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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 01 Feb 2021 10:57 #1

First, fantastic forum. I've learned so much here. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

The failure point of every mattress for me over the last 10 years has been sagging support under the hips & low back, leading to my lumbar spine going out of alignment, possibly from an old low-back injury from a car accident 25 years ago. I also need a lot of cushioning for the rest of my body for comfort; I don't sleep well on a firm mattress.

Is there a reason not to put an extra layer of foam under my hips? I get that abrupt changes in height probably wouldn't be good for my spine, but maybe a foam piece tapered on both sides, to sort of create a soft hill to increase support under the hips? I've read about zoned mattresses, but am not at that point yet.

When my Leesa mattress got too soft after a couple of years, I flipped it over and put a 2-inch memory foam topper on it. That was really comfortable and supportive, though after a couple of months, it also got too soft at the hip. The Leesa support layer was 32 ILD, and the foam topper was 11 ILD.

I've started a DIY setup, trying to approximate that setup, but maybe a little firmer so it works for my low back long-term. My current setup:

2" 11-ILD memory foam (Sleep Innovations, a few years old)
1" 20-ILD latex foam (Sleep On Latex, new)
1" 30-ILD latex foam (Sleep On Latex, new)
4" 35-ILD HD foam (Foam Factory, new)
4" 50-ILD HD foam (Foam Factory, new, bought before I knew the Leesa mattress specs; I'm only using it because I have it and it adds height)

After a few weeks, I'm already finding that the side of the mattress that's more broken in feels a little too soft for my low back, while the side I haven't slept on as much is too firm. My low back seems to have a very narrow range of support that works well; as a mattress starts to sag at the hip, even a towel folded in half or quarters under the hips can make it feel better for a while. Just a couple of millimeters makes a difference.

I'd love any suggestions for my current setup to enhance comfort without compromising low-back support. I may have to replace the 2" memory foam topper with something a little firmer or thinner, but I'm not sure what to try. Basically, I'm modifying the mattress an inch at a time right now; I just replaced a 1-inch 20-ILD latex layer with a 1-inch 30-ILD latex layer when I sank through two 1-inch 20-ILD latex layers too much and hit that firmer 35-ILD support layer.

Also, are there materials that soften less as they break in? My strategy has been to start too firm, use soft mattress toppers, and then reduce the toppers as the mattress breaks in. But it's hard to estimate how much softer the layers will get.

My specs: 5'5", about 160 pounds, weight pretty evenly distributed. Mostly a back sleeper, sometimes a side sleeper.

Thanks.

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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 03 Feb 2021 14:10 #2

Hey M Shaw,

Welcome to the Mattress Underground :) ! Thanks for your question.

First, fantastic forum. I've learned so much here. Thanks for sharing your expertise.


Thanks so much for your kind words on the site, M Shaw; they are much appreciated! Glad to know that you're enjoying the tutorials and many years of Phoenix's dedicated research, as well as the guidance from TMU's experienced Trusted Members .

The failure point of every mattress for me over the last 10 years has been sagging support under the hips & low back, leading to my lumbar spine going out of alignment, possibly from an old low-back injury from a car accident 25 years ago. I also need a lot of cushioning for the rest of my body for comfort; I don't sleep well on a firm mattress.


I am sorry to learn of your chronic lumbar spine alignment problems, possibly from an earlier lower back injury involving a car accident. Those sorts of injuries can trigger pain and discomfort for many years following an accident event. Given your preference for back sleeping (mentioned in the last paragraph) and more cushioning on your mattress, I have several questions regarding the "failure point of sagging support under the hips and low back" area. What brands and types of mattresses have you been using before your current one mentioned below?

Is there a reason not to put an extra layer of foam under my hips? I get that abrupt changes in height probably wouldn't be good for my spine, but maybe a foam piece tapered on both sides, to sort of create a soft hill to increase support under the hips? I've read about zoned mattresses, but am not at that point yet.


