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Advice on Soft DIY Builds for Side Sleepers? 09 May 2021 10:13 #1

Hi all,

After finally moving in together (yay) my wonderful girlfriend and I have fallen down the eternal rabbit hole of mattress shopping (anti-yay). We made do with my old, cheap, full-size bed for a couple weeks before taking a trip to Costco to pick up a king-sized Novaform Comfort Grande Plus that was on sale and recommended by my brother. After realizing that this bed was way (way) too firm for us, we decided to educate ourselves, paid a visit to this lovely site, and now have to fight back the urge to ruin every conversation with a incoherent rant about the mattress industry that sounds more akin to something from the Alex Jones podcast than any civilized interaction between adults. To fight back against the dark influence of Big Bed, we’ve decided to DIY our own mattress in an effort to save a bit of money and get exactly what we want. That’s where you amazing folks come in, as I’d like to ask your opinions on a few configurations we’ve put together.

A bit about us:

Me:
  • Man
  • 175lbs
  • 6’3”
  • Side sleeper, though I like to sit up in bed on my laptop occasionally.
  • General build: Shoulders are a touch broader than what might be standard for my height and weight, but save for that pretty thin and bony.

Her:
  • Woman
  • 125lbs
  • 5’8”
  • Side sleeper, very rarely sleeps on her back
  • General build: Long and thin. She has issues with pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Save for her height, she is quite a petite woman.

Luckily we both have similar preferences and builds for our respective genders, so I don’t think zoning will be of any concern. So, with that out of the way, I have a few builds I’ve put together that I’d like advice and input on.

DIY Builds:

Build 1: The Pure Latex - $770.45
  • 3” Naturally Nestled Soft Latex Topper (20ILD)
  • 3” x 2 Naturally Nestled Medium Topper (26ILD)

Build 2: The Latex Hybrid - $680
  • 3” Naturally Nestled Soft Latex Topper (20ILD)
  • 6” Quantum Edge Pocketed Coils (No idea)
  • 1” Lux-HQ Foam (Firm)


Build 3: The Triple Hybrid - $745
  • 3” Naturally Nestled Soft Latex Topper (20ILD)
  • 1-1/2” HD36-HQ Convoluted Foam (Medium)
  • 6” Quantum Edge Pocketed Coils (No idea)
  • 1” Lux-HQ Foam (Firm)

Other notes for all three builds:
  • We are considering adding a 1-½” wool/cotton topper from Sleep and Beyond to any/all of these builds. This would go over top of any encasement we get and is not included in our current budget.
  • We are currently leaning toward the Sleep on Latex cover as an encasement to any/all of these builds, so input on that would be appreciated.
  • These are all fairly value-oriented configurations. Our max budget would be ~$1000 including an encasement and excluding a wool topper, but the cheaper the better, of course. .


Now, besides general input I have a few specific questions:

  1. If someone could explain the difference in feel between 6” of medium latex and 6” of pocketed coils as a support core (particularly in the context of build 1 and 2) that’d be great. We are very unsure of which we’d prefer.
  2. Would 6” of medium latex offer enough support? Obviously we are lighter folks looking for a softer bed, but I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning in my mattress.
  3. I see a lot of hybrid builds, both DIY and retail, that throw an inch or so of hard foam under the springs, thus I have copied that design. Is that advised or a waste of money?
  4. We are trying to be as “efficient” with our mattress design as possible for reasons economical, environmental, and philosophical. Therefore any unnecessary materials in any of these builds should be stripped out. For example: if a 2 x 2” medium latex core will accomplish the same task as a 2 x 3” medium core, we would go for the former.

  5. Hope I didn’t bore you all with too many details. Any advice you can offer is much appreciated!

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Advice on Soft DIY Builds for Side Sleepers? 15 May 2021 10:48 #2

Hey Jacobowitz,

Welcome to TMU's forum :) ! Thanks for your question.

After finally moving in together (yay) my wonderful girlfriend and I have fallen down the eternal rabbit hole of mattress shopping (anti-yay). We made do with my old, cheap, full-size bed for a couple weeks before taking a trip to Costco to pick up a king-sized Novaform Comfort Grande Plus that was on sale and recommended by my brother. After realizing that this bed was way (way) too firm for us, we decided to educate ourselves, paid a visit to this lovely site, and now have to fight back the urge to ruin every conversation with a incoherent rant about the mattress industry that sounds more akin to something from the Alex Jones podcast than any civilized interaction between adults. To fight back against the dark influence of Big Bed, we’ve decided to DIY our own mattress in an effort to save a bit of money and get exactly what we want. That’s where you amazing folks come in, as I’d like to ask your opinions on a few configurations we’ve put together.


