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Bedstead Basics: Choosing a Foundation for Your Bedroom

Updated on October 12, 2013

Your bed is the foundation of your bedroom. This article provides an overview of eight popular bed frames.

Your bed is the foundation of your bedroom.
Your bed is the foundation of your bedroom. | Source

Build Your Foundation

You spend a third of your life in bed, so it just makes sense to create a bedroom where you can relax and rejuvenate. Choosing the right bedroom elements can make your days as heavenly as your nights.

The bedstead is your bedroom's foundation, so start there. After you have selected your bed frame, you can work on finding the right mattress and choosing the best pillows.

The bedstead is the framework that holds your bed springs and mattress. Usually constructed of metal or wood, it includes the headboard, foot board, rails and slats. No matter the age, size or style, your bed frame sets the design mood for your bedroom.

Bed frames are available in hundreds of styles, and each one has unique characteristics. While your mattress provides for your physical comfort, your bedstead addresses your mental comfort. And that is just as important for a good night's sleep. To choose the best bed for your needs, consider the design, location, use and price. The following bed frames are the most popular styles today.

1. Platform Beds

Platform beds are among the oldest styles around, but they are a trendy modern choice. Their sleek, straight lines work well with contemporary décor. Because they take up very little space beyond the mattress, platform beds are great if you need room for additional furniture.

Platform beds are usually simple designs, with no headboard or foot board. They are the perfect choice for clean, uncluttered bedrooms. They also provide a cooler sleep environment than most traditional designs, since they typically have a low profile.

A queen size platform bed in a solid black laminated finish.
A queen size platform bed in a solid black laminated finish. | Source

2. Sleigh Beds

Sleigh beds were originally called French beds. The name comes from their gently curved, often scrolled headboards and foot boards, which resemble an old-fashioned sleigh.

Sleigh beds became fashionable in America in the early 1800s, as the French Empire style rose in popularity. Most sleigh beds have a rich wooden frame that creates a strong focal point. Their gentle curves add a graceful elegance to the bedroom.

A queen size sleigh bed in a deep black finish.
A queen size sleigh bed in a deep black finish. | Source

3. Four Poster Beds

Four poster beds were originally intended to hold fabrics to shield sleepers from cold air drafts. Most corner posts are made from wood. Some posts are elegantly turned and decorated, while others are plain and simple.

The towering bed posts of four poster beds make a dramatic statement in the bedroom. These beds work best in rooms with high ceilings. Use them to create a visual center for your bedroom.

A queen size four poster bed in a rich black finish.
A queen size four poster bed in a rich black finish. | Source

4. Canopy Beds

Canopy beds are four poster beds with crossbeams that connect the posts and support a canopy or tester. Also known as tester beds, canopy beds give your bedroom a romantic atmosphere.

Early canopy beds were made of solid wood and draped with velvet, brocade or lace. Modern beds typically showcase light and airy fabrics that contribute to the room's romance. Like four poster beds, canopy beds work best in bedrooms with high ceilings.

A queen size metal canopy bed in a black finish.
A queen size metal canopy bed in a black finish. | Source

5. Low Post Beds

Low post beds have short bed posts. Generally, the corner posts do not exceed headboard or foot board height. They usually feature a decorative finial of some type.

Low post beds are ideal for most bedrooms of any size or style. They work equally well whether your room has simple, rustic elements or elaborate French designs. Some low post beds have foot board drawers for extra storage.

A queen size low post panel bed in a rich caramel finish.
A queen size low post panel bed in a rich caramel finish. | Source

6. Upholstered Beds

If you watch interior design shows on television, you know that many designers prefer leather and upholstered beds. Hand button tufting and nail tacking, solid wood rails and quality fabrics make upholstered beds the benchmark of style.

If you choose to have an upholstered bed in your bedroom, keep two things in mind: the room architecture and your lifestyle. Whether your design style is modern or traditional, your upholstered bed should be one of lasting comfort and quality.

A queen size upholstered platform bed in a beige fabric.
A queen size upholstered platform bed in a beige fabric. | Source

7. Daybeds

Daybeds are known for their split personality. They are sofas by day and mattresses by night. Because of this versatility, daybeds are ideal for guest bedrooms, family rooms and dens.

Transitional daybeds usually have a metal or wooden frame that encloses three sides of the bed. Some beds have a pop-up frame or drawer trundle for additional guest sleeping. Others have flip-up end tables and magazine racks.

A twin size daybed with trundle, in a rich cherry finish.
A twin size daybed with trundle, in a rich cherry finish. | Source

8. Bunk Beds

Bunk beds are popular choices for children's bedrooms. Not only are they great space savers, but they also provide a lot of fun for kids.

Even if you're the parent of one child, a bunk bed can be a good choice. Some bunk beds have a built-in futon under the bed, and some are built with a desk and storage drawers underneath.

A solid wood twin size bunk bed in an espresso finish.
A solid wood twin size bunk bed in an espresso finish. | Source

Your Turn

What is your favorite style of bed? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

  • Better Homes and Gardens. (October 13, 2011). "Ultimate Guide to Beds." Better Homes and Gardens. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  • Wikipedia contributors. (April 23, 2012). "Bed Frames." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

© 2012 Annette R. Smith


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    Post Comment

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, Maren! It's good to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Believe it or not, I have moved to sleeping on the floor. It doesn't develop low spots and lumps! Nice article!


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