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Mattress Time to Live

Mattress time to live? Consumer Reports says ten years based on testing and survey results. That’s about $0.30 per night. If you’re waking up with sciatica or hip pain, consider replacing your mattress first and then your hip.

Featured image courtesy of Casper.Com

Dismal Wizard has determined that the service life of a mattress is shorter than 35 years. About the time he retired in 2013, the back ache began. Was it stupid technique schlepping yard debris or something more sinister. Most likely both.

The Dismal not-so-big bed was a nice Simmons mattress set bought around 1985 before vulture capital swooped on Simmons, Sealy, Serta, well all the domestic mattress makers, to optimize them into a tidy profitable monopoly. American mattress quality promptly went to hell in a hand basket as verified and denounced by Consumer Reports product evaluations. So I was reluctant to trade the trusty old mattress for new.

Meanwhile Consumer Reports reader surveys determined that mattress life was about 10 years, give or take. And the Dismal Back started complaining that it was time with siatica, and hip tendon pain. Some experimentation determined that sleeping posture was involved.

Image courtesy of Rocky

Two things affect sleeping posture, Rocky and saggy mattresses. It was easier to replace the mattress so I started there.



For mattresses, Consumer Reports is your friend!

Consumer Products strong suite is household product evaluation. Using standard evaluation methods and product development testing methods, CR performs the sorts of tests that a manufacturer uses to vette new designs before taking them to market. Since Consumer Reports buys products incognito, it is not subject to manufacturer influence. In fact, a manufacturer does not know a product is being reviewed until the review publishes.

CR are particularly good for mattresses which they test for proper support, freedom from neighbor effects, and support durability using a robot to simulate a sleeper boarding and moving about. So I sorted the reviews by recommended product, eliminated all the vulture capital brands, looking to focus on disruptive market entrants who were receiving top marks. Casper caught my eye several times over the years so I ordered an Original Hybrid queen and the Casper platform bed to go with it.

A Flat Pack Bed and Mattress?

Yep, indeed. I needed help putting it together so when church called to check on me, I asked if the caring team folks had anybody who could help build a bed. They located three volunteers and we went at it on Sunday after church. We were all more than two weeks from our second jabs so we all unmasked and went to work.

Platform Bed image courtesy of

The platform bed frame is a low post and rail style including a robust powder coated fame, 5 support posts (one under the center rail). The headboard is optional. Not having a headboard for 15 years convinced me I wanted one again. So I ordered the oak headboard. It appears to be edge banded oak veneer over MDF which is sturdy and is stable in humidity variations.

The frame screws together using hex set screws. The screws are pre-positioned where they are needed and the parts align simply. Just torque up the fasteners with the tee-handle Allen wrench provided.

Assembly is a 2 person job as the headboard and mattress are awkward for one. One person can assemble the frame provided they support the rails on crates until the legs are attached and tightened. The slats are attached ribbon. Roll them up, place the roll on the rails, and unroll. Set the snaps to hold them in place.

Place the mattress atop the platform with the up side up. Then mattress internals have and up and down with the enclosed coil springs down and a foam layer on top that includes “memory” foam and open cell “cool” foam. The mattress may be turned very six months but is never flipped.

Well How Does it Sleep?

Pain free! on either side and back. Support is excellent. Mounting and dismounting are easy. The top of the mattress is knee high so posture is right for standing from a sitting position at the rail. Rolling up to seated position is easy. The foam is not swallowing you so badly that rolling to a seated position is difficult. (We think about this stuff when we get old, duh).

What does Rocky Think?

I’ve been recovering from bladder repairs so tossing and turning a good bit. Rocky kept to his cot the first night. Monday night, he took a spot up top with me. He likes it that me moving around does not jostle him (he can be snappish about that). He likes that extra six inches. We both do. He can stretch out across the foot yet leave foot room for me or he can stretch out along the rail without worry about hanging off or having feet in the danger zone. We’ve not tried both at once since Rocky first came home and Missy took zombie watch.

Rocky on the somewhat bigger bed

Rocky is a serial killer of pillows

The first gift with purchase pillow lived all of 10 minutes. Rocky will kill a bed pillow on sight. All except IKEA LURVIG dog cushions.

LURVIG Cushion Image courtesy of IKEA

There is something about these, probably the light canvas cover and zipped closure, that protects them from instant attack. We’ve had our current pair for about 9 months. They go right in the wash when they get a bit dingy. The pillow is actually close to a queen pillow in size and the thickness is right for back sleeping. Folded, it is good for side sleeping.

Rocky has 3 IKEA throw pillows that he carries around. He has 3 because he killed one. Just one. No idea why he stopped after the first one. Had the zipper started to creep open? Were there Zombies inside the dead one?

By davehamby

A modern Merlin, hell bent for glory, he shot the works and nothing worked.