Cohabitation Convenience Statistics

Have our readers ever heard of the saying, “Two can live as cheaply as one”? Well, it appears many Americans have taken this to heart. We surveyed 2,000 couples and found that, on average, nearly 44 percent moved into together early for financial reasons.

However, the numbers are quite different depending on the state. In South Dakota, only 4% of couples reported that they moved in too early. This is very different from Massachusetts where 75% of couples reported they moved in together to save on bills.

If people want to see how their state scored, they can just drag their cursor across the infographic below.

Created by mattress clarity
 • View
larger version

Why Couples Cohabitate

As we found in our survey, finances are a major consideration when couples decide to move in together. This is not surprising considering the rising cost of living across the country. Between June 2017 and June 2018, consumer prices rose almost 3 percent. Splitting the rent between two instead of one can make good financial sense.

When it comes to the relationship itself, men and women sometimes have different ideas about what moving in together before marriage means. In her article, “The Downside of Cohabitating Before Marriage,” therapist Meg Jay says that men often see this step as a test of their partner’s suitability for marriage as well as a way to put off commitment. Women, on the other hand, see it as a step toward marriage.

Overhead Shot Of A Couple CookingVGstockstudio/Shutterstock

The Difficulties Of Cohabitating

With these two different ideas about what cohabitating means for their relationship, problems can indeed arise. In her years of studying cohabitation, University of Denver researcher has Galena Rhoades has found that couples who move in together before marriage can have “low-quality marriages” that sometimes end in divorce.

Here are a few issues that these couples can deal with when they move in together:

  • Finances. While moving in together can save the couple money, this new business relationship can be a source of contention. Who pays for what? Is it split equally?
  • Space. It can be fun to have a roommate, but tight quarters can also lead to relationship strain. The mere proximity of another person and their belongings can, over time, become annoying. According to our survey, this is the main cause of friction between couples. While there are some great mattresses for couples out there, even sharing the bed space can be too much for some.
  • Feeling trapped. When a couple moves into together, they can begin to buy furniture, appliances, as well as pets. In addition, they usually sign some kind of lease. If there are relationship problems, it can be financially and logistically difficult for one person to move out. This can often cause unhappy couples to stay together which, in time, can lead to divorce.

Sleep Issues For Couples

Couples who move in together often share a bed as well. This brings up its own set of issues. In fact, a recent study conducted by OnePoll and Slumber Cloud found that nearly 50 percent of Americans would rather sleep without their partner.

A Couple Sleeps TogetherRealstock/Shutterstock

This is known as Sleep Divorce. Some of the major complaints included:

  • The sounds of their partner’s snoring led to sleep deprivation.
  • The added body heat of their partner caused them to overheat.
  • The fight for sheets and bedding was an annoyance.
  • Men complained of their female partner’s hair getting in their face.

Mattress Clarity spoke with sleep/relationship expert Dr. Wendy M. Troxel. She told us how important the bedroom as a space for togetherness. “For many couples, the bedroom is sort of a haven for closeness and intimacy, not just sex, but time together,” she said. “It’s the time when, ideally, you’re away from the rest of the distractions of your family, your work commitments, and then you actually get to have some one-on-one time together, which we know is so critical for relationships.”

While she said that every couple’s case is different, she does have some tips on how to keep the bedroom a place of intimacy and peace.

  • If snoring is an issue, first check with a doctor to make sure it isn’t a major condition like obstructive sleep apnea. Dealing with this condition has even been shown to improve couples’ sex lives
  • If it is merely snoring, earplugs could be a quick fix.
  • Bedding issues can be solved by using two sets of sheets with one comforter or blanket across the top.
  • Look into buying a mattress that handles motion transfer well.
  • Sometimes, if these solutions don’t work, sleeping apart can be better for the couple.

RELATED: Best Mattresses of 2024

Whether it involves sleep, space, or finances, the key is finding common ground. Before moving in together, the couple should formulate a clear plan of action, and each partner should be able to voice concerns and expectations.

Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site. He likes things simple and takes a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and playing classical piano. He enjoys traveling as well, and not just to test out hotel mattresses! Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.