Our two lightest and fluffiest pillow fills, side by side. But which do you choose? Kapok (on the right) is a plant fiber and woolly bolas (on the left) is an animal product. Kapok carries the most fluffing ability, comparable to a feather pillow if you understuff the kapok. Its light, airy fiber will certainly be a float away fiber but does lose its loft as it is slept on. The bolas are the more cloud like fill. If fluffed every night, they maintain a springy feel that doesn’t deflate as slept on. Both fibers overstuff well, kapok producing a solid, firm pillow and bolas, a springy, firm feel.
This Missouri dairy farm considers everything that goes into their sheep as their sheep produce quality dairy products sold locally in supermarkets and through their creamery. You’ve heard of grass fed sheep, but have you heard of farmers who consider what dirt grows the grass that their sheep eat? Sheep that are well cared for have plenty of energy to grow nutritious milk and strong wool .
Dairy sheep often have perfect wool for bedding as their fibers are stable enough and have enough crimp in them to withstand the use a topper or comforter receives. Clothing wool is finer and smoother and would flatten out too easily inside a topper. Rug wool would be too coarse and not provide as smooth and light of bedding as desired. We’re glad to partner with Green Dirt Farm and support their quality care of their sheep.
Check out their story here on their website.
My custom-made wool sleeping bag has arrived and I am so delighted with the outcome! You were so thoughtful in the construction and came up with such a great solution to having a washable washable inner lining and washable cover for the sleeping bag. It’s better than I ever expected. It fits beautifully in my hammock. Here are a couple photos which don’t do it justice but give you a sense of how it’s getting used. Thank you so much for what you created for me. – T.M., Ohio
Another custom sew coming from our talented sewing room! This little girl’s mother had invested in some silk nightgowns that she had custom made from Etsy a few years ago, but when the seller went offline, our sewing room was able to make new ones in the next size up using the old ones as a pattern.
The mother says, “My daughter is delighted! She had to try it on minutes after the box arrived. Not only were we able to find some of the exact same fabrics as her first ones for your sewing room to use, you also did an even better job then original seamstress did. All the edges are serged now so we don’t expect any fraying and of course, your stitches are perfectly even and decorative. My daughter loves the nightgowns and they fit now! She wore the last ones probably an extra year longer than was very comfortable because they were her favorite loungewear. Thank you much for your work!” – Indiana
1st night. Well, my back does not hurt AT ALL, so that’s amazeballs. If the hubby didn’t have a cold, and didn’t snore like a buzz saw the whole night, I mighta actually had an amazing night’s sleep. (Was thinking about going to sleep on one of the other beds, but I was like, “NO gosh darn it! I’m going to sleep on my new mattress!! Even if it’s only for four hours total!!”) Anyway, it’s awesome. (P.S. my back SHOULD hurt, especially after hauling those latex slabs around, and trying to wrestle them into the ticking…… Also, new mattresses almost always give me a back ache as my scoliosis does flare up often.)
2nd night. I’m sore today, but we did do a bunch of physical stuff yesterday. Hubby was out with a buddy late last night and normally that means I can’t fall asleep until he gets home , but I was completely out, and didn’t wake until 7, so that likely means I slept well. Next thing we are going to do is actually visit a chiropractor as often as recommend for my curvy spine. I’ve loooong felt that would be very beneficial, and he finally agreed, but he didn’t want to do it until the mattress came. – Blaine, MN
Initially I had a hard time putting the first slab in but after sleeping on that while waiting for the other to arrive, the knit ticking stretched out enough and then it was easy to add in the second slab. I love it. Interestingly enough, I was initially sleeping on just the hard 3″ and did fine with it, however with the top firm layer, it’s much more luxurious. I truly love it!!! – S.K., Washington
We recently purchased a mattress topper for our bed 3 months ago. We asked for a custom blend of kapok fibers, woolly bolas & shredded natural latex for the fill and a twill ticking zippered case. We are so happy with this product. It took about 2 hours to create our new topper – all the fibers were so clean & packaged well. It is the perfect blend of comfort and goes really well with our firm natural latex mattress. My husband even loves it too. The company was so easy & professional to work with. Very, very happy with everything. We will definitely shop here again in the future. Thank you, E Peters
One of our customers liked his bedding so much he created a youtube video about his experience. He had been looking for a very firm piece of latex and no one else could offer him such a supportive layer. ). he chose six inches of the hard, 43-48 ILD, latex and declared it perfect for his sleeping needs. To see other work of his, visit his website here.
