I Sleep On The Floor Now

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with minimalist sleeping–which translates, in less poetic terms, to sleeping on the floor.

My reasons are half-philosophical and half-practical. Philosophically-speaking, mattresses are anti-minimalist. They’re large, heavy, and expensive; I can’t imagine packing one in a backpack. Practically-speaking, my shared apartment in Taichung can’t fit another mattress. I couldn’t use one even if I wanted to.

Many cultures throughout the world don’t use mattresses. The Japanese, for example, sleep on tatami mats. The modern mattress can actually harm your spine if it’s too soft. The harder the mattress, the better it is for your back. So I figure I should just use the hardest support of all and sleep on the floor.

The benefits of sleeping mattress-free are legion. Mattresses are extremely difficult to transport, which makes moving an enormous hassle. Professional moving teams are expensive to hire, but it’s grueling to carry a mattress by yourself.

In general, I dislike furniture, because it limits my flexibility and freedom to travel light. I don’t mind sleeping on a mattress if it’s offered, but I don’t want to have to depend on one. If I rent an unfurnished apartment of my own, I don’t want to own any furniture. I love the freedom that comes from minimalism; I can pack my bags and move in an hour. If I bought a mattress, I would lose that flexibility.

I’m also trying to reduce my pollution by reducing consumption. For all of this year, I’m trying to never buy anything new. I’d have to buy a used mattress, then, but this idea doesn’t sound appealing to Hsinya. She would be perpetually worried about sleeping on a dirty mattress.

For the last two weeks, I have been sleeping on the floor. The first week was terrible. I’ve slept on mattresses my whole life, so I didn’t expect the floor to be so uncomfortable. I had difficulty sleeping each night; I would spend an hour lying awake from back pain. Every three hours, I’d wake up feeling sore and groggy.

Maybe the problem was due to my poor posture. Because of the curvature of my spine, all my lower body weight rested entirely on my tailbone. The pain was unbearable at times, but I refused to give up. I was determined to adjust my posture and get used to sleeping on the floor. Eventually, I conceded to borrowing a thin bamboo mat to give my tailbone some cushion against the hardwood floor. In the future, I’ll try to use spare clothes for minimalist padding.

I’m gradually easing into it now. Sleeping on the floor definitely isn’t as comfortable as sleeping in a mattress, but I have now confirmed that it’s possible to sleep anywhere without paying a dime for a bulky, anti-minimalist bed. So the next time I spend the night at a friend’s place, don’t look for me on the sofa-bed; you’ll find me on the floor.

Do you think minimalist furniture is practical?

88 thoughts on “I Sleep On The Floor Now

  1. Fuji

    You might want to try a yoga mat as a compromise. They roll up and are extremely light and portable, yet they provide just a bit of padding for a hard floor. I tried sleeping on the floor, then moved to a carpet, then a yoga mat on the carpet and now a futon. :)
    I couldn’t adjust to sleeping on the bare floor with just a sheet.

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Fuji,

      Right now, I’m using a bamboo mat that I borrowed from Hsinya’s parents. It also provides padding and rolls up, too.

      Hsinya can’t get used to the bare floor either. She’s planning on buying a mattress topper once we get our own apartment. She’ll set it directly on the floor, sans box-springs and mattress. My sister-in-law tried it already and found it extremely comfortable.

      As for me, I may get a sleeping bag. I’m looking for one that can pack tightly in a standard 25L backpack. Do you have any suggestions?

      Reply
      1. Martin

        Hi,
        I loved your post! I am sleeping on the floor right now and I like it quite a lot – I wondered though where I can get a bamboo mat and which one to use? Hope you can help me.
        thanks in advance,
        Martin

        Reply
      2. matt

        Using a mattress topper is a great idea. I had heard that sleeping on the floor can be uncomfortable. I use a 1.5 inch thick memory foam pad, which is actually more comfortable for me than my old mattress, which was fairly new. I never was sore.

        Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Mrs. J,

      Glad you enjoyed the post! I hope Greenimalist living helps you. It definitely helped us save time and money, which we were able to put back into Christian fellowship rather than just into daily living expenses.

      Reply
      1. adriano

        Dear Aaron, my name is Adriano and I’m writing you from Italy. Since some weeks I’m sleeping on the floor but the winter is coming and I cannot any more. Looking you picture I see that you sleep on a wood surface or something like this. I’ve look something similar but I didn’t found any. Can you help me? I need to know the exact name of the surface on which you sleep and a brief description about it. Maybe is it possible buy it by internet????

        Thanks for the help that you will give me.
        Adriano

        Reply
  2. Matthew

    I have learned of your site through miss minimalist as well. I would suggest a camping sleep matress, they are extremely light & can easily be carried on or in a backback. R.E.I has a good selection to choose from. I’ve also seen them at thrift stores. I will be reading more from your site. Thanks for all that ya’ll do.

