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History of the Bed
Neolithic period: The mattress and bed are invented. Beds are raised off the ground to avoid drafts, dirt, and pests. The first mattress probably consists of a pile of leaves, grass, or possibly straw, with animal skins over it.
3600 B.C.E.: Beds made of goatskins filled with water are used in Persia.
3400 B.C.E.: Egyptians sleep on palm boughs heaped in the corners of their homes.
200 B.C.E.: Mattresses in Ancient Rome consist of bags of cloth stuffed with reeds, hay, or wool; the wealthy use feather stuffing.
15th century: During the Renaissance, mattresses are made of pea shucks, straw, or sometimes feathers, stuffed into coarse ticks, and covered with velvets, brocades, or silks.
16th and 17th centuries: During the Renaissance, mattresses are made of pea shucks, straw, or sometimes feathers, stuffed into coarse ticks, and covered with velvets, brocades, or silks.
Early 18th century: Mattresses are stuffed with cotton or wool.
Mid 18th century: Mattress covers begin to be made of quality linen or cotton. The mattress cane box is shaped or bordered, and fillings include natural fibers such as coconut fibre, cotton, wool, and horsehair. The mattress is tufted or buttoned to attach the stuffing to the cover and the edges are stitched.
1857: The steel coil spring is invented and is first patented for use in chair seats.
1865: The first coil spring construction for bedding is patented.
1871: The German Heinrich Westphal invents the innerspring mattress. He later died in poverty, never having profited from his invention.
1873: Sir James Paget presents a waterbed designed by Neil Arnott to St. Bartholomew's Hospital as a treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers.
1895: A few waterbeds, which resemble large hot water bottles, are sold via mail order by the British store Harrod's.
Late 19th century: The box-spring is invented, making mattresses less lumpy.
1904: Kingsdown opens first factory.
1929: The most expensive mattresses are constructed of latex rubber and are produced by Dunlopillow.
1930s: Innerspring mattresses and upholstered foundations become widely used, and artificial fillers become common. Pocket spring mattresses, which consist of individual springs sewn into linked fabric bags, are introduced.
1950s: Foam rubber mattresses and pillows are available for purchase.
1960s: The modern waterbed is introduced and gains its first widespread use with the invention of vinyl. Adjustable beds gain popularity.
1980s: Air mattresses constructed of vinyl are introduced.
1990: Spacious sleeping is once again on the rise.
1999: The queen-size mattress became America's most popular choice for mattress size - for the first time ever - beating the twin.
2000's: Choice and comfort are key words in contemporary bedding. In addition to an almost unlimited range of innerspring mattress designs, new types of foam mattress cores (such as "memory" or visco-elastic foam and refinements to traditional latex) as well as air beds, waterbeds and high-tech adjustable sleep sets offer consumers attractive, quality alternatives. Pillow top mattresses, a popular innovation in luxury, offer an extra layer of soft cushioning, and single-sided no-flip mattresses are common.