If you enjoy customizing home furnishings or love a DIY challenge, creating your own mattress is an ideal project. Or perhaps you have an RV or custom van that needs a comfortable mattress customized to fit a unique interior space. The DIY mattress trend has a niche but growing following, including passionate build-your-own enthusiasts on Reddit. While you might not save money or time by building your own Frankenmattress, crafting bespoke bedding is a great way to combine creativity and craftsmanship to personalize your sleep situation.
What You Need to Build a DIY Mattress
You may not need all of these items aside from your preferred combination of mattress toppers, but these are the most common components and tools for creating a DIY mattress.
If you’ll be using a bed frame, including a platform base, or you have a small space you want to customize with a bed, you’ll want to measure to ensure your DIY mattress will fit. A tape measure will also come in handy if you order mattress toppers of slightly different sizes and need to cut them to fit together as a single unit.
A cutting tool designed to work with foam or latex toppers, such as a serrated knife or electric carving knife, can help you shape toppers of slightly different sizes to work together as one mattress. You may also need to cut the topper components in order to fit a specific bed frame, base, or sleeping area.
A zippered mattress cover is a great way to both hold your DIY mattress together and protect it from spills and stains. Alternatively, a mattress cover designed like a fitted sheet will work. Be sure to look for a mattress cover that is tall enough to fit your combined toppers and designed to stay put. Many mattress covers are made for taller mattresses and come with straps that fit around the bottom corners for a snug, no-slip fit.
Tip: A padded cover can add some extra plushness to your mattress.
Mattress Pad (Optional)
If you don’t use a padded mattress cover, a mattress pad can add an additional bit of softness to the top of your mattress. To combine eco-friendly and quality, look for mattress pads made from certified organic cotton or wool.
Here’s where building your own mattress gets interesting, because there are so many ways to create a mattress tailored to your unique needs. There’s no right or wrong way to build your mattress. Tailor it to the comfort level you want and adjust as needed. Regular mattresses vary in terms of height, from six to 18 inches. The key is to create layers from mattress toppers of varying levels of thickness and firmness.
Many DIYers start with a firmer layer on the bottom, adding a medium or soft layer closer to the top. If you’re a larger person or just want a taller/thicker mattress, adding a middle layer in either firm or medium firmness can add greater support.
You can combine toppers of any type of material, whether that’s wool, down, memory foam, or latex. (To learn more, check out our guide to mattress topper materials.) Naturally Nestled latex mattress toppers are made from either natural or organic latex. Latex is better for the environment and lasts longer than memory foam toppers, which are made from petrochemicals. It also has a unique combination of support and “give” that many people find ideal for sleeping. Naturally Nestled toppers are available in three firmness levels (soft, medium, and firm) and two thickness options (2” and 3”).
You may need to experiment to get to the right level in terms of height, motion, and comfort for your sleeping space.
Tip: For a touch of lush organic cotton luxury, you can add a Naturally Nestled organic topper cover to the top layer of your DIY mattress.
Where to Place a DIY Mattress
Once you’ve decided on the components for your DIY mattress, you can go extreme minimalist (or channel your “college and ramen days”) by placing your mattress directly on the floor. You can also use a traditional bed frame with wood or metal slats or a box spring mattress. A platform bed frame also works well as a DIY mattress base. If you still can’t get enough DIY projects in your life, you can build your own bed platform with these instructions.
Have you built your own mattress? Start a conversation and share what works – and what doesn’t – in the comments.