Where Did You Sleep Last Night? 7 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Mattresses

If you were to go on a camping trip, would you do so without the right gear? Chances are, no.

We wouldn’t spend a weekend in the wilderness without proper camping gear, yet we spend one-third of our day in our bed without adequately preparing it for sleeping. Many of us complain about sleeping poorly, tossing and turning all night, but not everyone is willing to find out what exactly is causing their troubled sleep.


How much do you actually know about your mattress?

Many people don’t give their mattress a second thought once it’s been picked up from the store, but something as mundane as your bedding can hold some interesting secrets worth knowing about. Some of these facts are meant to help you learn more about getting a comfortable sleep, while others just count as fun trivia, but all of them will certainly tickle your curiosity.

So, without further ado, here are some interesting facts about mattresses that may change the way you look at your bed from now on.

The word “mattress” is older than you think

Have you ever wondered where the word “mattress” comes from? Back in the day, during the Crusades, bedding was a lot different from what we know now. Bunches of straws were died together using coarse binding, and we can only imagine how uncomfortable that must have been.

When the Crusaders traveled to the middle east, they finally discovered what a good night’s sleep actually means. Instead of straw piles, the Arab world was sleeping on comfortable cushions on the floor. The practice quickly made its way to Europe, together with a similar name. The name Arabs used was matrah, which described a place where cushions were thrown down. This word derived from another word – taraha – which meant “to throw”. It got quickly absorbed by Latin and turned into materatium, which finally evolved into the well-known mattress.

You share your bed with tiny dust mites

In time, your typical mattress becomes the perfect environment for millions of dust mites to roam and reproduce. Anywhere between 100,000 and 10 million dust mites can end up living in your mattress, especially because innerspring mattresses have a lot of empty spaces where these microscopic creatures can grow.

While it may sound really gross, keep in mind that dust mites exist almost anywhere there are fabrics and people. This means carpets, drapes, and mattresses, especially in humid environments. They feed on dead skin cells that we shed, and they do not bite or poses significant disease risks. If you have allergies or asthma, however, dust mites can aggravate symptoms and turn into a serious issue. To minimize risks, use an allergen-resistant mattress, change your bedding weekly, and wash everything, including pillow covers and sheets, it in hot water.

“Sleep tight” was actually a functional reminder

“Good night, sleep tight!” is a phrase we use very often to wish someone a good rest, but it actually means something slightly different than what we initially thought.

Back in the day, long before box springs and memory foam were invented, mattresses were held up on wooden frames and were supported by cross-woven ropes. To ensure their mattresses wouldn’t sag, people had to consistently tighten the ropes that held the mattress. The technology has evolved tremendously since then, but the fact that we still use this phrase is a good example of old habits dying hard.

Mattresses are required to be fireproof

In the past, mattresses used to be made out of highly flammable material. To prevent hazards, many governments, including the US, have set up regulations that require mattresses to withstand an open flame for at least 30 seconds.

To determine how flammable they are, mattresses are exposed to a number of regular tests using materials or items that can cause it to catch fire, such as matches and cigarettes. The mattress is exposed to these hazards more than once, to ensure its durability and safety.

Keep an eye open for certifications, labels, and mattress standards to ensure you are purchasing from a reputable manufacturer.

Your mattress will weigh more at the end of its life

Throughout the years, your mattress acquires a buildup of sweat, dead skin cells, and, of course, dust mites. In 10 years, mattresses accumulate so much buildup, that they can end up doubling their weight, which is why you need one person to install a mattress and four people to help you get rid of it.

A messy bet might actually be healthier

Your mom always instructed you to make your bed every morning before breakfast, but what if she was actually wrong? Sure, a nice bed makes your room look tidy and cozy, plus some say it actually has a psychological benefit, but a study done by Kingston University may prove not making your bed is actually healthier. The theory is pretty simple and actually makes sense, so hear us out.

Covering up your mattress with plenty of blankets, sheets, comforters, and throw pillows traps the moisture and sweat we release during the night inside the mattress. This turns into the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive. Keeping your sheets uncovered for at least an hour after you wake up helps it get air and sunlight, drying the environment and killing the microscopic creatures living inside it.

Mattresses are the go-to spot for home robbers

The “keeping your money hid under the mattress” technique is not as safe as it used to be, because the secret got out and reached burglars as well.

When a thief breaks into a house, under the mattress is one of the first places they will check for valuable items, so you may want to think twice before actually sleeping on your most prized possessions.

Keeping them locked in a safe or in the bank is a much better option, not only for your financial safety but also for your health, because placing items under a mattress and sleeping on them can actually be very harmful to your back.

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