Feather Bed Mattresses

Written by Shirley Parker
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Feather Bed Mattresses have been in use for centuries, partly because there were few alternatives. Depending on the country, people used to sleep on the "floor" on palm branches, straw, reeds, hay, wool or horsehair--all sometimes stuffed into rough, coarsely woven fabric. When such mattresses began to be put on platforms with legs, royalty then had the option of covering the mattresses with velvets and brocades. Yet even royalty shared their sleeping areas with bedbugs and other vermin.

In many cultures, people would gather around a bed on the floor to socialize and eat meals. This custom continues today among tent dwellers and others. As a rule, there were no separate sleeping quarters until modern times, not a situation most of us would appreciate.

In the West, when people realized how comfortable feathers were, compared to all those other materials, feather bed mattresses became symbols of the well to do. In spite of competition from foam and/or innerspring mattresses, airbeds and waterbeds, feather bed mattresses still sell in large numbers. Some may have a down component in addition to the goose or duck feathers inside.

Feather Bed Mattresses Compete with Futons

In Japan, futons stuffed with cotton were designed for sleeping. They are still very popular today. Probably starting during the 1940s, futons became better known as comfortable bedding in the United States and elsewhere, although American citizens of Japanese descent in this country would have already been well acquainted with them. The body adjusts to various materials on its journey through life, and absence of pain while sleeping will determine the type of bed that is preferred.


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