A Journey Through Beds - Remembering the Beds of Past

Mom, where do beds come from?
I’ll be fair in saying that I don’t remember my first mattress, but the first mattress I can remember was when I was 5 years old. My great grandmother made my mattress. It was the size of a twin mattress and stuffed with old blankets and foam. My bed was an old hospital bed that had been purchased for $5 in the late 70’s when the state mental hospital was down sizing and clearing out their inventory. If you are unfamiliar with the anatomy of a hospital bed of this era, it’s actually kind of neat, but it was also kind of creepy. What if someone died in my bed? I know it’s morbid, but totally creeped me out as a kid. I slept on this bed and mattress until I was 14 yrs old.

This is how my bed life began, and each step has seemed a vast improvement as I remember where I have come from in my journey through beds.

Floor Beds
After I insisted and pleaded to please let me get rid of that bed and the mattress, my next bed was … a 4" high foam cushion, just long enough for me to lay down on, and narrower than a twin size bed. I slept on this for about a year until I saved up enough money to buy one of those cheap metal futons at walmart. I was sooooo excited. It was amazing! I happily snoozed on my futon for about a year… then it got lumpy and the bars were poking me and I finally tossed the mattress on the floor and just slept there.

Box Store bed(ding)
At 17 yrs old I FINALLY got my first real mattress! It was a twin size mattress AND box springs from Sam’s, and I felt like this was going to be my bed forever! I was so happy to have that bed. I bought my first set of sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond and I still have them and love them even though they don’t fit anything. LOL

Yard Sale Bed
The next year when I moved into an apartment I was sad to be separated from my cute little bed and instead had a very old, very used full size mattress and box springs purchased from a yard sale. My bed frame was nice though, or at least it had a good story. My bed frame was who knows how old, but solid metal and the story goes that my father found it behind his grandparent’s shed and fixed it up for himself when he was young. This was my bed frame until I was 30 yrs old!!! The mattress only stuck around until I was 26 yrs old and then I was given another used, and very old mattress - but definitely in better condition - from my grandparents.

Pause Button Bed
So, finally at 32 yrs old I kicked all that to the curb… except the bed behind the shed, I kicked it to storage, but anyway - the point is at 32 yrs old I finally bought a QUEEN size bed. I read reviews on here for weeks determined to get the best cheap bed I could find. So I ended up purchasing the Dreamfoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams Crazy Quilt Pillow Top Mattress, Queen which was almost $274.76 just a couple years ago and now is less than $200 and as a frame I purchased the Sleep Master Platform Metal Bed Frame/Mattress Foundation, Queen.

OMG! Going from an old, sad, saggy bed to this new configuration was the difference between night and day! I had never slept so good! Each night I snuggled into bed feeling happy. I knew that what I had purchased was not the final solution, but more like a pause button. I knew the day would come where I would have to be serious and gulp … go bed shopping.

After just over 770 uses I’m sad to say that it’s time. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with the choices I made for my pause button bed, but they also were not thoroughly thought out and definitely were not tailored to my specific needs.

Year of the Bed
If you’re calculating my age as we go along, I’ll be 35 yrs old soon. This is the year of the bed for me. Year of the Bed!!!

I have noted several things during the past 770+ sleeps:

  1. I definitely prefer a firmer mattress,
  2. It turns out that I really do care about my bed and mattress being natural, organic and granola-like.
  3. I live in my bed. When I watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks as a kid, I wanted a magical bed that could transport me to amazing places. I kind of still want that bed, and I’ll be Angela Lansbury and instead of traveling with children, I’ll travel with my dog.
  4. Despite the glory of underbed storage, that metal bed frame just wasn’t for me. It’s ugly, over the last few months it’s started making a squeaky noise… all in all I find it quite a disappointment. In fact, in the angst of a migraine some 2 weeks ago I actually got so annoyed with it’s squeaking that I took everything out from under the bed, took the bed off it and tossed the frame in the storage. So, my mattress is now directly - and quietly - on the concrete floor.
  5. The bed must be an appropriate height that makes it easy for my dog to hop up. She’s 3 and can hop up and down all day, every day right now… but we’re planning for the future - which will hopefully be a long one.
  6. I read and work while sitting in bed, and thus cannot have a mattress that’s going to get all cranky just cause I’m sitting on it rather than laying on it and equally distributing my weight.
    7)My bed should be amenable to having just me, me and my dog, or me and my partner +/- 2 dogs. So I guess what I’m saying is that the equal distribution of bodies and weight may vary and long term durability is going to be very important.

Spoiler Alert! I’ve already bought it!
“Then why are you writing this?”
Well, I’m laying the ground work for my bed review. I think it’s important to have the backstory on how I arrived at my selection before I start evaluating it.

I was really - REALLY - wanting a latex bed. I had been eyeing the Dreamfoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams Aloe Alexis Latex, Queen for some time and felt like this was probably going to be the bed I bought. So my price range was about $1,500.
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I started looking for bed frames and really that’s where my trouble began, I just couldn’t find a solid bed frame. There were all kinds of stylish ones, but nothing really said, “SOLID” and if it did it had a solid price more than twice that of the mattress.

FFWD to Last Week
I went to the Mountain Air Organic Beds store in Springdale, Arkansas. I live in the northwest Arkansas area and I had always wondered what they had going on, but I knew whatever it was would probably be expensive too. I went anyway.

Yes, it is quite a bit more pricey than many of the beds I had been looking at online, but something compelled me to buy local, and support a woman- and veteran-owned business. It was also really cool to walk in there and see the staff actively sewing products. Making pillows, pillow cases, zippered mattress casings, all kinds of stuff and everyone was soooo nice! I know, you can’t sleep on nice people (it would be creepy, right?), but I genuinely had fun shopping for a mattress that day! It was stress-free, calming, just like chatting with friends the whole time.

I was there for almost 2 hours, and they were so patient with me. They switched out all kinds of layers, toppers, pillows and so on and each time would let me lay there quietly with the lights off. When I finally found the combination that felt right for me, I nearly fell asleep. Everything felt comfortable, no achy pressure points, no twisted neck, it all felt perfect… as I slowly came back to reality I started contemplating how much this comfort is worth. At this point they had left me to quietly lay on the mattress. No continuous sales pitching, or constant talking, no rush, just time to lay there and evaluate all the feelings.

It was at this time that I had begun to remember my beds of past, so when I arose from that calming psuedo-nap I had decided that this was indeed my bed.

I purchased the Organic Joy 10" (Queen 60x80) $2,789.00
3" Bottom Layer: Firm
3" Middle Layer: Firm
3" Top Layer: Medium
Topper: Eco-wool Fleece with organic cotton backing (add $369)
25 Years Layer Exchange & Warranty
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I also ordered a Platform Bed Frame with headboard (add $749)! They handcraft the bed frames on site too! They are really beautiful and I don’t think squeaking will be a problem. LOL

I also ordered a pillow that I fell in love with at the store. And if you think the story of my beds of past is kind of sad, you don’t want to hear about pillows. There are at least two pillows that will be retired as soon as this bed arrives.

So, I kind of blew out my little budget, but I’m feeling good about my purchase. I’m awaiting arrival of my items in the coming weeks and would like to use this as a place to document my mattress experience as it unfolds.


Hi SleepyBee,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

Thank you for your detailed post – that’s quite a tome!

I’m glad you found something you liked locally at Mountain Air and had a good experience there. I’ll look forward to your comments about your mattress (you did choose something using high quality materials) once you’ve had a chance to sleep on it for a while.