Definition of mattress in US English:



  • 1A fabric case filled with deformable or resilient material, used for sleeping on.

    • ‘His pillow was extremely soft, and the flannel sheets and firm mattresses were almost too comfortable.’
    • ‘Sleeping mattresses were also available for members of noble households.’
    • ‘They prepared the mattresses they slept on in silence.’
    • ‘They sleep on flimsy mattresses and wrap themselves in parkas or sleeping bags to keep warm at night.’
    • ‘They had slept on mattresses of straw over which they had thrown clean linen and their own blankets.’
    • ‘The boys sleep on mattresses and their days are filled with school classes, sport and counselling.’
    • ‘For the last week I have been sleeping on a mattress between my children's beds.’
    • ‘The sun made its final farewell, so he flipped on a lamp and sat down on the soft mattress.’
    • ‘For example, some parents may not be able to afford firmer mattresses or to have enough beds for all their family members.’
    • ‘Small areas are sectioned off where people are sleeping on mattresses on pallets.’
    • ‘I use a fitted sheet because I sleep on a twin futon and the mattress is in two pieces.’
    • ‘We slid down a short chute and landed on a soft mattress with everyone looking at us.’
    • ‘The mites breed at a phenomenal rate in soft furnishings such as pillows and mattresses.’
    • ‘Pillows, mattresses, blankets and sheets were strewn throughout the room.’
    • ‘When it comes to beds and mattresses, the softest are not always the best.’
    • ‘These little critters are found in mattresses, carpets, soft furniture and bedding.’
    • ‘At nights, he was forced to sleep on a thin mattress against the stump of a tree.’
    • ‘Wouldn't our back streets and green spaces look more attractive without dumped carpets, mattresses and chairs?’
    • ‘The trailer was cramped and had no furniture except for a mattress and a wooden bench.’
    • ‘Instead, the box springs and mattresses are combined and a mattress pad placed over them.’
    1. 1.1Engineering A flat structure of brushwood, concrete, or other material used as strengthening or support for foundations, embankments, etc.


Middle English: via Old French and Italian from Arabic maṭraḥ ‘carpet or cushion’, from ṭaraḥa ‘to throw’.