History of the mattress

History of the mattress

Most modern people are used to sleeping on mattresses, thereby ensuring a comfortable sleep and a good rest after a hard day’s work.

What mattresses used to be

In ancient times people slept on whatever they could find with their own hands. And these were skins of wild animals, dried grass, moss, leaves, etc. According to the results of archaeological excavations, the first bed appeared about 77 thousand years ago in South Africa.

In ancient Egypt, only rich, well-to-do people slept on beds. For example, at the Tutankhamen exhibition, you can see the bed, which was found in the tomb of the pharaoh. It is made of solid wood with gilding and cat feet.

Few pieces of interior furnishings and furniture have been found in Ancient Greece. The bed slats were made of leather straps, and the mattresses were filled with bird feathers, animal hair, leaves and dried grass. Often these designs were used not only for sleeping, but also as sofas to just sit on during the day.

Bedding of past centuries

Here everything depended directly on the social status of the family. The poor slept on solid wood beds with mattresses filled with straw. In turn, the more stately had beds with baldachins, curtains and decorative tapestries. Feathers were used as filling. The construction of the bed itself was finished with hand carvings or decorative painted elements.

Feather products were of particular value, so they were passed on by inheritance.

From the middle of the 18th century, the bedding was filled with cotton and linen, combined with a small amount of wool.

When did modern mattresses appear?

The first spring models appeared in the XIX century. The key idea of their realization was the springs used in the carriage seats. The use of such a unit made it possible to significantly increase the service life of the mattress.

Since the beginning of XX century there was a technological leap in manufacturing. In the 20s latex was invented, from which the active production of new models began. A decade later their orthopedic analogues became popular in most countries. And by the 50s the production of bedding made of polyurethane foam began to develop.

In the 70’s NASA developed a new material called “memory foam”, which translates as “memory foam”. The first mattress made of it was created in 1992.

What mattresses are now

In our catalog you can find the widest assortment of sleeping blocks. The introduction of innovative technologies makes it possible to develop new designs and produce novelties of the highest quality. So, for example, you can buy models made with glueless technology.

In particular demand among the citizens are spring, latex and mattresses, remembering the shape of the body. Hybrid types are not less common. In the catalog of our online store you can find exactly the option that will meet all your requirements and wishes.

Scientists found the first mention of mattresses in the Neolithic era. In those ancient times, our ancestors made them from natural materials, namely, dry leaves and grass, and covered them with skins of dead animals. Their sleeping places, which at that time still fell a little under the definition of the bed, people placed higher from the ground, avoiding contact with water, predators and insects.

An interesting fact is that as early as 3600 BC, the progenitors of “water mattresses” appeared in Persia, made of goatskin and filled with water. History records that after the advent of housing in Egypt, the range of mattress products grew, although the poor still use palm leaves to fill mattresses, while the wealthy already sleep on padding made of feathers, covered with cloth, wool or reeds.

Mattress – derived from the Arabic word (materas), which means mat, pillow, or throw. Europeans during the Crusades adopted the useful Arab tradition of throwing pillows on the floor, after which the word mattress, which passed through the filter of the Romance languages, took root in our lexicon forever.

Much later, namely from the 16th to the 19th century during the Renaissance, mattresses were stuffed with straw, pea husks, (hence it becomes clear that Andersen’s tale “The Princess on the Pea” is not fiction at all), covering them with cotton fabrics, brocade, silk and velvet. Of course, such costly products could no longer be placed on flooring, so in the early 16th century designs with wooden frames resembling beds began to appear, having a supporting block made of ropes or leather straps. Read more

Towards the end of the 18th century cotton and wool began to be used for mattress covers, while coarse fabrics such as linen gradually disappeared from production. The mattress padding now included natural fibers such as horsehair and coconut fiber, and the cane mattress was considered exquisite because it was finished by hand by stitching the base with fleece threads and endowing the product with beautiful buttons at the edges.

The production of mattresses has been modernized every year, already in 1857 springs were invented, which today are almost the basis of all modern spring mattresses. In 1873, the water bed was invented as a treatment and prevention of bedsores (non-healing wounds found in bedridden patients). Foam, adjustable beds, air mattresses came into our use by the end of the 19th century and all these embodied ideas were aimed at achieving a more comfortable state during sleep.

Modern mattresses today are endowed with many functions, they do not only provide us with comfort during siesta, but also have preventive and curative effect. People living in our century are being given choices that previous generations were deprived of.

Today’s range of mattresses would unwittingly shock an ancient Arab or Persian, at a time when for us it is quite commonplace. With a huge number of products at our disposal, we can choose mattresses with dependent or independent springs, or maybe even to buy springless products. If we want we can choose the filling we need, as well as buy a mattress cover and a cover of any kind of fabric that comes to mind. And this can not be surprising, if we remember where it all began.

Our health depends to a large extent on how and on what we sleep. It is not for nothing that various masters, physicians and even artists are constantly working on the equipment and decoration of the bed. A full and restful sleep prolongs life, which can in no way be said about the wrong choice of various bedding. As it causes various chronic diseases such as osteochondrosis, arthritis, allergies, sciatica, circulatory disorders, insomnia and many others.

The problem of sleep comfort is always relevant and requires a lot of attention. Let’s look into the distant past and see how it all began.

