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DIY Latex/Spring setup for stomach/side sleeper 08 Aug 2021 12:23 #1

I've been reading through the TMU forums and finished the self-learning guide. For reference, I am 5'8 160lbs and always fall asleep on my stomach; however, I like to rest on my side usually by hugging a pillow (so sometimes stomach/side mixed). My girlfriend has scoliosis and sleeps on her stomach most of the time while sleeping on her side too (70/30). So far, I cannot decide whether I want purely latex or to include some-kind of spring set. Right now, my budget isn’t set and I expect to pay about 1,000 or so for bedding. I’m willing to invest to make my bed last longer / sleep better. Currently my build is as follows:

2” 18 ILD Talalay (Comfort) $334
2” 28 ILD Dunlop (transition) $295
6” Pocketed Coils aka combi-zone quantum edge elite Bolsa (support) $395
Organic Cotton Cover (I run hot, I’m not sure about “)

I feel like I’ve made a mistake and I’m not sure about my setup. For reference, I will most likely always be in this weight range due to my hobbies and after reading other DIY setups I’m worried if I made my talalaly medium ILD (Like 28) then it will be too firm. I enjoy being on my side from time to time and if I ever let someone else sleep in my bed (like a friend) I’d want there to be a bit of range in comfort. I have not ordered anything yet. I'm buying a king mattress.

Update: Upon further inquiry, would going for a 34 ILD Dunlop 2" be a superior option? I think the disparity between the comfort and transition layer would be too much and I'd regret it. I'm also skeptical of going 2" and 2" for both layers because this is transitionally for back sleepers. My line of thinking is that the comfort layer into a 34" ILD transition layer would feel closer to firm with my pocket coils.

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Last edit: by bmcken1829.

DIY Latex/Spring setup for stomach/side sleeper 09 Aug 2021 21:54 #2

Hi bmcken1829.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :) It is nice to see you’ve been reading our self-learning guides and incorporated the information to suit your uniqueness.

…after reading other DIY setups I’m worried if I made my talalaly medium ILD (Like 28) then it will be too firm. I enjoy being on my side from time to time and if I ever let someone else sleep in my bed (like a friend) I’d want there to be a bit of range in comfort. I have not ordered anything yet. I'm buying a king mattress.


There is no doubt that being a stomach sleeper presents some challenges. Your first priority is to make sure to avoid hyperextension and the swayback position that can cause lower back issues if the mattress is either too soft/thick comfort layer or too soft support layer. In the general stomach, sleepers need the thinnest comfort layer, (one inch or at the most two) and side sleepers need the thickest comfort layer. It is rare that anyone ... even a side sleeper ... would need more than 4" in a comfort layer.

It is good that you and your girlfriend are both prone sleepers and have similar requirements, but the challenge that remains is accommodating your side sleeping. Combination sleeping is also more difficult to deal with since the different positions have different basic requirements.
As for your friends, I would just add a bit more softness with a topper when the time comes. It would be nearly impossible to find a bed that satisfies all sleeping styles and preferences.

Update: Upon further inquiry, would go for a 34 ILD Dunlop 2" be a superior option? I think the disparity between the comfort and transition layer would be too much and I'd regret it. I'm also skeptical of going 2" and 2" for both layers because this is transitionally for back sleepers. My line of thinking is that the comfort layer into a 34" ILD transition layer would feel closer to firm with my pocket coils.


A 34 ILD is a medium-firm layer should be more appropriate for creating a firmer sleeping surface that prevents sinking in too much and any swayback for your stomach sleeping. Your “line of thought” is good thus far. You may still find that this layer alone on top of the coils might not help with the pressure points when side sleeping, but that should not be a problem because you can always address it (if it is too firm when side sleeping) by adding a very thin softer comfort layer to create a bit of a cradle without detracting too much from the support and firmness needed for sleeping prone. Conforming pocket coils with a firmer middle layer of latex that is "in-between" a very thin softer comfort layer and the firmer support layer can make a good choice.

It is good to remember that your weight, body profile, and where you carry your weight will also make a difference in how far you’ll sink and the depth of the cradle you’d need.

Good luck and let us know if you have additional questions.
Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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DIY Latex/Spring setup for stomach/side sleeper 10 Aug 2021 14:47 #3

Thank you for your reply!
As for my current thinking, I’d like to stay with my 2” 18 ILD Talalay comfort layer and I’m wondering if 3” of 34 ILD Dunlop would be better than 2”? I like the idea of going firmer because, like you said, I can always get a thin, soft poly foam to play around with especially since I’m considered lightweight. I believe the coil mattress will work well for me especially after reading some examples.
Right now, I’ve noticed my girlfriends mattress is too soft and I’m having issues with swayback.
Separate, I’m confused about one topic: is the “ number on a topper equal to the total height of the mattress or a measure of thickness?

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DIY Latex/Spring setup for stomach/side sleeper 11 Aug 2021 15:00 #4

Hi bmcken1829.

As for my current thinking, I’d like to stay with my 2” 18 ILD Talalay comfort layer and I’m wondering if 3” of 34 ILD Dunlop would be better than 2”? I like the idea of going firmer because, like you said, I can always get a thin, soft poly foam to play around with especially since I’m considered lightweight.


Generally, thickness and firmness are related. Thicker mattresses will "act" softer for most people. If you make changes to one of the specs (such as the layer thickness of the middle transition layer) ... then you may also need to make other changes to the other layers to compensate. All in all, adding an extra inch to the middle layer will add more cradle and you'll sink in a bit more. As you are a stomach sleeper and also lightweight you wouldn't need too thick of a comfort or transition layer and thinner layers may be the answer. Depending on the firmness choice and thickness of the transition layer in some cases, even 2” of comfort layer may be too much.

There are many interrelated variables and unknowns for you to take into account, and no "theory at a distance" can replace that. Basic height/weight/sleeping position information or any other person's experience to choose a suitable softness/firmness combination in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). is not as reliable as your own careful and objective analysis and testing (using the testing guidelines in the The mattress shopping tutorial )

Separate, I’m confused about one topic: is the “ number on a topper equal to the total height of the mattress or a measure of thickness?


If I understand your question ... the " number refers to the topper thickness.

Let us know of your eventual decisions and additional questions as you move forward with your DIY.
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

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DIY Latex/Spring setup for stomach/side sleeper 15 Aug 2021 12:14 #5

Hey Phoenix,
Yesterday I went mattress shopping and explored some options. Unfortunately, no stores around me are willing to be transparent about ILD's in their latex toppers; however, the sales people were really hands off so I felt comfortable exploring my options. They were only able to tell me about the firmness. An additional nugget of knowledge I learned from my girlfriend is that during the night I shift onto my back which has me believing her mattress is too soft for my stomach sleeping. Nonetheless, I believe it's best to design my mattress around my preferred "falling to sleep" phase. For refrence, I am 160 lbs and 5'9 with a semi-muscular tone. Onto my conclusions:
  1. First, my favorite mattress was between medium firmness. I was presented with a soft Talalay and medium Dunlop over a typical pocket coil which I really enjoyed. Upon trying 1" of soft on pocketed coils, I realized that a transition layer is probably essential since I was swaying my back.

  2. Second, at a Mattress Firm I tried their "Kingsdown select plush" with 1" soft Dunlop over a micro-coil layer and I was impressed. I'm not going to navigate that route but between the other two mattresses presented, I found this "balanced medium firmness" mattress acceptable.

  3. Thirdly, I'm confused how my weight will play into the ILD's. For instance, I'm confident that 2" of Talalay is my best bet for a comfort layer and 2" of dunlop transition is optimal as well. I understand that the 2" dunlop will dictate how firm my mattress will feel overall. I'm just disappointed I couldn't be provided ILD's.

I'm worried about picking something too firm; for instance, most websites I'm considering (from the trusted section) either provide 28 ILD for 38 ILD. The one website I found for 34 ILD doesn't list their quality or whether it's dunlop or talalay (Naturally Nested's 100% Natural Latex Topper). I'm debating between 22 ILD and 19 ILD like my life is on the line; however, I'm leaning toward 22 since I can soften up the mattress later with an inch of softer Talalay. Onto my questions:
  1. Is it wiser to go 2" Talalay 22ILD with 2" Dunlop 34-38 ILD rather than my initial hypothesis of 2" Talalay 19ILD and 2" Dunlop 34 ILD? I cannot find anywhere with Dunlop at 34 ILD.
  2. Secondly, unrelated to above, can I just buy a metal wired mattress frame and call it quits? I'm limited with room and want something cheap.
  3. Next, I was recommended wool / bamboo covers to prevent overheating. Does this seem in line with what you've read?

