The History of the Bed Mattress


As long as there have been humans there has been a need for a comfortable nights rest. In fact, the very first (although be it crude) mattresses were thought to have been invented during the Neolithic period. They were made out of a simple mix of leaves, grass and possibly straw and had animal skins thrown over it. This simple style of bed mattress remained the main type of sleeping accessory until almost 4000 years before Christ. It was then that the first goatskin mattress filled with water was used in Persia. However, there were many more changes to come over the next 6000 years.

The Development of the Mattress, a Timeline

Archeologists from around the world have found ample evidence showing the development of the bed mattress.

3400 B.C.: The ancient Egyptians slept on heaped palm boughs that were placed in the corners of their households. It is speculated that even pharos used palm boughs, although be it on raised sleeping areas.

200 B.C.: The next big mattress development took place in Ancient Rome where mattresses were made out of cloth that was stuffed with reeds, straw, or wool. The wealthier citizens of the Roman Empire tended to use feathers as mattress stuffing however.

15th century: It was during the European Renaissance that the entire approach to mattress manufacturing occurred and the raw materials used to make them included coarse fabrics that were covered in velvets and brocades and mattress fillings such as pea shucks, straw and feathers.

16th and 17th centuries: The biggest advancement in mattress technology to date occurred during this time and included the first “true bed mattress” stuffed with straw or down that sat atop a bed consisting of a timber frame.

18th century: Mattress’s of this time were covered with high quality linen or cotton. Mattress fillings included natural fibers such as coconut fibers, cotton, wool, and even horsehair.

Late 19th century: The first box-springs were invented during this time and allowed for the even distribution of weight across a mattress. They also acted like a shock absorber and lengthened the life of a mattress.

1926: Between World War 1 and World War 2 Dunlop developed a manufacturing technology that turned vulcanized rubber sap into latex foam. This is still used to this day to manufacture latex mattresses and latex pillows.

1930s: Just before World War 2 innerspring mattresses and upholstered foundations become widely used both in Europe and North America. At this time artificial mattress fillers also became the norm.

1960s: Modern waterbeds were first introduced during this decade and adjustable beds gained popularity around the globe

1992: Tempur-Pedic introduces a mattress made from the memory foam created by NASA for the American Space program.

1992: Fibrelux introduced a revolutionary new bed mattress made from rubberized coir.

2000: The latest big development in the history of mattresses was made when the Simmons Bedding Co. invented the “no-flip” mattress. This one-sided construction style has since been adopted by almost all mattress and bed manufacturers around the world.


Source by Justin Swanich

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