Suggestion for cutting and experimenting with foam zones, pillows, etc.
Jan 26, 2008 12:16 AM
Location: L.A. area
Joined: Jan 18, 2008
Points: 1161
IF you have a foam pillow that is too high, or a foam mattress you want to create a zone in, I have found that a cheap electric carving knife, like the kind you can get at Target for around $15, will work great to cut foam. Any kind of foam: latex, memory, or high density foam. If you're cutting a large piece you may want to stop half way through to let the knife cool down before continuing, but we've cut various sizes of 5" HD foam, latex foam, and memory foam with a cheap electric carving knife. Just be careful when you cut through to the bottom not to cut your carpet or floor! If you can put it on a kitchen table and cut along the edge of the table, that is a great way.

You can cut zones if you can find a foam supplier to sell you pieces of your exact specifications.

For example, let's say you have a King size bed and your wife's side is fine but you need a softer foam in the shoulder area. You could cut the top 1/3 or so of your side of the mattress out with a carving knife, then order a softer piece that exact size to replace it. Later, if you want to put it back, you can.

We found that glue is almost never necessary to put the pieces in place. If they are cut right they tend to butt up against each other and stay in place. However, if you want to glue them there is a special spray glue the foam store people use (I could give you the name) and you can use that to glue the piece in place.

Don't know how many people here experiment with their own foams, but 4 years ago my wife and I did many experiments with different densities and types of foam using an electric carving knife. We even cut our own pillows from rectangular pieces of memory foam, turning them into neck support type pillows by cutting curved areas out of them for the head and neck.

We plan to get back into the foam experimentation business soon, so that is why I have returned here to ask questions and share experiences.

Re: Suggestion for cutting and experimenting with foam zones, pillows, etc.
Reply #8 Oct 23, 2014 3:37 PM
Joined: Mar 27, 2014
Points: 189
Ges74.  It should also be noted that these pillows are appropirate for side and back sleepers.  They are quite uncomfortable for stomach sleepers.  Mattdud



Jim - I'm digging up a very old thread here - I hope you're still active on these forums?

I just discovered latex pillows and bought a very high, very firm one for side sleeping.  I absolutely LOVE IT!

The only problem is, I also sleep on my back, and it cranks my head way too high when I'm on my back.

So I was wondering if you had any experience making isolated cuts into latex pillows (not lopping off layers), and what that might do to the structural integrity.

For example, I would love to cut out a divet for my head in the middle, leaving the sides as is.  That way, I can use the middle to sleep on my back, and use the sides for side sleeping.

However, I'm worried that the latex gets its strength not only from compression but from tension ( a lattice structure).  So will I be ruining the entire pillow by taking out a chunk in the middle? Or would it be okay if I cut it as round as possible (ie disperse forces like in a stress/strain relief)?

Any perspective you could share would be much appreciated.  It's a $70 pillow (most expensive one I've ever owned) so I don't want to wantonly experiment on it.

Thanks so much,


Re: Suggestion for cutting and experimenting with foam zones, pillows, etc.
Reply #9 Oct 29, 2014 4:04 PM
Joined: Oct 29, 2014
Points: 1
Hey, Jim! I haven't been on the forum for awhile, either. I had to re-register as I've forgotten my password. I also have been happily
cutting foam in my bed, however, I stopped having to re-do factory beds because I finally got my bedmaker in Fresno to make the bed of my dreams, to
my specs.
Now he has a model like it on the sales floor and says it's his most popular bed...he doesn't even see the need for another bed as everyone wants
this one.
What it is, is offset coil springs, with the old fashioned wire and burlap, and cotton batting, and a zippered area on top and bottom for the topper of
choice! NO foam at all in the mattress part so it will never wear out, or almost never. Then for the kings, I convinced him to make the toppers both
twin sized so the two people can pick their own comfort levels in topper. He is selling the toppers separately.
Pretty cool deal.
Why I am here is to try to remember the latex supplier that makes the all latex mattresses with different ILD's in zones. He only carries one, and I
want to experiment more. I too like softer at the shoulder, more support at the hips and no one cares about the legs.
Funny to see that we are still about at the same level of experimentation. Three zones, head to toe, is where it's at.
Any suggestions?

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