2020-11-22

notes on floor sleeping

options

sorted by perceived usefulness

  • plastic yoga or camping mat

    • superior thermal insulation and elasticity for size and price
    • a good yoga mat might be the best and cheapest option
    • look for products that have been tested for wide range of toxic chemicals, but even then they may contain these chemicals within limits
    • there are several common materials, eva/tpa/pvc
    • potentially toxic chemicals
    • even aluminum layers have an additional plastic layer
    • wash before using, to get rid of anything on the surface from when it was produced
  • stacked blankets

    • can be washed separately
    • works on cold floors
    • cotton creates a lot of fine dust, but the inbetween layers are not as problematic
    • organic blankets are expensive
    • need many blankets
  • cotton or hemp yoga mat

    • good as a blanket or top layer but not necessarily well insulating alone
    • usually quite thin
    • can be relatively rough on the top
    • washable
  • travel futon, guest futon

    • rolls up
    • probably not washable
    • maybe not as even
  • futon

    • big ones are not as easy too dispose
    • not washable
    • hard and soft options available
    • hard options tend to contain coconut fibres
  • rug

    • runner rugs are available made from natural materials
    • certifications might be more lenient for this material class compared to bedding materials because prolonged skin contact is not expected
  • foam core guest beds

    • can be folded or rolled and are soft but foam is plastic
    • also thai mattresses
  • crude fibre mat, hemp or coconut coir

    • as padding and insulation
    • without wrapping fibers tend break off easily and hard to clean
    • plastics and latex are common binding materials
    • well established in futons, mattresses, for small pet cages and for protecting plants from winter cold
  • latex

    • there is natural and synthetic rubber, but even the natural one might contain problematic chemicals
    • latex sheets can be bought separately
    • usually cant be rolled up
  • wood mat, bamboo mat

    • can be built quite flat and even
    • often have plastics at the bottom against slipping
  • cork

    • may break and tear off
    • hard to find thick sheets
  • tatami omote

    • the material used on the surface of tatami mats is also available in raw form as mats
    • possibly strong straw smell
    • there are also rollable tatami mats that already have multiple layers
    • can be cut to size with scissors easily
    • quite stiff and hard material
    • can be used as a layer over rough materials to even it out
  • tatami mats

    • bulky
    • check that they are filled and made with non-toxic materials
  • cardboard

    • doesnt hold shape and becomes hard if pressed down
    • corrugated cardboard can be rolled but can be dusty and have weird contents like recycled plastic pieces
  • air mattress

    • quite comfy
    • breaks sooner or later
    • easily pierced
    • air pressure continually weakens and has to be refilled at least monthly
    • smelly plastic
    • easy to dispose
  • filled sack

    • fill a sack with sand, paper or other things

    • pro: cheap

properties

  • evenness: uneven hard surfaces can be quite uncomfortable to sleep on. even slight unevenness like the seams of an underlying blanket can be a problem
  • materials: should be non-toxic, oganically grown natural materials. anything else might contain toxic substances that enter the body through the skin and fumes that distribute into the room, initially and when they break down over time
  • size

    • should be easy to dispose with home trash, so that no car is necessary to get rid of it
  • dustyness

    • materials like cotton produce a lot of dust that will be breathed in and even break down into smaller particles
  • hardness

    • types

      • soft and sinking in
      • hard but with some yield
      • wood hard
      • stone hard
    • soft beds have you sink in and basically lie in cavities created from the weight of the body
    • moving in even slightly-soft beds isnt how one would move on the harder surfaces, like on grass. less muscle effort is required to move
    • the springiness of the material and inclination on the sides of the cavities allow for small body jumps for moving the body
    • there is less surface to hold on to and control ones movement as one sinks in, slips and moves around on the surface of a soft bed
    • with a hard surface

      • all muscles needed to get off a flat surface are used. for example, there is no deepening cavity that aids one in sitting up, but at the same time actually staying sit-up is easier because of the support from the hard surface
      • the whole room floor becomes the bed. stretching outside the bed might seem a little bit easier
      • you cant fall out of the bed in any way
  • thermal insulation

    • depending on the environment, wood or carpet tend to be quite warm and only a thin washable mat can be enough
    • unheated stone tiles in the winter, especially with a freezingly cold basement room underneath, need thick extra layers for insulation. otherwise the floor will not warm-up while laying on it, but will stay cold, taking up heat and moving it away
    • some useful properties to aid thermal insulation

      • thickness
      • airtightness
  • elevation

    • if there are insects around and one does not want to share the bed with them, or the floor tends to get dirty frequently, it makes sense to elevate the bed
    • wooden or metal frames with cheap flat wood planks are available as for traditional beds.
  • layer count

    • if layers are multiple separate mats, it can be a bit annoying to assemble and disassemble each day to make room
  • moisture

    • mattresses and futons can rot if they are not put up every day to let the underside dry