Memory Foam Mattress

The History of Mattresses

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Have you ever wondered where that mattress you’ve been sleeping on every night came from? Well, we’re here to give you a history lesson about the beginnings of the mattress and how they came to be.

Neolithic Period

At the final division of the Stone Age, the mattress was invented. During what’s thought to be the beginning of agricultural life, beds were created as a way for individuals to sleep off the ground and avoid dirt, drafts and pests. The very first mattress was constructed of leaves, straw and grass being stuffed underneath a sheet of animal skin.


Moving forward to the Before Common Era period, we find mattresses taking on more shape than just a pile of debris lying about. In 3600 B.C.E. Persia, beds were being made of goatskins that were then filled with water. In Egypt around 3400 B.C.E., the ancients would sleep in the corner of their home, resting on piles of palm boughs. Towards the late era, in 200 B.C.E, the Ancient Romans used mattresses that were made with cloth bags. They were stuffed with either reeds, wool or hay for the common folk, while the wealthier citizens filled their mattresses with feathers.

15th to 17th Century

In the time of the Renaissance period, mattresses began getting a bit fancier. They were often filled with pea shucks, feathers or straw before being encased in coarse ticks and finally covered in velvet, silk or brocade fabrics.

18th Century

By the early 18th century, the materials used to stuff common mattresses made the switch to either wool or cotton fibres. Years later, the coverings would be made of quality linen or cotton as well. With mattresses now having a frame to lay within, known as a mattress cane box, the beds themselves were filled with natural fibres that included cotton, wool, coconut fibres and horsehair. As a finishing touch, the mattresses were tufted or buttoned so the stuffing stayed in place.

19th Century

In 1857, the steel coil spring was invented and patented to be used in chair seats. Years later, in 1865, the same innovation was patented to be used in the construction of mattresses. Not six years later, the German inventor Heinrich Westphal invented the innerspring mattress before dying of poverty sometime later. The waterbed is later invented as a treatment for ulcers at the end of the century, along with the box-spring so mattresses could keep their shape better.

20th Century

Now is when the mattresses we’re familiar with and use today are born. With Kingsdown opening their first factory in 1904, it’s not long after that other companies jump on the bandwagon. Expensive latex rubber mattresses are produced by Dunlopillow in 1929, while innerspring mattresses are becoming more widely used, along with artificial fillers. The 1930s is also when pocket spring mattresses are first introduced. The 1940s brings North America the futon, while the 1950s brings the availability of foam mattresses and pillows to be purchased. In the 1960s, the modern-day waterbed is reintroduced along with adjustable bedding. Towards the latter end of the century, vinyl air mattresses are brought to the market and queen-size beds become America’s most popular mattress size.

21st Century

The 2000s and beyond brings the growing popularity of memory foam and the various types for every kind of sleeper. Advancements in other bedding types like waterbeds, adjustable mattresses and more are moving forward, and the wild concept of sending out a mattress is a box is conceived.


Pause&Sleep is the best place to buy a mattress online. As the best foam mattresses are, we offer high-quality memory foam with a 10-year warranty and free returns. Be sure to visit our website for more information.