On my first night in London recently my 6′ 3″ husband and I squished ourselves into a 4 ft-wide bed, whose 30-year-old mattress sagged if you so even as much as breathed on it. “Do not move a muscle,” I admonished my husband, as any movement from him caused the mattress to undulate like an earthquake eruption. My husband asked, “What is all that crackling noise on the pillows?” I informed him that cheap pillow covers or dust mite covers were often plasticized and felt like Pampers or an incontinence pad underneath one’s head. At 3 a.m., I crabbily informed him that the comforter was clearly a single, not a double, but he was going to have to share because I was freezing. By morning time, we both admitted defeat. My husband, who had foolishly boasted to my Dad that he could sleep on anything, was about to eat his words. “It is a new bed or a hotel,” he said firmly.
A loan of a comforter from my sister and the purchase of a new bed mattress the same afternoon allowed us some semblance of sleep for the next 9 days. However, I confess that I looked at the bedding on my father’s bed and our own with something akin to distain, disgust and incredulity all week long.
“This is a dead pillow,” I said to my husband, “the deadest you will ever see.” The feathers were coagulated into one hard flat lump. If you fold a pillow in half and it stays in place, this is a sure sign of rigor mortis. The average pillow lasts 18 months. These pillows were somewhere between 30 and 40 years old and the odor was none too grand either.
When I returned to Boston, I wearily crawled into bed, and then I confess, I was completely taken aback and surprised. The contrast was so great, there are hardly words to describe it, and I just lay there savoring the experience and counting my blessings. Our Primaloft soft pillows and Hypodown soft pillows felt like clouds under my head and my Monarch Hypodown comforter (Arctic strength) just enveloped me in reassuring toasty, but lightweight warmth. Thank God, warm at last. I could feel the softness of the lambswool mattress pad underneath. As for the bed mattress itself, a Royal Pedic, was true miracle of latex support and cushion at the same time. But the real proof was, I had a really decent night’s sleep, woke up refreshed and with no backache or joint pain.
I thought sadly of my poor Father the other side of the Atlantic who grumbles about how uncomfortable his bed is, and I made a promise to myself that on my next trip he will get a major bedding upgrade.