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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 26 Apr 2021 17:59 #1

Background: I'm a 5'5" 130lb male who used to be a stomach sleeper until I hurt my back 3 years ago. After that I switched to side sleeping on a 30 year old extra firm mattress. I'm having shoulder pain and I toss and turn all night. I'm also a hot sleeper. I'm wanting DIY a 100% all natural organic latex mattress.

I figured the best way to get started was just to jump right in a buy a 3" layer of latex. I ended up with a Sleep on Latex 3" 34ILD medium Dunlop layer. Not sure if 34ILD is technically med. firm or firm. It arrived yesterday and I slept on it last night which helped some with my tossing and turning. Only time will tell if it will help my shoulder pain.

They recommend a configuration with 3" 46ILD Firm Dunlop, 3" 34ILD medium Dunlop and 20ILD soft Dunlop layers. That seems to be a generic setup that most people can live with but it may not be right for everyone. Another place recommended a 6" 28ILD Talalay core with 3" 19ild Talalay. While that sounds nice a 6" core would be a pricey mistake if I don't like it and it would be heavy and difficult to move. Here are some of the configurations that may be right for me. Any and all comments and suggestions from forum members and vendor are very welcome.

Sleep on latex 3" 46ILD Firm Dunlop -or- 34ILD firm Dunlop + 3" 34ILD medium Dunlop + 20ILD soft Dunlop (if this doesn't relieve pressure I could add a 1'-3" soft Talalay layer from another vendor)

Sleep on latex 3" 46ILD firm Dunlop -or- 34ILD firm Dunlop + 3" 34ILD medium Dunlop + 3" 19ILD -or- 14ILD soft Talalay from another vendor.

Sleep on latex 3" 34ILD medium Dunlop + 3" 28ILD medium Talalay + 3" 20ILD soft Talalay.

Is a top Talalay comfort layer really worth $150 to $170 more than a soft Dunlop layer? I would like to hear from someone who has tried both in the same ILD/s. Would durability be a big factor? Is it more durable over the years and from handling?

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 27 Apr 2021 06:53 #2

Hello TossandTurn,

I have helped a lot of people over the years put together latex mattress configurations and I have a few notes to share on the choosing process.

1. Your weight suggests that the combinations you create, no matter what they are, will feel more firm to you, than they will to someone 200+ lbs. That means that if 46 ILD is included in an average build, it is going to feel extra firm to you. Honestly 46 ILD is super firm and by itself is considered a floor bed.

2. You mentioned you didn't want extra firm, but what do you want? Moderately firm? If so, a 6" combination could work for you. Something like 28 ILD over 31 or 34 ILD. If you want a soft build, you will probably need the full 9" to add in enough support (firmer layers) and comfort (softer layers). And if you want a softer build, stay away from that 46 ILD and double up on either the 20 or preferably (for durability's and longevity's sake) the 34 ILD.

Talalay processed latex is a slightly different feel and is less durable than Dunlop processed latex. More air does equal smaller air bubbles, which does affect feel but also less product to receive use from.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 27 Apr 2021 12:38 #3

Hello diynb,

Thanks for your reply. I really like your expandable ticking. What a great idea!

1. If I were to lay a 3" 46ILD Dunlop layer on concrete and laid on my side how much if at all would it contour to my body? If I were to add my medium 3" 34ILD Dunlop layer on top of the 46ILD layer would the med layer "curve" into the 46ILD layer? I'll be buying or building a frame with 3" or less between the slats. Would a 3" firm/med layer combo "insulate" better from feeling the slats than a 3" med./med. layer combo? I mention it because in this sticky they said it took 4x 3" med layers until they couldn't feel the slats but the slats were about 3 3/4" apart. The person also didn't mention their BMI or size. I wonder if a layer of firm would have saved them from needing so many layers.

2. Since I'm a side sleeper I don't want to feel any pressure on my shoulders and hips while keeping my spine aligned to prevent lower back pain. I'm also hoping that I don't sink in too far (like memory foam) and get hot. I don't think that will be an issue with latex though. With only 2 nights on my 3" 34ILD Dunlop sitting on my old firm mattress I can literally feel the latex pushing up against my ribs. It more of a supportive cradling feeling and not painful. I do definitely need something with more give for my shoulders.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 28 Apr 2021 06:32 #4

Hello Toss and Turn,

1. "If I were to add my medium 3" 34ILD Dunlop layer on top of the 46ILD layer would the med layer "curve" into the 46ILD layer?"

One 46 ILD layer would still let you feel the slats. It would be very supportive and bouncy rather than squishy but it still is so thin that you would feel the slats. Adding a medium layer on top would definitely make a difference. Yes, you would sink through it and curve into the firm layer. Two layers would be the minimum most adults choose. A medium over a firm would feel a bit firm, not soft.

2. "It more of a supportive cradling feeling and not painful. I do definitely need something with more give for my shoulders. "

Latex is excellent at that cradling effect or point elasticity (flexing only under pressure). I remember that being one of the first things I noticed lying on it, that the small of my back was actually supported.

If the medium doesn't give you enough give, then don't expect a medium over a firm to provide that. Perhaps your next purchase should be a soft with the intent of layering it over the medium to see how it feels. Then you can decide if it is too squishy or just right, you just need more depth so you don't sink through (add another medium) or if all you feel is squish and you need some lifting up and support (add the firm).