This shredded latex and kapok stuffed maternity pillow was rushed to this pregnant customer who needed much more comfortable sleep. She says,
“I got my pillow today, I just wanted to say thank you sooooooooo much I really love it, everything looks great and it’s exactly how I wanted it. Thank you
God bless you !!” – J. R.
I bought at full-sized quilted ticking from DIY Natural Bedding and it’s fabulous! It’s extremely well made, all natural fabrics, and in the end, it looks like a professional mattress. I fell in love with Naturepedic’s EOS Classic, but balked at the $2800 price tag. Instead, I ordered a 3″ comfort layer soft microcoils (for top) and an 8″ support layer plush coils (on bottom) that make up the EOS Classic and then used the full-sized quilted ticking encasement to keep them together. I added a wool topper that I already owned and VOILA the perfect mattress at nearly $800 less than retail. One thing I really liked about DIY’s encasement is that it was all natural when the Naturepedic encasement actually had something they called a PLA comfort layer which is synthetic. Thanks to DIY, I ended up with a better version of their mattress and saved money. I later bought a shredded latex pillow kit from DIY and I’ve never slept better.
Thanks to the mill’s lowering their prices, we are now able to lower the prices on all our premade farm wool products, at least of the larger bedding sizes. Of course, we could keep the higher profits to ourselves, but it feels good to share. One of our goals is to make natural bedding as affordable as possible, so a price cut it will be.
Not one to review items usually, but, it all started with my search for a quality travel sized pillow. Ended up purchasing the inner case, outer case and some shredded latex. The quality of the cases was such that I purchased a full sized case set and placed my favorite fill in it. The new cases made a great pillow even better. In addition, I will not be leaving home without my shredded latex travel pillow. After playing with the size of the pieces and adjusting the amount of fill until I was happy, it turned out to be an extremely comfortable pillow. If you like hugging a pillow when you sleep, shredded latex is the way to go. Your company supplied a quality, made with care, product that I am happy to own and purchase again.
Birth and pregnancy are beautiful, empowering moments in a woman’s life and can be complemented by knowledge and a few tricks. This is my personal experience with bedding and pregnancy; perhaps it may be similar to yours.
My fourth pregnancy was fairly simple as mine usually are: at the beginning there was an extra tiredness, a need to sit down frequently, and a wondering if I was really pregnant; in the middle, I was loving the big belly, finding new pressure points, going on frequent walks to relieve sore joints; and at the end, there was the hefting around a giant, heavy belly and noticing different pressure points again and remembering that I actually do have abdominal muscles though I can’t feel them.
The first three months, nothing changed between me and my latex mattress. We still enjoyed each other’s company, I slept well. My medium over a firm with quilted ticking was serving me well until about month four when I noticed I started waking up more frequently during the night. Then I went on vacation and stayed in a college dormitory with a cheap, cheap, cheap spring mattress. I had a complete inability to keep from rolling toward the middle; the amount of abdominal work it took to stay on my side of the mattress made what was left of my abs sore the next day, my belly was either way too low if I faced the center of the bed and way too high so that either way, I kept falling toward the saggy center. If that wasn’t enough, being used to a nice comfort layer of my own mattress, my hips could not handle the tension of the springs and forced me to take the cheap memory foam cushions from the couch to use as a floor mattress. When I got home from that trip, I realized that my hips had slowly been protesting all along and I had to do something. I stole my husband’s soft layer of layer and lay it on top of mine. That was it. I needed that. So I ordered a new slab for me and didn’t love its squishiness but loved being able to sleep mostly through the night. The layer was super squishy since I merely covered it with a sheet under my sheet and didn’t put it in a new bit of ticking, just on top of the original arrangement of medium over firm in their ticking. Interestingly enough, when I switched to the softer layer, since my head was higher on the mattress than comparatively to the firmer combination, I needed to take some fill out of both of my pillows. Then I had the perfect sleeping solution again.
