As you settle in to your comfortable bed at night, have you ever wondered about how the mattress came to be? What did cavemen sleep on, who invented the mattress and how did there get to be so many different brands, mattress sizes, and styles? Well settle, in because you are about to get a history lesson.
Once Upon a Time…
10,000 years ago, people began sleeping on what they called “beds.” Later, in ancient Egypt, King Tut discovered the benefits of being raised off the ground for sleep and made a bed of ebony and gold, while common folk slept on piles of palm leaves in the corner of their homes.
Then came the Roman Empire, and the design of the first luxury bed. The mattress, stuffed with wool, feathers or reeds and hay was lifted onto a base of gold, silver or bronze. Also during this empire’s reign, the water bed was discovered. The person would lie in a cradle of warm water until almost asleep, then be transferred to another cradle where he would be rocked to sleep.
Next, during the renaissance era, they discovered the benefit of covering a somewhat uncomfortable mattress with luxurious silks and velvets. Sheets, anyone? By the 16th century, beds were so luxurious that King Louis XIV possessed 413 beds of different varieties! He became known for holding courts in his royal bedroom.
There Was a Mattress…
In the 18th century, the people who had beds would no longer tolerate bed bugs. They developed a cotton mattress set on a bed frame of cast iron to prevent the creepers from sleeping with them. Later in this century brought on the invention and patent for the first coil spring mattress.
As in many other fields, the 1900’s brought on quick developments in the mattress industry.
In 1930, we were introduced to the innerspring mattress and upholstered foundations, 1940 brought on the introduction of the futon to America.
Pillows, foam rubber mattresses and the modernized water bed began popularity in the 1950-60’s, and adjustable beds with no-flip mattresses fought for consumer attention.
And it Lived Happily Ever After…
At this point mattresses and beds had become a huge industry as consumers fought to be more comfortable during their sleep.
1980 brought with it the introduction of the airbed, and the 90’s made the queen size mattress the most popular choice for consumers-finally beating out the twin.
Currently, there are an almost unlimited range of sizes, brands, and spring choices as well as adjustable, no flip, water beds, and more. The mattress industry has come a long way since the first “bed,” 10000 years ago, and will continue to grow and change to adapt to consumer demand.
As you go to sleep in your comfortable bed in your room tonight, be grateful for how far mattresses have come. After all, if you don’t like the one you are sleeping on, you can always hit a mattress sale to choose a new one!
Timeline/infographic found on: http://bettersleep.org/mattresses-and-more/history-of-the-mattress/
pictures from mattressesforless, museumfurniture, countrybed, houzz, getitgirlstyle, overstock, sears