Congrats on your new DIY mattress adventure and on your new living arrangements! Your kind words on the site are much appreciated, sir; good to know that you've joined the ranks of DIYers that file through the TMU gates seeking guidance. You are among friends :) .

A bit about us:

Me:
• Man
• 175lbs
• 6’3”
• Side sleeper, though I like to sit up in bed on my laptop occasionally.
• General build: Shoulders are a touch broader than what might be standard for my height and weight, but save for that pretty thin and bony.
Her:
• Woman
• 125lbs
• 5’8”
• Side sleeper, very rarely sleeps on her back
• General build: Long and thin. She has issues with pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Save for her height, she is quite a petite woman.


Thanks for sharing your personal stats as an understanding of those is a start in your DIY process. As lower BMI side sleepers , you both require thinner and softer comfort layers and possibly softer support layers.

Luckily we both have similar preferences and builds for our respective genders, so I don’t think zoning will be of any concern. So, with that out of the way, I have a few builds I’ve put together that I’d like advice and input on.

DIY Builds:

Build 1: The Pure Latex - $770.45
• 3” Naturally Nestled Soft Latex Topper (20ILD)
• 3” x 2 Naturally Nestled Medium Topper (26ILD)

Build 2: The Latex Hybrid - $680
• 3” Naturally Nestled Soft Latex Topper (20ILD)
• 6” Quantum Edge Pocketed Coils (No idea)
• 1” Lux-HQ Foam (Firm)

Build 3: The Triple Hybrid - $745
• 3” Naturally Nestled Soft Latex Topper (20ILD)
• 1-1/2” HD36-HQ Convoluted Foam (Medium)
• 6” Quantum Edge Pocketed Coils (No idea)
• 1” Lux-HQ Foam (Firm)


Have either of you slept on a latex/ all-latex mattress before? All three builds seem reasonable in terms of comfort and support for both of your preferences. I wasn't familiar with Naturally Nestled and did a quick search on their latex (it is Natural latex/ Dunlop process, a denser, slightly firmer latex product). For the 6" QE Pocketed Coils: is this L&P's Bolsa unit? If so, it is a single-zoned, medium firmness support core and generally well-suited for those of normal and lower BMIs. Your choice of convoluted foam for Build 3 is interesting; any particular reason for its addition beneath the latex comfort layer?

Other notes for all three builds:
• We are considering adding a 1-½” wool/cotton topper from Sleep and Beyond to any/all of these builds. This would go over top of any encasement we get and is not included in our current budget.
• We are currently leaning toward the Sleep on Latex cover as an encasement to any/all of these builds, so input on that would be appreciated.
• These are all fairly value-oriented configurations. Our max budget would be ~$1000 including an encasement and excluding a wool topper, but the cheaper the better, of course. .


Adding an 1-1/2" topper is a personal comfort choice and one that you may consider optional following an initial sleep trial and adjustment period of your new DIY mattress. You'll want time to experiment with getting the comfort and support feel optimized first before fine-tuning with additional toppers, especially for other items are not part of your budget. SOL makes quality encasements and is a good choice. Perhaps there are some consumers with experience using the product who will share their thoughts with you.

Now, besides general input I have a few specific questions:
1. If someone could explain the difference in feel between 6” of medium latex and 6” of pocketed coils as a support core (particularly in the context of build 1 and 2) that’d be great. We are very unsure of which we’d prefer.


