Want to sleep better AND save money?! Learn how to buy and build your own premium mattress for maximum comfort and costs savings!
I love how I did it:
- Go to DIY mattress site.
- Buy springs, foam layers, and mattress cover.
- Put it all together and sleep happy!
Details explained in the guide…
My problems with mattresses:
- I’m a side-sleeper (and have broad shoulders) – this means I need a soft-enough mattress so my shoulders can sink in.
- I like to snuggle close with my girlfriend – this means we have a lot of body density in a small space and our combined weight ultimately compresses the mattress, making it sag in the middle.
So basically, I need a soft enough mattress for my shoulders to sink in BUT somehow longlasting or firm enough to not make a hole in the mattress within months. You’d be surprised how many mattresses out there will fail at this. All the memory foam ones in store had a hole in the middle within months.
My problems with sleeping:
I wasn’t getting great sleep anymore. I was constantly telling my friends how I felt like an old iPhone battery that never recharged to “full” like it was brand new. I tried…
- vaping (marijuana)
- essential oils
- putting blackout curtains over the windows
- staying off computer before bed
- turning off WiFi router before bed
- sleeping pills (*GASP!* I never take pills/medication!)
- re-orientating the bed position in the room (feng shui)
Nothing worked. One of the last things I tried was changing the mattress and it helped tremendously!
Understanding the layers
I learned mattresses aren’t really that complicated after all. What feels like a magical unseen cushion is actually just a combination of different layers to help support you (and the layers itself) in various ways throughout your sleep. But of course the industry makes it as confusing as possible to make you overpay for it. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.”…which of course means that whatever you don’t know/understand, you will pay dearly for that!
Mattress layers from top-to-bottom:
- COMFORT layer/s – usually soft foam, wool, or other padding and textures to give you nice feeling against your body surface.
- SUPPORT layer/s – usually medium foam, softer coils, or combination of both. Has to be soft enough to let your body sink into the mattress (straightening your spine) but not so much that there’s no support at all (bent spine).
- CORE/BASE layer – either denser foam or stiff coils acting as a hard slab foundation underneath all the other layers. Helps to keep the shape of the mattress, also preventing it from slipping through slats.
Other materials/detailed involved:
- Mattress cover – keeps bugs, dirt, moisture out. Protects inside layers/materials from breaking down.
- Glue or quilted – keeps the layers in place so they don’t slide around. Quilted is better than glue, because glue can create a sealed layer causing the mattress to be less breathable between the layers.
- Edge support – stiffer foam or springs used to create a stiffer surface on the bed’s edge for sitting.
How to MAKE your own mattress!
Why didn’t I just buy from a store?
Because I hated the feeling of getting ripped off and also because none of them fit my needs. I also felt they would all break down quickly and not come with any warranty. I ultimately felt building the mattress myself would allow me to cheaply replace on the layers that needed changing instead of having to buy a whole new mattress!
Building your own mattress is EASY!
I’m so excited with how easy this was! I’m so glad I took the chance instead of wasting money on overpriced prebuilt mattresses that are nowhere near the quality of just buying the raw materials and putting it together myself.
The store/website I used was Arizona Premium Mattress aka www.mattresses.net. They have great reviews on Yelp and also contribute to many online forums regarding mattresses and sleeping. They’re really nice guys and just trust me…I researched and read hundreds and hundreds of pages before giving them a try. They are great quality AND great pricing! (Use coupon code MU5 for 5% off.)
Here’s what I recommend:
- Buy coil or latex core. Can also use any firm mattress (I used cheap/firm Ikea mattress).
- Buy 19 ILD natural talalay latex topper. If you are 160lbs and above, you can probably stop here.
- If you are 140lbs or below, you should add the 14ILD blended talalay.
- Can use any mattress cover, some feel nicer than others.
You can buy any thickness you want, but I say just spend the extra few hundred and don’t be cheap unless you want a super thin mattress. I had a cheap Ikea firm spring mattress and then 3″ 20-ILD layer for support and then 3″ 14-ILD layer for comfort. It’s perfect for a 140lb side-sleeper like myself with broad shoulders. My mom and girlfriend loves my mattress as well!
If you’re on a budget or non-picky sleeper, try just 2 layers (CORE & SUPPORT) and any mattress cover. That might be all you need if you’re a back sleeper. But otherwise, you can get way more comfort or a fancy hotel plush feeling by adding more support layers and also a nice textured mattress cover. Feel free to go crazy and add more support layers. Can get super soft eggshell foam (buy on Amazon), add wool topper (very comfy), whatever you like!
Other helpful links: