skip to main content

History of the Mattress

Double Storage Bed

A comfortable, supportive mattress is something that we take for granted in modern times. A comfortable bed is seen as a necessity and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t owned one at some point in their life. Despite this, not many people actually consider where the mattress originated from. At Lloyds Storage Beds, we are interested in everything to do with beds, so we have compiled a brief history of the mattress and how it has developed into what we use today. 

All humans experience similar discomfort when trying to sleep on a hard surface, so it’s easy to see why mattresses date back thousands of years. During the Neolithic Period, people would sleep upon animal hides draped over piles of leaves and grass. This was the first example of what would become the mattress.

Around 200BC, the Ancient Romans revolutionised comfort with their cloth mattresses. In fact, Romans loved their beds a bit too much, often spending lavish amounts on them. The first luxury bed originated during the Roman Empire. Often decorated with gold, silver or bronze, these beds featured mattresses stuffed with reeds, hay, wool or feathers. To have a bed such as this would be a huge status symbol for any Roman citizen.

In the 16th Century, people had begun raising their beds off the ground using ropes. This involved wooden frames supported by a rope lattice that sat underneath a mattress of hay or cotton. However, this support would sag over time and would need constant maintenance to ensure it was tight enough for someone to sleep on, which is where the phrase ‘sleep tight’ originates from.

 The late 18th Century saw the invention of the cast iron bed frame and the cotton bed sheet. This invention might not seem like a huge development, but it actually revolutionised sleeping and health. This was due to how it provided a sleeping space that was less attractive to bugs and vermin, which had been commonplace and thought of as something

In 1900, an engineer named James Marshall created the pocket-spring mattress. This saw the implementation of a series of springs that were padded and encased in fabric into the mattress, providing targeted support to different parts of the body. This is the same technology in mattresses today, albeit slightly modernized.

Today, you can buy a range of mattress and beds, in every size, shape and colour. Lloyds Storage Beds, for instance, stock a fantastic range of ottoman storage beds, double storage beds, single storage beds and fabric storage beds. 

Back to Blogs


Create your own bespoke storage bed, including size, finish and extras

Order Today

& receive your bed and mattress within

28 days

  • © 2014 Lloyds Storage Beds