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We love dreaming up budget DIY mattresses made from natural fillings paired with items not normally associated with sleep. Our design notebook is full of ideas so we thought, "why keep them hidden away"?
So here we present to you
30 DIY Mattress Ideas
Important note: We are not advocating that you actually make these mattresses. They have not been tested and are not approved mattress kits. This is an exercise of the imagination for entertainment purposes only. Think of this as our private design notebook, now opened for everyone to see!
Also, please, please, do not ask how many materials to order to make these fantasy mattresses in standard mattress sizes. You would need to use your imagination + *math skills if you are curious.
*We will share the size of the sample + links to the materials we used so you can calculate the material needed for any mattress / cushion size and the total cost.
Who knows, maybe one of these fantasy designs will one day inspire another small business similar ours, we sure would love the company.
Here we go!
No. 1 / Pillow Protector +Throw Pillow + Millet Hull + Hemp Net Mattress
How luxurious and thick is this mattress? We loved the look of this mattress design as each section took the shape of a leaf.
(Some links below will take you to Amazon.com products)
We ordered this low cost, Queen size pillow protector set, filled them each with 2 lbs of plain millet hulls (for the top layer), tied the case off with some hemp rope and then fed it through this hemp netting. Next, we filled the bottom of the case with an 18" X 18" throw pillow and zipped the case closed. The spacing of the hemp netting was perfect!
We collected worn throw pillows from our home and second hand stores. If you don't want to use up-cycled 18" X 18" throw pillows, simply purchase replacement throw pillow inserts like these + 2 1/4 lbs natural shredded natural latex filling for each insert, knowing the mattress will be more expensive by going that route.
The pillow / zipper side is placed down and the loose mushy millet hull side is on top. After filling and tying off the millet hull portion, you have to feed the case through the hemp netting and then add the throw pillow in and zip case closed. We pushed the corners of the pillow in to make them more rounded and oriented them so they laid flat). The leaf-shape made by pillow allies the pointed edges to brick and mush into one another, making a continuous feeling sleep surface.
The sample we made consisted of 5 filled pillow protectors and roughly measured 24" X 24" @ 10" thick! Did you look at the materials and do the math? Wow, can't believe how inexpensive this could be! Could you use buckwheat hulls instead of millet hulls to save even more? Yep.
Hints: Repeat after me, "don't forget to feed the case through the rope netting before putting the throw pillow in". I said this over and over but EVERY time I forgot this step :) Inspect your throw pillows to make sure they are all about the same size and use the same type and amount of filling. You can use one type of filling for the perimeter of the mattress and another type in the main sleeping zones. Best if you can take the heavy outer cover of the throw pillow off and just use the insert. Orient the throw pillow so it lays flat - it helped to push the 4 corner in to make it more of a round cushion. A final hint is not to tie your millet hulls off tightly, the top should feel loose and mushy.
How did our sample feel? Wow, pretty darn comfy and quite lofty. We would call this one medium softness. Goldilox, just right kind of feeling.
What we like about this imaginary mattress: It's a super thick mattress, so make sure your sheets are deep enough! The millet hull fillings and hemp knitting are all 100% biodegradable and long lasting. Hemp makes a static rope so the mattress should keep its size nicely. If one section gets stained or damaged, you can easily replace it. Plus, we saved all those throw pillows from the landfill.
Negatives: Our guess is that this mattress could skew out of shape if not contained inside a bed frame with side walls to contain it on 4 sides. Future testing needed. The pillow cases were pre-washed and the millet hulls needed to be shaken / dusted outside before we could start (pre-dusted millet hulls are also available but will add significantly to the cost so we rolled up our sleeves and started with the non-dusted option). The hemp rope had an odor so we aired it out in the fresh air overnight and it was much better. So a little more prep work needed for this one.
Future possibilities: This is definitely one to look at for a mattress kit because it was very easy to make.