Budget DYI latex hybrid mattress for young teen

I’m trying to build a budget latex hybrid mattress for a young teen. He sleeps on his back and sides and is around 100 pounds but I would like the mattress to last at least a few years. Also, he sleeps really hot on his current memory foam mattress.

I narrowed it down as follows

Bottom Layer (one of):

  • pocket coils
  • 6 inches of HD36-R Foam
  • 6 inches of HD36-HQ Foam

I’m guessing that pocket coils might be cooler, but the foam is less expensive. Not sure what’s better otherwise.

Top Layer (one of):

  • 2" Dunlop Latex ILD 19 or 28
  • 2" Talalay Latex ILD 19 or 28

Middle layer:

  • For the middle layer, I was thinking of adding a firm version of one of the Top Layer latex foams, skipping it altogether to save money, or maybe skipping it and changing the Top Layer to 3"…

Cover (one of):

  • Cotton quilted cover
  • Cotton flat cover

Bed base (one of):

  • Inexpensive base
  • Rest mattress on floor

Not sure if resting it on the floor is ok or not.

Except possibly for the bed base, I will be buying everything from Trusted Members. I already did my research on that and have the different options picked out (I just couldn’t find a Trusted Member bed base option that is inexpensive enough). Mainly I’d like to know what I should get for the top and the middle layer (if any) – Dunlop vs Talalay, 2" vs 3", soft vs medium vs firm, 2 layers vs 1 layer. I heard that the bed shouldn’t be too soft for a child, but I’m not sure, and, unfortunately, I can’t take him to a store to try it out. Also, I’m not sure whether to get pocket coils or HD foam, and whether it’s ok to put the mattress on the floor or if there’s an inexpensive base I can use. I am trying to build the bed on a budget, but my first priority is to make sure that he is comfortable and has the proper support. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hey mat,

Welcome to The Mattress Underground :slight_smile: ! Thanks for dropping by and for your question.

Congrats on your DIY latex hybrid mattress project :slight_smile: ! Thanks for including some of your son’s personal stats for review, as well as your plans. Here’s a couple of questions for you: what size mattress are you considering for your son? What is his age and his height? What size and type mattress is he currently using? With a little research, you should be able to design a mattress with interchangeable components that could take him through his college years and beyond.

A pocket coil array support layer has the advantage of providing cooling air circulation throughout the unit. To have as cool a mattress as possible, review all items in your son’s sleep environment, including pillows, linens, sleeping apparel, etc.

Does he like the “sinking into” body cradling feel of his current memory foam mattress? Memory foam offers quite a different feel and response than that ofLatex foam. He will find that latex provides a more uplifting “sleeping on” the mattress feel, rather than Memory foam’s slow response, cradling “sleeping in” the mattress feel. A 19 ILD latex is roughly a Plush/ softer feel, while a 28 ILD is a medium/ firmer feeling latex. Talalay latex has a springier, more lively response with a good conforming comfort feel for the user, while Dunlop latex is slightly firmer and gives a more supportive feel. In other words, the choice of comfort layer materials is primarily one of a personal preference.

Either of these three transition layer options will work, mat.

Cotton is a good natural material choice for a mattress encasement, as natural fibers promote breathability and temperature regulation in the outer layers of the mattress. A waterproof mattress protector is also a good investment for increasing the useful life of your son’s mattress, protecting it from the elements as well as keeping it fresh.

It’s okay to place the mattress on the floor if that is your preference; no harm should come to your son sleeping in this manner. However, for the mattress’s longevity sake, use of an inexpensive base will protect the mattress longer, providing more protection for it and avoiding the floor’s unforgiving feel. Overall, a good foundation will increase the life of the mattress and is worth considering purchase.

Your young teen-aged son will grow another 50% during the next ten years, making it important that the mattress you construct will grow and adapt with him. Your choice of a DIY mattress allows you to update the upper layers of the mattress as he grows and his body’s comfort needs change without having to replace the entire mattress; good job on this design approach! It is unfortunate that you are not able to make showroom visits together, but understandable as store shopping is still not 100% accessible for everyone during these pandemic times. Your responses to the above questions will help guide you through Talalay vs. Dunlop latex for comfort materials and what firmness he may prefer. You don’t necessarily need a transition layer for this design; a 3" latex comfort layer over the support core of choice should be fine. If you want the mattress to sleep as cool as possible, a pocket coil support core would be a good choice, and use of an foundation is highly advisable. Thanks for considering component purchases from TMU’s trusted members, there are many who are highly skilled in the DIY category, and you may ask them questions about your proposed build too. Special added bonus: anytime a consumer subscriber asks at least one forum question (and this one counts), they are entitled to a small TMU discount offered by participating trusted members as a Thank You for supporting the program. Looking forward to your reply and thanks.