Beds have played a significant part in human civilization for thousands of years. From simple piles of leaves used by our earliest ancestors, to elaborate, high-tech modern sleep systems, beds have undergone a remarkable transformation over time. Join us as we will explore the history of beds and how they have evolved to become the comfortable and supportive sleep systems we know today.

Early Beds

The earliest beds were likely nothing more than piles of leaves, grass, or animal skins. As humans began to develop agriculture and build permanent settlements, beds became more sophisticated. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, no longer nomadic, could start sleeping on raised platforms made of wood or stone, with cushions and pillows for added comfort. In ancient China, beds were often made of bamboo or wood and were designed to keep sleepers cool in the hot summer months.

Beds in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, beds were considered multifunctional. They were not just used as places to sleep, but were also used as places to eat, socialise, and conduct business. Beds in the Middle Ages were often elaborate and ornate, reflecting the wealth and status of the owner. Canopies, curtains, and draperies were added for privacy and insulation, while the bed frame itself was often made of carved wood and adorned with intricate designs. The lower classes, however, remained limited to more primitive beds.

Beds during this time were often shared by multiple people, including children, servants, and in the colder months, even animals. Sleepers used straw, feathers, or wool as filling for their mattresses, which were often placed directly on the bed frame. This made for a less comfortable sleeping experience than we enjoy today, but it was the best that people had at the time and certainly an improvement over piles of leaves.


The Modern Bed

The modern bed as we know it today began to emerge in the 19th and 20th centuries. With the rise of industrialisation and mass production, beds became more accessible and affordable for the average person. The introduction of the box spring in the early 20th century revolutionised bed design, making beds more comfortable and supportive than ever before. Then, in the 1960s, NASA developed memory foam, a revolutionary new material that could conform to a sleeper’s body shape and provide unparalleled support. This material was eventually adapted for use in mattresses and has become a popular choice for people seeking a comfortable and supportive sleep surface.


The Future of Beds

As technology continues to advance, the future of beds looks very exciting. Smart beds that can monitor a sleeper’s heart rate, breathing, and other vital signs are already on the market, and sleep-tracking devices are becoming more common. In the coming years, we can expect to see even more innovations in bed design and sleep technology. New materials and designs may also continue to transform the way we sleep. Eco-friendly materials such as bamboo and organic cotton are becoming more popular, and designers are experimenting with new shapes and structures to provide the ultimate sleep experience. The future of sleep could very well become a reality previously only imagined in science fiction.


Back to Now: The Bed Shop

At The Bed Shop, we understand the importance of a comfortable and supportive bed for achieving quality sleep. That’s why we offer a wide range of beds to suit every budget and sleeping style. From traditional spring mattresses to high-tech memory foam models, we have something for everyone. Our team of sleep experts can help you choose the perfect bed for your needs, whether you’re looking for something firm or plush, adjustable or fixed.

We also offer a range of bedding accessories, such as pillows and mattress protectors to enhance your sleep experience even further.

The evolution of beds throughout history is a fascinating topic that speaks to the importance of sleep in human life. From simple piles of leaves to high-tech sleep systems, beds have come a long way. Today, we have a vast array of options to choose from when it comes to finding the perfect bed to suit our individual needs and preferences. We invite you to visit one of our stores in South Africa or browse our selection online to discover the perfect bed for you. Our team is always available to answer any questions you may have and help you make an informed decision.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop