on memory foam and not being wrong

E’s old bed was made of stones and glass and bricks and sandpaper and springs and barbed wires and very small rocks and churches and a duck, and it was pretty much awful. It squeaked when you turned over or made any sudden movements at all, really, and it sagged in the middle and no one, but no one, could get a restful night’s sleep on it. Well, I got a restful night’s sleep on it, all the time, because I can pretty much sleep through anything at all if I am horizontal and I have got a pillow. The dogs slept on it fine, too. They just wanted warm bodies and to be tucked in because they are extremely spoiled.

But E was miserable, and woke up with a hurting back and hip every morning, and it was not pleasant generally to lie on and cuddle in and it was just an old, ugly creaky bed that needed replacing, badly. He had gotten it from Guatemalans next door some number of years ago, and it was already some number of years old, and I was fully in favor of ditching it and burning it and then burying the ashes, and even offered to help pay for the replacement bed, which with our combined resources could have a pillow top and be made of diamonds! He was not down with this idea–either the diamonds or the pillow top.



It was the stuff of many discussions. By which I mean I said but
(insert very rational and brilliant argument that would sway the angels
and make them weep)
, and he said no. But–No. He was dead set on
getting a temper-posture-space-age memory foam kind of bed thing that
is supposed to heal the sick and bring joy to the lonely and hatch
puppies and give best man toasts at weddings and sing. I have heard
nothing but terrible things about beds made of foam, things about
rotting and sinking and becoming filled with bugs and mold and moldy
bugs and swamp water and pigeons. He challenged my declarations.
“Where’d you hear that?” he said. “Sources!” he demanded. It turned out I
had none. But I had a very bad feeling! Wasn’t it enough that I had a
very bad feeling?

Not enough. We went to Costco, where they sell beds, and there it was–a
temper-posture-space-age memory foam bed, queen-sized, bundled up in a
tiny little box. How the hell do they do that? Squish it down to
envelope size? It was amazing, and extremely space age. I believed that
this bed was from the future and made with science, and I thought that
well, maybe I would consider the possibility of perhaps giving it a
chance, this bed of research and industry, and perhaps it would, in
fact, cure cancer in baby lemurs and make the blind see.

I was not there to see him unleash the bed, but by all accounts it
sprung from its box like Athena from the head of Zeus, all impressive,
and nearly put everyone’s eyes out. The bed is about three times as
thick as the mattress of doom, and the sheets don’t fit very well on
it, but that night E crawled into bed, pulled the blankets to his chin,
and sacked right the hell out amidst the weird chemical smell of the
foam, which I assumed was what made him think he had the greatest night
of sleep he’d ever had ever in the history of nights, and sleeping, and
greatness. I was skeptical. I slept over the next night, and crawled in
with extreme trepidation.

Oh my god, I said. It feels like pudding. Like thick, greasy pudding.
It is wonderful pudding, E said. Just lie down. Lie down and feel the
pudding. I laid down, and I sunk straight into the earth. It’s kind
of–cradling me, I said. It’s interesting. Yes! E would have said,
except he was already asleep with his mouth open.

When I woke up the next morning, I was surprised to find that I had not
been smothered to death by the memory foam creeping up over my body and
swallowing me whole. In fact, I would venture to say that I had had a
good night’s sleep. A pleasant one. A ridiculously comfortable one,
okay? Memory foam is comfortable, and I am sad when I go home to my own
bed. I am holding out, though–I might not be entirely wrong. It
absolutely could still rot or become filled with small fishes or green
mold or just spontaneously disintegrate into its component molecules.
And then I will expect an apology.

  7 comments for “on memory foam and not being wrong

  1. Cait
    June 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I can’t wait until I can afford a memory foam bed. Until then I have to make do with my memory foam pillow (also purchased at Costco!), which is the Eighth Wonder of the World.

  2. June 12, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I always felt like I had premature grandma-type aches and pains in my back and hips. When my S.O. and I sprung for a Tempurpedic, the pain instantly went away. For reals. I’m a little worried that it’s going to be hot in the summer with the way the foam cradles your body, but it’s a great, great bed.

  3. June 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    If you do not wish to shell out the cash for the foam, try the following on your old mattress:
    (1) cheap egg-crate mattress topper from Wal-Mart or Target
    (2) Featherbed mattress topper
    (3) cheap mattress pad that fits like a fitted sheet over the preceding two items
    (4) regular deep-pocket fitted sheet
    It’s like being in your own little fluffy feathery nest even if you have a craptastic 10-year-old mattress that was cheap as hell to begin with.
    If you adhere to these steps, it doesn’t fall off the bed as much…if you just do the sheet, or just do the featherbed, it moves a lot and you have to fix it every night. The combo means you only have to really fix it when you change the sheets.

  4. whyme63
    June 12, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I know nothing about rotting and sinking and becoming filled with bugs and mold and moldy bugs and swamp water and pigeons.
    I do know that every time I’ve slept on one–OMG, the HOT! HOT! Suffocatingly HOT! Last time I slept on Mom’s guest bed, I lasted all of 45 minutes, before spending the rest of the night on the floor.

  5. June 13, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I have a 3-inch memory foam mattress topper and it’s AMAZING. Actually I bought one and then I convinced my boyfriend to buy one when I said, no really, lay down, and he said, this is amazing, and I said, yes, I know. Then we got married and now we have two. Hurrah!

  6. June 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    We have one and I hate it! It is too hard. And if you are a person of size and you sink into it you have to get momentum going to get out of it. My partner loves it…I am stuck with it for 20 years or so I guess.

  7. Perrey
    September 23, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Did E get the brand-name mattress or did he go for a knock-off?

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