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June 24, 2014 1:50 PM   Subscribe

We're tired of sleeping on a twin sized futon mattress. Literally. Help us find a solution. Difficulty: Spiral stairs!

My wife and I are looking for some kind of bedding solution. Right now we’re sleeping on a twin sized futon mattress on a broken frame and that just won’t do anymore.

The problem is that our bedroom is on the second floor and we have a narrow spiral staircase so there’s no physical way for a queen sized mattress to fit upstairs. We also rent and we’re more than likely getting a new place in a year so we don't want to spent a lot of cash on what may end up being a temporary fix.

I see two possible solutions: upgrade to a queen sized futon mattress since it will be easier to move that up our stairs or get one of those mattress-in-a-box things (like this one). Neither one of us wants to get a larger futon mattress so we’re seriously looking at a mattress-in-a-box but we don’t know anyone that has actually purchased one and the online reviews we’ve read seemed to boil down to “I thought a mattress-in-a-box would suck and it doesn’t suck!” which isn’t too helpful.

Does anyone here have any experiences with such a product and is it worth the money? Is there another option we haven’t considered?

*And yes, we’re fully aware that we probably won’t be able to get the bed out of the apartment once it expands.
posted by Diskeater to Home & Garden (33 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
We bought a Tuft&Needle and it's been great. We've only had it 6 months, so maybe it'll be the worst thing ever in 5 years, but it's been fantastic so far. And you can't beat the price. It comes rolled up very tightly, and would easily go up any staircase -- spiral or not.
posted by wrok at 1:54 PM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I bought two mattresses in a box from SamsClub.com. I bought them for my boys (ages 11 and 13). They are great. They are high quality, comfortable, and easy to set up. I currently own a 16-year old Serta King mattress and I'm thinking of replacing it with a mattress in a box.
posted by Fairchild at 1:55 PM on June 24, 2014

This foam mattress gets rave reviews on Amazon and on Metafilter (I've seen it recommended here a half-dozen times), and comes rolled up in a container ~20"x24"x40".
posted by brainmouse at 1:55 PM on June 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Do you live anywhere near an IKEA? They package their spring mattresses in rolls! A compressed and rolled full or queen sized mattress, wrapped in plastic a la Laura Palmer, is about the size of a person and definitely luggable up stairs. I have one of those in my guest room, plus one of their mattress toppers, and it's quite comfortable.
posted by mochapickle at 1:56 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was just about to post about Ikea mattresses, but I think it's their foam mattresses that are roll-packaged, not the spring mattresses (I think it'd be difficult to compress the springs in those kinds of mattresses that way.)

If you're willing to spend up to $269 on a mattress there are definitely some Ikea foam mattresses that should fall within your budget. They won't be the thickest/plushiest, but should be a definite improvement over what you have now.
posted by andrewesque at 1:58 PM on June 24, 2014

Get a memory foam mattress. They are much more flexible than the coiled spring mattress, and no heavier (ours is actually fairly light). You can buy them just about anywhere and get them shipped or your local mattress store.

You can just put it on the floor, or build a platform out of dimensional lumber.

i would go with 2x6 for a perimeter frame (secure the corners with shelving brackets or L brackets) assembled in a rectangle about 2" narrower than the bed. Than for the 'platform' use slats, probably 1x6 with a groove (or rabbit) cut in them to lay securely across the bed. Use good quality deck screws so it can be easily and repeatedly taken down and reassembled. or any idea from this page. And there are a few THOUSAND platform bed frame ideas on the internet, most of which are protable even up and down spirals.
posted by bartonlong at 1:58 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is the mattress and frame we ordered. My boys love their beds and my oldest "boy" is 5'9" 140 lbs and is growing fast. They are definitely adult worthy and not flimsy or cheap feeling. If it never came tightly wound, I would never know it was a mattress-in-a box.
posted by Fairchild at 2:01 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

This may be an odd question, but would it be possible to get a mattress in through a window somehow?
posted by pdb at 2:02 PM on June 24, 2014

I also recently bought a Tuft&Needle mattress and it came in a box with all the air compressed out of it. It's very firm and comfortable (if you like firm mattresses) and definitely able to fit up a spiral staircase.

