||This research sought to explore the nature of comfort within the context of three New Zealand nursing homes and examine how nursing and other actions contribute to residents' comfort. A critical ethnographic approach was used and fieldwork included 90 days of participant observation, interviews with 27 residents and 28 staff and extensive document examination. Comfort was multidimensional, idiosyncratic, dynamic and context dependent, rather than merely the absence of discomfort. This multidimensional nature meant residents could be 'betwixt and between' comfort and discomfort simultaneously. The constraints of one-size-fits-all care delivery practices and the tensions inherent in communal living compounded residents' discomfort. The findings show that individualised care, based on comprehensive and accurate nursing assessment, is fundamental to the comfort of residents.