Beautyrest Gavin mattress but even after using (2) 3" layers of soft dunlop latex on top I was still not able to both get support as well as relieve the pressure points on the hip and shoulder (it was either or but never achieved both). It was obvious that something was too stiff on that mattress (I'm a back and side sleeper). On the Simmons Beautyrest higher end models evidently they do change the coil spring gauge between models. Sleep Country gives you a 100 day trial so after nearly 90 days we exchanged it for the Luxury Firm (middle softness) as the Plush (softest) was clearly not providing the support I needed even after trying it for just 30 minutes in the store. So we have been sleeping on the Luxury Firm (Eurotop) version with a 3" soft (20 ILD) dunlop latex topper and it has been fairly decent until recently it began to break down and create depressions after being just a few months old. You could see depressions forming but often I would roll from side to back to side again many times during the night. One night I was especially tired and slept entirely on my side only to wake up almost paralyzed from pain of being bent sideways all night at the hip joint (clearly a support problem). I tried to use pillows to help separate my legs or prop up my hips the second night but nothing worked and the pain was getting worse. I barely slept a wink and once morning came the engineer in me said enough is enough and I was determined to fix this properly once and for all. The scariest part is that as bad as the mattress was it was nowhere near being able to qualify for warranty since the bed needs to have 1.5" of depression before it is considered no good and that's only if they don't find a technicality (wrong bed support / box spring, staining on bed, etc) to get out of the warranty too.
Having already rebuilt my box springs to be solid (glued 2x4 and 1/2" plywood, recovered in the box spring fabric) I knew the box spring was flat and definitely not causing my body alignment issue. First thing I did was to start pulling apart the seams so I could see how the mattress was constructed and hopefully see what needed to be corrected for our situation. This video below is a great help in seeing how they manufacture them as well as disassembly. If you watch at the 7:50 mark you'll see how just cutting a few stitches and pulling on the thread at the seam causes it to come apart like a zipper.
On first impression I was pretty stunned they charge $2100 for this sort of construction, I expected to see alot more memory foam technology in there. Second, what I found was that the mattress was built in 2 main parts; the base and the Euro/Pillow top. The firm mattresses only have a base and are often matched with a stiffer coil innerspring system. Once it was opened up it was very obvious that the Eurotop on my mattress had failed. When you pinch this 2" layer of foam (felt like very light poly foam, there definitely wasn't any memory to it at all) between your fingers it provides almost no resistance to compression (unlike my latex topper). Most the the foam/fabric inside are either glued or stapled together so when separating things make sure to get your hand into the joint and use your fingers to help separate the parts. If you just pull the foam it will rip apart leaving big chunks you'll have to clean up later. The staples are splayed at the ends but can be pulled out and discarded. You can use a contact adhesive to stick any foam/fabric you need back together during assembly or sew zippers on both size to make servicing easier later.
Mattress top seam
Foam from Eurotop
New 3" Dunlop (20 ILD) latex topper installed
Separation between base layer and Eurotop
Base layer with covers removed
Pocket coil innersprings inside base layer
Once I checked the level of the base layer foam it looked straight (no depressions and good resistance to pressure) as did the pocket coils under it. So all I did was to remove the Eurotop foam and replace it with the king size 3" dunlop (20 ILD) latex foam (mine came from Sleep on Latex but I'm sure there's many sources of quality latex foam). Once I did that within 2 days my hip was perfect again and I slept so soundly it was like I was staying at a hotel. The bed is now very supportive yet provides just enough cushion to remove any pressure points (just like a hotel bed does). I was a bit worried about it being too hard for my wife but she was also very happy with the change and said it slept much better than before. The best part about it was that it really wasn't a very hard job at all to do and the good night's sleep you get is worth every penny. Later if something still bothers you or your spouse the mattress is fully tuneable so you can unzip it and tailor the feel exactly to each of your preferences (different firmness side/side or even create zones).
I'm currently working on sewing on #5 YKK zipper tape to close the seams on the mattress cover and make it all look like factory while still allowing me to tune the mattress in the future as needed. I'll post pics of that once I complete that step as well. I have the zipper tape and HD Singer Sewing Machine on order now (call me crazy but I like a good challenge). Overall super happy with how it all came out so far and really hope this helps someone else do the same.
Welcome to the TMU forum !
We bought a Simmons Beautyrest Gavin Eurotop mattress around 8 months ago after our prior Kingsdown mattress (from Sears) we used for 8 years started giving me lower back problems. The new Simmons mattress wore out very fast and caused such hip pain I had trouble sitting or even rolling out of bed. So instead of just buying a new mattress I decided to modify the one we had just bought so that it actually works as intended for the long haul.
Thanks for sharing the excellent instructions, pics and process from your DIY mattress rebuild project, you definitely put a great deal of research and thought into the redesign.
Once I checked the level of the base layer foam it looked straight (no depressions and good resistance to pressure) as did the pocket coils under it. So all I did was to remove the Eurotop foam and replace it with the king size 3" dunlop (20 ILD) latex foam (mine came from Sleep on Latex but I'm sure there's many sources of quality latex foam). Once I did that within 2 days my hip was perfect again and I slept so soundly it was like I was staying at a hotel. The bed is now very supportive yet provides just enough cushion to remove any pressure points (just like a hotel bed does).
Thanks too for your support of TMU trusted member Sleep On Latex . All of our manufacturer/ retail members have the knowledge and experience to help their customers make informed buying decisions and are among the best choices in the industry.
