Monday, July 23, 2007


I had a fairly productive weekend, working on various items from my 'Things To Do That Need To Be Done' list.

Item 7, 'Put a riser on that one sprinkler in the front yard so that it doesn't bury itself all the time', took a couple of minutes and a little plastic part from the hardware store.

Item 10, 'Stain, then oil, the bedside tables in the spare room', took a little longer. The tables in question are raw pine, purchased for some oppressively low price at Ikea, and without any protective coating they were getting dusty and grimy. I've stained them, and a large portion of myself, a light jarrah colour to match the room's built-in wardrobes. The stain didn't have any large-font exhortations to only use in a well-ventilated area, so I just did it in the dining room. Although there was a bit of a chemical smell in the air, it didn't seem all that bad. However, I woke up several times in the night to find my nostrils filled with their stink. They were in another room, on the far side of the house, and they'd been done twelve hours earlier, but somehow the smell was so bad that it found its way through the airconditioning ducts and woke me up. Satan himself could have been sitting on my bedside table, rubbing his feet with gorgonzola, and it wouldn't have smelled as bad.

Item 5, 'Buy a new pillow and a new mattress', was something I've been putting off for months, possibly years. Mattresses are a) expensive, b) boring and c) uniformly comfy when you lie on them in the shop. I tried one that cost $600 and one that cost $3,500, and they both felt fine. How can you lie on something for thirty seconds and realise, "Yes, this is the one that will feel best over eight hours and also still feel best in ten years' time"?

Perhaps the mattress shop people would allow me to lie on their beds for hours, over several visits, but that would entail going to the mattress shop again and again and again, spending hours there each time, and frankly, I had trouble going there just once for half an hour.

In the end, I subscribed to the notion that if you throw enough money at a problem you can't fail. If you buy an expensive mattress more or less at random, perhaps it won't be the best one there is for the money, but it won't actually be bad. I didn't buy the $3,500* one, but I bought another one that, even on sale and with a degree of haggling, cost more than a month's mortgage payments.

*I do question why mattresses are so expensive. Even the $3,500 one was basically just a big bag of springs and foam. For $3,500 I'd want angels to gently bear me off to sleep in their arms while Franz Joseph Haydn played soothing meoldies on a ghostly piano forte.


Anonymous fishgosquish said...

The Chaser looked at the whole 'let's spend a small fortune on a matress after trying it out for 30 seconds' a few months ago. As usual, I was incredibly suprised no one got arrested as they chose to give a variety of matresses different 'tests'... I really hope you didn't follow their example

8:43 AM  
Anonymous TroyG said...

I wish I'd known you were in the market: I used to sell beds for a time. The whole expense depends on the thickness of the wire, whether it's single wire springs or coiled springs, how many springs there, the type of comfort material used, how thick the mattress is, the number of 'zones' (go for 5, not 3) and the type of covering they use.

I'd tell people to lie on the bed for at least 10 minutes, ideally half-an-hour; it takes that long for the mattress to properly depress. If they tell you no, leave the shop.

The most comfortable type of material for a mattress is latex. It is also best for minimal disturbance. They last two to three times longer than a standard mattress, but they're more expensive: $3,500 would be middle-range for a mattress (not including the box base). They also do this synthetic type which astronauts use: can't remember the name. The quality of the latex depends on where it's made, though. Europe or America or Australia is fine, generally. It should take 8 hours to make a single mattress. And be sure the latex hasn't been mixed with mud. (Seriously.) You need latex at least 6 inches deep, the synthetic stuff can be thinner.

Finally, get someone to help you move the mattress: they are VERY heavy.

Otherwise, get a body pillow. Mmm, comfy...

Apart from this- go for whatever's comfortable.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Dang it, Troyg, I should have remembered that you used to work in mattresses! Although not in the sense to which fishgosquish alludes :)

2:07 PM  

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