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Why do we need mattresses?

Discuss racial, ethnic and multicultural issues. Warning: The topics here are likely to be taboo, so if you are easily offended, you are better off not participating here.

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Cornfed
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Why do we need mattresses?

Post by Cornfed » January 5th, 2016, 8:44 am

When I lived in China I hassled my employers to get me a mattress, but by the time they even found out what this was I found I didn't need one. In China you sleep on a fabric-covered hard board. If you put a quilt under you, you get used to sleeping like this in about two weeks. This invites the question - Why did we in the West ever need mattresses in the first place? It seems that for a long time we have found them one of the essentials of life. Just as people in other countries have found clothes essential even in a warm climate, we have found mattresses essential, even when it turns out you don't need them to sleep. The historical record shows that people in Europe always required some soft thing to sleep on, even if they were starving, had to spend their last penny on a mattress and the mattresses were riddled with lice and such. They thought they needed it just like they needed food and clothing. Why?
Last edited by Cornfed on January 5th, 2016, 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

drealm
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by drealm » January 5th, 2016, 9:44 am

I certainly find them better for sex.

ryanx
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by ryanx » January 5th, 2016, 11:02 am

To insulate you from the damp cold floor...also a bed is easier to get into and out of.

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Cornfed
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by Cornfed » January 5th, 2016, 11:33 am

ryanx wrote:To insulate you from the damp cold floor...also a bed is easier to get into and out of.
Eh, the Chinese beds are, well, beds. Besides, if the floor were cold and damp, a board and blankets could insulate you from it.

gnosis
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by gnosis » January 5th, 2016, 3:00 pm

I think part of the answer to your question depends on what you think of as a mattress. If you have time, http://sleephistory.org/woven_wire_mattresses gives a good overview of the history and evolution of modern mattresses.

Basically, the modern steel spring mattress wasn't invented until the industrial revolution. Earlier mattresses were probably more like what we think of as quilts or pallets now. ["In 1755, Samuel Johnson's Dictionary referred to a mattress as "a kind of quilt to lie upon'"]

I agree with you that modern mattresses are completely unnecessary. I slept fine on a couple bamboo mats and a blanket when I was staying with Vietnamese families in the countryside.

An advantage of mats versus mattresses is that they probably help prevent falls in the elderly. They may also help keep people's bodies more limber because with a mat you have to get down on and get off of the ground (assuming it's not on a bed frame), which stretches your ligaments more.

If the house is free of vermin, there is no real necessity for a bed frame to put the mats on. Plus, mats can be simply rolled up and put aside during the day, saving a lot of space and promoting a more functional living space.

Futons are another functional alternative to mattresses.

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droid
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by droid » January 5th, 2016, 3:22 pm

Well the cold floor and bugs/mice come to mind. But also the air one or two feet higher is actually a bit warmer from what I understand.
It's hard to believe how expensive a bed and mattress set can be, comparable to the cost of a car lol
1)Too much of one thing defeats the purpose.
2)Everybody is full of it. What's your hypocrisy?

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Cornfed
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by Cornfed » January 5th, 2016, 3:32 pm

droid wrote:Well the cold floor and bugs/mice come to mind. But also the air one or two feet higher
I said mattresses, not beds.

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Yohan
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by Yohan » January 5th, 2016, 4:07 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattress_ ... _Weight%29

We need mattresses in our idiotic Western society - they are helpful to accuse innocent men to be rapists.

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publicduende
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by publicduende » January 5th, 2016, 6:07 pm

Yohan wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattress_ ... _Weight%29

We need mattresses in our idiotic Western society - they are helpful to accuse innocent men to be rapists.
I found sleeping in a traditional Japanese room incredibly comfortable. The tatami + futon combination is unbeatable. And what's not to like about a bed that can be easily folded and put back in a sliding wardrobe, making an otherwise tiny room that much more spacious for day activities?

gnosis
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by gnosis » January 5th, 2016, 6:12 pm

publicduende wrote:
I found sleeping in a traditional Japanese room incredibly comfortable. The tatami + futon combination is unbeatable. And what's not to like about a bed that can be easily folded and put back in a sliding wardrobe, making an otherwise tiny room that much more spacious for day activities?
I am glad someone else appreciates how incredible futons are.

