History of Mattresses

History of Mattresses

We, Human have been preparing a place to rest or “sleeping spot” for tens of thousands of years. Today I will be sharing with you the history of mattresses. One thing that I am interested the most is how bed evolves since our cavemen ancestors to today modern human.


The word “mattress” is actually from Europe back in early 13th century. Different part of Europe will call it slightly differently. The old French will call it “materas”. The Old Italian will call it “materasso” but the word “mattress” is actually deprived from medieval Arabic word “al-matrah”. It means places where something thrown down on. Which I think it kind of makes sense, no wonder I always throw myself on the bed or pushing someone onto a bed. (AH-HA)


The earliest form of a “bed” is way back during Neolithic period in Europe which is at least 6000 years ago. I use the word “the least” because it goes even way back than 6000 years ago. Anyway, the early form of a bed is raised off the ground to prevent pest, dirt, drafts etc. They mostly consist a pile of leaves, grass, or possibly straw with animal skin over it.


3,600 B.C In Persia, people like to fill water into goatskins in order to make a comfortable bed.

3,400 B.C Egyptians sleep on palm boughs heaped in the corners of their homes.

200 B.C In ancient Rome, mattresses consist bags of cloth stuffed with reeds, hay, or wool; the wealthy use feather stuffing.


Even thousands of years ago, we human have been trying creating a comfort layer like we do nowadays. Yes we have a lot more advance technology than the past. I am sure with future technology our beds will be even fancier. The concept of creating a good sleep surface has been the same “cushioning” and “pressure relieving”. Fast forward a little bit closer to modern human history


15th Century – During the Renaissance, mattresses are made of pea shucks, straw, or sometimes feathers, stuffed into coarse ticks, and covered with velvets, brocades, or silks.

Early 18th century: Cotton and wool are the most common stuffing for mattresses.


In 1871, a German Architect Heinrich Westphal invented the very first coil spring mattress. That is 147 years ago! Around 100 years ago, different designs of mattress are being introduced into the market. That includes the invention of waterbeds in 1873, the most expensive mattress are invented and constructed in full latex rubber in 1929 by Dunlopillow.


Early 20th century

Beds are getting more creative and especially inner-spring mattresses. The game-changer being the pocket springs or in American they call the “Marshall springs”. They are thin-gauge, barrel-shaped, knotless coils individually encased in fabric pockets—normally a fabric from man-made, nonwoven fiber.


In 1940s, the futon say their first hello in Northern America. During the 60s, waterbeds gain its widespread use with the invention of vinyl. In 90s, spacious sleeping is on the rise and in 1999, the Queen mattresses have become the most popular size in most western countries specially U.S, Australia and across Europe. Queen size mattress measurements slightly differ in different country but it has become the most popular size in most countries.


In 2000 until now, support and comfort are the key words in today’s bedding. Pillow top mattresses, a popular innovation in luxury, offer an extra layer of soft cushioning, and single-sided no-flip mattresses are common.


Nowadays there are insane amount of designs and options in the market. Physically trying them out in a showroom is still the best way to find out what works best for you and your loved ones. If you are thinking your mattress might be coming close to retirement, start looking out in the marketplace. Don’t wait until you lose your temper and upset yourself and your loved ones.


Warm Regards