Sleeping On The Floor: Is it Good For You? What Are The Benefits?

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I am sure you have heard of people who prefer to just sleep on the floor and do it regularly. Why do they prefer it? Why are those on the paleo diet turning to the option of sleeping on the floor? Is it best to do something that seems really uncomfortable? Depending on your health concerns, yes!

The truth is, it doesn’t need to be uncomfortable either. In fact, many folks find that over time they actually are more comfortable sleeping on the floor because it helps to realign your spine naturally and eliminate soreness and pain from sleeping in one position for too long. Let’s explore some of the reasons they are making the switch and see if it could be good for your health as well!

Sleeping on the floor

Many people experience pain or soreness from sleeping. This is not new. It could be caused by a previous injury, natural ageing, not moving around enough while you are asleep, hard workouts that leave your muscles tighter than usual, or the type of mattress you have.

For some, just taking time to make your mattress firmer or buying a new one could have a huge difference. However, if this does not work or if purchasing a new one is not actually a financially viable option for you, you may need to consider sleeping on the floor. Let’s take a look at the reasons this could be the best choice for your health.

A cushioned life

One theory suggests that we are constantly cushioned throughout life by pillows, soft chairs, couches, and the like which cause our muscles to become soft. All of the cushions we use all the time, especially memory foam mattresses, promote sustained stillness. We do not really feel the need to shift positions or move around as much because of how comfortable and supported we are. It is bad for your health as it can lead to unnecessary soreness, or stiff, even painful joints.

A possible remedy is actually sleeping on a hard surface like the floor. By doing so, it’s possible to promote deeper sleep. Your body can have more natural movements that do not cause your body to experience pain when you wake up.

Soothing massage after an intense workout

Sleeping on the floor may also be really good for your body if you are highly active or if you regularly do intense workouts. The firm surface allows even weight distribution while you slept. It facilitates the natural realignment of the spine, especially if you slept on your back. When your muscles are sore, the firmness of the floor is going to provide pressure throughout the night. It mimics the feeling of having a massage. As a result, you are going to find that your body is less sore after a night of restful sleep.

sleeping on the floor after workout

How to make the switch to sleeping on the floor

Alright, so maybe you are thinking about giving this a try. Regardless of the reason, the change may not be easy. Instead of making a full commitment to sleep on the floor overnight, it’s better if you take your time. It is going to enable your body to do the transition without experiencing any unnecessary soreness or pain from the abrupt change.

Step 1: Try sleeping on the opposite side of the bed

At first, try switching to the opposite side. Some people prefer to sleep on the right side while others, on the left. Because of this, our mattresses may start to show wear in the shape of our bodies.

So, for the first step, use the side that you are not used to sleeping on. It may feel a little off at the beginning. It may even feel like a new one, especially if you sleep alone. But, you should still be able to get a restful night of sleep. Try this for several days before moving on to the next step. I know it does not seem like much, but starting off slow is better and can make the process easier in the long run.

Step 2: Try sleeping on a different mattress entirely

If you have the option, try sleeping on an entirely different mattress. Maybe you have a guest room or a pullout couch? Or perhaps you could stay with a friend for a few days? If this is not an option don’t worry, just skip on ahead. By changing the room you sleep in, along with the mattress, you are going to gradually become more used to sleeping in a different way. That is going to help with making the next few steps easy and painless.

Step 3: Remove extra padding or sleep on a futon

If you are using any extra padding, like eggshell padding or a detachable pillow top, remove it. Sleeping on a harder surface slowly prepare your body to move forward. You may also need to try sleeping on a futon for a few days as they tend to be considerably firmer.

Step 4: Move to the floor with some comfortable padding

When you first switch to the floor, it is best to use a lot of padding, so you do not get easily discouraged. Let’s face it; it’s a drastic difference. So gather whatever you have, nothing is off limits. You could use a combination of many things: yoga mats, sleeping mats for camping, sleeping bags, big fluffy comforters, eggshell padding, or pillow top pads. This step may be a bit difficult but stick with it for a few days, and your body should start to become more comfortable.

Step 5: Start removing the extra padding

Gradually begin removing the padding you used to create your makeshift bed on the floor. Do not try to take too much out at a time. Instead be patient and intentionally slow down with this step. Remember, there is no turning back after this. If you remove a piece of padding, do not put it back.

