You love to spend your time on it more than anything that you do. You come back to sleep on it after a hard and tiring day at the office. And you love to fall asleep on it. However, did you ever wonder as to who invented the mattress?
We spend much of our life sleeping. Naturally, where and what we sleep on forms an essential part of our quality of life. Mattresses are the most common bedding material that people use all over the world. We seldom give a thought about it and take it for granted. But how it came to be and how it was invented remains a compelling story waiting to be heard. The development of mattresses began as soon as man left his nomadic ways and started to settle down in caves.
Invention Of The Mattress
It was in the 18th century when mattresses started to match modern-day counterparts. Cotton and wool were used as fillings and later included items like horsehair and coconut fibers. Around 1850, cast iron spring beds came into existence. Initially, the technology was used in chair seats from which it developed to the concept of the coil spring bed.
Heinrich Westphal invented the first innerspring mattress in Germany during 1871. However, sadly he never earned much recognition or money for his invention and spent his days in poverty. It took more than 60 years for his creation to be accepted by the common man.
The Evolution Of Mattresses
The innerspring mattress invented by Heinrich did not happen in one day. It was the result of an evolution that began in the days of Stone Age. The word “mattress” is derived from “materas” which refers to an accessory laid on the floor for sleeping.
The Neolithic Times
From Neolithic times people used stones covered with grass, straw and animal skin to sleep on. The idea of using stuffing inside mattresses evolved around 3,000 BC. Goat skins filled with water were used in Persia for bedding purposes. People in Egypt took a course to palm leaves and branches for filling their mattresses. It later saw many changes through time including throughout the Dark Ages.
During Renaissance of 15 century, the present form of mattresses was introduced where long thin sacks or pouches stuffed with cotton, feather, leaves were created. Material like silk and velvet were used as the coverings and the items were quite luxurious.
The use of wooden platforms resembling beds came into existence in the 16th century. Soft stuffing was used inside the mattresses used during this time. Latex rubber mattresses were the most expensive type of mattresses that came into the market in 1929. This time also witnessed the use of pocket and innerspring mattresses. Even NASA has developed a material known among people as memory foam during 1960.
The concept continued to change and evolve and lead to what we have now. Today, we can find various types made of fiber, latex, and polyurethane, all ensuring better comfort and support. Memory foam mattresses, for instance, are more comfortable and last longer, making it a favorite in many households.