Tuesday, July 3, 2012

king vs. queen

Confession time! Larry and I sleep on a double bed. And we've been sharing a double bed for nine years. Yes. A double bed.

We're not small people. It's uncomfortable. And while we do like to sleep close at times, I'd prefer it be in an Awww, let's snuggle kind of way, not an OW, GET YOUR ELBOW OUT OF MY EYE kind of way.

When we were house hunting four years ago, the thing that sold me on this house was the master bedroom. It was huge! It took up the entire top floor of the house! It had a cathedral ceiling and skylights! It was my dream bedroom and I couldn't wait to transform it into a cozy nest for two (er, four - since the dogs share our bedroom, too).

I used to watch a lot of home decorating and DIY shows on HGTV. In just about every episode, the owners would admit that while they had renovated the rest of their house, their own bedroom was a sad state of affairs. The camera would pan through a beautifully decorated living room/dining room/kitchen and then go up the stairs to reveal the master bedroom: a mattress sitting on the floor topped with a brown comforter from 1989.

I always wondered how this happened and vowed it would never happen to us. The bedroom is the most important room in the house. It is the room that you spend the most time in. It must be comfortable, it must be a retreat.

Anyway, we moved into the house, got settled and thought SOON WE WILL FILL THIS GIANT BEDROOM WITH A GIANT KING SIZED BED!



Yet four years later we are still sharing a double bed. It rests on a metal bed frame - the kind that come free when you buy a mattress (a mattress that is ten years old*). Want to know what other furniture we have in our giant master suite? Two nightstands from Ikea and a trampoline.** THAT IS ALL.
OMG. My hair. AND MY FACE!
This photo is from last summer's bed jumping escapade, but it also accurately expresses my frustrations over our sorry-ass furnitureless bedroom.

You will note that we DO NOT OWN DRESSERS. Guess where our clothes are? Did you say "in the closet"? You are only partially right. They are also ON THE TRAMPOLINE. AND THE FLOOR.

We have turned into those people from the HGTV shows. It's a sad state of affairs. It's our dirty little secret. When friends come to visit and move towards the stairs, we fling our bodies in front of them and shout "DO NOT GO UP THERE!"

If you're wondering "Why the heck didn't you just buy a bed and some dressers then?", you must not be a homeowner. Being a homeowner is expensive and unpredictable. Things break. Trees fall. HVAC systems need replaced. These things eat up your budget, and since we already had a mattress to sleep on, it stayed, and the renovation of our bedroom was sacrificed so that we could afford to have a house that was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. (Both of these are very important. We have lived through both a broken furnace and a broken air conditioner and these situations are way more uncomfortable than sleeping a little bed.)

But we are finally at the point where we can buy some bedroom furniture. A bed, a mattress, two dressers. We'll paint the walls, buy new bedding, hang some art, and put the clothes in the drawers.

Except that we can't decide...


We originally thought we'd go for it and get the King. I know, I know, King beds are enormous and maybe a little tacky. As an architect, we advised our clients to never get King-sized beds. They take up the whole room! A room full of bed will be ugly and awkward! They're heavy and difficult to move! You can't get them up the stairs! BUT, after sharing a double bed for years, we wanted a serious upgrade. We wanted space. And with a bedroom that is 18 feet wide, we certainly have the room for it. To fit the other furniture in the room we settled on a California King (which is four inches narrower than a regular King and would allow two dressers to fit - we think). But then we realized that a California King mattress still wouldn't fit up our stairs...

Unless, we bought a latex mattress***. I've been interested in these for years (ever since Young House Love bought one). They are organic and don't have the potentially-dangerous chemicals that are found in regular spring mattresses. I'm not an alarmist when it comes to these kind of things, but not sleeping on chemicals couldn't be a bad thing. Most importantly, latex mattresses come in boxes. They are flexible. They will fit up our stairs. To make things even more convenient, the top-rated latex mattress manufacturer, Savvy Rest, has a showroom just a few miles from us. They are a local company and the mattresses ship from the Charlottesville area. I'm always keen to go green/eco-friendly and to support local businesses. And Savvy Rest is a good one. Problem is, a latex mattress is more than TWICE as expensive as a spring mattress. Ouch. Then again, a mattress it the most important piece of furniture you own. Consider that you will own it for 20 years (Savvy Rest has a 20 year warranty), sleep on it 8 hours a night, and avoid nasty fireproofing chemicals, and it doesn't seem like such a splurge.
latex mattress samples from savvy rest
latex mattress samples from savvy rest
Latex mattress samples from Savvy Rest. A mattress is comprised of three 3" layers of latex in your choice of densities. 
The layers are zipped into a quilted organic cotton and wool cover.

BUT. Do we really need a mattress that big? We slept on a King at the beach and I dare say it was too big. Larry and I would wake up in the morning and the bed WOULD STILL BE MADE between us. It kind of took the fun out of sharing a bed with someone since that someone was sleeping in another zip code.

