My dad is a light sleeper and works irregular hours so he often makes a bed for himself on the floor or in another room, so as to not disturb my mom's sleep or have his own disturbed by her early wakings. He's never minded sleeping on the floor - he's an outdoorsman who loves camping and sleeping under the open sky so why not sleep on the floor? But recently (I think after watching some of my mom's Korean dramas) he asked my mom to buy him a yo or traditional Korean mattress.
Last week, when Charlie's father was in town and sleeping in our bedroom, we got a chance to test it out for a couple of nights. The first night it was nice. Comfy even. Harder than I would have imagined, but on top of a warm ondol floor, I could see how it could be very comfortable. The second night, however, we were both stupid enough to sleep on our sides and the result? A very, very horrible crick in our backs. I limped around for the greater part of that morning until I finally walked it off. My dad laughed at our fraility, but I'm guessing that he's a back sleeper.
Koreans traditionally sleep on ondol heated floors, an underfloor heating system that is unique to Koreans. They sleep atop a yo and underneath an ibul, which is a traditional Korean quilt. And even in the States, many Koreans use a pillow filled with wheat husks called a pyogae. I can understand that since whenever I sleep away from home, one of the things I miss most is my pillow. I've tried a pyogae, however, and it's just too hard for me to get used to.
I'm thinking about getting a yo myself one day for guests because it's easily stored (it rolls up easily) and they are less cumbersome and perhaps even more comfortable than an air mattress (which never seem to keep their air). Maybe I could just warn guests not to sleep on their sides.