Human subcultures are nested fractally. There's no bottom.
July 18, 2018 12:52 PM   Subscribe

"At this point, I decided the only thing that made sense was to build my own mattress from scratch."

"Most of my research ended up being through a forum called The Mattress Underground, a community of mattress enthusiasts. I immediately discounted anything that involved springs or novelty things like waterbeds. I don't like memory foam as it makes me feel like I am indefinitely sinking."
posted by rufb (91 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'll admit, I was quite relieved that this didn't end with the author constructing a mattress out of strips of old newspaper and his own saliva like Eugene Tooms.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:00 PM on July 18, 2018 [26 favorites]


This is neat. I built our current bed stand/frame (based upon a slightly modified design from the eminently loveable Christopher Schwartz) but making a mattress didn't even occur to me. I basically upped the size to make it fit a King. Hell, I didn't even know an Emperor or Caesar size existed. I'd heard of California King size...

Cool post.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:03 PM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


In 2012 or 2013, I stumbled across the Wikipedia page for Bed Sizes [1] and discovered that the UK had two sizes larger than America's King or California King:
The Emperor (7'x7') and The Caesar (8'x7')


Don't forget The Odysseus; There was the bole of an olive tree with long leaves growing strongly in the courtyard, and it was thick, like a column. I laid down my chamber around this … Then I cut away the foliage of the long-leaved olive, and trimmed the trunk from the roots up, planning it with a brazen adze, well and expertly, and trued it straight to a chalkline, making a bedpost of it, and bored all hones with an auger.

Thanks for the post.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:06 PM on July 18, 2018 [13 favorites]


I'd never be able to fit a Caesar into my bedroom, but i wants it



....This has also shaken loose a memory - I tagged along on an ex boyfriend's business trip once, and when we got to his hotel room we were confronted with an absolutely huge bed. It may actually have been an Emperor size. We both had exactly the same idea when we saw it - we lay down on one end, hung on to each other, and rolled across to the other side, counting how many times we rolled over. We spent a good five minutes just rolling from one side of the bed to the other giggling our heads off. "I think we're too immature to be having sex," he finally said.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on July 18, 2018 [62 favorites]


the eminently loveable Christopher Schwartz

I assumed that was going to sarcastically link to Schwarz being snarky, but good for him.
Also, Jennie Alexander died last week.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:17 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's a Canadian company that makes mattresses just a tiny bit larger (215cmX217cm) rather than (215cmX215cm), or the Ace Collection which seems crazy huge.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:19 PM on July 18, 2018


The obsession with huge beds is one of those Things I Just Don't Get About People, I Guess.
posted by Vesihiisi at 1:21 PM on July 18, 2018 [17 favorites]


I don't know why but I expected this to be someone making their own from like, straw and goose down as a historical reenactment sort of thing. Maybe because I am a small person and cannot understand the reason for such a large bed - I would happily sleep in a twin if it was just me and why have something you can't lift or get through doors?
posted by epanalepsis at 1:22 PM on July 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


why have something you can't lift or get through doors?

The names of the larger bed sizes are not an accident.
posted by runcibleshaw at 1:23 PM on July 18, 2018 [12 favorites]


The obsession with huge beds is one of those Things I Just Don't Get About People, I Guess.

Spoken like someone who's never been forced to cut back their usual sexual techniques dramatically because they were in a twin bed.

Sometimes you just need a lot of room and a big staging area to work the magic, y'all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:28 PM on July 18, 2018 [41 favorites]


Sharing a queen bed with a furnace person means I sleep poorly more often than not. King beds help a ton.

We have a queen :(
posted by orange ball at 1:36 PM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


Sometimes you just need a lot of room and a big staging area to work the magic, y'all.

I don't have the best vision (heavy prism in each lens, near sighted, etc) and it's been a long day so my eyes are tired which caused a brief moment of blurriness that made this read as

"Sometimes you just need a lot of room and a big staging area to forklift it all."

Until I re-read it I was basically like "whelp, you do you. get it". That is all.

posted by RolandOfEld at 1:36 PM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


or the Ace Collection which seems crazy huge.

