What if I sleep on bare ground

Lay the mattress on the floor

«Is that enough for healthy sleep? »

Is a bed really necessary to provide a healthy framework for sleep? Many people toy with the idea: Just one high quality mattress Laying it on the floor might just as well be enough. You can find out here whether and under what circumstances this would be a good idea or not.

Back to the origins - the pros

There could be a number of reasons that tempt you to just want to bed on the floor. In fact, many people set up their sleeping quarters in exactly the same way, by simply laying the mattress on the bare floor, sheets and bedclothes over them, and the somewhat “cool” looking camp is ready. The desire for a lifestyle that is as uncomplicated as possible often plays a role. Less abundance, more focus on the essentials. After all, in the Paleolithic, people also slept in caves on the ground. Those who follow the Paleo lifestyle, for example, are increasingly oriented towards the way of life of the Stone Age people and could achieve an approximation of this flair with the daring sleep concept.

In general, the mattress on the floor gives a feeling of freedom and independence from given patterns. Anyone can sleep in bed. In addition to these convictions, the pure cost factor is also a tempting reason to forego slatted frames and bed frames. That is why sleeping on the floor is often a popular temporary solution in times of bottlenecks or when moving into a new apartment. However, when it comes to staying overnight in this minimalist way, there are also some cons to consider in addition to these multi-faceted pros.

More complicated than expected - the cons

What sounds so wonderfully simple at first, brings with it a few unexpected - or on closer inspection not so remote - stumbling blocks. There are two points you should reconsider when planning to use your mattress without a bed.

1. Comprehensive ventilation must be ensured

A lot of moisture is created overnight through natural perspiration. People sweat about half a liter in their sleep. This moisture accumulates under the ceiling. The mattress initially absorbs this liquid and leads it away from the body, for a well-tempered sleeping environment. However, the moisture must by no means remain in the sleeping pad, but must also be able to be discharged to the outside. Comprehensive air circulation is necessary for this. This is where the slatted frame or, in the case of a box spring bed, the spring box comes into play: because both act as placeholders to the ground and thus allow extensive ventilation from all sides.

If, on the other hand, mattresses lie directly on the floor, the entire underside is lost for air circulation. In this case, the fabric can only "breathe" through the narrow side edges. However, that is not enough over time. Moisture can then collect in the sleeping pad. On the one hand, this results in an uncomfortable sleeping environment in which uninvited guests such as bacteria, mites and fungi feel extremely comfortable. Even particularly high-quality mattresses are damaged in this way and their lifespan is severely shortened. In the worst case, they even threaten to get moldy from the inside out.

2. The back needs sufficient support

In addition, the mattress on the floor has to support the entire back without the help of slatted frames and the like. Thin designs or very inexpensive options often do not hold up. They do not have sufficient volume weight to be able to lift even people of normal weight. It follows that you lie directly on the rigid floor of the apartment without flexible suspension. Under certain circumstances, the spine cannot assume its natural curvature and the precise support is no longer given. In the meantime it has been proven that lying hard is by no means gold for the back, on the contrary, it can lead to long-term damage, poor posture and other problems such as joint pain.

Other arguments against sleeping on the floor

Depending on the individual state of health, for some people there are other points that speak against the mattress on the floor. For example, those who are older, have limited range of motion or suffer from allergies are likely to benefit more from a normal bed due to the following circumstances:

  • Getting in and out at ground level is much more strenuous
  • More house dust circulates near the floor and is more difficult to keep under control in the case of allergies
  • It is usually colder and there is more draft
  • Overall, there is poorer air quality "below" (carbon dioxide is concentrated on the ground)

Optimal mattress for the floor

Nevertheless, the counter-arguments do not generally mean that you have to forego your vision of an earth-bound night camp. Only the idea of ​​simplicity has to be given up. After all, you simply have to take on the task of the slatted frame or bed frame yourself. This means that you have to ventilate your sleeping pad several times a week. Lift up and set up vertically so that the underside can be freely ventilated for several hours. This in turn results in a clear loot scheme for the next mattress purchase:

Mattresses made of latex or versions made of the currently very popular visco foam are particularly dependent on a perfect air supply, as they are less effective at transporting moisture away. Anyone who refrains from manual ventilation here must clearly expect mold. However, especially with latex variants, an additional complication is that they are extremely heavy.

Breathable mattresses made of cold foam or PU foam prove to be far more suitable for your sleeping plans close to the floor. Modern, open-pored foam designs also drain the liquid easily upwards and to the narrow sides. In addition, the chosen model should be as high as possible. A height of at least 20 centimeters is appropriate. In addition, an exact adaptation to your individual stature in terms of hardness, dimensions and zones is recommended.

Optimal traction

The underground also plays a role. If the choice of the sleeping mat is right, the apartment floor is of secondary importance, from tiles to laminate and linoleum to carpeting, all variants are possible. However, there is one exclusion criterion and that is the underfloor heating. Anyone who uses this method to heat their home should better fall back on the good old bed. The same is true if your bedroom is generally prone to moisture and mold.

Life without a bed is possible ...

... but not straightforward. As revolutionary as the idea may seem today: Sleeping on the pure underground has a long tradition, especially in Asia and even more precisely in Japan and Korea. For centuries, the sleeping area here has consisted of a kind of mat that is aired and rolled up the next morning and stowed away. So there is no getting around ventilation if you want to set up your new sleeping area in a down-to-earth manner regardless of the counter arguments.

It is helpful to plan enough time and space for the changeover. If you switch from bed to the floor, then move your move into a vacation week if possible, so that an initially restless sleep is not a major problem. For a smoother start, you can also use the slatted frame for the time being.

So if you have no physical limitations, make sure you choose a suitable mattress and are also willing to exert some effort for the ventilation every few days, you can be quite happy with the bed near the floor. If, on the other hand, your focus is on really uncomplicated sleeping comfort, you should treat yourself to a solid bed.