But yeah, virtually any sort of foam mattress will be able to fit up the stairs.
posted by ethidda at 2:03 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Foam mattresses in general are the bomb, and nthing that they are flexible enough to be sold rolled up. (Also, if they're rolled up, that may make them even easier to carry them up a spiral staircase - I'm thinking you could sort of stand the roll up in the middle of the spiral and just sort of walk up the spiral, holding it steady in the middle of the spiral as you go so it's kind of like a big drill.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:04 PM on June 24, 2014

Foam doesn't hold up especially well, but it ought to give you at minimum a couple of years of very good use. It does solve the stairs problem, and unless you get a really thick one, you can probably fold it / bend it / roll it well enough to get it back out of your loft and get a couple more years out of it after you move.

The one caveat that I'd offer is that the 6-8" of foam that the cheap Ikea mattresses offer is likely to be a bit thin if one of you is over-heavy. As I'm an enormous person, I ended up having to top my basic mattress with a two inch latex topper.
posted by wotsac at 2:05 PM on June 24, 2014

An alternative to the foam mattress and one that lasts a long time would be a SleepNumber. We have a California King sleep number and all the pieces and parts fit in 4 large moving boxes. Since it's a glorified air mattress, it compacts down a great big for moving.

We've moved the thing into an apartment with an extremely narrow staircase and a house with next to no manueverabity on the stairs.
posted by teleri025 at 2:06 PM on June 24, 2014

Not to threadsit, but I just had to offer a dissent to wotsac - my high-density foam mattress has lasted nearly NINE years and shows no sign of flattening. But then, I got a big 18-inch-thick slab direct from a wholesaler somewhere in the East Village and asked for extra-firm.

This is probably a your-mileage-may-vary scenario, but most likely all foam mattresses of any quality will be able to be sold rolled.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:08 PM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Personal recommendation: I have purchased a mattress in a box and it is super comfy! Springs with a sort of pillowy top layer of latex. But. Even though it was rolled up verrrrry tightly it was heavy. Although no heavier than a rolled futon still not a total breeze to get up a tiny staircase. Mine came in a bag with handles so that might be helpful? Also if you are used to sleeping on a futon (very firm) you might find the mattress in a box soft? Mine is very soft which I like. (We call it 'the comfy mattress' and husband says it is 'like sleeping on a cloud' ahhhhh.) Not sure if they come in a variety of soft-firm-medium options.
posted by t0astie at 2:08 PM on June 24, 2014

Yes the IKEA spring mattresses are coiled, I just put two of them in my guest room. You do have to stand back as they spring open.

My guest bed is those two twin mattresses with a bed bridge. They're on folding (they fold in half into something about the size of a good-sized flat-panel TV, and don't require box springs) metal twin platforms that bolt together.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:12 PM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I wonder whether a good solution might be to buy a thick king-sized memory foam topper and place it on top of your two twin mattresses (maybe with one of those things designed to join twin mattresses together into a king). A good friend of mine has a king-sized 3" or 4" memory foam topper (bought from Overstock.com for under $200) on top of two twin mattresses with a joiner thing, and it apparently behaves exactly like a king-sized bed. The advantage of this is that it comes compressed, so you could bring it upstairs like that and then take off the shrink-wrap and let it expand. Additionally, if you're thinking of moving in the next year, this set-up would likely be much easier to move (especially down a spiral staircase!) than a larger mattress proper. Something like this (more expensive) or this (cheaper) might be a good option.
posted by ClaireBear at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here is how to get a king size bed up a spiral staircase. First, get this frame that comes in a flat pack and in manageable pieces; second, two long twin mattresses (2 equal a king mattress) and third, buy new linens.

I can vouch that the frame was very transportable up a staircase and easily put together. The twin mattresses went up just fine, too. One of the side benefits is that each person's side can be customized since they have their own mattress to add padding and all that. It ended up being cheaper than buying a king bed and the box spring was not necessary, though easily added. The frame has enough space underneath to provide space for storage.
posted by jadepearl at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing IKEA foam mattresses.

They just changed their line, but I have a full sized Matrand (under the new naming) in medium firmness, and I regularly get comments about how comfortable it is (I have friends crash over a lot).

It came in a roll, so if a person can get up the spiral stairs, the mattress can.
posted by HermitDog at 2:17 PM on June 24, 2014

My bed was built on the spot - is there a way you can do that for the support part? My mattress came from Ikea, all rolled up. Very squishy and easy to maneuver. I love my Ikea mattress. Since it was rolled up, it could be shipped and UPS brought it right to my door.

