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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 02 Nov 2021 10:43 #1

Me: 5' 8" 145lbs. Athletic Build - Combo Sleeper (Mostly Back and Side)
Wife: 5' 4" 140lbs Curvy - Combo Sleeper (Mostly Side and some stomach)

So, I am set on building a DIY King size mattress. My budget used to be a little higher, but relationships are about compromise so I am trying to get down to the 700 dollar max range.

Build 1: "Simple Budget" - Base: 6" HD36HQ Foam ($272), Top: 3" of soft Dunlop Latex ($280), Cover: ($60 to $90) = $642
Build 2: "Coil Hybrid Latex" - Base: Pocket Coils ($395) / 1" Foam underneath Coils ($45), Top: 3" of soft Dunlop ($280), Cover: ($60 to $90) = $790
Build 3: "Foam Latex Hybrid" - Base: 3" HD36HQ Foam ($272), Mid: 3" Med Dunlop, Top: 3" Soft Dunlop, Cover = $850

Other Ideas: 6" HD36HQ Foam (272), 2" soft dunlop (205), 2" Memory Foam (157), cover (60) = $694

The all-latex combo just takes the mattress out of budget. Substituting the Foam really brings it down. Speaking with LatexMattressFactory, they recommended the 3 inch firm dunlop, 3 inch med dunlop, and 3 inch talalay. Simply put, the talalaly takes it out of range and so does a dunlop base. I would, however, like to get as close as possible to something similar. Wife kind of likes the feel of memory foam and I don't mind it, but I don't want to run in to the permanent imprint problem. I like the Ultra budget 6 inch foam and 3 inch dunlop topper, but i've had other inputs telling me that it may still be too firm and that I'd need a medium transition layer between the base and soft top. I've also had input that with our body weights that we would do well to not have coils because it would be too firm, which was why I was excited thinking about a less expensive and more responsive foam base.

Anyway, like a lot of people I think I have something figured out and then I read or hear something that takes me back to square one.

All materials and prices are sourced from latexmattressfactory and foamfactory (foambymail.com)

I would love anyone's input.

Thanks.

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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 04 Nov 2021 16:09 #2

Hi Milo.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

It is always a pleasure to deal with people who are doing their due diligence and taking the time to assess several possibilities. Good to see you’ve been in touch for input with Latex Mattress Factory(LMF)
who is a veteran Trusted member of our site and also a TMU mattress expert with their own dedicated forum .

I would, however, like to get as close as possible to something similar. Wife kind of likes the feel of memory foam and I don't mind it, but I don't want to run in to the permanent imprint problem.

It would be hard to get something similar to the 3 FD / 3 MD / 3 ST recommended by LMF because the materials you use are different and will behave differently even in a similar construction. But I do understand your budget restraints and see that you are down to a few good options.

I’ll start with “other ideas” to build a (10”) foam latex combo which would have 4” of soft foams for comfort layers. While this configuration may work well for you and your wife's side sleeping positions may not be that appropriate for your spinal alignment when sleeping on your back-and especially for your wife’s prone sleeping. Memory foam is creating a nice cradle that is good for pressure relief but does not have the resilience of latex. Memory Foam’s density is directly related to MF durability. so I'd make sure that it meets the mattress durability guidelines here . The denser the foam is the more durable In your case (with 22 & 24 BMIs Normal ranges) a 4lbs layer is sufficient but you’ll most likely have an issue if you are looking for a responsive material. Memory foam is well known for its low responsiveness and low resiliency. This can be an issue for those who change positions often or are sensitive to the time it takes for the memory foam to conform to their new position as it can create short-term "pressure" while it forms a new "cradle". Again, different types of memory foams will take shorter or longer to conform to a new position. This "time to compress" or "rebound" that changes with temperature is both part of memory foam's strength for some (creates a "stable cradle") and its weakness for others (doesn't conform to new positions quickly enough or feels too firm). Some people may also be sensitive to a lack of resiliency or "pushback" which allows them to change positions more easily with a little "help" from the mattress and helps to support the lumbar area.

Latex however It is very resilient (it returns a high percentage of the energy of compression instead of absorbing it like memory foam which has very low resilience) so it can enhance the "feel" of the mattress by making it more responsive and more adaptable to different body profiles and sleeping positions rather than the less responsive feeling of memory foam or the stiffer and less adaptable characteristics of polyfoam.

I like the Ultra budget 6-inch foam and 3 inch dunlop topper, but i've had other inputs telling me that it may still be too firm and that I'd need a medium transition layer between the base and soft top.

It is impossible to say for sure how firm or soft would feel for each individual as it depends on far too many variables some of which are personal and can’t be quantified. This firmness/softness balance could accommodate well the back and prone sleeping without compromising the neutral alignment and still be soft enough for the side sleeping (You are both light enough to not bottom out on the firmer layer below).

Build 3: "Foam Latex Hybrid" would be closer to what the LMF recommended. Even so, I'd carefully assess the posture and alignment as it relates to your back and prone sleeping. Support should be your primary concern as it is not that easy to fix it if you get it wrong. The most important goal of a suitable mattress is to support the spine and joints in neutral alignment in all your sleeping positions so that the muscles and other tissues can fully relax and not work during the night to maintain good alignment.

I've also had input that with our body weights that we would do well to not have coils because it would be too firm, which was why I was excited thinking about a less expensive and more responsive foam base.

Like with everything else... It depends on many factors. Something like Build 2: "Coil Hybrid Latex" you mentioned can work very well for people that are similar to you.
There is no single type of mattress material or component that is inherently better than another and the key to a successful mattress is the specific design of the mattress and how well it matches certain body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences more than the type of materials or components that are in the mattress. You can always add a very thin soft layer if this build is indeed too firm.

