>

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
The first place to start your research is the Mattress Shopping Tutorial
Select the Search Forum tab below to gain access to answers to many mattress related questions.
Select the Ask An Expert tab below to reach out to any of our Expert Members for guidance and advice.

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC:

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 25 Nov 2020 09:37 #1

I'm new to the site after luckily stumbling across it while looking for solutions to my frustration with mattress shopping. I've spent the past week reading every topic and article applicable. First off, WOW what a wealth of knowledge! Thank you to all that contribute to this site! For once in my lifetime, I feel like I've finally started to gain some understanding and am no longer at the mercy of rolling the dice and hoping to pick a big name mattress that won't end up as an overpriced disaster!
Based on what I've read so far, I feel opting for a DIY mattress will not only be the best immediate solution but also the best for long-term gratification and comfort. For some background information, my girlfriend and I are both in our early 40s with no health or joint issues. I am 5'8, around 175lbs with a fairly muscular build and broad shoulders. I sleep primarily on my stomach or side but am considering trying to train myself to sleep more on side and back. I change positions often throughout the night and have a tendency to sleep hot. My gf is very petite at 4'11 and 105lbs. She is primarily a back and side sleeper.
While shopping for mattresses locally, we have concluded we prefer the feel of a hybrid. Neither of us care for the "stuck" feeling of an all foam mattress and like a small amount of spring we've noticed in the hybrids. We both like a more plush feel with a small hint of that sinking in foam feeling in the top layer, without the deep sinking stuck in the mud feeling. I however need adequate support if I continue to sleep on my stomach. I have recently started to wake up with temporary back pain if I sleep on a mattress with no support. In theory, I'm sold on the idea of latex, however I don't have any experience with latex beds and only have traditional innersprings or memory foam beds to compare.

Taking into consideration the information on this site, I am leaning towards the following:
QE Bolsa coils (since we both are side sleepers and the combizone may not align with my gf correctly due to her size)
2-3" Medium Talalay mid layer
2-3" Soft Talalay top layer (maybe ultra soft for my gf's side) (and maybe copper infused for cooling purposes)
Bamboo or Cotton quilted wool cover

I'm not sure if I should consider a medium dunlop mid layer for a more conforming feel and possibly more support or stay with the talalay? I'm also curious whether I should use 2" or 3" for my latex layers?I'm attempting to find a local retailer that carries latex mattresses so I can get a better feel for latex in general and hopefully talalay vs dunlop.
Does my design sound about right? Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 26 Nov 2020 16:26 #2

Hi GeauxTigers.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

Thank you for your kind words! It is worthwhile placing one’s energy in following the “road less traveled” that has integrity and truthfulness as its core values. I’ve seen the “demand” for such values growing slowly but surely. We spend a great deal of time educating consumers and providing the knowledge that will help them take out of the equation any guesswork and “dice rolling”. Unfortunately, too many consumers out there are vulnerable to advertising gimmicks, fake reviews, and more often than not an opaque and confusing mattress industry.

A DIY mattress can be both challenging and rewarding and it is best to be approached in a "spirit of adventure" where what you learn and the gratification that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen). You're right that this way you can be sure of long-term durability and get very close to the perfect comfort/support for your needs and preferences.

Thanks for sharing detailed sleeping specifications and your mattress testing experience! This is obviously all very useful when it comes to gathering any meaningful data points to help guide your DIY build.

We both like a more plush feel with a small hint of that sinking in foam feeling in the top layer, without the deep sinking stuck in the mud feeling.


Indeed, latex seems to “fit the bill” quite nicely for most of your needs and preferences. A showroom latex testing will definitely confirm if you and your GF like the latex feel and eliminate one of the “unknowns”. I suggest you try both Talalay and Dunlop Of the same ILD on the same base. Generally, Talalay is very point elastic and "bouncy" and it’s probably the best material for avoiding the "stuck" feeling that you would get with memory foam, and has the ability to conform to the shape of a body, as you put it “with a small hint of sinking in the foam”. Latex is unusual for its ability to be both soft and supportive at the same time.