I was happier before I knew this existed. Now that I know what's possible, I will forever feel the lack of it in my life.

(For yeaaarrssss after we moved in/got married, my husband and I slept on a Full. Eventually we inherited a Queen, which we still have, but when we go stay with my inlaws, we sleep on a Full and HOLY SHIT HOW DID WE GO SO LONG CRAMMING BOTH OF OUR BODIES INTO THIS TINY THING??? I joke that when we're a the inlaws the fresh country air makes me want to nap all the time but really it's because I'm getting shit sleep at night because of the tiny ass bed. I make sure to get a King when we go to hotels and it's bliss. I barely know anyone is in bed with me in a King, and that's how God intended.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


The obsession with huge beds is one of those Things I Just Don't Get About People, I Guess.

When my wife and I stay at a place with a huge bed it is THE BEST THING. We say "goodnight" and then reach over and can't reach each other and we laugh. Touching your spouse is really nice in so many ways but also not having to touch your spouse while you're sleeping is a total luxury.
posted by bondcliff at 1:40 PM on July 18, 2018 [28 favorites]


Parenting tip; Having kids means you NEED a king. You want a king. At some point in your life you will get a king. So get it when you need it most. When babies/toddlers are always in your bed. We waited until our kids were three or four and it was a case of being penny-wise but pound foolish. Just go get the bed.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:40 PM on July 18, 2018 [9 favorites]


I like how at apparently no point at all does he consider simply putting two full or queen sized beds next to one another even though the purchase of two queen mattress toppers for material extraction features in the construction.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:41 PM on July 18, 2018 [12 favorites]


And here I was gonna say "threesomes".
posted by ook at 1:42 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Touching your spouse is really nice in so many ways but also not having to touch your spouse while you're sleeping is a total luxury.

This is why my ideal relationship involves separate households :)
posted by Vesihiisi at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2018 [15 favorites]


I would happily sleep in a twin if it was just me

As a single guy in a small place I have considered getting a twin bed, but it somehow feels like I would be giving up.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2018 [20 favorites]


The Queen mattress I have now is due for replacement and I’m inspired by the idea of custom making your own. My favorite size bed is the Full XL. It’s 53” wide like a Full, but 80” long like a Queen (nice, since I’m tall). The mattresses are pretty hard to find and the beds and linens are really limited.

I like the Full XL because I generally sleep solitary, so it doesn’t require as much space in the bedroom as the Queen and is easier to change the linens by yourself, but still has a little extra room to stretch out, and can accommodate a second sleeper in a pinch.

I may need to go mattress hunting...
posted by darkstar at 1:47 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


My biggest reason for having a full-sized bed despite not sharing my bedroom with another human has to do with the amount of square footage that three cats can occupy, especially when they refuse to actually be within 2 feet of any other cat.
posted by Sequence at 1:48 PM on July 18, 2018 [17 favorites]


I like how at apparently no point at all does he consider simply putting two full or queen sized beds next to one another even though the purchase of two queen mattress toppers for material extraction features in the construction.

Four. Four SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLAR mattress toppers.

Plus the thick end of $2000-$2800 worth of foam latex. Ish. Back of envelope calculation and online quote at the site they used. Not including addons like racing stripes or a horn that goes "woot woot".

I mean, I guess, you spend a third of your damn life in bed so the cost amortizes out really well but holy jeezapalooza.

My biggest reason for having a full-sized bed despite not sharing my bedroom with another human has to do with the amount of square footage that three cats can occupy, especially when they refuse to actually be within 2 feet of any other cat.

