My back... it hurts! And I'm so tired.
December 12, 2012 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Help save our Christmas! My wife and I are sleeping on the basement floor of my parent's house during Christmas week. We've stayed on a queen-sized inflatable mattress before and it is incredibly uncomfortable. Any recommendations for alternatives?

We've always had issues sleeping in their basement. They have a pullout couch but the mattress is flat and lumpy. We tried a Queen-sized Aerobed Guest Choice but it is extremely uncomfortable (every movement I make wakes my wife up).

We're going to buy some decent cheap sheets and a blanket (the ones my parents have are old and aren't so comfortable) but we aren't quite sure what else to buy to make our Christmas stay more comfortable. Any suggestions? Bed rolls, sleeping bags, etc. We'll likely use this every time we visit so please share your experiences. Thanks!
posted by swhitt to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried a foam topper for the inflatable mattress? Maybe this is a stupid question, but what about it is uncomfortable for you? Too firm? Too much movement?
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:36 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do they have the space to store two twin mattresses? You could buy two cheap ones and keep them at their home.
posted by royalsong at 9:37 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

I slept on one of these shikibuton mattresses recently, and it was surprisingly cushy and nice. A little short, so probably not as comfy for a tall person, but it definitely beats the wiggly/squeaky experience I've had on various air mattresses. It did have a bit of a chemical smell coming out of the box, so you might want to plan for airing time, and/or pack a thick blanket to put between you and the mattress.
posted by Bardolph at 9:38 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your best bet is to see if camping gear is on sale anywhere. Usually pads are pretty expensive, but they're amazing. the other option is for each of you to have your own mattress so your movement doesn't wake her up.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:40 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

For this one, if you don't want to spend too much (since Christmas is right around the corner), get one of those egg-crate mattress toppers. I've put that on air mattresses before.
posted by xingcat at 9:44 AM on December 12, 2012

Hotel, you aren't a kid having a sleepover.
posted by karlos at 9:48 AM on December 12, 2012 [14 favorites]

Air mattresses suck, ugh.

Camping cots are fairly sturdy and inexpensive; put a sleeping bag on top and you're good. They make fairly deluxe ones these days too, with extra pads and little pockets for your watch and what have you. Some are even "couple" sized for couples who aren't too wide/tall.

If your parents can store it, a futon mattress is perfectly comfortable on the floor.

If they don't care about that couch and you have the cash, you could also just buy an actual futon for the room and put the couch on the curb, and do all of their future guests a favor.

Good luck!
posted by emjaybee at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2012

Use two mattresses.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2012

If all else fails, I've found with those inflatable mattresses that if you inflate them to near bursting they'll transmit less of your motion to your sleeping partner when you roll over.
posted by Floydd at 9:50 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, folks! The biggest issue we have with air mattresses is that we each feel every movement we both make. I shift a little, she bounces up and down a little. She shifts a little, I bounce up and down a little. Not really conducive to great sleeping.
posted by swhitt at 9:52 AM on December 12, 2012

A random thought, but is the couch mattress flat and lumpy, or are the couch springs? I thought my parents' house had a horrible mattress on the pullout couch until one night I got desperate and just put the mattress directly on the floor and slept on that. Worked wonders - very comfortable.
posted by forza at 9:54 AM on December 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Wow. For the second time today I am going to give the same advice. Two twin air mattresses pushed together topped with a thick king mattress pad (or foam mattress topper) and regular bedding. This will keep the movement from bothering your wife.
posted by saradarlin at 9:54 AM on December 12, 2012 [7 favorites]

A queen size futon is about $15 more than that Aerobed horror you're subjecting yourselves to, and will be perfectly comfortable on the floor.

Otherwise, seconding the hotel suggestion.
posted by elizardbits at 10:01 AM on December 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

If you guys can afford to just flat out replace the pull out couch with a good futon, I would just do that. We have a futon that we've had for . . at least 10 years, and it's comfortable, even though we use it as a couch every single day. Unless you are going to go camping, and can use this stuff at other times, this is what I would do.

Beyond that, see above "2 twin air mattresses, one big mattress pad."
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:29 AM on December 12, 2012

Therm-a-Rests are comfortable and come in a variety of sizes. A bit pricey, but if you regularly go camping or backpacking, you would get a lot more use out of them--they're easier to inflate and pack away. (You would also be closer to the floor, however.)

You could also consider replacing the sofabed mattress if it is the mattress itself that's the problem.

I would stay in a hotel, myself, but the cost of a decent room (i.e., clean, vermin-free, etc) can really add up if you're going to be there more than a couple of days, so I can understand why you'd be reluctant to do so when your parents' basement is free.
posted by tully_monster at 10:33 AM on December 12, 2012

Buy 2 twin air mattresses with a pad on top.

On review what Saradarlin said.
posted by wwax at 10:50 AM on December 12, 2012

The biggest issue we have with air mattresses is that we each feel every movement we both make. I shift a little, she bounces up and down a little. She shifts a little, I bounce up and down a little.

I wonder if you under-inflated the air mattress a little, whether that would fix that problem?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on December 12, 2012

Like Forza suggests. Pullout mattresses are WAY better if you just put them on the floor. Pick up a cheap foam topper from a dollar/discount store when you get to your parent's town.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:35 AM on December 12, 2012

We bought this futon to get my visiting parents off of an air matress whent hey visit, and it's fantastic.

To give you an idea, my father has arthritic hips, one knee replacement and another on the way and he looks forward to sleeping on this mattress.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:12 PM on December 12, 2012

We bought a couple of REI's nicest Thermarest-style mattresses on sale for something under $100/each. They're VERY comfortable, great for car camping, kids love 'em, they pack away small... they're one of our best purchases.
posted by carterk at 2:56 PM on December 12, 2012

I spent a few months sleeping on the floor on this ($79) Ikea foam mattress. I've never slept better. Two of those (or a queen for $179) would definitely do the trick.
posted by charmcityblues at 4:53 PM on December 12, 2012

I'll second the REI Thermarests. You wouldn't think they'd be better than a full-thickness air mattress, but by gum they really are.
posted by Madamina at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2012

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