What’d You Spend On Your Bed? Like $200? Does That Sound Right?

In honor of this weird day, I’m going to use this here internet website as my personal helpline. Help Me. I need to buy a bed. I want a full size one. I hate those metal bed frame things. And I don’t really like box springs. So what I need to know is, where did you buy your cheap but wonderful bed, and should I also buy your cheap and wonderful bed? Is there a secret cheap and wonderful bed place? Or is there a magical combination of Ikea options that will have me sweet dreaming in no time? Help me help you help me buy a bed. Thank you for your time.


105 Comments / Post A Comment

terrific (#1,532)

Just a bed, or a mattress/box spring too?

deepomega (#22)

I just sleep on a pile of laundry

@deepomega no thats basically what im doing now. except under the laundry is a deflated air mattress

la_di_da (#1,425)

@deepomega I used to date a guy who opted for the “nest” approach. It did not last.

jfruh (#161)

@deepomega I dated a lady who lived in a tiiiiny studio and her bed was just a pile of mattresses and egg crate foam that she’d get out of the cabinet every night. She put it in the cabinet because the cats would pee on it otherwise. Pee on it again, if you catch my drift. Also, she was married to someone else. SO YEA, THE ’90s, WELL SPENT ROMANTICALLY BY THIS GUY

la_di_da (#1,425)

@jfruh you win.

la_di_da (#1,425)

My bed was my splurge. I bought it when I first moved to New York and was spending a lot of time alone on Netflix, because that’s what unemployed yet-to-be popular people do. Hence, my bed was my home within my home. (You’ll be glad to know, I’m sure, that I did in fact get a life shortly thereafter)
Go to Sleepy’s and see if they have a floor model mattress they’re willing to sell you for cheap, like $200/300 or so? This is what I did and it’s awesome. If you’re super on a budget, skip the box springs and go for those IKEA slats, but be warned that they suck. Seriously. They’ll break somehow in a year or two.

IKEA has a wood bed for $50. If you get that one just make sure that the legs can’t slide around or it, too, will be broken within 3 years. I know this because it has happened to two of my friends. It will however see you through to (hopefully) more prosperous times… I got the cheapest metal one (like $200) they had and it is basically impossible to break and super easy to put up and take down.


la_di_da (#1,425)

@Logan Sachon I would hope not? I didn’t have a problem… I mean no ones really been sleeping on these beds. They’re like tester beds, so I don’t think that they hold much appeal to bugs. That is just me though. I was also way less paranoid about bed bugs than I am now…

kaitlinmlk (#1,208)

@la_di_da don’t be paranoid, you know if you have them. Or at least everyone I have know that has them (including myself) knew when they had them. Plus if you are going to be paranoid there is SO MANY places you can get them besides your bed.

@la_di_da If you get the Ikea bed slats, get the cheapest ones! The middle priced ones are shit and even the Ikea customer service people admit it. It’s counter-intuitive, but there you go.

amardine (#2,951)

@la_di_da I have the $50 ikea bed! Fjellse is awful and wonderful. Awful because the sides bowed out horribly and the slats -and our mattress- fell through at least twice every night. Wonderful because my boyfriend found a non-broken fjellse on the street, took the non-bowed sides (NO BED BUGS) and replaced ours. And it was $50. So….bestworst bed?

@la_di_da you and I may have the same metal bed… silver rails on the headboard and I’m pretty sure it was also Miranda’s bed on a lot of Sex & The City episodes? Anyway, mine has last me five years and two moves, slats and all. Yay Ikea.

@la_di_da @Logan Sachon My mattress is also a floor model! I went in and asked for their cheapest mattress, and the guy offered me a floor model for the same price. I got a $900 mattress for something like $250. This was, like, seven years ago, and the mattress is still going strong. I am still proud of this purchase and brag about it to anyone who shares my bed.

For the frame, I got a set of sturdy pine slats…off of Amazon, actually. They are also still holding strong. I would suggest probably anywhere *but* Ikea.

cmcm (#267)

@la_di_da I don’t know of anyone who has or had the Ikea bed slats and didn’t have it break within a matter of months. DON’T DO IT.

themegnapkin (#444)

@la_di_da I have the Ikea Noresund bed (http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/ikea-noresund-bed-frame), and I love it. The slats have lasted 8 years so far, through one move. They don’t sell that bed anymore, but this one is kind of similar:

msafiri (#2,202)

I went through this earlier this year, and it is confusing. You guys should definitely do an article on how to buy a bed/mattress. Comparison shopping is almost impossible.

I ended up deciding on an Ikea bedframe and mattress because I didn’t have to buy a boxspring and I didn’t have to pay for delivery. I got a queen so the bedframe was about $75 and the mattress was around $350. I originally got the cheapest mattress for under $100 but it was so terrible I had to return it. I kept waking up because I could feel the slats of my bed. Lesson learned: don’t try to spend less than $100 on a mattress. It’s not worth it!

