words about things

What follows is my subtle attempt at honesty.

My bed.

Like most of my fellow Americans I was raised sleeping in a bed. I grew up, got married, had a child, bought a house and the whole time my trusty bed was right there to greet me for almost 1/3 of every day. Then I got divorced and started to realize how much of my lifestyle was dictated to me by other people so I started to look into what things I actually wanted in my life and that included furniture.  Doing away with my bed was a big part of this experience.

The argument against traditional American beds goes like this:

#1 They are motherf$$king expen$ive. A cheap bed frame (of any style) is hundreds of dollars a nice one is tens of thousands. A cheap mattress/box spring set is well over a grand (unless you are OK with those thrifty shop previously-used mattresses that smell of despair. A top tier mattress & bow spring of any size one is many, many thousands of dollars.

#2 It’s not easy being clean. You lay in this thing 8 hours every day 365 days per year. If you are one of those people who refuse to wear the same cloths day after day without washing then wtf are doing with your bed?  Oh? What’s that, dear reader? You use sheets and wash them weekly, and also wear pajamas to bed which you change out daily? Good for you, you oily headed, person with their feet in their bed who now has to air condition and heat their house even further to accommodate their sleeping comfort. (I know that’s a convoluted argument and rather than drag it out I’ll end with 5 words “mites, we all have them”. You are probably not cleaning your bed as much as you think.

#3 Comfort. It’s the most important part of rest and I already pointed out how much time you spend in bed. Lack of sleep can literally kill you (although you’d sleep on a pile of rocks before that happened. I’m just being dramatic) . How do you pick a bed to give you enough support but not too much? We’ll there are these super expensive beds that let you adjust firmness by inflating or deflating air chambers. Or you can now change out one of the many awesome toppers made of various materials, in different thicknesses, and different firmnesses. Aren’t you glad we live in the future?

Almost 15 years ago I got divorced, threw out my old worn-out, second-hand bed frame, mattress and box spring, and bought a $25 air mattress at Walmart. For the last decade and a half I’ve averaged <$75/year in air mattresses, always had the firmness I liked and have come out money ahead over having bought one new. Recently I bought a thin firm topper, piled a few quilts on it and I just sleep on a pad on the floor.It’s exactly the comfort I need for sleeping in all positions. If it’s not I can add or subtract a layer of padding or quilts and make it what I want. My back feels great. I can throw everything in the washing machine weekly; roll up the topper and mop the floor.  I can empty my bed room/man cave in just a few minutes if I need that room back for some reason. I’m sure this sounds weird to many of you but it’s so freaking practical for me in my tiny 700ft^2 house.

Caveat Emptor:

I will admit, this is a super cheap move on my part and it’s not how you impress the ladies but let’s be honest, attracting women is not my strong suit. In the decade and a half I’ve been divorced I’ve only managed to round up a couple of girlfriends anyway and my lack of traditional furniture was the least important metric in my relationship failures.

So, if you’re a self-reliant, contrarian like me, and you haven’t been satisfied with your sleep I would very much like to recommend a Policy of Regressive Accoutrements for Planned Unconsciousness until you find something that makes you happy.

Post Script:

I purposefully skipped a discussion about crack-addicts with mattresses right on the floor out of consideration of the differently addicted. I have also avoided spreading urban myths about what percentage of a pillow’s weights is skin flakes and dust mites. They are your skin flakes and mites if they’re dangerous to anyone it’s the OTHER person in your bed.