Come month six, I was waking up a few times a night but had resigned myself to this as I remembered from other pregnancies that waking up is a bit unavoidable when you have to find new positions to sleep in. What I was unwilling to resign myself to was the deep ache that started to come from my left sacralilliac joint. I knew my pelvis would start expanding eventually and that baby’s head was tucked down on that side anyway, but the mere act of lying down would drive tears into my eyes and was something to be reckoned with. The only thing that would help was walking, so I would often walk around my culdesac for a half hour before I could go to sleep and often took my husband on mile long walks which actually did completely loosen up that joint and gave me temporary relief that even the chiropractor, who I had been seeing regularly, couldn’t provide. While these long walks were amazing at letting me fall asleep again without pain, it wasn’t until I asked myself what the right side of my hips were doing to cause my left side such discomfort that I realized that my sitting position while I was driving was the cause of it all. I had started driving my children to a school 45 minutes away, so needless to say, I was putting in a lot of drive hours. Once I scooted the chair forward and made sure that I didn’t twist my body to let my right foot reach the gas pedal, the pain went away that week. Phew! Back to decent sleep and no pain.
Month eight was way past my joking about how hard it was to roll over in bed from side to side and figuring I was carrying the weight of a couple bowling balls around, all in my belly. No, month eight was countdown time. Now I love so many parts about being pregnant, the amazing craziness of my body knowing how to grow a baby without my mental intervention, the intimate connection I get to share with another human being, the chance to participate in life, the change in social expectations, even the chance to look completely different from normal, but I will say that to get my own body back is always quite welcome. Once my new pressure points on my hips kept me up for an hour in the middle of the night, I knew I had to do something about them. I started with the mattress. Should I make it softer, try a different sleeping position, use a pillow between my knees? The pillow in between my knees seemed to make the pain worse, so I ditched that. I tried sleeping slightly on my back, propped up with a blanket folded behind me and tiny pillow under my belly so that it wasn’t hanging in midair, but that was only variety and not terribly comfortable. Giving my husband back his soft layer and going back to my 6″ combo of medium over firm surprisingly did make a little difference and I slept a little better, but it was not until I added a medium layer to my medium over firm that sleep came much more easily. I found the latex cradled my belly and supported it well, well enough that if I rolled into it too far, I would give baby hiccups, which he had been getting for months when I would sit cross legged or at a 90 degree angle when driving. Because we needed a new ticking made for the 9″ version of the mattress now (my husband’s side had been 9″ for a while but the top layer had been sitting on top of the ticking, wrapped in a couple of sheets), I had my sewing room make a Knit Ticking instead of the Quilted Ticking we previously had. The flexibility of that ticking was noticeably different and with my growing pressure points, I thoroughly appreciated latex’s ability to sink in underneath me instead of stiffly supporting my body. Despite ache free sleeping, I had started waking every few hours to roll over and trying not to wake my husband with my huffs of exertion as I did so. When I woke up one morning with a slight pain on the right side of my belly where the baby’s back was, I ignored it until the next day when it started spreading down my side. Bother. This was an easy ache for me to solve and I should have been on top of it months ago, but I’ll admit, I got lazy. I had been hefting around that belly of mine through the nightly turning, just letting my skin and bones support it. I knew I should be tightening my abdominal muscles around it every time I rolled over and doing so took care of that ache quickly. Another month of ache free sleeping was on its way.
Month nine came with yet a different hip pain, this one I just couldn’t figure out after all my previous adjustments to my sleeping positions, mattress and supplements. By now my legs had stopped cramping when I slept, but my right hip was just sore as soon as I would lie down. Finally I realized that this bed ache was my fault. I had been accustomed to sleeping on my side with my upper hand on my hip so that I wouldn’t put that hand in an awkward position and it would fall asleep. Once I let that hand rest on my belly and transitioned to sleeping on my right side more, the ache alleviated. Sleep was still pretty good. About three nights before baby came, I knew he had to be coming soon as it started taking me half hour to fall asleep after rolling over. Labor began for me in the middle of the night, a first as it usually began in the early evening. I was so grateful that I got to run the marathon with some sleep under my belt.