Keep in mind that latex will contour to your current mattress, so if you have sags in your current mattress, that will be transferred in feel to the latex.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 28 Apr 2021 09:11 #5

Thanks again for your help diynaturalbedding. I was also tossing around the idea of picking up a soft next. Glad to here it's not a silly idea since a article I read said you should start from the bottom up when building your own mattress.

Something else I should try is removing the mattress and sleeping at least one night of the medium layer on the box springs. I think my mattress is distorting the latex firmness and making it feel softer than it really is. I think I'm going to do that right now and report back tomorrow..

Also thank you for your help on the 46ILD feel. I do intend to go with at least 3 layers or more if necessary. I was always going to go with a med. and soft combined with another lower layer. I just wasn't sure what ILD the lower layer should be and what type of latex or ILD (20 or 14) to go with on the top layer. I'm 90% sure I'm going to go with the 3" 20ILD Dunlop top layer though.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 28 Apr 2021 10:20 #6

Scratch laying the latex on my box springs. The springs are too rough and I don't have a wall long enough to lean my mattress against.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 05 May 2021 09:40 #7

I've been thinking about going with something like a DIY Plushbeds Botanical Bliss but with only 3 layers to start with. Their 10" model has 3x 3" med. med-soft and a soft layers. The 12" model has 3x 3" med-firm, med. med-soft and a additional 2" soft layer. I currently have a 34ILD med/med-firm Dunlop in my possession and a soft 20ILD Dunlop on backorder. I've found a small handful of sites that are both affordable and that have something in between 34ILD and 20IL with only one being GOLS certified.

diymattress.com/product/dunlop-topper/ (100% Natural Latex Arpico 28-32ild med $229 -or- 20-25ild soft $200)
latexmattressfactory.com/products/latex-mattress-topper?variant=17415900353 (100% Natural Latex 28ILD $229)
naturallynestled.com/product/nestled-organic-latex-mattress-topper/ (GOLS 26ILD $270)
naturallynestled.com/product/nestled-natural-latex-mattress-topper/ (100% natural latex 26ILD. $232)

1. Is it a good idea to go with a progressive firmness mattress? (130lb. side sleeper).

2. Would I notice a difference between a 34ILD and 26-28ILD? Would I notice the difference between 26-28ILD and 20ILD? Since Dunlop doesn't come at an exact ILD but rather a range of ILDs would trying to get something between 34ILD and 20ILD be a silly idea? In other words if my 34 was actually a 33 and my 20 was actually a 21 would trying to add something that may end up within or two to four points of what I already have be a crazy idea since we really don't know the exact ILDs? See diymattress ILD range he stated above. I could end up buying something close to what I already have. If that is the case wouldn't going with a 34ILD + 34ILD +20ILD setup make more sense?

3. Do you know anyone else that offers quality 100% natural or GOLS certified Dunlop toppers in the 26iLD to 28ILD range that's less than $300?

4. Only one of the vendors above is a trusted member. Do you know anything about the other's reputation?

5. When it comes to the actual topper by itself GOLS and 100% natural are both 100% safe and basically the same correct?

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 14 May 2021 12:04 #8

I got my platform bed setup and the 20ILD soft topper arrived. For the last two nights I slept on the new platform bed, my old mattress (no box springs) and the 34ILD topper and 20ILD toppers. I did well the first night but the 2nd I couldn't get comfortable with shoulder pain.

i don't think I'm getting the full experience of the latex when they're sitting on the old mattress. The slats are 2.8" apart and I think they are 2" wide. Should I remove the mattress and use the 3" 34ILD and 3" 20ILD directly on the platform? Normally I would just try it myself but it's only me wrestling with the mattress and latex. Would I feel the slats as a 130lb. side sleeper? If I try it should I lay something like a comforter or cardboard on top of the slats before the latex to protect the latex or prevent feeling the slats? Please advise.

If anyone knows a vendor that sells GOLS certified or 100% natural latex in the 26-28ILD range please let me know. Most I've found have 28-30ILD or 28-32ILD ranges. I found a 26ILD at naturally nestled but they don't have a phone number and they take well over 24 hours to reply which doesn't inspire confidence.

Side note: Every TMU trusted member I have contacted has been been very patient and helpful.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 19 May 2021 13:24 #9

I have slept 4 nights with the 34ILD and 20ILD toppers placed directly on the platform bed. My initial thoughts are I might need a tiny bit more support for my hips and more pressure relief for my shoulders. I do notice I'm not tossing and turning as much. Not sure if the shoulder issue is partially caused by less turning combined with only having 6" of latex for the time being. Can these problems be fixed simultaneously and what should I be considering as my next layer? Most suggest a soft, med, firm config or a soft, med, med config. What 3rd layer would give me the best chance at success?

Fwiw I have found vendors who sell a variety of ILDs between the two I have. I never could find a 26-28ILD but I got close.

27-34 ILD
30-32 ILD
28-32 ILD
25-28 ILD
23-26 ILD

I didn't include ILD's greater than 34 or less than 20 but they are an option if you think it's what I need. I'm also not opposed to adding a final 4th layer of 1" or 2" of extra soft Talalay if it's needed.

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DIY all latex mattress (one layer at a time) build. All suggestions welcome. 20 May 2021 18:38 #10

Anybody? I'm fine with talking everything out loud like I'm doing with no replies as it can be useful. I'm also probably overthinking it which is par for the course. I just don't want to make a $250 mistake.

Would the 34ILD, 25-28ILD, 20ILD work ok together? It's basically med firm, med and soft. I think I would be happy if it supported my lower back while I'm on my side.

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