A Tale of Bed Beginnings, Stubborness, and Pain

Until recently, my 25-year old twin mattress had served me quite well. It wasn’t until I moved out of the house and into my apartment(s), that I began to notice that I didn’t sleep well anymore. I was always tired, always groggy, never wanted to drag myself out of bed in the morning, and probably drank too much coffee.

I finally concluded that it was probably the age of my mattress. It was finally beginning to break down, and that must be the main culprit. I asked if I could have a new mattress for my early birthday present. Fairly quickly, we were able to purchase the mattress and frame.

I was (kind of still am, three weeks later) very excited about getting a new mattress. The Boyfriend was out-of-town at a wedding, and I could not wait to set everything up.

The day the mattress arrived at my office, I had already bought sheets to match the duvet cover I was eyeing on the IKEA website, as well as a bed skirt and a new cover for my body pillow. It was rolled up tight, air compressed, and in a cylindrical bag. The UPS guy was kind enough to lift the mattress into the back of my Beetle. With the back seats laid down and the front seat pushed forward, it fit perfectly. I admired how easily it fit into my little car.

image (1)

I finished my work day determined to get it set up as soon as I got home.

As soon as I arrived home, I got my sweater, purse and water bottle upstairs and unlocked the door, trying to leave it propped open enough that I could simply push it open once I got to the top of the stairs with my prize. I was excited to find that the mattress had a strap, and used it to pull it out of my trunk.

“This is heavier than I thought,” I thought to myself.

The mattress could not be lifted, it had to be dragged. And when dragging didn’t work, I had to set it upright and scoot it on its end through the door to the garage, through the door to my stairwell, and then figure out how to drag this mattress up the stairs without dropping it, or its sheer weight taking me tumbling down the stairs with it. After trying to lift it up the stairs one at a time while upright, I decided maybe dragging wasn’t so bad of an idea after all, and dug my fingers (and nails) into the fabric and string holding the bag shut, and dragged it up the stairs, one at a time, not being able to rest for a second because the mattress would just go hurtling down the stairs again and crash into the door. The worst step was right before the door, and hoping I had enough room to pull the mattress all the way through the doorway without letting it go, and then slowly standing it up against my washer and dryer without falling out the door myself.

Once I had it in the door and in no danger of falling over, I had to lay down for a few minutes and catch my breath. I couldn’t believe I’d actually gotten the stupid thing up the stairs by myself. I had a sort of mad pride about it, and I’m pretty sure I was grinning like crazy.



Next came the process of getting my twin mattress out of the room and into my living room, followed by its frame. This was the easy part. I had been wrangling this same mattress around and around my tiny childhood bedroom since I was nine. The frame presented a slight problem that was easily fixed by taking the footboard off so that the bed could make the corner out of my room and into the hallway. I set everything in the living room, and it admittedly stayed in there dismantled until this past Saturday.

With the area where my bed had been empty, I vacuumed the entire carpet area and wrestled the mattress package into the bedroom and laid it on the floor as carefully as its weight would allow. I cut the outer bag open, made sure I had the mattress facing the right way up, and cut the plastic that would allow it to decompress. Within minutes, it was 11 inches high and only needed to expand another inch to reach its full size and shape. The instructions online had said to let it air out for a couple of days, but how could I resist the look of this comfortable bed? I was giving my mom a play-by-play of the setup process via text message, and she agreed I should go ahead and just sleep on it. Especially since I could already feel the ache and tension in my forearms from its trip up the stairs. I put my sheets and mattress pad on before settling in for raid that night.

The frame came a couple of days later. I’d spent a few blissful days with the mattress on the floor, nursing my sore muscles. The frame also fit easily into my car with the help of the delivery guy, and although Boyfriend was back, I was too excited to wait for him to help me set it up. I put on an episode of Azeroth Choppers and began setting it up with the help of the instructions. Everything was going fine, until I rather stupidly opened one half of the frame while sitting directly by the hinge. The middle legs popped up when I dropped the sides and hit me squarely in the mouth.

It happened so fast and the pain was so sharp that I immediately burst into tears, without even consciously realizing what had happened. It took me a few minutes of hanging over the sink bawling, hot tears streaming down my face before I finally realized what had happened. I looked at my quickly swelling lip, applied a bag of frozen corn to it, and sat tearfully watching Azeroth Choppers until I felt like I could continue. I managed to set up the rest of the bed frame and get the mattress onΒ it without further injuries, although putting a bed skirt on a queen-sized mattress by yourself with no tie downs doesn’t turn out great in the long run:

image (3)

It was time to raid. So the bedskirt stayed messed up for a day. Plus I didn’t have my new comforter or duvet cover yet.

