Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Finding the Perfect Mattress

The Predicament

Buying a mattress is like buying a used car. By the time you realise you've bought a total lemon, it's a few months down the track and too late to do anything about it, bar bitch and moan to any friend who'll listen.

After moving into an apartment it became apparent that an airbed just wasn't going to cut it if I wanted to get real sleep. I had spent too many nights waking up at 4am, with a horrible back ache, on an air mattress that had deflated into an uncomfortable lump on the floor.

Air Beds: Comfortable looking bag of air. Deceptively awful. 

I thought about dragging home a pre-used and hopefully non-soiled mattress that I'd seen sitting out on the street. But knew as soon as I had it inside I'd probably discover it to be a home to a whole family very angry Rats.
Used Mattress: A concoction of unidentified body fluids and despair. 

Being a savvy shopper I jumped onto the Internet to research, but there wasnt much usefull information to be found. Reviews were full of conflicting information. Feedback sites seemed to be full of attempted warranty claims and forums were mainly dire warnings of purchases that turned into regret.

After distracting myself with chrome tabs full of information on the wonderful world of dust mites and their seriously creepy life cycle, I was left with the not so thrilling conclusion that I would have to stop procrastinating and actually venture inside mattress shops to see what was on offer.

The Parlour

The store was full of mattresses of varying levels of thickness and perceived squishiness. Some had human names, others lists of weird comfortable words jammed together. They were piled almost to the ceiling and wrapped in thick, slightly opaque plastic, a cocoon that indicated how fresh their pristine surfaces were. Untouched by filthy human skin, layers of crusted on night sweat or the microscopic horrors that are dust mites.

In front of the towers of promised comfort sat one unwrapped specimen of each style, lying in wait for the next shopper to test and agonize over. The un-ending display of demo mattresses taunting with their numbers and less than obvious differences. But which to choose? It was at this point that a strange creature lurked from out of the shadows.

Regardless of the creepy this-guy-talks-to-mattresses vibe, the salesman would aid my quest by pointing out the perfect mattress to suit my short list of needs:


Seriously that's it

Or so I thought. It seemed all Baxter was after was a really good sale. A sale and a commission, that would brighten his day and help satisfy his wallet through maximum profit. Not wanting to spend a fortune, I was not the customer that was going to make Baxters day any brighter.

My eyes settled upon a nice mattress that seemed to suit my needs:

I questioned the logic of selling something that’s uncomfortable, before realising it was obviously the cheap bait to reel customers inside.

Mattresses are sold on the promise that, like in the Sims, you will have a better more restful sleep with the more money you spend. But like a newly created Sim, I had to find a budget option after recently moving into an apartment.

After I explained my wildly low budget, and the fact that maybe in a few years I could afford something so luxurious, Baxter gave me a look as if I had just told a particularly dirty story. In this instant I realized that on this day, my search for a mattress would be unsuccessful. I left the store in a hurry and made sure not to look back.

The Purchase

I decided that maybe I could survive the air mattress a few more nights. A new mattress could wait until I had done even more research. I could figure out which shop was going to scam me the least and then purchase with as little guilt as possible.

After blowing up the air bed to satisfyingly springy, then adding a bit of extra air to counter the ridiculous amount it seemed to be losing every night, I lay in a state of proudly decisive bliss.

I awoke a few hours later to the air bed trying to consume me, after losing a large volume of air. I could feel the ground underneath my back and knew hard decisions were going to have to be made.

With the huge array of choices, wildly varying prices, alleged levels of comfort, Un-reliable reviews and a multitude of customer complaints and warnings on message boards I finally came to a choice.

...I bought a locally made futon instead. Time will tell if this was an awesome alternative, or an awful rash decision made at the mercy of my need to sleep versus my need to know everything about big purchases before committing to them. Time will tell.

Futon: Magical hand made Japanese style mattress full of wool and cotton.


  1. All the images make sense now! XD I love your drawings so much.
    So how's the futon so far? Mattress shopping can be such a pain. Some nights I like my bed and other nights I hate it.

    1. I'm liking the futon so far, it's not as squishy as a mattress but is supposed to be good for your back :D

  2. But you didn't get just ANY futon! I remember that part of the process as being fairly lengthy as well. ^^

    1. Ha ha, that is true, but the futon shop didn't have any pushy sales people and there was a lot of info & feedback online about the shop I ended up going with :D