mat·​tress | \ ˈma-trəs How to pronounce mattress (audio) \
plural mattresses

Definition of mattress

1a : a fabric case filled with resilient material (such as cotton, hair, feathers, foam rubber, or an arrangement of coiled springs) used either alone as a bed or on a bedstead
b : a soft, airtight case that is designed to be inflated and used as a bed : air mattress
2 : a device (as of interwoven brush and poles) used to protect a shoreline, bank, or streambed from erosion

Examples of mattress in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The average life span of a mattress is eight to 10 years, according to Consumer Reports. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 This Human-Sized Origami Reimagines Emergency Shelters When flat, the structure is about the size of a twin mattress. Max G. Levy, Wired, 27 Apr. 2021 The table—custom built and the size of a queen mattress— was in the office of Sean Dara and Johan Frandsen, the founders of FreeTalk. Ew Staff,, 27 Apr. 2021 The elevator whisks me to the 43rd floor, where a cross section of the mattress has been installed to better exhibit its contents: horsehair, cotton, wool, flax. Chloe Schama, Vogue, 6 Apr. 2021 Felix came and sat on the edge of the mattress, like a dad. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 There was a mattress on the floor, a little bedside table, and that was it. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2021 One popular one is the Upgrade Bundle, which includes either a Nova Hybrid or Wave Hybrid mattress, a mattress protector and a choice of bed frame or foundation. Leada Gore |, al, 18 Aug. 2021 The Boulder™ comes with an insulated hard-shell cabin and comfortable beds for up to a family of four, including a queen-size mattress and bunk beds, a dining lounge with couches, electrical outlets, and an exterior kitchen galley in the back. Ian Bremmer, Time, 12 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mattress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mattress

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mattress

Middle English materas, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin materacium, from Arabic maṭraḥ place where something is thrown

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Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best mattresses of 2021.

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Time Traveler for mattress

Time Traveler

The first known use of mattress was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near mattress



mattress pad

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Statistics for mattress

Last Updated

8 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mattress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for mattress



English Language Learners Definition of mattress

: a cloth case that is filled with material and used as a bed


mat·​tress | \ ˈma-trəs How to pronounce mattress (audio) \

Kids Definition of mattress

: a springy pad for use on a bed


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