So, maybe we just need a Queen. Cheaper, fits up the stairs, isn't the size of a cruise ship. Problem is, I think the Queen is too small.

I know, I know, just call me Goldilocks.

But a Queen sized bed is just 6 inches wider that a double. That's 3 extra inches per person. That is not enough space to keep Larry's elbow out of my eye.

Why don't they make a bed size that is between Queen and King/California King? What to do, what to do?

If budget was our deciding factor, we'd just go with a Queen-sized spring mattress. If eco-friendliness was our deciding factor, we'd go with a California King latex mattress. If assuring that other furniture will fit was our deciding factor, we'd go with Queen. All of these things are important, but to me, the most important deciding factor is comfort. Which mattress will provide the best night's sleep? I don't have an answer to which is the best choice for us. Is King too big? Is Queen too small?
I think I need a chiropractor.
Decisions, decisions! AAAARRRGGGGHHHH!

We've been trying to make this decision so we can just GO AHEAD AND ORDER THE DAMN FURNITURE ALREADY, but we're stuck. Larry's favorite party question these days is "Can I ask you a personal question? What is the size of your..............mattress?" 

Not that the size of anyone else's bed will determine what is best for us, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. Anyone out there have a King-sized bed? Have you ever felt squished in a Queen-sized bed? Anyone have a latex mattress? Is it impossible to find sheets for a California King?
* When I moved into my first apartment after graduating from college, I didn't have a mattress or the money to buy one, so I SLEPT ON THE FLOOR for three months. No lie. Sense a pattern here?
** The trampoline is for exercising. FITNESS. (And also clothes storage.) It is not some kind of sex equipment. JUST WANTED TO CLEAR THAT UP.
*** A latex mattress is not the same as a memory foam mattress. We are not considering memory foam. It is stinky and made of chemicals. Also, it doesn't bounce. (Warning, that link is NSFW. Also, MOM, DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK!)


Amber Wilkie said...

George and I sleep on a queen. We're not big sleep-cuddlers either. There's enough room on a queen to have your own space and also to occasionally bump into each other and sleep-cuddle by mistake.

Anonymous said...

We've been sleeping in a full-sized bed for the past 3 years - A queen would be nice I think, but a king is just too huge. Whenever we sleep in a king I feel like we drift away from each other throughout the night and wake up with a vast expanse of sheets between us (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration). We sleep-cuddle every night and have minimal bedroom space in our small apartment so our full works perfectly for us right now :)

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

Ryan and I like sleeping in separate zip codes, so we're giddy with excitement that we may upgrade to a king as soon as this August. (If he builds the bed frame, that is . . . ) Ok, so we'll upgrade by the end of the year.

Anyway, on the mattress note. I tell everyone this! Check out Ikea mattresses! That's what we have and it's great. We got a foam one (Ikea mattresses are more eco-friendly than conventional ones, without the huge price tag that Savvy Rest has.) Also, the mattress came rolled up like a burrito, shrink wrapped. So you can actually maneuver it into spaces that otherwise would be off limits for king size beds.

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

PS: I need to go to Ikea this weekend if you want a ride.

Grace said...

king. nuf said.

So Many Little Things said...

I say go big or go home! After all you're suppose to spend 1/3 of your life in that space!

I was like you thinking a king was too big and that it looked crazy in the room. Neither of us is over 5'9" so it didn't seem necessary.

But then my husband went and bought one (which then allowed me to HAVE to go buy bedroom furniture). Now that we have it I don't think I'd go back to a queen. We have an 18' room and it doesn't look too big when the room is that size and the rest of your furniture fits the room.

Good luck! Picking a bed is as hard as picking a house.

sam said...

We upgraded to a King a couple of years ago. I thought it was totally too big and was against it, but he insisted. I love it now. It's huge... but when we travel and stay in queens we find they are still a little tight - lots of poking with elbows and knees. We both sleep towards the middle in the king and get both snuggling as wanted and space. Works perfect!

Debbie said...

King. Been married for 24 years and I wouldn't have it any other way. Once you go King you will never go back.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bedroomfurniture said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting and informative post regarding King Vs Queen size beds. As far as my Experience, queen bed size is the best size for our home. King size bed is too much big. It also depends the Size of the room whether to pick up king or queen. I totally agree with above post that picking the bed is one of the important decision. Thanks once again for your genuine efforts towards the post.

Jannet Gassaway said...

I can imagine your master bedroom with a cathedral ceiling and skylight. It's really good to have a king-sized bed right under the skylights. It's great to lie down there as it makes you feel like you're sleeping under the stars! :')

Jannet Gassaway @ Walker Contracting

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Nice post. I have also bought a queen size bed from Housefull International Ltd. You can also find the best quality queen size beds on Housefull Furniture. Thanks

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