How to Cut a Mattress in Half – 5 Easy Steps
Getting a new mattress does not really mean you can’t use the old one for another thing. If you have a good quality old mattress, but you have decided to dispose of it since it has been in use for a long, they are many things you can make out of it.
All you need to do is to cut it into half, and you would see the magic you would receive afterward. However, it is essential to know some steps and instrument that would be required so it won’t go wrong while cutting it. Here is an article that would surely help you out.
Before you can decide to cut a mattress into half, the first thing you must do is to know the form of mattress you are cutting down. This is because all mattresses do not have a single way of cutting them. There are a lot of variations in cutting mattresses since they all have different structures and materials used in their production.
If you are cutting a viscoelastic memory foam in half, you won’t be encountering many difficulties doing so. And with the halves derived from it, you would be able to make cushions for your car seats, smaller beds for the kids, or make sleeping mats for dogs at the kernel and so on.
For innerspring mattresses, cutting it in half might require a lot of energy and time. This is because it has structures that are hard to cut through. However, if you have all the necessary tools available, then you might be cutting it as easy as cutting other mattresses.
Also, the size of the mattress you are cutting into two would determine the result you get from it. For instance, if you are dividing a king size mattress, you can get two serviceable twin or single mattresses out of the halves.
Reason for Cutting a Mattress into Half
Although there are several reasons why it is advisable to it your mattress into half, this article would only be looking into some
1. Saves Expenses
Since you are cutting a mattress into two, you are surely going to get at least two smaller beds out of it. With these beds, you can make mattresses for kids and cushions for your car seats which means you won’t be spending extra money getting these things.
Since you won’t be disposing of all your old mattresses out, the environment would have less dirt to take in.
Instruments for Cutting a Mattress
While you would have it easy cutting some mattresses into two, some might be difficult due to the nature of their structure and material. However, here are some tools that would surely make all done within a jiffy.
- Staple gun or large stapler
- Tape measure
- Sharp knife, box cutter or scalpel
- Sewing equipment such as needle, machine, tread pins, etc.
- Spare mattress cover
- If you are cutting an innerspring mattress which seems to be hard to do, you would definitely need these following tools.
- Bolt cutter
How to Cut a Mattress in Half
Now that you have all your tools ready, the next thing for you is to know the major steps you should take in exciting this task. These steps are fragile and simple so you must take important note of them and follow them according to so as not to make a mistake.
Step 1– The first thing you would do is to measure the mattress you are cutting in other to discover its center. Then you take note of the length or width depending on if you are cutting it down or across. After then you would make a small cut on the mattress cover and later use a scissor to make the full cut of length or breath of the cover.
Step 2– Next action requires you to use a cutter to cut through the top comfort layers until you can get to the springs. On getting to the springs, it is essential to make an indication on it so it would be easy when cutting.
Step 3– Then you make use of the bolt cutter to cut through the springs. But it is crucial to take note of the center marked in to cut the springs down the center line of the mattress.
Step 4– Do a check on where you have cut and use the pliers to get rid of any metals that the bolt cutter was unable to dispose of. You should after that form a flat mattress by folding the cut ends of every spring. Then use a strip of cloth to tie the springs at the new edge together.
Step 5– A new mattress cover or the old one is still useful should be used to cover the mattress and the new ends. Then your mattress is ready to be used.
How to Cut Memory Foam without Messing Up the Whole Process
April 12, 2017 by Maria
A high quality material used in the preparation of mattresses, best memory foam mattress toppers, and pillows, memory foam is essentially a polyurethane material that comprises of extra chemicals to enhance the viscosity and density. Memory foam tends to soften up when brought in close contact with the heat of the body. As a result it wraps around a warm body and gives it a greater degree of comfort. Upon removal of weight, it recovers to the original shape with the recovery process being a very quick one. This is one of the main reasons why memory foam is highly rated as a bedding material. However, when it comes to cutting or shaping memory foam it can be a very challenging process. With the right kind of equipment your disposal, you can overcome this challenge and go about cutting memory foam down to the required size.
Getting a clean edge is where you need to start
One of the most common issues faced when it comes to cutting memory foam is that it does not give you a clean edge. Being too aggressive with the right tool or starting out with the wrong tool altogether contributes towards the foam becoming rough and jagged along the edges. You should use the right tool with care to ensure a smooth and clean cut for your memory foam.
