Move That Mattress On The Floor Already!

Admit it. It doesn’t seem right to put your mattress on the floor.

It’s dirty down there and hard to keep clean. There might be bugs. There might be all kinds of conditions on your floor.

Furthermore, the floor is beyond firm; it’s hard. Way too hard.

Floor sleeping doesn’t seem right.

Is that true? Or is it that you’re not used to the idea?

It’s like you’re trying to be a kid at a sleepover again, only it’s the night before you have to go to work, and you’re not having that much fun.


Good points of having the mattress on the floor

It’s comfortable. Really. Perhaps not right away, but you get used to it, and it seems like the right way to sleep after a while. Discomfort goes away. You find that you’re getting better sleep. It’s good for your posture. You sleep cooler, and that’s good for recovery.

Maybe the seemingly crazy people from other cultures and the kids know a thing or two.

Nothing gives better and firmer back support than the floor. There might be a sag in the mattress you were planning to use. One of those springs might be compressed out of all recognition. I’d be willing to bet the feel when you move the mattress to the floor is going to improve a lot.

Having a sag in the bed—especially in the middle—is a good way to bring on lower back pain. The ligaments holding your spine together slowly, slowly, slowly get stretched. You’ll find yourself hurting all throughout the rest of the next day on a mattress resting on a bed frame.

When there’s a sag right in the middle of the bed, it can be tricky to avoid it. You’ll probably end up contorting yourself in a strange position to try to do so. Doing that is a good way to end up with middle and lower back pain as well. People generally do best aligned more or less straightly on their backs or on their sides. Curved like a “C” or a “U” not so much.

You might have been worried about floor sleeping aggravating your allergies. Allergens could settle on the ground, and your nose and mouth might be more prone to breathing them in.

In several months of sleeping on the floor, I didn’t find that. When your mattress is directly on the floor, you’re closer to it. I found myself vacuuming it more. Allergens didn’t have a chance.

Prepare the floor

Get over it. Move the box spring and the frame out of the way. Vacuum up all the dirt, hair, and garbage that has fallen on the rug. Throw the big mattress on the ground and get on your hands and knees and make up the bed. You’ll be happier you did than if you tried to spend another night on that broken-down frame.

You don’t know how good it’ll feel to get rid of that back pain until you actually get rid of it.

Here are a few tips to make sleeping on the floor the best experience possible.

For many people, their experience with deciding whether or not to make their bed on the floor with come about due to travel. They’ll be in a bed that’s not their own, have to get some sleep, and become conflicted about whether it’s better to give up and go to sleep on the floor.

Get a big bowl for your stuff

If you’re the kind of person with stuff they like to keep handy by their bedside, have a bowl available so you can put your stuff in there and keep it all together. A bowl is an on-the-floor version of a bedside table. When you’re up, you can pick it all up together. A lot of stuff gets stuck in our pockets, like change, rubber bands, keys, and folded-up bits of paper. Before trying to sleep on the floor, anticipate this.

Realize it’s good for your fitness

Sleeping on the floor isn’t just for young people. It’s also for people who might be older but want to stay young. One study found people who had a harder time getting up from the floor were more likely to die in the next five years than people who could get up from the floor without using an arm or knee. Sleeping on the floor gives you plenty of opportunities to practice the Sit/Stand Test. It makes sense to have a positive attitude about it.

Then, when you make up your bed, you’ll get a mini-workout.

Of course, you can avoid the workout by using a sleeping bag.

Your physical abilities will improve sleeping on the floor due to the need to get up and stand and the remission and relief of back pain.

Put a little chair in your bedroom

You don’t want to get tired of getting up and down from the floor. If you’re going to be around your house for a while during the day, keeping your mattress on the floor may have you getting up and down from the floor dozens of times.

Just so you don’t, it can be a good idea to have a chair in your room. This will be handy for tying your shoes, rummaging through your bags, and putting the laundry on to put it away.

Of course, you still can put it on your bed but having a chair accessible is nice.

Above all, avoid the sofa sleeper.

For Further Reading:

Why do so many men keep their mattresses on the floor?

Is sleeping on the floor bad?

Will sleeping on the floor every be as groovy as a waterbed?

What’s the one good reason to make your bed every day?

Self-care really means “sleep enough.”



James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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