The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Sleep vibrations

memory foam photo montage

I've slept on water beds, futons, hamocks, air matresses, park benchs and the backseat of a car. I even remember a bed at a Holiday Inn when I was a kid that had a box on the night table with a slot for a coin. You put a quarter in and the bed vibrated for 10 minutes...which I could never figure out why folks would want the bed to vibrate when they went to sleep, and then I grew up and figured it out.

Anyway....I decided to recently try one of those new fangled memory foam mattresses I kept hearing about. It came by mail in 4 medium sized boxes.

It's hands down the most comfortable bed I've ever encountered so far and I wouldn't trade it for 10 vibrating beds.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Mark, I have had a memory foam mattress topper for several years and I would not trade it for any other mattress. I love it! I also have it on two of the three guest beds here at the Friends Wilderness Center.


Comment by Sheila Sun Oct 31 19:50:46 2010
I'm not quite sure how he stumbled across the idea, and I was a little leery of him buying a mattress without testing it first, but he's in hog heaven!
Comment by anna Sun Oct 31 20:40:59 2010
Just curious, can you say where you purchased the foam? I've been looking into this kind of thing myself. Thanks.
Comment by Andy Mon Nov 1 09:44:11 2010

Mark did a bit of research and decided to get it from Here's the info: Item # Product Name Shipping Quantity Total Price 12066833 13-inch Queen-size Accu-Gold Memory Foam RV Bed Component Sleep System Ground 1 $329.99 Subtotal: $329.99 Shipping: $2.95 Total: $332.94

Apparently, it had good reviews (and the ultra-low shipping was a bonus.)

Comment by anna Mon Nov 1 10:13:36 2010
I did not buy the whole mattress, but a mattresss topper which, I suspect, gives close to the same feeling. My topper is 3" thick. I ordered it from Costco and it was around $100 for a full size mattress topper. If you don't belong to Costco, find a friend who does and ask that person to order one for you. That person can have it sent to you. They will need to pay for it, and you reimburse that person.
Comment by Sheila Mon Nov 1 21:06:41 2010
I was wondering if a mattress topper would have been sufficient on top of Mark's old mattress. On the other hand, the old mattress has several springs poking out of the mattress --- it's been worn down to nearly nothing. I figured the springs might tear through a mattress topper. But now we're stuck trying to figure out a use for an old mattress!
Comment by anna Tue Nov 2 08:21:34 2010

What I wonder about is how long it will last? Most low density foams have a usable lifetime of about ten years. After that you should really get a new matress. Your back will thank you for it. :-)

Polyurethane foams (like memory foam) are usually made with the help of a physical blowing agent. Usually a kind of solvent with a very low boiling point that evaporates due to the heat generated when the polyurethane cures. If you notice a chemical smell coming from the matress, it might be a good idea to air it for a while before using it. While the CFC's (freon) that were traditionally used in foams are generally banned these days, their replacements are often flammable and can be irritants.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Nov 2 18:39:33 2010

A decade is a pretty long time, in my opinion. Granted, we got our previous mattress lightly used, but it only lasted five years before the springs popped out....

The off-gassing is the one thing that seems to worry folks about memory foam. We left it to air for a few days before using it, and the smell is mostly gone.

Comment by anna Wed Nov 3 08:50:25 2010

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