A large, generally rectangular stuffed fabric case used for sleeping or sitting on, filled with soft, resilient padding material.
Early mattresses, such a paillasse were made as a bag that tied at one end, filled with dried hay, collected grasses, herbs and anything suitable that could be gleaned. The smell of such a mattress would be lovely and fresh in the summer, when the filling was renewed and herbs added help to keep bugs away and aid sleep…
Later the inner was stitched into the fabric cover with a fine layer of feather, down or sheep’s wool laid over the top, creating a more luxurious and longer lasting mattress.
Today, the inside of mattresses is quite a different thing, we have coiled spring, latex, memory foam… Multiple layers of materials, all designed and tested to provide the very best sleep.