Who Invented The Bed? History Of Mattresses

Heinrich Westphal invented the first sprung mattress in 1871, which is still in use today.

Who Invented The Mattress?

If we are referring to the modern bed then the invention is attributed to Heinrich Westphal, who in 1871 invented the first sprung mattress, which is still being used today.

Beds have been around for thousands of years, and the history of mattresses is just as long and fascinating. The earliest known mattress was made in 77,000 BC and was made of leaves, grass, and other natural materials.

Since then, mattresses have evolved significantly, and today we have a wide range of options to choose from. In this article, we will explore the history of mattresses and how they have evolved over time.

A Visual Timeline

Source: MattressAdvisor

The Early Days of Mattresses

As mentioned earlier, the earliest known mattress was made in 77,000 BC. It was made of leaves, grass, and other natural materials and was used by early humans to provide a comfortable sleeping surface. Later, in ancient Egypt, mattresses were made of palm fronds, and in ancient Rome, they were made of wool or hay.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, mattresses were made of straw or feathers and were placed on top of a wooden frame. The wealthy would often have their mattresses stuffed with down or feathers, while the poor had to make do with straw or hay.

The Renaissance

During the Renaissance, mattresses became more elaborate and were often covered in silk or velvet. They were also filled with wool or cotton, which made them more comfortable than the straw or feather-filled mattresses of the Middle Ages.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought about significant changes in the way mattresses were made. In the 19th century, the first coil spring mattress was invented, which made sleeping more comfortable and provided better support for the body. Later, in the early 20th century, the innerspring mattress was invented, which is still popular today.

Modern Mattresses

Today, we have a wide range of mattresses to choose from, including memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses. Memory foam mattresses were first developed by NASA in the 1960s and were later used in hospitals to help patients with bedsores. They are now widely available and are known for their ability to contour to the body and provide excellent support.

Latex mattresses are made from natural or synthetic rubber and are known for their durability and support. They are also hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for people with allergies.

Hybrid mattresses combine elements of different types of mattresses, such as memory foam and innerspring, to provide the benefits of both. They are becoming increasingly popular and are known for their ability to provide excellent support and comfort.


What did humans sleep on before bed?

Before humans invented the bed, they slept on a variety of surfaces. In ancient times, people would sleep on the ground or on animal skins. Some cultures even slept in hammocks or suspended beds made from ropes or other materials.

As time went on, people began to create more elaborate sleeping arrangements, such as raised platforms and bed frames made from wood or metal. However, it wasn't until the invention of the modern bed and mattress that people were able to experience truly comfortable and supportive sleeping surfaces.

When did humans start sleeping in beds?

During the 19th century, mattresses began to be mass-produced, making them more affordable and accessible to the general public. This led to an increase in demand for comfortable sleeping surfaces, and manufacturers began experimenting with new materials and designs.

In the early 1900s, futons were introduced to the Western world. These Japanese-style mattresses were filled with cotton or wool and could be rolled up during the day to save space. They became popular among college students and young adults living in small apartments.

In the mid-20th century, waterbeds gained popularity. These mattresses were filled with water and provided a unique sleeping experience that many people found comfortable. However, they also had some downsides, such as being heavy and difficult to move.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards eco-friendly mattresses made from natural materials such as organic cotton or wool. These mattresses are free from harmful chemicals and are often biodegradable or recyclable.

Overall, the history of mattresses is a fascinating one that spans thousands of years. From humble beginnings made of leaves and grass to modern-day memory foam and hybrid designs, mattresses have evolved significantly over time. Today, we have more options than ever before when it comes to finding a comfortable place to rest our heads at night.


The history of mattresses is long and fascinating, and they have evolved significantly over time. From the earliest days of leaves and grass to the modern memory foam and hybrid mattresses, we have come a long way. Today, we have a wide range of options to choose from, and there is a mattress out there for everyone.

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