Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Word on Air Mattresses

An anonymous poster recently asked a question about air mattresses and how exactly they help people who are living with bed bugs.

Okay, so just trying to confirm, as I am also living in New York with bedbugs - getting an air mattress will stop it? Like, really?

Trying to figure out what to do...
Air mattresses don’t exactly get rid of bed bugs, but they do make life a bit easier for those trying to get rid of them. In my case, as I had explained in an earlier entry, the bugs had made a comfortable little colony for themselves in my wooden bed base, pillow, mattress and headboard. While I remained in denial for a few months (because I did not want to get rid of the bed) ultimately I had to get rid of the whole damn thing in order to destroy about 90 percent of the bed bugs in my apartment.

Air mattresses are a great solution for people living with bed bugs because the bugs are famous for cutting into conventional mattresses and burrowing themselves into the fabric of the mattress, waiting for you to go to sleep or even lie down. Remember, bed bugs love fabric, paper and wood simply because they make great hiding and nesting places to quietly hide and even launch a small colony. Air mattresses have none of these. Even when you put a fitted sheet over the air mattress, the rubber mattress cannot accommodate bed bugs. The best they can do is crawl onto the blanket, sheet or fitted sheet, but even this environment is not as bed bug-friendly, as the sheet is obviously not as thick or deep as a mattress.

I’ve had a lot of satisfaction with my air mattress. My queen-sized sheets fit perfectly over the bed. They do require some routine maintenance, though. Depending on the temperature of the room, air mattresses will require to be re-inflated twice a week to once every other week. Remember science class? Well, in hot weather air expands, keeping the air mattress firm for much longer than in colder weather, where the air will become thinner, requiring the mattress to be inflated more often.

A word of warning: make sure the air mattress you’re buying comes with an air pump. I made that mistake and discovered there was no way to inflate my new mattress. I had to go back to Target the next day and buy the pump. Make sure the pump you’re buying (usually ranges around $10 to $15) has a power cord and is not the battery-operated kind.

Also I guess you’re probably wondering how to clean an air mattress, like if you spill something on it or if it’s just dirty from constant contact with the floor. Any damp cloth with water or diluted pine will do; it's much easier than cleaning up a spill from a conventional mattress, since the whole thing is made of rubber.

Where to buy air mattresses: I bought my queen-sized mattress for $25 at Target. I trust the Coleman brand simply because they have quality camping products. But other brands are also well made and long-lasting. In February M’s mother threw out her bed bug-ridden mattress and was basically sleeping on a table. I gave her a $10 twin-sized air mattress from Walgreens and it is still in fine condition.

Let’s move to a subject that I’m sure is on the minds of everyone who is considering replacing their bed bug-ridden mattress with an air mattress. Obviously sleeping is not the only thing we do in bed, and I’m sure some of you are afraid your sexual activities just might pop the mattress like a party balloon. I too was concerned about this. My advice would be to check the maximum weight capacity on the air mattress, which should be printed somewhere on the packaging. Simply combine your own weight with the weight of your partner, if you’re single, the average weight of whoever you bring home and add 50 pounds more for all the bouncing up and down that will take place on the mattress. Take that magic number and compare it to the maximum weight capacity listed on the box.

The best time to buy an air mattress is right now as the stores are stocking up their outdoor merchandise. Air beds are widely regarded as camping equipment (so don’t look for them in a furniture store like my dumb ass did!), and since summer is coming many stores will be stocking up on these beds and probably have them on sale. Some are affordable, others are expensive. Some are self-inflating with the air pumps built into the bed; some have three-foot high frames to give the illusion of a traditional bed. In short, there are many different kinds of air beds to choose from, so use the Internet to shop around for one that suits your tastes.

Well, I can’t think of any more tips to offer on buying a mattress, but if you can come up with some questions, I’d be happy to answer them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Bad!

I know I failed to post on Saturday, like I said I would every Saturday from now on.

How about every other Saturday? I got one coming up for April 21, I promise.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saturday Night's All Right (For Blogging)

Just popped in to announce that since I've decided to commit to adding a new entry every Saturday for my other blog, it's only right I do the same for Bugged Out. I've been a professional writer for several years, so the notion of sticking to deadlines is nothing new to me. It's simply a matter of making my own and sticking to it.