Types of Beds
There Is So Much More to a Bed Than Just the Size
Typically, you know if you will need a King, Queen, Full or Twin, but what else is there to consider?
First, think about the use of the room. Will this be occupied by one or more persons every night? Is it the master suite, child’s room or the guest room?
Second, measure the space allotted. Keep in mind that typically, a bed is just a few inches longer and only a couple inches wider than the mattress selected, so the variation for most types of beds isn’t too extreme. However, if your bedroom is really tight, some beds do offer advantages or disadvantages for small spaces. And don’t forget to leave room for the nightstands!
Third, think about the material. Wood, metal, upholstery?
- Wood beds are the most common. They add warmth, texture and are available in almost every style and type you could want. (the most options)
- Metal adds dimension and can be modern (think brushed steel), rustic (think wrought iron) or traditional (think grandma’s brass bed).
- Upholstery brings softness and luxury (think 1930’s Hollywood glamour).
Scroll down for bed example types.
Slat or Spindle Bed
Slat beds are typically made of wood strips that can vary in width but are usually evenly spaced at 1-3 inch intervals. They can be flat, round, rectangular or even carved and “turned”. The can run vertically, horizontally or both.
A panel bed consists of a headboard and footboard made from flat panels. The bed frame can be wood or metal, and panels can be wood that is flat, framed, inset with carving and designs, or padded and upholstered.
This bed has the largest footprint. Because the sleigh bed has a curved back and, depending on the bed, a curved footboard, it can be anywhere from 15 – 20” longer than the mattress! These are luxurious beds and are often displayed in grand bedrooms. However, stay mindful of your size constraints before investing in such a piece.
Four Poster Bed
This bed is built with four posts or columns coming up vertically from each corner. It is a traditional style bed often paired with a canopy top. High ceilings are crucial for this kind of bed to look appropriate.
This bed has a solid or slatted base that provides enough support for the mattress alone, eliminating the need for a box-spring. Originally, most platform beds were low, sleek and modern and had no footboards. Many styles,however, are now available with a platform option.
This bed has drawers in the space typically occupied by dust bunnies and storage boxes. Two to three drawers may be built into the bed on each side, one side, or at the end of the bed. Incredibly convenient storage for those with rooms too small to accommodate a large dresser or chest. To provide adequate space for the drawers, these beds usually sit a little higher than non-storage beds and will not use a box-spring.
As the name would suggest, this bed has a 1-3 shelf bookcase integrated into the headboard. Some beds feature doors over all or a portion of the shelves. In addition to adding shelving storage to your room, it can “replace” a nightstand as a spot to put your book, phone or glass of water if you haven’t sufficient space for one on either side of the bed. Due to the depth of the headboard you will need to add another 15-20 inches to your mattress length for estimating the footprint of this option. Combine with storage drawers underneath the bed and your bedroom shopping is complete with only one purchase!
This type of bed is similar to the panel bed with its upright headboard and footboard, but it is fully upholstered, so there is no exposed wood or metal. The headboard, footboard and side rails are upholstered in either fabric or leather, making it soft and eliminating hard corners. Make sure you choose a durable fabric or leather as the side rails in particular can take a beating.
A bunk bed is a bed built on top of another bed, usually a twin over a twin size. It’s a great space-saver and ideal for kids’ rooms. Stacking the beds saves a large footprint that can be used for dressers and other necessary furniture. Keep in mind that due to the height of the top bed, safety may be a concern for small or rambunctious children.
This is a bed within a bed. A trundle bed consists of a bed on casters which can be rolled out from underneath the primary bed. It is typically seen on twin beds and is great for children’s rooms.
A Murphy bed is a great storage solution for an office or spare room. This is a bed that is built into wall casework and can be pulled down and used as needed.
This bed is a hybrid between a sofa and a bed. It usually has three sides, with the back appearing as the focal point. It is often used in guest rooms and kids’ rooms and is sometimes paired with a trundle bed. When “dressed” it appears as a place to lounge vs. a typical bed.
This is a sofa that has a bed folded inside, typically underneath the seat cushions. It is convenient for studio apartments, offices or spare rooms that you do not wish to dedicate to the infrequent guest. Although notorious for providing an uncomfortable mattress, it is possible to find a high-quality sleep sofa with a comfortable bed.