DIY Latex build- heavy side sleeper with shoulder pain

Hi all- after lots of research, I think a DIY latex build will be best for us. I’m uncertain what firmness to make the layers as we are heavier weights but both have shoulder pain and often prefer the feel of a softer, more plush mattress. Our current mattress is giving us zero support (5ish-year-old original purple mattress) so our shoulders are okish but our lower backs are not.

About us:
5’5, 220lb, side sleeper- sleeps hot
5’7 190 lb, side and back sleeper

Thank you!

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Hey helpmesleep,

I moved you over to the Talk To the Experts Category. This will keep the continuity of your questions all in one category. Now that you are in the Talk to Experts General Area, any one of our Trusted Members can offer suggestions and advice. Such @Sleep_EZ , @Latex_Mattress_Fact1 , @diynaturalbedding, @Arizona_Premium, @CST (talalay options) and @FloBeds (talalay options) can all offer suggestions.

A nice tool you can use is @CST Body Profile analysis tool. CST Profile Tool Middle of the Page

CST’s segmented options present an unlimited group of options to target each area of your body with changeable layers, should something end up not quite right. They are not the only option for changeable layer options, but I find their color coded options an easy way to picture you DIY in you mind.

As heavier sleepers there are those who would suggest a pocketed spring support system, a concept that I like. Fortunately latex can be made in a variety of density and firmness levels that allow for both Dunlop and Talalay to be used as a support system layers. There may be some options that consist of partial or non latex construction such as @DLX offer that have very comfortable options for the over 200lb crowd.

As mentioned before, all of our trusted members will access your profile and customize a DIY that will be just right for your needs.

We are always here to help, but I will defer to our TM’s first!


Thanks for mentioning us, @Maverick. For those seeking a non-latex option, we’ve got some alternatives.
For anyone considering a DIY latex mattress, the Mattress Underground is unparalleled in its depth of knowledge among its members. We highly encourage anyone to reach out to a few members and collaborate on finding a solution; most have been doing this for over 20 years and should be able to provide you with everything you need from a single retailer to build a latex mattress.

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Hi Helpmesleep and thanks for reaching out on this! based on the information you’ve provided, I would normally recommend three 3" layers with medium Talalay for the top layer, medium Dunlop in the middle, and firm Dunlop at the bottom. The top Talalay layer should provide all the contour and pressure relief needed to avoid any pressure point issues and will add secondary support to the mattress. Secondary support is needed to fill in the gaps between your body and the mattress – back sleepers normally need secondary support to fill in the gaps between the small of their back and the mattress; side sleepers normally need secondary support to fill in the gaps between their mid-section and the mattress. If these parts of a person’s body aren’t supported by the mattress, their muscles will work throughout the night to hold these parts of the body up, and by the time they wake up they’ve got back pain. So the top 3” of Talalay latex will provide contour, pressure relief, and secondary support. The remaining Dunlop layers should provide all the support needed to maintain proper spinal alignment and avoid back pain. Please keep in mind that our initial recommendations have a 90% success rate (we only have a 10% layer exchange rate and a 3%-4% return rate) so there’s a 90% chance that the above recommendation works perfectly for you.

Even though both sides would be the same, I would still recommend splitting all of your layers. About 95% of our mattresses go out with all split layers from top to bottom, and we get zero complaints on being able to feel the split and we get zero complaints about the layers shifting or anything like that. If all of your layers are split, you will always be able to adjust your side without affecting your partner’s side and vice versa, and you’ll have that option for the entire 20 year lifespan of the mattress. Additionally, the mattress will be easier to assemble, easier to move if needed, easier to do any layer exchanges if needed, and easier to return if needed. There really are no downsides to having all split layers.

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