DIY Latex Mattress Stackup

Hi unclecrystal,

As you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own DIY mattress out of separate components that are purchased from one or several different sources, then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project, the best approach to a DIY mattress is a “spirit of adventure” where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

You may very well be well “down the rabbit hole” and overloading yourself into analysis paralysis, and unless you are extremely experienced with mattress componentry and design (which would be an incredible small number of people) or have a wide range of products that you’ve tested that you can use as a “baseline” of reference, then I would tend to either use the specs (if they are available) of a mattress that you have tested and confirmed is a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP as a reference point or blueprint and try and “match” every layer and component in your reference mattress as closely as possible or alternatively use a “bottom up” approach (see post #2 here).

In the end, the only way to know whether any specific mattress design or combination of layers and components is a good “match” for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) with any certainty will be based on your own careful testing and/or your own personal experience when you sleep on it.

I would also be worried if you are putting comfort before support, as I would recommend beginning with support first and then surface comfort second in your priority. Just because a mattress has good support doesn’t mean that it will necessarily feel hard on top. There is more about primary or “deep” support and secondary or “surface” support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the “roles” of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between “support” and “pressure relief” and “feel” that may be useful as well.

There is also some great information in this PHD thesis by Vincent+Verhaer (who is one of a group of researchers that I greatly respect) about the importance of good spinal alignment that clearly indicates that for healthy individuals it has the single biggest effect on the depth and quality of sleep, versus surface plushness. Of course, the ideal is to have both comfort and alignment.

There’s certainly no reason that you couldn’t achieve good results with a 3x3" layering system of latex that you’re considering for your BMI and somatotypes.

[quote]Phoenix or anyone here who has experience doing this- If you knew you wanted a super soft comfort layer but still wanted to maintain spinal alignment (considering our weight/height/preferences) which layer would you suggest removing? I’m open to all feedback here!
Stretch cotton cover $169.00 From Latex Mattress Factory
Layer 1- 3’’ Natural Talalay 14-18 ILD $545.00 From Sleep Organic
Layer 2- 3’’ Natural Dunlop 19 ILD $339.00 From Latex Mattress Factory
Layer 3- 3’’ Natural Dunlop 28 ILD $379.00 From Latex Mattress Factory
Layer 4- 3’’ Natural Dunlop 38 ILD $439.00 From Latex Mattress Factory

Refer back to my link to the DIY post earlier in this thread for help in designing your own DIY mattress. It’s really not possible for someone here on the forum to predict what might work for you, or what you consider “super soft” yet would still maintain your overall alignment. As I mentioned earlier in this post, my first recommendation would be to mimic a configuration that is already in production from a manufacturer or one that you’ve been able to test in person, or being with a “bottom up” approach.

In the “progressive configuration” you’ve presented, you have a total of 6" of quite soft material, and then you transition to some much firmer material, so the initial concern I would have would be the overall amount of plushness. Again, I can’t say if this would or wouldn’t work for you, but over the years my experience has been that people tend to skew too far toward plushness in DIY projects. Only your personal testing would tell for sure.

[quote]I found a few other discussions regarding DIY stackup here and based off of this discussion I think that removing the 19 ILD may be the way to go.
So the stack would be:
Stretch cotton cover $169.00 From Latex Mattress Factory
Layer 1- 3’’ Natural Talalay 14-18 ILD $545.00 From Sleep Organic
Layer 2- 3’’ Natural Dunlop 28 ILD $379.00 From Latex Mattress Factory
Layer 3- 3’’ Natural Dunlop 38 ILD $439.00 From Latex Mattress Factory

While reading through the site can be a useful tool, I would advise caution against using anyone else’s specific configuration as an accurate predictor of what may or may not work for you, as there are entirely too many personal variables involved to be able to do so.

This is part of the discovery of creating your own DIY mattress without any testing, because as you mention you’re not aware what 14 ILD Talalay feels like. Additionally, all of the layers of a mattress work together, and while you are certainly using very plush materials in the uppermost layers, you may end of “feeling through” these layers (as is your concern) and then experiencing more of the firmer deeper layers (which at your BMIs should be adequate for appropriate alignment), so sometimes a mattress using very plush (14 ILD) upper layers can actually end up feeling “firmer” than a similar product using slightly firmer (for example 19 ILD) upper layers. I know, it can be counterintuitive, which is why your own personal testing will provide the most appropriate and accurate feedback. The good news is that everything you’re considering is using good quality and durable materials.