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Throw your paws in the air like you just don’t care

I don’t usually talk about my personal life — ‘tcha, no wait, successful bloggers don’t talk about their personal lives; I talk about mine all the time! Anyway, we’ve been waking up achey and we think our mattress is shot.

Either that or we’re just old. (Attentive readers will recall that May is my birthday month — not merely the month my birthday appears in, but a month-long celebration of the awesomeness of me).

Mattresses are expensive and science is cool, so we bought a cheap air mattress and just popped it on top of the old one. Not a permanent answer, but to test the age-versus-crap-mattress hypothesis. So far so good, but the top of the bed is, like, four feet from the floor now.

Illustrated: what happens when you hop up onto an air mattress where a cat is sleeping.

Bonus: I found this while image searching “bouncy castle” — bouncy Stonehenge!


Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: May 1, 2014, 11:19 pm

A few years ago I got one of those selectable inflatable mattresses. It’s got a wireless remote and makes a noise when it inflates that scares the crap out of the cats. It is more comfortable than a standard mattress, however, and I tried several traditional beds before getting sick of paying out the ass for something you have to rotate every month and replace all the time because it doesn’t do the job anyway. The newer inflatable versions have dual cells so there’s no fighting over whether your side of the bed is firm or soft. There may or may not be fighting over whether other things are firm or soft, but that’s beside my point.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 1, 2014, 11:21 pm

Oh, my, yes! The Quest (capitalized) for the right mattress approaches an obsession as we get older. As a young man I discovered waterbeds and swore by them for a quarter century. Then I discovered the variable-pressure air bed (trade name Select Comfort then Sleep Number) and have found them very good, but as you point out, expensive.

Frustrating is the fact that I did indeed find the perfect “normal” mattress some years ago. It was at the US hotel chain Hampton Inn & Suites, a Hilton brand. I asked where they got their mattresses and was told, “We have them made to order. It is our own design.” Damn them, they don’t share the design!

Back to the Sleep Number bed: I do believe it may be the perfect solution to the problem of two people who want to sleep in the same bed but have differing mattress firmness needs. For my wife and me, it was clearly worth the price.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 1, 2014, 11:26 pm

Another comment about waterbeds: Never, never, never let your cat in the bedroom when you are changing the bedclothes on a waterbed. There are always a few small air bubbles visible under the top vinyl surface, and those bubbles move around in a way that tends to drive your kitty krazy, making it chase the bubbles around and batting at them furiously.

A small drop of the right kind of glue will seal a pin-hole leak in a waterbed top. But you WILL NOT EVER find all the little pin-hole leaks created by your cute and playful feline.

I’m so glad I found this out when my friend Chuck had to buy a new waterbed bag after his cat Rocket had his fun.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 2, 2014, 12:10 am

I’m actually shopping for a new mattress too…the things are [REDACTED] expensive!…you can buy a [REDACTED] car for that!

Comment from Nina
Time: May 2, 2014, 12:16 am

I want a bouncy Stonehenge for grownups.

I sleep on a futon covered by four inches of memory foam. It is dangerously comfy, in that I don’t ever want to get out of it in the morning.

Especially in the winter when I’m covered with about a foot of down.

I slept on a waterbed for years and still would be if landlords allowed them. I had a friend stick a diaper pin into one once, though, whilst changing the baby. It was actually hilarious.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 2, 2014, 12:21 am

I only sleep inside of certified organic tauntauns.

Comment from Nina
Time: May 2, 2014, 12:56 am

And since I sleep alone, I can sleep in any type of taun taun I like.

Comment from Deborah
Time: May 2, 2014, 1:07 am

And I’ve been lusting for a Vi-Spring—made in the U.K. The last time Husband and I bought a bedding set (2003), it turned into a cluster-picnic. It makes me crazy to think about doing it again.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 2, 2014, 1:12 am

Sigh, the Vegetables are looking for a new bed too. Ours is shot despite regular flip-flopping. Meeting in the middle of the bed was far more romantic when it was by choice and not because the center of the mattress was a pit.

I have been considering a “sleep number” but have yet to convince myself to find out the actual price of one. I know it is roughly the cost of an Ivy League Education

Stark and Nina – this isn’t organic taun taun I admit, but if you’re sleepy enough it might do the trick. After all, any taun taun in a storm, right?


Comment from dissent555
Time: May 2, 2014, 3:22 am

So I take it Mad Jack likes the new mattress setup, bein’ as he is a youngster cat and all.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: May 2, 2014, 4:15 am

I’m a Sleep Number man too as are my Parental Units. It’s easily the best 2 grand I ever spent. Yes, they are up-front expensive, but how many $500+ conventional mattresses will you go through over one SN bed? Several. I bought mine about 10 years ago and the Parental Units got theirs probably 5-6 years before that. Once you find your number you’ll NEVER go back to a conventional mattress.

Hell, you even get a 100 night trial period to dial in your number or return it for free.

I’m Mitchell and I approve this message.

Comment from Mike James
Time: May 2, 2014, 5:04 am

The bouncy Stonehenge–me want.

