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A Comparison Of Beds

By Cameron Elliott

It's time to buy a new mattress. There are so many options, so many choices. How do you decide? What do you pick? The salesroom is overwhelming. Beds and mattress all lined up, neatly, perfectly. The salesmen are pushy, demanding. Hammering you with the benefits of this one, of that one.

Leave. Enter an empty room, painted light blue, smelling clean. Welcoming. Soft light filters in through the windows. In the middle of this empty room are three beds, an innerspring, a foam, and an air. Each bed is lined with pillows with a plush blanket. After you leave this room, you will know what mattress to buy.

Lie down on the innerspring mattress. The springs compress, the padding offers some comfort. You can feel your spine. You're aware of every vertebra. Without a pillow, there is a gap right where your neck becomes your back. You can feel pressure on your hips. Possibly, if you're exhausted, you'll fall asleep. But just lying there, you feel awkward, uncomfortable.

Get up. Enough of that mattress, and move to the foam one. As you sit, foam sinks beneath your body. Lie down. And feel foam. It sinks down and rises up to cradle your body. Your neck, spine, back, hips, is surrounded in soft foam. You are only aware of foam.

You're not done yet. Extricate yourself from your foam cradle and go the last bed. It is an air mattress. Lie down. Take the controller. Adjust the firmness. Feel the air beneath you give, supporting every inch, every curve of your body. Relax. Lie there, on your bed of air. Aware of nothing. Of only yourself, of your breath. Getting slower and deeper. Of your eyelids fluttering. Struggling to stay open. Force them open and they shut automatically. Try once more. Pull the covers up close around your neck, and fall fast asleep.


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