Someone searched “cot vs traditional mattress for sleeping” and landed at my blog. For me a traditional mattress is not an issue because I cannot tolerate the formaldehyde and other chemicals in traditional mattresses. I also don’t want to worry about all the money I spend on one being thrown out the window if something should happen and it gets mold on it.
A cot is not my favorite form of sleeping but it served me well when I needed it. After returning home from Dallas in 2003 my bed was an old cot with a wire mesh. I placed numerous blankets (cotton) on it to serve as a mattress. I would climb into bed and immediately I was in a cocoon. My body would cause the mesh wires to sag in the middle and envelop me. If I rolled over I would hit my leg on the metal bar that surrounded the frame. I had never been to a chiropractor in my life. The aches in my back from the lack of support forced me to begin seeing one as well as an acupuncturist to relieve the muscle pain. The benefit to the cot was that I could sleep without reacting to anything. Several years later I experimented with an air mattress that I had aired out for a long time. It was heaven.
I have tried to use an organic mattress with wool inside as the fire-retardant. I immediately got a mold reaction. Was it from the cotton not being treated for fungus? Was I also reacting to the wool? I had to get rid of it and send it back. It took some cajoling but the company agreed to take it back with a 20% restocking fee and it cost me about $100 to ship it back.
For me it is a simple decision. I had to choose what was safest for me. I have friends that have slept on cots and have managed air mattresses after airing them out for a length of time. I also have friends that can tolerate organic cotton mattresses. Others have managed a type of latex mattress. Not every product works for everyone. While my air mattress is much better than the cot I had, it is not a warm and soft pillow top mattress like I used to have and miss very much.