Same. It's amazing how much space even two cats can take up, doubly so when it's over 85 in the bedroom in the summer.
posted by Kyol at 1:51 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


I assembled my own (queen size—vive l'empereur and all that but I live in an NYC apartment) mattress out of a mix of conventional foam and latex. In exchange for a few hours spent learning about foam densities and firmness levels and hemming and hawing about what mix to try, I was able to pay a bit over $600 (shipped) for three cut pieces of foam, which I layered in the following configuration:

[Top layer] 3" (medium firm - ILD 29) natural latex topper
[Middle layer] 4" HD36 (medium firm - ILD 36) conventional foam
[bottom layer] 5" lux-HQ (very firm - ILD 50) conventional foam
[Outer] Simple fire-retardant treated cotton mattress cover

My previous mattress was a fancy hotel model spring affair with a 4"+ pillowtop that was just too soft. This one is nice and firm, which is what I wanted, but still soft enough for my body to sink in a bit. Assembly didn't take any cutting, gluing, or zip-tieing; I just put them on top of each other in order and pulled on the mattress cover. Pulling on the cover was really difficult because the foam has a ton of friction.

One thing to note, if you do this, is that the mattress cover will add a little firmness to your mattress by restricting how much the layers are able to spread out when you lay on top. Understanding the firmness levels is tough unless you can get yourself somewhere to try them out. It was a lot of guesswork for me, though everything but the latex topper was returnable.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 1:54 PM on July 18, 2018 [12 favorites]


The [Full XL] mattresses are pretty hard to find and the beds and linens are really limited.


Although, it would probably work well to just use Queen sized linens. Same length, and they’d just hang a few extra inches on each side, which would be preferable, actually...
posted by darkstar at 1:55 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


god this whole thing is so annoying to me. no mention of how difficult it's gonna be to GET sheets, to WASH sheets, etc. i realize full well that i am in a migraine aura right now but this knowledge leaves my fury unabated.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2018 [14 favorites]


>> The Emperor (7'x7') and The Caesar (8'x7')
> Don't forget The Odysseus;

Also, of course:

- The Piccolo (just big enough for a small person to curl up on uncomfortably)
- The Balthazar (12 liters of memory foam in bottle form)
- The Salmanazar (A 10'x10' padded cell )
- The Methuselah (A medium bedroom covered in foam)
- The Jeroboam (A smallish bouncy moon )
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2018 [58 favorites]


And here I was gonna say "threesomes".

Honestly my #1 threesome tip is "Do it someplace where you don't all have to sleep in the same damn bed together," it sounds fun and snuggly and it is the FUCKING WORST.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:04 PM on July 18, 2018 [17 favorites]


Advice often applicable to twosomes, as well.
posted by darkstar at 2:11 PM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


god this whole thing is so annoying to me. no mention of how difficult it's gonna be to GET sheets, to WASH sheets, etc. i realize full well that i am in a migraine aura right now but this knowledge leaves my fury remains unabated.

There is a short bit about ordering custom sheets and how he thought this was the one thing that would go smoothly, but then he got someone calling him anyway because they thought maybe his order was a mistake.
posted by ckape at 2:12 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


He should have parties with all the big names. And they always would be amazed when he shows them round his house to his bed. He had it made like a mountain range, with a big fat pillow for his big fat head.


Actually I love big beds. I am currently dog sitting for my daughter’s 25 pound cockapoo, and my king bed is barely big enough for both of us. Although sharing it with another person at least affords the ability to negotiate over territory.
posted by TedW at 2:16 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


I only have a king-size Casper (previously a Tempurpedic) but got tired of breaking the silly "heavy-duty" folding frames that I had to keep replacing at $50-100/each. I'm a big guy (not as big now, lost 120lbs over the past 1.5 years) and my girlfriends have always been pretty cuddly, so durability was a concern.

I finally just whipped up a design with pen and paper, and paid a friend a couple hundred bucks for supplies from Home Depot, and he spent an afternoon building my bed frame / platform. Not shown in the pics: the 3/4" plywood on top, that the mattress sits on (on top of a non-skid rug sheet thing).

11" storage space underneath (for plastic storage tubs). If I did it again, I would have made it an inch or two less wide, to eliminate the "underhang" under the mattress.
posted by mrbill at 2:19 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh right:

-The Quarter (The space you find yourself with at 4am while trying to share a Queen with a 100lb dog)
-The Chopine (The 1'x5' space you find yourself with at 4am while trying to share a Queen with a human)
-The Magnum (The infinite subjective size when sleeping alone for the first time in a while)
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 2:20 PM on July 18, 2018 [18 favorites]


> As a single guy in a small place I have considered getting a twin bed, but it somehow feels like I would be giving up

David Mitchell (the comedian) writes quite a bit about that in his autobiography. He had a twin bed, and friends who visited -- just friends, not people spending the night -- were aghast. I think one of his friends eventually made him get a larger bed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:24 PM on July 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


11" storage space underneath (for plastic storage tubs).