A latex support core provides a highly elastic, pressure-relieving properties, motion seperation, and naturally cooling properties. Its ability to "spring back" to its original position gives it the means to adjust to differing sleeping positions, body profiles and weights as you change positions while sleeping. You may find the edge support somewhat different in an all-latex mattress, as you have more of an even support feel across the entire surface of the mattress, rather than that of the QE pocket coil unit, which would have several rows of more narrow/ firmer coils surrounding the mattress's perimeter. The pocket coils provide good point elasticity and respond individually to your body's movements, resulting in a "springier" feel. Between Builds 1 and 2, you may find Build 1/ all-latex to: have a uniform firmness feel from edge to edge;
feel a little more "solid"; and a sleeping cool feel from natural air circulation properties of the open-cell latex foam. Build 2/ latex hybrid would provide: the more familiar feel of pocketed coils/ edge support; a more lively, responsive action from the pairing of latex and pocket coils; and a sleeping cool feel from natural air circulation properties of the open-cell latex and pocket coil unit. Your choice of which support core to use depends on how much motion seperation is a concern (Build 1 wins) and how much responsiveness to motion is preferred (Build 2 wins). Of course, there are many other subjective criteria you may personally consider, but those are all individual choices as only you can "feel" what you feel on any given mattress ;) .

2. Would 6” of medium latex offer enough support? Obviously we are lighter folks looking for a softer bed, but I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning in my mattress.


One of latex's support properties is its high support factor. Even in softer ILDs, it is still well-suited as a support core material, providing proper spinal alignment without sinking down into the mattress too far. You should be fine with a 6" medium core.

3. I see a lot of hybrid builds, both DIY and retail, that throw an inch or so of hard foam under the springs, thus I have copied that design. Is that advised or a waste of money?


The HD foams found at the base of hybrid mattresses serves to stabilize movement of the individual pocket coils within the coil array. It is a functional design element and a good idea to incorporate in your DIY hybrid. Be sure to use a quality, higher density polyfoam , Phoenix's research indicates that a 1.8 lbs. per cu. ft. density is a highly durable density to work with.

4. We are trying to be as “efficient” with our mattress design as possible for reasons economical, environmental, and philosophical. Therefore any unnecessary materials in any of these builds should be stripped out. For example: if a 2 x 2” medium latex core will accomplish the same task as a 2 x 3” medium core, we would go for the former.


That is a question for either one of the trusted members specializing in the latex category or one of our resident DIYer consumers, so I'll leave this one for someone else to weigh in. You have done a thorough, thoughtful analysis of your three proposed builds, Jacobowitz. I'm looking forward to more updates as you continue your research and good luck to you ;) .

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.

Advice on Soft DIY Builds for Side Sleepers? 27 May 2021 09:28 #3

Hello Sensei! Thanks for the in-depth reply.

So, quick update in regards to our mattress situation: We ended up jumping for a 3" naturally nestled soft latex topper, since that was the common factor between all of our builds. WOW we LOVE IT. It immediately improved out experience ten fold. So, we all all aboard the latex train.

Have either of you slept on a latex/ all-latex mattress before? All three builds seem reasonable in terms of comfort and support for both of your preferences. I wasn't familiar with Naturally Nestled and did a quick search on their latex (it is Natural latex/ Dunlop process, a denser, slightly firmer latex product). For the 6" QE Pocketed Coils: is this L&P's Bolsa unit? If so, it is a single-zoned, medium firmness support core and generally well-suited for those of normal and lower BMIs. Your choice of convoluted foam for Build 3 is interesting; any particular reason for its addition beneath the latex comfort layer?


So prior to the update above, no we had not ever slept on latex before. However, after enough reading online and on this forum we felt pretty confident that we would enjoy it.

Thank you for the input on the springs. All this reading about ILD and firmness of foams left me confused as to how it compared to springs.

The convoluted foam in build 3 was more or less copied from the designs of various mattresses I've seen online. Supposedly the convoluted design helps with air flow, which to this hot sleeper sounded like a good idea.

Adding an 1-1/2" topper is a personal comfort choice and one that you may consider optional following an initial sleep trial and adjustment period of your new DIY mattress. You'll want time to experiment with getting the comfort and support feel optimized first before fine-tuning with additional toppers, especially for other items are not part of your budget. SOL makes quality encasements and is a good choice. Perhaps there are some consumers with experience using the product who will share their thoughts with you.


Perfect, thank you for the input. I was concerned about the SOL encasement because it seems to be marketed as a simple topper cover. Seems like it'll be the perfect option, however.

