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A Timeline: The History of Mattresses

May 20th, 2008

* 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.: Beds made of goatskins filled with water are used in Persia.
* 3400 B.C.: Egyptians sleep on palm boughs heaped in the corners of their homes.
* 200 B.C.: 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: Mattresses are stuffed with straw or down and placed atop a bed consisting of a timber frame with support latticeworks of rope or leather.
* 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 inner spring 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.
* 1885: J.P. Leggett patents improvements to the steel coil bedspring. His innovative method of coupling the springs and attaching them to wooden bed slats launched a successful partnership with C.B. Platt, which eventually became Leggett & Platt, Inc.
* 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.
* 1900: James Marshall of Simmons Bedding Company invents the pocket coil mattress
* 1906: Sealy Mattress Company forms after buying all patents and knowledge from a local inventor.
* 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.
* 1931: Orders’ Mattress is established in South Carolina
* 1940s: The futon is introduced in North America.
* 1950: Sealy introduced the Posturepedic mattress designed in conjunction with Orthopedic surgeons.
* 1950s: Foam rubber mattresses and pillows are available for purchase.
* 1958: The Simmons Company introduces the Queen size and King size mattress.
* 1960s: The modern waterbed is introduced and gains its first widespread use with the invention of vinyl. Adjustable beds gain popularity.
* 1970s: NASA invents material that later becomes known as memory foam[2].
* 1971: Selther is established in Mexico City.
* 1980s: Air mattresses constructed of Vulcanized Rubber or vinyl are introduced.
* 1981: Comfortaire invents the air bed mattress with remote control.
* 1987: Select Comfort creator of the Sleep Number is introduced in North America.
* 1992: Tempur-Pedic introduces a mattress made from memory foam.
* 2003: ZeroGravityBed introduces changeable and replaceable components in their adjustable mattresses.
* 2005: Selther introduces in Mexico, Latin America and the US a mattress made from dispersion chambers and latex foam known as Flotek.
* 2007: Park Place Corporation invents a aroma therapy mattress infused with lavender.


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