30 DIY Mattress Idea No. 2 - Dog Toy Mattress

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Dog Toy Up-Cycled Wool Mattress

How much fun is this? A ton of fun until your dog discovers what is inside your mattress while you are at work ...   

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!

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We ordered these dog toys and attached them together with yarn ties and stuffed them with long, thin scraps of cut up wool sweaters and blankets. We then balled up larger pieces of wool to fill the diamond shaped voids between the balls. To our surprise, we did not need any ties to stay in place. 

The more tie points used, the less chance of the yarn tearing the toy, although they seem to be made of a fairly durable rubber. We used wool yarn, doubled up for extra strength.

This project was easy enough for anyone to make, even the kids!

The sample we made (first photo above) measured 12" X 12" @ 6" thick and consisted of 4 dog toys and about 15 ounces of wool scrap.  

Keep in mind they did not off gas like most rubber items you buy these days, but they did have enough of an odor to bother our sensitive noses.  A sweet rubbery scent filled the room and was very noticeable. You may want to leave the toys outside overnight to air out.  Day 2 the smell was only noticeable with our noses right against the ball.

Hints: look for these dog toys on sale to make a budget friendly mattress, they are sold at many different price points - but do your research and only consider the ones that are safe enough for your dogs to chew on.  Weigh out the same amount of wool for each ball and center remnant sections.

How did our sample feel?  This mattress prototype was surprisingly BOUNCY! Unsure how this would sleep being it's so bouncy, especially because we sleep so grounded on our Hemp Sand Mattress. Could this super durable mattress just be for jumping on? Normally, wool mattresses are quite firm and dense. We rate this mattress medium to soft. You can firm it up or soften it by how much wool you stuff each ball with. 

What we like about this imaginary mattress:  The wool is 100% biodegradable and the dog toys can be reused or donated to a local shelter once the life of the mattress is over.  The best part of this imaginary mattress is that the framework / structure can be used again if you want to test other fillings.  You could even empty the wool every year and run it through the wash on cold / gentle cycle with a small amount of a mild detergent.  We think this may be a great mattress for a boat or camper as you can make it any shape you want and wash it at the end of each season.  You can use a smaller sizes of the dog toy to make a thinner mattress but you will need a lot more of them so it would most likely increase the price.  

Negatives: The smell of the dog toys was initially a concern for us here. We also wondered if this mattress was might be too springy as mentioned above.  The second negative was you could feel the grid through the bottom sheet so we thought this design would be great paired with this thick wool topper.

Future possibilities:  The grid / framework could be manufactured to spec using a more eco grade of rubber in a more natural color. Wool scrap / selvage from the wool blanket industry could be sourced and sold as the filling.