A friend that is on a very tight budget asks about what alternatives there could be for a Bed and Mattress for about 4 months before they move across the country. They just need something more than the bare floor to sleep on and budget is their strong point.
Now for many people the thought of paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a bed is nothing for them but remember in this case the person is not only on a budget but they will be moving and they don’t want to invest in something that they will want to take with them.
Probably the last thing you want to consider is a used bed unless you know the person you are getting it from. A bed frame that is used is not a problem but a mattress or box spring that is used never seems to work out well. On the other hand consider all of the hotels in the world and the fact that you are sharing a bed with someone that slept there the night before and you have no idea if they had some type of flesh eating virus or let their flea filled pet sleep on it. You never know and thats the same with ones you might find put out for the trash or used on a classifieds site. It is often just not worth the problem.
On the other hand if you do find a friend with a used mattress you can at the very least hit your local mattress supply store and ask them for some plastic that mattresses ship in. get a few of them and then duct tape and seal off the mattress and cover it with a sheet. Its not going to be perfect but thats about as cheap as you can get and have a real mattress.
Talking with others that are money conscious I have picked up a few tips for people in this situation.
Finding A Cheap Bed and Mattress
Because the need for a bed is short there is a possibility that an inflatable bed might do the job here. There are many high quality inflatable beds that are now under $50 and they come from the same manufacturers that make standard mattresses. The benefit here is that they are also relatively thick so they will get you up off the floor which is important on cold nights because it is always cooler at the floor level in a room.
The drawback of an inflatable bed is that it can deflate overnight or that it could get punctured or you could have other problems with it not inflating such as a problem with the pump.
If you read the reviews and do your best you can probably find something that will last a few months of every night use and in our friends case if it is still in good condition they can roll it up and take it with them until they get settled.
A military surplus cot is also an option which you could fit with a foam topper or a layer of sleeping bags to make it softer. They can run from $35 for small to $70 or more so if you have a military surplus store or a second hand store that will be much cheaper. Again they do have fabric so you want to clean them well before use.
The next option would be sleeping much closer to the floor.
You could find an inexpensive bed in a box for about $125 for a coil spring or less for a foam mattress. They are not bad solutions for long term use. We have had both and I can say that the coil spring versions that are 10 inches will stand up to an adult of normal weight. The foam ones do compress and hold that depression and that includes even the thicker ones of 8 inches.
Finally if you are healthy enough you could purchase a memory foam topper that is about 3 inches thick and place a sleeping bag on top of that. Many people around the world sleep on less and thats probably why many of those people are so angry heh.. but in all honesty it might even improve your posture but only if you are healthy and have a good back.
When there is a will there is a way and although no one should be sleeping directly on a hard floor even a used mattress from a friend that you seal up with plastic will get you through a couple months.
Again any type of furniture with fabric or natural materials is not good to pickup from a dumpster but you can find a bed frame online used from a classifieds website or maybe a charity run thrift store really cheap.
And if you are in this situation just be happy to have a roof over your head and do your best and find an extra job maybe if you are lucky enough that you can.