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A Bed in a Box

August 16, 2013 by Diane

Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse

I bought a new bed.

But first I napped my way from the “Natural Handmade-To-Order-For-An-Obscene-Price” mattress store, to the discount “It’s So Toxic We Can’t Remove The Plastic” warehouse.

I applied my knowledge of mattress shopping to every bed that I test-napped. Lying supine, was it easy to slip my hand under my lower back? If so, the mattress was too firm. On my side, was my spine straight, or did it angle down at the hips or shoulders? If so, the mattress was too soft. Was I tired? Then forget about testing mattresses, because even plywood would feel just right.

Then I spied a mattress in the corner of a back room of an expensive shop. It wasn’t their brand. They were selling it for another company. The salesman, lingering next to me, said, “That mattress is for people on a budget who want eco-friendly.”

I launched myself on.

The mattress was more comfortable than any of the other fifty-odd mattresses I had napped on, so I went to the store that manufactures it and bought a new bed.

But not just any bed.

This bed, made of individually-wrapped inner spring coils, foam, cotton and wool, came in a box.

A box with wheels.

A box that fits into the back seat of a Toyota Corolla.

It’s a Keetsa!

Keetsa mattresses are made with springs so sturdy they can be crushed by a 1200-pound machine, rolled up, vacuum-packed, and stored in a box. When opened, they resume their natural size and shape. (The company enthusiastically compressed a few name-brand mattresses to see if they would bounce back. They didn’t.) Immediately after making a putchase, the customer can roll their new mattress-in-a-box to their car, tuck it into the trunk, drive home, unpack it, watch the mattress expand and sleep on it that night.

The foam is cut with cedar oil and green tea extract so there are no harmful fumes. For a couple of days the mattress smelled…foresty. The box with wheels is reusable. Handy for storing…say…blankets and pillows, or doubling as a packing container when moving.

The Keetsa salespeople leave you alone, unless you engage them in conversation. Which I did. To great lengths. I asked every mattress question in the book: Will it dip? Will it off-gas? What if I don’t like it? What’s the warranty? How long has it been in that box? They served free green tea in the showroom. They gave me a free pillow and two free allergy covers. They slid my full-size bed-in-a-box into the backseat of my Corolla and waved goodbye. They wanted me to nap elsewhere.

I took my new bed home. I jiggled it out of the box and unrolled it. I slit open the packaging and watched it expand.

Then I slept on it.

Imagine that you’re in a Zen-like restaurant that serves organic, grass-fed meat, and you order steak—medium, please—and on the plate it appears to be cooked medium, and when you test it with the fork it feels medium, but when you cut into it with a knife you hit bone.

My new mattress was a bit…firm.

Maybe I was acting too much like Goldilocks, wanting my mattress to be just right. Or like the Princess who complains about the pea at the bottom of the stack. All I wanted was to be Sleeping Beauty.

So I bought a mattress topper.

But first I tested everything from the “It’s So Toxic We’ve Encased It In Plastic” brand, to the latex model that was so dippy I had to claw my way out.

Which brought me back to the Keetsa store, with the friendly salesmen and the free green tea and the foresty smell. I explained my problem. They had just the topper in mind. I asked, Will it dip? Will it off-gas? What if I don’t like it? What’s the warranty? How long has it been in that box? They gave me a discount. They wanted me to be happy. They wanted me to go away.

Now my bed is cushy. My bed is comfy. If I didn’t have insomnia, my bed would be perfect. But according to good sleep hygiene, if you can’t fall asleep within twenty minutes you have to get out of that cushy comfy bed.

I think about it.

Sometimes I think about hanging out in the box.


  1. Joan merdinger says:

    Is this true? Do you really have a comfy bed now? Lucky!

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