The next week I received my duvet cover and comforter. That process was relatively painless, except that the comforter is far too large for my washer, and far too large to actually dry in my dryer. I ended up having to lay it out as flat and not crumpled as possible on my drying rack. Thankfully I won’t have to wash the comforter itself too often.

It’s finally done, and has been done for about two weeks. I’m very happy with it, despite my healed bruises and sore muscles. I’m honestly a bit proud of myself for the whole ordeal. Here’s the finished product:

It's so cozy, and blue.

It’s so cozy, and blue.

My view at night before bed. AKA, perfection.

My view at night before bed. AKA, perfection.

Tell me about a home project you had that you ended up injuring yourself or others around you, but it ended up worth it in the end. If you’ve replaced a very old mattress after years, how did you feel about it? Let me know in the comments!Β 

16 thoughts on “A Tale of Bed Beginnings, Stubborness, and Pain

  1. trulyb says:

    your place is super cute! I also ordered a queen sized mattress online (for our guest room), and was so impressed when it got here all rolled up. Cutting into that vacuum sealed plastic is so satisfying!


    • Samantha says:

      It really is! All of a sudden it just puffs up and there’s a bed there. πŸ™‚

      Also, thank you πŸ˜€ I struck it super lucky with my apartment πŸ™‚


  2. Charleen says:

    For a while, my husband and I were sleeping on a queen bed I’d inherited from my great-grandmother. I have no idea how old the mattress on that was. That’s probably best, actually; I’d be too afraid to find out. But when we finally got a new one… ooh, it was SOOO comfy. We’ve had it for about five years now, so it’s not bad, but just not quite as magical as it once was.


      • Charleen says:

        Yes it does! And I’m very glad that ours is a “double-pillow-top.” Because I do really like the pillow-top mattress (allows the mattress to be nice and firm but the part you’re sleeping on is still soft and cushy, which is perfect for me!) but a lot of them only have the “pillow top” part on one side of the mattress.

        Of course, this means our mattress is super thick and it’s hard to find sheets that fit, but it’s a small price to pay. Definitely the best mattress I’ve ever had.


      • Samantha says:

        This one is memory foam, but it’s relatively firm for being a memory foam mattress. It’s kind of perfect, it doesn’t put too much pressure on me while I sleep. I’ve seen the pillow top ones and they look super comfy.


  3. Jennie Saia says:

    She’s beautiful!! I totally get the thrill of doing a big, body-intensive project by yourself.

    I also totally get hurting yourself in a very stupid way.

    All in all, a huge success! What did the boyfriend say?


    • Samantha says:

      He said, “WHY didn’t you wait for me to help you?” and then proceeded to good-naturedly tease me about my inconspicuously fat lip. πŸ˜›

      I was glad though, it’s infinitely satisfying afterward to lie down in it and think, “I EARNED this sleep!” πŸ™‚


  4. jaklumen says:

    Cimmorene and I invested some of our disability backpay into a Select Number bed– it’s basically a more sophisticated air mattress. It was installed for us initially, but when we moved from the apartment to the house, I remember Cimmy pretty much set it up all herself. We got it partly as I’ve got debilitating sciatica and back pain, but I think she’s gotten more out of it.

    By the way– thanks for your thoughtful reply at Daile Bree’s blog.


    • Samantha says:

      Thank you for stopping by to comment!

      It sounds like you made a good purchase overall. I think the Sleep Number could be pretty interesting, although I’ve always wondered how it works if you sleep close to the middle.


      • jaklumen says:

        Well, that is the weakness of it– if you sleep in the middle when at least one side is low, you start to fall in. Cimmy prefers rather low numbers (softer) while I favor high (firmer) and I’m often the one that falls a bit in the middle as I’m often a side sleeper.


    • Samantha says:

      I was surprised at how painful it was during setup and execution, but no pain now! Now it’s gloriously comfortable. I can’t get used to sleeping anywhere on the bed, it’s so big!

      Blue is a soothing color. I chose blue this time because I need soothing, I think. My last bedspread (which is now functioning as a daybed in my living room) was red with white polka dots, which was fun, but probably less relaxing. πŸ™‚


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