You can get the Ikea memory foam top mattresses in the $150-200 range, which are supposed to be pretty comfortable. Plus their 90 day return policy (for credit toward a different mattress) is great.

lalaland (#437)

I think it really depends on your life plan – I tend to move a lot, so I stupidly bought a decent mattress for $600ish and ended up selling it for half that a year and a half later.

But if you’re not a nomad, you should invest in a decent mattress bc back problems, etc. If you just buy a mattress, but a decent one, you don’t REALLY need a box spring or bed frame, which are additional, so you can definitely do sub-$500, and I kind of like the mattress on the floor look…

I used us-mattress.com

@lalaland do they bring it INTO YOUR APARTMENT

la_di_da (#1,425)

@lalaland That’s a good point. I bought my mattress/box springs and just put them on the floor till I could afford a bed (/really needed the underbed storage)

la_di_da (#1,425)

@Logan Sachon YES! They do!

lalaland (#437)

@Logan Sachon Yes! And free delivery and no sales tax (unless errr you pay the use tax which I know nothing about).

@lalaland do you tip them

lalaland (#437)

@Logan Sachon I think it is a very nice thing to do, and they will happily accept, but I just now remember getting some furniture delivered and not having cash on hand and apologizing profusely and offering to write a check but they said no. So you can get away with it, but probably shouldn’t unless you absolutely had to because that is not nice.

Approx $10-$20 per mover is standard, I believe, depending on level of exertion (5 story walk-up vs. house), please correct me anyone if I’m wrong.

boringbunny (#3,260)

@Logan Sachon yes you tip the movers. i very shamefully watched my movers move in and set up my mattress very nicely, like 2 perfect gentlemen, and i forgot to tip them and i’m still ashamed. that was last year – still ashamed.

lalaland (#437)

@boringbunny Yep, I actually blocked out my lack of tipping until Logan’s question because I felt so awful about it.

So yes, you do tip.

ThatJenn (#916)

I can’t help you on source (unless you want to head to north central Florida for a bed?), but I spent $600 on a nice pillow-top mattress that came with a basic metal frame and box spring. The box spring died after a few years and the frame went away when I inherited a nicer frame and box spring (which is unfortunate as I then destroyed the nice frame in under six months, so now I sleep on the box spring and mattress on the floor), but the mattress is the best splurge I ever, ever, ever made. I love my bed so much. This is worth spending money on if you can be trusted to take it with you in a move.

ThatJenn (#916)

@ThatJenn And btw, sleeping on a box spring and mattress is notably nicer than sleeping on just a mattress, only because it’s nice to be a little higher (you can sit on the edge of the bed more comfortably) and I think there’s also a little more support.

ThatJenn (#916)

@ThatJenn P.P.S. I hate all Ikea beds, they’re like Ikea dishes, they suck.

Derbel McDillet (#1,241)

@ThatJenn I love our pricey mattress so, so much. It is really the best $800 we ever spent. We did one of those “no interest for a year” things and made payments, but it was worth it. It is 6 years old now and still amazing.

ThatJenn (#916)

@Derbel McDillet Yup, I’m almost 7 years into my love affair with my mattress and it shows no sign of slowing.

Ack. Site ate my comment.

Basically, I would say find a cheap frame online but buy your mattress at a physical store. It’s so important to try things out, talk to the sales folks (as long as they’re not too pushy), AND you can figure out the whole delivery/set up situation. Also, a cheap frame/bed is fine, but don’t get too chintzy with your mattress. I don’t know that $200 all in will get you something you’ll be happy with.

readyornot (#816)

I have been sleeping on one of those adjustable metal frames for my entire adult life, except for the year when I was sleeping on my now husband’s IKEA Malm frame, which was worse. I have always preferred to go decent on the mattress, kinda sucky on the frame. It is beginning to get me down, though. I think the answer is going to be craigslist, but that takes TIME.

A friend had a membership at Costco. They only carried one model of mattress so I figured that Costco had chosen an acceptable and totally fine brand and then bought a million of them at a discount. Mine has been fine for 5+ years and I put a 3″ memory foam pad on top because I like my beds soft. Then I got 1000 thread count Charter Club sheets on sale at Macy’s after Christmas.

In my opinion, memory foam pads make any mattress comfortable but it depends on whether you like a firm bed or not.

OllyOlly (#669)

@various percentages of sheep My old roommate bought her mattress at Costco and was very happy with it for a second opinion on that.

jillcool (#2,123)

@various percentages of sheep We looked at Costco and Sam’s Club. We ultimately bought at Sam’s Club because of price. Both had the same model of mattress but we got a king size plus box springs (two twin box springs) for around $500. No delivery but very comfy. It has a memory foam pillow top and I sleep soooo good on it. We didn’t realize how bad our old mattress was until we got the new one.

kaitlinmlk (#1,208)

I got an Otis futon from this site:

And it’s great and wonderful. When I was looking for a new mattress I went to those futon stores around Union Square and just tried them out. But then I went and got my futon from this website. I know it is a horrible thing not to buy it in the store, but the guys at the stores are so pushy and really turned me off. The Otis futons are made in NY State.