I however need adequate support if I continue to sleep on my stomach. I have recently started to wake up with temporary back pain if I sleep on a mattress with no support.


Kudos for doing in-depth research on TMU to learn the basics. You are again “right on” as stomach sleepers should choose the thinnest firmest comfort layers that are comfortable as sinking in too far can lead to a swayback position and cause back issues. Stomach sleeping is the most prone of all sleeping positions to sinking down too far in the pelvic area.

However, this directly "contradicts" the needs of side-sleeping, which requires that comfort layers generally need to be a little softer and/or thicker … to allow for your large shoulders to sink-in sufficiently to avoid any pressure point pains, tingling, or numbness. You would need to find the golden mean in terms of finding the right layer thickness and ILD for your comfort/support needs

You can read more about the needs of the various sleeping positions here , assuming you haven't already encountered this in your research.

Taking into consideration the information on this site, I am leaning towards the following:
QE Bolsa coils (since we both are side sleepers and the combizone may not align with my gf correctly due to her size)
2-3" Medium Talalay mid layer
2-3" Soft Talalay top layer (maybe ultra soft for my gf's side) (and maybe copper infused for cooling purposes)
Bamboo or Cotton quilted wool cover


Great start for your DIY… I think it's smart to consider a potential side by side split since there is a bit of a differential in you and your partner's BMIs and she may require something a little softer than you. The good news is that this may not be necessary … with your GF's petite frame, low BMI, and back/side sleeping positions would also need some good primary deep support and less comfort thickness. 2” of soft Talalay on top of 1-2” mid-layer and firm deep support should be sufficient for her to get the best of both worlds.

I wouldn’t go out of your way to seek a copper-infused layer - latex is in and of itself the most breathable foam on the market, and great for those who seek a temperature neutral material. I’ve seen some infused latex starting to crumble after some time of use. The additives in “Infused” latex are relatively new offerings and it is unclear how it affects the quality or durability over a longer period of time.
As far as “cooling purposes” go, layers that are closer to the top sleeping surface will have the greatest impact upon comfort and sleeping temperature (including your mattress pad, sheets, and linen). There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here .

I'm not sure if I should consider a medium dunlop mid-layer for a more conforming feel and possibly more support or stay with the talalay? I'm also curious whether I should use 2" or 3" for my latex layers? I'm attempting to find a local retailer that carries latex mattresses so I can get a better feel for latex in general and hopefully talalay vs dunlop.


Talalay latex has a high support factor of about 3 but Dunlop is even higher in the range of 4 so a combination between them would offer a range of flexibility and qualities that other foams cannot duplicate (most other foams are less than 3). Dunlop mid-layer in the same ILD would be more supportive. While many people would not notice a difference in feel between having a mid-Talalay layer as opposed to a mid-Dunlop layer, only you can tell for sure. Given everything you shared thus far, you should not need more than 4” of latex on top of the coils.
Because of your prone sleeping position and your GF's petite 6” of foam may create some problems in terms of needed support which should be your primary concern. I’d start DIY building from the ground up. Generally, you can always add a softer topper if more softness is needed but you cannot fix a mattress that is too soft.

For your testing trip... It's possible you've already taken a look at these resources, but you may find our article on Dunlop v Talalay in the support layers useful, as well as the counterpart about Dunlop and Talalay in the comfort layers .

We have a number of DIY experts on the forum as well who you may wish to reach out to with questions.
Ken Hightower at Arizona Premium is a great resource with a dedicated forum here on TMU and
Memory Foam Comfort is also a great option if you need to pick someone's brain.
DIY Natural Bedding is a great resource too. While they are not yet an expert on TMU their level of expertise is exceptional. If you wish to reach them out through the forum let me know and we can drop them a line to come to your aid.