This...I cannot describe how pleased it made me to read this. Underbed storage is just...golden.


(I may need professional help.)
posted by darkstar at 2:28 PM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


my king size bed is my emotional bug out location
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


ActingTheGoat: Thanks for the post.

You mean... the bedpost, amirite?
posted by Quackles at 2:35 PM on July 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


Sharing a queen bed with a furnace person means I sleep poorly more often than not. King beds help a ton.

As a furnace person I can confirm that it isn't pleasant for either of us...
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 2:35 PM on July 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


I learned of the existence of 12'-wide beds just a couple of days ago. One of these would be bigger than my bedroom, but speaking as someone who has cats, I can see the appeal.
posted by adamrice at 2:48 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just want to sleep in a cabinet like David The Gnome.
posted by dr_dank at 2:50 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


The obsession with huge beds is one of those Things I Just Don't Get About People, I Guess.

The shortest person in my family is 5-9". All the men but one are well over six feet, many are 6'4"-ish. And the current crop of children are on track to be even taller, I think the shortest female teen is 5'10" or so. I have an American king sized bed and it is the smallest size that my feet don't hang off the end. There is a good reason you can buy 7'+ long beds in Europe! Although most beds are narrower than shown here just longer. I'd say the most common size used to be similar to a US king but now is more like a CA King but a bit longer.
posted by fshgrl at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Or there's the Game of Thrones mattress - push two twins together to make a king.
posted by zombiedance at 3:15 PM on July 18, 2018 [64 favorites]


ಠ_ಠ
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:21 PM on July 18, 2018 [19 favorites]


I was never so happy as when we were married long enough my partner said it was okay if we got twin beds. They can be pushed together, y'all.
posted by Peach at 3:35 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


yeah but so can two fulls or two queens, why live like cellmates
posted by poffin boffin at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2018 [11 favorites]


Touching your spouse is really nice in so many ways but also not having to touch your spouse while you're sleeping is a total luxury.

Both sets of my grandparents were happily married for decades, had many children, but maintained separate bedrooms tailored to their specific tastes and needs. This has always seemed like a pinnacle achievement for me, which perhaps explains why I am still single.
posted by thivaia at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2018 [13 favorites]


My mattress and boxsprings were a gift when I finished graduate school. In 1997.

My failure to do anything about this is a mistake I pay for nightly. I have been in a hotel the last two nights, and I cannot believe what I have been settling for.
posted by 4ster at 3:42 PM on July 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


the ideal situation is separate wings of a palace tbh
posted by poffin boffin at 3:45 PM on July 18, 2018 [26 favorites]


This...I cannot describe how pleased it made me to read this. Underbed storage is just...golden.

Where else can you store your lumber?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:46 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Where else can you store your lumber?

jiiiis, lamba. soft, squishy, delectable lamba
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:51 PM on July 18, 2018


Foam and latex and all that crap just seem airless and dead to me -- almost suffocating. Even futons.

Only innersprings have ever felt airy enough.

I sometimes wonder whether a craftsperson might not be able to make a pretty fair living stripping old innersprings down to the metal and re-wrapping them.
posted by jamjam at 4:01 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


That is amazing.

When we moved into a 1920 two-story with a folded staircase, it was clear that anything larger than a double wouldn’t fit, as larger beds weren’t widely available until post-WWII. I built a king-size rail frame that assembles without tools and uses two Ikea wood spring slat sections for the primary support, but had I known… I could have been a bedroom emperor!
posted by a halcyon day at 4:07 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


As somebody who's 6'2" and doesn't enjoy cramming my head directly against the wall, my biggest bed pet peeve is short beds.