Get a metal bed frame, bed bugs have a harder time climbing on metal.

Worker Parasite (#2,292)

Or get a cheap IKEA frame and hack it to look like something way nicer! I have no idea about buying a mattress, I’ve never actually bought one. I keep inheriting family mattresses that are barely used.

theotherginger (#1,304)

@loren smith that is the best thing I have ever read

jfruh (#161)

I know this isn’t what you asked but my wife and I spent $1900 on a king-sized Tempurpedic mattress and box spring and it was WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the best life investments that we ever made. Like literally all other beds suck to us now. Not to say that you must do this but don’t cheap out on a bed just to be cheap. I do honestly think a box spring makes a difference, too, even if it’s just sitting on the floor!

On the other hand, I spent my entire 20s sleeping on a futon (with a metal frame) with no real ill effects, so. But it’s hard to imagine going back now.

MissMushkila (#1,044)

@jfruh My boyfriend and I bought a $1200 queen-sized mattress and box spring, and I often wake up in it the morning so grateful that we spent what was in reality more than we ought to have financially. It is the most amazing bed ever. (it has a memory foam layer and individual pocket coils – tempurpedic felt too much like quicksand to us).

We do not actually have any sort of frame and I don’t care at all.

Derbel McDillet (#1,241)

@jfruh I spent an entire year sleeping on an inflatable mattress, and our $800 mattress is probably my favorite possession. 6 years after buying it, Mr. McDillet and I still have regular conversations about how awesome it is (usually after traveling).

jfruh (#161)

@Derbel McDillet haha, yes, this is exactly when Mrs. Jfruh & I most talk about our mattress — usually on the last day of a vacation/travel, we start rhapsodizing about how excited we are to get back to our bed. (PS Also, I love your username, that line in that sketch made me literally cry)

@jfruh I spent $1200 on a queen sized mattress and I have never regretted it, except for when I’m trying to make myself get out of it in the morning and it’s so comfortable I never want to leave.

Beaks (#3,488)

@jfruh My dude and I spent $1300 on a king size all-latex mattress when we moved in together and it is MAGIC. Like, we have to get separate beds when we go on vacation because we cannot sleep together without the magic of latex.

Logan, I went to some sort of overstock furniture place and bought a full-size mattress and box spring for probably $300 or so, plus another $20-30 for a metal bed frame. If you have a box spring, metal bed frames are cheap (since you don’t need extra support). I only slept on it for two years before I moved (and upgraded to the latex), but it was pretty nice. Some sort of pillow top thing. Definitely don’t pay full price at some name brand store, though- you can totally negotiate.

themegnapkin (#444)

@jfruh I spent $750 on a mattress from Sleepy’s that felt fantastic in the store, but then turned into a banana bed within a month of taking it home. Sleepy’s customer service is HORRENDOUS. They make it nearly impossible to get an exchange. After spending hours on the phone with them and talking my way up the chain of command, I finally got them to bring me a new mattress, but that new mattress (just like the old one!) turned into a banana bed within a month, and they wouldn’t do anything for me a second time.
I need a new mattress (it’s been nearly 8 years!) but I don’t want to spend another $750 only to get hosed again by another crappy store. So, a guide to buying a quality mattress would be much appreciated.

DrFeelGood (#401)

@themegnapkin I am on the hunt too, had an IKEA bed for years, now I need a “big girl bed”. I don’t know about customer service after point of sale, but we have been browsing places like Sears and JC Pennies to try out mattresses. At least their salespeople (i have found) are not using high-pressure sales tactics like those at Sleepy’s, Mattress Warehouse etc. Its very frustrating though as there is no way to comparison shop, each store carries slightly separate models, ON PURPOSE so you can’t compare.

SterlingCooper05 (#2,529)

I’m as cheap as they come…but beds are one of things I refuse to buy cheap. I went and bought the top of the line temperpedic for $4,000. It is worth more than my car. Best purchase I’ve ever made.


ultimaterollo (#2,756)

@Logan Sachon http://www.amazon.com/SLEEP-ALLERGEN-PROOF-Mattress-ZipCover/dp/B002UBO706/ref=sr_1_3?s=bedbath&ie=UTF8&qid=1366397016&sr=1-3&keywords=bed+bug+mattress+cover

i had bed bugs. i killed (i.e. spayed everywhere) everything in the house, then popped one of those bad boys on my bed. i figured what couldn’t get in, wouldn’t be able to get out either. added bonus, those little f**kers would die by starvation/suffocation (after 18 months). so yeah…that was worth it.