Of course, in-person testing will be pointing you in the best direction to go. Meanwhile, we're happy to help you here in any way we can.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 26 Nov 2020 17:46 #3

Hi GT,

I thought I would reply and offer my recent DIY mattress building experience, as our "stats" are very similar. Me: 5'7" 115 lbs, my wife: 5"8 175 lbs, both of us back and side sleepers. We are also in our 40s and have no underlying joint/pain conditions. After lots of reading and research on TMU, we recently built a DIY latex mattress and have been sleeping on it for about a month now.

Our mattress:
- 3 x 3" slabs of latex (all layers split)
- My side S/M/M, my wife's side S/M/F
- Top layer Talalay, middle and bottom layers Dunlop
- Encasement is double knit cotton (no wool or quilting)

I decided on the latex layer specs by combining what I'd read about what works for most people in our weight range with advice from SleepEZ, where we bought our latex.

We are both super happy with the feel / comfort of the mattress! My wife is especially enthusiastic about it, which was a surprise as I was definitely the one who was driving the whole DIY thing.

Now for a few un-scientific observations. We switched sides one night to see if we felt a difference, and we both agreed that we can't tell a big difference between the side with the medium and firm bottom layer (I may prefer her side a bit). We both slept well on the other's side. I also personally don't find a whole lot of difference between the feel of the Talalay and Dunlop - it's a bit hard to compare because they are also different ILDs, but I just don't find a night and day difference in the general feel of them. Some people mention a "seasick" feeling with Talalay, which I was kind of worried about as I am prone to motion sickness. Luckily, I have felt nothing of the sort.

Like you, I had also considered getting an extra soft top layer for my side since I'm low BMI and sleep on my side a lot. However, I've been perfectly fine with the current configuration with a soft Talalay layer on top.

I had also considered a hybrid rather than all latex, but ultimately decided to go with all latex. The most important factor was that neither of us is super strong and we wanted to be able to maneuver the mattress components without outside help. The thought of managing a California king sized coil seemed daunting. However, it's quite easy to get split latex layers that are manageable in both weight and volume/mass by one not-so-strong person.

On the cover front, we decided to go with a double knit cotton encasement rather than a quilted encasement because I had read that they lend a firmer feel to the mattress, and I wanted a cushier feel on the top layer of the mattress. The double knit is very stretchy and allows you to really feel the latex cushiness, which I thought we would like (and it turns out we do).

Even though there are a lot of similarities in our sleep stats, I want to emphasize it's entirely possible that we have vastly different perceptions of what's comfortable in a mattress. So I'm not trying to persuade you to make the same choices we did. I just thought it might be helpful to see what another couple similar to you ended up doing and to give you a bit of reassurance that it's totally doable! I was nervous about going DIY because of the many opportunities to screw it up, but in the end I'm glad we took the plunge. We're quite happy with the outcome.

My advice - favor a "tried and true" DIY material combination that has worked for many folks in the past and seek out advice from whatever company you decide to purchase your mattress components from. Last, think about what sort of insurance policies (I use that term figuratively) you can work into your build - things like expandable mattress encasements, purchasing minimal layers up front and adding on more as needed, and buying from places with excellent customer service are examples of what I mean. That way, if you don't get things perfect on your first attempt, you hopefully won't be out of an excessive amount of money.

All the best,
Emily

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 27 Nov 2020 16:13 #4

Phoenix and ebs, thank you both for the help and insightful replies! Based on your responses I may consider a few changes. I may start with the QE bolsa coils followed by a 2-3” medium Dunlop support layer then a 2” soft talaly comfort layer. My thoughts are this: By using coils instead of a foam it may potentially sleep cooler than a foam base although both should still sleep cool. By doing a Dunlop support layer, I can hopefully get a good balance between the supportive less “lively” feel of Dunlop and softer conforming feel of talalay. A few further questions I have:

By choosing Dunlop as my support layer, will I get a more balanced feel? I don’t want an overly bouncy feel. Our favorite bed feel so far was a dreamcloud premier. It had a soft quilted pillow top with an initial 1-2” plush feel followed by a small amount of “memory foam sink”, support feeling, then the slight bounce of the coils. Motion isolation was minimal which we also like, although I know latex will not have the motion isolation of memory foam. Based on inferior materials of the dreamcloud, I did not purchase it. I’d like to mimic the feel if possible though.

