One thing I never thought would be a source of stress and dissension between my partner and myself? Mattresses.
But when you’re an insomniac with rods permanently in your back, and your partner likes soft and cozy beds, picking out a mattress is actually surprisingly difficult.
And then living with your choice? Even harder.
Almost three years ago, after doing long distance for three years and dating in college before that, I moved to my partner’s city for graduate school and we got an apartment together.
We had both been living in a variety of shared apartments complete with second hand furniture (if not third or fourth). We didn’t really have any furniture at all. My partner’s keyboard was our most significant worldly good.
So we needed to get a bed. My partner’s parents offered to cover it as a gift to us.
Excited and completely naïve, we went mattress shopping.
We experienced upselling and sticker shock at several mattress chains and moved on to our local mattress shop.
We liked the quality and prices but couldn’t agree on a mattress.
My partner loved the soft mattresses he felt like he could fall asleep on right there in the shop. He didn’t realize how much he wanted and liked soft mattresses until he was trying them.
I knew I wanted a hard mattress after experiencing the hard and thin mattresses in India, which were surprisingly good for my back. After trying several, my partner realized that he really did not want them.
But he’s a great partner and knew how much pain I’ve had over the years, so he wanted to get the hard mattress for me, but he was not thrilled about it.
I felt bad at the prospect of picking something he really wouldn’t like, so we compromised a bit. We got a hard mattress with a pillow top. We found an affordable and beautiful iron bedstead and ordered it to be delivered.
We got the mattress and bed—excited at the first real furniture in our joint apartment.
That first night, my partner tossed and turned. He took a while to fall asleep, which was terribly unusual for him.
The mattress was not a success.
But it worked for me and he protested against wanting to exchange it within the 30-day window.
But we put his old foam mattress pad on it and went with it.
We eventually got a pull-out sofa so our friends and relatives could visit us in our expensive city. We got the cheap, thin mattress to save money. It’s good for a weekend, but not a lengthy stay, which is perfect for our one-bedroom apartment!
Sometimes, my partner sleeps on the pull-out sofa in preference to our nice, thick mattress. I don’t get it, but if he’s having trouble sleeping he goes out there and falls right to sleep.
Every so often we discuss getting a new mattress, but we always decide not to. We haven’t figured out a better option.
We recently replaced the foam pad topper, which maybe made it a tad more cozy?
It’s a continual source of low-level stress. It sounds ridiculous, but we need and love our sleep!
What is your experience with mattress shopping or sharing a mattress with your partner? What mattress works best for you? Is it the same one that works best for your partner?