That could be a risky type "band aid" for resolving the sag in your mattress, M Shaw. Before getting too much further with your other questions, my concern for you is that no matter how much we'd like to offer counsel, on online forum is not the best fit for giving mattress design advice to individuals with pre-existing chronic pain due to injury or other medical conditions. With that caveat in mind, we can look at a few of your Q's :) .

When my Leesa mattress got too soft after a couple of years, I flipped it over and put a 2-inch memory foam topper on it. That was really comfortable and supportive, though after a couple of months, it also got too soft at the hip. The Leesa support layer was 32 ILD, and the foam topper was 11 ILD.


The Original Leesa mattress is an all-foam design, using memory foam as one of its layering ingredients. As memory foam warms to a body's temperature and forms itself to a body's profile, it creates a pressure-relieving cradle, giving the feeling of "sleeping in" the mattress. As mainly a back sleeper , the "gaps" in your profile are not quite as deep as in side sleeping, so a slightly less shallow cradle is needed. If you choose a slightly thicker comfort layer which already forms a perfect cradle for your sleeping position and you don't change positions a lot during the night, then a firmer support layer underneath is important to stop any further sinking down of the heavier parts of your body. That your Leesa felt better for your preferences with its support side up and a 2 inch memory foam topper makes sense for a short term solution; however, it sounds like you're still not getting adequate support long-term.

I've started a DIY setup, trying to approximate that setup, but maybe a little firmer so it works for my low back long-term. My current setup:

2" 11-ILD memory foam (Sleep Innovations, a few years old)
1" 20-ILD latex foam (Sleep On Latex, new)
1" 30-ILD latex foam (Sleep On Latex, new)
4" 35-ILD HD foam (Foam Factory, new)
4" 50-ILD HD foam (Foam Factory, new, bought before I knew the Leesa mattress specs; I'm only using it because I have it and it adds height)


Thanks for your latex layering purchase from Sleep On Latex :) ! As experienced manufacturers of dunlop latex, I regard them highly in terms of deep product knowledge, product design expertise, and excellent customer support. Did they offer any guidance or suggestions for your DIY plans?

After a few weeks, I'm already finding that the side of the mattress that's more broken in feels a little too soft for my low back, while the side I haven't slept on as much is too firm. My low back seems to have a very narrow range of support that works well; as a mattress starts to sag at the hip, even a towel folded in half or quarters under the hips can make it feel better for a while. Just a couple of millimeters makes a difference.


With your particular injury-related chronic back pain, an all-foam mattress may not be the best way to go, M Shaw. What type foundation are you using for your DIY? Are you consulting your physician for alternatives such as considering an adjustable bed base? You may find the ability to raise and lower your upper body and legs in different degrees would offer some pressure relief, that is an alternative that you could discuss with a medical expert.

I'd love any suggestions for my current setup to enhance comfort without compromising low-back support. I may have to replace the 2" memory foam topper with something a little firmer or thinner, but I'm not sure what to try. Basically, I'm modifying the mattress an inch at a time right now; I just replaced a 1-inch 20-ILD latex layer with a 1-inch 30-ILD latex layer when I sank through two 1-inch 20-ILD latex layers too much and hit that firmer 35-ILD support layer.


You may find that going at your DIY with "an inch at a time" approach to be a less rewarding and more expensive proposition than you expected. Using 2" or 3" layers would be a better way to go, both from a functionality and durability standpoint. As primarily a back sleeper, you will need to focus on getting the support core right for your back's slightly flatter sleep profile, as well as comfort layers that offer just enough of the cushioning that you prefer without hitting the support core beneath. You may consider reaching out to our latex/ all latex trusted members too for their suggestions, here is a link to that directory.

Also, are there materials that soften less as they break in? My strategy has been to start too firm, use soft mattress toppers, and then reduce the toppers as the mattress breaks in. But it's hard to estimate how much softer the layers will get.


