Why Are 19th Century Beds So High and Bulky?

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 4.05.47 PMMany beds in the mid-century and in many historic homes even today are built quite a bit higher than regular traditional beds. Have you ever noticed that? It’s typical to see a historic home with beds that seem to tower up. One of the reasons for this is because beds during the 19th century were more than just sheets, pillows and the occasional feather covers. These beds were usually designed as four-poster beds, with all the complexities of layers upon layers of other key items.

These include:

  • the straw on the bottom layer that served to keep the bed bugs at bay.
  • the horse hair in the middle layer that is supposed to keep the bed sturdy and durable.
  • the feathers on the top layer that provides comfort and softness.

Additionally 19th century poster beds were also adorned with drapes, valance, bed curtains, dust cover and head cloth, especially in the houses of the rich and privileged. They also have steps set next to the bed, and an assistant or household staff helps out these aristocrats get in and out of their beds everyday.

Once can clearly see that so much has already improved with today’s bedroom scenario. Gone are those bulky bedding accessories. People can sleep on beds with thinner foams or fewer frills, but still derive loads of comfort from today’s highly advanced modern mattresses.

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