This is where you spend the majority of your time, don’t skimp on it!
I’ve researched all kinds of mattresses, and chose Talalay Latex for it’s extreme ability to keep its shape and provide support. I’ve recommended these to friends and they’ve never been dissapointed. I didn’t design my bed frame for the thickness of a 10″ mattress, so I cut the high-density polyurethane foam support base in half. It did not affect the comfort at
all. What you’re really paying for is the 3″ of latex on top with just enough support foam so you don’t feel the base. You can also buy your own Latex topper, and glue it to a high density foam base.
I wanted something versatile, strong, and long lasting so I opted for a welded “Rock and Roll” European style bed frame. The front part of the frame actually slides into
the back, turning the bed into a couch and giving me an extra foot of space. I’ve seen some wooden builds, but the wood is heavy and takes up a lot of space. I paid someone
to weld this one together for me, then bolted it all the way through the floor of the van. It’s not going anywhere.
If you don’t care about it folding up, you can purchase steel bed frames like this for cheap, but will still need to put some plywood on top to provide more support for your foam mattress.
-Construct, pay someone to weld, or buy (if you’re in Europe) the frame
-Drill out the “tabs” on the bottom of the frame, Drill holes through the van floor, and bolt the bed frame in place
-Cut plywood in 4 sections to fit each top part, don’t forget to leave enough space so the edges can move. Latex mattresses need at LEAST 50% area support on the bottom so they don’t sag.
-Screw the plywood into the top of the frame using self-drilling metal screws
-Cut your mattress to size:
To cut down the side, an electric “turkey” carving knife works perfectly. I ordered a mattress that was too thick for my original measurements, so I actually cut the whole thing down To do that, I build a ‘hot wire cutter’ out of scrap wood, resistive wire, and an old wall plug. I was able to slide this along the ground to get a very even cut. This was the only way I could get the bottom ‘even’ so I didn’t have weird lumps in my mattress
-Cut two slits into the bottom of the mattress where it needs to fold up, I cut through the high density foam, but left the latex top intact so that I wouldn’t feel ‘grooves’ while I slept. I also didn’t cut the center, so the mattress itself provides that nice curve
-Reinforce the cuts so your latex doesn’t end up ripping after use, I used heavy duty duct tape
-Attach front and back “stops” to the bed frame so when you convert the bed into a couch the mattress stays put. I used scrap 1×2’s for this.
-Attach Nylon straps to each side of the steel part that pulls up with self drilling screws. These allow you to lift the bed into a couch. If you wanted to get fancy, you could also use DC actuators.
-Put the mattress on the frame and enjoy