Also, by choosing coils instead of a latex core, how would it impact the amount of “bounce” the mattress will have. Should I expect a more or less overall bounce comparing the QE bolsa coils to a firm Dunlop core with the same topping layers of medium Dunlop and soft talalay?

Thank you for the help!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 27 Nov 2020 22:09 #5

After reading my reply, there were a couple of clarifications I need to make. When referring to a “Dunlop support layer,” I should have referred to it as an additional comfort layer since my coils would be serving as my support layer. Also, when I mentioned “motion isolation was minimal, which we like,” I meant to say motion transfer was minimal. We prefer good motion isolation.

Also, ebs where did you find the double knit cotton mattress cover if you don’t mind me asking?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 28 Nov 2020 06:41 #6

Hi GT,

You can find a few zippered stretch knit encasements I posted about previously here , including the one I have. If you use the search on the forum ("zippered mattress encasement" or similar search term), there are a handful of other posts that talk about this, too.

As a recap, here are the ones I am aware of:

1. DIY Natural Bedding Organic Knit Ticking: www.diynaturalbedding.com/product/knit-ticking-gots-organic-cotton/
2. An expandable version of (1): www.diynaturalbedding.com/product/expandable-knit-ticking/ (<-- This is the one I have)
3. Foam Order has several options here: www.foamorder.com/mattress/mattress-cover.html

I have found that the quality of the material and construction of the encasement from DIY Natural Bedding is top notch, but if you decide to go that route you'll need to plan for a couple of weeks lead time as they are made per order.

In addition, Sleep Like a Bear has a couple more options here and another here , but note they are not machine washable (if that matters to you). And Sleep on Latex has one here , but from the photo it looks like it may be a comparatively thinner material as you can see the latex holes through it.

Some factors to consider when evaluating stretch knit encasements, depending on what's important to you:
- Machine washable or not
- Is the zipper 360 (all 4 sides) or 3-sided? Does the top come completely off for separate washing?
- Is the zipper located at the top/bottom edge/corner or in the middle of the sides? (If zipper is 360, the zipper along the headboard side may be difficult to access if not located along the top edge)
- Thickness of fabric (sometimes expressed in grams)
- Fabric composition (cotton / polyester / bamboo)
- Organic or not

Your other questions are probably best answered by someone else on the forum with more knowledge. I can offer, however, that with our mattress construction having Talalay only on the top layer and Dunlop on the bottom 2 layers, I don't find the feel to be bouncy and consider the motion isolation to be quite good (we also have split layers, which may contribute to motion isolation).

Emily

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 28 Nov 2020 12:50 #7

Thanks again ebs! I will definitely take a look at the one you purchased. Did you choose this one based on comparing the feel between it and one of the quilted wool covers? Or did you choose it based on the theory of it having a more plush feel? I understand the benefits of the quilted wool for the cooling and wicking purposes but I do prefer a softer plusher feeling top if the knit cover is better for that

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 28 Nov 2020 14:08 #8

I have not done a side by side comparison - my choice was based on theory and hearsay (search the TMU forum for "drum" as in drum effect). It made sense to me that a more elastic / stretchy the material would not dilute the cushiness of the soft Talalay top layer. I can say from experience that even a fitted sheet can change the feel of a latex mattress, depending on the elasticity of the material it's made from.

There are certainly reported benefits to using wool in a mattress's construction, though, and I can see why many people opt to use it. DIY Natural Bedding has lots of useful info on wool here .

To gather more thoughts on this topic, there's a related helpful forum post here .

