Extreme Minimalism: Bedding

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’m devoting September to more extreme forms of minimalism. Although I’m currently settled with a new house and baby, my soul is still that of a wanderer.

When my husband and I lived nomadically, our largest and heaviest possession was our roll-up Ikea mattress—and boy, was it a royal pain to drag around! In hindsight, it would have been much easier to carry individual “beds” such as the following:

(Photo: Futon Company)

Even this “sofa” looks more portable than the mattress we had:

(Photo: Futon Company)

I imagine an inflatable mattress or good old sleeping bag could work, too (and be even more lightweight); however, I’ve never spent more than a few days on either of these and can’t vouch for their long-term comfort.

(I’d love to wander through Japan, and enjoy the culture’s traditional sleeping arrangement: a thin futon on tatami mats. Since the tatami itself is a few inches thick, it creates a much more forgiving base than a hard floor.)

Of course, you can (and we did) eliminate the portability problem by renting furnished sublets; but that can also mean living with more furniture than you’d like, and sometimes an uncomfortable bed to boot! In fact, my husband spent a few months on a camping mattress, because our sublet’s saggy-soft bed hurt his back.

In writing this post, I’m certainly not suggesting anyone sacrifice comfort in the name of minimalism–it’s just me indulging in my new nomadic fantasy. I hope others find such ideas useful for guest bedding or small living spaces, or just have fun daydreaming along with me.

So has anyone out there abandoned a traditional bed and/or mattress for something more compact, portable, or space-saving? Please share your experiences and recommendations in the Comments!

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

66 comments to Extreme Minimalism: Bedding

  • Nicola B

    Two weeks camping in a tent was always comfortable enough- and that was on a camp bed, not a nice inflatable mattress, so I reckon it’s possible to sleep comfortably on stuff you can carry in a backpack.

    I’ve stayed in one of these http://www.mongolyurt.com/ which are totally portable (admittedly portable if you have some camels and horses to carry them, but they’d probably fit in/on a reasonably sized car/van) and very warm and comfortable, even if you sleep on the floor. A whole portable house :)

  • These Thermarest Dreamtime self inflating mats with a thick memory foam topper are meant to be really comfy, I’ve tried one and it did feel like a bit of luxury as you sank into the memory foam. It rolled too big for our car camping though and wouldn’t fit in with our bell tent so I had to return it!

    • Kathleen

      Hey mamaUK,

      Thanks very much for this post. I have been looking for a minimalist alternative to a big, bulky bed and I am researching the Thermarest Dreamtime Mattress, it sounds wonderful so far and I’m happy to report that they sell it here in the U.S. as well. Thanks for the tip!

  • I had a horrible mattress, so threw it out and now sleep on the floor. It is a carpeted floor and I find it very comfortable. I didn’t intend to go bed-less, but now I would be relunctant to buy a bed or mattress again. It is not just about being a minimalist it is that is is the nicest bed I have ever experienced.

    • Anne

      I slept at a friend’s on the (carpented) floor for a week and loved it. My apartment here has laminate flooring, which is about as hard as can be, so I didn’t try that at home yet.

  • Lolly

    Boyfriend and I were spending a lot of time looking at beds for our new apartment but after not being 100% sure about any of them, we settled on Japanese futons because 1. The bed and mattress would set us back a lot of money 2. We’re in Japan. We don’t have tatami mats but the carpet makes it quite springy. I can roll over without pains and it is very comfortable. I wouldn’t like to lug the futons around though because they’re still quite heavy!

  • Sue

    Even before my 3-year stay in Japan, I’ve been sleeping on a futon. I like that it rolls up during the day and doesn’t fill up the whole room. Even with the futon spread out, the room still has a spacious, empty feel to it. Plus, it’s perfectly comfortable and better for my back than many a soft mattress. I don’t think I’ll ever buy an actual huge bulky bed again. It’s not truly portable, though. We’ve moved it across Europe by train, and it was not fun (granted, you couldn’t even think of moving a bed by train. But still, *not* fun).

