A bed is an important piece of furniture that supports a mattress and other bedding and is usually placed in a separate room known as the bedroom. After a long tiring day of work, we all want to retire to a soft comfortable place to sleep. That is where a bed comes in.
Who Invented the Bed?
Ancient Egyptians invented the bed during the Bronze Age of 3000 B.C. – 1000 B.C. Ancient Egyptian craftsmen created the raised bed, which often had legs taking the appearance of animal feet. People of higher status used the bed to keep themselves asleep above the cold ground and discouraged rodents, insects, and snakes from crawling over the bed.
Uses of a bed
- Sexual activity
- Rituals (in some communities)
- Sitting (not medically recommended)
- Adding aesthetic to home decoration
- Serving the sick in hospitals (bed on casters)
- Moving people around (small flat beds)
- Slaughtering animals
- Supporting stored grains
- Hiding place when mum wants to spunk (for little kids only)
Most of these functions do not seem to require a raised bed. While some of the uses of beds could be less understood, modern society values the bed for sleeping and getting the “job done.” Here, I am referring to the job of procreation.
In all sense, I think that the Western bed is quite wasteful and unnecessary but for a comfortable and safe sleep away from bugs that crawl on the floor, a bed is just part of the items that make your sleep great.
Sleep is scientifically proven as an essential part of human health, sanity and even daytime creativity.
Parts of a bed
- Bed frame
- Bed slats
- Different bedding e.g. pillows, blankets, duvet covers etc.
- Bed leg
Each of these parts of the bed serve different functions.
For instance, the mattress rests on the bed’s solid wooden or metallic base. Wooden beds are known for hiding bed bugs unlike metallic ones.
Many beds are commonly designed to include a box spring inner-sprung base. This base is usually mattress size and contain wood and possibly springs. These springs provide additional support and rigid suspension.
Beds have an upper side known as the headboard one can rest against.
Some beds such as kid’s beds have side rails.
Beds that are considered “headboard only” can sometimes include a dust ruffle, bed skirt and even valance sheet to help hide the bed frame.
While sleeping on a bed, people usually prefer to use a pillow. A pillow is a soft padded material placed near the top of the mattress.
Also, once again, I’ve heard about people using hard pillows – as hard as a rock. I think all that depends on the purpose of the pillow. If it is for comfort, then a big no. If it is just for raising the head for a short time – a big yes!
Back to parts of a bed, the sleeper could decide to use some form of covering such as the blanket or bed sheet. Today, people love quilts or duvets. All these are collectively known as bedding.
The removable non-furniture portion of the bed is called the bedding. Bedding are washed and aired out frequently to ensure that a bed stays hygienic all the time.
Drawing a bed is as easy as taking a pen and making horizontal and vertical lines. Unless someone has never seen a bed, it is quite a simple process.
I am calling it simple because beds tend to have some basic parts like four stands in the frame, a headboard, and a mattress. One you get these right, one can easily draw a bed off head.
- Twin bed
- Twin XL
- Full bed
- Queen size bed
- King size bed
- Californian king size bed
- Alaskan king size bed
Bed sizes vary considerably around the world, with most countries having their own standards and terminology. I would just like to go through this section briefly as detailed description of bed sizes can be found in the article below.
Beds come in many sizes. These range from infant-sized bassinets and cribs to tiny beds for small single people/adults, to very large queen bed and king-size beds. The larger beds comfortably accommodate more people.
As a side note, we used to sleep six of us in a single queen-sized bed while we were little. Our came over with his entire family for one week. What’s the highest number of people you’ve ever shared a bed with on one night?
Technically, we can say that more than half of all the world’s beds are single mattresses. However, we have extraordinary beds.
For instance, the Murphy bed can fold into a wall. The sofa bed folds out of a couch. The Bunk bed has space for two mattresses on two tiers together with a ladder to allow one sleeper get to the upper tier.
Some beds are also temporary. What do I mean? These temporary beds are used for may be a single night and then removed. Some examples of temporary beds are inflatable air mattress as well as my favorite of them all – the folding camp cot.