Do you know what our ancestors slept on?
Scientists have established that our most remote ancestors slept high above the ground. Where? You ask. The first places for ancient people to sleep were in the canopy of trees. It was here that man could rest in peace and safety. And all because there was a fear of being swallowed by some evil beastie, hare-bunny or something worse…

But after a while I had to descend slowly, because it is not unreasonable to fall from a branch, and especially easily – in a dream. Our ancient ancestor decided to move to a safer place – caves, and with the lapse of time he began to build reliable dwellings. And against night falls people have built on his bed a special side. The first accessory in the history of sleep is an animal skin. Many modern scientists consider it one of the most successful options.

In our days, sleeping gear is naturally a bit modified. They have survived a lot: there were mattresses, which were stuffed with hay or even horsehair. There were once down featherbeds, pillows, there were mattresses and blankets made of synthetic cotton. And that’s not the whole list. The science is evolving and just starting to really get into the bedding industry…

So what is an orthopedic mattress?

Orthopedic mattresses are those that are designed to treat body deformities as well as compensate for them.

The word “orthopedics” itself comes from the Greek “ortos,” which means “straight” or “correct” and “pedia,” whose meaning is “nurture.” This branch of medicine includes the study, treatment, and prevention of persistent curvatures and deformities of the spine and limbs.

In translation from German, mattress means “mattress”; from Dahl’s dictionary, a mattress is a bed, a bedding for sleeping, stuffed with hair, wool, hemp, etc.

Let’s return to history…
The appearance of orthopedic mattresses is associated with a change in the materials that are used to fill them. These materials are latex and viscoelastic polyurethane foam, which is known as memorix or “memory foam. Natural latex is obtained in nature by secretion from plants in the form of royal jelly. The peoples of South America, who had been cultivating plants such as the rubber tree for centuries, had no idea of the potential that lurks within it. This plant was not exploited for its potential until the mid-19th century.

An unexpected discovery!

In 1839 an American inventor had one indiscretion that resulted in one discovery: the vulcanization of rubber. Charles Goodyear, conducting experiments with rubber, quite accidentally dropped a mixture of rubber and sulfur on a heated stove. Before his eyes, the viscous liquid turned into an elastic and very elastic material. This discovery by the inventor Goodyear paved the way for the development of a new industry – a whole new industry. Latex rubber began to appear, and already from it – various products, including fillers for orthopedic mattresses.

One more step to the appearance of the first mattress…
There is another very important link between the discovery of Gaudier and the appearance of modern orthopedic mattress filler, which is called “latex foam.” And this material appeared thanks to one accident. In 1929, a scientist-engineer of Dunlop (Dunlop) I.A. Murphy spent five years trying to give latex the necessary porous structure. At a certain point, finally desperate, Murphy poured a mixture of rubber in anger into his wife’s mixer, thoroughly whipped it without suspecting anything, and added to the resulting gelatinizing agent. But even this was not enough – he vulcanized the mixture in a steam dryer. It was his seemingly unreasonable act that led to the great discovery.

The appearance of the first orthopedic mattress
Such a “homebrew” of a scientist brought him and the latex industry tremendous success. At the beginning, latex foam began to be used to make pillows. In 1931, Dunlopillo became the manufacturer of the first orthopedic mattress with latex filling. The mattress that appeared positioned itself as an infinitely comfortable and soft featherbed that did not require any padding.

Memory foam

In 1966, scientists at NASA Research Center developed a new and unique type of polymer that reacts to heat. At first, it was called “tempered foam.” But due to its innovative properties, it eventually got the name “memory foam”.

Such foam can be in different states simultaneously: both liquid and solid. NASA specialists wanted to use such foam to reduce overloads on the body of astronauts during takeoff, but cushions made of such foam were never lifted into space, as they were very brittle and instantly worn out.
Second Generation

NASA abandoned further development, but the specialists of Tempur World, one of the companies willing to work with foam, did not want to give up and worked on it for 10 years. The result of this work was a porous plastic, in which composite cells were compressed under pressure and distributed air among other cells, returning to its original position afterwards. This is how the second generation of memory foam appeared.

Application of the discovery

In 1991 a discovery was made in the orthopedic market. Tempur World demonstrated the world’s first orthopedic springless mattress made of the newly obtained memory foam. In addition to comfort and convenience, this mattress had very strong therapeutic properties, such as preventing insomnia, back and joint pain, improving blood circulation and deeply relaxing the body. More Here

As for spring mattresses, the first of them was made in 1870 by one of the French development firms called Simmons.

Now for the filling of orthopedic medical mattresses using a variety of materials: both natural and artificial. The natural materials include animal hair and wool, cotton, coconut fibers, latex, and seaweed. By combining different materials we get the orthopedic effect of the mattress.

Orthopedic mattresses are divided into spring and non-spring.

Those models that contain independent springs are more expensive. Spring mattresses contain layers responsible for softness, stiffness, and elasticity of the product. Non-spring orthopedic are divided into: consisted of artificial or natural latex and filled with coconut fibers, the so-called coir.

The orthopedic mattresses from manufacturers of medium and higher price levels are equipped with aerators, which are special ventilation holes that promote air circulation in the mattress design. This point is very important when considering the environmental side. Responsible manufacturers in the manufacture of their products use only high quality and non-toxic materials, and carefully selected components. The mattress must have such documents as a certificate of conformity and a test report.

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