HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Jan 12, 2011 3:38 PM
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Points: 18
Hi, I am 40 and 6'2" and about 190 lbs.  I equally sleep on back and skid and like a firm mattress and have lower back problems.  I don't have disc, etc. problems but my muscles get fatigued very easily when doing any activity and they will also go out and spasm easily.  I don't have much selection in my area, I liked the extra firm Simmons beautyrest at couple of stores.  This weekend I plan on going to Minneapolis to try some all latex in dunlop and taladay.  

I am using a queen waterbed foundation and right now using a 5" extra firm Poly base that is from JCpenney and an old 6 inch Poly foam mattress my parents had which is surprisingly still in decent shape.  I like the feeling of sleeping on foam and like feeling of the tempurpedic beds and all latex bed that I tried in store before.  I did try a 3" memory foam topper on the PU foam few years ago and didn't like the sinking in by end of night.  

I am on a limited budget and hope to keep total as low as possible.  I plan on buying a 3" latex and put it on my poly base and sometime later in next year replace the base with a 6" lux 50 ILD poly from foamdistributing.  Or I could get 6" of latex in two 3" layers and just sleep on that but I am not sure if that would be thick enough but it might be?  I could get another 3" down the road when my budget allows for it.  If I did that I could get bottom layer of 44ILD or 36 ILD dunlop and top layer of 31 or 36 dunlop.  

Right now I am looking at few options.  Either 3" 32ILD from foambymail or a 3" 31 ILD or 36 ILD dunlop from foamorder.  If I get 3" latex over 6" poly I also worry that the 36 ILD poly from foamdistributing wouldn't be firm enough but that the 50 ILD lux might be too firm?  But I have seen a few people happy with a DIY mattress using 3" 32 ILD from FBM over 6" of 50 ILD.  

Anyone know why the dunlop from foamorder shows it as 2.8 inches?  Also I wasn't really looking at dunlop after seeing that video on flobeds showing a piece of dunlop that was compressed for 4 years as seen here  But I think I may like the dunlop and will have a better idea after trying some in store this weekend.

So to summarize:

1) Use 6" premium poly of 36 or 50 ILD as base

2) 3" of foambymail 32 ILD or 3" dunlop 31 ILD or 3" dunlop 36 ILD over the 6" poly base

3) Forget #1 and #2 and just sleep on 6" latex with idea of getting more latex in future.  Would either use 36 or 44 ILD dunlop in bottom and 31 or 36 ILD dunlop on top or the          32ILD from foambymail.  

I would appreciate any opinions and suggestions.  

Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #11 Jan 16, 2011 9:33 PM
Joined: Oct 3, 2010
Points: 809
Wow ... what great and informative feedback.

