Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Mattress

Mattresses are funny things. They are critical to a good nights rest yet we choose them based on 5 minutes of weirdness laying atop them in a store. Or we order them online and hope for the best. At least the online versions now come with 100-night guarantees, right? Although the materials are typically non-sustainable, chemical-laden, and smelly. And the cost? Ouch. But what are you gonna do? You can't just accept back pain and poor sleep, right? You gotta get a new mattress when it's time.

When our mattress gave out we figured we'd do some research before spending a small fortune on a new one. Looked at both commercial mattresses and DIY mattresses (straw anyone?). And eventually found someone who sells - wait for it - buckwheat hull mattresses! And we decided, despite the cost (less than a commercial mattress but not cheap) and the risk (no return policy), to take the chance. Yes - that's right, we're officially hippies. We now have an organic mattress that we constructed ourselves. 

This is what it looked like when it arrived:

Our new bed
5 boxes, 37 pounds each, of washed organic buckwheat hulls. And one box of woven cotton sleeves for forming the pods. The UPS man thought it was hilarious.
Buckwheat hulls
 You fill the sleeve with 5 pounds of hulls and then tie it into a pod.

The first pod
Then you pile them up next to each other in a staggered pattern to form the mattress. We put them on the guest bed so we'd have a staging area. Chris couldn't resist giving them a try.

Testing it out
Doesn't look comfy, does it? We were having serious doubts at this point. But we persevered and filled at the pods. We then moved them into the permanent bed frame, covered them with a quilt for padding, and went to bed.
In their permanent configuration 
And here's the thing - they're not comfortable in the traditional mattress sense. You don't lie down and go "ahhhh". But you do a wiggle and a scrunch and your whole body is cradled perfectly and before you know it it's morning and you've slept better than you have in years. No waking up with a sore back. Or a sore knee. Or a sore anything.

We've had it for two months now and we love it. If the pods get a bit squished, you just poof them up when you make the bed in the morning. If sometime in the far future they fail to poof up, you order some more hulls at a very reasonable price and replace those pods, not the entire mattress. And when you're eventually ready for a whole new bed you take them out to your garden and compost them. No landfill waste.

We will wear the hippie label with pride showing in our well-rested eyes.

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