The hammock refers to a bed that does not contain both a padded mattress and a bed frame. For those who love animals (pets), there are beds made specifically for animals.
History of Bed
Scientists have traced the bed back to several millions of years ago.
According to a recent revelation by scientists working on prehistoric periods, the oldest known bed was a grass bedding from about 200,000 years ago. This finding was a little older than previously thought.
To keep away arthropods, the early humans used insect-repellant plants and ash layers.
In Egypt, Pharaohs were known for having luxurious beds. In the 14th century BC, Tutankhamun (Tut), one of the most popular Pharaoh’s had a large collection of beds.
About 23-5 million years ago, historical records show that apes had started making beds. These early beds were a little less obvious because they were simply piles of straw or some naturally available materials such as grass, palm leaves or animal skins.
The significant change in the nature of early beds was raising them off the ground. Apes wanted to avoid drafts and pests. I am not sure about their habit of avoiding dirt at that time.
King Tut even had numerous funerary beds.
Bedding can be traced to around 3,600 BC after a discovery of remains in Sibudu Cave, South Africa. It was made up of sedge and some monocotyledons topped with Crypocarva woodii leaves.
In one Scottish village, beds in form of raised boxes were discovered between 3200 and 2200 BC. These beds were made of stone and mostly likely topped with comfortable fillers.
Some ancient Greek poems such as the Odyssey mentioned the use of gold, silver, and ivory to make beds. Luxurious!
Looking further into this, ancient Roman mattresses were filled with plenty of reeds, hay, wool or even feathers. These were done especially when custom demanded luxury.
As late as 17th century, people had started introducing curtains at the head. The curtains replaced enclosed beds that had become quite popular in France.
This period was known as the “century of magnificent beds.” Louis XIV for instance was known to own several sumptuous beds. Some estimate the number to be as many as 413 beds across his palaces.
By the 18th century, there were reports of feather pillows being used as coverings in different parts of Germany. This became the fashion and quickly spread to France.
It is the same century that iron beds appeared. They were favored because they were insect-free, a common problem that would be impossible to solve with wooden beds.
World’s biggest bed
The biggest bed in the world is Commissie Zomerfeesten St Gregorius Hertme bed. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Commissie Zomerfeesten St Gregorius Hertme (NL) in Hertme built the world’s largest bed. It had a length of 86 feet 11 inches and a width of 53 feet 11 inches.
One of world’s biggest beds is the Great Bed of Ware. This bed was designed and constructed in 1580. It measures 10.7 feet wide by 11.1 feet long. The bed was so big and popular that it got mentioned in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Currently, the bed is kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
A bed that shares a status similar to the Great Bed of Ware is the Golden Bed that was constructed in 1879 by designer William Burges.
Also in this list of world’s largest beds is Maharajah bed that was made of solid silver. The edges of this bed were man-sized statue of a naked woman holding a fan. Whenever Maharajah would lay on this bed, it would trigger a mechanism that made all the four women at the corners wave their fans.
Types of beds
- Air bed
- Adjustable bed
- Murphy bed
- Box bed
- Platform bed
- Brass bed
- Water bed
- Bunk bed
- Captain’s bed
- Loft bed
- Canopy bed
- Hospital bed
- Day bed
- Four poster bed
- Futon bed
- Manjaa bed
1. An air-bed
This bed uses an inflatable mattress. An electric air pump may be used to inflate it to the required firmness depending on the one sleeping on it. This bed main serves guests or is used temporarily especially when traveling.
2. An adjustable bed
This type of bed can be adjusted to different positions. For instance, hospital beds are adjustable to allow clinicians to raise the patient’s body for medical reasons.
A bassinet is a bed designed specifically for newborns.
4. A box-bed
A box-bed is a type of bed that takes the appearance of a box. It has wooden roof, sides and ends. The opening in front of the box bed has two sliding panels or shutters.
These types of beds were commonly used in cottages in Scotland.
5. Brass bed
A brass bed is so called because it is constructed from brass. Brass beds tend to be cheaper if brass is used to coat iron to form a brass-coated bed. These beds are prone to scratching though.
