A Brief History of the Mattress

A Brief History of the Mattress
Since 9500 B.C., humans have been finding and trying different ways to get a good night’s sleep. Raising piles of leaves, grass or straw and covering them with animal skin avoided drafts, dirt and pests during the Neolithic period. Over the years, different materials were used:
• goatskin filled with water
• palm boughs
• cloth bags stuffed with hay, wool, or reeds; feathers for the wealthy
• pea shucks, straw, or sometimes feathers covered with velvet

Antique wool mattress

During the 16th and 17th centuries, it became more common to place a mattress on a frame, and mattress covers made of quality cotton or linen were becoming more popular. Different fibers were used to stuff the mattresses, including cotton, wool, horsehair and coconut fiber. The mattress was then buttoned to attach the inner stuffing to the top and bottom of the cover, and sewn around the edges. Traditionally the working class slept on straw mattress, while the middle class made “flock mattresses” out of the residue wool.  It was the wealthier people that were fortunate to sleep on wool or cotton mattress and the very privileged were able to sleep on  featherbeds.
For more information:  http://www.novosbed.com/a-brief-history-of-the-mattress/

Benefits of a Wool Mattress

There are many reasons to select a wool mattress over other mattresses. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:

* A wool mattress is mold and mildew resistant. Because wool mattress is a by-product of a natural fiber, the moisture can move across the fibers without the need of the wool to retain them. As a result, molds and mildews have no chance of growing in a dry environment. 

* Wool mattresses are also known to have the capability of regulating the temperature. Whether it is winter or summer, you would have a good night sleep because your wool mattress stabilizes the heat or cold temperature.

·      If you have health problems, such as arthritis, injuries and other musculoskeletal conditions, then you will greatly benefit from using a wool mattress. It has been known among healthcare providers that a wool mattress helps to alleviate the comfort of patients in the hospitals.

Wool Mattress Care

Back in 1968, Mary Fletcher bought a mattress in Italy and forty-five years later, she still sleeps on it, “the most divinely comfortable mattress I have ever slept on”. And with the correct use it can last 45 years more! In the 1980' s she moved to the UK and could not find anyone to recard the wool in her mattress. In Italy, there was a man called the “cardatore” who would come thorugh town every summer with this purpose. Mary´s mattress was getting thinner and thinner…and she began to despair that she wouldn’t be able to continue using it. Finally she found Rhiannon Rowley of Abaca Organic, who makes mattresses in Wales, from organic British wool. (abacaorganic.co.uk). Rihannon had never made a 100% wool mattress but took this chance as a learning experience to enhance her business.

Mary Fletcher's wool mattress

Things to bear in mind in order to keep your mattress in shape:

The mattress should be aired regularly as the wool needs a constat airflow to maintain it's properties.
Once a year  it should be revitalized by exposure in the sun. 
Every 10 years it should be opened and the wool must be recarded so that it recuperates its volumen and spring.
Avoid sitting on its edges.
·      Protect your wool mattress from water, coffee or tea spills, using mattress protector pads and sheets.