The Best Mattress May Be No Mattress

After sleeping on the floor of my friends house for a few night over break and having some of the best nights go sleep of my life, I decided to look into wether a mattress is really necessary. Turns out, many chiropractors and sleep specialists agree that no mattress may very well be the best mattress for some people.


Todays mattress tend to be soft and thick. This combination does not provide the proper support for a straight spine and good posture. They increase the chances of misalignments of the spine. recommends sleeping on a thin mat on your back, this is contrary to popular belief. The misconception could very well come from advertising from mattress companies who would lose much of their business if word got out. The New Health Advisor claims that simply sleeping on the floor can help with back pain, and can lead a healthier, more productive lifestyle. On top of that, it’s cheaper, takes less effort, and takes up less space.

In an online article, titled “The Ergonomics of Sleep”, Jeah Kessha states that mattresses create structural imbalances in the body. She too recommended sleeping on a hard surface. She also explains an issue I ran into. There is almost no research done in this field despite its importance. This could be because the data is so subjective. “Comfort” and “Best” are hard to judge. REM sleep, back problems, and hours slept, however, are measurable so studies could be done. My own experience leads me to believe these people, but it could be due to chance or a third variable.


I think this is worth researching. If it’s true that sleeping on a mattress actually makes sleeping less effective then the experiment could change the way we spend about 1/3 of our lives. I have a hunch (no pun intended) that this would be hard to prove, especially when going against big bedding and furniture businesses, but it is worth a try.

You can decide for yourself if you think it’s worth a try, but one night on the floor could change the way you sleep forever. I may be the exception not the norm, but my experience supports the conclusions of these writers.

Have any of you had a similar experience or one that contradicts? Do you have any ideas on how to test this hypothesis? Let me know in the comments below.



9 thoughts on “The Best Mattress May Be No Mattress

  1. Michael David Kresovich

    Great topic and I can see why you think that sleeping wiht no matress may help. You have data and it even worked with your own personal experince. For me, Im going to sleep on my matress but I have slept on the floor and I know the feeling of that, it can be good or bad. I think it is dependent on the sitiation of the back. I know for me that the matress that I need is the one I have, I have zero back pain while I sleep on my matress. Everyone has different prefrences and syles or techniques when it comes to sleeping, I am going to stick with my matress though.

  2. Alexandra Nicole Iaccino

    I know that I need to sleep on a very soft mattress in order to get a good nights sleep so i don’t think I would be able to get rid of my mattress. But I think that everyone has different preferences when it comes to where they sleep. Not sleeping on a mattress might work out well for some people but for others it might not, it just depends on what feels best for you.

  3. Charles Hart

    This article caught my attention right away. After pondering about whether to get rid of my mattress I decided not to. Here is why: I don’t think it’s rational to do so. How many times a year do you hear the spines of Americans have been skewed due to their mattress? I don’t. Could this be a confirmation bias on my part? Possibly, but it is not probable. So what’s the risk for this? Well the exposure is incredibly low I believe because pretty much everybody homeowner in the United States owns a mattress and you do not hear the spine alignment was disturbed because of their mattress. Now the hazard might be high, but multiplied by the exposure it is very low, so the risk is low. Because of this I will continue to use my mattress, but I look forward to more studies being compiled on this topic. If more studies are done, maybe mattresses, like smoking years ago, will start to become taboo.

  4. Rachel Waite

    When it comes to sleeping conditions I feel that my opinions, like yours, may be in the minority. I am not a fan of very soft mattresses. My mattress at home and at school is more on the firmer side. For some reason I feel that the quality of my sleep is always improved when the mattress provides more support. However, I am the only one in my immediate family that shares this opinion. Upon some further research I stumbled across the spine health website. They explain that the ultimate determinant of which type of mattress to get actually depends on personal preference first and foremost. It should provide a balance of comfort and support, it is just a matter of finding what ratio works best for you.

  5. Caroline Sorrentino

    I personally don’t think I could sleep without a mattress. I toss and turn a lot, and the only time I have slept on the floor, I was very uncomfortable. I had also been using a sleeping bag and/or had a thick rug beneath me the entire time. I am curious though if sleeping with a pillow could be a benefit or a loss. This heath website> touches on some of the so called “benefits” of sleeping without a pillow such as being better for your neck/ spine. Below, someone refutes it and states why you should use a pillow. What do you guys sleep with?

  6. Derek William Drotman

    This is definitely a debatable topic considering the ration person most likely would never sleep on the floor if there was a comfy mattress available. I do think it is interesting that doctors actually say sleeping on a thin mat on the floor is better for your back then sleeping on a bed. After reading this blog I am definitely curious if a hard mattress is actually more beneficial for you than soft, cushiony mattress. This could definitely reduce the sales of expensive temperpedic mattresses. Overall I don’t think this topic will lead to the business loosing money because people aren’t going to stop buying mattresses. Also the risk of being extremely uncomfortable ever night on the floor isn’t worth the small problems sleeping on a comfy mattress will cause.

  7. Lauren Elizabeth Jardine

    Being someone who has had major back issues, leading to two back surgeries, and watched my whole family struggle with back pain, I would definitely say where you’re sleeping makes a difference. My sister had this pillow top mattress that was the envy of the whole family, but decided to switch it out to see if a harder more floor like mattress would help with her back pain, and it definitely did. I took the mattress after her and after about two years made the same switch due to back pain and also found that leaving the softer thicker mattress helped lessen my pain greatly.

  8. Luyi Yao

    In China, many elders would like to sleep on a wooden board and just use a few blankets instead of mattress. They always told me that it was good for your back. The hard board makes the comfort lower, although people may be used to it. So from my perspective, I think no mattress is not a good choice. Also, I think research is very hard to estimate because everyone has different sleep patterns, habits and qualities. Therefore, I agree that confounding variables probably exist.

  9. tmv5147

    Although I don’t fully fit on my bed and occasionally wake up feeling like an old man with back pain, I couldn’t imagine not sleeping on a mattress. I’ve slept in my car a few times and they weren’t awful experiences, but I like my bed. Although studies may show that mattress are not the answer to a good night sleep, I think people are so fed up and glued to advertising and when these mattress companies are coming out with the “best”, “comfiest” and “adjustable” mattress people don’t think to try out what’s below their bed. Obviously doctors are not going to tell their patients to sleep on the floor if their experiencing pain and discomfort but if they know in the back of their minds that’s the answer then are they advising them to seek a firmer mattress. Everyone has choices and not everything a doctor says is always followed by their patients because they have preferences, in this case do you like your mattress soft or firm. It would be interesting to see a study that takes a diverse group of people, maybe across the globe (because in some countries, large comfy mattress are not prominent) and get some feedback from them and then go test results from their sleeping arrangements.

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