DIY'ing the comfort layers over my innerspring to match the hotel mattresses

Hi Phoenix. I must have read 400-800 of your posts and they’ve been so helpful thank you so much. However, I am now the monster of your creation. I’m now resolutely determined to separately purchase all of the layers that go in-between the innerspring and sheet myself and through various comfort layers, encasements, toppers, and trial and error figure out the combination that works best for me.

I’ve read many post encouraging latex over over polyfoam. However, I seem to sleep great on hotel beds (the last one was a Serta) that seem to have these fragile comfort layers. Since cost is truly no object to me, I’m more than willing to just unzip my encasement and replace the polyfoam every 2-3 months.

I read you mention how opaque the manufacturers are but your provided a link here
This shows 1 inch of firmer foam below 1 1/2 inch of a latex hybid as the padding layers. Followed by 2" of soft conforma foam above that. I also saw alternate configurations of course.
What I’m primarily missing, Phoenix, is what the ILDs are on the padding layers and tops layers on these hotel beds.
My preference is for polyfoam but I have the coin to try to put a layer of latex in the middle as well and see how that works for me.

If its relevant at all my innerspring is a firm pocket coil I bought from Berkeley Ergonomics at the recommendation of the site, but I’m willing to give offsett coil a shot if you think that could help. I also like sleeping with a snugsoft fleece wool topper and I think I might like keep that on there after I’ve removed the 1" of latex and 1 1"2 of microcoils from on top of my mattress in favor of my new experiment.

Of course PPP is going to different for everyone and I fully know I could make things worse for myself. And of course you dont know what foam density and thickness they are using exactly on those 5 star hotel beds or that “Sealy Presige Suite PS” I slept so well in, but I sure would appreciate if you could just give me your wildest guesses.

Then it’ll just be a matter of me getting on the polyfoam resellers you mentioned in
foamlinks and I’ll be on way to getting started!

Hi NeckArthritis=NightimeValium,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

I’m glad you’ve been doing some reading and learning on the site. Good for you.

Hopefully you’re a friendly monster, using your power for good and not evil. :ohmy:

Comfort is certainly subjective, and if you’re attempting to duplicate the feel of a hotel mattress, those mattresses tend to be more basic using low-quality, harder feeling (higher ILD) polyfoams with various top-of-bed products primarily for added surface comfort.

You’ve probably already read this, but for the benefit of others considering what you’re attempting, I’ll copy my general comments about hotel mattresses from post #2 here:

It may also be worth mentioning that Hotel mattresses are typically lower quality and value than the consumer mattresses made by the same manufacturer in the same price range (in the case of Hampton Inn made by Serta). They are used much less than a consumer mattress, are typically newer, and just like most major brand mattresses use lower quality materials that they don’t disclose. As Sleeping also mentioned they are often not the same from hotel to hotel or a particular hotel may not have the same mattress as they are currently selling (see the small print at the end of the description here)

One of the “secrets” to many hotel mattress is that they usually use a bedding package that includes a mattress pad or topper that is a big part of how the mattress feels and can also add to the durability of the mattress (replacing a mattress pad or topper can be less costly than replacing a whole mattress because a mattress or sleeping system will usually soften or break down from the top down). In many cases the more subjective short term experience of sleeping at a hotel is an improvement over the mattress that people sleep on regularly and this often “translates” into the perception that hotel mattresses are better than they are. They are a frequent source of buyer’s remorse.

You can also see from the survey here that over half of all people (and that includes all people including those that are sleeping on old mattresses that are no longer suitable for them and people that are sleeping on mattresses that are working well for them) … prefer their own mattress over a higher end hotel mattress. In many cases … the reason that some people like a hotel mattress is because their own mattress is no longer suitable for them and they don’t have a good frame of reference and almost anything would be an improvement over what they are used to.

Like any mattress though … it’s never a good idea to make a choice without knowing the specifics of what you slept on and hotel mattresses in general are usually an even worse choice than the consumer mattresses made by the same major manufacturer which in turn are usually not good quality/value choices either compared to smaller independent manufacturers around the country.

A few of the other posts around the forum that mention or discuss hotel beds are post #2 here and here and the first part of post #4 here (with some examples of wholesale costs) and in post #2 here and post #10 here, but the overall theme is the same … they are generally a poor quality/value choice and there are many better options available.

[quote]I read you mention how opaque the manufacturers are but your provided a link here
This shows 1 inch of firmer foam below 1 1/2 inch of a latex hybid as the padding layers. Followed by 2" of soft conforma foam above that. I also saw alternate configurations of course. What I’m primarily missing, Phoenix, is what the ILDs are on the padding layers and tops layers on these hotel beds.[/quote]

If you’re building your own product, I wouldn’t follow the specifications of a product using lower quality foams like what you’ve mentioned.

There is no one “standard” hotel mattress. Many mattress brands have what they term “contract bedding” divisions, and the beds are often made to the specifications of the particular client. Generally speaking, the overall theme is a bit of a firmer mattress, innerspring (continuous coils are popular for their firmer feel, but marshall springs, Bonnell and LFK springs are all used), with higher ILD foams of lower density being mostly used for comfort layers. Some brands do offer polyfoam core products). Some will use fiber pads deep down in the upholstery layer for a bit of a harder feel as well. There really is no one standard.

These brands don’t share specifications about their componentry for public consumption. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you’ll see some samples of popular hotel mattresses from Jamison. While ILDs are not mentioned, it gives you a bit of an idea of their makeup when part of an innerspring mattress configuration.

When you’re in the process of acquiring your different foam layers, it will be useful to speak with the different foam suppliers you’re considering, as many of them will have an experience in creating firmer mattresses and can be helpful in assisting you with your DIY project.