Our bed at home is queen sized and it's just barely big enough. There's no spreading out either. And sometimes I return from a late night pee to find my spouse inside a pillow fortress to fend off our asshole cat, and approximately 10 inches of space left for me to squeeze into.
posted by Foosnark at 4:10 PM on July 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


My bed's made out of 1" schedule 40 steel pipes and Kee Klamps, and I conservatively estimate it could hold about half a ton - while only weighing an eighth of a ton! It holds a queen sized mattress (resting on some plywood, cut to basically queen-sized), and has a luxurious 28" of space underneath it for storage. I keep my hamper there, some wire drawers, my luggage, several plastic tubs, a foot locker, and a significant amount of Burning Man crap (a solar panel, a carport, a 8' dome, y'know, that kind of stuff).

I do use an "off-the-shelf" mattress, but yeah, custom beds with mad storage underneath FTW
posted by aubilenon at 4:12 PM on July 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


Now I’m wondering how many purple mattresses it takes to make a jeroboam.

Also my wife and I bought a grown up bed last fall and holy fuck y’all a good mattress with an expensive tencil cover that you can recover from GRS on, have periods on and uhh...do teh sex on without staining said expensive ass sleeping kit is soo cool. (You may be adulting if...)
posted by nikaspark at 4:32 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


"At this point, I decided the only thing that made sense was to build my own mattress from scratch."

This is where we are in 2018. It absolutely makes more sense than most of the news coming out of Washington this week. New IBM Unix workstations in 2018? You bet! "Ant-Man 2" is not only a good movie, but a summer blockbuster? Suuuuure, why not? Officials are concerned about a whooping-cough epidemic in California? Par for the course. The earth contains a quadrillion tons of diamonds after I paid how much for an "anniversary upgrade" ring with a nice set of rocks? MAKES SENSE TO ME.

LET'S MAKE A MATTRESS.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:04 PM on July 18, 2018 [14 favorites]


Our (very tall, lots of underbed storage) bed has to be in the corner of the small room where we're currently living to save for a move, and I swear I am going to sew cargo netting into the corners of all our fitted sheets because the number of times I've had to pull the heavy memory foam mattress halfway off to get back in the corner and put the stupid sheet back under the corner of the bed is ridiculous.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:05 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also it's right by a window on my side of the bed and do you know what happens on nights when it's below zero out and your memory foam mattress is next to a window? You get to sleep on a patch of mattress that's become freezing cold hard concrete.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:08 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


My wife and I spent about a year (no kidding) shopping for a mattress. It was probably our first really expensive grown up thing we owned. She later claimed not to like it, gave it to a friend, and replaced it with a foam mattress she says is perfect. This has informed every single purchase decision I have ever made in my life going forward. I may have lost a lot of money on that mattress, but I made up for it when I bought my house, car, furniture, etc. Never again did I buy new, go for what was most expensive, etc. On the other hand, my wife's friend still has the mattress and it remains her favorite possession.
posted by xammerboy at 5:29 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


We were sucked into the marketing hype and bought a Purple. Turns out it wasn't just hype. I haven't had a back spasm since we bought the damn thing.

Get a mattress that works for you people. Life is too short and sleep is too long to use a shit mattress.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 5:33 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Not that it's an interesting size, but the first Adult Furniture that Dr Bored for Science and I bought was a custom four-poster bed from an Etsy seller. It's moved cross-country with us, and we adore it.

The mattress on top? Middling Ikea with several featherbeds. Because we have nesting habits.

Ask me how much bedding is involved when it's isn't the middle of summer.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 5:51 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Right, since we're sharing:

The mattress I currently have is the plain unadorned slab of extra-firm high density foam that I got in like 2005, when increasing back issues compelled me to finally shed the futon I'd gotten in the late 90s. I went with high density foam at the advisement of a friend who was a massage therapist. She also recommended getting an anti-allergen mattress cover, but I didn't have allergies then and I was too broke to pay extra, so I just got the slab of foam and asked the guy to roll it up and then carried it on my head for five blocks' walk back to my apartment.