A carving knife comes with a serrated blade compared to those knives that have a smooth blade on them. There are tiny points on these serrated tips which are crucial to providing a straight, clean cut on the memory foam. With the help of gentle, short back and forth motions you can saw through the foam. It is important to ensure that the foam is not compressed.
An electric knife that is commonly available is another option. This too comes with a serrated blade similar to what you get in a carving knife. This is especially useful if you are cutting foam with the help of a template. The edge could be your guide as you slide the knife along the template to get the cut.
Craft knives or utility knives are surgically sharp and this makes them a good choice for cutting memory foam. The secret to using this equipment lies in making a number of easy passes over the memory foam material. Rather than sawing through the foam – something you would usually do while using a serrated blade – start by making a shallow cut-line before eventually deepening it till you finally manage to cut through the foam.
You can make use of heavy-duty scissors for cutting thinner quality memory foam. Short chops are helpful in getting the right kind of cut especially when you are using the part of the blades that meet near the handles.
Additional tools to put to use
Apart from the usual knives and cutters, there are a number of other tools that you can use for cutting and shaping memory foam – marking pens, straightedge, Drywall square. All of these will help you in getting lines to give an accurate cut to your memory foam.
These are ideal for cutting long and straight pieces of foam. Take the necessary measurements and place the implement on the foam to square it up. Keep your knees on top so that the square remains steady. The side of the square will act as your guide with a utility knife running along the edge to give you a nice, clean cut.
An alternative to a conventional Drywall square would be a chunk of plywood with straight edges. You can use it in a manner similar to that of a Drywall square set.
Secure it down if necessary
Large pieces of memory foam have sufficient magnitude of friction that helps in keeping the object in place when you are cutting it. When dealing with smaller pieces, it is recommended that you have some heavy object placed along the edge or clamp it down if necessary. This will prevent your cut from going awry.
Some advice with the cutting
It is important that the memory foam is kept on a hard surface with the cutting edges hanging out of the surface. Hold it in place with one hand and have your cutter in the other to cut the foam along the required lines and surfaces.
Also if you are using an electric knife ensure that your fingers or the electrical cord is kept away from the cutting blade. You also need to be in a comfortable position before starting to use a cutter for cutting memory foam. Last but not the least you need to be cautious with everything while cutting the memory foam because all of it can prove to be very lethal.
How To Cut A Mattress In Half
Mattresses are a common household item and can be costly depending on the type purchased. Once used most people dispose of it rather than recycle the mattress. With a little effort, you can convert them into other useful items in the house. For example, the most common types such as viscoelastic memory foam can be cut to smaller pieces and the resulting cushions used as smaller beds for the kids, car seats and used in the kernels as sleeping mats for the dogs. Not only is it an idea to dissect to recycle into other goods, but can also help in the disposal process in order to perhaps fit into your vehicle.
Mattresses range in size and density depending on their composition. From pocket spring to organic latex mattresses the ease of cutting through it depends on its structure. For example, an innerspring is relatively harder to cut through, but given the right tools and procedure, you can easily cut them into half too. The other foam mattresses are made of relatively soft and easy material to cut through.
For the purpose of this exercise, we decided to split ours into two, not to recycle or dispose of, but simply to reduce it in size and gain two from one. Below is the description of how we did it; your type might be a little different from the one whose description is given below but the steps followed should be relatively similar. The one cut into half below is an innerspring; therefore it is essential to know your mattress type before trying to cut it in half. Knowing that will help you identify the tools required and amount of labor needed.
Table of Contents
Step By Step Instructions
- A pair of scissors
- A pair of pliers
- A sewing machine or needle
- Dremel tool with a fiberglass reinforced cutting wheel
- Strong sewing thread
- A lot of straight pins
- Staple gun
- Sharp scalpel
- Tape measure
Step 1: Cut Through The Outer Covering
With the help of the sharp scalpel make an incision on the softer outer covering and cut the cover right down the center of the mattress using the pair of scissors to expose the inner layer of springs. Using the tape measure, measure the midpoint and mark the springs to be cut through using the sharp scalpel. Make the marks conspicuous enough.
Step 2: Cut Through Springs
Use the Dremel tool to cut down the line of springs marked earlier with the scalpel. Be careful when doing this in order to avoid injury to the finger. Hold the tool steady because any jerky movement will break the wheel. Use the pliers to clip off any hard remnants of the spring that the Dremel can’t cut off.
