Sunday, August 27, 2017

We Bought a Mattress in a Box

Middle-aged people are not used to the idea of buying a mattress in a box. 

We grew up in an era when mattresses were displayed in giant warehouse stores where THIS WEEKEND ONLY they would be blowing out Serta’s at rock bottom prices.

The last time that I bought a mattress, I went to a traditional showroom full of innerspring pillowtops, because that was good and proper in the olden days circa 2006. I remember lying down, trying to get a feel for a mid-range Sealy Comfort-Pedic. 

As I self-consciously considered factors such as back and neck support, a salesman hovered over my prone form and asked intrusive questions about what kind of sleeper I was. “Back or side?” he said with a smile. “Alone or with a partner?” It was all very awkward, and vaguely upsetting.

I did, however, have some specific sleep concerns on that trip to the mattress store.

I’ve had a type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis (A.S.) for a long time. It’s an inflammatory condition that causes pain and sometimes fusion in the spine and other places in the body. Basically, it’s an autoimmune disease that pretty much sucks. And it makes finding a comfortable way to sleep feel like an eternal struggle.

In 2006, I didn’t want to share the personal details of my medical history with a mattress salesman that I’d just met. At the time, most people had never heard of A.S. Things are different now, though, thanks in large part to a twenty-something lead singer named Dan Reynolds.

This GRAMMY-winning frontman for Imagine Dragons is talking openly about his experience with A.S. to raise awareness. His willingness to give voice to the pain and struggle that he had endured in isolation is now empowering people around the world, including me, to do the same.

I don’t know what kind of mattress Dan Reynolds sleeps on when he’s not on tour, but after countless hours of web research, I can tell you which one I ordered for me and Tom: the Casper Wave.

Here it is, before we unpacked it. Our new Queen-sized mattress arrived in a box. UPS delivered it to our door, along with a matching foundation. The foundation, for middle-aged readers, is what we used to call a box spring, back at the turn of the millennium, when these kinds of things all still had springs in them.

In my next post, I’ll show you what it looked like when Tom and I unpacked the new bed and foundation, and put the whole thing together. Spoiler Alert: It was easier and more fun than you might think.

Thanks for reading!

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