    • Kristen June

      Hello, Sue. I also lived in Japan 3 years teaching English and slept on a futon. It is amazingly comfortable and space-friendly. Tatami mats are hard to take care of though, but they are really what makes the sleeping on the ground experience a good experience instead of a bad one.

  • Kurkela

    Dear MM, lately you too often ask others to write, instead of doing it yourself, so this time I won’t :)

    • Dawn W

      More complaining? But,this one’s not about children…

      If you don’t have anything nice to say,don’t say anything at all.

      • liz

        My thoughts exactly, Dawn. I have nothing against different opinions, but such comments are just plain rude and add nothing to the discussion.

      • Kurkela

        Dawn,so you think the only possible posts here have to be “oh how nice oh how sweet” and any opinions of those who beg to differ should be banned? Liz, do you truly think that *discussion* is where everyone is of the same mind? Look up the definition, for example, at dictionary.com: discussion is consideration or examination by argument, comment etc. thefreedictionary says: consideration of a subject by a group; an earnest conversation. I wrote that lately MM has shorter blogs and lets her readers do the writing – why stating the truth is rude? I have written that lately all her blogs are in regard to children (and have added that it is understandable as she is a happy young mother) – why stating the truth is rude? Sorry, but it seems you have *everything* against different opinions.
        I still read and reread MM’s older blogs about minsumerism which are truly excellent and shoul be read by the whole world, and the hats off for that, however, there are posts which do not seem so fine to me -is it wrong to say that?

        • Karen (Scotland)

          It’s not wrong – just a wee bit rude. Comments don’t have to be sweet and nice but I don’t feel they have to be accusations of slacking either, even if that is what you feel.

          I read your comment yesterday and started to wonder if you were a subtle troll – the comment seemed so deliberately inflammatory. And unnecessary. If you truly feel you have “advice” for a blogger, email them privately? Don’t try to embarrass them or challenge them publicly. Miss Minimalist has never answered your (many) challenging comments. As a minimalist, I suspect she calmly ignores it as the white noise it is to her life.

          I suspect most of us just sigh when we see your comments and try to ignore them (or dilute the challenge with a gentler angle as I sometimes try to do.)

          Miss Minimalist’s blog is free. I’m just grateful to her for any insights, advice, experience she offers, as I am to anyone who takes the time to sit and write a couple of times a week (even if a particular post doesn’t speak to me). Her blog is ad free, clear, a quiet place to come. She managed to do a post on religion which remained conflict free – her audience is calm, quiet and happy to discuss issues WITHOUT resorting to whoo-hah.

          Please try to appreciate that. There are many, many blogs where the tone is more argumentative and that can be interesting and sort of fun. But this really doesn’t seem to be that kind of blog.


          • Kurkela

            Karen, read back the story of the Real Life Minimalist Lorilee, the one who got rid of her two dogs. 180 comments, with 2/3 of them oh so harsh. No one seemed to have problem with that. Even MM herself, as she had added her comment at the end.
            My profession has taught me there is at least two sides of everything and all of them must be taken into account. It is not meant to be abusive in any way, and I am sorry if somebody thinks it is. English is not my native language and there may be some style things that I am not aware of. Still my opinion stays.
            You may call me a troll or whatever, it is your opinion and you are perfectly entitled to that even if somebody does not agree. As I am entitled to mine. I hope.

            • Karen (Scotland)

              (I apologise if it’s a non-native language thing. My husband is Dutch and his English always makes him sound as if he’s arguing or issuing instructions so I understand that problem.)
              I don’t believe you are a troll – it was just my initial reaction when I saw your comment yesterday. It didn’t add to discussion, it wasn’t an opinion on the topic – it was just a direct criticism of Miss Minimalist and seemed a bit mean and unnecessary.

              My sense of justice tells me not to let anonymous souls pick on bloggers that I respect but it’s making me uncomfortable that I’m involved in this dialogue as it goes against my minimal principles of keeping it simple and avoiding conflict over non-important matters. I hope other followers are understanding that.


