IKEA truck It is not often you can claim that a blog post is written because of an IKEA mattress, but every now and again circumstances conspire. Yes, this blog post was written because of an IKEA mattress. Intrigued? I invite you to read on a bit more .

I make no secret of the fact that I am a little bit weird. Weird in a good way I hasten to add, not weird in a “cross the street to avoid” way.

I was never one of the sheep at school for assorted reasons but mainly, I am mildly ashamed to admit, because I didn’t think I was good enough to be one of the flock. There, I said it. At the same time, I wasn’t quite strong or brave enough to be one of the true independents. This led to lots of break times sitting hiding in a corridor of the music school, a few good friendships with fellow not-quite-sheep, some good memories and sadly more bad ones.

I have now embraced my oddness and am much happier for it. I finally no longer want to be a baaaaa-girl, though a little part of me craves (and probably always will) the flocks approval. I find myself looking for the odd and the alternative in other aspects of my life as well, from my dress, to the films I watch and the books I read, the websites I visit, and the things I do. I try to surround myself with the unique, preferring to go without rather than opt for the mainstream. It is a bad day when I cross the path of some chav-baaaaa-girl wearing the same shoes as me.

At the same time, there are certain times that conformity is a blessing.

Like when you are buying a new mattress.

I will refrain from boring you with the full moan (Moose has lived it the past three years, and she will confirm it is tedious in the extreme) but for one reason and another, I finally got around to getting a new mattress the other week. Me and my bad back need a good, supportive mattress. It was either shell out gazillions for a full-on orthopedic spring one, or get a cheap(ish) solid foam model. Seeing as how I am moving shortly and who knows where I will end up, the latter made more sense. Which is where IKEA steps up to the plate.

The best sleep of my life was the two years in Liverpool I was sleeping on an IKEA solid foam mattress. IKEA finally do online shopping in my area. IKEA solid foam mattresses (especially this one) are affordable and comfortable. Perfect!

Till you measure your bed frame, because a UK standard double bed is 135cm x 190cm, which is five centimeters narrower and ten centimeters shorter than the closest equivalent IKEA size. You can understand this from IKEA’s perspective – they are not a UK company and they want you to buy their own bed frames. But standard sizes don’t seem to have impacted too detrimentally on the British bed selling market. One of my weaknesses is for bed linen – I just love getting new sets, and with standard sizes you know if you buy a “double” set, it’s going to fit your “double” duvet when you get it home. The alternative… Ooh, bed linen chaos! The thought is just unbearable!

So would the IKEA mattress I had my heart set on fit on my existing bed frame? I risked it for a biscuit, assuaging my reservations with the fact my current mattress has some wiggle room in it and that foam has a certain inbuilt sguidge-factor. It turns out that those 10 cm on the length are quite a lot when you plomp the mattress on the frame *gulp* Thank heaven for it being sguidgy foam and this being one of the times that brute force wins out.

So I have a divinely comfortable mattress, some student nurse is the lucky recipient of my old one (I felt a little guilty bequeathing it on anyone, but she did get it free!), and my back is already thanking me, but none of my old fitted sheets fit. I cannot help but think that conforming a bit more when I was at school would have made my life a bit more enjoyable, and I cannot help thinking if IKEA lopped a few inches off their mattresses they would sell an awful lot more.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to buy new bed linen and some flat sheets. A small price to pay for a good nights sleep, but damn, I never was any good at hospital corners.

7 thoughts on “Conformity

  1. I’ve got both ikea bed linen, tesco and argos and the later two do fit if you let them stretch over a little for fitted sheets. It seems right off they don’t fit but lie on it for a bit and it will work if a little tight but I have cotton fitted sheets so there is a little give in them it seems to make the ikea mattress work. Way I see it with things like Ikea furniture it may be about zillion people have the same stuff as you but it’s what you do to accessories that makes it unique and how you put stuff together. As I’ve told you we did our entire house when moved in Ikea and the fear of living in an Ikea show room hasn’t happened once we’re slowly adding our own accessories and bits to the mixture.

  2. Not sure if you’re familiar with that May 68 phrase, Sous les pavés la plage? It translates to Under the cobblestones there is the beach (but means: Under oppression there is freedom).

    I’d like to be as bold to suggest: Even under ill-fitting bed linen there is a good night’s rest. If you can tidy things up with new sheets, good for you, if not, be happy to enjoy your new-found sleep.

    If this makes no sense, I have a cold and am not thinking straight 😉

  3. Tam – I have discovered the marvelous stretching powers of sheets as well. It’s a bit of a fight to get them on, but at least once they are there they don’t wrinkle! (I have a horror of wrinkly sheets, which is another reason I don’t like flat ones). And I’ll agree it’s possible to anti-IKEA-ize stuff from IKEA. It’s amazing what you can do with some knick nacks, a few scarves and a pot of paint 😀

    Bless IKEA, mainstay of students and just-moved-into-a-new-flat-EEK! people every where! I just wish they’d get their online ordering sorted so you can get everything online you can get from a store. Actually shopping in a physical IKEA store has to be one of the most unpleasant experiences in the world. And expensive as you ALWAYS come out having brought things you don’t want or need. Like another bag of 100 tealights when you still have three bags unopened from the last time you went to IKEA!

    Nils – that makes sense, and trust me, I am enjoying my new-found sleep! Still finding it odd that when I sit on the mattress it doesn’t bounce, but I have a bouncy ball to sit on now instead, so that’s alright. Feel better 🙂

  4. I feel the pain of the online store Cas, it’s a bit of a trek to Milton Keynes for the nearest Ikea to us and I’ve yet to find a trip to Ikea ever result in spending what you went in for only or under 3hours pottering about. Only this week I was pottering about the Ikea website considering rugs and cushions only to find not a single cushion is able to be brought online or rug (not sure if there was one rug that had the migraine inducing powers some of them do but certainly wasn’t one that I wanted). Just seems plain odd to me and a vicious plan to make me buy glass paperweights, oddly named kitchen utensils or tea lights I do not want.

  5. About buying a mattress, Cas, I must say that you can’t underestimate the importance of a piece like that. After all, you do spend a third of your life on that thing! My mattress doesn’t bounce, either, but I am loving the firmness of it. My back prefers firm, for sure!! 🙂

    I think I myself am due for new bed linens as well. Sigh. How about that thread count? I think only the second most important thing to the mattress are bed sheets!

  6. Moose. It’s taken me how many years to get as far as I have with the CCMs quilt? Somehow I don’t think that creating a fitted/flat sheet is really going to happen. Good idea though

    Tam – oh, the oddly named kitchen utensils… *swoon* I was going to buy IKEA fitted sheets on the principle that they would fit an IKEA mattress. Of course they aren’t part of the online ordering service either. Silly IKEA. And of course I’m going to have left Southampton by the time they’ve finished building the one here *rolleyes*

    Esther – I never used to understand the need for high thread count and posh cotton sheets. Surely a sheet was just a sheet… Then I stayed somewhere that had the real deal, brushed Egyptian cotton, thread count through the roof and – oh my, bliss! I just can’t afford them right now 🙁

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