How Do Floor Mattresses Feel?
Floor mattresses are distinct from mattress pads and mattress toppers. While floor mattresses are designed to be complete bedding surfaces, pads and toppers are individual layers of cushioning that should be used on top of an existing mattress. Pads and toppers may be used with floor mattresses but they are typically too thin (4″ max) to serve as a standalone bed.
Because floor mattresses are significantly thinner than standard mattresses, many sleepers find them to be firmer than average. Some are made with softer foam layers that counteract the firmness to an extent; however, sleepers often find that a softer topper used with a floor mattress creates a comfortable balance of softness and firmness.
Some sleepers take issue with foldable floor mattresses because they can feel the creases, creating an uneven surface that may lead to aches and pains. Using a pillow or blanket to pad the creases can mitigate this issue to a noticeable extent. Rollable floor mattresses do not have this problem because they are not creased.
Generally speaking, thicker bi-fold or tri-fold floor mattresses are the best options for sleepers with chronic pain in their neck, shoulders, back, and other sensitive areas. These mattresses usually have conforming memory foam layers reinforced with a high-density polyfoam base, which supports the sleeper and prevents sagging. However, those with severe pain often find that floor mattresses of any kind do not alleviate their discomfort to a noticeable extent.
Disadvantages of Sleeping on or near the Floor
While floor mattresses can be very handy in a number of situations, there are some health risks associated with sleeping near to or directly on a floor. These include the following:
- Bacteria and mold: Bed bases and foundations provide an airway buffer between the mattress and the floor. This buffer also prevents the mattress from coming into contact with germs that thrive on floor surfaces. When this buffer is eliminated, the mattress is more susceptible to bacteria that cause mold growth. Additionally, the mattress absorbs bacteria from sleepers’ perspiration, body oil, and breath.
- Dust: Mattresses are notorious dust collectors. Because they are not used with bases, floor mattresses come into contact with more dust and, as a result, are at higher risk of attracting dust mites. These mites trigger allergies and pose additional health risks for sleepers with certain medical conditions, such as asthma.
- Animals: Sleeping on floors puts sleepers at risk of coming into contact with cockroaches, fleas, spiders, and other insects and arachnids. Sleepers in some areas may also encounter larger animals, such as mice, rats, and snakes.
To mitigate these issues, we recommend thoroughly cleaning a floor mattress after each use or visit. This will prevent bacteria and dust from building up. Cleaning the surrounding floors will also minimize the risk of insects and other pests. Additionally, be sure to store floor mattresses in cool, dry places where they won’t be exposed to extreme heat or humidity (which can also cause mold growth).
Other Floor Mattress Considerations
In addition to the factors detailed above, sleepers should take the following variables into account when selecting a new floor mattress.
Sizing: Floor mattress models are designed to accommodate one person in an Extra Small, Single, Twin, or Twin XL size. Larger Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes may also be available for couples; however, many couples find that sleeping on separate single-person floor mattresses tends to be most comfortable. The following table lists the most common sizes for floor mattresses made today: