Author Topic: Bed vs Floor Futon  (Read 29108 times)

Donovan

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Bed vs Floor Futon
« on: July 20, 2012, 03:42:19 PM »
I've recently starting sleeping on the floor of my room as an experiment to see if, once I move out, I would be ok with replacing a traditional bed with a foldable futon full-time.  For the last week I've been sleeping on a makeshift one constructed from a thin foam egg-crate and a 1" camping pad covered with an old comforter.  Total thickness of the contraption is 3" or less, and the whole contraption can be folded up and stored in the bottom of my closet in less than a minute.

I've only been at this for a week, but so far the experience has been surprisingly pleasant. The first two nights were a bit restless, but I now fall asleep just as quickly I used to and sleep through the night. I've noticed some soreness in the morning, but I'm not sure if it's been due to the arrangement or an unusually hard week in the gym.

I was actually inspired to try this from a picture of a similar arrangement in a very small bedroom, along with some simple math.  My family has a fairly large house and bedrooms, yet much of this space is taken up by beds (25% of the floor space in both my own room and my parents room!)  This seems like a gross waste to live with long-term if other, foldable options are just as serviceable.  It seems that becoming accustomed to this would allow me to live in a space with much smaller bedrooms without losing any utility.

Has anyone else tried or considered this transition?  If so, how did it go, an were you able to sustain it long-term?
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AJ

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 04:18:41 PM »
We tried to use an old fold out couch as a bed at one time. The bars were way too uncomfortable, but I think we could have managed with just the mattress on the floor. In our very small house, it makes sens for us to have a high bed to utilize the storage space underneath, but it sounds like its worth a shot!

velocistar237

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 06:12:41 PM »
We have one of these, in the full size. When we had family live with us for a few months, we gave them our bedroom while we slept on the futon on the living room floor. It was a little uncomfortable, but we managed without too much issue. I had to sleep a particular way to avoid back pain. I might have avoided that back pain if I had exercised more regularly. My wife was pregnant into her second term during that time, and she was fine. YMMV. During the day, we kept it behind the couch, and that's where it is now for when we have guests.

The one I linked above is expensive, but there aren't that many other sources for traditional Japanese futons in the U.S. It would take some work, but someone could probably make one themselves. It's just a heavy twill fabric sewn and stuffed with raw cotton and then tufted.

James

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 06:21:51 PM »
I've always thought the idea of a bed folding up and out of the way during the day made a lot of sense.  For me I'd probably go with a bed mattress on a frame that folded up to the wall, simply because it is very quick and easy while still being a "real" bed.  I've slept on many couch beds and futons, and never had one I'd be happy with for every night.  (Though I'm sure I could get used to many things that I don't necessarily like)
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Donovan

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 06:29:20 PM »
Those J-Life ones were some of the best that I've seen so far in looking around.  They are a bit pricey, but they also seem pretty durable. And, compared to a normal mattress, they come out ahead if they last longer (which they might, considering they shouldn't sink or become malformed with use).

I don't want to deal with a fold up bed really.  Part of why I like this idea is that it's ultimately portable.  You could feasibly throw it in another room if you needed to for sleeping (say your normal room is covered in some project for a week), and if you need to move it's a simple matter of packing it up rather than disassembling, moving, and reassembling a large folding bed frame.  Plus, I will likely be renting for a while and I doubt that an apartment landlord would like me building large bed frames onto his wall :P
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velocistar237

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 07:20:55 PM »
If treated well, a Japanese futon could last 30 years. Treating it well is involves airing it out in the sun and beating it, though, which I've never done.

Would you need to attach a Murphy bed to the wall?

Gerard

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 07:45:42 PM »
I find a firm foam mattress right on the floor very comfortable. I have to do stretching exercises for my back anyway, so I have no idea whether the floor is comfortable or whether my stretches make it so.

One thing I would consider -- if you're doing this is so that you can use the same space for other stuff during the day, you might need to worry about whether sleeping that low is letting you breathe in whatever is left on the floor by that other stuff. Many floor sleepers seem to end up with respiratory problems.
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Perpetual_Student

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 09:40:19 PM »
I think you should GO FOR IT!

I lived in Korea for a year and slept on a yo (korean mattress) for quite a bit of that time.  Here's a video of some lady with an unidentifiable accent breaking it down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9G5TFIdhnk.  She is going buckwild with the layers - I never used more than the thin mattress, comforter, and pillow.