I think the most I've done since is to add a thin additional pad from Ikea on top made of the same stuff. The bed FRAME, however, has not lasted as long - I got a cheap one from Ikea in 2006, and finally brought it down to the curb last year. ....It had a tendency for the slats to fall out during vigorous sex anyway, sending me and my ex crashing down to the floor on more than one occasion. (He was the last person I spent more than one or two instances sharing a bed with, and we were the snuggle-all-night types. ....Which actually leads me to an instance of "There's an XKCD for everything" - at some point we decided we needed this mattress.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 PM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


Any bed is the perfect size if you apply my patented Procrustes Sleepytime Strategies.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:21 PM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


OK this is all very interesting but where can I read about how all human subcultures are nested fractally?
posted by bowline at 9:21 PM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


My girlfriend and I have been sleeping on a box spring and mattress on our floor, unfortunately in a spot of the house that has a strange bump running across the width of it. Due to this, my back is totally wrecked and sleeping on my stomach and sides (my primary sleeping arrangement, due to rampant sleep paralysis that I get from sleeping on my back) causes a lot of pain in my muscles and joints. I don't even know where to start with a new mattress, but we definitely need to get a bed frame first and foremost, preferably one with storage (mostly because the dog will get under the frame and then never leave/growl at us until we force him out). After that I'd love to get a nice, and bigger, mattress. My girlfriend loves cuddling, but I simply can't sleep like that, and in the summer time it's a no-go. I wake up drenched in sweat, it's miserable. Having a bigger bed would be wonderful.
posted by gucci mane at 9:27 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


OK this is all very interesting but where can I read about how all human subcultures are nested fractally?

I miss the '90s, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:30 PM on July 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


The ideal bed should be like a sheet cake and a sailing ship, one should be both excited to climb up onto it and scared to fall off of it, and thus they can be too small they cannot be too big. Now that I know beds larger than a king exist, my own bed feels smaller. I must have an emperor. With hammered gold and gold enamelling. And twelve drawers underneath.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 9:57 PM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


My dream bed is like a spider web. I want to put eye-bolts into the walls and string up heavy netting in a complex yet tight manifold of odd shape. Like a Hammock Room but complicated.... crawl up inside with a comforter and find a comfortable place.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:27 PM on July 18, 2018 [7 favorites]


no mention of how difficult it's gonna be to GET sheets

At the point you are making a mattress from scratch, sewing your own custom sheets is a relatively trivial undertaking.
posted by yohko at 11:45 PM on July 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Guys I am 50 so it is not like "you will learn some day", but I do not get why people want BEDS. Mattress on floor, please. Futon is also fine.

Beds make me feel like I have extraneous shit in my life, and also I do not want to be above the floor when I am sleeping.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:23 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


My husband and I share a regular double bed. This would be fine and workable, if a little tight, if not for the fat cat who likes to sleep streeeetched out, on his back with his limbs askew. He can easily take up a third of the bed, and my husand is an immovable rock once asleep, so I often wake up in the middle of the night to find either:
a) my husband is happily sleeping on his half of the bed. The cat is stretched out between us. I am sleeping squished between the cat and the wall, in basically the width of my shoulders.
b) my husband is happily sleeping on his half of the bed. The cat is at the foot of the bed, in a starfish shape, and my feet have to squeeze in on the very edge of the bed, or between the cats head and my husbands feet and then NEVER MOVE.

We need a bigger bed, but it won't fit in the bedroom with our current furniture. Plus I really, really like our vintage Irish linen sheets which wouldn't fit on a bigger bed...
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:52 AM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]



Guys I am 50 so it is not like "you will learn some day", but I do not get why people want BEDS. Mattress on floor, please.


In a damp climate like mine, you would have to flip the mattress every day or it will mold underneath. Beds are much better for mattresses to breath. Futons are designed to go on the floor, but you're supposed to roll them up for presumably the same reason. All way more work than I'm willing to do (I don't even make the bed properly! Just fold the duvet roughly at the end, again to let the mattress breath)
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:55 AM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


My husband has accused me for years of hogging our UK 'double' sized bed. He claims he has to grip perilously for his life at the edge of his side. But I think that's unfair. The cat takes up about 1/3 of the bed so it's not all me.
posted by like_neon at 3:21 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


HAHA stillnocturnal just read your comment, looks like we live parallel sleep lives.
posted by like_neon at 3:23 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


One of the ways we treated ourselves when we bought a house was to buy a Casper queen sized bed and oh god, it's amazing. (For one furnace human, one always chilly human, and a plump cat.)
posted by Kitteh at 4:04 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I’ve slept on mattresses on the floor and my main critiques of the setup and reasons for preferring a more standard (in the West) off-the-floor arrangement are:

1. It seems more dusty down nearer the floor, as walking across the carpet kicks up dust in a zone near the carpet, so the bed linens get dirtier and breathing is less than ideal.

