Saturday, August 2, 2008

-- exiting mattress hell

I've taken the first step to exit mattress hell. It started with a recent conversation I had with a coworker:
him: I need a new bed.

me: yeah, me too.

him: But I haven't had time to deal with it.

me: yeah, same here. It sucks because every morning I wake up sore and beaten but don't ever feel that way when traveling so I know it's the bed.

him: What? You wake up sore? If that were happening to me, I'd have a new bed within a week.

me (thinking hmmm, why am I not doing anything about this?): [blinking]

So we took step number one and posted the old mattress for sale on Craigslist. Hmm, how to word it. "Bed of pain for sale. Might work great for you though, I dunno. Come see."

The language on Craigslist for conveying less than stellar quality is dollars. Price it cheap enough and someone will bite.

Within 5 minutes of my ad posting, someone emailed me. I got all excited until I realize it was a scam:
"i will love to make an instant purchase, pls withdraw the advert from Craigslist,i don't mind adding an extra $50 for you to take it down so that i can be rest assured that am in hand of the item. I will also like you to know that i will be paying via check,and it will be over night payment due to the distance .You don't need to bother your self with the shipment ,i will take care of that."

Craigslist warns about scammers. Why would someone buy a used mattress, sight unseen, and pay to have it shipped? I don't trust anyone. I wrote back, "sorry, I'm not shipping it. It's selling to the first person who can pick it up, cash only."

The first few years Dan and I got together, we lived in mattress hell, only much much worse than today. My sister had given us a lumpy and disheviled mattress made of air tubes, only one tube was missing. No problem -- I can improvise! I was so happy just to HAVE a bed. I stuffed the hollow space with towels and rags (go me!) and we slept like that on the floor of our tiny dark bedroom. The bed was so lumpy it always looked like bodies were laying in it and I had to "pat" it down with a baseball bat everytime I entered the apartment just to make sure it was safe.

When we moved out of state, my dad offered us his old bed. "It's been sitting in the warehouse for a while, but you can have it!" I jumped at the chance. I should have realized when the moving men carried it off the truck that a king-sized mattress should not have been folded in half (for years) and that this would not bode well for comfort.

My mom came to visit shortly after we moved in and I gave her our room. She fled the bed halfway through the night, back spasming, and slept on the couch with my stepdad who'd also thrown out his back. That should have been another warning sign.

Even then, I didn't realize how bad that bed was until we abandoned it unwillingly to sleep in the guest room. I had woken up one night to find Dan standing over me, a worried look on his face, trying to tell me something but unable to speak. I freaked out and lept up. "What's the matter?"

"Um, I didn't know how to tell you this but there was a roach on your pillow. It's gone now."

There was no way either one of us were going back to bed. That's the night we discovered the spare futon. We slept in the guest room, noting, "wow, this is SOOO much more comfortable!"

Sleeping on a futon for months has its downsides too. It was comfortable until our body weight packed down the cotton interior to a cigar-width's thickness and it began to slip between the slatted frame. Soon it too became unbearable and we began sleeping on air mattresses instead.

We'd gallantly played musical mattresses long enough. It was time to admit the experiment wasn't working and we needed to buy a new bed.

You can probably tell that this decision didn't come lightly. We visited 15 mattress stores and spent hours testing mattresses and researching coil count and wire gauge.

You know how mattress stores always have "NO ONE WILL BEAT OUR PRICE!!" claims? Well it's because NO ONE will have the "same" bed. The manufacturers spit out identical mattresses but slap on different labels before forwarding to stores. Thus, the Sealy PerfectSleeper 7510 might be identical to the Simmons BeautyRest 908, but you'll never know. Stores can have attractive specials like "If you find this mattress cheaper anywhere else, we will give it to you FREE!" because they know that's not going to happen. No one else will ever carry the same mattress.

After all that research and much gnashing of teeth, we bought the bed of pain we now have. To be fair, it IS 9 years old and served us well.

So tonight we scrapped the movie idea and went mattress shopping instead. The biggest surprise is that we found one. We, who normally agonize over every single purchase, researching every option for weeks or months (as long as it takes) found, chose, tested, and settled on a mattress! Bargained a bit and the deal was done. Our new bed comes in two weeks! I am ecstatic. The idea of waking up refreshed is extremely compelling. I'll keep you posted.


kevinforgot said...

having a new mattress is like heaven. i just bought mine 2 years ago and i can't sleep well on basically anything else anymore.

Kimmers said...

You've been tagged! (see my blog)

hautepocket said...

Congrats on the new mattress! Your story reminds me of my own. My boyfriend and I slept on a futon for nearly six months and finally ended up getting a new bed. The first night we slept on it the consensus was "Why didn't we do this MONTHS AGO?!" And it's so true. I think there must be something really daunting about purchasing furniture, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that takes decades to make decisions like this!

spleeness said...

haha, you do this too? I'm not alone! I put off buying most furniture and only recently bought my first real couches. (And now have couch regret, because they're not that great.)

Buying furniture in some way made me feel grown up (more so than buying our home, since that sucked from day one: but I am gunshy now. (At least about couches.)

Was a bed the hardest furniture purchase for you?

spleeness said...

Ugh, the link is too long and won't show. I'm reposting it here. The hell of buying our first home:

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