The History of Beds

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Today's beds are spacious and comfortable, but they weren't always that way. The history of the bed is fraught with bad ideas and itchy materials.

Earliest Beds

  • Put simply, a bed is a place to sleep. Before people started building furniture for the purpose of sleeping, our earliest ancestors simply slept on the ground.

Egyptian Beds

  • The ancient Egyptians piled palm leaves in their houses and slept on them, while the pharaohs slept on flat pallets made of hard materials such as gold.

Roman Beds

  • The Romans invented the mattress, making beds that were comfortable as well as decorative.

Renaissance Beds

  • During the Renaissance period (roughly 1400 to 1600), beds were located in every room of the house, doubling as couches during the day. The bedroom as we now know it did not exist in most houses until the 1600s.

Mattress History

  • Renaissance mattresses were filled with straw and bound with rope. Only in the late 1700s were softer cotton mattresses introduced. The 20th century saw the evolution of comfortable mattresses, including foam mattresses, waterbeds and the queen-size mattress.

Modern Beds

  • Modern beds and mattresses are increasingly large, with special features such as the ability to be raised into a chair position or become softer or firmer with the click of a button.

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