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Matthew,

      Awesome, will check it out next time I’m at the thrift store. That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

      Reply
  3. Brittany

    This is such a great post :) I would love to ditch the bed, it’s just getting my husband to agree :) I have also noticed that my daughter has a hard time sleeping well on her mattress, and it seems that the softer it is the worse she sleeps, so this makes so much sense!

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Brittany,

      It might help to take it one step at a time. First, get rid of your box springs and set the mattress directly on the floor. You’ll get two feet closer to the ground without reducing any comfort. After a week, you can replace the mattress with a layer of thick, unused blankets for cushion.

      Maybe once your current mattress breaks, you can convince your husband to give sleeping on the floor a try.

      Reply
  4. Wilson

    I also sleep on the floor with a thin foam mat, and I love it but it takes a little getting used to. My back has never felt better and I have so much room in my bedroom. I also have elimimated my upholstered furniture. Unfortunately, my family and friends think I’m nuts…

    Reply
  5. Dimond

    Because of bugs, I likely won’t ever sleep on the floor. But I didn’t want to waste money on a bed either, especially considering I move every few yrs. I did some research and decided on a raised air mattress. I love it! To me it’s just like a bed only better because it’s portable. It’s easy to inflate and deflate with the built-in air pump. I decided to get one of the best quality ones so I don’t have to worry about repairing or replacing it for awhile (Wenzel Insta-Bed). It has ended up being an excellent purchase. I even have had back issues in the past and have no problems with this bed. I do wish there was more portable furniture like this.

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Dimon,

      Great suggestion. I checked out the Wenzel Insta-Bed Queen. I’ve never tried sleeping on an air mattress before.

      Right now, I’m probably going to stick with whatever I can find at the thrift store. I’m hoping to throw something together for less than $10.

      Reply
  6. Laura M.

    This post comes at a perfect time. As an engaged Christian couple, my fiance and I have been encouraged to live apart before the wedding. Since this is financially not possible, we are looking at sleeping in separate beds. However, as you mentioned, mattresses are hard to transport and well, we don’t really have the money go out and buy another one (we are also moving in less than three weeks to a new place). This post has helped me consider the possibility of sleeping on a floor, mat, or sleeping bag. Thank you! You are also my new favorite blogger. :)

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Laura,

      When Hsinya and I were engaged, my parents gave us a mattress. I wish I had thought of minimalist sleeping three years ago.

      I think it’s good you and your fiancee are staying in separate beds until marriage. Too often in our culture, couples succumb to the temptation to live together before marriage.

      Reply
      1. Casey

        Hello,

        I’m one who strives to live simply as well (according to natural law), and usually these kind of “green” blogs are from people of liberal stripes. I must say I was very happy to see you speak against fornication. I am Catholic, but, regardless, I applaud you.

        God bless you.

        Reply
    2. sally johanson

      What’s the point of sleeping in separate beds if you’ve already dug in your crotch thinking about him?

      Reply
      1. Nain

        I normally wouldn’t respond to a comment like this because, first, it is off-topic, and second, it seems to be written by someone who really doesn’t want an answer and has already made up her mind.

        However, on the chance that someone else who really is wondering will find this comment, let me express a few thoughts.

        First, not everybody believes the same things, and not everybody has the same code of conduct for themselves. Some people believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe, some people believe that we will be held accountable for our actions before God, and there are many other beliefs. Many couples choose abstinence before marriage for religious reasons. If someone believes, as I do, in controlling his/her thoughts and passions, and sleeping separately from one’s significant other except within marriage, then he or she is to be commended for standing up for his/her beliefs. It is a good thing to live according to one’s beliefs, instead of preaching one thing and living another.

        Second, abstinence outside of marriage is a benefit to individuals and society as a whole. In the interest of not having excessive links in comments, I’ll only post one: http://family.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25885/~/are-there-non-religious-reasons-not-to-engage-in-premarital-sex%3F But you could research the issue; another part of it comes along with out-of-wedlock births; they commonly result in a single mother (sometimes a father) living in poverty with limited educational and vocational opportunities. There are a lot of other things to research, if anyone is interested, related to this issue.

        I hope this helps someone!

        Reply
        1. eryn

          I’m offended by your comment. I’m a single mother. Left her father when she was 6 months old. We weren’t married. I don’t live in poverty. I’m an educated, professional woman who makes six figures. Being a single parent doesn’t necessarily result in poverty or lack of employment. Ridiculous.

          Reply
  7. Just Lara

    Why, oh why are you encouraging me?? I have been threatening to get rid of our mattresses for a while now but my husband says he will never sleep on the floor and I’m worried our friends would turn me in for child abuse! (Apparently it’s ok to poison your children but not ok to let them sleep on the floor.) I would do it more because of the toxic fire retardants in mattresses than for the sake of minimalism but I think rolling up sleeping mats every morning and having bare floors would be lovely as well.