This can slightly approximate the top-of-bed products used in many hotels.

I don’t have any information on these beds, except that in general they’re using the lower-density foams as described previously. If you’re building your own product, I would recommend going with higher-quality, higher-density foams as discussed in the Mattress Shopping Tutorial. There is no need to be replacing your foam every few months, unless you’re attempting to chase a particular comfort. If you’re attempting to find a “medium-firm” layer of polyfoam, the difference in cost between low-density and higher-density (1.8 lb. and above) would be reasonable, but the durability will be much better. Attempting to approximate the comfort of a hotel mattress doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to also approximate the lower quality as well.

Strictly as an example, I have a few year-old spec of an innerspring hotel bed (they don’t change too much over the years) that used .75" of 17 ILD polyfoam and .75" of 32 ILD polyfoam in the quilt, and 1" of 32 ILD polyfoam and .5" of 32 ILD polyfoam in the upholstery layers, all on top of a 2 oz. pad and an LFK spring unit. I can’t tell you how that bed feels to me, as I only have the specs. But it specs out as a bit of a firm product, of course.

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, in case you haven’t seen it.

As I think you are already well aware, 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).

I’ll be interested to learn how you progress, and hopefully your level of success.


Thanks for the reply! Today’s the day I plan on calling the foam manufacturers you linked to and I plan on using the last 4 mattresses from the link you provided as a rough template.
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One thing all 4 mention is a firm or extra firm “comfort pad” Unlike the other layers there is no mention of thickness or what type of material it is. Perhaps you could give me your best educated guess as to what exactly this “comfort pad” is. Polyurethane? Thickness? Density? I have no idea.

As always, I’m fully aware that you’re just guessing and that my DIY bed experiment could fail badly. But I appreciate your best guesses anyway.

Hi NeckArthritis=NightimeValium,

It’s usually some sort of compressed pad of recycled/leftover fibers. Here’s a sample. These pads vary in thickness, hardness, material, amount of compression and composition. But they’re usually placed on top of the innerspring unit to provide a harder feel and to prevent materials from packing into the innerspring unit.

I’m looking forward to learning about your progress.


An update on the the invaluable input I’ve been putting to use. I just received foam samples for free from the people at bob’sfoam They didn’t have all the foams in stock in the table of combustion modified foams I wanted. However, they sent samples of 1410(1d, 11-17, labeled super-soft); q21 (2.5d, 21-26ild, medium); q31 (2.5d 31-41, medium-firm); q41 (2.7d, 41-51, firm); and something labled serene which felt even softer than 1410. All were an inch. They have some other types, those were just the samples they sent. However, while I more than welcome your opinions on inches and layering of these types to mimic the “hotel beds”, for all I know, perhaps the innerspring core is of more importance.

In the hotelbedlink I was using as a rough template the innerspring cores were the ones at the bottom of this post. Frankly, I have no idea what a “Mattress Unit using Duraspring InnerAct Support System” is :slight_smile: . But I ask, since, perhaps my experiment of 4 inches of varying densities of polyfoam plus maybe some hybrid materials over innerspring might be best over an more standard innerspring instead of my Berkley Ergonomics pocket coil. Plus, there’s so darn many direct manufacturers near Pasadena (LA) that I read about in a previous post of yours when I was researching my berkley, it might make it easier to buy just an innerspring core. I’ve already started asking but many don’t have a website or reliably answer their phones :S So, of course, if you know of any you guess might be preferable for manufacturing a bonnell then I’m all ears.

TL/DR (for future readers)
My most pertinent question of all is if bonnell, LFK (I don’t know what that is :), or something else (offset?), is better than what I have (pocket coil) for mimicking hotel beds for this fragile but soft polyfoam heavy setup?
You’re the best Phoenix

(The specs on the innerspring cores from the hotelbedlink)
Mattress Unit: 6" Duraspring Bonnell Support System
Twin Coils 216
Full Coils 312
Queen Coils 390
King Coils 468

Mattress Unit: 3" Total Encasement using Duraspring InnerAct Support System
Twin Coils 330
Full Coils 528
Queen Coils 552
King Coils 696

Hi NeckArthritis=NightimeValium,

The 1410 is a very low density foam and I would avoid it. While it is common to use very low density foams in the upper quilt layers of a mattress, it is quilted to the ticking which compresses it and does help extend its life (even though it’s still a level of quality for this foam that I would still avoid). Remember, in your DIY bed your upper layer of foam won’t be quilted, so it will be fully expanded, so you’ll be better off finding a higher-density foam of the plushness you desire. The Q21, Q31 and Q41 and all high-resilience polyfoams (2.5 lb. density or above), so those are good quality, and they vary in ILD. I can’t find any information about the “Serene” on their site. If it feels about the same weight as the 1410, it’s probably just a lower ILD than the 1410 (although that’s already quite a low ILD). More than likely, it could be a better quality low ILD (higher-density) foam that they offer. It’s possibly this 2.5 lb. foam from Carpenter. They call it a nonvisco-elastic product that has some of the properties of memory foam but it’s more resilient.

These are just different marketing terms that they use for Bonnell spring units that they offer. The Bonnell spring has been around for decades and can provide a very firm, traditional feel, depending upon the spring concentration and thickness of steel. The 312 Bonnell has been a very traditional unit, and would generally be the most basic that you’d find used in contract bedding. The higher spring counts would certainly result in a Bonnell that was more supportive and also would contour slightly more (but nowhere near the conformation of an LFK or Pocketed spring). I would suggest you consider some type of pre-compressed felt pad on top of a Bonnell spring unit if you’d use it.
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