If you talk with experts in the industry (who can sleep on anything, they won't) you will find that some prefer one type of mattress or components for a mattress and others will prefer something completely different. The mattress that works best for each person is as unique as people themselves.

All in all, I’d trust your experience with previous mattresses, any local testing you may have done, and your gut feeling. Run all this by the research you’ve done and of course by your wife and buy from a reliable and trustworthy company that will stay behind their products.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 05 Nov 2021 12:18 #3

Thank you for your response. This helps a lot.

One last thing as I start to move forward with purchasing a mattress. We are going to shape up an old wrought iron king size bed frame that is being passed down. It does not have center support and I was thinking of running 2" thick x 10" wide Pine boards from Lowes across horizontally as slats every 11/2" to 2". Do you think I'd still need a center support leg or two to attach underneath the slats or do you think that the thickness and quality of the pine could suffice?

Thanks again!

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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 05 Nov 2021 12:24 #4

Thank you for your response. This helps a lot.

One last thing as I start to move forward with purchasing a mattress. We are going to shape up an old wrought iron king size bed frame that is being passed down. It does not have center support and I was thinking of running 2" thick x 10" wide Pine boards from Lowes across horizontally as slats every 11/2" to 2". Do you think I'd still need a center support leg or two to attach underneath the slats or do you think that the thickness and quality of the pine could suffice?

Thanks again!


***For a Foam Base Mattress***

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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 06 Nov 2021 07:39 #5

Milo:

Legs down to the floor under each slat can work. The slat by themselves without any support will sag over time.

A better option (if your side rails are in good shape) would be to make each slat as a T-slat. This will be much stronger.

Be sure to tie your slats into the side rails so that the rails don't splay out in the center over time. Drilling a hole through the end of eh slat and through the metal side rail and securing them with a stove bolt does the trick.
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 06 Nov 2021 10:42 #6

Hi Milo.

You are most welcome!

Just adding a bit more "meat" to Jeff's recommendation above. I always get a kick from “shaping up old” things, especially heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.

It's not clear how strong or rickety the old wrought iron frame is but generally center beam and leg(s) support would be good for the integrity of the whole sleeping system. A 2” thick by 10” wide pine wood is quite sturdy but I verified with our master wood craftsman and he is cautioning that 2” x 10” slats may be “overkill”, are quite “warpy” and have a tendency to crown in the middle lengthwise and still flex over time to a certain extent under the weight of the mattress and people sleeping it (especially for a king bed). We’ve replicated this here and noticed straight away flex under the weight of one person so I’d take this caution into account when shopping for slats.

Even with thicker wood, you'd want to pay attention to the potential to sag over time and make sure that everything is properly reinforced underneath. The recommendation is that you compare prices of the two options below to decide which one works best for you.

Option 1.
• 2”x6’ slats spaced adequately
• 2”x6” (or even 2”x4) center support beam running head to toe and screwed under the slats in vertical position
• for king size beds add at least 2 leg support to the floor that don't bend or collapse when you move the bed

Option 2.
Something like the 3-5 T-slat system solution recommended by the Mattress To Go above ( is one of our Trusted members of our site)
• 1”x4” slats shaped in a T
• The advantage of this option is that it is more modular and easier to move or adjust if need be

Hope this helps
Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 06 Nov 2021 21:49 #7

Milo:



A better option (if your side rails are in good shape) would be to make each slat as a T-slat. This will be much stronger.

if i can jump in.... in your opinion does a tslat made from 1x4's function better than a 1x4 with a center support?

For a queen frame employing 3/4" plywood for a foundation, do you have an opinion on how many tslats would be ideal? I note your guide references 5 tslat as a minimum for many brands.

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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 09 Nov 2021 09:01 #8

Thank you Phoenix and MattresToGo! I love the T-Slat idea. So simple, yet effective and allows clearance under the entire bed frame for storage.

I think the winner for our initial investment (hopefully only investment for now) will be the 6" HD36HQ foam base with a 3 inch layer of soft latex on top. Foambymail.com sent us samples of all the memory foams and the latex they offer. My wife was in love with the feel of the latex. Obviously with 2 inch by 2 inch cubes, you're not going to be able to replicate sleeping on latex, but she could at least imagine how it might be. We are no longer considering memory foam for being reminded of what you described in terms of immediate resiliency and response for combo sleepers.

I do have one last combo that may be worth thinking about. A 6" HD36HQ foam with 2" of medium latex and 2" of soft latex on top of that. You mentioned you didn't think we'd bottom out of the 3" soft latex which solidified my ideas about that build, but in terms of this one, I'm thinking strictly in terms of value added swapping ability. I think we'd be fine with the 3" soft on 6" HD, but the ability to do a little bit of customization might be worth it. However, would we be getting enough out of each 2" layer to justify the added expense? What I mean is, are we getting the intended benefits of soft latex if it's only 2 inches instead of 3 and visa versa with medium below or on top?

And I guess I haven't thought too much about the impact of a quilted wool cover or just a basic poly-cotton zip cover. I've done some reading but I haven't been able to justify some of the pricing on the high end zip covers. IDK if you have any last comments about that either?

Thanks again for the thoroughly explained responses.

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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 09 Nov 2021 11:19 #9

You mentioned you didn't think we'd bottom out of the 3" soft latex


Just to be clear to be sure, you'll definitely bottom out the 3" of soft latex. I think they meant that you probably won't bottom out the firmer layer below the soft latex.

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The Ultimate Budget DIY / Value DIY Mattress Setup 09 Nov 2021 12:21 #10

Yes, you're right. Noted.

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