We've come a long way from sleeping on the ground. Here, we'll take a brief journey through the history of mattresses; from early humans to ancient civilizations to modern times. So, snuggle up, this is going to be a fun ride!
The Early Years: Sleeping on the Ground
For early humans, sleeping was simply a matter of finding a soft spot on the ground and laying down. Of course, this wasn't always comfortable, and it certainly didn't do much for one's back. Over time, early humans began to improvise, using whatever materials they had available to make their bedding more comfortable. For example, early Egyptians used palm fronds and other plant materials to make rudimentary mattresses. They even used a wooden neck head rest believing it helped provide a more natural sleeping position
The Middle Ages: Feather Beds & More
Feather beds became popular in Europe during the Middle Ages. These beds were literally filled with feathers (usually duck or goose feathers) and were surprisingly comfortable. Wealthier people would often have multiple feather beds, which they would pile on top of each other to create an even softer sleeping surface.
Materials with Natural Characteristics Being used
Interestingly, there was also a belief during this time that certain types of stones had special healing properties. As a result, some people would place these stones underneath their feather beds in the hopes that they would be healed while they slept.
The Modern Era: The Rise of theMattress Industry & Modern Innovation
The mattress industry as we know it began to take shape in the late 19th century. During this time, springs were introduced into mattresses as a way to make them more comfortable and supportive, not to mention more durable. Soon after, various types of foam were developed and used in mattress production as well. The thinking is to create a strong support for posture and increased comfort for pressure-relief.
New Mattress Technologies:
Mattress technology has come a long way since those early days, and there are now countless types of mattresses on the market – from memory foam to latex to gel-infused foam. Mattresses are being created for very specific sleepers. For example, those with sensitivities to polyurethane may seek a construction with more natural materials, those that sleep hot may be interested in advanced cooling technology. Larger individuals may look at reinforced mattresses and custom mattress sizes. Couples with specific comfort preferences may opt for a mattress with either customized (mattress built with a different comfort profile on each side) or adjustable comfort (a mattress that can change the pressure relief).
We've come a long way from sleeping on the ground, that's for sure! Today, there are countless types of mattresses on the market, each with its own unique benefits and as we learn more about health, wellness, sleep hygiene and advance in technology, the mattress development process will continue to push forward.