SterlingCooper05 (#2,529)

@Logan Sachon Foam mattresses, especially quality ones like tempurpedic, are supposed to be mite and allergen resistant. Not sure if that’s true, but they claim it.

Carlos.Xavier (#3,600)

I went with the Malm bed from Ikea. I like that its super sturdy because it uses 2 full length pieces at each end instead of 4 legs, but HOLY GOD IS IT HEAVY. Seriously, if my current apartment didn’t have a service elevator I probably would have tried to sell it on craigslist and sleep on a floor mattress.
Also, as someone mentioned don’t buy the Ikea slat things, they are thin, pretty sucky, and like $50 (1/5 the cost of the bed!). I went to Home Depot and had them cut a couple of 2x4s and for 10 bucks I walked away feeling a lot better about it.

@Carlos.Xavier I had a Malm bed I really liked, and I currently have an Oppdal (?) that’s pretty good – it’s got underbed storage, though, so it was a PITA to put together.

Lipshtick (#1,260)

A friend gave me her Malm after she moved in with her SO. It was a year old. Still good! Doesn’t squeak if you get rowdy.

monteig (#2,100)

Think about the time you spend on your bed and how important that time is. Then re-evaluate and spend as much as you possibly can on a mattress. It is just not an area where you want to cheap out, because sleeping on a bad mattress is terrible! Getting good sleep is important!
That disclaimer done, I went to Macy’s and spent a lot (1,200) on a firm mattress with a foam memory pillow top. (They put it in my bedroom and took the old one out!) It is wonderful and I sleep like a rock. If you can’t get a good mattress, a good memory foam topper will help. A feather bed will also help, but will cost more for a good one.
The whole mattress industry is suspect, every store has their own brands so you can’t comparison shop by name, but you can narrow it down by the type a bit. Try Macy’s, I have had good luck there, especially with sales!

AitchBee (#3,001)

Box springs are the woooorst. I have an Ikea bedframe (the five-years-ago equivalent of the TARVA). It’s the best: very sturdy, has survived five-ish moves, you can stain it to match your floors of you’re slightly compulsive (side-eye), way less ugly than anything you’re going to get for a comparable price.

My mattress, on the other hand, is the second least expensive model from the local mattress store. I can sleep on anything, so it doesn’t bother me, but I have Had Complaints.

aetataureate (#1,310)

If you don’t want a box spring (? what? I don’t understand why anyone thinks anything about box springs) then you have to either do mattress on the floor or one of those beds the mattress sits all the way flush against. Look on Craigslist for a used bed from Crate and Barrel or something.

ultimaterollo (#2,756)

don’t forget to protect that purchase! i had bed bugs once. it sucked in more ways than i can even express. i was scared to go to bed. SCARED OF SLEEP. it sucked.

so, combined with that thing (or a better one)…craig’s list!


@ultimaterollo I just dealt with bed bugs (am still dealing with them, but at least they are dead now…) They do truly suck in more ways than I am able to express. I hate them with the fire of a thousand dryer cycles.

Markovaa (#1,509)

1. Wait until Memorial Day–MAJOR SALES
2. If you buy from Macy’s they not only include delivery in the listed price but also the set up.

pissy elliott (#844)

i have a metal frame from Ikea, but a girly princess bed kind (the LILLESAND, if it still exists). it’s okay. i got a “mattress foundation” (aka a box spring) because i like sleeping up in the air, and the cheapest spring mattress they had. definitely test your mattress. it was… i want to say 350, including an outsized delivery fee that i did NOT tip on. the bed frame itself is still going strong, after multiple reassemblies to move it from apartment to apartment. the “foundation” is too! the mattress is visibly lumpy and fucked up, but i’m not dying on it or anything. i dream of replacing it and then spend all of that month’s “miscellaneous” money on other stuff. but it lasted a good 3-4 years, with regular flipping.

pissy elliott (#844)

@pissy elliott my whole set up was 350 (maybe), not just the mattress. the mattress i got i believe was the 99 dollar special. “special.”

honey cowl (#1,510)

@pissy elliott I have that frame too!!!!! I hate it. It’s so light but WAY TOO GIRLY. It is making me all the more excited to move in with my BF this year.

pissy elliott (#844)

@honey cowl I actually think it’s attractive! I like metal-frame beds, but obviously can’t afford the REAL kind that you see in ABC Home and shit. This is also complicated by the fact that I’m a dude. A very faggy dude, but, you know, whatever.

honey cowl (#1,510)

@pissy elliott Oh man. I just assumed it was the same, but actually have a much MUCH girlier one… googling now… http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S99849961/

AHHHHH *throws self away*

I like metal bed frames too but WHY DID I BUY THIS

LydiaBennett (#121)

@pissy elliott I have that frame tooo and LOVE the way it looks but I have to say, it broke in pretty short order. Like every time boy and I got rowdy we broke another rung off of the footboard until they were just all gone, and then broke off the top rail of the footboard and finally now have broken the post on one side. Despite basically dismantling the footboard, the rest of the frame is just fine! We’re scared of cutting our feet on the remaining post (the rail was soldered on, so it left a sharp spot when it broke off), so we may need a new frame soon. So sad.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

Bed: Gothic Cabinet Craft (gothiccabinetcraft.com) – about $350?
Mattress: Room & Board (they were surprisingly decently priced when I got them, considering the rest of the store is $$$$$$$$$$$) – forget how much

Don’t skimp on the bed or mattress!

