Types of Beds and How to Pick One

Types of beds

If you want to achieve perfect sleep, you should be striving for the perfect bedroom—how you manifest your perfect dream zone matters. Whether you’re planning to feng shui the place or give it the full Marie Kondo treatment, there’s one thing that you’re going to invest in no matter what: your bed. But there are lots of types of beds out there… where should you even begin? Get acquainted with the different types of beds and what they each offer so you can pick the design and function that’ll make your bedroom the envy of sleepers everywhere.

Let’s find the perfect type of bed for you!

Types of beds 1: Mattress Selection

Types of beds

Mattresses break down pretty simply—the main things you’re looking at here are a) available space in your bedroom, b) whether you’re sleeping with a partner or alone, c) how much space do you prefer/need, and d) budget. Here are their dimensions… now go measure your space (and make sure you leave room for nightstands and whatnot)!

 Twin/Single: 38" x 75"

Extra-Long Twin: 38" x 80"

Full/Double: 54" x 75"

Queen: 60" x 80"

King: 76" x 80"

California King: 72" x 84"

Types of beds 2: Frames

The main difference between frames is whether or not they require a box spring below your mattress or not. What exactly is a box spring for, you ask? In addition to raising the mattress’s height (making it easier to get out of bed in the morning), it absorbs shock (reducing wear to your mattress) and creates a firm, flat structure that your mattress can lay on.

A simple bed frame is the most basic foundation you can get your hands on. Lacking a headboard and footboard, this is the platonic ideal of simplicity—four legs that hold up a flat panel of supporting beams without a headboard or footboard. Sometimes a simple bed frame needs a box spring for lift and security, sometimes simple slats do the trick!

A standard bed frame requires a box spring under the mattress because support beams are minimal and the frame is low to the ground. Lift it up!

A platform bed frame does not require a box spring because the mattress sits on top of the platform within the frame. Close-together slats support the mattress so there’s a little bit of giving (as opposed to a flat surface). Platform beds usually lack a footboard, but sometimes have a headboard. Picture your basic dormitory bed frame.

Types of beds 3: Designs

Types of beds

Alright—in your quest to find the perfect bed for your bedroom, this is the most exciting part! The size of your mattress and the style of the frame are more logistical than anything. The design of your bed is where you get to impart your own unique flavor, set the tone of your room, and figure out what it is that sets your sleep experience apart from anyone else’s. Not surprisingly, beds come in many, many shapes and styles. What you pick is up to your personal preference. Pick the right bed and you’ll never wanna get up. We can’t cover ‘em all, but here are some classic looks:

Panel Bed

This is one of the most classic types of beds—flat, decorated, and tall panels of wood make up the headboard and footboard (if there is one). They’re divided into sections and very similar to a basic platform bed, except that they have side rails that house your mattress (and/or boxspring). Consider a panel bed with an upholstered headboard so you can prop yourself up with a couple of pillows to read before you hit the hay—you’ll thank us later!

Poster Bed

This classic type of bed is built with columns or rods in each corner, which come in a wide variety of styles. From squared-off wooden extensions of the legs to fancy rounded metal to spires or points, poster beds can have a lot of character. Some poster beds are designed to add a canopy or other lifted fabric for really bringing the ambiance to the next level. These come in three general sizes: Half poster, low poster, and pencil poster (the tallest).

Trundle Bed

A trundle uses the space under the bed not for storage of goods but… for another bed! Sometimes called a “guest bed” (though that wording is confusing for obvious reasons out of context), trundles are great for situations where you might have frequent guests or relatives (or multiple kids) in a small space. Instead of having a guest bed take up an entire room all on its own, you can pull it out only when necessary, maxing out storage for non-beds in your home!

Murphy bed

In the same family as the trundle, these types of beds can be seen in film noir movies in older mid-century multi-family buildings or apartment complexes. They’re a type of bed design where the whole bed (when you’re not using it) uses a hinge to tuck into a closet-like space on the wall. Not sleeping? Tuck the whole dang bed away! They give you ample space but your house kind of has to be designed in the right time period to even have the necessary space for a Murphy.

Bookcase Bed

This is a simple, classic design—It’s a bed, but the headboard is a bookcase! You can keep books and trinkets and lamps and what-have-you in it, for ease of use in bed. While it’s been shown that having an excess of things in your room can be distracting if you’re trying to go to sleep quickly, it’s hard not to love the space-saving and ever-modular design of having a bookcase built into your bed.

Contemporary Canopy

Differing from a traditional canopy, contemporary canopy beds have thin, unadorned, non-decorative (usually wooden) frames. They’re easy to fit with any sort of modern decor and don’t require the out-of-fashion bulky ornateness that canopy beds used to sport.

Futon Bunk

So, you have limited space in your bedroom but want to maximize usage? Futon beds are a type of bed that lets you have everything! Imagine a classic bunk bed but with a key difference—the top bunk is a twin, but the bottom bunk is a futon. It’s an extra bed when you need it, but during the day you’re able to have a place to sleep and a place to relax with the footprint of a single piece of furniture.

Sleep On It

Not sure which types of beds are right for you? Sleep on it! A bed is a pretty big investment, and likely something you’ll have for a while, taking with you from home to home, or settling into a place of your own. The type of bed you sleep in tells a story about who you are, what you prioritize, how your style will be reflected in your most intimate living space. There are so many types of beds, picking the right one can be pretty tough—but we believe in you!