Mattress History Explained: They Didn’t Always Sleep This Well

As you head out to purchase a new, modern bedroom set, you have more to consider than whether you are purchasing wrought iron beds or contemporary beds. The fact is, you need to consider the mattress you will place on those beds. There are dozens of options on the market, ranging from eco friendly products to standard, traditional mattresses. But, have you thought about the history of those mattresses?

Before there was the Beautyrest NXG mattress, there were many other methods to creating a pad or sleeping mat. Today’s products are not similar to those of yesteryear in their composition but the goal of these beds has always been the same, find a way to get comfortable at night. The word itself, mattress, means “to throw” and “place where something is thrown” in Arabic. Who was the first to create these? During the Neolithic period, beds and mattresses were first created. These kept people off the ground and were made of nothing more than leaves and grass piled up. Later, the Egyptians would place palm boughs in a corner of their home for sleeping. Later, during 200 BC the Romans created mattresses by taking bags and stuffing them with hay, wool or other materials. The wealthy used feathers.
The Beautyrest NxG Mattress

Still, you would not have been resting on the Beautyrest World Class Mattress for quite a while. The 15th century saw people creating mattresses from pea shucks and straw. Sometimes, velvet or silks were used for the outer cloth. By the 17th century, people used down within mattresses or placed it on top of the bed to provide more comfort while underneath the mattress was a timber frame.

A big change came in the 18th century when covers were made of linen or cotton. During this time, a mattress cane box was created, which was shaped or bordered and then filled with natural fibers. Fibers such as wool, horsehair and cotton were used.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the box spring was created. This helped to provide more structure to the wood and metal beds to give the beds more support. Daybeds were popular for parlors during this time, as they were in the past. The time since this is when you would find mattresses that resemble what you would currently put on a platform bed today. In the 1930’s, for example, innerspring mattresses were created. Artificial fibers were also created. The predecessors of the Simmons Beautyrest mattresses also become popular. These featured encased coil springs where individual springs were placed into fabric bags with compartments.

In the following years, you would see rubber mattresses and pillows become popular options. The waterbed became a hugely popular option for anyone looking for contemporary bedroom furniture in the 1960’s. Later, NASA’s invention of memory foam would further the industry that much more. Air mattresses became popular in the 1980’s while rubberized coir also was used.

Today, as you head in to purchase modern bedroom sets, or look at the right mattress for your metal canopy bed, consider the history of these all-important tools.
The Beautyrest NxG Mattress Silhouette
The Beautyrest NxG Mattress Build

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