Before anyone asks, no, this is not a picture of my bedroom. If we had a picture of my bedroom, you would be able to tell by the clothes scattered on the floor near the hamper (which I can never hit) and the bedside table littered with cups, bowls, etc. from my midnight snack runs. This is merely a picture to get you into the mood for my subject today–mattresses.
Mine has been a long and checkered history when it comes to mattresses. I have to admit that I have not given them a lot of thought over the years. I started married life with a contraption known as a waterbed. It will date me considerably when I tell you that this mattress was the “in” thing when I got married. It consisted of a large, fairly durable rubber bag, filled to whatever was your comfort level, with water…which was also heated. So, basically, you were sleeping on a giant, heated water bottle which had all the support of a hammock. But, we were younger and tougher then.
The added joy of a waterbed included the phone calls I received at work from my children informing me that “there is water leaking on the floor under your bed.” This always meant a mad dash for home and a rapid draining of the bed so I could repair the hole (which always appeared mysteriously when my children were “nowhere near it”). The repair kit reminded me of those old kits they used to repair car tires, but it wasn’t nearly as efficient.
When we had finally had enough water disasters to suit us, we bought a conventional mattress and we replaced it from time to time when we could no longer turn over at night because of the “body holes” we had worn into the mattress. Buying a new mattress was never difficult: you went to the furniture store, they pointed to the two types they had: soft and hard and, feeling much like Goldilocks at the Three Bears’ house, we made our pick.
Times have changed. During the past year or so, both Roy and I have developed back issues and shoulder complaints and the old “close your eyes and pick one” method of buying a mattress no longer works. Apparently the entire mattress industry has discovered that we are getting pickier in our advancing age and we need something to compensate for the glorified water balloon we ruined our backs on in the first place.
That means going to the mattress store provides you with more choices than the cereal aisle at the grocery store! You can get soft comfort, foam middle and cushion outside, memory foam, firm and supportive, twin, queen, king or a division of the same. Beds can be adjustable, without box springs, softness-varied and massaging. If I had looked hard enough, I might have found one that delivers breakfast in the morning and in all truth, if there was one of those, that’s the one I’d pick!
My husband is the family shopper, but he dragged me along for the mattress hunt. We went to the furniture store and he laid down on the store sample mattresses, carefully keeping his feet on the pads made for that purpose. He wanted me to try them out as well, but I have trouble getting up from any mattress. I have developed a well-executed roll off the side of the bed to a standing position, but in a store it would too closely resemble a barrel rolling off the loading dock for my comfort, so I contented myself with testing their softness with a leaning push of my hand.
Roy then came home and began researching mattresses on the Internet and through his Consumer Reports magazine. Each site he visited had a different idea and, of course, we are now being inundated with advertising, pictures, testimonials, you name it, from every mattress store from here to Kalamazoo, wherever that is! Each one has just the mattress we’re looking for and we are welcome to try them out for 100 days to see if we like them. I know this is a great sales pitch, but I’m finicky in that I don’t want a mattress someone else had for 100 days and sent back. And for that matter, you might not enjoy the one I tried out while eating graham crackers in it for 100 days!
Eventually, we will make our selection of a new mattress and hopefully, our backs and shoulders will find that it is to their satisfaction. In the meantime, I have begun dreaming about our search. Last night, I dreamt that we had to take our 100 day trial while sleeping on the mattress at the store. The salesman woke us up every hour to ask if we wanted to buy it and I kept setting off the store’s burglar alarm system with my snoring. So much for a peaceful night’s sleep!