Image is from the Museum of the history of New South Wales.

A bed is a bed – or is it?  Our last new bed, eighteen years ago, came in boxes with some assembly required. One package held a little compressor that blew up the king-size bed’s mattress to fit the sleepers’ comfort.  My husband and I slept on a cloud.

Now, the compressor no longer worked, and my hip hurt when I lay on my side because the air had gradually seeped out.     

I don’t need a king-size bed, so I’m going to buy a less expensive queen-size without the compressor.

            At the mattress store, the salesman showed me around, pointing out the various features. “We don’t use box springs now,” he said.

              “What do we use instead?” I asked.

            “A base,” he said, leading me over to a bed with sideboards made of a wood-like substance. “These aren’t very sturdy.”

            That was the base?  I said, “What’s the alternative?”

            The salesman pointed to a charcoal gray piece looking like an iceberg with a mattress perched on top. “This one raises your head and legs for comfort.”

            At the sales counter, I bought a mattress cover and sheets to fit my new regular-type mattress. Although I got a discount on the base of the bed which would raise and lower my head and legs, the total ran to over $2100.

             On delivery day, when the new queen-size bed was set up inside my king-size headboard and footboard, there remained a gap of empty space along the side.

            “I didn’t realize there would be so much difference. Maybe I can get someone to build some storage boxes to fit in the extra space,” I said.

            One of the young delivery guys, with a smirk on his face, just shook his head. They left, hauling away the old mattress and the two twin-size base pieces, which looked like a pair of camp beds.

As soon as they left, I looked at my bed. This wasn’t going to work. Besides, I already owned king-size sheets and a bedspread. What had I been thinking?

            Back at the mattress store, I said to the sales manager, “I’d like to exchange the queen-size for a king-size mattress.”

            “No problem. The king-size is $300 more, and there’s a $79 delivery charge. Of course, you’ll need a king-size base at &998 making the total cost…”

            Before he finished, I said, “I’d don’t need the one that raises and lowers my head and feet.”

            “Then you’ll need the bases for under the mattress. That will be $280 for those.”

            I began to get the picture. I would need two bases identical to the two the delivery men had hauled away with the old mattress.

             My stomach churned as I handed over my credit card. When all the calculations were finished, the sales manager issued me a credit of $1.51.

I sighed. After sleeping in the guest room for a few nights, I would finally get a good night’s sleep in my new bed without the better base. The mattress cover didn’t arrive with the mattress as expected, so I put my old one on the bed and made it up with my old sheets.

When it was all done, I wasted $220 because of not keeping up with the times. This was another of those learning experiences I seem to discover daily. Where was I when box springs were discontinued?

When is the last time you bought a mattress?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This