Help me Find Temp to Perm sleeping surface?
October 21, 2008 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I need a temporary/permanent sleeping situation to replace the maddening/depressing mattress carousel that I've had for the past 4 years. What have you done when you've had sleeping issues and know that you'll be moving around alot? And is it possible for your body to start become much more aware of mattress irregularities, and would some exercises change that?

Since I graduated college, I have owned five different mattress/box spring combinations. The first two were the best, (one is at a friend's house in Northern Virginia--worst case, I find a way to move that), but now I live 800 miles away in Chicago. I've always preferred a firm-ish bed, but that might be changing. I prefer side sleeping, but I sometimes switch around.

But disaster has hit my mattress/sleeping situation the past 10 months. Each (new) bed I've owned has developed sagging within weeks of heavy use. (I'm 5'6" 155 lbs, by the way). One bed lasted 2 months (returned), and its replacement I wanted to return (sagged within a week), but I'm languishing in it right now. I fear going to sleep now. I've slept in other beds and in couches and seem to have a better sleep than I've had in my own bed.

I would be buying a quality bed, with a quality bed frame, but I'll be moving within two months, and attending grad school in an unknown place for two years, then probably moving to find work. I don't want to sell my bed for cents on the dollar, once again. (I've spent $1700 on mattresses, while only getting $300 back in sales) .I've tried feather bed, memory foam, a "mattress remedy". I've went to PT on back issues, and probably need to get back on those exercises...

I've thought of the following options:

  • Buy cheap used twin mattress on craigslist (maybe a lightly used bed I could tell if there will be a depression+ with a twin the chance of depression is smaller). Sell it for slight loss before I move.

  • Get a foam/latex bed from Ikea that I can fold in my car and transport it to where I move. Is this possible/recommended?

  • Get one of those raised, high aero beds, put a foam topper on it. Dress it like a nice 'ol bed.

  • Or could this be all in my head/body? While I've never had fantastic, consistent 8 hr+ sleep, I've never felt sore coming out of my bed in the morning like I've had in the past 10 months.
    posted by sandmanwv to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
    My solution to a similar problem was the complete opposite. I like a firm bed and something too soft gives me lower back pain. After many attempts with various beds, mattresses box springs etc I've wound up with a cheap latex mattress on the floor. No frame, no box spring, no topper, no springs.

    Soft enough to avoid pressure issues, firm enough to keep me mobile during the day. The $100 ikea special has worked better than anything else I've ever tried.

    posted by mce at 8:36 AM on October 21, 2008

    Have you tried a decent-quality futon? Many people hate them, but my back loves the firmness and solidity of a nice futon. For me, it's a lot better than the springiness and squishiness of most mattresses.

    And you should also try (because it is a cheap option) one of those inflatable air mattresses, set on the floor. My experience is that they start leaking eventually, but until they do they are surprisingly comfortable.
    posted by Forktine at 8:47 AM on October 21, 2008

    Where are you finding soreness? It might be that using a substantial bolster pillow might reduce some of the problems.

    I'm very fond of the Comfort-U pillow: it's large and bulky, but really adaptable to different positions. (I'm a side sleeper, too.) It's done wonders for waking up with stiff shoulders/knees/hips/neck. (My mattress is an Ikea mid-range mattress with memory foam and padding, on one of their slat-based frames: firm overall.)

    I like the Comfort-U because I don't have to shift things around when I roll over in the middle of the night: there's always more pillow handy. Between the knees seems to be a major benefit, but also getting my arm under it and my other arm over seems to have helped a lot with shoulder and neck tension.
    posted by modernhypatia at 8:50 AM on October 21, 2008

    You can rent furniture and it's surprisingly affordable. That might be an option.
    posted by callmejay at 9:04 AM on October 21, 2008

    Considered a futon? If you don't get on with it you have a sofa/guest bed.
    posted by mandal at 9:08 AM on October 21, 2008

    Get one of those raised, high aero beds, put a foam topper on it. Dress it like a nice 'ol bed.

    Ha, I've been doing exactly this for the past month as my mattress crapped out and I can't afford a new's comfy, yes, BUT it is SO LOUD when you move around and my back has been KILLING me for 2 weeks, so..... take from that what you will.
    posted by tristeza at 9:52 AM on October 21, 2008

    I'm doing what mce described and it works great for me, sleep/comfort-wise. At any rate, it's an inexpensive option and doesn't involved [sometimes-]skeevy used mattresses.

    What gives me pause is that you say "I've always preferred a firm-ish bed, but that might be changing." Obviously a latex mattress on the floor will be firm.

    One additional con is that a mattress directly on the floor, especially a thin one, seems to make it harder to keep a bed neat and clean, so you might want to build or buy a platform to put it on.
    posted by needs more cowbell at 10:35 AM on October 21, 2008

    1. Buying a used bed, I would guess, is like buying used underwear. I would avoid that.

    2. Pain or soreness from a bed or "sleeping wriong" is all psychosomatic. Go to wikipedia and search "TMS".

    3. Try a Dux Bed. (Duxiana).
    posted by Zambrano at 10:35 AM on October 21, 2008

    I slept on an Aero bed on the floor for 8 years. It wasn't one of the raised ones, so I can't comment on how good those are, but the one I used was great.

    I didn't have any problems with the air leaking but I had to put something between the bed and my bed sheet to keep warm- I used a foam mattress pad which worked perfectly.

    Cheap and portable and very comfortable. I didn't have any durability problems either. Overall, I recommend them highly.
    posted by Caius Marcius at 11:13 AM on October 21, 2008

    Lots of good bed/mattress advice. I suggest you also look into a little physio-therapy.

    I'm a foamy on the floor guy and have been for years. I did go through a phase about ten years ago that sounds similar to yours. Lots of moving around, couches, futons, other peoples beds and it led to a kind of inconsistent night time back pain that nothing could resolve, except getting back to my foamy on the floor. Then I got into physio-therapy for some more specific lower back (athletic injury) stuff, which involved a bunch of stretches aimed at straightening and strengthening my back. Somewhere along the line, I wasn't even really conscious of it at the time, my night time back pain went away ... and hasn't returned.
    posted by philip-random at 11:30 AM on October 21, 2008

    Pain or soreness from a bed or "sleeping wriong" is all psychosomatic. Go to wikipedia and search "TMS".

    ...Zambrano, you seem to "diagnose" people with TMS an awful lot -- this is the third time I've seen you say this within the past month, for three completely different ailments.

    You wouldn't be working for some kind of pharmaceutical company that's working on an anti-depressant designed to combat this, would you?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

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