After writing this post, I’m rather surprised how intimately my mattress and sleep were part of this pregnancy. Maybe it is in part because I am one of those people who have always needed a lot of sleep, so I do make it a priority; maybe it has to do with relaxing and how much better one can feel the body when you taken the time to go inward, which is easy once you lie down and the day is over; or maybe I just enjoy having a body in good working condition and all my adjustments did enable that comfortable condition. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for options and the chance to tweak my mattress. DIY all the way!
If you have had aches and pains during pregnancy during your sleep that you have successfully fixed, please share in the comments below. How have you tweaked your mattress, your sleeping positions, your health to let you get a better night’s sleep?
A completely DIY mattress made using many of our supplies, including a wool topper. In order from bottom to top: 2″ of high density (super-lux) foam as the base, 6″ pocketed springs, 1″ super soft foam, 3″ medium latex, and the wool topper. The customer says, “It feels better than any hotel bed I’ve slept in.” Thanks, Bryan, for sharing! We consider your DIY approach inspiring and resourceful.
224 SQ FT
This home was designed specifically for Mari, with her physical capabilities in mind, her cat Spike and her dog Bubba.
Upon entry Mari can fold and tuck away her walker. She has an organic couch with natural latex, wool batting and inner case of organic twill along with her decorative fabric of choice, with movable ottoman. The ottoman is storage; there are two drawers under the couch and a feeding area for Spike.
The fold down dining table is made from a raw cedar slab and filled it with quartz crystals and hand crushed turquoise gemstone.
For more images of Pocket Mansions’ work or to hire her services, view her website here.
Love the product. Had a custom mattress cover made that is washable with a cover on top to be removed and washed when necessary. Great product. Washes well. Holds up well. Great sewing for zipper and edges. 🙂 Very happy with the product. – L.
For the first layer, I used a wool mattress pad that I had for a few years. Next I used two layers of your wool batting and put the buckwheat hull pillow inserts I made on top of the wool batting. I made the pillow inserts out of organic cotton twill. Then I pulled the two layers of wool batting on top to cover the pillow inserts. Finally I zipped it all up and was done! It came out pretty well, I think. I’m going to see what it’s like sleeping on it for a while and might decide to add more wool batting at some point.
UPDATE: After sleeping on it for a few nights, I ended up putting the buckwheat hull pillows on top of the layers of wool batting. That seems to work better somehow. I think it makes the buckwheat pillows a little more adjustable. It’s very comfortable now although I still might add more layers of wool batting at some point. – L. G.
We finally got everything in the mail and put everything together for our beds. Everyone in the house loves them! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I will definitely recommend you and your business to others. It has been a wonderful experience and we have a great product to last us for many years. I couldn’t be more happy! I was brand new to this style of mattress when I started a few months ago and was reluctant to if I would even like it after seeing it all put together, but I am so happy that I pushed through to the end. I appreciate all your help! – M.R.
I’m really glad that I found your website. I’ve been needing to get a new mattress for a quite a while and am excited to make one myself with all natural materials. In addition to your wool batting, I’ve also made zippered pillow inserts filled with buckwheat hulls that will be in the middle layer of the mattress. I think it’s going to be a great combination. The more I read about conventional mattresses, the more sense it makes to use a natural mattress. – L.G.
We got the quilted pillow case in the mail yesterday. It’s perfect. Love it! The quality is once again top notch but even better than the outer case… I love the softer feel with our millet hulls. Thank you for all your help!!! Our littlest is still sleeping without a pillow but I definitely know where we will be getting it once he wants one 🙂 Thanks again! – T.P.
So I just wanted to tell you that I’m SO HAPPY that we decided to buy the latex for our bed too!! We stole the kids’ beds last night (they came yesterday) to test it out and I haven’t slept this good in a long time!! I’m super excited to get ours now! LOL. Now I just have to find somewhere to store all them during the day… I have no idea what we’ll do, but it’ll be so worth it! (We are a family of 5 and live in 800sf, and so we sleep on a foldout couch, and the kids had mats on the floor that can be folded up, and all of it gets put away during the day). – M. P.
My husband and I are super impressed with the quality of the products from DIY Natural Bedding and the amazing customer service. This definitely will be our only source for our pillows and bedding here on out. 🙂 – T. P.
And I thought custom couch cushions were a fun variation from the tickings we make so often and then we got this project. Thanks B for the detail we got to put into cutting the latex and sewing all these pieces with your fabric choices and for your patience as you can imagine the time something this custom took. Months of choosing, deciding, cutting and sewing planned for this baby’s travels. Congratulations on your birth baby S.
