After sleeping in a floor bed for several years, I could write a whole book about how awesome this is, but here is a short article with all the pros & cons and things you might have to consider instead!
I’ve had different beds ever since I started my minimalism journey. In my first, funiture-free apartment I had just a mattress on the floor. Then I bought a minimalist designer bed frame, which is now my husband’s. And I also had a pallet bed.
My husband wanted a »real bed« in our first shared apartment, so we got an IKEA Tarva, which is quite a minimalist bed. And we made it even more simplistic by cutting of the head board and making into a so-called »futon bed«. But boy, was that thing loud! Every time one of us moved, it squeaked. Let alone nursing a baby. I was so happy when I finally got my own bedroom in the new apartment and got rid of this »normal« bed once and for all!
Why floor sleeping is so awesome
- It literally makes you feel more grounded.
- A floor bed automatically creates more space, because it takes up less volume.
- You’ll never hit your shin on a bed frame again.
- This kind of bed is less of a falling hazard for babies.
- Floor sleeping is really great for your back.
The greatest benefit I have experienced myself is by far the effect it had on my back. No more back pain. And I’ve had this on other non-elastic bed frames as well. So if a floor bed is not for you, then maybe consider getting just a stiff slatted frame for your bed.
This benefit is then directly followed by it being less of a falling hazard. I really hated seeing my baby play on the normal bed when she was smaller. Falling accidents are very common and I’ve had a lot of them in the hospital, so it was a great relief when we finally got this solution. And my kid will get a floor bed as well.
Things to avoid with floor bed setups
- jumping on the bed → can cause scratches on the floor or make loud noises and annoy of your neighbos
- covering the bed with a lot of plaids or blankets → you want as much air interacting with the mattress as possible to avoid mold and smells
- using a spring mattress → this will be not comfy, it’s better to use a cold foam mattress instead
- a soft mattress → for maximum benefits for your back, you should sleep »hard«, that means the mattress should be so hard that if you press it down a little, you don’t feel the slats or at least not so much → you can try this by pushing it down with your hands
Keeping the floor bed clean: Easiest trick is to use a dust cloth (avoid microfiber and use something viscose-based, if you want to make it sustainable). You just have to wipe between the slats when you change your sheets and turn the mattress and you’re done!
How to keep the bed clean?
One of the most frequently asked questions I got about my bed was »How do you keep the slats dust-free though?« And the answer is: I don’t. They simply get dusty over time. But the dust doesn’t really accumulate underneath the bed. So I just vacuum around it and that’s it.
Every once in a while, I wipe the floor underneath the bed, put it up and on the other side of the room and clean it all thoroughly. But that’s not required more than twice a year. (Or maybe I’m just super lazy.)
The slats are not treated with any coating, it’s just natural wood. So I wipe them with a moist cotton cloth. If you get slats like this, I can recommend sanding the edges once before you set up your bed, and wipe them too to remove splinters and even out the surface.
Is mold really a problem with floor bed setups?
It definitely can be, but I have had this exact setup you see in the pictures for three years now and I had no mold whatsoever. I did however had an issue with mold in one of my former apartments, where the mattress was directly on the floor and I was living on the first floor (under my apartment was a cold cellar). I think that this is not the best setup for a humid and cold area or a close-to-soil living situation. But in an apartment building in an upper story, I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to use a setup like this.
The room my bed is in has two outside walls but the house is insulated pretty well. One of the walls is a bit colder but never moist. So far, I have had no issues with mold, neither on the mattress nor anywhere else, but if you aren’t too sure, an alternative for you could be a pallet bed made out of EURO pallets or DIY pallets.
Airing your floor mattress
- turn the mattress every time you wash the linens
- occasionally air and turn your floor bed mattress when you find that you sweat more than usual
Whenever I remember to, I turn the mattress, but at least every three months. I don’t think that it makes a huge difference, but if you notice any weird smell, you should definitely turn your mattress more often and wash the mattress cover (not just the sheets, the cover).
I would stay away from putting blankets etc. underneath the mattress for more cushioning, because that just creates a secondary moisture barrier, which means that water can accumulate between that barrier and the mattress.
Living without a bed
I’ve also summarized all my experiences and some tips in this video, if you want to know more: