DIY foam & latex setup advice

Hello all,

This morning, I started looking into buying a new mattress. I figured, since the special lady and I have been sleeping on a lousy mattress for a couple years, it was time to upgrade. Who boy, did I fall into an internet hole… Several hours later, I have determined the only option is for me to create a DIY frankenmattress. Despite my reading, I’m pretty clueless, so I would love any feedback y’all might offer about my setup.

Here is what I am thinking:

3" Talalay Latex King Topper by Foam Factory - $346.99

Spa Sensations - 8" Memory Foam Mattress - $251.99"

a piece of plywood

a platform bed, maybe the Malm bed from Ikea.

Other components I am considering
Invigo Fresh Natural Latex 3-Inch Mattress Topper - King - $282
Full 3" Latex Mattress Pad Topper 100% Natural ErgoSoft Latex, Medium Firm Density - $355

Foam Factory 6" HD36-HQ Foam - Standard Mattress - $247

A little more about us:
Me - 30 y/o, 6’, 190 lbs. Prefer a firmer mattress, often a side sleeper, but I toss and turn. I’m basically turning like a rotisserie chicken throughout the night.
Special lady - 28, 5’3", 130 lbs. Prefer a softer mattress. A side sleeper.
The monsters - a 60 lb mutt and an 11 lb bichon, often end up in the bed as well.

Please let me know if there is anything I am missing here, if any of these components/supplies are dubious, or if I might be biting off more than I can chew.



Hi dredge000,

I would suggest reading post #15 here which talks about the different approaches to buying or “building” a mattress. I would also recommend you work with a manufacturer who knows what could otherwise take months of research and testing to learn. In other words … finding an expert that already knows what you would need to learn and sells high quality and value mattresses that can be customized and layered the way you want them is usually more effective than becoming an expert yourself.

If you have done enough research and local testing on many different layering combinations with known specs to know within a small margin of error exactly what layers and components that you need … and if the outcome of the project is less important than the experience or just the “fun” of learning how to build “your perfect mattress” with all the mistakes and ordering of “replacement” layers that they may involve … it can be a great idea. Without this personal experience and research or unless you are one of the fortunate few that can sleep on anything … it can be very “risky” and more expensive both in terms of cost and in terms of quality of sleep than you may suspect. It would be rare that the savings alone of this approach would be worth the risk IMO.

If you choose to go in this direction anyway … the first thing I would suggest is to reconsider using Foam by Mail for any of your layers which IMO would be a big mistake for any purchase where the real specs of what you receive is important. Post #2 here along with post #2 here has more about this. If you order from an outlet that doesn’t describe their products accurately and receive a layer that is different from what you think you ordered … you will have no way to know what changes to make if the layers you order don’t work the way you expect and changes are likely if you aren’t certain about what you need. This can become a very costly exercise because you would have no accurate reference point about about what you are actually sleeping on. There are some alternative and more reliable sources listed in post #4 here.

The next thing I would suggest is enough research and local testing to know your own personal needs and preferences in a mattress rather than the “theory” of what layers may work for you only to discover that you may not fall within the “averages” that most guidelines (such as those in the mattresses section of this site and elsewhere) are based on. Each of us can be more “unique” than we may suspect in our needs and preferences in a mattress

I think that anyone can be successful going in this direction if they have the knowledge to recognize dubious materials or outlets, if they have the time, patience, and money to go through the learning curve and the expenses it may involve, and if the “spirit” of the project is more about learning and having fun than about a specific outcome on the first few tries. For example … is your choice of the Invigo based on its price or is this specific combination of “unknown” polyfoam and “unknown” latex part of an overall design?

If this is only about saving money … it may well lead to paying a price in the quality of your sleep and in actual cost until you have gone through enough trial and error to get it right (unless you can sleep on anything of course). I would also ask if it’s worth the time you would need to spend in research and local testing and the high risk of making mistakes that would lead to ordering more layers and could end up costing more than an approach where you worked with someone who already knows what you would need to learn to make this approach effective. In other words are any potential cost savings worth the time and research involved and the risk that you may not end up with a suitable mattress until you have spent more than you would have with a local purchase or working with an online manufacturer.