    I already have back problems so I sleep on the firmest bed we could buy but I’m not sure how I would survive a pregnancy on a hard floor. The other thing I would worry about on the floor is bugs crawling over me. Yuck.

    Your blog looks fun. I can’t wait to read more!

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Lara,

      I love being able to reclaim bedroom space when I wake up. Sometimes I’ll roll up my mat in the morning and set my laptop in its place.

      Hsinya and I have thought about adopting, but we were worried that the agency wouldn’t let us if they saw our minimalist home!

      Reply
    2. dd

      To all those who fear bugs on the floor. Duh? It is beds that get infected with bugs. They are the perfect hiding spots for bugs. Have you heard of bed bugs? On the floor the bugs have no place to hide so they will not come near you. Even if they dared to they will be quickly spotted and crushed.

      Reply
      1. cgk

        I don’t know why so many ppl are afraid of bugs whilst sleeping on the floor. Bugs can climb right up onto a bed, on the ceiling, on the walls, etc. just as easily as on the floor. A mattress seems to offer protection from bugs, but it really doesn’t. I sleep directly on the floor with a rubber mat beneath me and I put some irish spring soap around to deter bugs, but even without the soap I’ve never had any problems with bugs.

        Reply
    3. Nain

      Hi, Just Lara, and anybody else who happens to happen upon this comment,

      Potential problems with bugs/which kinds of creepy crawlies there are will probably vary a lot depending on where in the world you live and how your house is built and things like that. I would think that concerns about bugs would fall into two categories: bugs (like bed bugs) who come along with the malicious intent of snacking on you; and bugs who just happen to be passing by, with their hands, so to speak, in their pockets and accidentally walk across your bed/walk across you.

      Critters who are there to snack on you aren’t so common in some places, but if they’re in your room, they will probably find you no matter what sort of bed you have. If this is a concern where you live/where you travel, mattresses and box springs give them a lot more hiding places and are much harder to clean and de-bug (and more expensive to replace) than are simpler beds.

      If your house only has the kinds of critters who may just happen to wander over your pillow, having a raised bed may reduce their unwanted presence, as they would have to deliberately climb up bed legs or something to get there. Some houses don’t really have an issue with lots of stray bugs, but if yours does, a platform bed may be more down your alley. (I found an example here of a platform bed, if you scroll down the page and look in the right column: http://www.zafu.net/sleepergonomics.html) If, for example, I lived somewhere where cockroaches were unavoidable, it might be nice to sleep on a platform, rather than on the floor.

      Hope this will help somebody!

      Reply
    4. Bill of the Desert

      In many places in the world sleeping on the floor is safe and sane for children. They will never fall out of bed. In other places it is not, exspecially if you have critters about. The four (4) posts of a bed, which elevate it off the floor can provide a barrier to these critters. For example, my bed which is in southern New Mexico has all four (4) post set in drinking glasses to prevent the occasional scorpian that wanders in to the house from climbing up the post into the bed.

      Best Regards,

      Bill

      Reply
  8. Imshin

    My daughter goes on a lot of outdoor trips and she takes a special thin mattress that rolls up quite small. It’s a bit thicker than a yoga mat and helps with all the little stones and rocks that can make sleeping in nature uncomfortable. You could try something like that.

    Reply
    1. Hsinya

      Hi Imshin,
      I think I’ve read about special camping mattress that roll up quite small, too. Have you ever use self-inflating sleeping pads? I’ve heard it’s more comfortable, but I worry about the pad breaking.

      Reply
  9. happy clam

    Hello,

    I sleep quite comfortably on a therm-a-rest mat when I’m outdoors – I have the light model and it rolls up very small. Also I sleep quite well on it. Otherwise, the two of you might want to get a futon mattress without the frame – weirdly enough, we just got rid of one that nobody wanted on craigslist for free (both of our parents visited recently they’re not used to sleeping on the floor so we got a sleeper sofa)

    I added you to my blogroll, i like the green-ness of your blog

    Reply
    1. Hsinya

      Hi Happy Clam,
      I checked out therm-a-rest mat. It was quite interesting because someone from Amazon also used it indoor as bed. Maybe we’ll give it a check when we need a mat. I guess the hard part is to find it from a used goods store.
      I’m glad you like our blog. :-)

      Reply
      1. Tanja from Minimalist Packrat

        I’m so encouraged by this. I ran into another minimal blogger a couple weeks ago that was trying out floor sleeping. I’m still really hesitant because I love a big comfy bed.

        But we’re also planning on some pretty serious moving around soon. I know in the next couple years we’ll be doing it, and when we do, I won’t be buying furniture everywhere we move to.

        I’ve contemplated my perfect minimalist set-up and I know I can get by with very little kitchen gear, etc. It’s the furniture that’s been getting in the way though.

        Anyways, just thought I’d share that we do have therma-rests and they’re extremely comfortable. We use them for camping. They’re our big non-minimalist thing because that and the tent and bags aren’t used all the time!

