How Mattresses evolved over time
The first matress was found in a rock shelter in South Africa and had a dimension of about three feet by six feet. It was about an inch thick and made with alternating layers of reeds. Bedding consisted of leaves and grass, the users added plants as natural repellents for insects.
Homo erectus (who preceded modern Humans), were smaller and more chimp-like slept on trees to guard themselves against predators. Once hominids discovered fire, they were ready to sleep at ground level, using fire to protect them from predators.
As humans evolved, so did their “bedding”. Some cultures raised their matresses away from the ground. Ancient Egyptians made wood structures to guard themselves against pests and snakes. Another option was to use ebony made beds. The matress consisted of wool and linen. Some even had pillows made of stone.
Romans also placed their matresses away from the ground using ladders to get to them. Some Romans made their beds using metal or ivory. They supported their matresses using ropes. Commonly a matress was filled with hay, as opposed to the wealthier who used feathers. Beds were used to socialize and dining in addition to sleeping.
Greeks considered comfort to be a high priority. They built Klines, which looked like couches, they used them to eat, rest and sleep. Some of their matresses were used for decorative purposes.
Countries like Japan, Korea and China stayed on the floor. They used the floor because it stayed warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A common matress consisted of clay heated to keep the user warm.
A matress nowadays is made of memory foam, a material invented by NASA in the ’70s. This material was intended to provide crash protection for airlines because it can compress and returning it to its original shape. In 1980, NASA revealed the technology and made it available to the public. The first memory foam mattress appeared in the market in 1991. The memory foam was also used in hospitals to help patients with back pain.
Matress’ sizes changed over time. In the olden days, one matress was enough for two or three people. Family and friends were sharing the same matress. Matresses in ancient countries likeEgypt, Greece and Rome were smaller, more similar to the size of today’s twin bed. Commonly a whole family would sleep in one bedroom because they could only heat one room. In the 18th century, big beds showed status and pride. Many rich individuals used their bedrooms for ceremonial gatherings.
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