Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

Just like the fairy tale story of goldilocks, we have tested out quite a few beds since we left home. I’m not going to divulge the location of my least favourite ones, but I will dispense the honour of my favourite bed. But first, some major categories of comfort we have encountered along the way.

  • Very firm – I did not realize that sleeping on a mattress like this can feel as if you have suffered a bruise in the night. This is especially bad for a side sleeper, which I can be, when tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable. 
  • Double beds or 140cm in Europe – that is tight quarters for two average Canadians. I’m all for being really close to my sweetie, but even for turning over in the night, this is a small bed.
  • Saggy middle mixed with 140cm – this is the worst, bar none. I can manage if I get this by myself, but when I am rolling into my husband all night, this one is not good. This situation also feels like bruises are forming. And parts of my arm would go numb.
  • Queen size, just right – this is what we have at home and a few other places we have spent the night. This size leaves us enough room without making my hubby feel like we are too far apart. 
  • King sized – I love it, my husband does not. I like having my own territory. My husband feels like I am so far away, almost in my own bed.
  • Two single beds – sometimes the booking for a hotel had to be done like this. This is neutral because we had our own space and could arrange covers as we preferred.
  • Beds with a view – bringing coffee into bed in the morning to read and watch the world wake up, is something we really enjoy. My friend’s apartment in Hong Kong takes top prize on this criteria.
  • Bedrooms, a little on the cool side – we have been fairly lucky to be living with good air conditioning whenever we needed it. Sting, my nephew might disagree with this statement. Barcelona was a little room, particularly with 2 young men sharing bunk beds in a tiny room.
  • Bedrooms, much too cold – unfortunately when we came back to Europe, Spring temperatures were still very cool. We would check into an airbnb and have to spend the better part of a week warming the place up! These stone-walled homes get very cold over the winter and take quite some time to warm up again. Most rentals had a plethora of extra blankets, but some were light on both blankets and enough heat.
  • Good pillows – this can have a big impact on getting a good nights rest. I find that a pillow can be too thin or too thick and either one will leave a pain in the neck. Only for a little bit, in the morning, then the stiffness wears off. 
  • Night stand with a reading light – how can that affect sleep? I need to wind down before closing my eyes, otherwise bad dreams are sure to haunt me. The bedtime routine which works best is to read some light fiction for about an hour. I like to be in bed for that so all I have to do is switch out my light and adjust the pillows.
  • No set wake up time – wouldn’t we all love to have this? Even on this trip, we don’t have that luxury every night. There are early morning flights and driving days. We often like to get ‘first tracks’ for our tourist days. Some weeks will have four of seven days with early morning alarms. I do sleep better knowing I don’t have to wake up early, even though I do anyway.
  • En suite bathroom – I do like closing off our bedroom and bathroom to the rest of the rental. We don’t even have this luxury at home, so it feels really special to enjoy it in a rental.

The best nights sleep goes to Amazing Views in Cape Town. The king sized mattress had a cover on it which felt so soft, like a dreamy pillow. Every night we slept there was ever so nice. The linens were of the highest quality, which I really appreciated. The pillows were perfect. The evening breezes cooled down our room. The room was spacious and had all the amenities we expected, including a joining bathroom! A patio with exceptional views of the ocean through floor to ceiling glass doors was an extra nice feature.

Since most of our rentals are within a similar price range, we find it curious how hosts choose to outfit the different bedrooms. I think it makes a difference if the owner of the rental is a traveller and if they use the space for their own holidays. This is the best situation because the space will usually be at a standard above all others. If the host is just doing a job or worse, if they are filling the space with cast off stuff from the family home, you don’t get the best experience.

All in all, we have done ok. There have been a few mistakes. Places we have stayed too long for the given amenities and places we wished we could take with us! As always, we are grateful for what we have waiting for us at home. Hopefully our furnishings have survived the winter of storage. If not, we will have some shopping to do!

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Christine Westermark

I am a world traveller, lucky enough to have a loving family who support my dreams to learn, create and give back by designing creative content which enables a lifestyle we don't need a vacation from.

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The search for a bed that is ‘just right’
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