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!
For a queen bed, buy 12 "LACK" side tables from IKEA - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20011413 ($7.99 each as of 05/26/10). Each individual piece weighs just 10 lb and measures (as packaged) 22" W x 2.125" H x 33.125" L. Though made of particleboard and therefore extremely light, I was told each table can support the weight of one adult standing on it. I was able to load and fit all twelve packages into my subcompact quite easily.
Assemble each of the 12 tables for the queen bed by attaching the four legs to the table top with the help of the four screws supplied. The screw is pointed at both ends and there are markings on the underside of the table top and each leg showing where each screw goes in. You don't even need a screw driver as the leg itself acts as one. Assembling each table took me less than 15 minutes.