30 DIY Mattress Ideas - No. 7 Natural Bean Bag Mattress

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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!

Natural Beanbag Mattress  

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If you are wearing a sweatshirt, take a look, there probably are no seams around the middle.  How do they do this you may ask?  The fabric used is actually manufactured in a long tube!  We used a stretchier ribbed cotton tubular shirt fabric for our inner case and a thicker tubular fleece sweatshirt fabric made from hemp and cotton.

We purchased 4.5 yards of the tubular ribbed knit organic cotton inner liner and 2 yards of this organic cotton / hemp tubular fabric for the outer case with the intention to one day dye it a moss green bean bag color.

The reason the inner case is a much longer tube is that the tubular liner fabric is filled in the middle and the ends are tied on the bottom of the mattress similar to our pod assembly. 

Tied in a very loose, soft knot -

Flipped over - 

bean bag mattress

Inspiration for this DIY Mattress Idea: 

We took our no-sew Pod Mattress concept and simply scaled it up by using very wide tubular fabric that is normally associated with sewing sweatshirts.  Instead of sleeping on a grid of pods, this super sized pod can be untied and laid flat to become a cot sized mattress! 

bean bag that converts to mattress

We filled our super sized pod with a mix of 35 lbs (one bulk box) certified organic buckwheat hulls and 10 lbs natural shredded latex

Our sample:  The finished sample mattress measured 48" X 30" @ 8 thick ". Our thought was that 3 of them could be laid out in a column.  The sizing can be adjusted by how loose or tight you tie the inner pod.  At the tightest it's a bean bag and at its loosest it's a section of a mattress as sized in our sample.

Pretty cool that this was a no-sew project!  You may want to sew / finish off the cut ends but we found it not to be necessary, but more of a personal preference as it would protect the ends from fraying in the wash.

We use pinking shears to cut our fabric which creates an edge that does not fray as easily and if it does, it can be cleaned up by simply cutting off the edge / cleaning it up again with our pinking sheers (don't buy the cheap ones, this is the brand that actually works). 

Fillings:  We used 20 lbs of buckwheat hulls and 10 lbs natural shredded latex.

Hints: The knots are placed on the bottom side of the bean bag where they cannot be felt through the thick layers of fillings. When it's a mattress loosen the knot so it lays more flat and it can be positioned on the edge of the mattress so you cannot feel it. Place on a non-slick surface or carpet pad so the sections don't slide apart.

How did our sample feel?  Wonderful but more testing would be needed to see if the individual sections would truly stay in place.

What we like about this mattress idea:  We liked that this mattress had a day use as another piece of furniture. Great for small spaces and kid's rooms. The outer cover fabric can easily be removed for washing or easily be replaced to change the color and pattern when it bean bag form.  

Negatives:  The only negative is the weight.  It's quite heavy at 35 lbs, so lifting it onto a bed frame could hurt your back.  But using it as a floor mattress, it can simply be dragged to where you need it with no heavy lifting needed.  Buckwheat hulls have a lot of airflow so using this mattress on the floor is ok in most climates.

Future possibilities:  We see this idea taking off for an Etsy seller.  They simply have to cut lengths of fabric, serge the ends of the tubular fabric and arrange the fillings to be blind dropshipped from Open Your Eyes Bedding. The fun part will be choosing the fabrics to use!

Do you know someone who may be interested in starting a mattress business, finding ways to get better sleep, or do you know anyone who enjoys DIY projects or up-cycling?  Please share this article!