What kind of mattress did you sleep on last night? Chances are it was a spring, foam or latex mattress.. but have you ever wondered what you would have slept on centuries ago? As illustrated in the “How the World Slept” infographic, the humble bed has came a long way.
Early peoples often slept directly on the ground, with only animal skins or large leaf boughs for comfort. Eventually, Egyptians developed raised beds, realizing that helped keep creepy-crawlies at bay. The earliest forms of what we would recognize as mattresses were likely invented by Arabs, and adopted by Europeans (the English mattress comes from the Arabic “matrah”). These would have been stuffed with materials in people’s environments like hay or plant shucks, and wool or feathers for those that had could afford it. This type of mattress remained prevalent for centuries, all the way up to the Industrial Revolutions. The timeline shows how quickly things changed in the last 200 years compared the past 2000 years, and if the trend continues who knows how we’ll sleep in 100 more!