Yes, we made our mattress. And it’s stuffed with straw, like pilgrims.
We knew we needed a new bed since Trent’s and my loft in the tiny house is smaller than a queen sized mattress. When we started looking at different mattress styles, we learned about Japanese futons. I loved how eco-friendly and simple they are, but I still couldn’t bring myself to spend somewhere around $500 on something I will lay on to sleep.
I’m not sure who came up with the idea of the straw mattress… probably Trent, since he comes up with all of our far-fetched ideas so far. When we realized we could possibly make a great sleeping surface for just a few dollars, we couldn’t NOT try it and see if it would work.
There isn’t much information about making a straw mattress on the internet, but I did find this blog post. Sometimes it’s just nice to see that you’re not the only person doing something. I sewed basically a large pillowcase of old sheets together. I think the dimensions are about 5’x6.5′. I re-enforced the top layer with an old hospital-style blanket that is thick and tightly woven.
Then, we bought a very large bale of straw for $10. That was the only money we spent on the whole project. Trent fluffed up the straw, I put it in the cover, and Wade held it open for me.
Trent used a little punch to make snaps for the end. I’m not claiming to have made a great product here and the little flap on the end is super funky and looks like a old-fashioned pair of pajamas with the drop-seat bottoms. But hey, it seems to work and it’s covered with sheets the whole time.
Then we were left with this funny lumpy mass. But I knew a few small people that could take care of THAT problem for me!
If there’s one thing my kids love to do, it’s JUMP!!! They had that thing flattened in no time!
And here is the final product! We will be able to sleep on it for several months before we move into the tiny house, which will give us time to figure out whether we like it.
So how has it been so far? To be honest, it’s good, but it’s also a bit of an adjustment. Here are my pros and cons so far:
- It smells like straw!
- It makes me not want to stay in bed when I wake up.
- It seems to be making my back more strong (There have been studies that prove that sleeping on hard surfaces helps to realign the back.)
- You make a nest or indentation for your body at the beginning of the night and that feels strangely nice and primal
- It’s simple, cheap, and compostable!!
- The straw compresses a lot when you sleep on it. It’s not a soft, fluffy bed at all.
- It’s a little extra work to fluff it up and to make a little nest at night.
- We will need to change the straw from time to time.
Time will tell how we like it, but overall, I do like it so far. And you can’t beat spending $10 for a eco-friendly mattress!
We have been sleeping on the mattress for about 3 weeks now, and we still love it! It has actually helped reduce my lower back pain/weakness, which I have been thankful for! We each have a little “nest” where we sleep that is contoured to our body.