        But I have considered them as an alternative bed. The only consideration I would think of for you is that it takes some time to get the air out and get them rolled up properly. Since you have to put them away every day that might become an issue.

        Cheers,
        Tanja

        Reply
        1. Hsinya

          Hi Tanja,

          Thanks for brining up that therma-rests take a while to deflate! We’ll consider this if we ever plan to get a mattress/sleeping mat.
          It’s great that you are cutting down on possessions and furniture. It would definitely help your moving process! :-)

          Reply
  10. James

    Or, as our Japanese friends like to do, sleep on the futon, on top of a Tatami mat. Or you could find a nice plush Persian rug, and sleep on that. I often fall asleep on the Persian rug we have in our front room, and it is very comfortable. There is hardwood under that rug. If you get a small one, both you and your wife could sleep on it, and then roll it up. But the rug won’t fit in the backpack! Sorry.

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi James,

      A while back, I saw this Luxury Lite Cot being used by another digital nomad. The benefit is it packs so well; the downside is that it’s such a rare and expensive item. I doubt I’ll find this used.

      Reply
  11. Jurino

    Here another visitor from miss minimalists’ blog.

    I must say I absolutely love your blog! I’ve added it to my RSS subscriptions, which really aren’t many ;)

    Sleeping on the floor seems very intruiging to me. I haven’t done it since I was a kid, when we used to camp out on the beach without any mattresses. I’m not sure what my wife would think. But hey, small steps at a time.. we’re now just thinking about ditching the bed and have the mattress on the floor. A step into the right direction, eh?

    Keep up the good work on this site. And hey, another thing I loved reading is that both of you are Christians (AND that you just gave the advice to someone to sleep separately until marriage.. you don’t find many of ‘those’ christians around anymore these days!)

    Greetings from the Netherlands

    Reply
  12. bethers

    You might find this interesting. It’s called a hide-a-mat. I’ve been sleeping on one for about a year now. It’s about 3″ thick and tri folds, so it can be stored in a closet if you want to reclaim your floor space. Costco carries them for around $46.

    Reply
      1. Hsinya

        Hi Bethers,
        I think I’ve seen those in my friend’s house! I slept on one before, and it was quite comfortable. But I think it might be too bulky for backpackers. If you don’t move around much, it seems like a good idea. Thanks for posting the link, so other people who are interested can check it out. :-)

        Reply
  13. Karen

    I found you through Miss Minimalist as well, and I’m enjoying your blog. I’m thrilled to find out you are both Christians! I too think that minimalism is a valuable part of my walk with Christ.

    My husband uses a self-inflating sleeping pad when he goes backpacking, and I believe he finds it comfortable and easy to carry. It might be possible to find a used one in good shape.

    I have arthritic knees which make it hard for me to get down and get back up off the floor, so I don’t know that I would ever want to give up a regular mattress and box spring on a bed frame. However, we got rid of all bedroom furniture except the queen-size bed, one small dresser, and one bedside table that holds the lamp, the alarm clock, my glasses, and the books we are currently reading. Our 12×12 room feels very spacious now!

    Reply
    1. Hsinya

      Hi Karen,
      If your arthritic knees make sleeping on the floor difficult, I certainly wouldn’t sweat it. But I’m glad you trimmed down other furniture in your bedroom! In our previous apartment, we had only one bed and nothing else in our bedroom. It felt empty, but we liked it.

      Reply
    2. Nain

      Hi, Karen,

      Another option might be to have a platform bed with a simple pad (or whatever you would like to sleep) on on top of that, instead of using a mattress and box springs. You could have someone build you a platform bed to the right height for you. :)

      Reply
  14. Verdant

    Just a quick note on the therma-rest sleeping mats.
    You don’t have to completely deflate them, except for packing. As I understand(from being a user of them – for camping anyway), it’s preferable to store them partially inflated: that is, just undo the air knob and fold them in half. They can stack away in a corner or cupboard (or chuck a rug over them and call them a seat?!) They shouldn’t be stored rolled up long term.
    One thing to watch is if your overnight temperature is much lower than your daytime/evening temperature, they may deflate a bit overnight (cold air takes less space) – but that’s true of any airbed.

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Thanks Verdant!

      But now I’m curious: what do you use for a pillow? I can’t fall asleep without one.

      Reply
  15. Rose

    I sleep on a 2″ thick foam camping mat that I got from Cabelas. I use two pillows to keep my spine properly aligned and to take pressure off my shoulders. I have back problems and mattresses give me muscle spasms. I also have allergies so I like being able to wash the removable cover and the foam. I have a small bedroom that is also my office and I can just roll up my mat and have lots of space. I can also “pick up my bed and walk” when traveling therefore avoiding the problems of sleeping on a strange bed.

