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Four-Poster Bed – What Is It & Does Every Room Need One?

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image for Four-Poster Bed - What Is It & Does Every Room Need One

29 April 2024 8 min read

You will find many different types of bed frames on the UK market but a four-poster bed is probably the most unique. So, what exactly is a four-poster bed, and should it be the newest addition to your bedroom?

Four-poster beds have been popular for thousands of years and for good reason. And with such a long history, it only makes sense that four-poster bed frames come in all shapes and sizes. So you will find ones with and without a headboard or footboard, some will have the four posts connected and some won't. The former of which is actually called a canopy. They are also made with different materials (wood or metal for example) and with different designs.

Four-poster beds can be very simple in design and also lavish so they are suitable for both a modern and a renaissance bedroom. So, let's take it from the top, and discuss everything you need to know before deciding whether a four-poster bed is the right fit for you!

Is a four-poster bed an old design that goes way back?

The four-poster bed is one of the oldest types of beds. Remember the movies you watched about ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and all other periods of human history. You've probably seen a four-poster canopy bed gracing the reimagined bedrooms of people like Cleopatra or other noble figures. So, it's safe to say that these beds have been around for quite some time.

But that does not mean that it is an obsolete type of bed that is no longer popular today – on the contrary. Over the centuries, the design has changed, according to what people considered attractive at the time. Not to mention that technology has come a long way and the materials used for making four-poster beds have expanded quite a bit.

An image of a four-poster bed that has a very old design and looks like it came from a different period of history

Today, for example, there are four-poster and canopy beds that are much simpler in design to fit the Scandinavian design that is very popular. But you can also find flamboyant four-poster beds made of hardwood with a carved headboard and footboard that will make you feel like royalty.

So, whether you're looking for a modern twist, or you want to be taken back to the Middle Ages and pretend you're royalty – four-poster beds can probably help you out. Just keep an eye out and this luxury blast from the past could be yours. For example, Get Laid Beds might have exactly what you're looking for.

What advantages does a four-poster bed offer?

A four-poster bed offers numerous advantages and that is why it has been a part of human society for so long. In the following paragraphs, we will focus on general advantages, but you should know that some of the features mentioned do depend on the material from which the bed is made of. For example, wooden beds might be more attractive, while metal canopy beds might have a longer average service life.

However, there is an even bigger difference between the types of wood/metal used, e.g. a hardwood bed is a premium option while something like pine wood will probably look a bit more bland. All these factors also affect the price of the product ranging from affordable to very expensive.

Increased privacy

The bedroom should be a place where you have all the privacy you want. It is very important for your inner peace to have an oasis where you can be left alone. However, if you share a home with more people, especially if you have children, your privacy can be significantly compromised.

And while drapes aren't exactly noise-cancelling headphones or an invisibility shield, they can help you regain some of your privacy. If nothing else, you'll always have a few seconds of extra time between when someone enters the room and when they can actually see you.

Warmth

If you opt for a canopy bed, you can also get surprisingly warm. After all, if you use some thicker drapes, your body heat will dissipate a lot slower than if you just slept in the open.

Combine this with central heating or an electric blanket and you probably won't even notice that it's winter outside. So, while not game-changing on its own, a canopy bed can make for one amazing combo.

Protection

In the tropics, it would be very complicated to live without four-poster bed frames. If you have ever visited an exotic destination or gone on a safari, you have seen that most hotels and accommodations use this type of bed along with a net to protect you from various insects.

And this isn't just so that you don't itch in the morning or have to get up to kill a fly – as some insects can put your life in danger. But, if you just live in the UK, it's still nice to know that flies and mosquitos will have a harder time getting to you at night.

Decorations

You can be sure that a four-poster bed will be the focal point of any bedroom. Whichever design you choose, it will be the piece of furniture that looks best and attracts everyone's attention. A simple metal four-poster or a carved mahogany model can look equally decorative, if you fit them properly in the interior.

And from that point on, you can play around a bit. From finding good drapes for the canopy that go well with the curtains to installing a floating shelf if you want the rest of the room to be more minimalistic. Your bedroom is your canvas and a four-poster bed is an element that can tie most pictures together.

Why is a four-poster bed considered luxurious? 

In terms of history, it's very easy to see why four-poster beds are considered so luxurious. Since ancient times, the richest members of every society had four-poster bed frames in their bedrooms. And there are several reasons why this type of bed has not been affordable to others for centuries.

An image of a luxurious four-poster bed with rich red drapes surrounding it

For one, you need a large bedroom to have enough space for one of these beds, and most people didn't even have a separate bedroom at the time. Also, four-poster beds were expensive because not only were they made exclusively of hardwood back then but a lot more material was needed to make them when compared to a simple bed frame.

Even today canopy beds are among the more expensive bed frames. Not to mention that you also usually need a master bedroom. And that's not even the end of it! Here are some more reasons why four-poster beds have maintained their status as a luxury product to this day.

Everlasting design

This type of bed has somehow managed to stay in fashion centuries after its debut. It is always possible to make small changes in appearance and functionality to adapt to current needs, but the design itself is everlasting.

So when you buy it, you can be sure that it will look modern in the next 10 or 15 years as well. And this isn't always the case when you opt for a more extravagant design.

Traditional, yet elegant

On a similar note, the variety among the possible designs makes it so that you can have the best of both worlds. No, four-posters will not automatically make your bedroom look rustic, because although it has a traditional design, it is very elegant.

However, if you want an old-fashioned look for the bedroom, you can find the appropriate model and nail down that aesthetic. And it's somewhat rare to see a product that blends traditional and modern styles so seamlessly.

Size

Generally speaking, four-poster beds can be absolutely huge – with enough room to toss and turn all night without having to worry that you'll accidentally slap your partner. Needless to say, they easily fit a Super King size mattress. And as they say – the bigger the better.

Plus, if you go for a low four-poster bed, it's actually amazing for having company over as well since everyone can just grab a seat and marvel at your royal elegance.

However, newer models also come in kid-friendly sizes. So, if you want your children to also feel like they have blue blood, you can absolutely do that!

What type of mattress is best for a four-poster bed?

A four-poster bed is no different from other beds when it comes to choosing a mattress, so this bed frame will not dictate the purchase of the mattress.

If you have a mattress that is comfortable for you, and the size fits the new bed frame, you can easily just use that one. And if you want to improve upon some of the mattress' features, you're better off getting a new mattress topper.

If you need to buy both a frame and a mattress at the same time, then once you have determined the exact size, you can start looking for the ideal mattress. Just take note of your sleeping position, budget, breathability and motion isolation to make sure you're making the right choice.

In other words, you don't have to put too much thought into “which mattress type pairs best with a four-poster bed”. Just make sure that the mattress you do get works for you and you'll be all set for the best sleep of your life!

Conclusion – should I go with a four-poster bed?

A four-poster bed has so many advantages and its look is tempting so we are not at all surprised that you are considering buying one. After all, who doesn't want to feel like royalty? As long as you have a master bedroom that can house this elegant titan, you should be all set.

It will improve your night's sleep because it will give you a lot of space, and privacy, block bright lights and keep you warm. Not to mention how much it will improve the look of your bedroom – as the best four-poster beds have been doing for thousands of years around the world.

At the end of the day, you will have to decide for yourself if a four-poster bed frame is ideal for you. If you truly love the aesthetic, have the necessary room, and don't mind spending a little extra on a bed frame – you should be well on your way to making this decision already!

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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