You may consider Talalay latex as a comfort layer choice. It checks off several of your boxes, including a softer material providing high resiliency, superior pressure point relief, and high durability over its useful life. These qualities do come with an increased price tag, however. Also, if you prefer the feel of memory foam's "sinking into" a mattress, you would find Talalay latex to be quite the opposite as it's comfort feel is described as a more "uplifting" and "sleeping on" the mattress. It is hard to estimate how much softer the layers will "feel" to you over time and use, as only you can "feel" what you feel on a mattress, as we're fond of reminding everyone who drops by.

My specs: 5'5", about 160 pounds, weight pretty evenly distributed. Mostly a back sleeper, sometimes a side sleeper.


Thanks too for providing a bit of your personal stats with your question; those are always useful as we tick through the points of helping consumers understand which materials and constructions are better suited for their individual preferences. One final recommendation: when you can, you may want to review Phoenix's article "The Basic Functions of a Mattress" , it’s a helpful discussion about understanding how a mattress delivers comfort and support to the user. Again, I'd like to stress that the TMU does not offer medical advice or suggestions for those with chronic pain injuries/ medical conditions. You may consider consulting the Mayo Clinic online or other related resources better suited in understanding sleep needs for ones suffering from those conditions. Looking forward to hearing more of your next steps and good luck ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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 foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 04 Feb 2021 17:11 #3

Thanks for your reply, Sensei. I may have been unclear about my lumbar spine situation. I don't have chronic pain, just a narrow range of what's comfortable for my lumbar spine in terms of more or less mattress support. Too much support is uncomfortable when I'm lying down; too little support can cause pain throughout the day. But when I have the right mattress support, my back is comfortable at night and I don't have back pain during the day.

I absolutely understand that you don't give medical advice here. I've talked to physical therapists and chiropractors about mattresses, and they all basically say to find something that works for me because everyone is different. Kind of like what you say here. :)

Hey M Shaw,
What brands and types of mattresses have you been using before your current one mentioned below?


Mattresses I've tried over the last 10 years:
  • Several Sealy Posturepedics, because they had worked well before. But they got too soft too fast under the lumbar area; none worked for more than a year.
  • A 2010 Tempur-pedic, which was okay with a topper. I still have it but it's not the right balance of comfort and support for me.
  • A Leesa mattress, which lasted about 2 years. I used a topper at first, then removed the topper after it broke in enough. Then it started sagging at the hip area, and I flipped it over and used a topper again. That was really comfortable for a couple of months, but also started sagging too much at the hip.
  • A Tempur-Cloud (immediately too soft) and a firm Tempur Pro-Adapt (okay at first with a topper, but just not comfortable over time).

Thanks for your latex layering purchase from Sleep On Latex :) ! As experienced manufacturers of dunlop latex, I regard them highly in terms of deep product knowledge, product design expertise, and excellent customer support. Did they offer any guidance or suggestions for your DIY plans?


It was TMU's listing of Sleep On Latex as a trusted member that led me to buying the two 1-inch toppers.

I haven't asked them for help directly yet, but I'll try calling and laying out what I'm working on.

With your particular injury-related chronic back pain, an all-foam mattress may not be the best way to go, M Shaw. What type foundation are you using for your DIY? Are you consulting your physician for alternatives such as considering an adjustable bed base? You may find the ability to raise and lower your upper body and legs in different degrees would offer some pressure relief, that is an alternative that you could discuss with a medical expert.


Funny, I just got an adjustable base a few months ago. It does help alleviate pressure when I'm on my back, but I sometimes need to lie on my side, and I have the same lumbar issues there.

You may find that going at your DIY with "an inch at a time" approach to be a less rewarding and more expensive proposition than you expected. Using 2" or 3" layers would be a better way to go, both from a functionality and durability standpoint.


