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DIY Latex Mattress - Questions about thickness and firmness of Layers 20 Mar 2021 20:04 #1

About Me:
  • Female, 250lbs, 5'7"
  • Left shoulder injury in addition to fibromyalgia
  • Side/back sleeper
  • Prefers to sleep on top of a mattress not in. I don't like it when my hips feel like they're sinking lower than my back.
  • Sleeps hot
  • Approx. $1,400 budget (thanks to stimulus check)
  • Queen size bed
  • 10" - 12" thick as per general research
  • All dunlop (cheaper and more supportive) latex with a possible a talalay layer or latex hybrid if it's a better option

My main question is regarding the comfort layers' firmness and thickness. I've read somewhat conflicting information when it comes to weight (thicker, firmer comfort layers) and sleeping position (thinner, softer comfort layer, firmer transition layer) so I wanted to make sure to get it right before ordering anything.

I was thinking maybe these combinations might work?

2" comfort layer - soft dunlop
3" transition support layer - medium dunlop
6" support core - firm pocked coil or dunlop

2" comfort layer - soft talalay
2" comfort layer - medium dunlop
2" transition layer - firm dunlop
6" support core - firm pocked coil or dunlop

Thanks for any advice!

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DIY Latex Mattress - Questions about thickness and firmness of Layers 21 Mar 2021 14:20 #2

Hey Martel14,

Nice to see you on the forum and thanks for your question :) !

About Me:
• Female, 250lbs, 5'7"
• Left shoulder injury in addition to fibromyalgia
• Side/back sleeper
• Prefers to sleep on top of a mattress not in. I don't like it when my hips feel like they're sinking lower than my back.
• Sleeps hot
• Approx. $1,400 budget (thanks to stimulus check)
• Queen size bed
• 10" - 12" thick as per general research
• All dunlop (cheaper and more supportive) latex with a possible a talalay layer or latex hybrid if it's a better option

My main question is regarding the comfort layers' firmness and thickness. I've read somewhat conflicting information when it comes to weight (thicker, firmer comfort layers) and sleeping position (thinner, softer comfort layer, firmer transition layer) so I wanted to make sure to get it right before ordering anything.


First, let me commend you on both the formatting and form of your post; it is most precise and efficient! Sorry to learn of your previous shoulder injury and fibromyalgia, as the combination of these two chronic pain conditions must be quite difficult to deal with. The thicknesses of materials (as you have pointed out) refers to both the weight of the sleeper(s) and preferred sleep position(s). Generally speaking, individuals with a higher BMI profile need thicker comfort materials to provide a proper cradle for pressure point relief, as well as firmer materials to provide correct spinal alignment as their weight is being distributed across the mattress. As you mention that you prefer the feeling of "sleeping on top of a mattress" rather than "in", you can rule out any memory foam constructions. Could you please tell more about the type mattresses that you have had in the past, specifically the ones you have enjoyed: what brands and types where they? What mattress are you currently sleeping on and how old is it?

I was thinking maybe these combinations might work?

2" comfort layer - soft dunlop
3" transition support layer - medium dunlop
6" support core - firm pocked coil or dunlop

2" comfort layer - soft talalay
2" comfort layer - medium dunlop
2" transition layer - firm dunlop
6" support core - firm pocked coil or dunlop

Thanks for any advice!


You are on the right track with either of these combinations, Martel14. What you may consider is for scenario 1, using a 3" comfort layer rather than 2", as a 3" layer would provide more comfort for your side and back sleeping positions, as well as for your shoulder injury. For scenario 2, you may consider changing one of the 2" layers (perhaps the 2" comfort layer/ medium dunlop) and use 3" in both of the other 2 layers above the support core. Looking forward to your reply on the above questions and keep us posted on your research ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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DIY Latex Mattress - Questions about thickness and firmness of Layers 21 Mar 2021 18:35 #3

Until my current 2-year old memory foam mattress (LUCID 12" Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Medium Feel) , I've always had an innerspring mattress. This was before the "memory foam takeover." I don't know any of the brands, sorry.

The last innerspring I had was given to me almost brand new in 2011. I was actually sleeping on a terrible mattress for 8 years. Eek. This most definitely contributed to my pain issues, I'm sure. I remember putting an expensive, cotton-filled mattress pad on it which helped. Eventually, the metal springs themselves started poking through the top so I ended up with the memory foam one to get me through. When I bought it, it felt too firm, so I put this 3" cotton mattress topper on it. That was the only good decision I've made so far that worked very well.

For my next mattress, I've read so much about going the DIY route on here and other places, I knew it made the most sense. I believe replacing individual, customized layers rather than the whole bed is cost-effective and smart.

I really appreciate your advice on the different layers. I do have a question about your answer:

For scenario 2, you may consider changing one of the 2" layers (perhaps the 2" comfort layer medium dunlop)

Do you mean changing the type of latex or the firmness?