    Reply
  16. Edward

    Why not make your own futon mattress using natural material or thick blankets from seconhand shops.Why buy new when you can use your imagination?A lot of people throwaway mattressess which are full of wadding which you can use to make a futon.Old wool blankets can be washed and piled in layers.Going to the superstore isn’t always the answer.A needle and thread can do wonders.You can design your bed to your own specifications and use recycled materials.

    Reply
  17. Teresa Randall

    Hi!

    I found your website from Miss Minimalist’s, and I am happy to discover other Christians involved in minimalism and green living!

    Edward’s idea of using thick blankets to make your own bed is a great idea. I would like to share my own idea that might help:

    I have a queen size comforter that I no longer use on my bed because it has faded from age. However, it’s still useful, just faded. I discovered that if I fold it length-wise twice, it makes a more comfortable sleeping surface than my Tempur-pedic mattress. I kid you not! I tested it out one night on the (carpeted) floor, and it’s lovely. I plan to take it with me when I travel to see my relatives. No more expensive hotels for me!

    I routinely see comforters in great shape in second-hand shops for much less than $10.

    God bless!

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      Hi Teresa,

      Glad you liked the blog!

      I think salvaging an old comforter will be easier than salvaging the wadding from a mattress.

      I saw some flea markets in Taichung this Sunday. Apparently, they only sell used items–it’s an open-air thrift store.

      Reply
  18. Shelby Lynn

    Ever thought of usung a hammock? They’re great for sleepingboth indoors and outdoors. Lot’s of countries use it as their main sleeping place. It packs extremely small and you can set it up practacally anywhere. You just have to make sure you don’t get one with a cross-bar, that makes them hard to pack, uncomfortable,and wobboly. Hammock are also great support for our spine. I could never go back to sleeping on a bed!

    Reply
    1. Tim

      If a flat soft bed isn’t very good for a back, how is sleeping on a hammock going be anywhere near as healthy? It keeps your spine in a hunchback, osteoporosis position night after night.

      Reply
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  20. Tim

    Great post. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    At my mate’s apartment in Korea, we simply unfolded some thick blankets on a bare, heated floor. Very comfortable. Korean floors are designed for sleeping on, so the flooring material is very suitable for sleeping on. This has always been his idea of a bed.

    My other mate has a large white rug as the ‘base’. On top of the rug he adds extra cushioning from whatever (blankets, thin matress, whatever) to be his bed. It looks pretty stylish because the rug stays bright white so it looks clean, and the mattress-thing is smaller than the rug so it looks artsy with a large white ‘frame’ around the matress.

    Regular beds are like corn flakes: costly, lazy, unnatural, unnecessary, and not even very good for you.

    Reply
    1. Hsinya

      Hi Tim,

      I’ve heard of the heated floors in Korea. It’s much more energy efficient to only heat the bed (ie, the flooring) instead of the whole room.

      Sleeping on the floor while staying stylish sounds interesting. Thanks for bringing up an alternative minimalist option that’s not so spartan.

      Reply
  21. Lucas Dellaretti

    Wow! Never thought of that. Indeed, the mattress up much space, and let go to it, we could sleep anywhere. That would be more economical and would liberadade. I do not think I would have courage because I am very afraid to give something wrong in my column. But this idea is very good.

    Reply
    1. aaronjlin Post author

      @Lucas: I’ve been sleeping on the floor on and off for about 5 months now. I have to admit that sleeping on a hardwood floor is very uncomfortable. Usually, I use a sleeping bag or tatami mat. I will probably avoid buying mattresses again in the future, but I think I’ll still try to build a minimalist bed out of at least a sleeping bag or maybe spare straw/hay.

      Reply
  22. Artie

    I’ve been sleeping on the floor (carpeted, with a sheet to avoid the itchiness since I sleep commando) for some time now. I also ditched all furniture and basically live on the floor now. I sleep better and have gotten stronger and more flexible as a result. I arrived at this situation from contemplating how we humans evolved over the last 2 million years, and have modeled several aspects of my lifestyle to match our evolutionary heritage. I realize you are sleeping on the floor out of primarily anti-consumerist and thrifty motives, but as it happens there is scientific backing for your strategy as well. P.S. I happen to be quite well off and can afford whatever furniture I might desire, and for some reason when I let people know that, they are much more tolerant of my lifestyle. Something about it truly being a choice rather than a need, brings some kind of respect. Well, that’s folks for you. P.P.S. @ the commenter about the hammock: properly slept in, a Brazilian hammock provides a nearly flat sleeping posture; google it.

    Reply
  23. aaronjlin Post author

    @Artie: Hmm…I believe in Young-Earth Creationism, as taught in the Bible, so I don’t really think that humans have evolved to sleep on the floor. However, that said, you’re probably right in saying that it’s better for our posture. Soft mattresses can do a lot of damage to your back.