For future reference, I'm renaming your post to "DIY, latex- Simmons Beautyrest Mattress Rebuild" and moving it to the General Mattresses Questions forum so others searching the DIY topics will find your research more easily…
Foam on Base
Latex 1/4" sheet
Once I had it all apart I had to experiment with how to reattach the foam until I could get the supplies I needed to fix the issue. I found the 3M makes a great contact adhesive for foam which works extremely well. It's called 3M Foam Fast 74 Spray Adhesive (make sure to get the low VOC clear version unless you don't mind fumes or bright orange foam). It's quite expensive stuff and not very forgiving (be very careful, it sticks very aggressively) but you can join just about any foam (latex, poly, memory foam) with ease and it will be super strong and you can't feel the seam afterwards. Once dry it has foam tearing strength so only use it where you want a permanent foam bond.
3M Foam Fast 74 low VOC
So now I have to look at whether the base foam/springs may be the issue as well on this bed and if so should I try another innerspring replacement from somewhere like APMC such as the QE Bolsa or go right to building a latex core (easy to make a very expensive mistake here) in order to ensure good support on the base layer?
Phoenix, Ken and others, I'm certainly open to ideas on what might work best. I just ask to keep in mind I'm a 6'2 250 lbs back/side sleeper and my wife is only 5'2 and 125 lbs but side/back sleeper as well, so the mattress will likely need a significantly different design for each side (ie built as separate twin XLs). I think fixing this Simmons design at this point is a bit like trying to put lipstick on a pig so I'm open to trying more radical fixes in order to get this done right. I also have both a 3" soft (20ILD) dunlop topper as well as a 2" medium (28 ILD) talalay topper I can use to experiment with as well but happy to buy whatever I need to get this tuned perfectly for both of us.
I see many selling very thick core layers 4-6" but considering they are expensive and hard to return would I be better off just building up using say 1" or 2" dunlop layers of different ILD rates to get the support I feel works best then add the top layer that relieves pressure the best or is there a reason for using a solid thick base layer?
Thanks for the check in and update !
So I spoke with Ken from APM for a while about what might work best and I really appreciate his experience and advice on how best to approach my situation. I explained that the issue I was having is that it feels like the support core is the issue (lower back and hip pain with the current setup). He suggested that since I was used to innerspring mattresses already that using the Combi-Zone Pocket Coil would be a great choice along with a 3" dunlop or talalay topper tailored to each person's needs (since my wife and I are very different sizes).
Appreciate the positive feedback on @KenHightower's support, his deep experience in this category and commitment to helping consumers make the best possible choices underscores the value Arizona Premium Mattress adds to our Expert Trusted Member program.
So I've put my order in with Ken for a new innerspring core and I'll report back on how it feels and any additional tweaks I might have to make.
Looking forward to hearing your updates, Mattrebuild.
I finally got the pocket coil foundation delivered and went about assembling my mattress that same day. I got rid of all the mattress innards (only keeping the mattress bottom and top covers). I have attached some pics of what the old mattress looks like inside and as you can see there are some serious quality issues with the spring and foam pieces. The stiffer twisted coil springs are only used on the very last rows on the front and back of the bed (in case you spin the mattress). The rest of the coils look to be very plain technology and even the temper on the springs caused them to be easily bent out of shape. The foam was very low quality (low density) and you can see what marks just a years worth of use caused. The foam on the sides was more dense but only in areas of the bed where you'd be sitting on the side, not under any of the sleeping surfaces. Don't bother recycling the mattress yourself, it takes bloody forever to cut out all the coils and separate all the components.
The first night on the new setup was fantastic compared to the old arrangement. The alignment was vastly improved and for the first time in almost a year I had no hip or lower back pain at all (just a bit stiff in that area, presumably because it was healing). After a few days on it both my wife and I were still having issues with pressure (ie bed felt stiff, which made arms/shoulders sore). So I then took out an old 2" soft (20 ILD) talalay latex tapper I had originally bought about 5 years ago when I started this journey. After putting that on the pressure was much better but now my hips/lower back were hurting again. I thought there had to be a solution to this somehow. Then I realized that maybe because I didn't have a zipper on the cover yet, that the cover might actually provide the stiffness I needed (ie the cover was an integral part of the mattress, turns out I was right). So I finally set about adding a zipper to the cover using YKK zipper tape.......it's ALOT harder than you'd think because the top is very bulky in a sewing machine. I suggest buying one pre-made but if you insist on DIY like I did you'll need a heavy duty sewing machine like a Singer 4411, around 30ft of #5 heavy duty zipper tape and some heavy duty V46 polyester thread to stitch it all together (don't forget to bring your mad sewing skills too). Finally it was all done but then I thought I would have another issue. At first I thought the cover wasn't going to be deep enough (topper stuck around an inch above the edge of the cover but actually it worked perfectly. That little bit of pre-compression made the mattress just a bit stiffer and once I went to sleep on it I knew we had a winner. I felt like I was in a hotel bed now and the bed lies flat as can be with no humps at all. It's firm yet still soft and comfortable no matter whether you're back sleeping or side sleeping. So we are now very happy campers and wake up rested and relaxed each morning as it should be. Hopefully this helps others to solve their own mattress problems because what those big manufacturers are doing is borderline criminal but thank god for folks like Ken and others on TMU helping to get people the restful sleep everyone deserves.
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