The bit at the end is important.  If I were you, I'd find a heated mattress pad in the size of your choice and put your thin mattress on top.  Sleeping on a yo on a Korean ondol (heated floor) is the most relaxing thing ever...you just melt like a pat of butter.  That's not necessary for summer, but in the winter, sleeping on a cold floor SUCKS.  The floor pulls the heat from your body and leaves you cold and stiff all night and the next day.

We currently have a Cal king mattress on the floor - mold isn't a problem as this is burning-down-dry Colorado, so we don't have a frame to keep the mattress off the carpet.  We hung a huge tapestry on the wall and jury-rigged a headboard that just rests against the wall behind the head of our mattress and gives us somewhere to lean when we watch Netflix in bed.  That helps with the classiness of the mattress on the floor thing.  The great thing about a yo is that you can fold it up and get it out of the way.  Studio living becomes ridiculously easy when you don't need to find room for a bed, and studio living is CHEAP (Mustachian!).

In the future, I'd really like to get some thick memory foam in the same size and slap a heated pad on or under it.  I still miss the days of ondol sleeping...it was amazing!

TheFuzz

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 10:15:35 PM »
I slept on the floor from August of last year until this past May. I loved it. It helped a lot of the nagging lower back problems I was having (note, if you're in your early 20's like me and have back problems...something's wrong so do something about it!). I'm talking a sheet laid on top of carpet, no sleeping pads/thick blankets. It also made me a 'back' sleeper vs. a 'side' sleeper which my shoulders thank me for.

I say: GO FOR IT! Trying new things is an amazing way to learn more about yourself. You may hate it more than anything you have ever experienced, but you won't die and you'll know never to try that again. Building hardship into life is also a great way of realizing how good you have it. It's like a good slap in the face. I'm pretty sure MMM has a post about that somewhere...

That said, when you're ready for a bed just build your own. I built mine for $40 in materials plus tool costs (find/make a friend and borrow their measuring tape, hand saw, and drill) and I got a clean mattress on craigslist for $50. It's a great first project if you haven't done much woodworking. Just do an internet search for 'make your own bed' and pick your favorite.

EDIT: as some have noted, vacuum/clean that floor so you're not breathing in a ton of dust and dirt while you're sleeping.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 10:18:14 PM by TheFuzz »

Uncephalized

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 11:00:21 PM »
My wife and I sleep on a 2" extra-firm natural latex mattress topper, right on the floor. We don't fold it up during the day or anything, we just never got around to buying a bed frame and it's actually quite comfortable. We usually sleep well. Thumbs up to sleeping on the floor, I say.

DigitalRain

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2012, 01:12:23 AM »
I slept straight on the floor for about a year. Takes a few days to get used to it, but I started to really like it and my back felt great. I'm back to a bed now, but the floor is totally doable and I'm glad I tried it out. And as mentioned, you can't beat the square footage footprint.

Grigory

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 02:45:16 PM »
Personally, I'm a big fan of air mattresses. They're comfortable, cheap and can be transported way easier than beds or futons.
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igthebold

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 12:07:12 PM »
In college I slept on a thick comforter as a mattress on carpet for 2 years. Worked great, and like the Korean mattress, I'd roll it up and put it away for the day. I'm still inclined toward that (would love the extra floor space), but haven't tried to sell anyone in my family on the idea. :)

Perpetual_Student

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 03:45:59 PM »
In college I slept on a thick comforter as a mattress on carpet for 2 years. Worked great, and like the Korean mattress, I'd roll it up and put it away for the day. I'm still inclined toward that (would love the extra floor space), but haven't tried to sell anyone in my family on the idea. :)

Yeah, Mr. PS would whine a lot, I suspect.  I was considering looking for a thick wool mattress topper and making that work.  I'll have to keep an eye on CL because those things run EXPENSIVE.

Currently we don't need much extra space, but Inshallah I get into veterinary school, and then it's ON.

keith

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 04:38:11 PM »
We have one of these

Funny that you mentioned this, I was literally checking out their site a couple weeks ago. Next month I'm downsizing my living space to a bedroom, and my queen size mattress and box spring will waste far too much space in the room. I have been wanting to check out alternative options and stumbled upon that site. A twin size futon sounds like it may be a good option for me.

