History of the Invention of the Bed

Bed is an article of furniture used for sleeping or resting. Throughout history, beds have ranged from simple, straw-filled mattresses to elaborate pieces of furniture decorated with rich fabrics. Like other furniture, beds often have served as symbols of social rank and wealth.

A trundle bed is a low bed on wheels that can be stored under a larger bed. Such beds were popular in the 1800's

Types of beds. Most modern beds consist of a frame, also called a bedstead. Accessories called bedding are usually added. They generally include a mattress, sheets, blankets, and pillows. A water bed is a frame bed with a mattress consisting of a vinyl bag filled with water. Dual-purpose beds can be used as another type of furniture. For example, some serve as sofas when not in use. A Murphy bed folds up on hinges into a closet. Not everyone sleeps on a frame bed and mattress. In Japan and Latin America, many people sleep on straw mats laid on the floor. Some people in hot climates sleep in hammocks.

History. Early civilizations had beautifully decorated beds. The ancient Egyptians, who created the first fine furniture, slept on low wooden couches with legs shaped like animals. Some couches were covered with gold, ivory, or paint. Instead of pillows, the Egyptians used curved, wooden headrests. Ancient Greek and Roman beds resembled Egyptian couches. Because the Greeks reclined while they ate, couches were used for dining as well as sleeping. However, for thousands of years, the most common type of bed was the pallet, which was a mattress laid on the floor and filled with straw, reeds, wool, or feathers. The quality of the filling depended on the wealth of the owner.

A Chinese bed of the 1400's rests on a low platform and includes drapes, a canopy, and carved wooden railings

During the Middle Ages, few European houses had a separate room for sleeping. Instead, all members of the household slept on pallets arranged around the central fireplace of a common room. Only royalty and wealthy people had bedsteads. These bedsteads generally consisted of large timber rails that were supported by heavy square posts. Most beds were placed against a wall or in a corner. Curtains or sliding wooden panels surrounded the bed to provide warmth and privacy.

By the late 1400's, tall, sometimes intricately carved posts had been added to the rectangular frame to support the canopy and curtains. During the next 200 years, beds became free-standing structures. They also became larger and more grandly ornamented. Elaborately decorated beds of the nobility and the wealthy, called state beds, were hung with velvet, silk, and other luxurious fabrics. Such beds frequently became the most expensive piece of furniture in a household. During the 1600's, beds first became fairly common in middle-class homes. The frames were light with carved wooden posts. Bedding continued to be costly. Some beds of this time had a trundle bed, a low bed on wheels that could be rolled under the main bed.

Beds of the 1700's and 1800's generally took on a simpler, more graceful appearance. Canopies and hangings became especially elaborate. With the exception of the water bed, there were few changes in bed design during the 1900's.


Date added: 2022-12-12; views: 357;

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