Uncategorized

Beds – a brief history

We’ve always needed somewhere to lay our heads, so where have today’s beds evolved from?

We’ve always needed somewhere to lay our heads, so where have today’s beds evolved from?

We tend to take our beds for granted; only really noticing them when we are uncomfortable or can’t sleep. In fact, good, comfortable beds are essential to our wellbeing and our performance and attentiveness during the day – something that wasn’t ignored by our ancestors.

It’s around 5,000 years since the first person chose to lift their sleeping place off the floor. This move, thought to be made by the Egyptians, was followed around 3,000 years later by the Chinese, who also build canopies over their beds in the first recorded bed that resembles the four-poster that we still use today.

From those early beginnings, various empires and cultures have adapted the basic bed and used it for their own purposes. The Romans, famous for many inventions that we still use today, were the first known people to develop a waterbed – a warm bath in which they floated until they fell asleep – and to use luxurious materials and fabrics to create sumptuous sleeping areas. In typical Roman fashion, beds were ornately decorated with gold and silver and the most important people had mattresses stuffed with feathers.

As with many Roman advances, much of the luxury and invention died out with the empire, and beds became more basic for several hundred years. In Britain, for example, the four poster bed didn’t emerge until the 13th century and, although it was hung with a canopy and the very richest people had ornate hangings, most beds were basic wooden constructions with mattresses filled with straw or hay. From the 15th century, the bed was the focal point of the household, indicating the wealth and stature of the occupants.

As the use of metal became more commonplace, craftsmen created new styles of beds from wrought iron whilst traditional joiners built bigger and wider beds from wood that was both domestic and imported. Today’s beds show the influence of the whole history of the bed and the sleeping area, giving us more choice than ever before.

Bed Next Day sells a range of traditional single, double, king and superking beds, most of which are available with next day delivery. Brands include Silentnight, the Original Bedstead Company, Sprung Land and Sealy. Take a look at the beds available on our website, www.mattressnextday.co.uk and order online today, or call 0844 3911 222 if you have any questions.

About the author

Lewis Robinson