Definitely stand WAY back and if you have pets, get them into another room when you unroll it. :) Even if they are not in the path of the thing, it is still quite a surprise to anyone not ready for it.

posted by AllieTessKipp at 2:18 PM on June 24, 2014

Oh, sorry, misread your question - I thought you were sleeping on two twin mattresses, but it looks like you're sleeping on just one. The set-up I suggested still would work and could be gotten up a spiral staircase (two twin mattresses with a king-sized memory foam topper on top), but would be less cheap to execute if you're currently only working with one twin mattress rather than two.
posted by ClaireBear at 2:19 PM on June 24, 2014

I got a Sleep Innovations memory foam mattress from Amazon (similar to the one brainmouse linked to above, but the 10" not the 12"), and it's been 3 years and it's still the comfiest mattress I've ever owned. Came in a box that could probably get up a spiral staircase, with effort.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:43 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry, I know this is poor form, but could someone please explain what a matress in a box is? I've followed the links and they just look like mattresses to me.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:43 PM on June 24, 2014

Is the room big enough for two twin mattresses pushed together (this makes a king)?
posted by radioamy at 2:46 PM on June 24, 2014

Seconding Sleep Number. They're super comfortable and light and easy to move. They aren't cheap, but you could buy now and keep it for the place you intend to be in a year.
posted by Wet Hen at 2:49 PM on June 24, 2014

but could someone please explain what a matress in a box is

Many foam mattresses come tightly compacted and rolled up. Unrolled and left to expand for a day or whatever, they just look like mattresses, but they can be transported much more compactly (at least originally -- it is generally not really possible to re-compact them)
posted by brainmouse at 2:52 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

King beds are just two twins shoved together. Buy two twins, and shove em together, and keep em together by putting them in a king bedframe that you can disassemble when you move.
posted by Kololo at 5:57 PM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Latex mattresses like this one are made up of layers. A queen would be 4 3" pieces - 2 on each side. You'd be able to get it in and out of your space pretty easily, rather than getting something you'd have to abandon. You'd need some kind of foundation, but if you're even slightly handy, you can build one - it's just slats. Or buy one at Ikea. Latex isn't cheap, but at least from what I've read, it lasts a long time.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:06 PM on June 24, 2014

Is there a reason you can't use two twin mattresses joined together with something like this and a mattress pad on top? Because this is what hotels and bed and breakfasts usually use and I've never had a problem.
posted by echo0720 at 6:35 PM on June 24, 2014

I personally own this mattress that I ordered off of Amazon almost 2 years ago, and I've been really happy with it. It's also quite reasonably priced as far as mattresses go, which is frankly why I chose it in the first place. I have it in the twin size, but I think it's quite comfortable, and it's held up well so far. The only downside (although I'm not bothered by it) is that foam mattresses do tend to retain heat better than other type of mattresses, so if either of you run really hot or live in a very hot climate this might not be the best option. Still, there are mattress toppers that might help with that.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:39 PM on June 24, 2014

I'm on my second IKEA foam mattress and love them. First was bought in 2007 and has held up perfectly fine, no sagging at all, we still have it. For various complicated reasons we bought a second softer one about two years ago, which has also been great. It's as comfortable as anything I've slept on in nice hotels. Both have been moved up and back down winder stairs, which are basically tiny spiral stairs in a box. It's a comical procedure but not all that difficult.
posted by sepviva at 8:15 PM on June 24, 2014

I purchased an OtisBed Haley after reading some reviews of it. I love it, you can order different firmnesses and opted for extra firm.

It arrives compression packed into a box about the size of an ottoman. Once you unbox it, it floofs out into a normal mattress size. I ordered mine on Amazon and it seemed weird ordering a mattress sight unseen off the internet but it totally worked out for me. The fabric outerlayer on this mattress isn't the prettiest thing ever, so I opted for a nice dust mite cover thingy that helped.
posted by dottiechang at 11:23 PM on June 24, 2014

I have a pretty cheap $250 foam mattress off amazon and it's excellent. In the past I've had a good foam mattress from IKEA as well.
posted by MillMan at 8:34 AM on June 25, 2014

I love my LUCID memory foam mattress from Amazon. I got the expensive 16" thick one but there are less expensive options in that brand (look under "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed"). My mattress arrived via two-day Prime shipping vacuum packed in a box that was surprisingly small (but HEAVY).
posted by Jacqueline at 4:56 PM on June 25, 2014

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