It’s just a mattress…

white mattress

There are few things I enjoy more than a good night’s sleep. I’m one of those people who, when they hit the pillow, don’t wake up until the alarm rings. I usually get about 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep without interruption.

It’s great and I feel bad for people who say they wake up several times throughout the night.

Joy is one of those people and we have almost the same discussion every morning:

Joy: “I didn’t sleep well last night…did you hear people talking outside at 2 AM?”

Jonny: “Umm…No. I fell asleep 90 seconds after we turned the light off. I woke up to pee at 6:30” 🙂

A good mattress is important!

There have been a few spans of time since we were married where sleep wasn’t always as restful, and it was usually because of the mattress we were sleeping on.

Truthfully, I’m hard on mattresses because I sleep in a very odd position.

I sleep half on my stomach, half on my side, sort of curled up with one of my elbows under me. I sleep like this every night…and…I don’t move the entire night. Seriously.

I often wake up finding myself in exactly the same position as when I went to sleep. It’s a bit odd.

While Joy is sleeping next to me, rolling like a rotisserie chicken, I am sound asleep in one position the whole time.

And because I sleep this way, it’s hard on the mattress.

There’s always a crater where I sleep. Turning the mattress helps somewhat, but every 4 or 5 years, we’re likely going to need to buy a new mattress.

Matresses: Who knew this would be so complicated?

When we first got married we received a new mattress for a wedding gift from my sister and brother-in-law. Carla asked me what I wanted and I said “I don’t really care – just buy us the cheapest mattress you can find”

I don’t actually think it was too cheap and it worked for a while. But after a year or so, I started to wake up every morning with a sore back, or I would wake up in the middle of the night aching and we knew we needed to figure something else out.

I’m not too proud to buy used items, BUT…I do think it’s rather gross to buy a used mattress, so buying a used one from Kijiji was off the table. It had to be new.

Mistake #1…

One day in 2004 or 2005, we pulled into a Sleep Country Canada store where we were enthusiastically greeted by an older gentleman.

Have you ever met someone and the moment they open their mouth, you feel like you’re being taken advantage of? Well, this was THAT guy.

He was your typical old-school salesman.

He took us over to mattress #1 and told us to lay down.

It was nice. Soft, comfortable and it was rather affordable.

But the game wasn’t over yet.

He asked us to try mattress #2 so we did and wow. It was really comfortable, and of course $300 more, but hey…can you put a price on a good night’s sleep? That was the theory he was working with at the time and we fell for it.

Of course, mattress #2 wasn’t the final stop. There was 1 more mattress to try and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

And the price…well…it was way way way out of our price range, and we told him that.

But of course, he had a solution.


Being young and stupid, we fell for that trick and soon enough the Sleep Country truck was pulling up to our house with our nice new mattress and 30 days later, payments starting coming out of our bank account. Just 3 short years and that baby would be paid off.

And to be fair, it was a comfortable mattress for about 2.75 years. Just long enough for the mattress warranty to be over.

While this mattress seemed robust for such an expensive item, it was no match for my odd sleeping position. Less than 3 years after we bought it we were stuck with a mattress that had changed enough that it wasn’t very comfortable for either of us.

Now what? We had a mattress that we still owed money on, but we needed another one.

Thankfully, because we had purchased a premium mattress, it still had some resale value and we were able to sell it for about 15% of what we paid for it. We sold it without having another one to sleep on because we knew we could always sleep on the cheap double bed in the spare room for a few days.

And then, one night we were wandering around Canadian Tire, and we found a solution.

Yes, we bought a mattress at Canadian Tire.

Quite a new invention at the time, but it was a mattress in a box. It was affordable and we thought “what do we have to lose?”

So, we bought the Spring Air mattress and took it home.

Basically, these mattresses are wrapped very tightly and vacuum sealed so when you cut the cord holding them together, they just spring to life. After about a day or two, it had inflated itself to the size of a normal mattress.

There was only one problem. We had sold the premium mattress and the box spring, so we needed another boxspring. I looked at them online and decided that I was fine with a used one since it just goes under the mattress.

I actually found one on Kijiji and it was FREE! Yes, it was totally free. We just needed to pick it up and get it to our apartment.

Back to Kijiji. I found a guy with a truck who, for $20, would go to the persons’ house, pick it up and bring it to us.

The plan was coming together.

And then the free box spring arrived.

The Racoon

The “new to us” box spring was a little rough around the edges. And it would seem that a raccoon had recently enjoyed a stroll across it, leaving paw prints behind.

We didn’t really want to spend any more money on this whole mattress ordeal, so we decided we would just put a white sheet over the top of the box spring and forget about it.

Every time we moved, we were reminded of the raccoon prints and had to explain it to the people helping us move. It always made for a few good laughs.

We were on a roll for about 8 years with the Canadian Tire mattress, until both the box spring and the mattress started to fail. Again, there was a huge crater where I slept and the box spring had started to make squeaky noises every time I moved.

It was time. We needed a new box spring and mattress.

Older and wiser…

This time, we went to a discount mattress store, we had the cash to pay for it and we bought a mattress and box spring that was well within our means.

And now, for over 3 years this mattress has served us well. We try to turn the mattress every few months, but the crater is starting to form again.  This is just a never-ending battle…

And what happened to the Canadian Tire mattress and raccoon box spring?

About 4 months ago it was retired from being our spare bed and it went out with the trash.

I was so surprised to learn that the city of London will pick up mattresses with our regular garbage pick up. One morning we watched eagerly as the garbage men picked it up and squished in between the hydraulics of the garbage truck.

I’m hoping we can get another 2 to 3 years out of our current mattress setup.

And now I’m going to sound like an old man…

They just don’t make things like they used to.



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