If you are on the lookout for a new bed, you will likely come across Nectar Sleep reviews and other reviews of fantastic mattresses. Each of those promises us the perfect night’s sleep. It is true that, for hundreds of years, we have looked for ways to make ourselves more comfortable while resting. But few of us truly understand where these concepts actually came from. Let’s take a little walk down memory lane to find out where our beds have come from.
The 15th Century
The 15th century was the time of the Renaissance, which was all about grandiosity, much of which was inspired by Roman opulence. The beds found in palaces could be as much as 8’ long by 7’ wide! However, this is still not where the idea of “king size” comes from, as most kings would sleep in beds that are now classed as a standard double. This is because, even during the Renaissance, people wanted to be practical. A double bed was more convenient because two people could sleep on it and because this made it easier for the occupants to preserve their body heat.
The 17th and 18th Century
The time of Louis XIV is known as the “era of magnificent beds”. The young king loved spending time in bed, even holding court from his bedroom. Legend has it that he owned 413 different beds, some of them embroidered with pearls and decorated with gold or silver figures. The bed in the Versailles palace, which can still be seen today, was surrounded by crimson velvet curtains, embroidered with the “Triumph of Venus”. The velvet was almost hidden by the gold used in these decorations. Beds in the 18th century continued to try to emulate this lavish style.
Louis XIV turned the bed into a status symbol. He separated himself from his guest and court through a rail and people would try to be the ones being on the other side so that they would have the honor of watching the King wake up or fall asleep. The greatest problem during these days, however, was hygiene. Louis XIV is reported to have had just two baths in his life: at birth and when he died. The result was that there were many bedbugs, a problem many people still face today. The expression “don’t let the bedbugs bite” stems from this era.
Bedbugs, also known as Cimicidae or Cimex Lectularius are small insects without wings that feed on the blood of animals with warm blood. A human is a perfect host. The insects inhabit bat roosts and bird nests, but many now prefer the company of people. They can quickly infest a property through old furniture as it is transported between homes. It is also for this reason that you must always get new, clean split king sheets when you bring in a new bed. Bedbugs can survive for months without feeding, and they often hide in tiny holes. They can even come in when birds accidentally fly into the home!