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Thread: Alternative Bedding

  1. #1
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Alternative Bedding

    I've often felt that beds take up too much damn space. If it's something that I only use at night, I would much rather have something that folds out of the way during the day time. However, I've never actually slept on anything other than a regular western bed, outside of vacations and moving in. The idea of something collecting dust on the floor, in close proximity to... whatever, also seems rather icky.

    So what are your thoughts? Anyone use a futon, rug, day bed, sofa bed, etc. for any length of time? What are your preferences? What are the pros and cons?
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  2. #2
    creator kari's Avatar
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    How about the opposite direction, TJ?I am partial to the idea of a mezzanine just for my bed, like a very high top bunk.
    I fucking hate the cold! - Wim Hof

    Check out my art. https://www.instagram.com/karililt/

  3. #3
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    I think the japanese-style would probably be the best for my back, like a thin tatami mat with a blanket or two over it. Only issue is bugs.

    I've slept on just thin carpeting before, and it's interesting. Takes a bit of getting used to, but it allows your muscles to relax much better than a thick mattress, because your bones are in contact with something solid. The "getting used to" part is your points of contact adapting to being under a bit more strain.

    It also makes sleeping in impossible, like you wake up and stay awake.

  4. #4
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Once used to sleep on a floor mat in a basement living-room and had better quality sleep than I do now.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

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  5. #5
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Shikibuton, for similar long term reasons as OP. I hate how much space beds take up, and I like being able to fold it up and put it away. I got tired of looking for a suitable murphy bed contraption and settled on bedroll. When I got it, I was also trying to get better acclimated to rougher sleeping as I was planning on a bike tour with stealth camping in a bivvy sack as my primary sleeping strategy.

    The downsides are cleaning. It's a PITA. Not that mattresses are easy to clean. You can use the same strategies of course, but the higher mobility means more opportunities for issues crop up. You have to be a little more mindful is all. You also have to find time to let them get some sun. They need airing and beating from time to time. The cotton fill crushes down pretty quick under my weight too, so it's a bit like one of those dog beds where all the fluff is in the perimeter after awhile. This has been exaggerated because I found cause to take the cover off.

    Taking the cover off involved removing all the strings used to keep the cotton batting more or less in place. Then I just unzipped it, carefully removed the batting to a clean location, and laundered the bag. The problem was, when I removed it, I gently rolled it up. That stretched it a little, and made it harder to refit. The bag itself has almost no weight at all and was a pain to work with when it came time to reload it. I've never bothered to re-sow the anchoring strings in, but that hasn't made too much of a problem. I consider them minor issues, but worth knowing about in advance.

    If you're concerned about cleanliness, you need to be cleaner. Sweep before putting it down. Or vacuum or what ever. Sheets will fit over it, they are sized to standard mattress sizes--they'll just go on really easy. If it's too thin, you can add some cushioning like an area rug, or yoga mats etc. They fold up or roll-up in the morning, tuck them out of the way and you have the floor back. You just lose some closet space to something about the size of a good sleeping bag. There are also special bins you can buy for storing them. I think trading the footprint of a bed for the footprint of a medium size storage bin is pretty good.

    But I've always been a fan of alternative practices to the western style bed.

    From about the second grade to the eighth, I had a loft bed. It was great in many respects. It gave me a lot more floorspace. It had a built in dresser, bookshelf, and desktop that ran the entire length of the bed. It was not so great for sleeping with dogs. They aren't great about ladders. Consequently at some point, I took to sleeping on the floor most nights, underneath my bed.

    When I transitioned back to a normal bed, I discovered something very very peculiar and unexpected. Fear of what might be under my bed. I was an adolescent whose brain insisted there were monsters under my bed. Apparently the eradication of that fear is done by exposure, not reason.

    As an adult, I wanted to get away from inner-springs because I hate them. But, I didn't have the money for a decent latex or memory foam mattress, so I compromised on an enormous bean bag filled with chunks of memory foam. I used it for a couple years. There was a learning curve because it was both enormous and smaller than a mattress. The bag was vaguely cylindrical if you oriented it right, but the diameter was less than a full body-length. This encourages a form of fetal sleeping.

    In some respects it was great because I'm a side to stomach sleeper. I most prefer stomach sleeping, but settle for side sleeping because stomach sleeping is difficult to get comfortable. The bag was malleable enough and provided enough support that with a bit of preparation, I could get it to cradle my body better than a mattress. But on the other hand, when I fully relaxed, there was a risk of shifting to an absolutely abominable position and waking up with all the erector muscles on one side of my spine stiff and angry. I learned to avoid this by taking note of how I awoke on those days and planning my sleeping position accordingly. The biggest thing was making sure my chin was tucked down when I went to sleep.

    From there I went to a memory foam mattress with a latex topper, no foundation. It was non-traditional because I tipped it up against the wall during the day. After a few years the foam broke down and it started to hurt my back, and was hard to get out of.

    Air mattresses are pretty good, but they're so light that they slide too much. They're easy to tip up during the day though. I also had an air loveseat that folded out into a bed. It was super comfy, especially since the arm rest height made a perfect pillow that didn't slip out from under me. The problem with air mattresses isn't leakage or the risks of eating in bed with a knife and fork--the baffles give way. The baffles are there to keep it from being a tubular bag. Once they give out though, you'll lose the flattish plane to sleep on, and will find yourself being kicked out of bed by your bed. I found I could limp them along for awhile, but they never lasted more than a few months at best.

    I wish that loveseat had worked out though. It was awesome while it lasted, but it would have added up to hundreds of dollars a year and regular waste disposal annoyances to continue using that method.
    Last edited by Hephaestus; 11-17-2017 at 08:31 PM.
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  6. #6
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    How about the opposite direction, TJ?I am partial to the idea of a mezzanine just for my bed, like a very high top bunk.
    Only if I had very, very high ceilings.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  7. #7
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    What about for sex? Do you miss the lack of cushion and support when you're doing more than just sleeping on it?
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  8. #8
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    What about for sex? Do you miss the lack of cushion and support when you're doing more than just sleeping on it?
    As for me: I sleep on Twin size bedding.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  9. #9
    Goon Roolz itch's Avatar
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    I sleep on top of my doghouse.
    stupid pancakes.

  10. #10
    Goon Roolz itch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itch View Post
    I sleep on top of my doghouse.
    (I sleep in or under a sleeping bag, on top of my bed. I tried sleeping IN my bed the other night and it sucked).

    I've been toying with the notion of getting a hammock.

    I also have a futon. Futons are great. I don't mind sleeping on or close to the floor.
    stupid pancakes.

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