When we talk about mattress types, most people think of spring mattresses, foam mattresses, and maybe latex. However, it can be a bit difficult to gauge when what came out. For example, while synthetic and natural latex mattresses are seen as luxury items these days, they're a bit older than you'd think – with the first models popping up around a century ago. The invention of traditional memory foam mattresses on the other hand took place as recently as the 1970s!
But hybrid mattresses are undoubtedly the newest kids on the block! With some accounts placing their invention in the late 2000s, it's fascinating to think how quickly hybrid mattresses rose in popularity. But it also makes a lot of sense! After all, the promise of having the best of both worlds, memory foam and springs, is bound to have people interested. And as years pass, they're only getting more elaborate.
While it's always more fun to talk about a brand-new invention, little tweaks are sometimes just as revolutionary. And as you'll see, almost every aspect of the mattress industry has seen tons of changes over the years – all with the end goal of making everything perfect! So, let's take a look at a few notable examples.
While a regular wooden or metal bed frame was the norm for a while (along with sleeping on the floor), the modern era has significantly more options. For one, we now have adjustable beds that you can fine-tune to absolute perfection. And it was only in the last century that people have had the privilege of tinkering with their bed frames like this.
Not to mention how compact everything has become. If you want vertical space, you have low bed frames. If you want more free space, you have storage and bunk beds. And if you want complete privacy, you have four-poster beds. So, needless to say, there's an answer to just about every problem you could have.
One of the main drawbacks to memory foam mattresses is that they tend to trap body heat and leave you sweating. However, a few mattress innovations down the road, this can be side-stepped rather easily. This is because memory foam has become a lot more complex in the past few years! Now you can commonly find memory foam infused with graphite or a cooling liquid/gel that will protect you from overheating.
And if the new foam technology wasn't good enough, you're also given alternative options. From breathable covers to cooling toppers, escaping the heat has never been easier!
Just like overheating is the main nemesis for foam mattresses, motion transfer is the nightmare of any spring mattress owner. And that's because innerspring mattresses used to rule the market! They would have one “slab” of springs that all pushed onto each other from the slightest movement.
However, mattress technology has come a long way and you're no longer limited to just an innerspring mattress. This is because pocket spring mattresses are here to save the day! With each spring having its own little pocket, motion transfer is almost completely gone and you can finally have a good night's sleep regardless of how much you toss and turn.
Another thing people used to struggle with is mattress firmness. If the mattress is too firm for your build, you end up uncomfortable. But if the mattress is too soft, you end up with back pain. However, adjustable firmness mattress technology has been developed to tackle this issue.
For one, you now have high-quality mattresses that allow you to adjust the firmness of either side of the mattress. This is usually seen with air mattresses. But you also have more interesting takes on the problem. For example, HiGRID-The Sleep Company and their SmartGRID technology take a completely different approach.
By creating a polymer grid layer, mattresses such as the Luxe Original or the Premium Hybrid can provide a soft feeling on body curves, such as your hips or shoulders, while still being supportive and firm along your back. We cover this new innovation more thoroughly in our SmartGRID article – so, check it out if you want to know how they've managed to get the best of both worlds.
Another important movement that has taken hold over the past few years is environmentalism. And while the mattress industry doesn't usually come up when talking about climate change, it has certainly made some great strides!
These days you can easily get a refurbished mattress that cuts down on waste. Or you can get a mattress that incorporates natural materials. In this category, bamboo and eucalyptus bedding are currently all-the-rage. This is likely due to the fact that they both save the planet and offer excellent breathability – thus keeping your body temperature cool.
On top of that, there are now more systems in place to keep us safe. You can now quickly find out whether wool has been ethically sourced or whether the brand in question is doing their part to keep carbon emissions down. Overall, just a huge step forward in the right direction.
Lastly, it's not just the mattresses that have been getting better – everything has! You now have a pillow for just about every situation: travelling, nursing, neck pain, etc. Bed sheets are also getting softer and more breathable by the minute, with products such as satin bed sheets becoming more affordable and more widespread.
Plus, we also just know a lot more about sleep in general. We now know how to ease winter fatigue symptoms, we are quicker to recognise insomnia, there are bedding products designed for specific sleeping styles, and so on. So, whatever you might need, you can now find! The mattresses are in abundance – you can check our evergreen best mattress buyer's guide to try to find your ideal mattress – and we are sure you will find it as the mattress industry advanced so far that everyone is able to find their ideal firmness or support.
Improving your sleep quality has arguably never been easier than in the modern age. Technology has answered just about every need you could have in order to get proper sleep and it's only a matter of time before they perfect everything!
And we for one are rather optimistic when it comes to new technologies such as the SmartGRID layer from HiGRID. Maybe they’ll even bring forth brand-new innovations for the customers before long! After all, technology has made the mattress industry a foe to be reckoned with and we can only imagine what's going to come next.
This page was made in partnership with HiGRID-The Sleep Company.