Saturday, August 1, 2009

Counting Sheep

O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my sense in forgetfulness?
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I

Mattresses should have an expiration date on them, or at least a pop-out thingy that says, this one's done! We spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, and how well we sleep affects the other 2/3 of the day. We flip them regularly (well sort of), and still they become defunct. I knew before DH did that ours had passed away. He can sleep like a baby, sitting up in his recliner, holding his laptop and remote control with the TV blaring. 'Nuff said.

I finished the Painter magazine article, and we've been shopping for a new king-size mattress, mind-boggling stuff. For mattresses that look identical on the outside, the prices can range from $300 to $5000. That's a lot of range. Of course I've researched online till I'm blue in the face, but then when I walk into a mattress store, and the clerk starts spouting jargon relating to his particular brand, my eyes tend to cross! And no longer is it only a matter of choosing the best box springs (actually, Leggett and Platt make 76% of all mattress coil springs and sell them to the mattress companies), these days there's also latex (lots of kinds of latex) and memory foam, and choosing mattress covers can be as involved as choosing the fabric for your living room furniture. I was seriously interested in a foam mattress because of their hypo-allergenic qualities, but I wasn't in love with memory foam. Probably just me, but it seems sort of claustrophobic.

Ever notice that a lot of mattress companies' names begin with "S"? Like Serta, Sterns & Foster, Simmons, Sealy, ( the Big Four) Select Comfort, Spring Air, Strobel, and Symbol........maybe it's because it sounds like ssssleep or sssssnore, I dunno. I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for, but I don't like paying for the labels, either.

An added complication is that I want something soft and plush (I remember my grandmother's feather bed), and DH wants firm, I'm talking seriously firm. We used to spend the night occasionally with his aunt, who graciously vacated her bed for us, and sleeping on her floor would have been softer. Yeah, that kind of firm. And they do make beds half-and-half, but DH wasn't ready for such technology, so we pressed on, looking for that happy medium, sorta firm but sorta plush mattress. One salesman suggested twin beds pushed together. I thought bed-making would be a nightmare, and DH had visions of beds skittering all over the floor, with us taking nose-dives in the middle of the night. Not good.

We narrowed down the brands to Symbol, considered one of the best out there, well respected company, competitive pricing, dependable after the sale, and there happened to be a dealer in our town. One bit of wisdom that I garnered online is to take your own pillow to the mattress showroom and spend 15-20 minutes lying on each prospective mattress in your normal sleep positions. DH thought that was plain silly, but the second trip to the Symbol store, I took my contour pillow with it's pale blue satin case. Yes, people smiled, but I was on a mission! By now, DH was tired of this game, and was saying, "I don't care. Whatever you choose is ok with me". (I'm not fooled. He cares.)

So, I snuggled down into the mattress that had "spoken" to me, other customers milling around me, and made my choice. I love the mattress; DH loves the price (about mid-range). It should be in sometime next week, the one that's natural latex foam all the way through. Mission accomplished. Next.

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