Got my current full-size bed from my girlfriend’s friend. Her roommate was moving out and we got it for 2 bottles of wine, a Zipcar van for 2 hours, and plastic wrap + rope from Home Depot (it was raining).
I was then able to sell our previous full-size bed on CraigsList for $60 (after posting it for $100). Anything to get it out. That bed was originally purchased new (& likely stolen) from a UES unlabled truck, wrapped in plastic.

szarah (#3,666)

I bought something like this when I had the same problem of a mattress but no box spring.
It worked fine and gave me enough height to not feel like I was sleeping on the floor.
A note about buying a cheap mattress. My boyfriend bought the cheapest mattress at a mattress store. When he went to pick it up, they asked him if he was “planning on sleeping on it.” He said that of course he was and they told him that it was actually the mattress most people choose for their guest bed. He bought it anyway and it was kind of awful. So just make sure you’re getting a mattress made for actual sleeping and not just for annoying relatives.

lemons! (#384)

Next month I’m getting a buckwheat mattress which is pretty cheap. I really like the idea of having everything in my mattress be compostable and have absolutely no flame retardant carcinogens. The catch is, you have to assemble it since you can’t legally sell a mattress without frame retardant carcinogens. Thanks tobacco companies!

lalaland (#437)

@lemons! Tell me more – how do you assemble this? Is it comfortable?

lemons! (#384)

I’m going with these guys. I haven’t ordered it yet. I’m ordering it next month. I convinced my boyfriend with my buckwheat pillow which has already helped my neck. Stays cool too which will help in the summer. It snowed this morning in Chicago so that’s a little hard to imagine!

themegnapkin (#444)

@lemons! I can’t get the link to work. Can you write it out?

lemons! (#384)

@themegnapkin openyoureyesbedding.com

nervousrobot (#3,690)

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD, DO NOT GO TO SLEEPY’S. Seriously, I just registered an account to say this–don’t do it. I’ve had nothing but a headache dealing with their customer service, products, and salespeople. I have gotten not one, but two defective mattresses from them and for the last six months have been dealing with incredible back pain. I’m in the process now of replacing the second defective mattress, and goooooddddd, it has been awful. They’ve got a terrible return policy (no cash back, only store credit) and gah, it’s awful, don’t do it! See? I’m so irritated I’m practically inarticulate. Go to Macy’s. Go to Ikea. Do not go to Sleepy’s.

themegnapkin (#444)

@nervousrobot I posted above about them before I saw this. They are THE WORST! I had the same thing happen – 2 defective mattresses. They were bitchy the first time, they tried to shame me into not returning their crappy mattress by telling me they would just have to destroy it. I finally gave up after spending more hours on the phone trying to get them to take back the second sh!tty mattress. After getting nowhere with the company, I tried to go through the salesman I had bought it from – he told me it wasn’t his problem! I hate them so much I can’t even listen to their sh!tty radio commercial, I change the channel when it comes on. Oh my god I hate them.

themegnapkin (#444)

@nervousrobot so, I get your inarticulate rage. Nearly 8 years later and I still see red hwen I pass their store.

MissMushkila (#1,044)

When we were mattress shopping, we at one point found ourselves in a sketchy unlabeled warehouse where a guy claimed to sell mattresses at the wholesale price. They advertised and had a website, so I assume it was not illegal, but it was just entirely too suspicious for my tolerance level.

Maybe there is a similar suspicious warehouse near you? The prices WERE very good, and I might have considered overcoming my scruples if I was in a different financial situation…

honey cowl (#1,510)

@MissMushkila I have seen those kinds of places & they freak me out.

honey cowl (#1,510)

Logan I know you’re broke so you’re going to have to work up to it, but my bedframe (even though, as mentioned above, I hate it) was what really made me feel like an adult. It could do wonders for your mental state.

Runawaytwin (#2,693)

I wish you would have posted this 3 days ago…. We just got rid of (as it put on the curb) a perfectly good frame/mattress/boxspring.

I get the bed bug thing (and not wanting a mattress from a potentially creepy internet stranger) but you could have had the frame at the least.

for the record we got rid of the queen sized bad cause were moving and decided in the process new room will fit a king= which wil solve sleeping fights.

nap city (#2,801)

This may be the least helpful of all internet comments (well, right after FAKE and also GAY) since I live in Canada and I do not remember the name of the store I went to, but I got my mattress from one of those places that advertises in those little flyer packs (Valpak!) and I have been in love with it for years. I would not have gone there at random, though; a friend’s aunt (or something? Remember, this is the least useful of all comments) got her mattress there, and then my friend ended up getting one for herself.

