So I’m thinking of doing a 3 layer latex mattress. Using three 3" 100% natural pads (links at the bottom). I’m concerned about two things: 1) Are these quality pads from a quality maker, or am I saving a buck then spending two more later to fix my mistake? And 2) Is this thick enough for a 150-160lb person, or should I definitely snag another 2-3 inches? Or should I wait and see how it feels with just 9 inches?
Firm 44ILD (5.9lb/cu.ft.)
Medium 30ILD (5.0lb/cu.ft.)
Soft 20ILD (4.0lb/cu.ft.)
If you see some other problem I am over-looking, let me know. Currently, the middle layer is supposed to be both a comfort and supportive layer. There are 2" pads available, so I could do a ‘4 layer’ later if you think I should have a little more in the comfort or support layer. Lemme know what you think. But again, I really want to know if these pads are any good or if I should shop elsewhere.
Karl and Sleep on Latex is a reliable supplier and these are all high quality materials (100% natural Dunlop). You can read more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here.
I would also keep in mind that if you haven’t tested the specific combination of layers in person then only your own sleeping experience will be able to tell you for certain whether the layers you are choosing are a good match for you in terms of PPP (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).
It would certainly be all you “need” at your weight and you would need to be closer to the high 200 lb range to “need” more than 9" of latex although a thicker latex mattress may still be a preference for some people. I would wait until you have tested the three layers you’ve ordered before considering any additional layers. There is also more about the benefits of a thicker mattress in post #14 here.
You don’t need a single 6" core no. There is more about using two 3" layers vs a single 6" core in post #2 here.
I would keep in mind that you will also need a good quality cover for your latex layers. Some of the better sources for mattress covers are listed in the component post here.
What kind of lifespan am I looking at if I went with no cover? Are we talking less than 5? This mattress really only should last me 10 years at most (I would expect I’d be living with someone by that time).
Also, since you mentioned that I dont need more than 9" unless I was upper 200lbs, would 6" probably be okay for my 150lbs, or is 9" significantly more likely to benefit my weight?
Can you recommend an inexpensive cover that doesn’t take away from the latex? The only things I’m finding are $200+ or $20 cheap plastic. I’m considering buying bamboo covers from Sleep On Latex at the same time, but 3 $60 covers is tough to part with.
There is no way to know this for certain because it will depend on the conditions of use, what the mattress is exposed to, and on when the gradual loss of comfort and support leads to crossing the thresholds from sleeping well on a mattress to “sleeping OK” to “tolerating it” to finally deciding to replace it. This will be different for different people.
There is also more in post #2 here about the factors that can oxidize or break down latex.
Having said all that … I think that in most “normal use” conditions where the latex isn’t exposed to substances that can break it down prematurely that it should last for at least 5 years with only minimal covering but beyond that there would be too many variables involved to be able to guess.
If you are designing and building your own mattress out of separate components the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to so that you can make sure that you have 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. 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).
There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved to be able to reliably predict whether any design will work well for any specific person based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). The only way to know whether any combination of layers will work well for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) will be based on your own personal testing and experience. Thinner mattresses are generally firmer so if you are a back or stomach sleeper and don’t sleep on your side or if you tend to prefer firmer mattresses then the odds of success with a thinner mattress would be a little higher but side sleepers will often need some softer layers on top of the firmer support core so they may prefer a combination of layers that ends up being a little thicker. There is more about the effects of thickness in post #14 here.
The component post I linked earlier includes the better sources for covers I’m aware of and post #4 here includes a list of the thinner more stretchy knit covers I know of from the list.