From Then to Now: A Timeline of Mattress Innovation

Sleep has been man’s best friend since the beginning of time. But when your bed feels like a rock—or actually is a rock—you probably won’t get restful zzz’s. Thanks to modernization and ingenuity (and a lot of cranky sleepers), mattresses—and sleep—are now better than ever. And the newest memory foam mattresses feature some of the most innovative technology you’ll find on the market. Here’s a look at how far we’ve come.


8,000 B.C.

According to reports, researchers have found proof that our hunter-gatherer ancestors slept on mounds of leaves and grass in oval shapes, perhaps to accommodate sleeping in a fetal position to keep warm. Whatever it takes! (Source)

Prehistoric Times Ancient Rome and Egypt

753 B.C.

We can thank Egyptians for introducing the concept of raising a bed off the ground on a wood or metal platform (if you could afford it). As far as mattress innovation, Egyptians used palm boughs; ancient Romans rested on a concoction of bagged reeds, hay, wool, and feathers. Ancient Rome and Egypt FUN FACT

Did You Know?

Persians filled goatskins with water to create the first water bed roughly 3,600 years ago. FUN FACTs

Medieval Times

476 A.D.

The rich and well-off slept on a bed frame made of heavy wood raised high off the ground, perhaps with four posters and step for a touch of opulence. Their mattresses were filled with down and feathers. Peasants, on the other hand, slept on bags of hay (sounds itchy). Medieval Times

Renaissance Period

1300 A.D. - 1600 A.D.

The prospect of having a mattress filled with down and feathers that’s raised off the ground with ropes or wool straps becomes a reality for middle class people. These beds were often heirlooms passed down for generations.


1700 A.D. - 1800 A.D.

Thanks to the industrial revolution, cotton stuffing for mattresses replaces down and hay.

18th Century 1900

1800 A.D. - 1900 A.D.

The invention of metal bed springs replaces straps and ropes to support the mattress. More comfortable? Probably. Squeakier? Definitely!

19th Century 20th

1900 A.D. - 2000 A.D.

The first innerspring mattress and box spring hit the market in the 1950’s to huge popularity. In 1966, NASA begins developing memory foam for seat cushions on aircrafts. Made from polyurethane (think: yellow, hot foam), this first-generation material conforms to your body shape to help relieve pressure points but isn’t so great at dissipating body heat. Memory foam was also used in medical settings on x-ray tables and as a protective layer for sporting equipment, like helmets. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that memory foam entered the consumer space as a material for mattresses.

20th Century New-Mattress.jpg


Nectar features the latest memory foam technology. State-of-the-art cooling gels and open cell structure designs for better body temperature regulation, breathability, and durability (no more hot, sticky foam!). The result? You feel as if you’re sleeping on air!



The race is on for companies to continue to improve on the design and performance of memory foam mattresses. Nectar leads the way as one of the best for cooling and comfort. And we’ll only get better. Future