First DIY Mattress - feedback on build

Hi all,

I’m a 5’6", 140 lbs side sleeper with wide shoulders, and wake up ever morning with a sore mid/upper back. I’m using a queen size 9" memory medium foam mattress I bought on Amazon for about $200 three years ago. Having posted on r/mattress on reddit, I was recommended the following: a simple memory foam mattress with 6" of polyfoam as the support layer, 2" of soft latex and then 2" of memory foam with a stretch knit cover. I had been leaning towards springs on the base layer but was steered away from that. The recommendation made sense to me except the 2 x 2" of soft support layer. Being small and light, I was expecting three inches, but maybe it’s to accommodate my light weight and broad shoulders?

Following the advice, I went to source the parts, and here’s what I came up with:

Non-quilted Cover - Looking for a knit construction so it stretches. Surprised that this is one of the most expensive parts of the mattress
SleepLikeABear All-Natural Knit Bamboo and Cotton Zipper Cover $210 (not washable)
DIY Natural Bedding Knit Ticking $257 (washable)

Latex comfort layer - I’m unclear on the difference between standard latex and talalay latex.
Flexus Comfort 2" Talalay comfort layer (soft latex) $240
SleeponLatex 2" comfort layer (soft latex) $165
Naturally Latex 2" comfort layer (soft latex) $155

Memory foam comfort layer - I can see several more expensive options than these, but it’s unclear what the benefits might be.
Mattress Topper 2" 4lb comfort layer - $88
Foam by mail 2" 4lb comfort layer - $123

Support layer
Foam by Mail 6" support layer (polyfoam) HD36-HQ - $210
2 x 3" Sleep on Latex support layer (medium latex) - $500

I’d really appreciate thoughts on:

  • the depth of comfort layer I need,
  • selection for each layer
  • anything I have not thought about and should

Thank you!

Hi megapleb.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :slight_smile:

It sounds like you’ve put in a lot of work and research already. I’m interested to know what ultimately convinced you to move away from a hybrid/innerspring DIY towards an all foam configuration?

Ultimately, this comes down to parsing words. Above your base layer (6") you have a total of 4" of foam. While one is your primary comfort layer, the other is a “support” or transition layer which is still playing a comfort role. Any additional foam would create a rather thick comfort layer that could compromise your alignment, especially with both of these 2" layers being on the softer side.

I’m also unclear here. There’s blended latex, natural latex, and Dunlop latex (in addition to Talalay latex). Where are you seeing the “standard latex?” I’d be happy to look into that and let you know what they’re referring to.

For your base layer, are you leaning more towards latex or polyfoam? Have you been able to try out any all-foam mattresses locally that use either of these components to help decide which feel you like best?


Thanks for the reply Nikki!

I placed orders last night in queen size for:

Foam by Mail 6" support layer (polyfoam) HD36-HQ. This seems to be well though of from the feedback I’ve read, though the company less so. I believe this will give me a good foundation on which to build the rest of the mattress.

Flexus Comfort 2" Talalay comfort layer (soft latex). I took advice from u/the_leviathan711’s on reddit to spend the extra and get Talalay. Flexus says they will ship within 48h which is appealing compared to several others that said 2-3 weeks to ship. The price is a very reasonable $240 less 10% discount from a code I found. I also read that the smell of Talalay is less irritating than dunlop. I was very tempted to go with Sleep On Latex given their return policy and good customer service, but I think I may end up putting the memory foam under the latex, and felt the talalay would be a better top comfort layer than dunlop.

Mattress Topper 2" 4lb comfort layer - This seems to get good feedback and is again well priced at $88. There have been some concerns about the company recently, hopefully me order is issue free.

SleepLikeABear All-Natural Knit Bamboo and Cotton Zipper Cover - I thought this was expensive at $210, but when I looked at the alternative DIY Natural Bedding Cotton Ticking @ $257 + $35 shipping, there was a substantial different. The advantage is that it’s washable where as the sleeplikeabear isn’t, but I decided it wasn’t worth the extra cash. I also looked at the Sleep On Latex Cotton/Poly non-knit @$139 but it doesn’t look nearly as nice or robust.

Now I just need to wait for it all to arrive and hope I like it!

