Best mattress for floor-sleeping
July 7, 2013 3:30 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I need a bed, but we're on a tight budget so we are considering a mattress directly on the floor. Is there a kind of mattress more suited for this kind of arrangement? Any tips in general?
posted by uauage to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
No tips on just tossing a mattress on the floor, but you can get simple metal frames for dirt cheap—I'm seeing $25-$75 on a cursory Amazon search, and they're often thrown in for free when you buy a mattress-box spring combo from or the ilk (you need box springs for that style). Ikea also sells a bed for $49 plus the cost of slats ($20 and up depending on size), which negates the need for box springs. If your "tight budget" is a little more, an Ikea Malm plus slatted base (also no box spring) in queen will run you $210.
posted by The Michael The at 3:36 PM on July 7, 2013

Rephrase the question. You want a mattress that responds well to a platform base. I have my favorite but there are many out there. Now ask yourself what *other* attributes you're looking for.

For me, personally, I prefer a real mattress with a memory foam pillow top. My BF agrees, reluctantly.
posted by janey47 at 3:36 PM on July 7, 2013

You could own it and go for an Asian floor-sleeping set up. Here's a mattress that's designed for that: Shikibed
posted by malhouse at 3:44 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

What kind of budget are we talking about here? Beds are crazy marked-up, so there are ways to get around paying retail. The route I went and that I'll continue to go is using furniture clearance centers. When furniture rental places have to retire something that's been rented, they tend to have clearance centers that sell them at a good price.

Ikea also has reasonable prices.

I furnished my whole apartment for what some people would pay for a bed, mattress and box spring by using Cort Furniture Clearance and Ikea.

I know that there are a few Mefites who would be squicked out by buying a pre-owned mattress, but if you're buying from a reseller, most states have laws that require them to sanitize the heck out of any bedding. Throw a $30 bed protector on it to quell any extra fears. A bed protector is a good investment anyway.

There are plenty of problems with trying to jury rig a bed situation. You'd be surprised how much more enjoyable sex is with a box spring and frame, for instance.
posted by Skwirl at 4:02 PM on July 7, 2013

The box spring is what's going to make it.

I have a box spring and mattress, no frame yet. The boxspring is what's going to make it comfortable. Try to find a discount mattress store. I got my full set for $320 new for the set and it's very comfortable. (We haven't had a frame since we bought the set, so like 2 years.)

You could also buy a new mattress, and get a used box spring, as you don't sleep directly on the box spring. (Or used for both, depending on your preference.)

I also slept on a futon mattress on the floor (no coils) for a while in college, and when I added a box spring it made it like a million times better. (Got the box spring from my BFs landlord for $20.)
posted by Crystalinne at 4:11 PM on July 7, 2013

I'm not sure what "budget" means to you, but we recently got a great deal on a DreamFoam Mattress from, and couldn't be happier with it. It would work well on the floor (but I'd put an allergy-cover over it).
posted by evolvinglines at 4:17 PM on July 7, 2013

Best answer: I did this for years. The best mattress i did this with was one of the just-foam ikea models(and a cheapie, too.) with an ElCheapo walmart or something brand-you've-never-heard-of thin memory foam topper. It was nothing to write home about, but it was serviceable. "real" mattresses seem to pretty much expect box springs in the same way that gigantic laptops expect a desk or table and not an actual lap. Doing it with a real mattress sucked. Although a real mattress is always upgraded by a box spring/foundation regardless, and just throwing one straight on one of those slatted frames always kinda sucks.

And for what it's worth, i got my metal bed frame for free on craigslist. It was in perfect shape and came out of some rich dudes super fancy condo where he had gotten a california king or some other megabed.

Honestly though, my tip would be after years of doing it i wouldn't again. It's such a college student-y thing. Your bed/sheets/blankets stay infinitely cleaner when raised up(you will be surprised at how much lint, dust, hair, etc you'll collect with the bed straight on the floor) and the bed just feels more comfortable. It also dries out much more efficiently from sweating, especially in the summer.