1) Tried Simmons extra firm with 800 and one with 1000 coils.  They both felt good but of course decided to stay away from mattress with coils and cheap poly.
The "S" companies make mattresses that feel good ... for a while. Not sure which verions these were (many variations of construction both in the coils and in what's on top) so I won't draw any conclusions from it regarding what works for you
2) Another store had an Ashley with 7" poly, 2" 19 ILD latexm, and 1" 28 ILD latex, and 1/2" poly for $1049.  It felt good but tiny bit soft.  Also had a Restonic with 2" poly base (said it is for reducing to keep latex from jiggling which I thought was funny), 7" dunlop, 2" super soft latex, 1.5" poly quilt top for $1379.  It felt little too soft also but felt nice. 
This helps a lot. It says that "about" 3" of soft on top of a firmer support layer seems to work for you and is "pointing" to what ILD of softness is good. The lower layer of firm poly glued to the layer above it is not so uncommon to prevent "jiggling" which is "side to side" movement or "swaying" that can come from some thicker softer mattresses. It doesn't play a role in support as much as "feel".
3) Next found a place that sold Savvy Rest.  They don't publish their ILD's but I found one post that thought the soft = 30, medium =35, and firm = 40.  I liked the soft/medium/firm and the medium/medium/firm.  Their mattress is 3 layers of 3" dunlop for $2200. I really liked the feel of  both configurations. Actually think something just in between would be perfect but probably could be happy with either. I did like the feel of dunlop. 
While Savvy Rest offers both Dunlop and Talalay ... I will assume that they told you specifically this one was Dunlop? I seriously doubt the ILD's you referred to as they would not in any way be "labeled" accurately if they were. I would think in Dunlop that "soft" is about mid 20's, "medium" would be low 30"s and firm would be high 30's low 40's. Dunlop is less springy or "lively" than Talalay and some people like this. If it was Talalay (at least on top) then it would likely be softer than the Dunlop.
4) Another store had a Restwell for $1200 with what he said was 6" of blended talalay latex 3.7 lb and 30 ILD with 2" of 3.1 lb 15 ILD latex and a 1/2" polyester/cotton quilted cover. This was one of my favorite ones.  It felt very firm but soft.  I don't know what the 3.7 lb latex is though as I though all latex over 5 lbs?  Also, surprised that it felt firmer than the Savvy Rest's soft/medium/firm given that the ILD's are lower?  I assume that the tight quilted top made the soft 2" top of talalay feel firmer. 
3.7 lb Latex is typical for Talalay ... Dunlop is heavier and often over 5lb. If these stats are correct then this is very good value in a mattress. This is a little more "progressive"  layering (the initial compression of the 30 ILD helps the 2" of soft with forming a cradle and further compression helps with "firmer" support). The overall construction seems good for your type of sleeping.  I suspect that this was a factory direct outlet rather than room and board (which carries Restwell but are a little more expensive)?
5) Last store sold just Sealy.  They had an Sealy Embody with 7" poly and 3" latex.  They had a one day sale, lol, marked down from $4000 to $ have to be kidding me!  Anyway, they had no specs, I had to drag it out of him.  I said looking for all latex and he showed me that model and I said it is all latex then and he said yes.  I said I thought Sealys used poly foam as a base and he said oh yeah it has some poly in it...I finally got him to give me the specs. 
You didn't say how this felt which may be helpful but certainly a pretty typical "salesperson". How it felt may help to "confirm" other feedback because it seems that this may have also been close. Funny that they think it was worth $2000 or that they believe that cutting a highly inflated price in half produces value. You did well to "immunize yourself" against these tactics.
Given I am on a low budget I was planning on doing a DIY, but this gave me good idea how latex feels. I don't think I would ever buy a latex mattress from store that has poly base because that seems foolish given that poly give out before latex. 
While a high quality (HR) poly base will not have impression issues or wear out quickly ... especially in the support layers ... it is certainly a less expensive material and the price of the mattress should reflect that. It can be a good choice for very limited budgets that can't afford "all latex".
Can anyone confirm that Savvy Rest's ILD's are about 30, 35, and 40 ILD? 
If they really were these ILD's then they would be mislabelling them by using soft medium and firm ... especially with the soft and even more so with Talalay. If they mean Dunlop ... then what I mentioned earlier is likely more accurate. Given how you felt in laying on it in comparison to other mattresses ... I seriously doubt that these are anywhere near accurate.
Right now I planning on getting on clearance from foamorder a 3" 31 ILD dunlop and a 3" 36 ILD dunlop and a 3" lux 50 ILD from foamdistributing.  Getting the lux poly instead of 3rd layer of latex saves me about $230 and I could switch for latex in future. 
Does this sound like reasonable configuration?  I figure I can get a 1 or 2" soft talalay, etc. in the future for it if it is slighty too firm for me. Also plan on using a terry cloth zipped cover similar to temperpedic cover.  
I would think that you have too much firm in this configuration and while that is not "bad" it is certainly not necessary. 6" of "support" is plenty and then you could build your comfort layer on top of this. You seem to need 3" of "soft" on top based on what you are "reporting" and with 9" of firmer underneath you would end up with a 12" latex mattress with another inch for the cover. This in my thinking would not be needed.
3" dunlop 31 ILD -    $335
3" dunlop 36 ILD -    $335
3" lux 50 ILD-           $95
cover -                     $50
shipping -                $110 (Surprised foamorder doesn't have free shipping)
Total Cost -             $925
This ... with either the lux or the 36 Dunlop removed may work for you but based on your feedback you would need 3" more for a comfort layer ... and preferably softer Talalay ... or at a minimum the very softest Dunlop.
This blows my budget out of the water, but I really need to get something to help my back.
I might call foamorder and ask if they will provide free shipping if I buy a 3rd latex layer and then I wouldn't get the lux foam. They normally require minimum $1200 for free shipping.
If they allow it, they have a 3" of 44 ILD dunlop for $316 on clearance.  Would this work ILD work ok and be better than getting the lux poly?   