A latex support core provides a highly elastic, pressure-relieving properties, motion seperation, and naturally cooling properties. Its ability to "spring back" to its original position gives it the means to adjust to differing sleeping positions, body profiles and weights as you change positions while sleeping. You may find the edge support somewhat different in an all-latex mattress, as you have more of an even support feel across the entire surface of the mattress, rather than that of the QE pocket coil unit, which would have several rows of more narrow/ firmer coils surrounding the mattress's perimeter. The pocket coils provide good point elasticity and respond individually to your body's movements, resulting in a "springier" feel. Between Builds 1 and 2, you may find Build 1/ all-latex to: have a uniform firmness feel from edge to edge;
feel a little more "solid"; and a sleeping cool feel from natural air circulation properties of the open-cell latex foam. Build 2/ latex hybrid would provide: the more familiar feel of pocketed coils/ edge support; a more lively, responsive action from the pairing of latex and pocket coils; and a sleeping cool feel from natural air circulation properties of the open-cell latex and pocket coil unit. Your choice of which support core to use depends on how much motion seperation is a concern (Build 1 wins) and how much responsiveness to motion is preferred (Build 2 wins). Of course, there are many other subjective criteria you may personally consider, but those are all individual choices as only you can "feel" what you feel on any given mattress ;) .


Wonderful, so from this I think a full latex build will be our best bet. I do have one more configuration to ask about. It would be a little cheaper for us to go for the following:

3" Soft (20ILD)
3" Medium (26ILD)
2" Firm (34 ILD)

This results in an 8" mattress that is a bit cheaper. I assume it would firm it up a bit, but from what we're feeling from the 3" soft topper that may not be terrible. In addition, having the 2" firm offers a bit more in the way of modularity, which means if we ever what to firm up the build we could move that layer a bit higher in the stack. Would this be an advisable configuration or is there a problem with cutting the mattress down this much?

Thanks again for the great reply! Extremely helpful.

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Advice on Soft DIY Builds for Side Sleepers? 28 May 2021 11:05 #4

FWIW I have slept on a latex mattress that was 8" (2" soft/3" med/3" firm) and it felt perfectly fine to me! It definitely didn't seem unnaturally short or anything.

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Advice on Soft DIY Builds for Side Sleepers? 29 May 2021 10:43 #5

Hey Jacobowitz,

Thanks for your updates:) .

So, quick update in regards to our mattress situation: We ended up jumping for a 3" naturally nestled soft latex topper, since that was the common factor between all of our builds. WOW we LOVE IT. It immediately improved out experience ten fold. So, we all all aboard the latex train.


Congrats on your new Naturally Nestled soft latex topper! Happy to hear that you've hopped aboard the "latex train" and joined the many other fans that you'll meet here at TMU.

So prior to the update above, no we had not ever slept on latex before. However, after enough reading online and on this forum we felt pretty confident that we would enjoy it.


You did a good job on your research and asked thoughtful questions, Jacobowitz; looks like your efforts are paying off! For other latex newbies that may be following your posts, here is a Latex 101 YouTube by trusted member Mattress Makers that breaks down the essentials of understanding latex.

Wonderful, so from this I think a full latex build will be our best bet. I do have one more configuration to ask about. It would be a little cheaper for us to go for the following:

3" Soft (20ILD)
3" Medium (26ILD)
2" Firm (34 ILD)

This results in an 8" mattress that is a bit cheaper. I assume it would firm it up a bit, but from what we're feeling from the 3" soft topper that may not be terrible. In addition, having the 2" firm offers a bit more in the way of modularity, which means if we ever what to firm up the build we could move that layer a bit higher in the stack. Would this be an advisable configuration or is there a problem with cutting the mattress down this much?


An 8" mattress will work well; however, you might rather have a 2" transition layer between the other two 3" layers. Keep in mind the basic functions of a mattress : to provide comfort (pressure relief) and support (spinal alignment) to the user(s). The mattress should conform to your body shape and form enough of a cradle to spread your weight over the surface and relieve pressure points, known as "sinking in". The mattress should also control how far down different parts of your body "sink down" into a mattress, providing correct spinal alignment. The middle layers of a mattress play a dual role and can help to differing degrees with both sinking-in (for pressure relief and comfort) and sinking-down (for spinal alignment and support) depending on the construction of the mattress. You may consider using a 2" Medium/ 26 ILD middle layer as a transition between the 3" Soft/ 20 ILD and a 3" firm/ 34 ILD support layer. Looking forward to more DIY updates as you continue your experiments 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

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

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