Saturday, June 04, 2011

Big Girl Bed!

Hey, here's a non-food post for a change. But I am SO excited, I have to share!

I believe I bought a new mattresses in the year of our Lord two thousand...or perhaps it was even 1999 (sing it!). I could only afford the no-name mattress and box springs at the time (well, not even that--had to pay it off in installments), and I put it on a used set of rails. When I moved into my new house, the first priority was to replace the old, ripped, stained, pet-hairy living room furniture. We just got that paid off last month, so it was finally time to turn attention to a new mattress AND head and footboards!  TWELVE LONG YEARS I slept on that tired old saggy mattress, and I wanted to acquire the best sleep experience that I could afford (ok, on a 12-month-same-as-cash payment plan, tee hee). 

Choosing a mattress is a daunting task. There are so many choices and differences of opinion, and it's practically impossible to compare models because every retailer calls them by different brand names. So what guided me was two hotel experiences that I had. One was in 2004 at a Crowne Plaza where I slept in the most heavenly bed (I think a lot of it had to do with the many layers of luxurious bedclothes and the lovely lavender linen spray), and then just this past April where I had another wonderful few nights' sleep at a Sheraton. Somehow the bed there was both soft and fluffy but firm as well. I made it my business to figure out how they achieved that effect.

Some internet research yielded a Travel and Leisure article from 2005 that revealed that the Crowne Plaza beds were Serta Perfect Sleepers with 800 coils and a foam topper. Hilton and some Marriotts also favor the Serta Perfect Sleeper. Sheratons use Sealy Posturepedic plush tops with 899 coils. I confirmed that the bed I slept on in Charlotte in April was a Sealy Posturepedic by pulling back the covers and inspecting the label. There was also a mattress topper on that bed, hence, the fluffy-yet-firm feeling. Sealy Posturepedic is also used by Four Seasons, Hyatt, and Ritz-Carlton. And as a sidebar, for those folks who swear by the "W Heavenly Bed" (as SO many do!), they use a 900 coil count Simmons. So it would seem that Sealy slightly beat out Serta in this sampling of hotel beds, but that the Westin beds garnered the most religious fervor among travellers.

Armed with this knowledge, I headed to the furniture store to lie on some sample mattresses. As predicted, I liked the higher coil count plush models, and then salesperson told me about the newest addition to the Sealy Posturepedic line (that is, of course, middle of the road between regular Sealy and Stearns and Foster, which Sealy recently bought out). The Ashley Furniture brand name was Britta, but you'll no doubt see it called by other monikers. The new twist is, like Simmons mattresses, this model has the individually-wrapped coils for more support and less transfer of motion. I remembered that the "W Heavenly Bed" that everybody swears by is a Simmons (though I have never slept at that fancy hotel myself!). So that pretty much sealed the deal for me. Of course, there were other choices that friends of mine who have recently purchased mattresses raved about, i.e. the Sleep Number Bed (WAY out of my price range!) and Tempurpedic (also beyond my budget, plus I don't like the feel of it, it sleeps too hot for me, and I've read complaints about mold if you don't wipe it down with a bleach solution every so often--no thanks). So the best plush Sealy Posturepedic on the market was my pick.

With the help of my roommate, I chose a lovely modern headboard and footboard (called "Tasha"), and then I set about acquiring the linens. I actually bought a new comforter, cotton knit blankets, and sheets last summer, but as I was healing from major abdominal surgery and had a huge open wound, I didn't want to mess up the new bedding. Plus, I couldn't climb stairs for awhile, so I just slept on the couch for three months, and the new linens remained unopened in the closet. The sheet sets I bought--one dark purple and one lavender--are 400 thread-count cotton sateen (the Sonoma line from Kohl's--wait for a BOGO sale!), and the comforter is something I have coveted since I saw the first "Twilight" movie. Recognize Bella's bedding? It's available at Target! It was sold out for ages, but it finally came back in stock, and I snapped one up. I love the colors and the pattern. Isn't it gorgeous?? TA-DAH! My new big girl bed!

Of course, I bought a new microfiber/waterproof/antimicrobial mattress pad to protect my investment (and comply with the terms of the warranty), but I wanted some kind of mattress topper that would give that soft, fluffy feeling with the supportive mattress underneath. I considered a featherbed, but not only are the good ones terribly expensive, I was worried that it would be too hot for my preferences, plus, I think my dogs are provoked by the animal scents. (They did unmentionable things once in awhile to my old down duvet which couldn't be washed. Ugh!) Furthermore, I wasn't sure that the mattress pad and fitted sheet would go over it (doesn't that go against the purpose of a featherbed anyway, if you mush it down?), and if it went on top, I'd have to buy yet another duvet cover for it that would match everything else. SHEESH! So I decided to go with a down alternative topper. I didn't choose a mattress with a built-in topper because I read that they eventually smash down and that your body creates valleys that don't fluff back up. So I reasoned that it was better to get a separate topper that could be replaced when necessary. Also, the down alternative (polyfill) can be laundered. I found a great deal on ebay, of all places, from a store called Linensmart--$72 for the king with free shipping--and I kid you not, I ordered it online at 2am one night, and had it the next day (technically, the same day)! It is just perfect--like sleeping on a cloud, but the mattress pad and my new sheets still fit over it. WHEW!

Last but not least, I acquired some new Ralph Lauren pillows from T.J. Maxx, and I was good to go (to sleep). Actually, I'd still like a couple of decorative pillows, maybe some big square ones, and when fall rolls around, I will be looking for a down-alternative blanket or duvet of some sort to amp up the warmth factor (on top of the lightweight woven cotton one that I have on there at present), as I basically live in the arctic tundra. But I'm satisfied for now. So there you have it! Waaaaaayyyy too much information, unless you are in the market for a new bed, too. If so, I hope my journey to a better night's sleep helps you in some way. And on that note, I'm off to Bedfordshire. (Name the movie.) Sleep tight, y'all!

P.S. I found this cute little doggy bed for 17 bucks when I was shopping for pillows at T.J. Maxx, and I couldn't resist. EVERYBODY gets a new bed! ;-)


Shelly said...

Your big girl bed adventure was funny and a nice addition to your foodie posts! We are down allergic and love the IKEA brand of down alternative pads and comforters. I know IKEA causes some people to cringe but we have had ours for a year with multiple washings and all is good. Just and FYI if you head to Ottawa any time.

JoyBugaloo said...

Hi, Shelly! Thanks for your comment. I LOVE Ikea, but the closest one is west of Montreal. I will have to check it out next time I'm there. (Any excuse for Swedish meatballs! Tee hee.)

Hannah said...
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