Step 6: Commit to the floor

When you finally make it to the floor, your body may be uncomfortable at first. It’s essential that you commit to the floor and attempt to reap as many benefits from this as possible. Give it a fair chance and take your time. Try it for a few days, maybe five to seven, before deciding if this is the right choice for you. However, as with many transitions, the longer you do it, the more it will be better for your health. Many people who have bad backs or do extreme workouts find this is a wonderful option for them. Sleeping on the floor could eliminate your soreness and discomfort. Overall, it will be better for your health. Give it a try!

sleeping on the floor carpet

Bed frame vs bed on the floor

What is the purpose of a bed frame? Why don’t we just place our mattresses on the floor? For many, it’s just a stylistic choice. Some architects are even suggesting they prefer the chic aesthetic of putting your bed directly on the floor because it’s minimalistic and emphasizes the other elements of the room. Some prefer to emphasize it with a simple or ornate frame. You may already have a stylistic preference but before you reach a final decision check out the pros and cons to each option.

Bed frame Pros:

There are several advantages to using a bed frame.

  1. Many allow extra space underneath that can be used for storage. It can come in handy particularly in the summer months when you require additional storage for your winter bedding.
  2. It lifts the mattress off the floor which keeps you away from cold drafts in the winter.
  3. The elevation can protect from a possible bed bug infestation in some cases. However, these critters are not always stopped that easily.
  4. The elevation can protect your bed from water damage in the event of a flood.
  5. The elevation can prevent mold and mildew from forming at the bottom of the mattress. It is especially true in humid climates where a spill or just sweating while asleep can create mold and mildew. Memory foam ones are particularly prone to grow mold. The tight seal it forms on the floor does not allow proper air circulation. Mold spores can also lie dormant in hardwood floors. Placing a mattress on top could activate them with the cool, dark climate created underneath.
  6. Possibly the most important factor to consider, the frame and box spring or slats give another level of comfort by enabling it to be more resilient and responsive to continued use.

Bed frame Cons:

After reading all the pros, it may seem like a no-brainer to use one. But don’t be too hasty in making a decision. While there are not as many disadvantages, there are still several reasons that should be given consideration. It all depends on your specific requirements and circumstances.

  1. If you have a bad back, placing your mattress on a bed frame may make it too soft causing you to experience pain after extended use.
  2. It costs money. Of course, they range in price and elaborateness, but they all cost money. It may be worth considering especially after a large move or other expenses. If you can’t afford one, it is better if you remove the bedding and lean it upright against the wall for a few hours every couple of weeks. It will allow it to dry out completely while benefiting from proper air circulation.
  3. In warmer months the cooler air is near the ground. Without a frame, you can benefit from cooler drafts circulating the floor. Because of this, you may be able to maintain lower utility bills while experiencing the same comfort overnight.
  4. They add height to your mattress which could be problematic. If kids, seniors, or people with limited mobility are using the bed, it may be best to keep it on the floor for ease of access. Even owners of small pets may consider keeping their mattress on the floor so their pets can easily jump on.
  5. It is not conducive to people choosing to follow Montessori guidelines or detachment parenting practices. The Montessori way encourages using a lowered bed near the ground for young children to promote freedom of movement while they slept. Being close to the ground can provide an element of safety for small children who may fear elevated heights. Detachment parenting promotes sleeping with your child on a bed near the ground for the first several months until transitioning into separate beds in the same room. The same basis of comfort and security is emphasized in this way of parenting.


It may feel counter-intuitive at first, but sleeping on the floor actually holds many benefits for a lot of folks. Aside from the financial factor, people often experience better health. They have increased mobility and diminished pain and soreness. It, in itself, is the best reason to give it a try.

Sleeping on the floor is not the best health advice for everyone but is worth some careful consideration, especially if you have an old mattress that dips in the middle. The luxury of a good mattress isn’t going anywhere, but that does not mean it is always the best way to sleep. Take your time. Enjoy exploring your options!

Combine sleeping on the floor and sleeping on your back for an optimal sleep experience.

Additional Resources

Emily Alexander
Emily Alexander

Emily Melynn Alexander was born on the east coast of the USA but has called Colorado home since 2000. She has a degree in English and Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She enjoys sleeping in locations all around the world.

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