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 28 Nov 2020 14:31 #9

Thank you! Based on the information you linked, I believe a knit cover will be the best option for us as well!
Hopefully someone will be able to offer some insight on comparing the overall feel of Dunlop to Talalay in my transition layer as well as using coils vs Dunlop for my support layer.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Please help with my first DIY mattress design 28 Nov 2020 14:34 #10

Hi GeauxTigers.

It sounds like you've got a good plan moving forward and very good input from GeauxTigers. ;) Your good research is sure to pay off when all is said and done.

By choosing Dunlop as my support layer, will I get a more balanced feel? I don’t want an overly bouncy feel. Our favorite bed feel so far was a dreamcloud premier. It had a soft quilted pillow top with an initial 1-2” plush feel followed by a small amount of “memory foam sink”, support feeling, then the slight bounce of the coils.


It is probably the best of both worlds for what you are trying to achieve but It's hard to tell if you'll be able to notice the difference between Talalay - Dunlop vs Talalay – Talalay of equivalent ILDs. Yes, the Dunlop having a higher support factor will be more supportive, which will contribute to both comfort and with its “point elastic,” nature will be lending some secondary support for any recessed areas of your body that may otherwise collapse if using only a very soft comfort later on top of an excessively firm support layer.

Although nothing is as good as memory foam when it comes to motion isolation, latex, pocket coils, microcoils, buckling column gel, and even polyfoam are generally good as well but it will depend to some degree on the specific design of the mattress, if the mattress is split or not, on your relative weight ranges (it is good for motion isolation that you are both light wieght), and your sleeping style (such as how close you sleep together).

Based on inferior materials of the dreamcloud, I did not purchase it. I’d like to mimic the feel if possible though.


While this is a good pointer of what you like, I would avoid trying to design a mattress with the goal of re-creating or “mimicking” the feel of a particular mattress, and keep the focus on PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) the quality, durability, and type of materials you prefer and on how they feel and perform in your testing. Learning how all the mattress specs and designs work together can take years of experience and a great deal of knowledge and a steep learning curve to be successful.

Overall, you'll create a superior mattress in terms of comfort, support, and durability that will perform differently than Dreamcloud mattress which will become a distant memory.

by choosing coils instead of a latex core, how would it impact the amount of “bounce” the mattress will have. Should I expect a more or less overall bounce comparing the QE bolsa coils to a firm Dunlop core with the same topping layers of medium Dunlop and soft talalay?


:) Little that you know that you opened a can of worms. The short answer is they both are good at motion isolating but in different ways.

It depends on the type of movements of the sleeper and on the sensitivity to the movement of each sleeper. For example, comfort layers will have more of an effect on smaller or slower movements or can “dampen” the effect of the layers below …..while support layers will have more of an effect on larger, stronger, or faster movements. There are also different types of each material and different mattress constructions that can have more of an effect than the material itself. Trying to make comparisons for each material in isolation can be more misleading than helpful. All of these would be subject to the specifics of the overall mattress construction and the sensitivity and sleeping style of the people on the mattress which may have just as much of an effect as the material itself. there are pocketed spring models that do offer an extremely “dead” feel as the springs

Pocket springs work "independently" of each other and usually have more coils of a higher gauge (thinner) to conform better. While a quality pocket coil is fine for most people and often preferred for their feel and movement isolation ... (depending on the gauge and construction).
Most manufacturers would agree that latex is "good" with motion separation, especially the slower heavier types of movement such as turning over or bouncing or getting out of bed, and are an improvement over other materials (except memory foam) but again this depends on the type of movement or vibration and the specific construction of the mattress, the ticking and quilting materials, and the materials or components above and below the latex and even the bedding above the latex as well.

Looking forward to your continued progress and decisions.
@GeauxTigers thanks for your informative responses and contributions. Glad to know that you both are so happy with your DIY build. :)

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Phoenix.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Moderators: NikkiTMU
TheMattressUndergounf
TMU
TheMattressUndergounf