Over the past year, I’ve written about the many hopefully improvised solutions I’ve created to try to NOT feel the mechanical vibration that shakes me awake every morning. I even looked into making a hanging bed that would be bolted to the concrete ceiling slab, or a rig like this “Levitation Suit”. It was created for The Cultural Center of European Space Technologies in a workshop focusing on levitation in an environment of gravity; it was an exploration into  a new “3D” form of hotel, and has the obvious appeal of flight.

In lieu of being able to be weightless or levitate, my newest vibration-damping fix came via some readers who had the same problem. (I’ve discovered that LOT’S of people suffer from disturbing vibrations.) The solution was to sandwich a fully-inflated air mattress between the wood bed frame and my regular mattress. It dampens the vibration significantly, though the bed is so high now, I have to clamber onto it.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

I’d tried a partially-inflated air mattress on the theory that it would conduct vibration less than a fully-inflated one.

My generous advisors said they had tried the same thing, but then decided to test out fully-inflated ones. They’ve found TWO stacked air mattresses even better and manageable because their mattress was originally on the floor.  That solution would make the bed SO high I would need a ladder to climb onto it, making me more fully the Princess and the Pea.

Edmund Dulac
Edmund Dulac

I will continue to experiment with air mattresses, which work on the principle an engineer once told us is used to dampen the vibration of huge semi trucks: something along the lines of huge stacked inner tubes acted shock absorbers. I’ve written him to see if I could rig such a device using smaller inner tubes to use as bed legs.

inner tube

In the meantime, I am grateful for the sleep the single air mattress has afforded me (however strange-looking my bed has become), and that I don’t have to resort to this:




NOTE: After much trial and error, I did find a simple, inexpensive way to dampen the vibration coming through my bed. You can read about it here.

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7 replies on “Vibration Fixes: Levitation Suits + Air Mattress Shock Absorbers

  1. Yeah!! It’s good to hear you’re getting more sleep. Yippee!

  2. Dare I say, little by little it’s been getting better. Though I’m in the process of designing another vibration resistant bed, with all the info I have.

  3. Are you still using the air mattress approach? Is it enough on its own?

  4. Where can I find your comments on inflated inner tubes?

  5. Do you think an air mattress would pop if I put it under a king mattress? Should I get a king air mattress or two twins? Can I put the air mattresses on top of a box frame?

  6. I tried that air mattress sandwiched between frame and mattress idea. The vibration still came through. Son’t waste your time.

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