2. The sitting height of a standard bed is really useful. It’s nice to be able to sit on the bed as an extra place to sit in the bedroom, when putting on socks, etc. Also, being able to sit on the edge of the bed is much more comfortable as a transition from lying down to standing up and vice versa.

3. A standard bed works well with my three-drawer nightstand, which is super convenient for bedside storage, and also it affords under-bed space that would otherwise be wasted. Most standard beds (including the one I sleep on) have woefully inadequate clearance to make good use of underbed space, requiring those low-profile plastic bins that are nice, but limiting. I have a Twin XL bed in my guest room/loft that has a 15” clearance and fits the larger filing boxes easily. I dream of that sort of thing for the bed in my room.

4. It’s easier for me to change the bed linens if I don’t have to get on my hands and knees, or at otherwise bend all the way down to floor level, to deal with them.

5. There’s a small but not insignificant sense of security that attaches to having the bed up off of the floor. Not that I’m really afraid of snakes or whatever in my bedroom, but still.

Not to say that there aren’t benefits to having a mattress on the floor, but it’s not my preference.

Otherwise, I totally agree about the concept of the bulky bed being problematic. I’ve gotten away from beds that have a lot of superstructure. No more footboards to hinder sitting on the foot of the bed or obstruct the clean lines and field of vision. No need for side-rails. No fancy headboard with bookshelves. A simple frame, a mattress, and a flat, upholstered headboard = enough for me.
posted by darkstar at 4:53 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I like smaller beds, and what I cannot for the life of me understand is why hotels put a huge bed in a room that can't take it. I've stayed in several places where there's only a foot or so clear space on each side, and had collisions with the wall when getting up in the middle of the night.

When I'm on my own I'm quite happy with a single bed because I find it more cosy, and in hotel rooms will often sleep on the couch.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 5:50 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Impressive, but I'm still holding out for a bed based on the Ningi which is six thousand eight hundred miles along each side.
posted by davelog at 7:01 AM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Since I was 14, I've been 6'+, and a heavier dude. At my parents, I had a full, in college I had the Twin XL, and then another full as a hand me down when I got out of college. When I finally moved in somewhere that had the space, I bought a King, and I will never EVER go back from that decision. When I'm sleeping alone, there's plenty of room for me (and now my cat), and when I have a partner over, there's plenty of space for both of us to be on the bed and not touch each other. Only problem I still have is that being 6'3" now and a standard king tops out at 6', I have to either slant or curl up, I would go for one of those emperor sized beds in a heartbeat.

Also like EC said upthread, a twin bed is definitely not conducive to the boom boom, especially when you're my size.
posted by deezil at 7:16 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Man, I just had my first night's sleep on my own bed as a newly single person, on a brand-new firm mattress, full size. It was fucking amazing and I slept like the dead.

The ex is a great guy, but very tall (so we needed a huge bed that took up the whole bedroom) and also fond of really squishy mattresses that made me feel like I was drowning all night.

If I ever get involved with someone again, they're going to have a separate bedroom. I'm keeping this bed for me.
posted by emjaybee at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


I liked my mattress on the floor just fine until the night my cat chased a mouse onto the bed and then over me.

Yeah, I ordered a bed frame the next day.
posted by randomnity at 9:50 AM on July 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


I had to throw out a futon that went moldy from being directly on the floor in a not very damp climate. Also, more likely to wake up with spider bites.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:31 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


> Which actually leads me to an instance of "There's an XKCD for everything" - at some point we decided we needed this mattress.

