Ever needed to lug a mattress, a box spring or a heavy, clunky wooden or metal bed up or down a few flights of stairs or load it into a car or van? Or worried about having to throw away an otherwise perfectly usable and expensive mattress / box springs because of bedbugs?
Your bed and mattress (plus the box-spring) are probably one of the biggest headaches come time to move - especially if you're on your own.
I wanted a portable, lightweight and inexpensive complete bedding solution that I could take apart and put back together at will, and whose individual pieces I could carry in my car when I move. A raised air bed seemed like the perfect one-stop solution - till they started devoloping leaks after just a few months, leading me to finally give up on them. So I went back to looking for the two separate main components - a portable, lightweight platform bed (eliminates the need for a box spring) and an equally portable and lightweight mattress that could preferably be rolled-up or folded for easy transportation.
1) For the platform bed, I did find a few metal bed frames that seemed at least somewhat portable - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Smart-Base-Bed-Frame-Queen-King/10924588 for $109 for example, but found them too heavy and unwieldy. I didn't think they would fit in my car when moving, and in addition, I thought the steel edges would tear up my planned improvised mattress out of several sleeping bags. After a lot of research, I came up with a platform bed substitute that is working well for me. The items are easily available at a standard, international chain (IKEA) and each individual piece weighs just 10 lb and measures (as packaged) 22" W x 2.125" H x 33.125" L. You need no tools to assemble it, it gives you plenty of storage space hidden from view underneath, and your improvised platform bed costs (as of 05/26/10) just about $96.
2) For the mattress substitute, I thought of this inexpensive DIY solution using easily available standard components (a few sleeping bags and a zippered mattress cover) that obviously requires no tools or any kind of workmanship - and it's working great for just $84.
So this improvised queen bed and mattress, put together pretty much out-of-the-box from standard, widely available components, add up to all of $180!