    Reply
  24. Artie

    Really? You’re a YEC? The creation-order contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2 didn’t faze you? As you say, hmm…

    To clarify, I have no idea whether sleeping on the floor improves posture, and I definitely am not asserting that soft mattresses do damage to your back. Despite our many physical sub-optimal features, as a species generally speaking we’re fairly hardy, at least until reproductive age. With low enough stress in our lives, and a decent level of physical fitness, I think we can safely sleep on just about any surface. And if a soft mattress feels good to you, I’m sure it won’t damage you. What I’m saying is that sleeping on harder surfaces, and more specifically on the ground, will strengthen and harden your body. Or more precisely, it will bring your body from its current soft weakness up to the level of hardiness that your ancient ancestors enjoyed. (I say “you” in the general; you personally look like you’re in pretty good shape.) I undertook a fascinating study of feral children a few years ago. They are a rarity but amongst other things have been found to be incredibly robust, with strong immune systems, strong bodies, and able to sleep anywhere and nonchalantly endure great extremes of temperature with little or no shelter or clothing. This all presumably due to growing up without the creature comforts of our modern dandified society. I wonder how much stronger we’d all be if we lived physically like ancient Man, eschewing the “comforts” of clothes and shoes and soft beds and air conditioning, while still embracing and enjoying the fruits of modern progress such as these computers we’re typing on now and the medical advances that have saved so many of our lives (mine included). What a species we would be.

    Reply
  25. aaronjlin Post author

    @Artie: I think you’re right about how we as a society have gotten weaker over time through too many creature comforts. I know for certain that as a whole, our physical fitness can’t even come close to that of our ancestors. It was routine for them to walk ten miles a day, carry hundreds of pounds, and do hard work for hours. I’ve been trying to re-build that type of endurance lately through exercise and homesteading, but I’ve kind of given up on sleeping on the floor without at least a sleeping bag. Maybe I should give it another chance?

    As for Creation, it’s very important for us to believe in a literal, six-day Creation, with a very real Adam and Eve. The stories in Genesis, ultimately, are the foundations for the rest of the theology in the Bible. Here’s how Romans 5:12-21 describes salvation for believers. Sin came through the first man, Adam, and as a result, all men are destined for eternal judgment in hell. Through the second man, Christ, however, believers can find redemption. Since Jesus is definitely a real person, it’s clear that the book of Romans treats Adam as a real person, too. If we start doubting the Creation account, inevitably we will end up doubting the rest of scripture as well.

    (Jude 1)…I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Reply
  26. Artie

    It’s actually not important at all. When you understand why you dismiss the Sacred Truths contained in Dianetics, the Book of Mormon, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, or any of the many other holy scriptures going all the way back to the Pyramid Texts…then you will understand why I dismiss yours.

    I chuckled when I saw how you followed your ostensibly innocent commentary on the thread’s original subject with the Christian sales pitch. Don’t witness to me, sonny.

    You’re a smart fellow, though. All you need is perspective.

    Reply
    1. Blake

      @Artie You dismiss Aaron’s beliefs because he dismisses the “Sacred Truths” contained in other “holy books?” Based on what standard can you justifiably do this?

      Reply
  27. yuki

    Hi, I am sleepin on the floor with futon, I love it. On Sunny day i expose futon under sunshine to get dry and smell sun when I sleep.
    I want to suggest you to sleep on air. If you have two walls then you can install hammock,Ratin american people are using it.

    Reply
  28. Livia

    My bed has been annoying me lately, so I decided to have a go at sleeping on the floor tonight…and of course, had to google what others were saying about it! Thanks for blogging about it!

    To add 2 cents or so…..
    Mayan hammocks, which have no spreader bar, are considered the most comfortable of all hammocks. The most informative website I have seen on the topics of the hammock (starting with their Mayan Hammock info page)is:

    http://www.seasidehammocks.com/Mayan+Hammocks-sp34.html

    Who knew there were so many choices? (I got a double with synthetic fibers and a cover for outdoors, short enough to fit between 4×4’s that are slightly too close together for most of the hammocks offered, but if I got one to sleep in, inside, I’d lean toward the xxgrande crocheted Mayan, supposedly the softest, lightest hammock ever….)

    Blindguru’s symbiotic bedroom page has lots of great pix of (mostly camping-type) hammocks and the uber-high-priced round floating bed, here (must scroll downward a bit in order to see those pix):

    http://www.blindguru.com/symbiotic_bedroom.html

    For folks like Karen who have difficulty getting up and down off of the floor, I offer an idea from modern/minimal hispanic design: they often built-in furniture, including sofa forms on which to put cushions, and, yes, bed surfaces on which to put mattresses (or your minimal equivalent). A couldn’t find pix of that on a cursory internet search, but I do recall seeing one on TV, on one of the House Hunters International episodes, not sure which Spanish speaking country it was, though I thought it was Mexico.

    A more modern/Asian-looking platform solution was at:

    http://www.zafu.net/futon.html

    I found it while looking for standing computer stations, and really enjoyed browsing the minimal solutions around this site, too.