I spent around $300, including delivery and one of those basic metal frames with wheels. I am very into sleep, and I often think wistfully of my bed when I am not in it.

In conclusion: sometimes going to a weird tiny mattress store in an industrial park results in an inexpensive and excellent bed, but also sometimes it probably results in the beginning of an episode of CSI.

Beaks (#3,488)

@nap city I have also bought a mattress at a weird tiny mattress store in an industrial park, and it was inexpensive and comfortable and they delivered it for, like, $20 the day I bought it.

I bought the cheapest metal frame from Ikea a few months ago, after breaking 3 different Ikea frames over the years. Why the punishment gluttony? This time I got a metal frame instead of a wood frame (the wood bows like crazy) and I hacked the crap out of it to make it actually not suck. I bought the cheap slats, and had two pieces of particle board cut to the right size at the hardware store (this might be hard in NYC). When I was done screwing the particle board down to the slats, I had a bed that is virtually impossible to break and actually looks decent. I paired that with a memory foam mattress from Amazon that comes squished into a box and sort of inflates itself once you unroll it. It’s amazing. Like, when I go to a hotel I miss my own bed. And I spent less than $500, I think. I have a grown-up bed! But for a regular person price! It’s great.

But don’t even mess with the cheap ikea frames without reinforcing it, unless you like waking up on the floor regularly.

fannyekdahl (#183)

@April Thomas@facebook I don’t suppose you remember the brand/model of said magic memory foam mattress?

elizabeast (#629)

I can’t speak to mattresses because I inherited mine from my best friend when I also inherited her apartment last December. HOWEVER, I ended up buying a cheapo IKEA bedframe and was like ugh about it but it was $49.99 WEL SPENT. It’s not creaky at all and I love it.

It’s this one: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/80185066/

kbn22 (#1,414)

We bought our guest room mattress at a mattress store (Mattress Firm – there’s one on practically every corner in Atlanta). The key here is to let them know you’re comparison shopping – “Oh, I was headed to Macy’s to get a mattress but just thought I’d pop in to see what you have.” We got an $800 queen mattress set for $500 bucks that way, plus a frame for $20 (usually $90) and delivery for $45 (typically another $90). Not one but TWO guests have commented on how comfortable it is, so I feel good about it.

As for our own mattress, we wanted a king and wanted a nice one, but couldn’t afford it so we…bought off Craigslist. Which is not something I’d do these days after the whole bedbug epidemic, but it was 2007 and we were broke and we got a six-month-old $2000 mattress for $500 and it is AWESOME. Better than any hotel bed I’ve ever been in.

As for the frame, Craigslist all the way. People get rid of these all the time, and bedbugs don’t live in wood or iron (I don’t think?).

jessjess (#3,543)

As for cost, if you need to be frugal on your mattress, I recommend going with something quite firm, and then adding a super lofty fluffy beautiful mattress pad on top (try TJ maxx or Overstock). For non-metal bedframes, sometimes student-y type futon stores sell plain wooden platform beds, which can be decent, if you don’t want to go with IKEA.

cjm (#3,397)

Matresses, at matress stores are negotiable. Like a used car. If you are going to get one, be prepared to negotiate. It might surprise you, because it is not a used car and it has a price sticker on it, but it is negotiable. Price, inclusion of mattress pads/ anti-bed bug things, delivery, box spring, pillows, even that metal frame. NEGOTIATE!

The bf and I bought an ikea mattress and bed. We’ve done this twice now. The first time we bought that super cheap wooden frame and it broke. Twice. Anyway, this time we bought the Malm bed frame and the style we got was on sale for like $100 and this awesome matching headboard with rolling bookcase-type storage things that wheel in and out. That thing was another $100. The mattress we bought from the As-Is section. It was missing most of the plastic wrapping so we got it for $100. The outside was dirty so we figured we could just wash that cover. So, all together we spent $300 for a queen size set which I thought was pretty awesome.

Note- yes you can wash the cover on an Ikea mattress. No you cannot put the cover in the dryer. It will melt. Oops.

LHOOQ (#1,634)

Three and a half years later, we are still really happy with a sturdy metal Ikea bed (Lillesand – may be discontinued) and mid-range Ikea mattress. I think we spent £120 for a large bed (king?), £16 for the slats, and £85 for a spring mattress. Never had a problem with the slats moving.

fannyekdahl (#183)

Get one of these kind of super cheap metal bed frames! I had to buy my bed in pieces. I started with the leftover mattress from my first apartment and IKEA slats on one of these metal frames, and then like a year later or so I got a box spring! Now I just need a headboard. But these frames are almost always less than $100 and so helpful if you can only afford to assemble your bed in stages.


ceereelyo (#3,552)

ah! we’ve gone from sleeping on a ikea matress on the floor for the past five months or so to just receiving our brand new bed. We were waiting until we get married next month, but Macy’s was having a crazy sale on all their mattresses. Luckily, we were able to get the interest free offer, and got a wonderful pillowtop bed that was originally 1500, but on sale for $797. It’s only been one night sleeping on the bed, but it was #$%#^%#$% amazing not to kneel on it and feel the floor on the other side.