The problem is that there is a Stonehenge monument in the garden that is in danger of being crushed by dwarves.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 2, 2014, 12:15 pm

Deborah – Funnily enough, Baby Badger Brother bought a Vi-Spring a year ago and has been crowing ever since. Spends money like water, the little so and so….

Comment from Deborah
Time: May 2, 2014, 1:11 pm

I’m glad Baby Brother Badger is doing well 🙂
Any idea which model he bought? I’d happily sell my car for a decent night’s sleep. Of course my car is part of the problem; the bucket seats don’t fit my bucket. Worst ergonomics ever: 1996 Mercury Cougar—with 135K miles because no one wants to drive Torquemada’s car.

Comment from Janna
Time: May 2, 2014, 3:49 pm

Damn, Where are you getting your Sleep Number Beds??

I’ve had mine about 5 years now. Got it on sale for $300.00.
Just me, so one controller and one innards. No bells and whistles. My controller doesn’t even have the digital numbers. So, definitely the base model.

I have chronic back problems, and this bed is perfect. When my back hurts, I crank it up to the plywood setting, as my back improves, I make the bed softer.

My box springs was/were? in good shape so I only needed the mattress. Full size. Easy to dress the bed and no turning or flipping the mattress! Yay!

Shop online, wait for a sale! Who cares if it’s LAST years model?

BTW, it does make noise when you inflate it, which annoys the hell out of my dog. Of course, the fact she sleeps under the bed might have a connection.

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 2, 2014, 5:43 pm

1996 Mercury Cougar

Ooooh! I love those!

Mom and Dad bought one new with the digital dash (!) and it was wonderful, smooth ride and cool looking for the time.

They got too old for a 2 door and traded it in on a Taurus, which was another good Ford product.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: May 2, 2014, 8:41 pm

Given the discussion, one wonders how our ancestors (grandparents) ever got a night’s sleep!

Somehow, I’m thinking if one is tired enough, one can sleep anywhere and on anything. Too much caffeine? Too little exercise? Too molly-coddled?

Anyway, my sleep number is 7 (beers).

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: May 2, 2014, 9:44 pm

You need to put a SUPERCAT cape on him and get video of him flying up, up and away.. 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 2, 2014, 9:54 pm

On the website, they have the basic Sleep Number bed range from $1,000 to $5,000. It’s probably moot, though. They don’t seem to sell them here.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 2, 2014, 10:45 pm

I’ll see if I can find out which Vi-Spring the little swine has, Deborah 🙂

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 3, 2014, 12:31 am

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: May 2, 2014, 8:41 pm

Given the discussion, one wonders how our ancestors (grandparents) ever got a night’s sleep!

Somehow, I’m thinking if one is tired enough, one can sleep anywhere and on anything. Too much caffeine? Too little exercise? Too molly-coddled?

Anyway, my sleep number is 7 (beers).

Yup. Wobble a couple of tons of gravel around with a wheel-barrow & the sleep comes easy, even if it’s on the tailgate of the truck you just unloaded.

4 beers is a good night’s sleep. 7 is starting awake at 4:00am to puke.

Comment from Deborah
Time: May 4, 2014, 3:35 pm

Thank you Uncle Badger. A mattress store in Austin (60 miles away) sells Vi-Spring. It would great to have a personal opinion and observation about the brand.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 5, 2014, 1:57 pm

Well it turns out that he can’t remember the exact model, Deborah – only that it was ‘entry level’ which means it cost an eye watering £1,500 or so. I hate to think how much they are in the States, assuming there is shipping and a distributor’s margin to inflate the price!

He is very impressed with it, he says.

I almost wish he hadn’t told me that as I’d kinda sorta decided on a Vi-Spring anyway but was hoping to get away with spending less.

Comment from Deborah
Time: May 5, 2014, 6:14 pm

This is good information, Uncle Badger. Urban Mattress in Austin stocks eight (out of 13) Vi-Spring models. “Elite” is the least expensive at $2195, and “Masterpiece” is the most spendy at $12,495! So $2195 sounds like a good price, allowing for the currency conversion. It’s around what I was considering spending anyway.

Husband and I live modestly, but poor sleep is starting to wear on us. I can endure a lot of discomforts but lousy sleep is not one of them.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 5, 2014, 9:11 pm

We’re in much the same situation, Deborah. I guess age plays its part but (at least with me) there’s also a growing sense of ‘up with this I will not put’ 🙂

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: May 6, 2014, 3:32 am

I am a Sleep expert, and here are some tips from a person who’s smarter than me about how to choose a matress:


You know how the commercials for those $1000 -plus beds say “Evaluated by Sleep Disorders Centers” in their commercials? They are.
One day some workmen delivered a “Number-pedic hyper deluxe sleep system” (that wasn’t the name, but you get the idea.) The note that came with it said it retailed for up to $6000.
We evaluated it for ten whole minutes, and then stuck it in the warehouse.
Plain and simple folks, unless you have some sort of bizarre malady, You can get a great matress for less than $1000.
Here’s a Penn and Teller episode about it:

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