Don't forget that 8" of Talalay or Talalay/Dunlop is available through online sources for less than you are likely to pay here (They start at around $1000 preconstructed and can be even less for 9" if you take advantage of buying components separately). I don't mean that foamorder is not good ... I believe they are ... but that there may be less expensive ways if you choose "mostly" or "all" latex ... especially if as I believe is likely ... Talalay on top may work better for you.
If I decide on lux foam for bottom, will this work ok?  Hopefully won't be too firm.  If I understand it right it isn't actual HR foam? It is 2.8 lbs and 50 ILD and support factor of 1.9 and resilency of 45. At other places that I checked that have HR foam the prices are much higher that it is almost as much as getting latex.
You are correct ... it is not HR foam by definition (the support factor is not high enough to qualify even though the density is) so it would be higher quality HD polyfoam. You could either dump this layer or a 3" layer of Dunlop IMO.
I am putting this on a water bed foundation I made which is a solid fiber board.  Should I drill holes in it for breathability?
I would probably tend to get some cheap slats and put it on the foundation rather than start drilling holes (IKEA?). I am one of those who prefers slatted over a solid base but there are others who would believe differently.
Also, I heard that one side of dunlop is firmer than the other. So if it is spec'd at 31 ILD, what would other side be? 33?...very slightly or more firmer?
How big a difference would depend on which part of a 6" layer it was cut from and also the manufacturer of the Dunlop (different pincore patterns etc and even slight differences in production methods) but there would likely be a difference yes. Dunlop may not have the same consistency of ILD as Talalay at different sections and all latex is "averaged" in different places in it's rating but if the "softer" side was say 31 on average then i would probably be reasonable to assume a difference of 2-4 ILD (which is not really enough to feel but may make a slight difference in how it performs). How deeply you sink in to a layer will make a bigger difference in it's "softness" (ILD is measured at 25%)
I appreciate any comments and suggestions.  Given a low budget I don't see any other places where I could put such a configuration together for the price I listed.  Right now I am pretty much sleeping on couch and like the feel of foam and like firmer but I might like softer on top too since latex is inherently supportive. Again, I liked the Savvy Rest soft/medium/firm and also the medium/firm/firm.  And I can always try a very soft 1 or 2" on top later. 
Given your feedback and sleeping positions, I believe you will need about 2-2.5" (progressive construction) or 3"-3.5" (differential construction) of a softer layer on top.
Just for reference sake ... one of these would also seem to me to be very close to a good construction for you
This message was modified Jan 16, 2011 by Phoenix
Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #12 Jan 16, 2011 10:11 PM
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Points: 18
Phoenix, Thanks for replies!!  I am still reading your responses in detail.  The 2 configurations at savvyrest that I liked were definetly all 3 layers of dunlop.  They said for extra money you can get any of the layers in talalay and that it would give softer feel.  The ILD's I got for savvyrest came from post below and another one that I can't find right now.

Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #13 Jan 16, 2011 10:13 PM
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Points: 18
Also, here is a blog talking about firmness by the owner of Savvyrest.  I wish they would tell customers what ILDS their layers are.

Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #14 Jan 16, 2011 10:17 PM
Joined: Oct 3, 2010
Points: 809
I've read pretty much all of the Savvy rest site ... and it has good information ... but doesn't mention the specific ILD's I believe for competitive reasons.

There is just no way that I believe that the ILD's mentioned in the post are accurate as I do not believe Savvy Rest would mislabel or misrepresent their latex that badly.

They may be relatively expensive but I believe they are reputable and not prone to that kind of misinformation (the information was probably a "bad guess" from someone not connected to Savvy Rest)


This message was modified Jan 16, 2011 by Phoenix
Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #15 Jan 17, 2011 1:48 PM
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Points: 18
Phoenix, well I made a decision.