Anyway, Macy’s usually has friends and family sales and you can get an additional 10% off mattresses at that time. Delivery is included! And they’ll take your old mattress if you’d like (we are handing ours down to my parents for their guest room). We tipped them pretty well because the delivery was included.

Titania (#489)

I have this bed from Pottery Barn, purchased for its 6 giant storage baskets which are awesome in my tiny apartment: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/stratton-bed-with-baskets/?pkey=cbeds-headboards&

And this mattress, purchased for its extreme comfiness: http://www.sleepys.com/en/Sealy-Supreme-Sleep-Tilden-Plush-Euro-Top-Mattress_39878/

As a testament to the comfiness, both of my previous roommates and two of my ex-boyfriends have purchased this mattress after sleeping on it. So I guess the answer is $1,543. And I’m totally paranoid about bedbugs, I put the mattress into one of those bedbug bags straightaway. Fact no one tells you: it makes your bed SO MUCH HOTTER because the mattress doesn’t breathe as well, so adjust your bedding purchases accordingly.

VintageGirl29 (#723)

I got a 2 year old $1500 bed off Craigslist for $180! It is amazing and has made my life SO MUCH BETTER. I didn’t know sleep could be this good. But I know in NYC buying beds of Craigslist is considered insane, so maybe not.

Before I bought my bed, I was about to buy this bed off amazon for about $400.

It’s gotten all around rave reviews. I did a ton of research from different sites and it sounds awesome. Plus they ship it to you in a box and then you let it inflate in your house. Presto.

Bedbuggery (#3,703)


I would consider buying a used bed (in nyc!) if the person who was selling the bed was “bed bug educated/aware” (ie. already had a bed bug cover, or knew that bed bugs leave tell tail traces of “black spots” [the droppings! eeew!] and little red blood spots [the feeding! eeew!]) and was reasonably sure that they did not have bed bugs, and I would put a mattress cover on it before it ever got in to my building. I’d basically just try to get a read on the people selling it, first, to make sure that they were not oblivious to bed bugs and assuming they were safe just because they’d never gotten any bites. Not all people’s skin reacts to the bites! So you could have them and not realize for a long time if you weren’t looking/noticing!

Bedbuggery (#3,703)


Oh, and if I ever bought a used mattress or bed frame, aside from carefully vetting the sellers, I would throw down some diatomaceous earth for good measure for a few weeks. And even possibly put the bed on bed bug climb ups (the moats you put around the bed legs).

Where bed bugs are concerned, early detection and an ounce of prevention can save you from a major headache/life-crisis later!

I feel like an informercial for diatomaceous earth for anyone who even suspects that they might have bed bugs. It’s a little dusty and messy, but it’s soooo worth it in the long run. It’s basically just a special fine powder (made of some kind of crushed up tiny sea life creatures) that is safe even for people or pets to ingest. But it cuts up the exoskeleton of little bugs and fatally injures them causing them to die. You can buy it online or at pet stores (it’s often used for fleas for pets).

skip2mylou (#2,806)

If you move even once with an Ikea bed, it does not last. After getting tired of it, I ordered this bed frame: http://www.bedroomfurnituremart.com/beds/storage-beds/concordplatformbed.cfm

5 years later it is still as sturdy as the day I got it. No squeaks, etc. It’s easy to put together and I’ve moved it 4 times. Also, you can order under bed drawers which is the best ever. They have also held up well, unlike the crappy Ikea under-bed drawers.

AnnieW (#2,913)

My sister is a big advocate for the Bed In A Box:


She has had hers for a couple years at least and still is happy with it. I’ve slept on it and it was surprisingly nice! If you don’t like squishy mattresses though, it might not be for you. It was rather plush.

I took a free bed from my parents house. It is twin sized. Ugh.

For a cheap yet awesome do-it-yourself approach, I recommend the Orgy Proof Loftbed, despite its stupid name. Borrow someone’s power tools, buy the wood from a good hardware store, and you end up with a sturdy, lovely loftbed that you can adjust however you want. It was a family project, and the bed itself has lasted seven years and is still going strong.

Bedbuggery (#3,703)

Logan, (and all you other bed bug phobic folks)…

I truly hope I am not angering whatever gods deal in bed buggery (*throws salt over shoulder*) but I too used to have a grave fear of the bed buggery.