        • Sara

          I just want to throw in my two cents. I felt very strongly about Lorilee giving up her cats. I disagreed with miss minimalist’s comment about that whole issue, as well, but still keep coming back to this great blog of hers. And I especially loved her nomadic minimalist posts, and yet, I realize that life is all about change and isn’t it unrealistic to kind of expect that a blogger start making decisions about her own life based on the popularity of her blog? That’s really tongue-in-cheek, mind you. (I wrote my comment about this particular post separately.)

        • I love this site, but I do wish she could post like she used to every week, it’s very helpful, but I think she has a very busy life right now,so I just read the stories:)

    • Jen

      Kurkela, you’ve made it pretty clear you don’t enjoy reading this blog. Perhaps your time and energy would be better spent doing something else?

    • Mikey's mom

      I enjoy reading this blog, although I do not think of myself as a minimalist, just someone who keeps it orderly, and that means editing possessions. Constantly.

      However, I do share a concern with Kurkela. With other blogs I used to read, once the guest posts start rolling in, the message gets diluted fairly rapidly. Just something for the fanbase and blogger to consider.

      • I think there is a life cycle to blogs. Eventually, we all run out of things to say on our topic, or at least have less to say. Then, we either (a) leave it up to the readers a bit more, (b) have almost exclusively guest posts, or (c) do sponsored posts.

        Really, I think Francine is choosing the best option. I really enjoy the discussion and the community surrounding her blog, possibly as much as her posts. I usually end up leaving blogs that go all guest-post (a few are OK–I love “Real Life Minimalists”, as it helps us all connect with each other! And I host Fly Lady’s column on my blog, as she is my personal hero…). Sponsored posts are the worst. I’m not going to spend my free time reading ads. Yuck.

        So, I think Francine is going the right way. ;-)

  • I slept on the floor for about a month last year – I read about a family who had always done it and when they got beds later on they got really bad back pain from it and ended up building ‘fake’ beds where they just had a thin blanket on top of a hard base. I decided to try it and found I really enjoyed sleeping on the floor, but in the end I had to give up because it got too cold (I currently live in a drafty 60s bungalow in the UK with wooden floorboards). I had actually forgotten all about it until I read this blog post. Since then, we have bought some roly-polys from The Futon Company (http://www.futoncompany.co.uk/sleepover/roly-poly-clone-2.html) that are much more comfortable than the multi-layered blanket solution I used last year. When friends come to visit, we double them up (one roly-poly on top of the other), and I was unsure of how comfortable they were until I realised my guests were always sleeping in! When the weather is nice outside, I tend to put one of them down on the concrete patio and use it as a sun lounger with a picnic rug underneath and a towel on top. They are great little ‘mattresses’ and very easy to pop on top of a cabinet or in the loft, but I doubt I would want to travel with them, even though the handles are very practical.

  • Two weeks ago it finally cooled down enough in the southeastern US that my wife announced that the air-conditioning unit was cut off for the rest of the year. We were determined to keep our utility bill down. During the day, with windows open, it was warm but not uncomfortable. The problem is that our bedrooms are upstairs. As you all know, heat rises. My solution was to sleep on the sofa. Since we have only one sofa my wife brought out the portable mattress we’ve had around for years for guests. She’s been sleeping on it for two weeks now. She can be more of a minimalist than I, and I cringed the other day when I heard her say “we should sell most of this furniture and downsize even further.” I hope my bed is still around next week.


    • jennifer

      I had to laugh at your comment,my Husband says half serious half joking, I’ll have the Family sitting on the floor to eat, and I would except I need to sit upright to eat.

  • Nicola

    I sleep on a double mattress on the floor and I love it! :-)

  • Katie

    My husband and I have a traditional mattress and box spring. However, we recently sold our large wooden bed frame and headboard and now have our mattress right on our wood floor. We love it! Our room is so much nicer to be in now. It’s so open feeling! The mattress is also much more comfortable. No more wobbly bed when someone rolls over.