I decided I needed to share this story early on reading the post, when the author mentioned he had help from a community "of mattress enthusiasts." The post title is a direct quote from this xkcd on human subcultures.
posted by rufb at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Most comfortable bed I've ever owned was a custom-made futon from a local futon maker my Mom knew about - this was the '90s. Custom futon shops were a thing.

What was custom is that he got an eyeball on me, judged my weight and strength and posture and asked if I was a quiet sleeper or noisy sleeper - noisy to the point of violence, in my case. When I toss and turn, I TOSS AND TURN, and it's often. My mom bought it for me as an apartment-warming present, along with a STOUT cherry hardwood frame that had bed and couch modes. (Again, apartment life in the '90s.)

Two weeks later, and it's made of heavy yet soft canvas, twice as thick as off-the-shelf futons, and I have never had a more comfortable night's sleep than the first night I crashed on it.

Cool during humid July nights, cozy on raw days under the blankets with a book - those little buttons sewn in, they work to cool without covers, and to warm with covers.

I got a half-decade out of it without losing appreciable loft, and only got rid of it when I got into a cohabitation with the love of my life, and futons were no longer cool. Kinda regret not trying to sell her on it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:56 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I have that futon! Well, my frame is pine and I actually have two futons stacked, the one I originally brought from a 90s futon shop and the one that came with the futon that a friend gave me. But the folding wooden futon/couch combo was indeed ubiquitous in the 90s, and I still love mine.
posted by tavella at 9:05 AM on July 20, 2018


It seems more dusty down nearer the floor, as walking across the carpet kicks up dust in a zone near the carpet, so the bed linens get dirtier and breathing is less than ideal.

Absolutely true, even if it's not carpet. My allergy/asthma battle is well known to some of you folks here and, having done both options (floor and frame, elevated crazy high frame for a few years even) it's absolutely safer for folks with sensitive breathing to be elevated above floor+mattress thickness level. Even if you're meticulously clean. It's a bit counter-intuitive but it's true, even if things are clean. /descends from soapbox
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:29 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Would you all like to hear about my hammock?
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 7:08 PM on July 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


What kind of silly question is that? OF COURSE WE WOULD.
posted by bondcliff at 7:28 PM on July 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


While we're waiting for meaty shoe puppet to tell us about their hammock I'll tell you about mine. I sleep in a hammock. It is comfortable, cheap, fairly portable, and space efficient. Hammock maintenance consists of having to replace the thing once every few years. On the other hand, you really don't want to wake up with a cramp in a hammock. Hammocks aren't great for reading either. You might need some type of beddish backup in case someone else shows up but when you're by yourself you can rock yourself to sleep pretty much wherever you want.
posted by rdr at 8:52 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Once, for some months, we lived in a place with an enormous bed and it was glorious. I don't know the exact size but I am tall enough that my feet hang off on a queen, and on this bed I had a good foot or more of extra space. I've also never had a bedroom that large either; I'd love to have the big mattress again but only if I had the space.

Only problem I still have is that being 6'3" now and a standard king tops out at 6', I have to either slant or curl up, I would go for one of those emperor sized beds in a heartbeat.

It won't work if your bed has fancy head- and footboards, but orienting a king mattress to the long dimension gets you an extra 8 inches of length.

Back to the article, if I was spending that much money on foam and toppers, I would a) do some minimal research on adhesives, and b) not half-ass things with zip ties all over. This is a situation where spending slightly more effort doing things right is going to get you a much better result.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:23 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, despite his claims otherwise, the joins in his buckling-cell foam made the resulting mattress look rather lumpy.

wrt beds and bases: the thing that shocked me when I had to screw sheets of pegboard to the base of our boxspring to stop our kittens from getting inside it and eating the batting, was how cheaply and poorly it was constructed.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:14 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


how cheaply and poorly it was constructed.

Yeah it is simply bonkers how much these things cost based on the typical build quality. Like, making an actual mattress seems to require quite a bit of fine stitching and materials knowledge; a boxspring seems like you just stretch a few pieces of fabric over a frame full of springs.

I haven't had one in years, but it always seemed silly.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:26 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


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