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Everything you never knew about the evolution of your mattress!

These days the modern mattress can offer everything from the medicinal to the outlandish – fancy a cardboard bed that folds away? How about the vertical mattress that encases you in a ‘marshmallow of comfortable cushion’? 

We have such a wealth of choice, but how did we get to this point? The evolution of the mattress has been a rocky road – take a look at some of the weird and wonderful milestones!

Mattresses have been in use since as early as 8000 BCE, though in a very primitive form. The main objective of early bedding was simply to be off the floor to protect against insect bites and mud, but by the time of Ancient Egypt, tech had moved up a level.

The beds of ancient Egypt were used not just for sleeping, but also for eating and entertaining socially – something most of us with a Just Eat account have discovered is a very sophisticated and cultural experience! The renowned boy king Tutankhamun had a bed of ebony and gold – so it could be that back pain was a cause of his untimely death.

The Romans are notorious for their decadence,  and were responsible for the first makeshift mattress, consisting of cloth bags stuffed with reeds, hay and wool, or feather stuffing for the wealthy. Their take on a water bed was certainly in-keeping with their philosophy. The sleeper would submerge themselves in a cradle of warm water until drowsy, then be lifted on to a nearby cradle and be rocked to sleep – quite a labour intensive bedtime routine for most of us these days!

During the renaissance period, mattresses were commonly made of pea shucks, stuffed into coarse sacks, covered with velvets and silks. However decadent the sheet, it still probably shucked as far as modern day mattresses go!


By the 18th century, the innovation of having a cotton mattress atop a bed frame had taken hold. Together, these two components created a sleeping space that was less attractive to creepy crawlies – up until this point, bugs and vermin had been an every-day part of the average night time ritual. So bear that in mind when you see a lone spider hiding in the corner of your bedroom!

It wasn’t until 1865 that the bed spring was first patented, bringing something of a revolution to mattresses everywhere. Something that we now take for granted to ensure comfort and support is really quite a young invention! We are sleeping more soundly than humans have ever managed before!

The last seismic mattress invention was from the boffins at NASA. In their quest to provide suitable shock-absorbing material to protect their astronauts upon re-entering earth’s atmosphere, researchers stumbled upon what has now become the memory foam mattress! It seems very appropriate that we can now experience out-of-this-world slumber courtesy of scientists who have literally travelled out of this world. Thanks guys!

Visit Our Preston Bed Showroom For Our Stellar Range of Beds & Mattresses

Feeling lucky to live in a world where you can get mattresses and beds in any shape, size or material? Wait until you see what’s in store for you at our showroom. Come and visit us at our bed shop in Preston to try out our sensational stock for yourself! Find your favourite brand with us, from Hypnos, to Silentnight and Relyon beds for sale to name just a few. For more information or any advice, please don’t hesitate to approach our expert team!