Ah, good to know. I figured that I could try a 1-inch layer to also simulate a 2-inch layer by folding it in half. Are two 1-inch layers not the same as one 2-inch layer in terms of firmness?

You may consider Talalay latex as a comfort layer choice. It checks off several of your boxes, including a softer material providing high resiliency, superior pressure point relief, and high durability over its useful life. These qualities do come with an increased price tag, however.

Also, if you prefer the feel of memory foam's "sinking into" a mattress, you would find Talalay latex to be quite the opposite as it's comfort feel is described as a more "uplifting" and "sleeping on" the mattress. It is hard to estimate how much softer the layers will "feel" to you over time and use, as only you can "feel" what you feel on a mattress, as we're fond of reminding everyone who drops by.


Thanks, I'll look into Talalay. Before the pandemic, I tried some latex mattresses at a local store, and they seemed fairly comfortable. I do like the feel of memory foam, but if I can sleep comfortably and get good back support, I don't care about the materials.

A couple more questions:
  1. Is there some reason I shouldn't combine memory foam, latex, and HD foam?
  2. I've been thinking maybe I should try firmer comfort layers, like maybe ILD 15-20 instead of ILD 11, and slightly softer support layers or transitional layers, so I sink through less, and what I hit when I sink through has more give. Does that sound like a reasonable strategy?

Thanks again for all your thoughts and advice. Much appreciated.

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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 06 Feb 2021 10:48 #4

Basically, I think I need to either keep the 35-ILD support layer and add in a transitional layer, or replace the support layer with something softer. I'm just not sure which makes sense to try first, and where to find a good transitional layer or softer support layer. Any thoughts on whether it makes more sense to add a transitional layer or replace the support layer? I'm inclined to try transitional first.

I like Sleep On Latex, but they seem to have 20-ILD or 30-ILD layers, and I want something in between. Any suggestions of another store? I don't really care if it's more latex or something else.

I'm a little unsure about an all-latex mattress because of both the weight and the cost. But I'm fine with adding in more individual latex layers.

Thanks again.

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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 07 Feb 2021 14:31 #5

Hey M Shaw,

Thanks for your reply and updates :) .

Thanks for your reply, Sensei. I may have been unclear about my lumbar spine situation. I don't have chronic pain, just a narrow range of what's comfortable for my lumbar spine in terms of more or less mattress support. Too much support is uncomfortable when I'm lying down; too little support can cause pain throughout the day. But when I have the right mattress support, my back is comfortable at night and I don't have back pain during the day.


Thanks for clarifying your lumbar spine situation in terms of chronic pain, M Shaw. My apologies for any added emphasis on the subject, as its out of an abundance of caution for your well-being and health that we stress the absence of any medical credentials in our suggestions to consumers :) . It's good to know that your back is comfortable at night and pain-free during the day with use of the right mattress support.

Mattresses I've tried over the last 10 years:
• Several Sealy Posturepedics, because they had worked well before. But they got too soft too fast under the lumbar area; none worked for more than a year.
• A 2010 Tempur-pedic, which was okay with a topper. I still have it but it's not the right balance of comfort and support for me.
• A Leesa mattress, which lasted about 2 years. I used a topper at first, then removed the topper after it broke in enough. Then it started sagging at the hip area, and I flipped it over and used a topper again. That was really comfortable for a couple of months, but also started sagging too much at the hip.
• A Tempur-Cloud (immediately too soft) and a firm Tempur Pro-Adapt (okay at first with a topper, but just not comfortable over time).


You have experienced quite a variety of mattresses in the last 10 years! No doubt that it's been a frustrating 10 years of trying a variety of mattresses to all eventually fail in providing correct support in one way or another. What did you think of Phoenix's "Basic Functions of a Mattress" article? Did you find any insights for learning more about the comfort and support roles materials and layering play as applied to your research?

It was TMU's listing of Sleep On Latex as a trusted member that led me to buying the two 1-inch toppers. I haven't asked them for help directly yet, but I'll try calling and laying out what I'm working on.


