Whenever I see a sleigh bed I cannot help but feel a sense of nostalgia for a simpler time in history when people traveled around in sleighs, wrapped in warm blankets and furs, the crisp winter air surrounding them, the jingle of the horses’ bells. The sleigh bed is a recent invention, being developed sometime in the 1800’s in North America. While it was extremely popular in Victorian homes, not much is known about who invented it but I like to think that the inventor was influenced by the wide use of sleighs in urban and rural communities.
Typically, a sleigh bed is a piece of furniture associated with the eastern part of North America. However, in the last few years, more people in western regions have been discovering the delights of having a sleigh bed and they are starting to pick up in popularity. Nearly every furniture store that you enter nowadays will offer a small variety of sleigh beds and just about every furniture manufacturer makes them.
More than just wood
While I prefer wood sleigh beds in design, I must admit that there are several metal sleigh beds that look just as elegant and regal. Metal gives this kind of bed design a whole new outlook, making it compatible with traditional or modern décor. You will find sleigh beds with fancy scroll work in wrought iron that fits in nicely with traditional furniture or beds created from steel to fit in a modern loft bedroom or an industrial looking home. I like to call metal sleigh beds industrial because they seem to have the appearance of being manipulated by modern power.
Designers are also coming out with plastic versions of this bed, which has a more futuristic appearance rather than a historical one. These beds come in different colors but are not easily attainable through a regular furniture maker. For a plastic sleigh bed you would likely have to purchase one through a designer or studio.
Wood was the original material used for these beds and there is something about this material that just adds an extra sense of warmth to a sleigh bed. I think these beds give off a more nostalgic appearance—perhaps because horse-drawn sleighs are made of wood also. They can also add a natural sense of romance to any bedroom, making them perfect for your daughter or for the master bedroom suite.
Additional space please
One thing that you should keep in mind, if you are considering purchasing a sleigh bed, is that they are going to take more space than a traditional bed. The reason for this is the fact that the headboard curves backward and the footboard curves outward. That being said, there are versions out there where the curvature is not as pronounced as in a traditional sleigh bed, but the added existence of the footboard means that you should plan for it taking up some additional space.
What type of sleigh bed do you prefer?