Step 3: Fold Sharp Spring Ends
Using the pair of pliers carefully fold the sharp protruding ends of the metallic springs to form a new section of the cut mattress. The springs should be folded inwards to avoid injury when someone sits on it. Using a piece of cloth or rope, tie the springs of the new section together – this is for support.
Step 4: Close Up The Ends
Close the new ends of the mattress using the spare cover. You can either buy a new cover or use an old one depending on availability. Using the sewing needle cover the mattress end. Use the thimble while doing this to avoid injury to your finger. Use the wax to soften the thread and as a lubricant to make the sewing easy. Staple thoroughly the ends and trim the excess cover. Repeat the procedure to the other half of the mattress. You should now have two halves of the original mattress.
How to Cut Natural Latex
Perhaps you happened upon a piece of latex in our Clearance section that is just about the right size for your projects or maybe you have an old couch made of latex that you are ready to part with but you realize there is still life left in the foam, so you get creative. Your new project could use some natural latex but you want to save a few dollars by cutting it yourself and not paying us to cut it. Here is how you DIY a latex cut.
- Electric Knife
- Two Tables the same Height
- Your Natural Latex Slab
The best tip I can give you is to use a slow, steady hand, not pulling the latex apart as you cut, but letting it sit still.
- Draw your cut on the latex with an extra fine tip permanent marker and a yardstick or an upside down tape measure. Make sure your line is straight as you will be watching it very closely when you are cutting. Do not draw your line according to the pinholes on the latex as they do not always line up vertically and horizontally to the edges of the latex. Rather measure from the actual edges of the latex.
- Place your two tables next to each order with a 5″ or so gap between them. Place the latex on the tables with the cut line in the space between the tables.
- An optional step, but perhaps beneficial step is lubricating your blades. If you have a silicone spray lubricant around, spray both sides of the blades to provide an easy cut.
- Position yourself in a comfortable position, accessible to the cut. Depending on how large your piece is, you may find it easiest to cut the latex if you crawl on top of it. If you do so, make sure your knees are not pulling on the area of latex around the cut.
- Position the cord of your knife so that it is not in your way as you move backward along the cut or in the cut’s way.
- Align your knife on the line, turn the blades on and very slowly, cut down your line. It is easiest to pull the knife toward you rather than to push it away from you. Keep your knife hand over the line so that you do not end up with a cut inches to the side of the line on the bottom of the piece. If you need to shift your position, turn the knife off first, adjust and resume. Do not stretch the latex when cutting. It is a very flexible foam and stretching or pulling it during your cutting will give you a wobbly cut line. The holes in the latex may give you a slightly wobbly drawn line; you may have to eyeball a straight line from each hole.
- Just like when you cut wood and leave behind sawdust, there will be a little shredded latex on the ground to sweep up.
Of course, if after reading this you have changed your mind about DIYing your cut, give us a call and we’ll cut it for you. To get a quote on a custom cut piece of latex, visit our Custom Cut Latex Calculator.
20 thoughts on “ How to Cut Natural Latex ”
Any tips on cutting latex for thickness rather than length or width? I have a 3″ thick slab that I will need to cut to different thicknesses to reupholster a chair…the seat cushion needs to be 4″ thick, and the back, arms and wings will be 1-2″, not including the wool batting. I have an electric knife, but as I’m effectively cutting “blind” I won’t know if I’m holding the knife level until the cut is done. I’m thinking of using a thin wooden (lauan) board to help keep the blade level, but I don’t know how helpful this will be. Thoughts?
Ah, cutting horizontally is quite tricky as you describe. Your idea of the wooden board is probably the same idea that I’m having: using a support for your blade or handle to help you keep it level. Say you wanted a 1″ deep cut and you had a 1″ x 1″ stripe of wood that you placed just on the edge of the latex under your blade. Note though, the wood’s presence would shorten your cut as it would remove the 1″ or so of usable blade resting on it. When we have angled cuts that are shorter than our blade, we draw lines on both sides of the foam. Then one person guides the bottom of the blade and another person operates the saw. Usually our horizontal cuts are made with a saw the size of two cars. The latex lays flat on the table and the long blade cuts the entire piece in seconds.
Don’t try a hot wire on latex. It will create quite a stench and break your wire.
