If you are anything like me, you’ve wondered why are beds raised off the floor. Which is why I decided to do some research and find out exactly why.
To find out why, and when beds started to be raised off the floor, we need to take a look back at the history of beds. The origin of the first bed is a bit of a mystery as you can imagine. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the first bed looked like. But there is a lot of evidence supporting the first raised beds, and why people started to sleep off floor level.
The Egyptian Era
Going all the way back to 3000 BC. The Egyptian empire was in full swing and being the progressive race they were they designed some interesting looking beds. It’s believed they discovered health benefits to sleeping on beds elevated off the ground.
It’s known that King Tutankhamun slept in a bed made of ebony and gold. He slept raised off the floor while the peasants and poor people slept on the floor. This is probably one of the reasons, so he distinguished himself from the poor.
There would have also been problems with bugs and other insects. As well as the hot climate, so sleeping on a bed off the floor would be both cooler and safer from the bugs.
The Roman Empire
The Romans were responsible for many great things. Roads, literacy, buildings, and the first luxury beds. The Romans experimented with different materials in mattresses. Such as wool, feathers, and hay.
They decorated their beds with gold, silver or bronze accordingly, unlike the ruin in the picture. Their beds were raised off the ground. While we can’t say exactly why, the tradition started to stick after they did it. They probably found the same health benefits naturally as did the Egyptians.
It’s more uncomfortable sleeping on the floor. Mattresses can get dirty and damaged. So when using mattresses it was a natural progression to use a bed frame to support the mattress and keep it clean.
The Romans also invented the waterbed. Not as we know it today, but more so as the person would fall asleep on a mattress floating in water. So they were definitely responsible for moving the bed along in its evolution.
The Renaissance is the period between the 14th and 17th centuries. An interesting time across Europe as civilizations were developing quickly. Development and experimenting with different bed frames were progressing and there were some interesting bed designs.
So was the ways that people chose to sleep. It was becoming the norm to sleep off the floor. Even the poor were elevating their beds in any ways they could. It kept them safe from rats and other less than welcome creatures.
Mattresses were becoming more popular too. It was more affordable to have a cotton or feather-stuffed mattress and pillows. So people were discovering more comfort and realizing how a more comfortable and restful sleep was better for their health.
Why Are Beds Raised off the Floor – 18th Century
The cast iron bed was introduced during this period. This made sleeping on a bed and off the floor more accessible than ever. These beds were not overly expensive, and very durable. Albeit not the most comfortable or aesthetically pleasing.
Bed bugs had been a problem for some time. The cast iron bed was designed in direct response to this, and proved a worthy solution.
There have been lots of new innovations and introductions to the bedding market. But nothing has regressed back from sleeping on the floor. The main reason people wanted to get off the floor was bugs and other creepy crawlies.
While bugs aren’t a problem nowadays in the developed world. The luxury of sleeping in a nice bed has taken over. There are too many health benefits to being properly supported by a good mattress and bed to go back to the hard, cold floor.
So if you want to know why are beds raised off the floor today – it’s for comfort and health foremost.
In some parts of the world, like Japan, for example, it’s still in their culture to sleep very low to the floor. But for cleanliness, less risk of allergies, and convenience, sleeping on a bed a few feet off the ground is the best way to sleep.
If you want to know what it’s like to sleep on the hard floor, by all means, try it. But you won’t like it, it’s really uncomfortable. Let’s pay our respects to those who paved the way for the nice comfy beds we all know and love today.