Great! I'll be looking forward to what their suggestions for your DIY may be. Also regarding more trusted members who may offer guidance, here is some advice from a recent Phoenix post #2 that you may find useful.

"Here are some skilled experts that can offer personalized guidance on how to do this whether you buy from them or not:

Ken at Arizona Premium Mattress is very skilled at helping consumers with their DIY
Shawn and Rodger at Latex Mattress Factory
And of course, Sleep EZ can help with building a DIY as well.
You can also "build a mattress" on Flexus Comfort , with the option to buy the base recommended for the mattress.

Regardless of which mattress you choose, it's important that you have a detailed conversation with the knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer who, and provide them with good information about your body types, sleeping styles, general preferences and history, some general information about mattresses you have tested and done well with, and any other specific information or circumstances that could affect your choice of a mattress."


Ah, good to know. I figured that I could try a 1-inch layer to also simulate a 2-inch layer by folding it in half.


I didn't ask before, but what size is your DIY? For example, if you're working with a queen size layer/ 60" wide, folding that in half allows for a 30" wide space of trial real estate plus the bulk of the fold, not fairly representing the feel a single 2" uniform latex layer would provide.

Are two 1-inch layers not the same as one 2-inch layer in terms of firmness?


I'm not a latex expert but more of a latex enthusiast and defer to any of the above experts to discuss what subtilties may be involved between the differences in the same firmness of varying thicknesses in latex.

A couple more questions:
1. Is there some reason I shouldn't combine memory foam, latex, and HD foam?


None at all from a construction standpoint. Keep an eye to the quality of the foams you use, especially where HD/ HR foam are used as a support core, an HD foam weighing +1.8 lbs. per cu. ft. is more durable and will keep its support firmness longer .

Basically, I think I need to either keep the 35-ILD support layer and add in a transitional layer, or replace the support layer with something softer. I'm just not sure which makes sense to try first, and where to find a good transitional layer or softer support layer. Any thoughts on whether it makes more sense to add a transitional layer or replace the support layer? I'm inclined to try transitional first.


As you already have the 35 ILD HD foam support layer, you could try tweaking things a bit with a transitional layer. Have you tried using the 2" 11 ILD memory foam as a transition layer above the two 4" HD support layers? That may provide an interesting comfort/ support combination.

I like Sleep On Latex, but they seem to have 20-ILD or 30-ILD layers, and I want something in between. Any suggestions of another store? I don't really care if it's more latex or something else.


Please review the above trusted members, all have deep latex knowledge and DIY experience.

I'm a little unsure about an all-latex mattress because of both the weight and the cost. But I'm fine with adding in more individual latex layers.


Understood, M Shaw. An all-latex mattress can be a pricey proposition. Our trusted member latex/ all-latex manufacturers and retailers offer affordable solutions and can help you design a quality latex (or other configuration) mattress at a reasonable cost. Looking forward to your progress updates and good luck with your DIY ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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.

DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 07 Feb 2021 15:23 #6

First, fantastic forum. I've learned so much here. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

The failure point of every mattress for me over the last 10 years has been sagging support under the hips & low back, leading to my lumbar spine going out of alignment, possibly from an old low-back injury from a car accident 25 years ago. I also need a lot of cushioning for the rest of my body for comfort; I don't sleep well on a firm mattress.

Is there a reason not to put an extra layer of foam under my hips? I get that abrupt changes in height probably wouldn't be good for my spine, but maybe a foam piece tapered on both sides, to sort of create a soft hill to increase support under the hips? I've read about zoned mattresses, but am not at that point yet.

When my Leesa mattress got too soft after a couple of years, I flipped it over and put a 2-inch memory foam topper on it. That was really comfortable and supportive, though after a couple of months, it also got too soft at the hip. The Leesa support layer was 32 ILD, and the foam topper was 11 ILD.