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DIY Latex/Spring setup for stomach/side sleeper 16 Aug 2021 23:48 #6

Hi bmcken1829.

Thanks for the additional info. Good to hear you explored a few options on your mattress testing trip.

Unfortunately, no stores around me are willing to be transparent about ILD's in their latex toppers; however, the sales people were really hands off so I felt comfortable exploring my options. They were only able to tell me about the firmness

I understand your “disappointment that you couldn't be provided with the ILD's” but some manufacturers consider the ILD information proprietary. They are probably well aware that the only reason that a potential customer would need ILD information is to "duplicate" the mattress elsewhere because ILD is a "comfort spec" not a "quality spec" and has no bearing on the quality or value of the mattress

While the specs that affect the quality and durability of the layers and components are important to know ... when you are testing a mattress locally then having the number of the "comfort specs" such as ILD/IFD isn't really necessary or even an important part of transparency because with careful testing your body will tell you much more about whether any specific combination of layers or components or any specific mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) than knowing the ILD/IFD of the individual layers regardless of what the actual numbers may be. The firmness “word ratings” can suffice but there are a few other factors that come into play

This is a bit more that you may want to know but it is worth noting that the ILD rating is never an exact number, and how it is represented in ILD is determined by the foam manufacturer (the ranges they decide to produce) or even how the reseller wants to advertise it. You can see the ILD numbers and the “word ratings” that Talalay Global (who makes the Talatech blended and natural latex) here . Talalay Global calls their softest natural Talalay N1, with a range of 14-19.99 ILD. There can be a bit more slight variation in ILD for a blended versus natural Talalay core, although the range of +/- 2 or so for the ILD is quite standard. Also, Dunlop and Talalay aren't directly comparable in terms of firmness using only ILD numbers because there are several factors that can affect how soft or firm a mattress (or an individual layer) feels besides just the ILD of the material (see post #4 here )

Dunlop and Talalay that are the same thickness and ILD won't feel the same in terms of their firmness for most people because they have a different response curve and compression modulus (how quickly a material becomes firmer as you sink into it more deeply). There is more about the difference between Dunlop and Talalay in post #7 here .

1. Is it wiser to go 2" Talalay 22ILD with 2" Dunlop 34-38 ILD rather than my initial hypothesis of 2" Talalay 19ILD and 2" Dunlop 34 ILD? I cannot find anywhere with Dunlop at 34 ILD.

In the choices you mentioned the 19 ILD Talalay over 34 ILD Dunlop would be softer feeling and plusher than the 22 ILD However, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one you might find more suitable for you as that is subjective. As you already noticed when you are testing a mattress locally ... your own experience is much more meaningful than the ILD numbers that are attached to your experience and there are many people who pay too much attention to ILD numbers (which by themselves say little because other specs such as compression modulus, layer thickness, point elasticity, and others are just as important to how soft or firm a mattress feels than ILD specs alone). There is more about this in post #2 here .

2 . Secondly, unrelated to above, can I just buy a metal wired mattress frame and call it quits? I'm limited with room and want something cheap.

Some of the “cheap” metal grid foundations may not be the best choice for your mattress, but you didn't link to which one you were considering so I can't comment upon that. Some wire grid metal platform bedframes can also work well as the metal is very strong and as long as the surface area is enough and the wires are close enough together to ensure that the mattress doesn't sag through or damage the base. There is a variety of different designs and some use more or less steel of different gauges so here too quality usually determines price.

Next, I was recommended wool / bamboo covers to prevent overheating. Does this seem in line with what you've read?

The amount of “cooling” that the wool cover material would provide is “in line” with temperature regulating products You can read more about phase change materials in post #9 here . There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range. Latex itself is a quite breathable material.

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.
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