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DIY Latex Mattress - Questions about thickness and firmness of Layers 24 Mar 2021 08:47 #4

Hey Martel14,

Thanks for your reply :) .

The last innerspring I had was given to me almost brand new in 2011. I was actually sleeping on a terrible mattress for 8 years. Eek. This most definitely contributed to my pain issues, I'm sure. I remember putting an expensive, cotton-filled mattress pad on it which helped. Eventually, the metal springs themselves started poking through the top so I ended up with the memory foam one to get me through. When I bought it, it felt too firm, so I put this 3" cotton mattress topper on it. That was the only good decision I've made so far that worked very well.


Indeed, it sounds as though your "almost new" innerspring mattress gift has reached the end of its useful life and needs replacing. It's always useful to know a bit about one's sleep history when discussing potential mattress candidates and why I asked about your mattresses. Happy to hear that the 3" cotton mattress topper is helping to improve comfort feel for now.

I really appreciate your advice on the different layers. I do have a question about your answer:
For scenario 2, you may consider changing one of the 2" layers (perhaps the 2" comfort layer medium dunlop)
Do you mean changing the type of latex or the firmness?


My apologies on the vague response, Martel14. Rather than "changing", I should have said "consider removing the 2" comfort layer in medium dunlop latex":

3 2" comfort layer - soft talalay
2" comfort layer - medium dunlop
3 2" transition layer - firm dunlop
6" support core - firm pocked coil or dunlop

Whether you want a medium or firm layer between the soft Talalay latex layer and support core is a matter of personal preference; however, a 3" thickness of any of the latex foams would provide more comfort for your BMI profile, back/ side sleeping positions and pressure point relief. How is your research coming along? Any other developments?

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.

DIY Latex Mattress - Questions about thickness and firmness of Layers 26 Mar 2021 19:17 #5

Thank you for clarifying the advice and I agree with your assessment. Yes, I did more research on the prices of each layer. I think this combination might work best for my needs and budget:
  • 3" soft talalay (possibly a different firmness or type)
  • 3" medium dunlop
  • 8" quantum edge elite pocketed coils

After looking over the list again, I'm not sure about the 3" soft talalay comfort layer at the top. I feel like my weight would sink down too much on something that soft. Would a medium talalay or soft dunlop be better at first? I've already assumed that by going the DIY route that I'll have to tweak the layers a few times.

And while I'd like to have a firm dunlop base rather than pocketed coils, it's too expensive for me at the moment. That's why I wanted a customized, layered mattress so I can change things if I want later on. Although I admit I am kind of nervous as I've never tried this approach before.

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DIY Latex Mattress - Questions about thickness and firmness of Layers 01 Apr 2021 08:52 #6

Hey Martel14,

Thanks for your response :) .

Thank you for clarifying the advice and I agree with your assessment. Yes, I did more research on the prices of each layer. I think this combination might work best for my needs and budget:
• 3" soft talalay (possibly a different firmness or type)
• 3" medium dunlop
• 8" quantum edge elite pocketed coils

After looking over the list again, I'm not sure about the 3" soft talalay comfort layer at the top. I feel like my weight would sink down too much on something that soft. Would a medium talalay or soft dunlop be better at first? I've already assumed that by going the DIY route that I'll have to tweak the layers a few times.


This question goes back to the role that overall body weight plays in pressure relief and support needs. Heavier weights will perceive a firmer foam as softer because the perception of softness is greatly affected by how far you sink in. A heavier person will also need firmer support layers to prevent their heavier parts from sinking down too far, putting their spine out of alignment as their tendency will be to sink down into a mattress more than a lighter person will. Generally speaking, a 3" comfort layer of either Talalay or Dunlop latex in a Plush/ 24 ILD may be more suitable than a Soft/ 19ILD firmness; however, as only you can "feel" what you feel in terms of comfort and support, its best that you are able to test some hybrids in person to better understand the differences between the two.

And while I'd like to have a firm dunlop base rather than pocketed coils, it's too expensive for me at the moment. That's why I wanted a customized, layered mattress so I can change things if I want later on. Although I admit I am kind of nervous as I've never tried this approach before.


You may discover a pocket coil support core to be quite suitable for your combination of back and side sleeping, they are known for having the greatest response range and greater point elasticity. In other words, they provide "body contouring" and are individually responsive to your body as it moves across the mattress's surface. It is certainly more affordable than an all latex solution, and a popular support choice for that reason. Regarding latex layering, many of our trusted members specializing in the Latex/ All Latex mattress category offer customizable latex layering solutions and would be happy to help with your DIY questions. You may have noticed too that there are many DIYers here on the forum, and a site search on that topic will transport you to that magical world of DIY mattress creativity. Hope your research goes well and looking forward to hearing what you're considering next ;) .

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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