  • Stacia

    Did you see this guest post on The Minmalists about sleeping sitting up???

  • Interrobang

    Dear Francine,
    Thank you for sharing this suggestion of minimalist bedding. As a temporary solution it is a great and relatively inexpensive idea.
    Who doesn’t need a good night’s sleep? A good quality mattress is on my list of possessions that require careful customization and, if necessary, advice from a professional. When I say professional I mean a chiropractor or even an orthopedic surgeon who’s not involved in promoting any product on the market. Age, pregnancy and certain postures in one’s professional/everyday life alter the balance/alignment of their spine – this is the voice of experience talking :-)
    Hope to read more suggestions for improving the quality of our sleep/life.

  • Daniel Gould

    That briefcase-bed looks awesome, gonna have to get me one of those. Though as I’ve mentioned before, I’m plenty comfortable on the floor, lying on a quilt just to take the edge off the carpeted floor. I recently broke my rib so was on a fold out bed thing, or the sofa, but both are too soft, and my body was at an uncomfortable angle, so I just took to the floor again, where I know that even if it hurts, I’ll at least retain good posture through the night, even if it does hurt when I first get down there, and it took a while to relax into it and get to sleep. I’d recommend to anyone without bone or joint problems to try sleeping on the floor, I’ll never be put out if stuck at a friend’s, all I need is a blanket.

  • Jon

    I’ve. Been sleeping on a Japanese futon for a while. I have hardwood floors and found it a little hard, so I bought a second one and stack them. If I have a guest I can separate them again.

    Something I’m seriously considering though; is a hammock. I’ve used a hammock camping and love it. It also is pretty common as main bedding in south america.

    Love to hear from anyone who’s tried it.

    • Mims

      Hi Jon,

      I slept in a hammock for nearly 6 weeks while travelling through South America and loved it so much that I take every opportunity to do so again (much to my stepfather’s delight as it means he always has somewhere for me to sleep when I visit his summer house, unless there is a storm). They can however get too cold when it’s cold even if you have a good sleeping bag, but then, I had a very basic mesh hammock. There are nylon/silk hammocks and fancy covered hammocks that might offer better isolation against cold air. Hammocks are also not very practical if you are renting as you are usually not allowed to put up strong enough hooks. You can buy stands, but that sort of feels like cheating…

      I am a side sleeper and have a back problem, so sleeping on the floor or even a thin mattress/futon on the floor is not for me, at least not for more than a night or two (leaves me too sore and gives my chiro too much business), but side sleeping has never really been a problem when I sleep in hammocks.

  • Jay

    I slept in a hammock for over a year and a half. Someone recommended it to me for my bad back, and I ended up sleeping in it every night! Since I no longer had a bed anyway, when I had to make a sudden move (my apartment became infested and my landlord wouldn’t do anything about it) it was really simple: just unhook the hammocks, pull apart the pieces of the base, and carry to the car. No trying to fit a bed into a truck!

    I’m glad that I have been moving towards minimalism. I had already gotten rid of a lot of things, but when the infestation happened I was able to look at many of my things without so much emotional attachment: “Do I really want this after cockroaches have touched it?” “Is it worth the time to sanitize before I move it?” I couldn’t imagine having to throw away an expensive bed in this situation. I probably would have had a meltdown.

  • Minimalist Housewife

    We have a traditional mattress and box springs on a frame. Right now, I’m visiting family for a couple weeks. My dad’s guest room, my old room, has a mattress and box springs on the floor. I really like it. My daughter comes into bed with me often during the night. So I pushed it against the wall and I don’t worry about her falling off, even if she crawls over me.

  • Laura

    Before we moved overseas, my husband was able to distinguish between mattresses in a way I could not perceive. You might say he’s a “princess and the pea” style mattress connaisseur. Two and half years now on an air mattress and we both love it. First air mattress was great and rarely needed refill. Too many belly flops by the kids and this second air mattress needs 2x/week refills. We still like the air mattress though. Just can’t find the superior brand one anywhere.

