Feathers are great for adding a softer element to your mattress if it has a more firm feeling.

Once upon a time feathers were used in mattresses as well as other natural cushioning materials like horsehair and straw. Any one who has ever slept in a feather bed knows the problem of waking up and hardly being able to walk the next day due to lack of proper support for your back. That’s because the human body requires that the hips and shoulders be kept at the same level or pressure is placed on the lower back.

The average human carries 60-percent of their body weight in the lower torso are around their hips. When lying down to sleep, gravity wants to pull this portion of the body deeper into the sleep surface. That’s why a firm surface or springs are needed to push the hips back up into proper alignment with the shoulders. When this does not happen the lower back area “sags” creating a hammocking effect. The next thing we know we have a weak lower back that is prone to aches and pain and eventually giving out.

The Good

The main benefit of feather mattresses is that the feathers are effective at softening an already firm mattress.

The Bad

It’s too bad that feathers don’t work better. They’re natural and readily available, but the problems they have in providing support, the way they wear out as they are used, and their overall cleanliness makes them obsolete after modern mattress materials were invented.