Pictures are featured in order of original piece followed by our piece. The latex cut at the end is for another baby project she was working on (ours on the right). We didn’t sew the case for that piece but did finagle curves and angles out of this latex piece.
Using our Clearance Pieces left over from other custom cuts, R made this entire living room set.
She says, “Here are the the finished chair cushions. They are so comfortable!
I ended up cutting up the 2″ firm into four pieces, and using two pieces for each seat (so 4″ total), with a wool batting wrap. The backs are leftovers from cutting the 3” medium 1/2 queen to fit the back of our sofa. The covers are repurposed sheets from the thrift store. Right now they are open like pillowcases so they can easily be removed for washing.
Not only am I thrilled with how everything turned out so far, everyone else says the furniture is very comfortable. The problem is that no one wants to get up off the couch now.
“I hope my next project will be replacing the three couch seat cushions with a single piece of 6″ firm latex. I actually want to build a custom sofa (especially now that my nieces and nephew are getting bigger, and it’s hard to squeeze all of us on this couch for movie night), but the craftsman isn’t fully on board with that project…yet. 🙂 Thanks again for being such an amazing resource!”
R, thank you for the pictures. I love feeling the inspiration from seeing all your creations!
Thanks Mother Earth News and Mother Earth Living for sharing your build with us! Great to see and hear all your thoughts and comments.
P.S. We use Dunlop process natural latex, the other process does sounds like Tangaley, but really is Talalay. And you all know that our wool batts are from our selected local, small flock farms. The word on the street is that natural latex will last 20-30 years.
6″ Firm Natural Latex surrounded by wool batting in an inner case with our twill and an outer case with the customer’s fabric.
Q. We have a 4 1/2 month old who is growing out of his co-sleeper and we want to make him a mattress he can use for several years. What do you think is the best route for an affordable baby mattress? What is the most common build?
A. There are many ways to make a mattress. Here are a few ideas that have been made with our products. This first one is the most common, the other two more creative.
- A 3″ medium of natural latex inside an expandable ticking would save room for another layer later, wool batting is optional. This is the build in my youtube video here.
- A full sized wool topper folded in half would be somewhat thin, but sufficient for a few years, if you don’t mind a somewhat permanent crease in the middle when you unfold it to put on a mattress. It would also be a nice addition to a 3″ piece of latex later.
- Two mattresses out of one piece of latex: Cut a crib mattress out of a Twin piece of latex and save the larger L shape of the latex for later when your child needs the larger space. Then you can put both pieces together in the same ticking. This can also be done with a Full sized piece of latex. Two cribs will fit into a Full.
A. I mentioned the expandable ticking because it is a common choice with budgeting parents who know that their child will be comfortable on 3″ of latex until they near 100 lbs. They often want to buy a second layer later when they have time to save for it. As latex is said to last 20-30 years, that first layer of latex will still be fresh to use in the mattress when it is turned into a 6″ mattress. Then that first layer can either be placed on top of or under another layer to create a new feel. See The Banana Test for more thorough tips on picking depth and firmness.
The Twill Ticking is also an option, in fact, all 3 of my children have it on their mattresses. It is durable and simple. Its stiffness makes it strong enough for the tufting needle to pierce without snagging it which is why we recommend it for use with our wool flake when making a wool mattress.
The Knit Ticking is also an option. It is made of the same material that the Expandable Knit is, so both cases are quite flexible, letting the sleeper feel the latex or wool underneath completely. It being a static height usually is cause to choose a 6″ combo of latex that will last the child into adulthood.
The Zip Off Wool Ticking is also an option. Its best features are, of course, the removable wool puddle pad on the top of the ticking. It works well for parents who want a wool puddle pad, but don’t want to buy both ticking and puddle pad.
The sateen fabric covering the wool batting on our topper is very soft and smooth. It is nice to have a thin layer of fabric between you and the wool. Wool batting has its limitations, while lofty and quite fluffy, you should be aware that more that 3 layers of wool on top of each other may not only shift around easily (thus the tufting on the toppers) but also may easily form body trenches, unless your child is very active on every surface of the mattress. Keeping in mind that every layer of 3 lb. batting compresses to about 1/2″ and a layer of 4 lb. batting to about 3/4″, you have a fairly thin mattress with only 3 layers. That is why I mentioned folding a topper in half, the fabric layers and probably the frequent straightening of the fold should help the top to compress fairly easily. Of course, you could make your own topper with our kits here.