  • Dinah Gray

    I bought a Japanese futon to use on the floor for myself, but it was still a bit to hard. I think if I was a bit thinner it may have worked better or perhaps if I had a tatami mat under it. My 5 year old uses it as her bed. It’s kind of nice since she can take her bed anywhere. It is currently in her room, but sometimes on weekends I let her sleep with me. She just brings her bed with her.

  • Some years ago I was young, broke, in love and living in the Middle East. The room my boyfriend and I were renting didn’t have air conditioning, and on the hottest summer nights we slept on the stone floor. It was hard as hell, but oh so much cooler than the bed.

  • MarieG

    I have moved 25 times in the last 10 years and slept on a queen size, double high aero bed. It was way to heavy for backpacking around,but was great when I moved from city to city in the states. I would just deflate my bed, roll it up, and toss it into the carrying bag which has a handle and made it easy to carry on my back to the car. My parents slept on it when they visited and my father, who has back problems, loved it and wanted to get one for his permanent bad at home! I originally tried the cheaper, camping inflatable mattresses, but they would always end up sinking in the middle and didn’t hold air quite as nicely.

  • MarieG

    I meant bed, not bad…

  • Marf

    It was the dog; well, actually, it was the newborn pups that caused me loose my traditional bed. I had noticed pregnant mama dog spending more and more time under my queen size bed and hoped she would deliver her babies in the nice, new, warm whelping box and NOT under the bed! She delivered 3 beautiful pups ON my bed instead. She and the newborns spent their first day in the cozy whelping box. Then I woke in the wee hours to find mama moving the fussing babies onto cold tile floors. Back to the whelping box they all went. Next morning my box spring and mattress went on the floor and the frame went to the garage. It would never have occured to me to have my bed on the floor – I LOVE IT!! I have no futher use for bed frames!! Pups were 3 weeks old yesterday; eyes open and beginning to toddle around. All is well. Inspiration for minimalist living from a most unusual source…

  • Paula

    I had to get rid of almost all my furniture when i moved out of my apartment this summer, except for a dresser and a mirror. I stayed with a friend for the summer and she did not have the space for my furniture in her apartment.
    Instead of paying for storage, i thought what a great idea and fresh start to a new life without furniture! :)
    That sofa/mattress looks great and it may be the first thing, if not the only new thing i will buy, once I have my place.
    Thanks for a great post!

  • Heather

    I’ve wanted to get a futon for a while, but as someone who loves a soft bed, I’m not sure how well I’d fare with one. Most of the people who like futons and similar little bedding seem to naturally prefer firm mattresses.

    I pulled the twin mattress off a folding cot as a sort of test run a few days ago (because, heck, I’m poor — I can’t even afford a Japanese futon — but the idea of not having a mattress does appeal to me.

    I took a nap on one and my back hurt so much that I’m not sure I want to actually sleep a night on one. I know it takes time to adjust to a new sleeping surface, but with a very full work schedule, I don’t think I’m willing to deprive myself of quality sleep – even for a few days.

  • I tried sleeping on the floor- I wasn’t crazy about it but it wasn’t terrible. I ended up building a platform to sleep on which you can see here if you’re interested: https://freemindtoday.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/building-a-simple-platform-bed/

    I built two of these and we put them side by side. My wife did not like the idea of not sleeping on a cushy mattress, so we compromised and used the memory foam topper that was on our old mattress set (that we got rid of).

    I love our new setup- it’s been so much easier to sweep and clean around!

  • Jenifer

    When we moved, we had a futon that a friend loaned us for a while to use as our bed. It was not very comfortable (maybe it was old); and it was also very cold directly on the floor.

    By having air between the floor and our bed, it’s actually warmer in our bed. And, we got a good quality mattress, so we are happy.

    This is really one of those areas in minimalism where I tell people that you just have to figure out how to define it for your life and how you live.

