Modern mattresses can usually be placed directly on the floor without the need of a frame or any other support structure. A common question is asked about the benefits and drawbacks of doing this.
Sleeping on the floor isn’t a new concept, but it’s often argued about whether a bed frame is necessary for a good nights sleep.
We’ll highlight the main pros and cons of sleeping on your mattress when it’s on the floor so you can make a more informed decision.
Benefits of having your mattress on the floor
Better for the Human Body
Bed frames are naturally firm and stable, so when we sleep without these structures, it allows your body to align correctly which relieves pressure throughout the night. It is incredibly vital for vulnerable pressure points along the spine.
This natural position can be maintained without any added cushioning or support as long as you choose the right mattress.
This will leave you feeling refreshed in the morning and also allows for blood to circulate freely around your body ensuring that your tissues receive optimal nutrients throughout the night.
Can Be More Natural
As a species, humans have been sleeping on the floor, and it’s only in modern times that we have converted to sleeping on beds. In fact, in some countries such as China, Japan and Korea it’s still common to sleep with a mattress directly on the floor.
However, the majority of the western world has decided to choose unsupportive soft mattresses that lead to joint and health problems over time.
It’s essential that if you decide to put your mattress on the floor that you want a supportive mattress because over time a poor mattress will begin to dip and sap which can cause your body to misalign.
It’s similar to if you sit in a chair with the wrong posture, over time this can turn into chronic issues.
Sleeping close to the floor means you'll experience cooler air throughout the night which will help to regulate your body temperature because air can circulate more effectively. Overheating is a common culprit of sleep disturbance and can leave you feeling tired in the morning.
Colder air will not only reduce the amount that you sweat but also promote more effective blood flow. So if you have a tendency to overheat throughout the night, sleeping with your mattress on the floor could be the solution for you.
Any form of foundation or base will cost you money to purchase, and even the cheapest options can cost upwards of £100, so it can be a significant saving. Sleeping on the floor will allow you to avoid these upfront costs.
You shouldn’t decide to sleep with your mattress on the floor just for this reason, but it's an additional benefit.
Can Reduce Stiffness
If you’re regularly waking up with a slight stiffness in your joints then sleeping on the floor can address this. It's not uncommon that you don’t even realise you’re waking up with this stiffness because you’ve just gotten used to it.
This stiffness often develops you sleep in an unnatural hunched over position when you sleep, similar to if you slouch in a chair for too long. This leads to muscle tightness so in the morning you feel less rested.
Sleeping with your mattress on the floor can feel strange for the first few nights, but you will need to give your body a bit of time to adapt to its new sleeping surroundings.
Once your body has adapted, and your muscles have loosened, then you'll begin to feel the effects when you take up in the morning feeling considerably better.
Improved Blood Circulation
One of the best reasons to stop sleeping on your bed frame is that it helps to improve the blood flow around your body.
Sleeping is an essential function for your body as it allows your muscles and vital organs to rest and recover. Blood circulation supplies the body the necessary nutrients to enable this recovery.
It is the main reason why people who sleep with their mattress on the floor feel more rested when they wake. This improvement in circulation can help people who suffer from abnormal spine curvatures as this can relieve joint pain.
Negatives OF HAVING YOUR MATTRESS ON THE FLOOR
Can Be Harder To Get Out Of Bed
An important issue that comes with sleeping with your mattress on the floor is that it can be considerably harder to get out of bed. In the morning, you can often be tired and uncoordinated, so this can make it hard to pull yourself onto your feet from such a low height.
From the height of a traditional bed, this is much easier, and even for other tasks that you regularly do on your bed including getting dressed, sitting and putting your shoes on. This is something to consider if you have mobility issues.
One distinct disadvantage of sleeping directly on the floor is that you are in closer contact with dust that gathers on the floor. To lessen the effect, you will need to clean regularly to prevent allergic reactions as well as other respiratory issues.
If you aren't the most regular cleaner, then this can cause severe issues in the long term, especially when you consider how many hours you’ll spend in bed each night being exposed to dust and allergies.
Insects and Bugs
If your mattress is directly on the floor, then this gives easier access for bugs and insects that can easily crawl onto the surface. This would be much harder if the mattress was on a frame or support structure.
If bugs and insects get into the mattress, in the worst case scenario this can lead to infestations which will then need a deep, thorough cleaning. However, this can also completely ruin the mattress.
Can Cause Mould
If you live in an environment which has higher humidity or levels of moisture then sleeping with your mattress directly on the floor can lead to moisture accumulating on the underside of your mattress.
If this goes untreated, then this can lead to mould developing which can then negatively affect your health including your breathing. Allowing mould to grow on your mattress will often cause your warranty to be voided.
This can be made worse if you place your mattress on a hardwood floor as it may already contain mould which can then spread into your mattress.
Uncomfortable for Side Sleepers
If you sleep on your side, then it may be hard to adapt to sleeping directly on the floor.
This is because there is a higher level of pressure between the mattress and the floor which can cause pain up the side of your body including the shoulders and hips. This makes it more ideal if you sleep on your back or front.
Mattress Care Tips
There are some simple cleaning tips that you can incorporate into your weekly routine to help keep your mattress in top condition:
1. Use bleach to clean any hardwood floor that your mattress is placed on, which will help to kill any dangerous bacteria present
2. If you have carpet then before placing the mattress on the carpet ensure that you give it a thorough clean. You also need to make sure that it's thoroughly dry because if it's damp, then this is an ideal environment for the development of mould.
3. Repair any cracks that appear on the floor which is more likely to happen if you have a hardwood floor. Cracks in the floor are ideal for bugs to accumulate which can then lead to them finding a way into your mattress.
4. Keep the room well ventilated as this will allow fresh air to circulate through the mattress to get rid of any unwanted smells. It will also help to keep the mattress and the floor dry.
5. Regularly lift your mattress to allow air to circulate through the bottom. This will help to lower the amount of mould build up on the underside on the mattress.
6. Before you place your mattress down, you should put a thin piece of material, usually cardboard, in between the floor and the mattress. Not only does this added another dirt protection layer but can also bring insulation benefits.
7. To reduce the build-up of body sweat and bacteria, throughout the hotter summer months you should use a fan to regulate your temperature which will also make it easier for you to sleep.
8. It’s essential to check the terms of your mattress warranty because some manufacturers do not allow mattresses that are placed directly on the floor to be included in their warranty program.
This can potentially void the warranty meaning that you have no support from the manufacturer if a fault develops.
It’s your choice if you want to try sleeping with your mattress on the floor because all that matters is that you’re comfortable. As you can see, there are positives and negatives, but the main thing is to keep the surrounding area clean.
All you need to do is try it for a few nights to see if it’s for you. If you’re not suited to it, then you can revert to your previous sleeping set up.