A Brief History Of Who Invented The Bed

Among all the things we take for granted, beds really shouldn’t be one of them. Let’s be honest. When’s the last time you felt grateful for having one in your bedroom?

Chances are, you never even thought of it, and honestly, neither did I – until I decided to do some research and write this article.

So, what did first mattresses look like? Who invented beds? What did people use to fill them up, create comfort, and lift it off the ground? We’ll answer all of these questions in this historical review.

First Beds in History

image of coffee on a comfy mattressYou might be surprised, but we see first appearances way back in the Neolithic period – estimated at 5,000 – 10,000 BC – and as far as we know, this may be the time when the first bed was ever used. These were extremely primitive of course, but it was a fantastic addition to the people of that period. This kind of bed probably consisted of animal skin, grass, leaves or straw. These were the available materials, so it’s only natural to assume this is what they used as a base for comfort.

It’s also natural to think that people after that period experimented a lot with various kinds of materials and used for the bed. We know it for the fact that they realized the importance of lifting it off of the ground, as to protect against dirt and pests.

We also recently discovered traces of mattresses in Persia, and in South Africa, dating back to 3600 BC. These beds were made out of goatskin, and were filled with water! At around the same period, Egyptians pilled palm boughs and used it as a basis for their idea of a mattress.

Let’s summarize the rest of the history.

Beds Throughout History

Ancient Rome: In 200 BC, Romans made mattresses out of cloth, which was stuffed with reeds, wool or sometimes hay. However, the wealthy used feathers.

The Renaissance: During the 15th century, people used pea shucks, feathers, and straws to stuff mattresses, and then covered them with silks or velvets.

1857: The steel coil is invented, and even though it was to be used for innerspring mattresses later, it was first patented for use in chairs.

1871: Heinrich Westphal, a German inventor, gives us the innerspring mattress! However, this man later died, and he died of poverty – never receiving a dime for his invention.

The 1900s: We see the design of the box spring, effectively making new mattresses less lumpy and more stable.

1929: Some companies start introducing expensive beds made out of latex. One notable (first) company to do this was Dunlopillow.

1940: The futon was introduced into the NA market.

1980: Introduction of air mattresses.

1990: Queen-sized beds become the most popular and in-demand type of mattress in all of NA. Queen took the title from the twin – previously most wanted size.

21st century: We see an abundance of new types and materials used for new beds all around the world. The NA market is flooded with memory foam mattresses, often made out of custom-design and Visco-elastic foam. We also see an increase of gel-infused foams, as to combat the notorious feature of the foam – overheating.


As you can see, talking about who invented the bed is not an easy topic. If we’re talking about the type of bed – then it becomes easier. One example is the gentleman who invented the innerspring bed in the 19th century.

However, if we’re talking about the very idea of bedding, then things get much more challenging and much older. As I described at the beginning of this article, people used and experimented with beds as far back as the Neolithic period. That’s over 10,000 years ago!

In any case, I – for one – am incredibly grateful for the abundance of bedding products we’ve got today. There are so many options now that it’s become a problem to make a decision!

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new bed, why not check out our mattress buying guides. There’s plenty of useful information right here on our website.

Video Of Who Invented Beds

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