Q. Would it be cheaper to fill it only with wool batting?
A. No and it is not advisable to make a mattress out of just wool batting, a topper, yes, but a thick mattress without wool flake and just batting will trench too easily and leave you with body impressions. For instructions on making a wool mattress, see this picture tutorial or this diagram. Wool batting is a nice addition for comfort or protection of the latex. See previous paragraph.
- Could adding the wool batting on a medium 3″ alleviate the issue somewhat?
- Would something like this work: A 3″ firm latex instead but with wool batting. Could this configuration make it sufficiently supportive for an adult to sit on for a short time and somewhat soft and abundantly supportive at the same time for a child to lie down?
A. I find that reading books for 15-30 minutes on my children’s mattress is not cushy comfortable, but it is certainly tolerable. Adding the wool batting will deepen the mattress which will provide slightly more comfort. Substituting the firm layer would probably be a good idea if you plan on making reading or sleeping on the bed a habit. Unless your child is a sensitive sleeper, he or she will probably mostly notice the wool and only slightly notice the firm latex.
NOTE: Wool toppers are not discussed here, only depths thick enough and solid enough to be a mattress.
Q. Can you use a power base (or adjustable bed frame) with the latex? Will it harm the latex?
A. Yes, you can use a power base with latex. Latex is a very flexible foam, so it will not mind constant bending. However, it is worth noting, that when one is sitting up, one puts a lot more pressure and use on the surface then one does when lying down. That top layer of latex will wear out sooner than the other layers. Of course, that is the nice thing about a layered latex mattress. When one piece wears out, you can simply replace the one piece instead of the entire mattress.
Q. We may be interested in possibly putting the mattress on the floor for a Montessori bed.
A. If you do, especially if your house is not climate controlled, make sure to air out your latex or wool mattress frequently, maybe only seasonally if you have air conditioning. If you can’t flip the entire mattress over to let any accumulated body moisture evaporate, flip half of it up for a day and the other half of it down the next day. While latex and wool are both natural antimicrobial and I have never had any customers with any issues, common sense says that heat and bacteria mingled for long enough in the right conditions could lead to mold.
Q. I am hesitant to use my box spring as I know they are generally treated with flame retardants but I don’t want to loose the height it provides. Do you have another suggestion?
A. The most common supporting systems are slats as they let the latex be a little more flexible than a flat surface like a board or the floor. Some make their own slats of 1” x 4”s, stable them to a ribbon and tie them down to the top and bottom of their metal frame or nail them to their wood frame. Slats are usually spaced 3″-5″ apart, much farther and the latex will sag through them.
A foundation is a strip of slats on top of usually an 8” wooden frame. Sometimes the foundation will come covered in fabric which you may want to check for flame retardants. Your current box spring may be slats instead of springs which can be reused keeping in mind the slat distance and the need for letting the latex breathe occasionally. I have had customers upcycle pallets as ready made foundations. The foundation is where you will get your height.
I want to express my gratitude for the latex slabs and ticking! The mattress is even better than anticipated. My partner and I slept really well last night! I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon your website. Thank you for fair pricing, quality nontoxic products, and excellent customer service. I will be recommending your business to my friends and family.
Crib: 28″x 52″
Twin: 38″ x 75″
Twin XL: 38″ x 80″
Full: 54″ x 75″
Full XL: 54″ x 80″
Queen: 60″ x 80″
Eastern King: 76″ x 80″
California King: 72″ x 82″
Latex is very flexible and grippy. It can be unwiedly and floppy. When we put it on the table to cut it, we flop it as straight and as evenly as we can, taking care that we don’t stretch it. However, occassionaly latex will have a mind of its own and despite our measuring, will measure up to 1″ different than the dimensions listed above. While this is rare, it is to be expected and not something we will replace. 2″ or more, contact us.
Latex molds do not produce 100% the same piece of latex every time. Not all pieces will have one of these variations, some may have more than one. These variations were taken from two pieces of latex.