A bed is a piece of furniture on which we sleep. Although Bedstar.co.uk beds can serve multiple functions, such as places to relax, read or watch television from, the primary purpose remains to sleep!
Historically, in many cultures the bed was considered the most important piece of furniture in the house. It was usually the biggest and acted as an indication of status – the bigger and better the bed, the more important a person you were! For the ancient Egyptians, the bed was the centre of the household and used not just as a place to sleep or recline but as a place to eat meals and entertain guests.
The earliest form of bed was a shallow chest in which bedding was placed in an attempt to make it comfortable. The first attempt to build a bed purely designed to lie down on, consisted of ropes stretched across a framework of wood. In the 1600’s, a typical bed was a timber frame with rope or leather supports. A mattress was placed atop these supports, but this was not the mattress we know today. The mattress would have consisted of a bag made of plain, cheap fabric with a soft filling inside, most commonly straw or sometimes wool.
It was during the mid 18th century that the covering of the mattress began to be made of quality linen or cotton. The mattress took on the rectangular shape we now recognise and the fillings became more natural including coconut fibre, cotton, wool or horse hair.
The mattresses became tufted or buttoned in order to effectively contain their fillings and the edges were stitched together. It was in the late 19th century that the timber frames on beds were replaced with iron and steel. Pocket spring mattresses were introduced, individual springs sewn into linked fabric bags, as were latex rubber mattresses, the most expensive form of mattress.
It is easy to see how beds developed from these earlier forms. The essential elements of the frame and the mattress have developed from the earliest bed designs, and almost certainly will continue to do so as beds continue to be designed.