Pretty much, going straight on the floor contributes to the bed getting gross at a way quicker rate. I used to constantly be annoyed at the random dusty floor things that would end up in my bed, and how often the sheets felt like they needed to be changed. Now with a free frame and a box spring thrown in the entire bed just feels noticeably awesomer and stays clean for quite a while.
posted by emptythought at 4:22 PM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]

My husband.. well, he flails in his sleep. Sleeping together on a coil-spring mattress and a boxspring was the worst thing we ever tried to do, so we started sleeping on a foam mattress on the floor.

We bought a high density foam mattress (6" height) a few years ago and it is absolutely, positively perfect. The foam resists all sorts of bacteria, dust mites, etc., and we've been SO happy with it. It was REALLY inexpensive - $500 for a "California King" and, if my previous foam mattress is any indication, it'll last about a decade or more. The foam is dense enough that there's absolutely NO movement when one of us (read: my husband) is tossing and turning.

We've had no issues with dust/dirt/whatever in the bed - maybe because it's 6" high? I don't know. We have pets and kids and long hair and.. no problems with keeping it clean.

My only caution around floor-sleeping would be around any joint/back/mobility issues that you might have - some people find it difficult to get up from the floor to standing easily, particularly if they wake up feeling stiff in the morning.
posted by VioletU at 4:45 PM on July 7, 2013

I slept on a mattress on the floor when I had my first place out of school. You definitely want a soft mattress if it's going directly onto the floor. At the furniture store, it's worth testing them out on the floor, without a box spring.
posted by DrGail at 5:06 PM on July 7, 2013

I really love my Ikea foam mattress, both on and off a traditional bed frame. Make a trip!
posted by oceanjesse at 5:16 PM on July 7, 2013

Best answer: You could try a futon. I mean an actual Japanese futon; they traditionally go directly on the floor.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 5:21 PM on July 7, 2013

I bought one of these a month ago:
Very happy with it.
posted by falsedmitri at 5:34 PM on July 7, 2013

I've talked about my floor mattress/most comfortable bed ever on AskMe before.

I'd never heard the dirt and dust thing before, but mine stays perfectly clean. Actually I vacuum a lot because the corners of my room get dusty, but there never seems to be any dust around the mattress. And of course there's no area under the bed to vacuum, which is convenient.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 6:25 PM on July 7, 2013

N'thing the recommendation for a foam mattress from IKEA, directly on the floor if need be for now, and can be transitioned to a platform bed or any IKEA bed without the need for a box spring. We've been sleeping on a mid-range IKEA foam mattress ($250 for a queen) for 8 years now and I haven't even begun to think about replacing it. The bonus is that it dampens bed movement from your sleeping partner much better than an innerspring mattress.
posted by drlith at 7:42 PM on July 7, 2013

I like a foam mattress (don't know if you have a foam shop near you) -- it worked just fine on the floor and was later easy to build a platform for.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:55 PM on July 7, 2013

If humidity is an issue where you are, and especially if the room you'll be sleeping in is carpeted, you may want to have airflow under the mattress to prevent mold (yes, I do know that from experience--yuck).
posted by Edna Million at 8:06 PM on July 7, 2013

I know I've recommended this mattress at least twice before here on AskMe, and I got one based on at least two other people recommending it here as well: Sleep Innovations Memory Foam Mattress. I've had mine for a couple years and it is SO COMFORTABLE. We have ours directly on the floor because we used to have a cosleeping baby in our bed, and never got around to getting a frame for it. I love it. You don't feel any motion at all from your bed partner and it fits you like a glove. I always miss it when I'm away from home. And it's very, very reasonably priced. I really can't say enough good things about it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:59 AM on July 8, 2013

The Novaform Mattress mentioned above is over $800 at Amazon. It has a very similar cousin (same manufacturer) at Costco for $650.

Like rabbitrabbit, we bought a Sleep Innovations mattress (ours with gel memory foam) for $400. It's not perfect, but it's better than any mattress I've had in the past. Highly recommended if you like a firm mattress.

As far as using it on the floor - it's completely fine. A platform bed with slats doesn't give any more than the floor does.
posted by cnc at 3:00 PM on July 8, 2013

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