I've started a DIY setup, trying to approximate that setup, but maybe a little firmer so it works for my low back long-term. My current setup:

2" 11-ILD memory foam (Sleep Innovations, a few years old)
1" 20-ILD latex foam (Sleep On Latex, new)
1" 30-ILD latex foam (Sleep On Latex, new)
4" 35-ILD HD foam (Foam Factory, new)
4" 50-ILD HD foam (Foam Factory, new, bought before I knew the Leesa mattress specs; I'm only using it because I have it and it adds height)

After a few weeks, I'm already finding that the side of the mattress that's more broken in feels a little too soft for my low back, while the side I haven't slept on as much is too firm. My low back seems to have a very narrow range of support that works well; as a mattress starts to sag at the hip, even a towel folded in half or quarters under the hips can make it feel better for a while. Just a couple of millimeters makes a difference.

I'd love any suggestions for my current setup to enhance comfort without compromising low-back support. I may have to replace the 2" memory foam topper with something a little firmer or thinner, but I'm not sure what to try. Basically, I'm modifying the mattress an inch at a time right now; I just replaced a 1-inch 20-ILD latex layer with a 1-inch 30-ILD latex layer when I sank through two 1-inch 20-ILD latex layers too much and hit that firmer 35-ILD support layer.

Also, are there materials that soften less as they break in? My strategy has been to start too firm, use soft mattress toppers, and then reduce the toppers as the mattress breaks in. But it's hard to estimate how much softer the layers will get.

My specs: 5'5", about 160 pounds, weight pretty evenly distributed. Mostly a back sleeper, sometimes a side sleeper.

Thanks.


Sensei had some great advice but I figured I would add a few comments as well since I have done quite a bit of experimenting with latex foam configuration myself. The first thing I notice is that your bed's current design only has dunlop and polyfoam (with a very light layer of memory foam on top). Your BMI is around 27 so you will need some good support layers to make sure your weight is fully supported to maintain good alignment. At the very least you should have a 2" layer of talalay near the top to help the mattress contour for your body shape. I also don't suggest adding layers 1" at a time because in my experience the thinner layers tend to tear easily (not as bad if they are down in the support layers) and they don't tend to support as well as a single thicker sheet (thicker sheet resists shear forces better). If I were creating an all latex talalay bed for you I would probably go with 2" ILD19 / 3" ILD32 / 3" ILD36 to start and then adjust as needed. You can try substituting talalay for dunlop (which is cheaper) on the lower layers but as you go up in weight the mattress will feel firmer and less contouring (that need depends on your shape, BMI, weight and sleeping position). I don't have alot of experience with mixing polyfoam into the design (you may not be getting the support you need from it) so you may need to do some trial and error to really dial it in for what you need. You can always check by putting a piece of 3/8" plywood in between the layers to make sure another layer below isn't causing an issue.

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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 08 Feb 2021 11:13 #7

Thanks very much for your thoughts and suggestions, Sensei and Mattrebuild.

Hey M Shaw,

What did you think of Phoenix's "Basic Functions of a Mattress" article? Did you find any insights for learning more about the comfort and support roles materials and layering play as applied to your research?


Yes, it was extremely helpful. I'm now thinking latex or pocket coils for the support layer, and I'm thinking in layers of 2-3 inches instead of 1 inch.

Do you know much about the relative weights of, say, 6 inches of latex vs. 6 inches of coils? I'd like to be able to rotate my mattress.

Also, you mentioned earlier that you weren't sure an all-foam mattress would work for me. Did you mean coils might be a better solution? And do you have any thoughts as to uniform coils vs. zoned coils? Does using coils on an adjustable bed foundation shorten their lifespan or compromise their lumbar support?

And thank you for the list of trusted members; that's already helping me with some online research.

I didn't ask before, but what size is your DIY?


Queen. I get that folding a 1-inch layer isn't identical to trying a 2- or 3-inch layer, but it's been useful in approximating the feel (especially during the pandemic), and has taught me things. Like I now know I don't want an all-latex mattress; it's too bouncy.