I was wondering if a wire – e.g., a long piece of metal twine, but not a hot one – would be better as it would be more like one of those long, crosscut saws used on old-growth trees. I’ve made some headway with the electric knife, but as this is a twin-sized mattress that I’m cutting the top 3″ off (as the rest is memory foam) I still have a ways to go. I managed to cut it reasonably level around the edges, to the depth of the blade(8-10″), and now I’m using a 3″ wide board to insert between the layers and cut farther and farther underneath. I have to stop and let the knife’s motor cool off and my shoulder rest (from holding up the top layer as I cut) after several minutes. It won’t be perfect as I keep making hacks and slices into the lower layer, which affects the leveling of the board. Hopefully once I’ve freed the latex and cut it vertically(!) into smaller pieces, splitting them horizontally won’t be as much of a challenge.
Perhaps a cool wire would work, the trick would be getting it stiff enough while being sharp and thin. I know an upholster in town who uses a piano wire as his hot wire. I can’t quite imagine it working cold, but it is worth a shot. I’ve even used a sharp serrated knife that didn’t leave a smooth cut but it was sufficient. I’ve tried the method you’re describing with similar results, not exactly a smooth cut but perhaps manageable if the piece is for yourself.
So now that I’m done removing the latex layer (it was a hack job but I more or less got what I wanted), my electric knife has pooped out in the middle of cutting the sheet into smaller sections – the easiest part of the task. The knife was by Hamilton Beach, given to me from someone who was downsizing, so it’s no real loss; but I need to replace it now with something that doesn’t overheat so easily. (I did notice it heating up during the horizontal cutting but stopped several times to let it cool down for a few hours before resuming.) I’ve looked at a couple of filleting knives, which appear to be more durable; do you have any recommendations? As I imagine you do this on a regular basis I doubt you tolerate having to run to the big-box store every week to buy another cheap electric knife.
Yes, that is the way of kitchen electric knives. They can overheat. I use a Bosch foam cutter for my hand cuts but that will run you around $600+ for all the parts (blades and foot are sold separately). I had luck with this Oster knife for a few years before I upgraded. I have never tried a fillet knife, but in a pinch once, I used a very sharp serrated bread knife but I did have to saw through the piece. Electric knives leave a smoother cut, especially the Bosch with its extra fine teeth.
Well I decided on a Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife by Rapala, based upon reviews – one person even specifically recommended it for cutting foam. It has a heftier motor than typical electric knives, it never has to be oiled (according to the instruction manual) and longer blades can even be ordered. It even has a safety lock on the switch. I ordered it through Amazon Prime for $50, and when it arrived (and after I wrestled it out of the plastic packaging) it made short work of my remaining cuts. My dog’s bed is now assembled (I’ll try to send a pic along soon) and the other pieces are awaiting their wool batting wraps (protected by the mattress cover in the meantime). I should be able to shave off the remaining memory foam now that the pieces are smaller, and I’ll be making more horizontal cuts as 3″ will be overkill for most of the chair’s surfaces.
Thanks much for sharing. I’m glad that new knife worked out well for you. I’ll keep your success around to share with others as needed.
We would love a picture of your DIY dog bed! It is inspiring to see everyone’s projects. It sounds like you are going to have a plush, comfortable build. Happy cushion making.
Honestly, the use of a little saw or knife is a bit silly, and not needful at all. I just took a 96″ long 1/2″ wide bandsaw blade (available at most hardware stores…I just used an old one I already had) break it at the weld, then whipped up a crude horizontal buck saw something like this https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/c9/a3/5a/c9a35a1eafff80688ff8c351fa40daba.jpg . Horizontal means I mounted the blade sideways instead of vertical. Basically it is just a typical 2×4 stud with two pieces mounted on either end to make a long low “H” shape, the blade clamped to the bottom part, and a string on the top that tensions the blade by means of twisting (‘spanish windlass’). By not mounting the blade on the very bottom, I could have that distance determine the height of the cut. An 8″ latex mattress does not move around very much, so, by laying the mattress on the concrete floor, and sliding the saw back and forth (helper on the other end), I was able to rapidly and accurately cut 1″ slabs off of the *bottom* of the mattress. After each cut, you just flop the whole mess around to get the cut piece off the bottom, and you are ready to go again. I cut off three layers, and there is very good accuracy in each cut. Not as quick as a giant horizontal bandsaw at a mill, but not a long-term exhausting project either. A queen-size mattress was 60″ wide, but we still had more than a 20″ stroke per cut that moved through the material pretty darn quick. I had originally planned to make a big jig with slide rails and all that junk to keep everything aligned, but the real tool turned out to be very very simple. Now I have an 8 foot-long saw standing in the corner, instead of a big mess and a giant useless and overly hard, over-thick latex mattress.
