Westfalia Custom Mattress Topper Hack #2

Anyone who loves their Westy probably tolerates the mattress. It’s not like it’s terrible, but that fold down seat in my 85′ is a little bumpy and hard in all the wrong places. I’ve been eyeing the GoWesty mattress topper for awhile, but it almost always seems to be sold out. What I really like is how it folds up nice and flat in the back of the van–taking up very little space, since space is a premium. And, I am not gonna lie. It’s also kinda on the pricey side for some foam…

My first attempt at the mattress issue was to find a trifold mattress I could use in it’s place. Basically, trifold mattresses don’t come in a size that fits. The measurements of the bed are 46″ x 72″ in the Westy. The closest thing is a full size 52.5″ x 73.5″. But, I don’t want extra hanging over the end or folding up on the sides. I already played that game with a big memory foam mattress topper that we would roll up in the back. It was HUGE. The twin size trifolds are also way too small, so no luck there.

Custom mattress topper extended.

Then I decided to make my own custom topper; I did. And, I love the heck out of it. I’ll tell you how I did it, and I will give you some suggestions to do it on the cheap. Well on the cheaper… at least.

Custom mattress folds up in the back of the van for easy storage.

I first went to the craft store where I was horrified to find that each piece of 2′ x 6′ foam is basically $80, and to make the trifold, I figured I would need 3 pieces. Sorry… not sorry… but f@#k that! That’s stupid. A whole mattress topper is only like 50-bucks for a regular bed. Ah… yes… A mattress topper is only 50-bucks. So, I immediately got on the target app and ordered a full-size 1.5″ foam mattress topper. Remember, overall the Westy mattress ain’t so bad, but just could use a little cushion. This mattress topper was $54 and some change with tax. Not bad. Since I was already at the fabric store, I went ahead and bought two pieces of canvas 60″ x 80″ (2.25 yards each). Honestly, I had the store cut two pieces just so I didn’t have to cut it at home. Lazy. I also bought two zippers. Each one was 28″ long. If I could have found a zipper that was 48″ or 50″, I would have bought it, but I couldn’t, and I wasn’t looking to special order something. Fabric and zippers and some thread all totaled about $60. So I’m about $104 dollars into this project. Not bad. Half the cost of the GoWesty mattress… that no one can buy anyways because the damn thing is always sold out.

Joe approves. I realize that in every hack picture he’s wearing the same outfit. He does have other clothes.

I have the most rudimentary sewing skills. I got a sewing machine I bought at a yard sale for $40. It’s a cheap Brother. Does the basic things. Basically, the mattress needs to be 46″ wide, and each side of the mattress is 1.5″ high and I estimated another .5″ for the seam on each side. So the total width was 50″. And, then I made the length 76″. That’s the 72″, plus 1.5″ for each side and .5″ on each side for the seam.

So basically you want fabric that is 50″ x 76″. And, yup. I just used two big pieces because like I said… my skills are rudimentary. And, I wasn’t about making some perfect slipcover with a 1.5″ edge all the way around. No. Freaking. Way.

From here, I sewed the zippers first. Because zippers suck. I don’t have a special zipper foot or other special tools; I just sewed the damn thing. In total, my two zippers are 56″ long. So I started in the middle of of the 50″ wide fabric that way the zippers meet in the middle and extend around the corners on each side by about 3-inches. I rounded the corners by bunching and pinning free-hand. Nothing special. Once those bitch-of-a-zippers were done. I basically just sewed it all the way around with those .5″ seams. Then I cut the foam down to 46″. And, My daughter helped me get the foam situated in the new slipcover. Pretty much… it’s rad. I love it. And, I am super-duper excited to try it out this weekend.

How would I do it cheaper? Well my friend just shared with me a farmhouse interior design hack. The article she sent showed someone who used paint drop-cloths to make canvas style farmhouse bedding on the cheap–you’re welcome for that extra hack. I was in too much of a hurry to be cheap. But this is the alternative I would have considered if I had thought it through more. Harbor Freight carries a 9′ x 12′ canvas drop-cloth for 16 dollars. This would be all your need for both sides of the slipcover.

So, $54 for the mattress topper from target, $10 for the zippers, and $16 for the drop-cloth. Grand total $80 if you’re a cheap-bastard who spends the time to think it through and has way more patience than I can manifest.

Overall, I am super pleased with the result, and I am exited about better sleep after a day of kayaking.

Update (2 hours later): I was cleaning up my mess which consisted of a strip of 7″ x 73.5″ foam and 10″ x 80″ strip of left over canvas. I got to wondering what can I do these scraps. And then I thought… ya know, I could make a couple of small pillows to go with the mattress. So I cut the 73.5″ piece of foam in half. And, I folded each half in half and sewed the foam pieces inside an old crappy pillow case. Really that step was just to keep the folded pieces together. Then, I used the left over canvas to make a couple of pillow cases. The pillows are about 3″ deep and make good little neck pillows. I tried them out. So, I’m happy that I used every bit of everything. And, everything is washable. And, I get a lot of the space I used to lose to big bulky bedding, pillows, and mattress toppers. Yay!

Maybe now, I just need to ask my sister-in-law for some iron on designs using her Cricut. Maybe a “mountains are calling…” or a cool forest symbol to liven things up. I’ll follow up if I do some fancy shit.