You know what millennials are really good at? They can sleep just about anywhere.
They can sleep on the couch at a friend’s apartment and not be bothered by the spring that is emerging from the middle of the cushion, or the fact that the friend found this particular couch sitting by the curb on 26th Street. They can somehow curl up on an airline seat–in coach no less–flip up the hood on their sweatshirt, pop on some headphones, and sleep all the way to California. They can sleep in cars, on floors, and while sitting outside an Apple store overnight before a new iPhone comes out. They will even pay money to sleep in the home of a total stranger who is in no way associated with any of the major hotel chains that may at least occasionally launder the sheets.
However, when you get to be my age, you need at least three or four layers of stuff underneath you to get a good night’s sleep. And you’ll still have to get up a couple of times to go to the bathroom.
I mention all this because my wife Barbara and I went mattress shopping recently. Barbara believed our old mattress was possibly from the Clinton administration, and that would be Bill, not some alternative universe where the recent election ended differently.
Mattresses are one of the few things we don’t feel comfortable buying online. I mean, you’ve got to lay on the thing before you buy it, don’t you? And, besides, we think it would be asking too much of Mike, our UPS guy, who already probably hates us.
There are companies now like Casper that will have you believe purchasing a mattress online is actually better than going to a store. “Trying a mattress for 30 seconds in a gimmicky showroom isn’t a smart way to find a bed,“ Casper says. Instead, they offer to send you a mattress smushed into a box for 100 nights. They tell you to:
“Sleep on it, lounge on it, dream on it — if you don’t love it, we’ll pick it up and give you a full refund. No springs attached.”
You might have noticed that certain, um, popular bed-related activities are conspicuously missing from Casper’s list of “things you can do on our mattress during your 100 nights.” I don’t know if those were accidental oversights or intentional omissions that lets Casper void the money-back guarantee if you happen to do something that stains the mattress. You know, like eat Chinese food in bed, or whatever you were thinking of.
Here’s what I want to know about Casper’s offer: What does Casper do with the mattresses people return? Their FAQ page did not have an answer to this question, so I guess it’s not all that frequently asked. But, seriously–can they really afford to just throw a returned mattress out? Or do they squish it back into its box and ship it out again so that somebody else can do stuff on it for 100 nights?
Perhaps, since Casper’s mattress is made from four different kinds of foam (open-cell latex foam, responsive memory foam, adaptive transition foam, and durable support foam), they can just toss the used mattresses into a huge cauldron and melt them down into a bubbling vat of liquified foam which they can then somehow mold into new mattresses.
Anyway, Barbara and I are too old to sleep on things that come in boxes, so off we went to our local Sleepy’s, which had a bunch of beds lined up in four rows, like a barracks for spoiled soldiers. Barbara and I did the whole Goldilocks routine, moving from mattress to mattress and saying “This one’s too soft,” “This one’s too hard,” “This one’s memory foam still has an indentation from the last person who laid on it.” I thought this experience would be traumatic for Barbara, who has a strong “ick” reaction to laying on a hotel bed without taking the cover off first, but evidently she had no problem trying out mattresses that random shoppers had been bouncing on and off of for who knows how long.
We finally agreed that the Simmons Beautyrest World Class Providence Plush Pillow Top Mattress was just right, primarily because we fell asleep on it before the salesperson finished saying the full name of the mattress.
And I’ll tell you this: there was no way this monster was folding up into a box! Not only did it have four kinds of foam just like the Casper mattress, but it also had coils! And not just a couple of coils, either. It had 1,000 coils! And not just any kind of coils, but plush pocketed coils. We never even found out why the coils are plush and pocketed, because, frankly, by the time the salesperson got through describing the AirCool Memory Foam and the AirFeel Foam and the GelTouch Foam, we were foaming at the mouth to just pay and get out of there.
Ah, but not so fast. We had to choose from a dozen or so types of mattress protectors. The salesperson said this was to prevent our new mattress from getting stained. I had thought that’s what the sheets were for, but apparently those are to prevent the mattress protector from getting stained.
Then the salesperson picked up a remote control and made the top of the mattress rise so that we were doing a very slow sit-up. Then she pressed another button and the top and the bottom were both rising, and I feared we would get folded in half.
She explained that we could get platforms that could raise just the top, just the bottom, or the top and the bottom. We could even have one where the whole thing vibrated like those motel beds where you used to put a quarter in the box to shake up the Doritos and Diet Coke you had just consumed from the machine in the lobby.
We chose one with a rising top, even as I was thinking that this was just what our bedroom needed: yet another remote control to go with the TV remote, the cable remote, the DVD player remote and the remote for Barbara’s bed fan, which blows cold air on her feet, which, hopefully, she won’t need anymore due to our new mattress’s AirCool Memory Foam.
And we weren’t done yet! We had to hear about the free stuff they were giving us with our $2000 mattress: two pillows, a quilt and a duvet cover. I nodded appreciably although I’ve managed to live 62 years without learning definitively what the hell a duvet is, or why it has to be covered.
We also had to be told that it would cost another $60 to have the delivery people remove the old mattress, unless, of course, we wanted to somehow get rid of it ourselves or simply have them stack the new one on top of it, which would be a problem, because these mattresses are so thick, even if we moved an extension ladder into the bedroom to get onto the bed, we wouldn’t be able to raise the new mattress into a sitting position without hitting the ceiling.
The whole process was very tiring. So I went home to take a nap.
See you soon.