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Tweaking the feel of a DIY mattress

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15 Jun 2019 20:25 #1 by Dok
My current "mattress" consists of:
3 inches of firm dunlop latex (5.9 pcf, 44ILD)
2 inches of some kind of memory foam
3 inches of some kind of gel memory foam

I don't know anything about the specs of the memory foams other than that they are significantly more compressable than the latex (all 5 inches can be pinched down to less than an inch with less force than it takes to pinch the latex down to 2 inches).

And this is laid on top of a piece of plywood on top of a cheap platform bed. I like the feel a lot, but it's not quite perfect and I'm looking for some suggestions on how to tweak it a bit.

What I like:
+ The even support. Other beds (including my old bed, and a tuft and needle I tried out a few years back) always felt like my hips would sink all the way down while my sholders wouldn't press into the mattress much at all, putting strain on my lower back.
+ The contouring of the memory foam

What I don't like:
- It sleeps pretty hot
- The memory foam doesn't feel very responsive, so there winds up being a kind of uncomfortable impression in the morning.
- When I'm sleeping on my side in particular, my hips and shoulders tend to bottom out and press flat a bit too much, and the part that gets flattened starts to get sore. It's better than lower back pain, but less than ideal.

My thought is that I'd like to remove some or all of the memory foam and replace it with latex to minimize as much of what I don't like while keeping as much of what I do like, but I haven't found a store near me that's got a ton of latex options to try. I figured another couple of 3" latex slabs would be a good place to start, and was hoping to get some input on how the different densities and types of latex would impact the specific likes/dislikes I have about my current set up. The most important thing is that I absolutely don't want to have that hammocking feel, and I'm concerned that adding any medium density/medium firmness layer will contribute to that. While at the same time, I'm not sure if just adding more firm latex will do anything to keep me from bottoming out the comfort layers.


Some background:

My old bed (and a tuft and needle I tried a few years back) hammocked too much no matter what I did, and after realizing all of the soft toppers I bought were going in the wrong direction, I bought the firm latex topper to put on the bare coils from the hybrid and try and match the feel of some mattresses I'd tried and liked at a local mattress store. It worked, but it turned out that I enjoyed laying on a really firm mattress, but I didn't enjoy sleeping on it. So I ditched the cheap spring base, rearranged the other mattress guts/toppers I had, and am trying to figure out what I should do long term.

I'm in my mid 30s, ~215lbs, 5'10". I'm a combination back/side sleeper.

Thanks for any suggestions/help, I really appreciate it.

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18 Jun 2019 14:44 #2 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Hello Dok,

Thank you for reaching out! If you're looking to replace your memory foam layers with latex layers while retaining most of what you like about the current setup, I'd first recommend getting a firm Talalay layer for the top of the mattress, and if you have a cotton & wool cover you would want to replace that with a 4-way stretch cover. Both Talalay and Dunlop are fast-response materials, but Talalay responds a bit faster, so if that's an important characteristic then Talalay for the top layer would be a better choice. Additionally, a Talalay top layer will ensure you get all the contour and pressure relief needed to avoid pressure point issues like you're currently experiencing. Having Dunlop just underneath that will provide the support needed to maintain proper spinal alignment and avoid lower back aches.

Please note that latex and memory foam have completely different feels, and replacing your foam layers will change the feel of the mattress to a noticeable degree. I can’t say how much the feel of the mattress will change.

I would normally recommend medium Talalay over medium Dunlop over firm Dunlop for a person at your height & weight, but if you prefer an especially firm mattress then you're welcome to try medium Talalay over firm Dunlop over firm Dunlop, or even Firm Talalay over firm Dunlop over firm Dunlop. I wouldn't be able to say in advance which of the 3 recommendations would work best for you because it's really a matter of your preference & needs at this point, and you're certainly more familiar with those things than I am. If you change out any of your memory foam layers, I’d recommend keeping them around until you get the mattress dialed in just in case you want to re-integrate them back into the mattress.

If you have any other questions or if I can clarify further, please just let me know!

Latex Mattress Factory
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18 Jun 2019 17:50 #3 by Dok
Hi Latex Mattress Factory,

Thanks for the great suggestions!

I know I said I liked the really firm feeling, but even though it was super comfortable to lay there for awhile, I had a really hard time actually sleeping on such a firm bed. I think the feel I am looking for has a plush top layer that I can sink most of the way into, but with enough push-back that my back doesn't get bent out of shape. That's the feeling my current set up has, at least before the memory foam heats up, compresses, and loses most/all of it's push back.

Would someone my size sink into medium talalay, or should I consider something softer if that's the feel I'm going for?

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19 Jun 2019 16:20 #4 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Based on your height & weight, medium has the best chance to be successful for you, and that combined with a 4-way stretch cover would make for the plush feel you’re looking for. If you’re going with a cotton & wool cover, I’d recommend a soft Talalay top layer.

Latex Mattress Factory
Please read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members.

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