Comfortable mattresses are a thing we take for granted today. When we are tired, we rest on it to relax and rejuvenate our mind and body.
Have we ever spared a thought on how these mattresses have evolved to the way we know it?
Well, it all began 10,000 years ago when Neolithic men began to create primitive beds to sleep. Egyptians and Romans used beds made of different materials such as ebony, gold, palm bows, reeds, hay, feathers and even wool.
During the Renaissance period, people experimented with varied materials that were available in their part of the world. Also, they began to experiment mixing different materials to give a warm and soft feel.
The evolution of mattresses got a big boost during the reign of Louis XIV, as he was extremely fond of his bedroom. He is even believed to have hosted royal chambers in his room containing 413 beds! During this time, many people competed against each other to make the best quality mattresses for him.
The next big boost came during the later part of the 18th century when the use of cotton became more widespread due to colonization.
1865 saw the birth of coil springs, and by 1930s, innerspring mattresses became an integral part of life in the US and Canada. 1950s saw the advent of foam rubber mattresses while the use of adjustable water beds became widespread during 1960s.
The next big wave of changes for the mattress industry happened in 1980s when air mattresses were introduced for the first time.
These mattresses were seen as comfortable and portable, and gave people the luxury of carrying their beds even to remote camping locations. Since then, use of mattresses and their size grew, and today, mattresses have become an integral part of our life.
Just like the past, the future of mattresses looks interesting as well.
Future mattresses are likely to be smart enough to monitor your health constantly, so that even the smallest of changes can be recorded and presented to the doctor. These mattresses are expected to come with advanced sensors that monitor your vitals like heart rate and blood pressure.
If the changes are significant, these mattresses will be programmed to send a message to your primary healthcare physician. Such a smart mattress can greatly reduce the chances of heart attacks and other complications that cause death while sleeping.
Another futuristic prototype is a self-cleaning mattress that can get rid of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms on its own. These mattresses are likely to come with self-sterilization methods that can heat or cool itself, depending on the condition in which such microorganisms thrive.
All these mattresses are likely to have automatic temperature control systems built into them, so they can alter the temperature of the bed, based on the external conditions and the sleeping preferences of the users.
In short, the history of mattresses gives us an idea of how mattresses evolved while the future shows some new features and possibilities that have the potential to make our sleep more comfortable and luxurious.