 First of all what you said about getting 6" firmer with 2" supersoft on top makes sense... like you said a lot of the extra firm coils have supersoft foam on top and that is what I may end up doing.  What I did was order the dunlop three 3" layers from foamorder of 31, 36, and 44 for $1000 with shipping.  BTW, they were very very pleasant to talk to on the phone and answered all my questions.  I have 90 days to return any layer, although there is 25% restocking since I bought clearance items.  Now I know what I did goes against what you said a bit but let me explain.  Since I have spent this much I am planning on also getting a 1.5 or 2" soft latex from somewhere.  With 4 layers then I get try every possible combination to see what I like.  I can also fold a layer in half so, for example, can fold any layer in half to make 6" and put 2" soft latex on top and see if I like that, etc., etc. 

 I don't think it would hurt or tear the 3" latex to fold it in half to try out layers that way for few nights? 

So now I would like to get your opinion on what to get for soft layer to have for testing.

Should I get a 1" or 1.5" or 2"?  Foamorder has a 1" or 2" dunlop in 25 ILD which is their softest for $100 or $150.  Or do you have any recommendations for source of a soft talalay to use?  I think I would like to stay away from convoluted latex.  Also I was looking at a 1.5" or 2" talalay on is below.  The nice thing about amazon is it is risk free since there is free shipping and they have free returns since this topper is sold from them.  The bad thing is the one I am looking at has no specs.  From pic it looks like talalay and says queen shipping weight is 31 lbs and I would think it is a softer ILD but again it would be risk free to try it out.  Again if you have any other places to suggest.

Also, a minor thing I think.  But I am planning on just getting a terry cloth tempurpedic style zipped cover.  This is to save money and also I think I don't want thicker cover to be as close to the latex as possible.  I am wondering if I should get inch more or less in depth to be looser or stretched tight.  I read that tight/loose cover can affect fell of the top latex, especially when top is soft?  Would tighter give feel of finished store mattress?  

Also, until I decide on layers and finished height, is it ok to wait on getting cover and just make sure the latex is covered with blankets to keep the sunlight out?  It is just sunlight that degrades and not exposure to the air, right? 

Thanks and I will make sure to update down the road on what works for me, etc.  


Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #16 Jan 17, 2011 2:42 PM
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Points: 18
So would a 25 ILD dunlop not be soft enough for a 4th layer for testing?  I am thinking for soft top I should go for really soft.  Below is link for a dunlop in 16-18 ILD.  But maybe I should get a talalay super soft which would be even softer feeling than dunlop?




Re: HELP building DIY mattress with 3" latex over 6" Poly foam base or just get 6" latex
Reply #17 Jan 17, 2011 5:34 PM
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
Points: 18
Well I tried some more latex beds today which reinforces that I think I may like a firm core with like 2" of really soft on top.  There were a few mom and pop matress places I found in my city so I figure I better look at them to be able say I tried them all to feel good about my decison on buying my layers....just had time to go to one today but will try others that have some Natura beds later.....The one store had:

1)  Sealy Springfree - salesman had absolutely no clue about latex...I was educating him, lol....anyway it was an older model and had cutaway of the latex core.  It was 7.3 of firm latex, 1.6 plush latex, 1" sealy supersoft poly foam topper,  quilted cover with 1.5" by .5" soft convoluted poly, and .5" poly....why ruin all that latex with poly top...anyway I did really like feel of this, nice firm core and really soft on top...I think I would like smooth soft top over quilted, which I will have when I get all my layers

2)  They had two Sealy Embody' with 7" poly core and 3" latex which felt little firm on top and one with 5.75" poly core and 5.75" latex which felt not too soft and not too firm

3)  They had a Health Care with 9" 30 ILD poly core, 2" latex, 3" memory foam, and 1" quilt....memory foam does feel nice in store but from research I ruled it out over latex

So bottom line is still not sure if I am going to prefer firm feeling on top or little bit of really soft over firm.

But definetly know that I need to add 2"  or so of soft with the other 3 layers I got for testing purposes to figure out what I will really like after sleeping trial. 

Like I said in previous posts, just need to decide if 2" be enough or get 3" and how soft of ILD and talalay or dunlup. 

Phoenix, just side thoughts....when I called Flobeds other day because was just curious what they suggested as layers for their bed, he said firm/xfirm/superfirm and of course as you said before they have that supersoft topper.  Also, in reading how much of range in people's preference in layers it makes me think of posts by Lynn, I think that is her profile.  She is petite and has her flobed at  36 over 36 over 44 and doesn't use the convuluted topper and loves it.   

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