From stacks of hay and raised stone platforms to bespoke memory foam, beds have come a long way! Bed designs have transformed over the centuries to cater to the growing need for luxury and comfort in the bedroom. In fact, every bed style has evolved to match the designs of our homes over ages. Let’s take a quick look at how these popular types of bed style came to be and their use in contemporary homes.

#1: Wing-back Bed 

bed style-winged back bed-blue headboard
Stylishly curved to support your head

Origin: Originally made of just wood, these types of bed style were popular in the 1720s, especially in England and Colonial America.

Style Evolution: Today, with leather or fabric upholstery, these beds are a comfy and graceful addition to any modern bedroom.

Function: Wing-backed furniture serves as a shelter from harsh weather, such as draughts of wind or heavy sunlight, while still allowing the joy of large open windows. 

#2: Panel Bed

bed style-panel bed-pink wallpaper
Panelled and sectioned for prevent awkward bumps

Origin: Much like the windows and doors of yesteryears, early panel beds were pretty much simple slabs of wood.

Style Evolution: Modern panel bed designs, however, come with a variety of headboard sizes, panel detailing, textures and finishes that perfectly complement a contemporary aesthetic.

Function: It lends the space a comforting vibe while adding a sense of refined quality to the design.

#3: Sleigh Bed

bed style-sleigh bed-blue wooden bed designs
If the Romans loved it, shouldn’t we?

Origin: Much like the windows and doors of yesteryears, early panel beds were pretty much simple slabs of wood.

Style Evolution: Modern panel bed designs, however, come with a variety of headboard sizes, panel detailing, textures and finishes that perfectly complement a contemporary aesthetic.

Function: It lends the space a comforting vibe while adding a sense of refined quality to the design.

#4: Slat Bed

slat bed-wooden headboard-orange curtains
Came with the Vikings & spawned minimalism

Origin: Minimalist Scandinavian furniture, such as the slat bed, has been in vogue since the Vikings era! 

Style Evolution: Designed using horizontal or vertical slats for headboards and/or footboards, these are the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary bed designs.

Function: Their minimal aesthetic works great with simple, yet, powerful décor choices. This kind of bed also takes up relatively less space, and is perfect for a small bedroom. 

#5: Open-frame Bed

bed style-open frame bed-white bed
A mix of simplicity plus intricate Victorian design

Origin: The open-frame bed is a compromise between bare minimalism and the opulence of Victorian style.

Style Evolution: These beds come with free-flowing, casual, organic lines that run along the headboard and footboard. 

Function: In contemporary interiors, this is the go-to bed style for a rustic setting.

#6: Four Poster Bed

bed style-four poster bed-blue wall paint
The grand old bed in its modern version

Origin: Sometime in the Middle Ages, four-poster beds were created. They were typically covered with heavy velvet or wool drapes and canopies to ward off draughts and insects. 

Style Evolution: Rather than being dark and heavy, the modern take on this classic is a chic substitute that elevates the cosiness of the bed, while maintaining a grand look.

Function: With a sleek silhouette, a four-poster can heighten the period drama of a room’s design. 

#7: Canopy Bed

bed style-canopy bed-red wallpaper
Drapes for privacy and warmth

Origin: Canopy beds were the staple bed designs during the Renaissance period of the 14th to 17th century. In England, the Tudors popularised these beds for the privacy they offered. 

Style Evolution: Modern canopies are sleek, lightweight and elegant.

Function: Initially, they were used in a time when servants slept in the bedroom with their masters. Even today, a canopied bed offers an extra layer of privacy. But this bed style is mostly valued for the fairytale vibe it invokes.

#8: Murphy Beds

bed design-murphy bed-white foldable bed
For hole-in-the-wall apartments!

Origin: The popularity of the Murphy bed (a.k.a wall bed) skyrocketed in the 1950s when coil-sprung mattresses became the norm in every household.

Style Evolution: A good wall bed can make a cramped studio apartment feel like a true two-bedroom, in a matter of seconds.

Function: Such transformative bed designs are particularly relevant in modern times when space is at an all-time premium.

#9: Floating Bed

bed design-floating bed-white bed with attached side tables
Saves floor space & makes cleaning easier

Origin: Inspired by science fiction novels and motion flicks, the floating bed style is rapidly capturing the imaginations of many designers across the globe. 

Style Evolution: Designers have tried using support structures that aren’t readily visible to the eye, such as Lucite legs and even magnets, to achieve the illusion of floating in space. Often, these beds come with lighting underneath to enhance the illusion of floating. 

Function: Since floating beds don’t have large headboards or footboards, they allow for diverse decor options, such as a piece of art or an accent wall at the head of the bed. 

#10: Trundle Bed

 bed design-trundle bed-blue wallpaper-pull-out bed
An extra bed for sleepovers

Origin: During the Renaissance period, trundle beds were a common piece of furniture in most upper and middle-class European homes. 

Style Evolution: Trundle beds were originally used by servants who slept in their employer’s room so as to be near at hand. Today, this is an excellent addition to kids rooms and guest bedrooms.

Function: Sleepovers can be a ton of fun, even in dorms and studio apartments, thanks to this space-saving design. 

#11: Cottage Style Bed

bed design-cottage style bed-wooden bed
Grandiose headboards mark these beds

Origin: With high and ornate headboards, cottage beds are the perfect representation of Victorian elegance. 

Style Evolution: Cottage-style beds made its way to modern homes with simpler headboards designs and a few central elements, leaving behind the ostentatious details favoured in the bygone era. But it is still something you will expect to find in a heritage inn. 

Function: When coupled with traditional wooden furniture and accents, it adds a cosy and rustic vibe to the space.

#12: Bunk Bed

bed design-bunk bed
Ideal for warring siblings

Origin: Bunk beds started out as a necessary part of military life.

Style Evolution: Today, it’s a fun addition to modern kids bedrooms. After all siblings are also permanently at war!

Function: They are also the ideal space-saving furniture since the multi-layered compartments help save a lot of space, add ample storage and a touch of quirkiness to the design. 

#13: Sleeping Loft

bed design-sleeping loft-pink headboard
A cosy solitary space for thinkers

Origin: The sleeping loft is another one of the bed style that evolved from a need to maximise the use of space.

Style Evolution: It adds another level to a room and new possibilities for storage, and can make even a cramped home look spacious.

Function: Lofts are often cosy spaces. Therefore, when lit with fairy lights or soft spot lights, it can feel like personal paradise on Earth.

Now you can look forward to a cosy, safe and revitalizing night’s sleep every day. Which of these iconic bed designs did you like best? Let us know! 

Also explore 12 Iconic Sofa Styles Explained

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— editor@livspace.com