That mattress I decided not to buy

There have been some funny banner ads on the buses lately for a mattress company.  After being entertained by them for a month or so, I decided to surf over to their website to see what they had on offer.

And then I paused and asked myself, “Do I really need to spend all that money on a new mattress?”  There’s nothing egregiously wrong with the one that I have now.  It isn’t all that old, and it’s not broken.

That got me thinking:  What did the bus advertising promise to me, and what can I do to fulfill that promise in a more sensible way?  As with virtually other bedding promotion since the beginning of time, the answer is “comfort.”  Stripped down to its bare essentials, a bed is a place to sleep, and a good bed is a comfortable place to sleep.

This is not the same thing for everyone.  Some people like hard mattresses; some like soft ones.  Bed coverings can range from a heap of blankets in -30° weather to no coverings at all during a heat wave.  One pillow, two pillows, no pillows.  Springs, foam, air mattress, waterbed, futon, camp cot, hammock – the variations are endless.

So what’s my happy place?  Well, I can tell you what my unhappy place is:  Cold feet.  I find it impossible to get comfortable when my feet are chilled, which is why I like to take hot baths just before bedtime.  Last winter I bought a small electric blanket to pre-warm the mattress, and to keep my legs warm on particularly cold nights.  (The blanket paid for itself in lower water bills from fewer late-night baths, and my skin didn’t dry out nearly as much either.)

I’m going to invest in a few more small items to kit out my existing bed in style — new sheets, maybe a new pillow, maybe blackout drapes for the east and south windows. Nothing fancy.  My duvet is fine without a cover, nice and lightweight, and I don’t have to wrestle it back into the cover after doing the laundry.  No need to spend several hundred dollars on a memory foam mattress topper, and pillow shams with a matching bedspread and bed skirt are right out.  (It’s not as if anyone can see them in the dark, after all.)

The bottom line here is that something that appears to be The Answer might actually be The Question, and it pays — literally, sometimes — to step back and look at what’s really going on before taking action.

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