Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sleep with the sheep

I hate to shop, but after repeatedly waking up with an aching back, I decided I had to do something about my mattress.

I have a waterbed frame (sans the water-filled mattress) and waterbed frames are a bit longer than standard bed frames. They make mattresses to fit waterbed frames, but the selection is limited. I thought about replacing my bedroom suite so that I would have more mattress options, but it's made from solid oak with cedar-lined drawers, plus none of the local charities will accept waterbed frames. So I thought maybe I should just get a standard queen size mattress and stuff something into the gap at the foot of the bed so the dog does not get trapped between the mattress and bed frame.

But which mattress? I stumbled upon a web site (which I cannot find now) that broke down the options based on a collection of criteria, and all the possibilities had drawbacks. I just could not generate any enthusiasm for any of the usual selections.

A while back, I read a memoir (title totally forgotten!) in which the author described sleeping on a wool mattress. Being a knitter, this appealed to me, so periodically, I would research wool mattresses. They are expensive and not available locally, so I was reluctant to purchase one without trying it out first.

But then I did. I ordered one from Surround Ewe, sight unseen. After sleeping on it for two months, I could not be happier about my decision.

I ordered a 4" topper with my mattress, and I am glad I did, because the mattress itself is very firm, very much like a futon. Surround Ewe included two wool pillows and a "summer weight" wool comforter with my order. It's like sleeping in a wool sandwich. I now think of the bed as my nest.

And it is a very warm nest. Before, I had a difficult time staying warm in bed, despite the following: topping the mattress protector with a doubled blanket, using flannel sheets, capping it all off with a fleece blanket and polyester comforter, wearing thermal pajamas and wool socks, AND making the dog sleep with me; sometimes I wore a wool sweater to bed and/or added an afghan to the mix. (I considered buying an electric blanket or mattress pad, but could not convince myself I wanted to sleep with all that wiring.) Now, I still use the flannel sheets and the dog makes sad eyes if I don't let her on the bed, but otherwise it is just the wool comforter. Summer weight or not, it will have to go come spring.

Surround Ewe has a "renewal" program for their products, but I am hoping I never need it. Theoretically (which means in my magical fantasy world), the bedding should last forever. Everything is covered in thick organic cotton, I air things out each day by throwing back the covers and turning on the ceiling fan for a bit (they recommend opening a window, but HELLO it is still winter here), and come summer I plan to air everything out in the sunshine once or twice.

I don't get very excited about anything I own, but if my house burned to the ground tomorrow, this bedding is one of the first things I would replace.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Time for spring cleaning (almost)

It's difficult to get in the mood for spring cleaning after it snowed yesterday and tomorrow promises freezing rain. Ugh. But there is not much else to do while awaiting spring. Except spend money.

Frequent readers will recall that last year I fired my professional carpet cleaners after discovering I could do a better job with a rented machine. One problem with renting a machine is the logistics of the rental, a definite deterrent when you want to clean a small area. Another problem is its heft; when I bumped it up against the baseboard, it scraped off the paint. So I broke down and purchased the above. It is still in the box, but once I get up the gumption to actually use it, I will report back.