Most of us today understand the importance of sleep, and we know that we need to have a comfortable mattress in order to get a good night’s rest. However, the concept of comfortable mattresses in particular, is something we almost take for granted, forgetting about the long history that preceded it. Today, we think nothing of reading Nectar Sleep reviews and presuming we have always had these types of mattresses. In reality, however, we only started to really move away from straw when the Titanic came about.
How the Titanic Influenced Our Sleep
In the early 1900s, James Marshall developed a patent for the wrapped coil spring. Each spring had to be made manually, which made them incredibly expensive. First class beds on the Titanic included these, offering people the opportunity to sleep on a coil spring mattress for the first time. It wasn’t until the 1930s that competition started to exist for upholstered foundations and innerspring mattresses, and it took another 20 years before foam rubber pillows and mattresses became available.
The Titanic was the very first ship that ensured every cabin had running water, making sure every passenger had their needs met. The most luxurious cabins were in first class, with costs ranging from £30 (A-Deck cabins) to £870 (B-Deck private suites). The ship was truly luxurious and its second class cabins would be sold as first class on any other ship in those days. In fact, even third class cabins were equipped with bunk beds, electrical lighting, and heat, sleeping four to six people. Real luxury was found in first class, however, with each cabin uniquely decorated according to different period styles. They came with modern appliances such as electrical blowers for fresh air, table fans, steward call bells, heaters, and telephones.
Uniquely, the first class cabins on the ship often had interconnecting doors. This enabled people to move between the rooms with ease. Wealthy individuals would have hired at least three cabins, one for the master and mistress, one for the children, and one for staff. Thanks to these improvements, the Titanic could charge higher prices, and generate more income, than the Olympic, her sister ship. She was also fitted with more staterooms, the Bridge Deck B parlor suite rooms to the ship’s side, and the promenade deck.
In 1958, Simmons introduced so-called “king” and “queen” size mattresses. They were the first to do this, and it was quickly picked up by national publications such as Life magazine. The twin bed, which is the size of two single mattresses, gained in popularity in larger families, who would sleep two children in it. Simmons is the one who decided to call other mattresses “king” and “queen” to build on the air of luxuriousness associated with beds, as described in the history above.
Today, mattress companies focus on the importance of sleep, and they look at new technologies to use within beds to increase both comfort and hygiene. Furthermore, we now have a greater understanding of how a mattress affects our sleep. Gel is now included in many different foam mattresses, mixing it with the foam first. It is believed that, by 2018, almost every new mattress will be a “gel infused mattress”, because they are seen as so much more comfortable. While in the past the focus was strongly on the frame, it is now on comfort and trends in springs and foam reflect this.