Couple questions:

1. I assume you were placing the futon directly on the floor, correct? Or do you have it up on a platform (like pictured on the site)?

2. Do you know if it makes any difference in the comfort one way or the other to use a platform? The platform on the site looks awesome, but is expensive and costly to ship. Would love to figure out how to build my own or something.

3. Did you actually order the futon directly from them? Or was it another retailer? Wanted to confirm they were indeed trustworthy to order from.

velocistar237

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2012, 07:25:15 PM »
1. I assume you were placing the futon directly on the floor, correct? Or do you have it up on a platform (like pictured on the site)?

We put it on a rug, so it was not quite on the hardwood floor. We wanted to tuck the futon completely away, which we couldn't do with the platform.

2. Do you know if it makes any difference in the comfort one way or the other to use a platform? The platform on the site looks awesome, but is expensive and costly to ship. Would love to figure out how to build my own or something.

I don't know whether the platform makes a difference, though I have read that it does. If you poke around on Youtube, you can find videos where people put a layer of foam under their futon. There is a local store that actually carried the J-Life futon, and their display included a platform and tatami, but I didn't spend much time on it.

3. Did you actually order the futon directly from them? Or was it another retailer? Wanted to confirm they were indeed trustworthy to order from.

I did order the futon from them. I saw some complaints about delivery time online, but they might have figured that out, since I placed our order on Friday and received the futon on Monday morning, with just regular shipping. I think they ship from New Jersey.

igthebold

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2012, 07:42:02 AM »
2. Do you know if it makes any difference in the comfort one way or the other to use a platform? The platform on the site looks awesome, but is expensive and costly to ship. Would love to figure out how to build my own or something.

I don't know whether the platform makes a difference, though I have read that it does. If you poke around on Youtube, you can find videos where people put a layer of foam under their futon. There is a local store that actually carried the J-Life futon, and their display included a platform and tatami, but I didn't spend much time on it.

I will note that it's something you can get used to. Hotel beds in Japan are "firm" like a futon on the floor would probably be, so it's just how they sleep. You have to want to get used to it, though. :)

keith

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 08:54:49 AM »
Cool, thanks for the info guys.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2012, 01:04:43 PM »
Thirded for looking at the J Life futons!  I don't have any furniture whatsoever (Army furniture in my first apartment, and my second came fully furnished), and I was looking at the futons (I slept on an American futon for a year in college with no problems, I hate soft beds).  Thanks for the review vstar.

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2012, 05:22:18 PM »
http://boulderfurnitureandmattress.com/mattresses/futon/3-100-cotton-traditonal-japanese-futon-mattress.html

This looks like a great option to me (caveat: I live nearby) and they do custom sizes.

Look locally and you may find something that will work, or a manufacturer that can work with you.

It also depends on how hard a bed you like.  A sheepskin rug large enough to sleep on could be quite dreamy.

Also: don't remember that when you fold your mattress in thirds, to always fold so that the floor sides touch each other and not your sleeping side.  Fold it like an S.  Also work out a good floor cleaning system.  A clean floor is a good place to sleep!

HeidiO

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2012, 02:05:46 AM »
  My last house had very small bedrooms.  We used an old waterbed frame w/ drawers underneath (often free or $20 on craigslist.) Lose the headboard.  We cut down the "box" the waterbed mattress sits in, so it was about 3 inches tall, so it wasn't visible.  Viola, it became an attractive captain's bed, instead of a dated 1980's throw-back.  Enough storage we didn't need dressers, and good if you have allergies - no dust under the bed.
  We've since given it to our son.  Painted it black, got rid of 1 of the 2 layers of drawers, so it is now about the height of a platform bed.  Made a headboard by making a rectangle of wood, covered it in a layer of batting then a layer of (vinyl) black leather from the discount bin at a Fabric store ($2 a yard.)  Now it looks very masculine and modern.
  I know this isn't exactly what you are talking about, but if maximising a small bedroom is your goal, storaage without dressers is another option.
Heidi

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2012, 04:24:09 AM »
Another great idea I would not have thought of, thanks!

reverend

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2012, 11:52:52 PM »
I slept on the floor from August of last year until this past May. I loved it. It helped a lot of the nagging lower back problems I was having (note, if you're in your early 20's like me and have back problems...something's wrong so do something about it!). I'm talking a sheet laid on top of carpet, no sleeping pads/thick blankets. It also made me a 'back' sleeper vs. a 'side' sleeper which my shoulders thank me for.

