Now that the larger part of our renovations is done, we’re focusing on some basic comforts: getting a good night’s sleep. Once upon a time, we had a full size pocket coil bed with a plush top that was comfortable, but too small. Tig would be quick to point out that he campaigned for a queen sized bed, but I did not listen to his advice at the time. Later on, we inherited a queen size bed from our friend who left for Brazil. The mattress came with a low slung, espresso DWR lookalike bedframe , complete with built-in lighting that has three settings (see pic below).

Carl's pimpin' bed

Fast forward to today. We took the mattress (but left the frame with our stager) to Boston. One thing we never got used to, was how firm the bed was. Some people believe that a super firm bed is the best thing for your back, but I beg to differ. According to Alan Hedge, Professor of Ergonomics at Cornell University, firmer is not necessarily better. The ideal mattress supports your body while maintaining your spines in a neutral position. Too firm and the mattress will put pressure on the heaviest points of your body. Too soft and your back will sag into a hammock curve. And yes, I did take a class with Professor Hedge when I was at Cornell.

The Lancet, a UK journal, published a Spanish study in 2003 that found that patients who slept on a “medium-firm” mattress suffered less lower-back pain in bed and during the day than those on a “firm” mattress. (This is a sweeping generalization based on summaries of the study, and I have not read the research myself. Skeptics can refer to the actual study: Kovacs FM, Abraira V, Pena A, Martin-Rodriguez JG, Sanchez-Vera M, Ferrer E, Ruano D, Guillen P, Gestoso M, Muriel A, Zamora J, Gil del Real MT, Mufraggi N. Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain: randomised, double-blind, controlled, multicentre trial. The Lancet. 2003 Nov 15;362(9396):1599-1604.)

Back to our too-firm-mattress problem. We’ve tried using 2 inch imitation memory foam topper, but someone claimed it made his back sweaty, so we gave that away before we moved. At the moment we’re using a sleeping bag as a topper, which is not working very well. The slippery material makes it slide underneath our fitted sheets, so at the moment a large chunk of the sleeping bag is on my side. Our journey continues with a mattress shopping outing.