In today’s world we don’t realise just how lucky we are, being able to have a comfortable night’s sleep on our preferred bed and mattress is normality however if we take a look back through the ages we realise others weren’t quite as fortunate.

The oldest reported mattress was dated back to over 77,000 years ago, it was made up of multiple layers of plant material which were burnt to eliminate any pests. It was around 12 inches thick and measured a huge 22 square feet, big enough to fit the whole family on. Take a look below to see how times have changed.

  • Prehistoric Hunters – Slept on small piles of leaves on the ground.

  • Ancient Egyptians – They Invented raised beds. Either formed from gold for the rich with a wool mattress or just a wooden platform for the poor.

  • Ancient Rome – The wealthy had metal beds with straw/feather mattress – By now most people regardless of class had woollen blankets.

  • Medieval Life up the 15th Century – The rich had large ornate beds made from heavy wood encrusted with jewels to show off their wealth where as the poor still had a hay stuffed bag on a wooden platform and would be sharing with the whole family.

  • Renaissance through to the 17th Century – The rich had now moved on to large 4 poster beds covered in lavish carvings and paintings. They also began to have separate areas for sleeping known as bedrooms.
  • 18th Century – During this time metal bed frames started to become popular and hay was replaced with cotton mattresses, these were suspended in the beds with ropes and wool straps. All classes began to use bedrooms as private spaces and servants etc were no longer sleeping on the floor.

  • 19th Century – By this time bed frames became increasingly smaller and bedsprings were invented to support mattresses rather than wool straps and ropes.

  • 20th Century – Water beds were first sold. Sprung and memory foam mattresses were invented, mattresses and pillows began to be manufactured from foam rather than cotton.


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