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I "Rest" My Case

I like our mattress. I think it’s comfortable, but then again, I’m not all that fussy about things like mattresses, though if asked my preference, I will lean toward the firm side of the proverbial bed.

That said, I think our current model does a nice job, and by “nice job” I mean, it sits quietly and accommodates our bodies as it should with little fanfare. After all, it’s a mattress, which historically means its job is to basically do nothing.

Thing is, I’m realizing (through the gratuitous amounts of TV I watch and podcasts I listen to), that the concept of getting a mattress the likes of which I’ve enjoyed these past five-plus decades is becoming more and more difficult.

If I believe all ads I’ve seen and heard recently, getting a mattress that just “lies there” (And are mattresses lying down when they’re performing their duty or is that their upright position?) is something of a unicorn these days.

People are telling me I can get a mattress that allows me to dial in the firmness to match my specific comfort needs. Not only that, I can also get a model that changes temperature, or the incline of my head, much like a hospital bed. But wait, if I also want to control my partner (that would be Joan) and her experience, I can also adjust the angle of her head, presumably to keep her from snoring (not that Joan snores, but if she did …).

This mattress revolution (a strong word but fitting if you ask me because the s**t really seems to be hitting the fan in mattress technology right now) is mind-boggling to me, a person who always thought of his mattress as a still-life portrait of blissful slumber, not a machine that would scoop me up and manufacture my sleep experience for me.

I’m not a great sleeper. I won’t provide detail except to say I toss and turn, I snore (not always, but often), and it’s not uncommon for me to awaken several times every night before I finally give in and get up for the day. That said, I’m OK with that. It’s me, and it’s how I operate.

Would I like to sleep better, or at least, differently? I guess. Would my partner (again, that’s Joan) like me to sleep quieter and with less “rustle”? I’m sure she would. Thing is, I’m not OK with my mattress doing all that for me, and I have reasons why, none of which I’ll go into here. (Trust me, there’s a list.)

OK, I’ll give you a few, but I’ll be brief.

To reiterate, I’m happy with our current, lazy, sedentary mattress. It’s good. It performs, which means it does nothing except support the weight of two adult humans. And in my book, that’s exactly what it’s designed and meant to do.

With that mind, while I understand the current desire to always look for different, better and more intuitive and automated (I believe the words we’re currently attaching to everything from thermostats to appliances, vehicles and even clothing are “connected” and “smart”), I guess I don’t need that kind of technology from my mattress.

I don’t sleep soundly, but for me, I sleep fine. And if something’s going on that needs to be addressed for my “sleep health” (another popular phrase these days), a new mattress isn’t going to solve or cure those issues; it’s only going to mitigate a symptom (i.e., snoring), potentially delaying the discovery of why I might be snoring or otherwise; something that may actually need the expertise of a clinician or therapist; not a smart mattress.

Another thing is this (OK, now I’m on a roll): let’s say we decide to get a “smart” or “connected” mattress, one that does everything you’d ever want a mattress to do and “so much more.” Now I have one more thing in the house that has innovation and components that will need attention at some point because, let’s face it, somewhere down the road, we all know we’ll be spending time on Google, on hold or online in a live chat with customer service , searching for answers to why my new smart mattress isn’t texting my family physician every time it notices a change in heart rate or detects perspiration, or why it why it’s now stuck at a 45-degree incline.

Or worse yet, why Joan’s side is stuck at a 45-degree angle because I put it there last night without her asking and now it won’t go back to its original position.

These things, which I believe are not only likely but inevitable, will then cause me – ironically -- not only to lose sleep but also create stress during my waking hours. Thus, I’ll make simple and very stodgy case that, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”; ergo, “Why expect something designed to do nothing to do everything?”

If you have a mattress that does what you want “and so much more,” and it’s making you feel rested and it puts a spring in your step as you greet the new day, I’m happy for you. You made a great decision for you and – I’m assuming – your partner, whether that be a spouse, family pet or “other”. After all, who am I to throw stones?

However, for me, I’ll gladly take a mattress that does nothing but support two adult humans and all our little fidgets and snorts without judgment or advice.

© 2021 David R. Haznaw

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