6. Bunk bed
A bunk bed is a layered bed with one or more carriages atop the ground carriage. These beds are common in learning institutions where students share dormitories. Other than schools and summer camps, it is also common to see bunk beds in private homes.
Bunk beds are also used by adults in military barracks. Very cheap hostels tend to have these types of beds too.
7. Loft bed
A loft bed shares similarities with a bunk bed. However, the loft bed has no lower bunk. That space left below the bed is used for storage or to place other furniture. It can accommodate a desk.
8. A captain’s bed
This type of bed is also known as a ‘captain bed’ or ‘chest bed.’ This bed is simply a platform with drawers and storage compartments designed beneath it.
9. A canopy bed
Canopy beds look like a four poster bed. However, the posts extend higher and are draped with a cloth. The adorning can completely enclose the bed.
10. A day bed
This bed is a couch. Just like its name suggest, a day bed is used as a seat during daytime. At night, it is turned into a bed. The usage as a bed is due to its pop up trundle.
11. Four poster bed
When talking about a four poster bed, I am referring to a type of bed that has a long post at each of the four corners. Those posts support a tester.
12. A futon bed
A futon bed can be traced to Japanese culture. The bed is a traditional style of Japanese bed that uses a foldable wooden frame supporting a mattress. A futon bed can fold into two halves.
A hammock refers to a bed made of suspended fabric. This type of bed is used mostly in ships. In some homes, people make hammock beds outside as a place of resting.
14. A hideaway bed
This bed refers to a piece of furniture that can turn into another furniture. The hideaway bed was invented by Sarah E. Goode due to the increased demand for a piece of furniture that can fold into another piece by many people living in apartments.
The hideaway bed could fold into a table or a desk or a shelf when not in use.
15. A hospital bed
Out of all the types of beds, a hospital bed is the one that immediately gives me the least excitement. A hospital bed is designed for healthcare facilities, and most recently, private residence.
16. Manjaa bed
A manjaa bed is traditionally traced to Punjabi. This bed is made of tied ropes bordered by a wooden frame. The ropes are bordered by a wooden frame.
17. A murphy bed
Also known as a wallbed, a murphy bed is a type of bed that folds into a wall or cabinet, mainly to save space.
18. A platform bed
A platform bed is technically a mattress resting on a solid, flat raised surface. This surface we are talking about is either a free-standing area or just part of the room’s structure.
19. A sofabed
Sofabeds are also called “pull-out.” These types of beds fold in a way that the bed is stored inside a sofa. Other people like to call sofabeds ‘convertibles.’ Yeah, that’s a nice name.
20. A waterbed
As the name suggests, a waterbed refers to a flexible piece of mattress that is filled with water. To support the liquid, the waterbed requires a strong frame around it to prevent too much wobbling.
Other types of beds worth mentioning here include a state bed, toddler bed, trundle bed, rope bed, and vibrating bed. There could be many types of beds that I left out here. However, our team will keep expanding the list.
21. A Ghost bed
A ghost bed is a fancy type of bed manufactured by only one American company called Nature’s Sleep. This type of bed is made of three layers and uses an all-foam model.
This bed has a medium firm field and can be sold in four different variations. For more information read our article explaining what is a ghost bed by clicking the link above.
A bed frame is also known as bedstead. Bed frames can be wooden or metallic. The frame consists of three different parts – the head, foot, and side rails.
Some frames are smaller. Others like queen bed frames or king bed framers are larger. The bed frame also consists of a part known as a support rail located at the center. These rails make up part of an assembly to create a box for the mattress.
In many cases, headboards, footboards, and bed rails do not make up part of a bed frame. These parts are easily stained, painted or covered in a unique fabric to give the entire bed a new look.
The prices of beds vary depending on size. Smaller sized-beds such as Twin beds tend to cost less compared with larger beds such as King size bed.
So, if you have more money and space, you can by an expensive bed. Should you need a bed that costs less, it is also a matter of preference too.