Waaaay early on, I had a friend who got them, did not tell me (actually, I moved her stuff out of storage later w/out knowing about it) and found out that was the reason that she ultimately left nyc. Then, another friend of a friend got them, spread them to her mother’s and ended up causing her mum thousands of dollars (more than 4k) in costs, and was in therapy following the whole incident.

I am generally not a phobic person, but I did come to fear the ridiculous tenacity of a bed bug visitation. Fast forward a few years, and I have had some encounters with the dreaded scourge. My close neighbor got them. Hid it from everyone and I caught them sneaking in a new mattress.

I went on THE WAR PATH. Gave ALL of my neighbors Diatomaceous Earth and alerted them. Spent money I didn’t have on a mattress cover & pillow cover. Spread the diatomaceous earth all throughout the hallway. Ended up having to pack up all of my stuff do to mishandling by my landlord who in the end cheaped out and decided NOT to pay for the extermination in my apartment (but only after I has ALREADY “prepped” for it – which is a HUGE undertaking). In the end… I never got them, but it was agony. One of my neighbors admitted to me that she broke down in tears with all the efforts to prepare (her apartment was sprayed as a few bed bugs had spread to her apartment. I remember when she showed me the three bites in a row after we’d found out about the other neighbors infestation, and she tried to convince herself it was mosquitos from a picnik. I knew.)

Then, a friend got them. Having dealt with them before I had some knowledge and we immediately spread the diatomaceous earth around, the friend kept up rigorous vacuuming, calked all cracks (oh, the calking! Sooo. much. calking….) and lo and behold! Yes my friends, the bed bugs were eradicated, with no exterminator.

So…. what I learned from this: if you are hella proactive, you CAN deal with bed bugs. It Can Be Done.

And it does not have to be a major nightmare. Now, I don’t live in (as much) fear anymore. Education, my friends. Early detection. BE AGGRESSIVE. And (in my experience) this problem can be solved without an overly major headache.

First: as a proactive measure… hey! take the time to calk/seal your whole apartment. Neighbors have bed bugs? Not you, if you’ve sealed up your apartment! I asked the exterminator if he was afraid of bringing ’em home and he said, nope! His apartment is totally well-sealed, so if he ever did get them, he could deal with it easily. A little spring cleaning/house maintenance project that you might thank yourself later for: seal up those cracks with calk! Added bonus: it will help with any other pests, too!

Obviously: bed bug cover. Get one. Again, you’ll thank yourself later. Added bonus? I just spilled coffee ALL OVER my bed, seriously all. frickin. over. Not a little drop, a deluge. Damn damn damn! But my matress? Not even wet, when I unzipped the mattress cover. So it’ll keep your matress in good shape.

Wanna get all gungs-ho? I did this for a long time, and if there’s any doubt/issues in your buiding do this right away: climb-ups on all your bed legs. I have a fold up thingey, so there’s like 8 legs. I put one on each leg. They are just a shallow bowl within a shallow bowl, which provides a “moat” like area around your bed legs for the bed bugs to get trapped in. You can make these using recycled plastic food containers that you cut down to size so they aren’t too deep (about 3 inches high).

Wanna keep on with the proactive theme? Throw a little diatomaceous earth inside your walls. New buildings are being built with diatomaceous earth already put between the walls. It’s a community problem, so your neighbor’s problem is your problem. I already had cracks between the floorboards and the walls, so this did not require drilling holes and patching them up.

Obviously: white sheets (or light colored).

If you buy a used mattress (be so so so wary. I never would have considered this, post-bed-bug phobia — I stopped buying used furniture altogether and also became WAY more cautious about buying from thrift stores, both of which used to be my mainstay), but now that I have some first hand experience, I am more laid back. I would consider buying a used mattress — very very selectively. But if I did? Matress cover before it ever entered my house.

So Logan, if you get a floor model (sounds like a great tip to me) just put a mattress cover on it before you have them bring it up to your apartment.

And to all of you people out there… if you ever have the misfortune of dealing with bed bugs, or one of your peeps dealing with ’em. Be Proactive. Fight Back. Fight Smart. Buy a fuckton of diatomaceous earth. Seal up your cracks, put your bed up on climbers. Tell your landlord and neigbors right away. Kill them with the diatomaceous earth (and the professional spray pesticide if that’s appropriate, which it is if you have them, though my friend did not need to do this, and I have lots of natural/sensitive friends who would not want to have the very toxic spray), and interrupt their food chain: You.

Most importantly: deal with the problem as early as possible. I no longer live in (dire) fear of bed bugs, armed with the knowlege that, addressed early, they can be defeated.


Hark (#3,815)

This is late, but I went to one of those side of the highway mattress stores and got a very comfy full size with frame for $400. I drove it home strapped to the roof of my car. It would have been more but I told the salesman I was on a budget and asked if he had anything in the back. The other full sized mattresses that I found comfortable were $600 and up. This one was a retired model that came without a warranty. It was a good buy! Unfortunately, I have to resell it by June because I’m moving from Virginia to New York… oh well.

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