Sleigh Beds: Beautiful, Classic & Timeless

A sleigh bed is a style of bed with curved or scrolled foot and headboards, so that it appears much like a sled or sleigh. Regularly made from wood and pretty heavy, the sleigh bed was first designed in the French and American Empire, during the early 19th century. The Empire drew its inspiration from the furniture styles of ancient Roman and Greek civilizations.

Today’s sleigh beds are made of a selection of materials including wood, iron, steel and aluminium, and frequently possess less exaggerated curves of the foot and headboards. Often such a bed would be made for a single person and could have been used as a day bed or as a child’s bed. The footboard is nearly always shorter than the headboard.

North Americans loved the appearance of sleigh beds and first started to change the design in the early 19th century. In furniture design terms, sleigh beds come from the North American Empire period, from 1800-1820. The North American Empire period fell as the ornate carvings of the Victorian Period became popular.

While early sleigh beds curved either inward or outward, today’s versions often stress the outward curl as it is considered more relaxed, and one doesn’t hit one’s head on the curl if one quickly sits up in bed. Actually some variations of modern sleigh beds don’t even feature a curled headboard. Instead they provide a flat headboard and a curled footboard. Some modern sleigh beds can be covered in leather as new designers reinvent sleigh bed trends. Though designers first became re-interested in sleigh beds in the 1990s, they’re now popular across the US. A lot of this is accredited to the numerous mags and TV shows that concentrate on internal decor.

When choosing a sleigh bed for one’s bedroom, be advised that the outward curl at the very top of the headboard will need a little extra space. The headboard may not be flush with the wall as it might be with a flat headboard design. If you are limited as to space, one can select from a selection of flat headboard sleigh beds that still showcase the stunning curl on the footboard.

Sleigh beds come in various sizes, including Twin, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King. In the US, Twin is also known as Single (38″ x 75″), Full as Double (53″ x 75″), Queen as Queen-size (60″ x 80″), King as Eastern King (76″ x 80″) and Cal King as California King (72″ x 84″). Cal King size beds, generally for tall people, are typically 12″ wider than a Queen-size bed and 4″ longer.