The next goal is to take a 1/2 hole punch used for grommets and leatherworking to make the perforations larger, and hopefully soften this stuff up some!
The blade I used was a fairly worn 4TPI (four teeth per inch).
Now there are some DIY skills. Thank you for sharing.
DIY skills indeed! This post inspired me to build a 93″ horizontal saw myself, using a 2×4, a band saw blade (6 TPI) from Home Depot, and some misc. bolts and brackets. I needed to make a cut in 3-part foam RV mattress that was 4.5″ thick, and I wanted to cut it at 2″ up from the bottom where the first layer was glued to the 2nd layer. It worked OK, but the saw created a lot of little foam “sawdust” that took a long time to vacuum up. I used twine to tension the saw blade. If I used the saw again I might try something I could cinch even tighter, as the blade did ride up and down a bit, leaving little waves in the cut surface.
Sounds like a great build and good use of creativity. I hope your RV bed is very comfy now.
How to Cut a Mattress in Half
Why should you need to know how to cut a mattress in half? The answer is simple: a mattress can be a costly item, and it seems a shame just to dispose of it once you have decided you need a new one. Most people would simply dispose of an old mattress, but sometimes that is not so easy to do.
It doesn’t take much to utilize your old mattress in imaginative ways, such as using the foam for cushions or for the cat or dog. If you cut an old king size mattress in half, you can often make two serviceable twin or single mattresses out of the halves. You can use slabs of foam as car seats, particularly for the kids. There are many imaginative uses to which an old mattress can be put, and the first step is generally to cut it in half. Here’s how!
How to Cut a Mattress in Half
A mattress can consist of a number of different layers of various types of foams and also springs. We shall explain how to do this with an innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses are the most difficult to cut in half, though not as difficult as you may think. A foam mattress is easier since you have no metal parts to cut.
The instructions below apply whether you are cutting a mattress into the half down the length or into two parts across the width. Cutting across the width will give you two half-length mattresses while cutting down the length will take longer, but give you two serviceable single mattresses.
First get your tools ready. For a foam mattress you will need:
- Stout scissors
- A sharp knife, box cutter or scalpel
- Tape measure
- Staple gun
- Sewing equipment: needle/sewing machine, thread, pins, thimble
- Spare mattress cover.
- Staple gun or large stapler.
For an innerspring or hybrid mattress you will also need:
- Dremel tool or bolt cutter if you have one – this makes it easier to cut the springs.
Cutting a Mattress in Half: Procedure
- Use the tape measure to establish the center and mark this down the length or the width of the mattress according to which way you want to halve it – down or across. Make an initial cut in the mattress cover, then use the scissors to cut the full length or width of the cover down or across the center of the mattress.
- Using the cutter or scalpel, cut through the top comfort layers until you reach the springs.
- Mark the center of the springs with the cutter, making the marks easy to see when to start cutting.
- Cut through the springs using the bolt cutter or Dremel tool. Be careful to cut the springs down the center line of the mattress. The markings you measured on the springs should make this fairly easy to do. If using a Dremel tool or rotary grinding disk, make sure you hold it steady for a clean cut.
- Check the cut and use the pliers to remove any metal bits the cutters or Dremel tool were unable to cut off.
- Fold the cut ends of each spring down into the mattress to form as flat a mattress edge as possible. This also prevents any sharp ends of cut springs injuring those who sit on it. Tie the springs at the new edge together using twine or strips of cloth.
Cover the mattress and the new ends with the new mattress cover. You can use a new cover or an old one, whichever you prefer. Sew on the new cover then staple up the ends. If you want, you could sew a piece of material over the open ends or sides, then sew and staple on the new cover.
How to Cut a Mattress in Half: Conclusion
When people change their mattress for a new one, the old mattress is often serviceable for one purpose or another. Sometimes the two halves of a mattress can be used for twin or single beds, or even cut down as cot mattresses. Some other ideas may also appeal to you, such as beds for your pets or even a soft play surface for young children. They can be of particular use in the garden or backyard: for sunbathing or placed beneath climbing frames as a soft landing if a child falls.
However, unless you use the mattress in its original size, you will have to cut it down. The above instructions explain how to cut a mattress in half correctly and safely. Repurposing a mattress can put it to far better use than just scrapping or recycling it. You may even cut your mattress up into sizes to fit your car simply to avoid collection charges for disposing of it. However, there many other uses for old mattresses and their springs including floral displays, wine racks and anything your imagination can come up with.