Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Hard mattresses and the reason we need beds

  1. Apr 27, 2007 #1
    Why do some people like sleeping on hard mattresses and others prefer softer ones? And why do humans need matresses and beds at all?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2007 #2
    umm because there comfortable? My matress is very hard, but has a pillow-top, so theres some softness. My back just feels better on a hard matress.
  4. Apr 27, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    We don't need them, we just prefer them. Some like the support of a firm mattress, others like to be cushioned with a soft mattress. It's all personal preference, and sometimes just what someone grew up being used to.
  5. Apr 27, 2007 #4
    Advertising has entered the sleep market big time. It has always been there to some extent, but now there are entire infomercials on mattresses.

    What is your sleep number?? These overpriced things are nothing more than a foam topped air mattress wih a small electric air pump to change the pressure at will. You can build a similiar mattress for less than half the price.
  6. Apr 28, 2007 #5
    I would guess that soft mattresses distribute your weight over a greater surface area because they can deform to fit your body. That means there's less force per unit area (pressure) acting at any one spot, thus providing less strain on your skin and spine.
  7. Apr 28, 2007 #6
    One of the reasons is also the sense of security people have laying on their beds. They think that things like scorpions and stuff can't touch them while they are on their beds.

    I don't feel that way; I often sleep on the ground... I like an extremely firm mattress.
  8. Apr 28, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Humans probably always had comfortable beds. Don't monkeys make their own beds with sticks? I slept on sticks before and it wasn't that bad at all. You have to get the right ones though.
  9. Apr 28, 2007 #8
    I find that soft mattresses are easier to fall asleep in, so they're good for quick naps, but after a few nights they usually give me a back ache. My mattress is pretty firm so it's good for me but once in a while I like sleeping on the floor.
  10. Apr 28, 2007 #9
    The wife cant sleep on hard ones and prefers them soft but i like them hard otherwise i wake up with aches and pains ,but like the dutiful husband i am i let her have it her way.
  11. Apr 28, 2007 #10


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Even dogs and cats seek soft beds. They may not build them, but they smooth out sleeping areas.
  12. Apr 29, 2007 #11
    lol My dog builds her bed everynight. She pulls all the covers off me, fluffs them up nicely, then plops down in the middle of it.
  13. Apr 30, 2007 #12

    Good dog.

    Our golden hides under the bunk beds in my brothers' room, surrounded by a mountain of our socks. Its her den.
  14. Apr 30, 2007 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    When I was little we had a terrier that had a security blanket that he would drag with him wherever he went. When he was ready to lay down he would put one hind foot on one corner of the blanket and hold the other corner in his mouth, he'd then turn in circles until the corner in his mouth was twisted to a point, lay on the blanket with the blanket point in his mouth and go to sleep sucking on it. He had that blanket until the day he died. We buried him with it.

    I can just picture that. :biggrin:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook