Is it OK to sleep on a mattress on the floor?

This article is for everyone who has asked me about this and anyone else who has ever had occasion to sleep on a mattress on the floor for a while.

Mattress on floor

High and low energies

High energy tends to collect in high-level places, and low energy collects in low-level places. That’s one of the reasons why so many great spiritual cultures in the world have been located at the tops of mountains. It’s also why penthouse suites are so sought after, because the people who live in them have both a psychological and energetic advantage over people living below them.

It’s also been found that people who live up mountains are generally happier and more optimistic than people who live in valleys, where the energy tends to collect and coagulate. Valley people tend to experience more struggle in their lives and are more likely to experience depression. It’s much easier to feel elated on top of a mountain.

How this relates to buildings is that low energy collects at floor level along with dust and etheric debris. So you might think that it’s not a good idea to sleep on a mattress on the floor. However, sweeping or vacuuming very effectively cleans this up, so providing the space is regularly cleaned, sleeping at floor-level is fine from that perspective.

Beds in Japan and Bali

In Japan, it’s traditional to sleep on a futon on a tatami-matted floor. During the day the futon is rolled up and put away and then brought out again at night, as Richard and I discovered when we stayed in a traditional Japanese hotel, went out for the day, and arrived back in the afternoon to discover our bed had vanished. They do this partly so that a room can be a multi-functional bedroom and living area, and partly to make sure the mattress does not get damp underneath.

In Bali, where I lived for 20 years, sleeping on the floor is also the norm, but only for people who cannot afford a bed. Many don’t even have a pillow — they just sweep the floor, roll out a mat, and sleep with their head in the crook of their arm. They mostly have great posture, a healthy immune system, and back problems are very rare. Sleeping on the floor also develops a closer relationship to land energies and makes a person more grounded. The Balinese are a nation of very grounded people.

Those who can afford a bed usually prefer to sleep on one for the purely practical reason that it’s a tropical country and it’s less likely they will be walked over by venomous spiders, scorpions and other creepy-crawlies in the night if they’re in an elevated position. If you ever visit Bali, don’t worry. These hazards are not common in western-style hotels. But they are an everyday hazard in rural homes.

A traditional Balinese bed (the kind you find in villages, not in hotels) has a wooden frame and a firm cotton kapok futon that is not treated with any of the highly toxic fire retardants that are now legally required in the West. However, futons do become damp if placed on the floor so it is best only to use them on a raised wooden bed so that there is adequate air circulation around them. I slept on a pure cotton futon on a raised wooden bed during the 20 years I lived in Bali and still do to this day.

Check for underfloor wiring

In countries where homes are built with a maze of electrical wiring running under floorboards,  there is another important issue that needs to be considered.

Underfloor wiring can emit high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and sleeping on the floor will bring your body into closer proximity, which can be a serious health hazard over time. In an apartment block, the floors will contain not just the wiring circuit for your apartment but also the lighting circuits for the apartment below, which can double your exposure, especially in the case of unearthed halogen lights (very popular these days).

The only way to test for this is to use a reliable EMF meter, such as the EMFields PF5.

So is it OK to sleep on a mattress on the floor?

So, to summarize, I would say that sleeping on a mattress on the floor is fine providing the area is regularly cleaned, there are no venomous insects, the floor is not damp, and you are not sleeping in an electromagnetic field of more than 0.2 volts per meter.

In the West, however, dampness and/or high EMFs at floor level usually make it impractical to do this for very long.

Related article
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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is the world's leading authority on space clearing and a leading expert in clutter clearing. Her first book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, has sold over one million copies in 16 languages, and her second book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, has sold over two million copies in 26 languages.

4 Responses to Is it OK to sleep on a mattress on the floor?

  1. 1. Do you have any evidence that those who live in mountains are happier than those in valleys? This contradicts this anthropology which suggests that those in mountainous places where they historically herded livestock, are more revenge-driven than those who live in low lands and have farmed. Livestock are easy to steal and therefore revenge was a warning to potential thieves. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/manly-honor-part-v-honor-in-the-american-south/

    2. I prefer sleeping on the floor, and am planning a new bedroom. Can I use a blanket box as a headboard? I know you’re not supposed to use a headboard for storage but I’d only use it to store my floor mattress and maybe a few notes on things I wanted to dream about.

    1. Hi S – Happiness is a very subjective term. What makes one person happy would not necessarily cause the same emotions in another. So it would be more accurate to say that people who live at higher altitudes tend to be more spiritually fulfilled. Of course that depends very much on the individual and how they spend their time. Certainly it is well-documented that great spiritual cultures have been located at the tops of mountains. But the practice of siting radiofrequency transmitters in elevated locations means that high places no longer offer the purity of environment that they used to.

      The article you’ve posted your questions to is about whether or not it’s a good idea to sleep on the floor. It’s not about headboards, which is a very different topic. But to give you a brief reply, it is better to have a headboard than not, providing it is made of a non-metallic material that does not outgas.

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