    I don’t travel that much. I own my own business which requires me to be there — to put down all kinds of roots — so having the need for quick move or quick travel isn’t that big of a demand. The benefit of living minimally in a house, though, is that when you do need to move house, it’s a pretty simple process. :) It doesn’t take much for our house to be moved, honestly. :)

  • I haven’t given up my mattress yet, but you’re definitely making me think about it. I’ve been trying to slowly pare down to a minimalist lifestyle. This is really inspiring. I hope I can maintain that level of minimalism. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Sara

    Me and my husband sleep on a futon which first I (and now we) have had for years. When we moved recently, we put the bed frame away (though we didn’t throw it away, since we may change our minds again, there are precedents ;)) to sleep on the futon on the floor, and I love it. But it’s pain to move around, being rather heavy and unmanageable so if I were living a nomadic life of some sort I’d love to get one of those porta beds you reference in the post. I’ve always been picky about my mattress, since my back doesn’t do well on a soft surface.

  • Mariah

    I have been thinking of getting rid of my double bed and frame for a while, as I like the idea of having more space. I notice the futon company you highlight is from the UK. Anyone know of similar companies in the US that you can recommend? Thanks.

  • Thanks for posting this, I liked reading other people’s suggestions! I slept on an aerobed for a few months when I was in college, it was really comfortable and rarely needed to be refilled. Since then I’ve tried cheaper air mattresses and have not been impressed. I’ve also tried sleeping on top of a spongy quilt on a carpeted floor but found it was a little too hard for me; I like sleeping on my side and having something to cushion my hip bone.

  • Caelen

    I’m interested in trying a hammock, but the only ones I’ve seen when I searched were either cheap flat back-yard type hammocks, or camping hammocks made from synthetic materials (which I try to avoid).

    Any recommendations for a good quality hammock made from natural materials?

    • Sara

      Ticket To The Moon sells hammocks, but they’re made out of 100% nylon, i.e. parachute silk, which makes them lightweight and easy to hang and clean. Not natural material, though, but durable.

  • abro

    5 months ago i moved and ditched a 12 year old king size matress and springs in the process..(12 year old mattress-I know).Half of this thing usually served as a stack table or “desk” anyway. I replaced it with an inflatable mattress and a memory foam topper from Sam’s on top. Memory foam is very hot (retains heat) and I could smell the chemicals oozing of this thing plus you can’t wash them. Side benifit of the inflatable is it’s washable. I still have 2 leftover king size comforters so now I fold both of those and put on the inflatable…not too shabby..and they are washable. Still looking for something to replace the shaped-memory-foam-pillow. Love the shaped pillows but I could smell the chemicals from it as well. Last year I made a DIY camping hammock from rip-stop nylon (just search Youtube for hammocks or camping hammocks..hundreds) and I’ve finally figured out how to suspend one of these (safely) in the bedroom. Looking forward to this option too. Good luck with your own reduction(s)

  • s.e.

    I had a great time looking at all the fold up etc futon options in that UK futon store:) My husband and my daughter and I sleep on a very old thin futon on a homemade wooden frame, but it is a king size and takes up almost our whole bedroom. I love the idea of the stacking beds or rollup futons but currently our dog sleeps under the bed and hides there often (he gets frightened by many noises) and he would be devastated if there were no bed to go under.

  • Karen

    I want to put in a word for those of us who can’t sleep on the floor. I’m quite flexible and like to sit cross-legged on the floor, but lying on the floor or on padding on the floor makes me stiff and sore. My back locks up, and I have difficulty getting up and then straightening up when I stand.

    When our old traditional mattress was getting too old, we first tried putting boards between the mattress and box springs. That worked OK for me for a while, but my husband complained of hip pain. 21 months ago we bought a Sleep Number mattress; we love it and wish we’d bought it sooner. It works great with our existing bed frame and linens, and immediately eliminated my husband’s hip pain. It would be really hard for us to go to any other type of bed after this.

  • Rita

    I don’t know why, but having a thin, portable bed has always been a minimalist fantasy of mine. I have a slight obsession with Japanese futons! I’ve always been a fan of firmer surfaces anyways. And to me, there’s just something so pretty about a tiny little mattress on the floor as opposed to a standard mattress in a frame – so obtrusive and ugly!