The theory is that you hurt in the pressure points of a solid floor under you (like in a cave from our caveman days?) so you twist and turn a little more, which is better for the back, muscles and whatnot.  I can't speak for the veracity of the claim though.

I have a futon bed, which I *really* like. I slapped a memory foam mattress on it because I prefer a more solid surface to sleep on, but yet a little 'give' in it.

Mr Mark

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2012, 09:36:35 PM »
You should have a great proper bed - get a second hand king frame, high quality mattress (new) and top it with 2" of memory foam. We sleep a 1/3 of our lives. For a bit of cash, for that 8 hours a day you can live as well as Bill Gates.

Sleeping in a cheap uncomfortable bed is pretty silly, IMHO.
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jbhernandez

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2012, 11:31:28 PM »
If I was really cramped for space I would probably go this route. Though that means building it yourself.

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2012, 08:51:15 AM »
We've been sleeping on a futon on the floor for 20+ years and wouldn't go back to a "traditional" bed for anything.  (We're in our 40's now.) Definitely do your research and get the best mattress and bedding you can afford - your body will thank you!

Oddly enough, the only time we've slept in a regular bed is when we lived in Japan - our hosts insisted that we take the "nice" bed!
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madhadron

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2012, 11:21:23 PM »
When I moved back from Europe and sold my bed there (which was the most comfortable I've ever owned), I decided I didn't want the hassle of having to move a bed ever again, and bought myself a nice shikibuton and topper from a local company here in Seattle. I folded it up during the day and my bedroom in my shared house went from tiny (with the king size bed that was in it when I arrived) to enormously spacious. Plus I would use my bed as a backrest during the day while I lolled on the floor.

That being said, try various combinations of different shikibutons and toppers at a store to find what you need to be comfortable.

I no longer sleep on the floor. Why? Because now we have a loft bed on top of the closet, which gets us up to the top of the house for one of the best views of the city and sound you can get in this town. It's a nice thing to wake up to. Still just a mattress on wood, though...

FrugalShrew

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2016, 11:39:57 AM »
I am going to be moving soon, and am planning to ditch my bed and try a floor mattress!!

I already love sleeping on the floor anytime I can. On a carpeted floor, I don't need anything more than a blanket under me (to deal with the scratchiness of carpeting). I actually was sleeping on the hardwood floor in my apartment for awhile earlier this year on just a yoga mat, but it was causing me bruises on the pressure points on the sides of my legs when I slept on my side. I think the yoga mat just wasn't enough.

I should have just gotten rid of the bed and gotten a futon mattress then, but the bed has been nice to have when one of my parents comes to visit and I'm able to give them my bed to sleep on. I have a cheap futon, but guests have told me it's not very comfortable, so I'll have to brainstorm a more comfortable set up next time a parent comes to visit.

I'm thinking of ordering a roll-up floor mattress from D&D Futon Furniture (http://www.amazon.com/Futon-Furniture-Traditional-Japanese-Mattresses/dp/B003VQNM2I/ref=pd_sim_196_3?ie=UTF8&dpID=41Lx76n1hWL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=1SKM0MH1VDQ7ZEHAE795). Anybody tried one of these before?

mariajohnson245

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2017, 08:07:12 AM »
It would be great for you to get a foldable mattress. It's very easy to use. Simply open the cover and flip it up and make your bed. It doesn't take a lot of time to fold up of flip up.

Optimiser

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Re: Bed vs Floor Futon
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2017, 08:30:16 AM »
I slept on the floor from August of last year until this past May. I loved it. It helped a lot of the nagging lower back problems I was having (note, if you're in your early 20's like me and have back problems...something's wrong so do something about it!). I'm talking a sheet laid on top of carpet, no sleeping pads/thick blankets. It also made me a 'back' sleeper vs. a 'side' sleeper which my shoulders thank me for.

The theory is that you hurt in the pressure points of a solid floor under you (like in a cave from our caveman days?) so you twist and turn a little more, which is better for the back, muscles and whatnot.  I can't speak for the veracity of the claim though.

I have a futon bed, which I *really* like. I slapped a memory foam mattress on it because I prefer a more solid surface to sleep on, but yet a little 'give' in it.

Check out Katy Bowman's work if you want to read more about this. She is a biomechanist and sleeps on a thin foam mattress on the floor.