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Mattress mishmash

2008-12-10 16:57:12.07104+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

Slate says all mattresses are created equal, and after seeing how quickly our much vaunted Stearns & Foster wore out, and what our remedies were when that happened, I'm inclined to believe.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-10 17:38:58.701373+00 by: ebradway

Great article!

The mattress Asha bought about 10 years ago has been holding up strong. She paid about $1000 for the mattress and box spring. My favorite mattress was the $300 futon mattress that Meuon recommended. But for some reason, it was a very cold mattress. It seemed to suck the heat right out of me.

I've always believed that comfort in sleep depends much more on other circumstances. I slept on the floor for a few months once. I found I slept less but still felt just as refreshed.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-10 19:53:06.081483+00 by: meuon

"comfort in sleep depends much more on other circumstances.." - Boy is that the truth. And if you are sleeping with/near others, what their circumstances are affects you.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-11 07:59:38.189267+00 by: ebradway

Oh yeah - the best sleep was while thru-hiking the Colorado Trail. Not much between me and the earth. Didn't seem to matter after 15 miles and several thousand feet of elevation gain hauling a 50lb pack.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-11 11:57:48.967222+00 by: DaveP

I was a little disappointed to note that it wasn't until the end of the article that he mentioned futons. I've been happy with futons most of my life, and disappointed by every mattress I've ever spent money on. Pretty easy to know what I'll be buying next summer when it's time to junk my current futon.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-11 16:37:20.404015+00 by: Diane Reese

Outstanding timing on posting this (although it's an 8-year-old article), since I'm going out THIS AFTERNOON to purchase a guest-bed mattress. I think I'll either keep the old existing box spring, or go without. And will ignore salesman hype and just get the cheapest thing that feels good and which they'll deliver for free.

My experience with futons is just not that great. Most of them have felt to me like sleeping on a big sack of wood shavings or packed leaves and sticks. I will usually wake up creaky after a night on a futon, although in my heart I *want* to find them comfortable.

As for waterbeds, 3/4 of the people in my immediate family (including me) sleep on them and it would be pretty difficult to get us off of them. The article writer says he couldn't find one to test and they "give [him] the yips a little". I'm not quite certain what "the yips" are, but assuming he means they make him nervous, I'd offer that other than once mangling a mattress when trying to drain it to move it cross-country (which wasn't a great idea to begin with: the baffles glue themselves together inside the bag), and once having a 10-year-old budget waterbed mattress (which I didn't like anyway) get moist in one spot where it developed a pinhole leak, we've had no problems in 25 years. In my experience, it's necessary to seek out a specialty mattress shop (with "waterbed" in the store name, usually) if you want to try these out. I really really really look forward to getting onto that mattress when I've been away and sleeping on what other people think are comfortable inner-spring models, so I'll probably sleep on a waterbed for years to come.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-11 16:41:19.105761+00 by: other_todd

I have no comment about mattresses, but I find it further confirmation of the decline of civilization that a web site as prominent and well-funded as Slate cannot, apparently, find an editor who knows how to spell "gauge."

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-11 18:08:31.034457+00 by: Dan Lyke

Diane, I've had a waterbed mattress fail such that the liner was full of water, we had to siphon the whole thing off. But it did so without much spillage.

Todd, I've no expectation any more that any news outlet's editors or reporters be literate.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-12 04:38:51.689981+00 by: ebradway

Diane: The futon mattress that comes with the frame is total crap. It is a bag full of old rags. I think wood shavings and packed leaves would be more comfortable.

What meuon showed me is that there is a class of futon mattress that even has inner coils. They start around $300 for a full-size. So if you're paying $199 for a frame and mattress, you're not looking in the right place.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-12 05:39:13.897941+00 by: Diane Reese

OK mission accomplished. Was not sucked in by sales techniques this afternoon, although to his credit the guy asked me a few of the standard opening questions and as soon as he "got it" that I was looking for a guest bed that would be slept on for possibly a week a year, that I wanted to spend minimal money, and that I couldn't care any less about 'features', he admitted that the cheap sets would do just fine, and it was an easy transaction. (He did ask me at one point whether I slept on a firm or a .... what was that other kind, pillowy? some magic word meaning "firm but with softness on top" ... mattress and looked a bit confused when I said, "No.")

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-12 11:11:12.220527+00 by: DaveP

Yeah, Diane. The cheapest futons can be miserable.

I've settled on a model which has a foam core with cotton batting around it. The foam core helps keeps the cotton from shifting, so I get about 10 years of use before it starts getting lumpy. In all, it's about 6" thick, just about half and half foam and cotton.

I also never fold it. On my previous two futons of the same model, I had one set up as a couch in the living room, and due to the folding, it developed a gap at the fold which made it miserable to sleep on when I did have a guest try to use it.