First of all, let me [bah with the sheeple, praise Bill Gates and reverend Fauci, and admit my love for human lab rats][…]

I’m back with an attempt to dispel two common myths about sleeping conditions in the Middle Ages. Some people think that everyone slept on straw, as you may do in a stable. Others imagine everyone sleeping on mattresses, albeit of a more, ahem, organic variety than we’re used to nowadays. Both of these are wrong, as Alice Twain explains on Quora.

Straw Matting

When we think of reeds on the floor, we tend to imagine something similar to what is done in stables, whose floor is covered with straw to make it more comfortable for the animals.

In medieval houses, the flooring was very different. The floor was covered with several layers that were used to insulate and keep the house warmer in winter.

First, the floor was consolidated (if it was a ground floor room with an earth floor) by adding materials that made it harder, almost like concrete. Higher up the floors were made of wood, bricks, or stone.[…]

Medieval Matresses — Nicholas C. Rossis