It may be time for a new mattress.
15 years ago, I made a commitment. I vowed to love, appreciate, and care for my beloved mattress until…
…okay, well, that's about where my analogy breaks down.
I scrimped and saved from my minimum wage job at a flower shop until I had saved $699. That was a lot of money for a 16 year old (especially one earning about $7/hr). But I did it because I'm stubborn, and dangit, I wanted that pillow top mattress.
Pillow top mattresses were all the rage, ya know?
No? You don't know? Pillow top mattresses weren't on the top of your priority list when you were 16? Am I totally alone in this?
The $699 pillow top mattress was delivered to my parents doorstep a few weeks later and since that day, I've been putting it to use each and every day. I did the math – it equates out to about 5,840 sleeps (minus a few vacations, etc.).
And if I'm being honest here, it was all great until about sleep #3000.
At about sleep #3000, the ‘ol girl just wasn't cutting the mustard. My neck ached. My back ached. My hips ached. The four pregnancies didn't help.
But I slapped a memory foam on top and made due for the next 2000 sleeps.
But then, it got even worse. And no, it wasn't just because of the body pains.
Are y'all even ready for what I'm about to tell you? Brace yourselves.
The mattress had a temporary home in the living room while it was being removed.
A few months back, as I was drifting off into sleep, I heard a weird chattering noise. Kind of like a squeak. And then a sort of funky thumping noise. It got weird. Weird enough that I woke Stuart up (who always manages to fall asleep before me, magically) and said “I think there's something under the bed.”
“Like what?” he growled back.
“A demon, I'm pretty sure.” I chattered back. “Yep, I'm pretty sure it's a demon.” Now, I'm no sissy, after all – we live in the middle of orchard country on a farm. Pests and nasties happen. But… you'll never guess what I found in my mattress that night.
He rolled over in bed and threw his head down to peek underneath.
A PACKRAT. A PACKRAT. A PACKRAT THE SIZE OF A CAT.
Time for a new mattress, perhaps?
Before we could even process the fact that there was (literally) a cat sized rodent IN OUR MATTRESS we had the whole thing flipped up on its side against the wall. Now what makes this even more humorous (or frightening) is that our bedroom is literally the size of most people's linen closets. We have about 2 feet of room on each side of our queen bed to move about, so to flip the mattress and box spring up, and then maneuver around the bed frame still left in place, was ridiculous. I'm stumbling and stammering about trying to simultaneously scare the rat out of our mattress with my shephard's crook while handing Stuart a box large enough to catch the critter.
This isn't the type of critter you squish. I'm not talking about a wasp or even a mouse, here people. This creature was huge.
Thirty minutes later, we'd yet to catch it, as it kept burrowing up into the mattress and dodging our eviction actions. Burrowing into my mattress, y'all.
I won't tell you how we eventually got the rodent out, because I know there are enough squeamish people reading this blog to warrant some discretion, but know this: the packrat was eventually removed from the bedframe.
I, in shock, could barely sleep. Did it have babies in there? Did it leave it's disgusting rodent poop to fill our mattress with toxins? Had it chewed up all the insides? Did it have friends?
Nasty chew marks in the mattress courtesy of the hobbit, circa 2014.
The next morning, I began to research new mattress. Mattresses that hadn't ever been home to rodents. But I, like most consumers, found myself completely overwhelmed. Too many choices left me at an absolute loss for what to choose. So instead of acting, I froze in fear that I'd make the wrong decision (as if somehow the entire world would come crashing down if I chose the wrong one). Consumer fear. It's a reality, man.
So I did what I always do.
I went to my dearest, crunchiest friends and say “Give me your best suggestion for non-toxic mattresses. Stat.“
Years ago, when I first began researching a new mattress (back around sleep #4500), I was exposed to way too much information on the “off-gasing” of new mattresses and the toxic-load that is brought into your home with one. Regulations dicatate that new mattresses must be treated with flame-retardants (read: harmful chemicals). Mattress toxicity sounds made up, but it's reality. But there are a few companies out there fighting the good fight and producing non-toxic mattresses that use natural flame repellents that still meet regulation standards.
Free of rodents. For our sleeping pleasure.
Every single friend I asked had the same answer: IntelliBED.
Use code ‘HOMESTEAD' if you also need a new mattress, sans rodents, and save some money, baby.
Our non-toxic mattress arrives today which means in a few short hours, I'll be removing the worn, broken, stained, God-only-knows mattress from our bedroom for good. And possibly lighting it on fire or running it over with my truck.
Will a good mattress make a big difference in our sleep? In our aches and pains? Lord, I hope so. I'll keep you posted. Because these ‘ol farming bones need a bit of relief!
Isn't this how your living room looks on any given weekday afternoon?
It's time for a new mattress. And today is the day. Celebrate in the small victories with me, won't you?
Small victories at the moment: no further rodents living in the bed.