If this is about the challenge of building your own mattress and you are OK with the possibility that it could end up costing you more than an alternative approach and that the time and effort involved to lessen the risk is worth it … then it could be a great idea :slight_smile:


Never buy a mattress without trying it out. So don’t buy one online and have it shipped. Don’t go to Mattress Firm or one of the large national chains because they have huge mark ups and the quality is not any better and often worse. Don’t buy from Cosco or Sam’s because you can’t try it out and they are over priced for the quality. Do find some discount mattress stores in your area. Try the different models. There are alot of new mattress concepts that have come out over the last few years that are an improvement over the older spring units. A foam base with a dunlap latex topper is probably the best type of mattress that you can buy. Expect to pay a little more but also expect to be happier for it will last longer than others. :cheer:

I totally disagree with this statement. There are many reasons to buy online. It’s not a solution for everyone, but just like any purchase there are some benefits and possible problems. Often, you can find compatible mattresses using similar configurations for less. Also, if your in an area that doesn’t carry or have a large selection of mattresses, you can search online for different configurations, and materials. Depending on the company you are working with, they even may offer exchanges, or return guarantees that are more flexible than local options.

As I’ve said before there are many good benefits of purchasing online, just as there are benefits of working with a local supplier. Each individuals time, choices, and values will be different and it’s up to each individual consumer to decide what choice is works best for them. More choices, ways to compare, and options will make for a better informed customer.

I also disagree with this statement. Costco and Sam’s both have very generous return policies and are sometimes MUCH easier to work with because of their return policies. If ‘Trying out’ a mattress is very important to you, this is one place that will let you try out mattresses in your own home. These places also offer a consolidated spot for consumer reviews of products. Yes, these reviews might be subjective but they are still a tool for you to use to find out about a purchase.

As for the quality and value, I think as has been mentioned many times, a mattress consumer must find out about the materials IN the mattress including - density of poly-foam, inches of foam and layering. before a value judgement can be made. Yes, I agree it would be easier to find out this information from a well-informed local store, but not everyone has that option. Just as any local store might have good and bad mattresses, I think there are a few mattresses from Costco and Sam’s that have good quality and value for certain consumers.

As with much advice on this and other websites, it’s up to the consumer to use the tools and inform themselves of their purchase. It’s really great to have such a depth of options and choices and understand the pro’s and con’s of each. Knowledge is power (Yo Joe!) and in a perfect world, mattress manufacturers should be very happy to have an informed consumer.

I will retract the idea that it is never a good idea to purchase online. It is possible that someone lives in a very remote part of the country and does not have access to mattress stores. It is very risky however to purchase a mattress online for the reasons of damage in shipping and finding out that the mattress needs to be returned. In addition to adding a good $200- $300 for shipping costs.

Why purchase a mattress at Costco or Sam’s just because they have a good return policy. The quality and price they offer can easily be beat if one will bother to shop and compare.

Hi charlestonbedding,

We’ve had quite a “goaround” about the idea about buying online lately in the forum and there are others who certainly share your more “absolute” opinions. I’m not one of them however … in either direction.

Different people have different ideas about what is important to them and for some … an online purchase can make a lot of sense.

A mattress is only as good as it’s components and there are often no local outlets who either can or will tell you the specs of the materials in their mattresses. This is particularly true in areas that are dominated by major brands. In many cases their own factory reps won’t even tell them the specs of the foam their mattresses use.

You have certainly hit on one of the extra costs involved in an online purchase which of course is shipping but this can also be made up by some of the cost savings of an online outlet. Most of the comments regarding online outlets have been about how they have lower costs and to a degree this is usually true but as you mentioned shipping is one of the areas where the cost of an online outlet is usually higher.

Many of the better online outlets offer a trial period where you can test the mattress at home and it it doesn’t work … you can either exchange certain components, exchange the whole mattress, or get a refund. The costs for doing this vary but with many the costs are very reasonable. Of course some local factory direct outlets also offer the ability to change a layer in a mattress instead of exchanging the whole mattress and some local outlets also offer exchange services.

Better outlets both local and online also make sure that in the uncommon cases that there is damage in shipping or delivery that the mattress is promptly replaced. This happened to me with an adjustable bed I purchased online and it was replaced with absolutely no hoops to jump through and no arguments. It was actually easier than if I had to bring the bed back to a local store because I didn’t have to do a thing.

So for every argument there is a counter argument which may be important to someone else. Blanket statements by their very nature don’t tend to hold up very well in the face of specific details or with the variables and diversity of the industry or what may be important to each person individually that doesn’t necessarily have the same set of priorities as someone else.

More than that I think Coventry has outlined my thoughts as well or better as I could in her earlier post in this thread. If you have thoughts about any specific benefits that a local purchase can offer that doesn’t have an equivalent with an online purchase or even vice versa … then Coventry has started a thread here which will hopefully help people make more informed choices between online and local based on knowledge, facts, and options rather than just competing opinions that may not hold up as quite so “absolute” when they are looked at more closely.