  • This is one major positive to living aboard. We might have to turn the dinette into a bed (and back) on a daily basis, but we do get an actual bed! The difficulty occurs when it gets cold. Beanie comes into our bed, and she loves to kick DH off! This is also a problem we have in hotel rooms and visiting relatives. Just wait, Francine…There will come a time when “there are 3 in the bed and the little one said…” will come true! LOL

  • Pam

    We haven’t given up the beds…yet. But, today we are going to check out Brazilian Hammocks with that very purpose in mind. Neither of our kids like sleeping in their beds, always complaining that they can’t get comfy…and I don’t scrimp on kids’ mattresses (or shoes), so they are not “bottom of the line” mattresses, either.

  • Trish

    I am wondering if the people who speak of being able to sleep on the floor are young people – I am almost 50, and although fit I can’t imagine being able to sleep on the floor. I love the idea of an air mattress though.

  • RachelH

    These photos of portable bed-like things look wonderful! I am not sure when I would use them, though. If I were to travel, I assume I would use a hotel/condo bed. I am planning on doing monthlong trips to Europe every year when my children are a bit older and just renting a place for a month. I don’t know if there would be a bed in that instance. If not, that would be an ideal thing to have. But it would probably annoy me for eleven months of the year when I was at home, as well as prove an annoyance as carry-on baggage. I would certainly not want to check it.

    It doesn’t seem like it would hold two people, though, and I don’t want to give up snuggling just so I can have a fold-up bed. Also, my husband and I bought a king-sized Tempurpedic bed a couple of years ago and (although admittedly not minimal) it is suiting our needs swimmingly. It did away with my back pain for two pregnancies and provides enough room for two sprawlers and my u-shaped body pillow. I believe it will last us a long time. As an ultra-minimalist, this is a luxury I wouldn’t choose to do without!

  • Leah

    Thanks for the thread! I’ve been wondering about minimalist bedding alternatives for a couple of years. Reading everyone’s suggestions here confirms that a traditional mattress is probably still the best choice for me, despite my fantasies.

  • Amy

    Does anyone have any idea about making a mattress out of sand or crushed crystal? I know they have a Biocrystal mattress topper out there, but I’ve never been able to find a price. I saw an article about people who sleep on piles of sand. The sand molds to the body, so it keeps the spine in the correct alignment, but I can’t find an actual organic sand mattress.

    • CG

      Interesting! My five year old just told me she wants to sleep in sand and I told her it would be too itchy. Maybe she was right after all! :) The wisdom of kids.

  • Terry

    I’ve actually been sleeping on a Solid Black Shikibuton Tri fold Foam Bed , 3″ Thick X 27″ Wide X 75″ Long. I find it quite comfortable and it weighs in at about 2 lbs. it will be a very simple matter when I move in June since these futon type mats are the only “furniture” i own.

  • James

    I have been sleeping on a camping mat on top of carpet for a couple years now. The transition from mattress took a week. I absolutely love it and find security and comfort in laying down and feeling the firmness of the setup. I am looking to get a Japanese futon or a pillowtop pad for future bedding as my setup is not very inviting to overnight guests that are only used to mattress and boxspring.

  • James

    also looking to invest in a buckwheat pillow

  • Tina

    We slept on a mattress on the floor for many years. Now we have 2 twin beds and a futon in the guest room. The cats like to hide under the beds and futon. No problem unless we have a large number of overnight guests.

  • biff

    I sleep on a yoga mat on the floor (laminate over concrete). As one poster touched on, I have always prefered a harder mattress. The yoga mat rolls up and away and my bedding goes into a storage ottoman. Also, the mat is a perfect barrier to the cold of the floor. I found the advice of practicing sleeping from the sleeping sitting up article mentioned, and it took me five non consecutive (weekends to not affect work) nights to be able to spend the entire nite on the floor. I love it, my back is happier, and I wake up without having to ‘adjust into the day’. Also as to the age comment, I am forty :)

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>