Instructables

DIY Mattress Substitute - Out-Of-The-Box, Portable, Lightweight, Inexpensive, Machine-Washable

Ever needed to lug a mattress and / or a box spring up or down a few flights of stairs or load it into a car or van? Or worried about having to throw away an otherwise perfectly usable and expensive mattress because of bedbugs?

I thought of this inexpensive out-of-the-box DIY solution using easily available standard components (a few sleeping bags and a zippered mattress cover) that requires no tools or any kind of workmanship - which I am using as a mattress substitute - and it's working great.

The platform bed I am using to go with it is also similarly improvised, out-of-the-box, portable, inexpensive and lightweight, details of which are available at http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-Improvised-Lightweight-DIY-Substitute-f/
 
 
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Step 1: Buy Eight Inexpensive Sleeping Bags and One Zippered Mattress Cover

You can use as many or as few sleeping bags as you like - I bought eight 33" x 75" sleeping bags from Wal-Mart for $9 each (as of 05/26/10) - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-3-Pound-Sleeping-Bag/8812039.

The only other item I am using is a queen-size zippered vinyl mattress cover I found at Target for $11.99 (as of 05/26/10) - http://www.target.com/Vinyl-Zippered-White-Mattress-Cover/dp/B000BFK7R0 . You could just as well use a zippered cotton mattress cover for a comparable price.
 

Step 2: Insert All the Sleeping Bags into the Mattress Cover

Just insert the sleeping bags (without folding and zipping up each of them in order to get the maximum width of 2x33" = 66") into the mattress cover one on top of the other.  I found that I can easily creep into the cover myself once all the sleeping bags have been inserted in order to smoothen out the contents inside and make sure that they are lying flat on top of each other.
ahermitt10 days ago

looking at this makes my body hurt, but I think a futon mattress with 2 inch foam topper would be OK if you needed something portable, probably twice the price, but more comfortable?

Ronyon3 years ago
Great idea.