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Sleeping on the Floor vs Having a (Mattress) Bed

Updated on October 3, 2010

It seems like few people around these parts (meaning, where I live) realize that probably half the world or so sleeps on the floor. It's a legitimate decision to make--where to sleep, that is--and it's worth not just letting yourself default to having a bed.

I'm not even going to pretend to be unbiased. I have a huge preference for sleeping on the floor for a number of reasons, so this hub is really less a list of pros and cons and more a list of reasons why you should totally sleep on the floor like me. Let's just say I want to start a movement to dismantle the Tyranny of the Mattress once and for all.

Really, what can a mattress do that the floor can't, especially the extra-firm kind that basically feels like a carpeted floor anyway? I hate to use this argument, but our ancestors slept on the floor just fine and I doubt it affected their survival rate. In fact, people all over the world still sleep on the floor, and I doubt most of them develop bad backs because of it.

And more importantly...

Mattresses are expensive.

Depending on where you get it and its degree of comfort and quality among other factors, a mattress can be unjustifiablely expensive, especially in the face of the fact that the floor already came included with your house for free.

Unless you have some sort of specialized reason for a fancy mattress (like if you have a water bed for the sole purpose of impressing your lady-friends), there really is no reason for the expense. Mattresses usually run at least several hundred dollars for what is normally a box of metal springs covered in cushioning. Sure, it's fun to bounce on, but would do you really need to sleep on a board covered in hardened slinkies? Is that really more comfortable than the floor (when you add a few cushions and pillows)?

Mattresses are dirty.

When you spend hours and hours of your night somewhere, drooling all over the place and shedding your microscopic dead skin cells where dust mites will eat them, it can get pretty gross. If you just sleep on the floor, you can easily vacuum the space and all the grossness gets sucked away. But try washing a bed, or vacuuming it with an upright. It's definitely more of a nuisance in that department.

And don't get me started about *underneath* a bed. I used to sleep on beds like anybody else and, like anybody else, I had the weirdest things crawling under my bed and dying on occasion. Things would also fall or roll down there and accumulate over time, or else you'd just get the impulse to shove things under there that you wanted out of you sight, not to mention the natural accumulation of dust bunnies. Ever notice that whenever you have to move your furniture, there's always stuff that you don't remember having even existed that ends up under your bed?

Mattresses take up way too much room.

Compared to the floor, which takes up little to no room (if you have a cushion or a futon on the floor, you can simply roll it up during the day, freeing the space), a mattress, depending on its size, takes up both vertical and horizontal space you could be using for other things. Oftentimes, a bed will be the biggest piece of furniture in the room. Ever wonder how much roomier things would look if the bed was just gone? You would have room to roll around on the floor.

Mattresses are bulkier and harder to move, too. When you go traveling, you can't take the bed you usually sleep in with you if that bed is a mattress. If you just have a comforter or a futon, you can take your bedding anywhere with you that has a floor. They're very portable. A mattress, though, won't usually fit in your rucksack. They can be annoying to drag around when you find that you have to move out of a house or apartment, too.

So, seriously, just sleep on the floor.


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    • SuperiorInteriors profile image

      SuperiorInteriors 4 years ago from San Diego, California

      Hahaha well I don't know about sleeping on the floor... guess I'm just too much of a wuss to abandon my mattress :P

      However, I slept without a bed frame for a couple of years because it made the mattress firmer and I liked having my bed lower to the ground.

      Hmm. Maybe I should just sleep on the floor...