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Home/Mor Furniture Blog/Buying Guides/Get to Know the Different Types of Beds

Get to Know the Different Types of Beds

When you start shopping for bedroom furniture, what at first seems like a simple decision can quickly become overwhelming. Would it be better to get a panel bed or a platform bed? A modern or more ornate look? Should my bed be more about form or function, or a mixture of the two? While the number of bedroom options out there may seem staggering, it’s easy to pare down the list of choices by looking at some of the more basic bed styles available.

What Is a Panel Bed?

The panel bed is a very popular, traditionally styled bed that requires the use of a box spring to support the mattress. It gets its name from the flat panels that make up the headboard and footboard (if there is one). These panels are usually made of wood but can also be constructed from metal or other materials.

Panel beds are taller than other bed styles because of the box spring, making it easier for people to get in and out of bed. The added height allows you to decorate with a nice bed skirt, but the bed frame usually sits very close to the floor, which does not give you much room for under-the-bed storage.

What Is the Difference Between a Panel Bed and a Sleigh Bed?

A sleigh bed is an elegant and classy bed that instantly becomes the focal point of any bedroom. The ends of the headboard and footboard are curved or scrolled to resemble an old-fashioned sleigh. Sleigh beds are platform beds that have slats to support the mattress, so they don’t need a box spring. The slats provide more stability and support than a box spring and prevent your mattress from sagging over time.

A sleigh bed is usually larger than a traditional panel bed, and the curved ends prevent it from being pushed flush against the wall. But while sleigh beds may take up a little more of your bedroom, they also provide more storage space underneath because they’re generally higher off the ground.

Sleigh beds are made mostly of wood, so they can be much heavier than panel beds. This can also cause sleigh beds to be a little more expensive, but you won’t need to spend extra money on a box spring or a metal frame like you would with a panel bed, so it could save you money in the long run.

What Are Four Poster Beds and Canopy Beds Used For?

Four-poster and canopy beds look great in any bedroom, but the ability to surround the beds with curtains adds a bit of function to their already impressive form. The high posts on canopy beds can stretch over four feet high and are attached to crossbeams that support fabric on all sides and provide the bed with an enclosed ceiling. Four-poster beds can also have a panel attached to the top of their columns to achieve the same effect.

Surrounding your canopy or four-poster bed with curtains lets you keep out sunlight if you want to sleep in, especially in bedrooms with large windows. The curtains can also be tied back if you want to make sure you don’t oversleep on a workday. An opaque fabric draped over your bed also adds an element of privacy. In medieval Europe, noblemen and their attendants would often sleep in the same room, so the nobles surrounded their beds with curtains that allowed them to have some of their own space. In many parts of the world, netting is added around a canopy bed to keep out mosquitos and other insects. The curtains can also help to keep in warmth during the colder months of the year.

A four-poster or canopy bed can add class and sophistication as the centerpiece of your master bedroom. Traditional canopy beds have wooden frames and posts with detailed carvings that making them look like they’re from the Victorian era. Modern canopy beds are great for kids as well. The curtains and enclosed ceiling can add some fairy tale flair, sure to make any little girl feel like a princess.

Platform Beds

Platform beds are named based on their structure that doesn't require a foundation, bunkie board, or box spring. This type of bed is characterized by a built in structure to support the mattress. The structure could be a solid structure, wood slats, or metal slats or webbing, These beds are often a lower profile, ranging from only a foot or so above the floor to a more standard bed height. Some may opt to include a bunkie board for more structural support or remove the slats to opt for an adjustable foundation.

The Benefits of a Bookcase Bed

For homes with no extra space to spare, a bookcase bed offers storage in the most convenient places. If you don't have room for a nightstand, a bookcase bed offers a little extra storage space conveniently just behind where you lay your head. It's the perfect space for your nighttime reading material or a thirst-quenching glass of water. Some bookcase beds offer additional storage under the bed. This is a great way to store linens so they're neatly tucked away and conveniently accessible.

What Is a Daybed Used For?

Many of us have had to deal with cramped living quarters, whether it’s a studio apartment or a home that has a bedroom or two on the smaller side. If you don’t have space for a king-sized or queen-sized mattress, there are still plenty of solid options out there. Daybeds and trundle beds are two great space-saving designs that are perfect for the tightest of floorplans or budgets.

A daybed has three panels, adding one long sideboard to the traditional head and footboards. When not being used as a bed, it can act as a couch or a loveseat, with the sideboard as the back and the head and footboards acting as armrests. Some daybeds use full-sized mattresses, but twin is the most popular size. There are also a few designs that may need a back wall that runs the length of the side rail, just for extra support.

A daybed is an efficient choice for maximizing space in a spare bedroom or home office. By day, it’s a great place to study, lounge, read, or watch TV. By night, it’s a perfect place to host out-of-town guests. Daybeds have extra storage space underneath, but they can also be fitted with a trundle drawer for an extra twin mattress, allowing them to work just as well in a child’s or teenager’s room.

Daybeds are incredibly popular because of their versatility. Unlike sofa beds or folding beds, daybeds don’t need any extra space to get them set up for sleeping. Most people also find daybeds more comfortable than futons because they have a high-quality twin mattress instead of a thinner futon mattress, which must also be folded up to be used as a couch. Those using a daybed in their home office enjoy the convenience of having a storage bed with room for office supplies, in addition to having a nice place to take a quick break during the day.

What's the Point of a Trundle Bed?

A trundle bed isn't a stand alone bed in it's own right. Instead, it's a bed that fits under another, typically in the same style or a coordinating style as the main bed. Trundle beds often accompany a daybed, but they can also be used with more traditional bed styles. The bottom bed is on casters and easily slides underneath the top bed. Trundles are especially well-suited for kids’ rooms, especially kids who have a lot of sleepovers. In the case of daybeds, the trundle sometimes will pop-up once pulled out, to provide a bed at the same height. The bottom bed can be pushed in when not in use, which leaves more room for kids to play. Many trundle beds come with the bottom mattress enclosed in a drawer, which can also be used for extra storage space for pillows, blankets, or toys. Trundle beds are also a great alternative to bunk beds for anyone with smaller children. The lower design of the trundle bed eases safety concerns for any parents who would rather not have their kids sleeping so high off the ground.

The Classic Bunk Bed

Bunk beds are a standard for households with multiple children. But what was once a simple twin-over-twin design, has now been expanded to offer many options. Bunk beds now come with the option of twin-over-full orientation, which offers the bottom bed dweller a bit more space and may be shared by two. Some beds even come with built in storage, located at an end of the bed or within a staircase style ladder. Staircase ladders are a sturdy option for more wobbly children, but beds also come with leaning and vertical ladder options.