To Slat or Ensemble? A fairy tale about finding the perfect bed.

Let me tell you a little story about the girl (or blog author) who cried wolf...

I had a double or queen sized bed since I was 17 (quite a few years now!). Until I was married, they had always been slat beds. Ausbeds think that slat beds are the most common form of bed style today, and I can see why.

To me, a slat bed is a natural choice because:

  1. I like to have storage under my bed. Matt Blatt have some great in-built storage options at the moment.
  2. Slat beds seemed cheaper to me...
  3. They can be trendier in design (in regards to materials, make, colour, bed head composition, or even a four poster bed?). Just look at the designs at Icon by Design to see what I am talking about.
  4. They were easier for this little red riding hood to dis-assemble and get up the stairs when moving.
  5. Wooden or non fabric slat beds are easier to pop into storage for a number of months whilst you, ooh, I don't know, take a trip over the rainbow to Oz and back?
  6. I also had a good 15 years of 'single-ish' adulthood, so the size of the bed really wasn't an issue. 

But one day, this blogging princess met her Prince Charming.

Princey was a traditional ensemble, king size bed only man, and it poised a dilemma when joining houses. This Chicken Little thought her sky was falling!

Now he likes the ensembles because:

  1. Firstly its a king sized bed, so you can move around all you want without disturbing the other person too much (in theory).
  2. The support of the ensemble base apparently is more supportive and helps with his pressure points in his hips when sleeping.
  3. The minimalist design reflects his pratical, streamlined, 'devil take care' princey style
  4. King size ensemble bases come in two sections, making it easier to get up the stairs
  5. Ensembles also provide more room in the bedroom as they don't have the frame of the slat bed sticking out. 

Bt there was also the evil mattress to contend with. Apart from the slat v ensemble issue, Princey thought my bed wasn't good enough as it was 'too hard'. This Goldilocks thought his bed was 'too soft'; and being a hand-me-down from his late grandfather, a little old. I do concede that the extra firm mattress I got on sale was 'extra' firm.

We needed to get a bed that was 'just right'.

Could the prince and princess overcome the bed dilemma and live happily ever after??

Well we bought a 'soft' mattress and ensemble for his pressure points, middle to bottom of the price range as the royal wedding was on the horizon. This was the beginning of the disaster.

I am often a stomach sleeper, and it is pretty hard not to drown in a the soft bed when you sleep face down. Three years and two pregnancies later, this bed was just not supporting me as I and my ever growing and shrinking pregnancy proportions needed.

So I declared war on the ensemble! It was the style of bed that was the problem (and not the mattress)! And the Prince graciously let me buy a slat bed.

I got a bed frame from Freedom, and I loved the look, and it was easy to get up the stairs, and it was a 'medium' firm mattress.

This bed, my dear readers lasted us just three years. It couldn't handle being jumped on by the darling little ones, and I had added support screws here and there to the wooden frame. The medium mattress had a lot of partner movement transfer, which isn't good with Princey moving every 20 minutes to relieve his pressure points. Just gaining 6 cm around each side of the bed in size meant we had to shimmy down the sides to get into the bed, and kicking your toe or knocking your knees on the frame was a regular occurrence.

Prince Charming told me he hated it. Regularly. Almost from night one.

So this week, after a particularly bad nights sleep, I reneged. I went and bought his highness (well really me) an ensemble.

We now have a 'good quality' mattress that was medium in hardness, but specifically designed to eliminate pressure points. Princey has stated his pressure points are a lot better since sleeping on the new bed. I don't feel like I'm riding a wave out of bed every time he moves, and the kids don't find the bed bouncy enough to do summersaults on it (yet).

I will never cry slat bed over ensemble again.

The end.

Really the moral to the story boys and girls is apart from size of bed, look of bed, and storage options, it is more important to get a quality bed and a quality mattress rather worry about slat or ensemble.

A quality mattress shouldn't have to cost you the world either. Choice Magazine did a survey in 2015 and estimated that most people spend $1000 - $2000 on a mattress. And the price point for significantly more people unhappy with their mattresses was $500 or less. We got our ensemble at less than half price the day after EOFY sales finished, so it does pay to shop around.

And finally, here is a little gem that I found. A mattress that has been voted by Choice Magazine as the number one mattress (of the bed in a box kind) for under $3,000. If you don't like it, you can send it back, and you get to save cuddly Koalas to boot...

No matter what you end up picking, a quality slat or ensemble bed, with a quality mattress will, just like a fairy godmother, be magic at the end of the day, any day, hands down.

Image Source: Pawel Forman