Rock
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by Rock » January 5th, 2016, 7:23 pm

I am a person with boney knees and not narrow hips who likes to sleep on my side. I don't have a lot of extra fat padding on my body to help cushion things too.

I've slept for extended periods on floors, hardwood beds with no mattress popular with some people in Taiwan (they believe them to be better for your back), American style box spring, spring mattress combo, tatamis, and hard bed frames with a thick (12 inches or more) medium to soft foam mattress on top.

For me, I get the best quality sleep on something fairly soft but firm (hard bed frame with foam mattress). Harder stuff gives me aches in my hips and knees. Spring mattresses transmit the movements of your partners assuming you are sleeping with someone else in a queen or king sized bed. But Foam mattresses allow you to move a lot without disturbing the person beside you.

That's just me though. I'm a soft bred westerner with sensitive bones used to American creature comforts.

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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by MrMan » January 6th, 2016, 7:33 pm

I know this guy whose wife divorced him and he ended up homeless. I met him right before he got into some kind of government program to get him off the street. We had an inflatable kid's sleeping bag that is built kind of like a swimming pool floatie that you can lay on. You could sleep on a swimming pool floatie if you get stuck without a mattress. It's not that much different from an inflatable bed.

I can get sore if I sleep without any kind of mattress. In my early 20's, when I came back from overseas and stayed with my parents and they were building a new house. They were staying in a trailer, and with all the siblings, we had to rotate sleeping on the coach. That wasn't comfortable, so I put coach cushions on the floor and that was fine.

Korea has heated floors, and some of them sleep on the floor. A raised bed does protect from cold and moisture from the floor, as well as rats and insects (probably more needed in the past.) Mattresses can also harbor insects. We had a mattress and my wife got a memory foam topper for it. Honestly, though, I think a memory foam topper on a raised bed on a raised bed on a piece of plywood would be fine for sleeping for young people who don't need a firm mattress to support their back. The mattress and memory foam is good for sex (male standing). The same can be done with a bed and risers, which also allows for more storage under the bed.

I agree that the modern western bed isn't truly necessary. Japanese futons seem to make a lot of sense in the tiny spaces people can afford to live in in Tokyo and other crowded Japanese cities.

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Ghost
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by Ghost » January 7th, 2016, 3:39 pm

Perhaps it has to do with the obsession with comfort that we see in first world societies?
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onethousandknives
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by onethousandknives » January 8th, 2016, 5:58 am

I've been sleeping, albeit a bit on and off, but relatively consistently, on the floor since elementary school. I got into my anime/Japan obsession, and my mattress on my bed was very old, not comfortable, and my mother refused/didn't know how to buy more boards to keep the bed from not falling down at night. So one day I just got mad and dismantled my bed, threw down my sleeping bag, and just slept on the floor. I had a few cheaper couch futons that broke down in a year or two, then sometimes I'd put down the old couch futon mattress on the floor. But, for a lot of years from 5-6th grade to now at 24, sleeping on the floor, usually just on top of a blanket. Back's always been fine, all my friends with mattresses complain of problems, none for me. Last year I got a Japanese style folding mattress, a piece of foam about 3-4" thick, and it's quite nice for me.

Of note, I also do not use a chair in my room when typing on the computer or watching things as well. I have my keyboard on a coffee table, view it from a bigger TV, and sit kneeling (seiza) or cross legged if I'm spending the day being lazy on the computer. Knees are fine.

So no mattress, and no chair. Don't need it. I dunno, maybe seems nuts, but it's what I do.

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ChefCalvin
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Re: Why do we need mattresses?

Post by ChefCalvin » January 8th, 2016, 8:38 am

That depends on the mattress, I think. And health. I mean, there are people with all kinds of back problems (just look up scoliosis on Wikipedia). And if this is anything to go by, most people are side sleepers, and they wouldn't feel too comfortable without a mattress.
What I do know is that sleeping on the naked floor is far from comfortable. Or a naked bed platform for that matter.

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