Keeping a calm bedroom is very helpful to rejuvenate and rest. One of the easiest places to declutter is extra bedding and sheets. Here are some ideas from our extreme minimalist floor bed that can help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
Why Consider A Floor Bed?
A floor bed may not be for everyone, but there are many advantages. We all tend to live sedentary lives. We move from our cushioned beds to soft pillowed couches, to car seats that are more recliners than anything else. Our bodies also become soft, and lack the resistance needed to strengthen our muscles.
According to Katy Bowman, author of Nutritious Movement, when we have overly soft sleeping surfaces it is as if we are casted into one position throughout the night. The lack of movement is what causes those aches and pains we feel when we wake up.
My husband and I decided to ditch our mattress and boxspring and switch to a mattress topper on the floor to try it out for ourselves. Katy Bowman recommends transitioning slowly in order to build up strength in the many muscles that support you throughout the night.
We went right to a three inch mattress topper. It did take some time to adjust to it, however, I would never go back to a giant mattress and box spring. If anything I would move to a smaller mattress topper!
Ours has flattened a bit as we have used it, and I actually prefer it this way. I am a side sleeper and it has just enough give so that my hips don’t grind into the floor, but it’s still firm and supportive.
I even preferred my floor bed at nine months pregnant and immediately postpartum. After hauling a baby belly around all day I would lay down in bed and my lower back would pop into place like getting a chiropractic adjustment. Except it was free and completely effortless.
Getting up and down off the floor requires physical strength and balance. Many people lose this ability as they age because they stop using it. I prefer to incorporate natural movement into my daily life so that I don’t experience that unnecessary physical decline.
Floor Beds Are Great For Kids
Our two year old also uses a floor bed, and this is great because he cannot fall out of bed. He sleeps on the basic Ikea latex mattress. It’s light and easy to move so that we can vacuum.
We can put him in his room when we need to, although at this age we prefer to still keep the kiddos in our room, but with 6 kids it’s nice to have flexibility. Most of the older kids have stuck with their traditional beds, but our 8 year old has also switched to a floor bed and no pillow.
Because our current house is on a cement slab in San Antonio, we do not have a problem with moisture under a floor bed. That can be a big consideration in other climates. The Ikea mattress is easy to lean upright if you need to air out underneath it during the day.
How Much Bedding Do You Actually Need?
One easy place to declutter is bedding. I like to have just one set of sheets for my bed. It only takes two hours to wash and dry our bedding from start to finish. While it’s in the wash I roll up the mattress pad and run the robot vacuum underneath it. Many minimalists like to have two sets, one to wash and one on the bed.
For the kids’ beds I do like to have one or two spare sets of bedding. This is just in case we need to swap out sheets and blankets in the middle of the night or if we have overnight guests. I don’t keep an extra set for every bed however. It just doesn’t take that long to wash bedding and remake the beds.
Because we live in Texas we don’t need many blankets either. We mostly use the top sheet during the warmer 9 months of the year and keep the air conditioner set high. During January and February I do have blankets that get pulled out of top of the bedroom closets and added to the beds.
Whenever possible I try to use blankets that are handmade and sentimental, even if they aren’t the perfect size or design. The one pictured above was a wedding gift. I have another I crocheted myself, and one daughter uses a denim blanket I made from her dad’s old jeans.
The younger kids use fleece blankets given to them by their grandfather who has since passed away. I would much prefer to use sentimental items in daily life than to have them stuffed in a box somewhere, pristine, but forgotten.
You Don’t Have To Use A Pillow
Another crazy thing Katy Bowman talks about is that we don’t actually NEED pillows. I’ve always thought that pillows are kind of gross and hard to wash, so when I discovered that we can adapt to sleeping without one, I immediately started weaning myself off.
It has taken time for my neck and arm muscles to regain their ability to stretch and relax without a pillow. Now when I sleep on my side I use my arms to support my head. I get stretching time while I’m sleeping. Yay for multi-tasking!
I first switched to a flatter pillow, and then eventually to a rolled up pillow case. During my pregnancy with my 6th kid I did go back to using a pillow. However I found did not need it after he was born.
I am now able to sleep comfortably with no pillow at all. In fact, when I do periodically have my head propped up on a pillow it is quite uncomfortable. I can feel it affecting my alignment even down to my hips.
Is An Extreme Minimalist Floor Bed Right For You?
My current sleeping arrangement is quite dramatically different than what we consider typical here in America, but truthfully I love it.
I feel more flexible than I ever have in my life. Plus, I don’t even have to set aside time for exercises, because it happens naturally during my day. I don’t need to devote an entire closet of my house to extra bed linens. Not to mention it’s quick and easy to keep things clean.
If you are considering downsizing your bed, decluttering your extra bedding, or experimenting with sleeping without a pillow, I encourage you to give it a try. You can make changes as quickly or as slowly as you prefer.
And you can always change back if you find this isn’t for you, but don’t be afraid to experiment.
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