    Reply
  29. Vanessa

    I slept for over a month in our back paddock on a thin foam mattress (old so no fumes!) and a mosquito net – which I tied to a branch. The first few nights took a little getting used to as I felt a little vulnerable with so much ‘emptiness’ around me. But I soon got to loving it. One beautiful night I saw SO many ‘shooting stars’ -it will always be a wonderful memory. …why try it? I don’t know -something different (kind of like camping but a much easier version:)plus I think I’d need the enclosure of a tent to feel ‘safe’ in a public camping ground – so the back paddock it was) but I tell you when I drifted off to sleep listening to the leaves, night birds and other creatures and could feel the night air around me and be ‘truly’ under the sky, I woke up more refreshed – My sleep pattern changed as well I woke with the sun and felt ready to sleep very early. (rain season came so inside again :)

    Reply
  30. Nergock

    I’ve slept on the floor for 7 months now. Back has never felt better. To avoid dust (and bugs), I sleep in a tent in my carpeted family room. Works great.

    Reply
    1. TANSTAAFL

      Had this post bookmarked a while back when I was first looking into doing this. Finally got around to starting: we have a mattress on the floor(wife not ready yet), and I put a board on my side with 1/2 inch sleeping pad on it. I am a little sore and it’s sometimes hard to get comfortable, but I’ve had sleeping problems in the past and I’m going to stick to it for a while. It’s been about a week. Just wondering if anyone has any positions they use. I would eventually like to get pillowless as well…something like this going:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119282/
      …but all those positions are not really possible, comfort-wise right now. Thanks for any thoughts.

      Reply
  31. Eric Simms

    Good blog. I’m a consultant and I move frequently, and I loathe hauling a mattress around. I’m looking into getting a shikibuton bed and sleeping on the floor. The only thing I need to figure out is how to prevent insects from crawling on me. We have a venomous spider in the US called a Brown Recluse; it doesn’t spin a web, but it hunts at night and its bite produces the most horrific lesions. I’m thinking of placing the shikibuton into my tent and sleeping there every night.

    Reply
  32. Elayna

    Hi there,

    I’m thinking about sleeping on the floor as well. This may be a dumb question.. but do you still use your pillow? Also, are you still sleeping on the floor? What’s it like on your body after time?

    Reply
  33. Kristina

    My dad was into minimalism long before it became a movement. An avid outdoorsman he taught me to get along with less, how to be comfortable sleeping on a wood or cement floor (a bit more challenging than the dirt floor of a tent and how to swim/wash in an ice cold northern lake.
    He lived in a borrowed cabin for over a year with no furniture, a lake for water/washing and nothing more than a fry pan, a few dishes and utensils. The man was as “healthy as a horse” and lived to age 92 taking no medications. He was active/chopped wood/ hand excavated a basement for our house and for fun, would take off late in the evening for a pre bedtime hike to a lake a couple of miles away, sticking a bar of soap in his pocket for a refreshing bath in the cool water. I have waded through the morass of more and at the ripe old age of 62, began to divest myself of much of the accumulation of 40 some years of marriage and children. My husband loves it. I feel free and unencumbered. Still have the bigger than necessary house in the woods but can’t give up my trees, birds and deer and the books my dad gave me about authentic living.
    How wonderful that so many young people are getting it right so early. Who knows? This whole recession thing may have been the reset we all needed.

    Reply
  34. Sixto A

    I’ve been sleeping on the floor for a good four months now… and I love it. I had me a queen sized bed, soft as a cloud but it just killed my back so I took it out and gave it to my brother.. My family thinks Im crazy but I sleep better than ever, of course the first week was the worst but now all I need Is a blanket and I’m good.

    Reply
  35. Tasha

    Hello, I think your website could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE,
    it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give
    you a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent blog!

    Reply
  36. Julian Haynes

    Great post.

    I have been sleeping on the floor for nearly a year now. It is minimalist and better for the back

    I ditched the pillow too. If it takes one about 2 weeks to get used to sleeping without a mattress, it takes 4 to get used to not having a pillow. More minimalist and better for the upper spine & neck

    I also ground my right ankle electrically to Earth (radiator), this increases dream activity for some unknown reason.

    recently i have been experimenting with sleeping with my head West and feet East. It is too early to say if this effects sleeping in any way

    All the Best and Happy, Peaceful Experimenting!

    Julian Haynes

    Reply
  37. ROS

    wait. I have a question. I will research about it, but how it’s been, sleeping on the floor? Are you sure it isn’t bad for the spine on the long term?

    Reply
  38. Ana Gabriella

    Great views in here!! So glad to hear so many people taking the plunge, makes me wanna go back to floor sleeping. I hate “Stuff”

    I sleept on the floor for about 4 months on an old folded duvet. After the initial adjustment I actually preferred it. Here are my positives and negatives.

    Positives:
    – My back felt good and I woke up refreshed.
    – Love folding up my bed and putting it away.
    – I’m also a minimalist (with a touch of OCD) the extra space had a positive impact on my anxiety.
    – Despite living in an a flat, sleeping on the floor literally feels more “grounding”.
    – Not being confined to a space allowed me to relax more and get a better sleep.

    Negatives:
    – I sometimes woke up a bit cold being so close to the floor (maybe draft)
    – Because of the draft I sometimes had neck pain on waking (possibly poor pillows)
    – Social; friends/family thought I was very weird.
    – Social; No bed for guests.

    Would love to go back to sleeping on the floor.. got a guest coming in May.. so will have to keep my current matress until then!!

    Reply
  39. George

    I’m three years late to this site! You write about everything that I’ve wanted in my life – minimalist living. The ability to move at short notice and depend on little. I’ve never liked furniture and always admired a very bare room.
    Now to the issue of sleeping on the bare floor, it’s been on and off for me. It actually started because I felt uncomfortable sleeping on a mattress without showering at night. Now I’ve decided to sleep on the floor which is actually covered with linoleum so it’s not exactly bare but it’s still feels good. Only thing I need is a backpack full of dresses to support my head. Tonight will be my third night running. So far, so great.

    Reply
  40. laya

    My daughter’s been sleeping on floor with lots of blankets underneath ( floor’s carpeted); she just lovesit; used to fall out of bed, not comfortable for her; has said that just not enough room. I want it to have some kind of padding underneath but want it healty, organic, and wide and large enough, any ideas? I’m tired of my mattress on floor, goung on floor tonight

    Reply
  41. Daniel Dou

    Hi Aaron,

    Great site you have here… :) I’ve been browsing through, and am glad to read your writing. I’m a minimalist at heart, and have been sleeping on the floor for most of my life.

    But recently, we just moved into a floor-heated apartment, and have run into a problem (well I’m not really sure whether it’s actually a problem really).

    We sleep on something like a thin spread of Memory Foam floor topper like what you have described which separates us and the floor covered with a bed sheet. It’s the first time we’ve had floor-heating before, and the past few nights we’ve woken up with our bodies feeling a bit heaty and flushed.

    I’m guessing it’s probably due to the floor heating, with the heat from the floor passing from the floor to our memory foam bedding to our bodies. Our bedroom floor is carpeted by the way.

    I was just wondering if you knew whether this was good or bad for our bodies?

    We were at first thinking it might be bad, and were contemplating buying an actual bed. But now that I’ve read what you’ve written here, it reminded me of why I love the minimalist art of sleeping on the floor and

    I’m thinking of whether we could prevent the over-heaty body thing by adding layers of bamboo mat or some plastic puzzle tiles under our mattress topper…

    Any thoughts? :)

    Nice to meet you by the way!

    Reply
    1. Sean24

      Hiya Daniel,
      My friends have had similar experiences. They suggested a platform bed as a frame. This kept them off the floor and allowed airflow underneath, just enough air cushion to allow the heat to dissipate before roasting them. I am currently looking into platform bed frames that can double as a table, thus eliminating the need for a bed frame AND a table.
      Just food for thought.

      Reply
  42. Sly

    Hello,
    thanks for sharing your experience here.
    I’m trying since 2 months now, I fall asleep very easily and the first part of the night is very good.
    However, I wake up very early, like 3am and the second part of the night is not good at all, so I dont feel refreshed in the morning.

    I hope it will come with time

    best regards

    Reply
  43. Sean24

    July 22, 2014 – 3 yrs after this original post, but some thoughts to consider.

    If these were previously mentioned, I apologize…

    Firstly, consider your flooring/mattress style. Don’t make the mistake I made, I bought an American-syle futon (thick, heavy and cumbersome, can’t fold and store it). It stays on the carpeted floor. It never gets a chance to air out, also, because of the carpeted floor it creates an ideal place for small bugs (mites, weevils, and other creepy crawly things) to nest under. So…. use something that can be transported and/or stored, don’t just leave it on the floor forever, fold it up off the floor. Let the mattress and area “breathe” and dry out. Of course, a wood floor would be optimal.

    Secondly, consider the humidity/moisture factor.
    I live in a very small space, and it leaks, the roof is bad, thus it is always humid (I’ve found mushrooms growing along the baseboards). Again, Remove the mattress from the floor to let it breathe and dry out. Also, a de-humidifier would help greatly.

    So to recap: AIR IT OUT, DON’T LET IT SIT ON THE FLOOR FOREVER, KEEP MOISTURE TO A MINIMUM, KEEP THE FLOORS CLEAN. This will help protect your mattress, keep the bugs to a minimum, and create more space to live when not sleeping.
    Kudos to you for reading this post and all comments involved.

    In addition – I live in Alaska, and have a broken back (3 crushed discs in my lower spine)… I only state this to prove that this is a great idea no matter the climate/ where in the world you live.

    Reply

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