Have you tried using the 2" 11 ILD memory foam as a transition layer above the two 4" HD support layers? That may provide an interesting comfort/ support combination.


I had not. Now I'm trying more configurations. Thanks for the suggestion! I learned that a lower layer of memory foam does a good job of dampening the bounciness of latex layers. Very useful.

If I were creating an all latex talalay bed for you I would probably go with 2" ILD19 / 3" ILD32 / 3" ILD36 to start and then adjust as needed. You can try substituting talalay for dunlop (which is cheaper) on the lower layers but as you go up in weight the mattress will feel firmer and less contouring (that need depends on your shape, BMI, weight and sleeping position).


Excellent, thanks. I can see how softer talalay comfort layers would work better; the 20-ILD dunlop isn't contouring enough for me. I appreciate the specific build suggestion; it gives me a good starting point.

Have you experimented with pocket coils at all? I might prefer an innerspring feel to a bouncy latex support layer.

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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 10 Feb 2021 08:42 #8

Hey M Shaw,

Thanks for your reply and updates :) .

Also, you mentioned earlier that you weren't sure an all-foam mattress would work for me. Did you mean coils might be a better solution? And do you have any thoughts as to uniform coils vs. zoned coils? Does using coils on an adjustable bed foundation shorten their lifespan or compromise their lumbar support?


The concern here before was based on my belief of your having an injury-related chronic back pain situation and a preference for back sleeping combined. These two conditions would not necessarily pair well with your earlier DIY suggested build from post #1 where HD foam is used as a support core. But your "narrow range of what's comfortable for my lumbar spine" has since been clarified, so we have moved away from a medical issue to addressing your narrow range of what's works well for you in terms of "too much support is uncomfortable when I'm lying down; too little support can cause pain throughout the day. "

I'm now thinking latex or pocket coils for the support layer, and I'm thinking in layers of 2-3 inches instead of 1 inch.


I see from post #1 that expert trusted member Arizona Premium Mattress 's Ken Hightower is working with you on this topic. Ken is deeply experienced in both latex and DIY categories, and understands well how to best match consumers with optimal comfort and support choices. I'm following your conversations and looking forward to see what ideas Ken has for you.

Shout out to @Mattrebuild for sharing his DIY knowledge base: thanks for the fellow consumer angle and support :) ! Looking forward to your updates M Shaw and what your next steps will be…

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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 foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 27 May 2021 13:57 #9

Update: I've spent a few months trying many combinations of my various mattress layers, and still haven't gotten the alignment dialed in for my lower back and shoulders.

I believe I need a softer support layer; I've tried 35-ILD polyfoam and 32-36-ILD springs, and both seem to be firm enough that I have to pile enough softer layers on top to cause some back trouble. My current build:

2" 12-ILD polyfoam
2" 11-ILD memory foam
2" 15-19-ILD latex
1" 20-ILD latex
3" 28-ILD latex
6" 32-36-ILD pocket coil springs

I know that a 6-7" comfort layer is not ideal, but a thinner comfort layer gives me alignment problems with the springs.

I want to try a 6" 32-ILD HD or HR polyfoam support layer; the Leesa mattress I tried that worked for a few months had that support layer, so it seems like a good bet. I might even go a little softer, like 30-ILD or 31-ILD.

I know not all DIY foam mattress manufacturers have great reputations. Can you recommend some manufacturers I can talk to?

Many thanks.

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DIY foam mattress: extra back/hip support? 28 May 2021 17:35 #10

Whoops, mislabeled the 30-ILD layer as a 20-ILD layer. The current build is:

2" 12-ILD polyfoam
2" 11-ILD memory foam
2" 15-19-ILD latex
<i>1" 30-ILD latex</i>
3" 28-ILD latex
6" 32-36-ILD pocket coil springs

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