On the 3" comment, I wasn’t looking to add more comfort layers, I was saying I was surprised 4" was recommended, I expected 3" would be enough.
Standard latex - I was looking at Sleep On Latex and they didn’t say it’s Dunlop on the page I was looking at which confused me.
Base layer - As you can see, I went with polyfoam mainly due to price and having had no experience of latex yet, I didn’t want to dramatically increase the cost with no idea if I’d actually like it.
Trying out - I went to Mattress Firm at the weekend and liked the Stearns & Foster Estate Rockwell 14.5 in both medium and plush, and the Beautyrest Beyond in medium and plush. I then did some reading, and felt these didn’t represent value for money. I did not like the Purple mattress I tried in store.

hybrid/innerspring DIY towards all foam - Again, reddit advice was that all of the inner springs were on the firm side, so given I’m a light sleeper, if I went that route I’d have to add more support / comfort layers to soften the mattress up. By choosing a foam or latex base, I didn’t need to do that.

That was supposed to say, light, side sleeper. Strange I can’t see an edit button for my posts.

Hi megapleb.

It’s very exciting you’ve placed your order for your components. It looks like a lot of thought went into each decision, and we look forward to hearing how the set up goes and how you’re enjoying the feel of your DIY once you have had the chance to sleep on it through the break in period.

Oh, as per the edit button - we don’t currently have an edit option as in the past, this has been abused to change posts, etc. to look as if they said one thing when they originally said something else. We are always happy to go in and make any edits for you, should you wish for us to do so.

I looked at the SOL latex - the “standard” appears to be associated with a certifications (GOLS) on their pure green natural latex.

Ah! I misread. My apologies. Anywhere from 2 - 4" is recommended. With one being a “transition layer” and the other a “comfort layer” the 4" configuration seems like a reasonable suggestion, and one of those layers is going to be a bit more firm. 4" of very soft foam would be excessive in your case, though.

Looking forward to any updates!

Update on this. Initial orders were placed on 29 Sep.

The HD36-HQ arrived on 3 Oct and seems pretty good. It’s definitely on the firm side, and seems resilient.

Mattress Topper 2" 4lb arrived on 13 October. This is very soft and I sink into it quite a bit even though I’m light. I’m interested to try this as both the top and second comfort layer to see which works best. If you sleep hot you probably won’t like this.

Flexus Comfort 2" Talalay - Still not shipped (22 days later), and no response to either of my emails asking when it will ship. Unless you have no concern about timing, I would be very wary of ordering from Flexus. I may cancel this order (not quite sure how I will do that given they don’t respond, might have to do a charge back through my credit card).

SleepLikeABear All-Natural Knit Bamboo and Cotton Zipper Cover is due to arrive tomorrow (23 days after order). This took its time, but the company said 15 working days to produce if it’s not in stock, and they responded quickly to an email confirming there was no stock, so they managed my expectations.

Once the cover shipped, I didn’t want to wait any longer to have a new mattress given the discomfort of my old one, so I ordered Naturally Nestled 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper on 18 October, which arrived on 21 October. I certainly can’t fault their speed. Despite reviews to the contrary, there’s an easily detectable odour from the topper which I hope will fade. It’s not chemical in nature but it’s not pleasant either. I like the softness and bounciness of the latex compared with the memory foam, and there’s plenty support but there might not be enough contouring. I’m interested to try this both above and below the memory foam, and if I don’t end up cancelling the Flexus Talalay order, how it works both above and below that.

I can’t wait for the cover to arrive tomorrow!

Hello Megapleb. Interested in how this all came together and how it’s been for you! Can you share?


Hi Nick,

It worked out reasonably well. Certainly the new mattress is an improvement on my old one. Key things I noticed:

  1. My legs don’t get sore in bed anymore.
  2. My shoulders and neck are less sore after sleep, though that has also benefited from buying a slightly taller pillow.
  3. Lying on my back without a pillow is less comfortable than before, my head sinks in a little too much.

Overall I’m reasonably happy with my mattress, but it was considerable work to understand what might be a good fit, source the parts, and put the mattress together. I believe I got a better mattress than I could have from a shop at anything close to the same price, but once you factor in the cost of my time, that may not be true.