Your home-made Tempur-Pedic mattress will have:
- Memory foam layer
- Base (optional)
- Cover (optional)
Now let’s take each one and see what you’d actually need to make your mattress.
Your Mattress’s Memory Foam Layer
This layer is by far the most important part in your mattress. It basically makes or breaks comfort so choose wisely.
- Type – Before even thinking of the specs, make sure the memory foam you’re using is real temperature-sensitive viscoelastic foam that softens at body temperature. It’s amazing how many foams are sold as ‘memory foam’ but don’t react to body heat or don’t have a good open cell structure. With some suppliers, you can request foam samples, and did you know you can also try these visco foam quality tests?
- Density – High-density foam costs much more than the lower density one — but it lasts longer and supports better. The absolute minimum density you should settle for is 4lb (per cubic foot) though I’d recommend 5lb or 5.5lb. Good quality, high-density viscoelastic foam offers good support without being too firm. Density is one of the secrets behind Tempur-Pedic mattress success. Lower density memory foams may feel nicer and softer at first but they are more prone to sagging and body indentations.
- Firmness / ILD – Finding the right firmness is tricky because most manufacturers don’t publish ILD ratings (which define firmness). You have to choose based on public consumer reviews or by trying out foams for yourself. Remember, true memory foam changes firmness with temperature — the mattress becomes firmer when cooler and softer when warmer.
- Ideal thickness of viscoelastic foam layers (anywhere between 2.5-4.5 inches) depends greatly on their quality. You can opt for the thicker and better quality material which contours to your body while providing good support without letting you sink in too far, or thinner, lower density material that’s nice and soft but hasn’t got the body to provide the support of a real memory mattress. Going with more than 4.5 inches of memory foam is not recommended because it’s much more expensive and unless it’s the premium type (Tempur-Pedic isn’t available wholesale), you sink in until you bottom out.
- Layer structure – The more expensive mattresses are made of several layers of foam. You can opt for a single layer or for a combination of two — a thinner, firmer, higher-density layer (1-1.5 inches at 5-5.5 lb) and a thicker, softer, lower density layer underneath (1.5-3 inches at 4-4.5 lb). This makes the mattress supportive without being too firm. A very good quality top layer also helps your custom Tempur-Pedic age better.
Memory foam is available at discount prices but not only does wholesale foam not last very long but it doesn’t behave like the real thing either. You can select from a handful of well-known manufacturers to get cut-to-order slabs (Isoform, Novaform, Isotonic, and Sensus are such examples).
It would be a great advantage to try to source the foam locally to try it out yourself. Unfortunately, this material is a niche product and few local stores will have it in stock. You may have to, therefore, buy sight-unseen which is when you should only go with brand names.
You can use custom-cut slabs or better yet, a memory foam topper — basically the same thing. The choice for ready-cut memory foam toppers is wider and you can afford to be picky about the quality.
If you want to add some luxury to your mattress you can use a genuine Tempur-Pedic overlay over the core. Not only is it much cheaper than buying a Tempur-Pedic mattress but it’s guaranteed to be made of premium Tempur foam.