The Joy of Collecting Antique Beds

From the 1600s until the mid-1800s, antique beds were richly draped with tall post and were found in almost every American home that could afford beds. Even where beds that were low post were used, they were usually enclosed by curtains that were hanging from a cord that was attached to the ceiling with rings and hooks.

Parlour had the bed

The parlour in a house usually doubled as a bedroom in early America and the need for curtains and privacy lasted until the revolutionary period when second-story chamber rooms became the rooms commonly used for sleeping.

Part of the bed

Beds during these periods were first used in parlours and were obviously displayed and it was vital that they were a favourably reflection of the economic status of the family living in that house. The actual word “bed” was the mattress; the wooden bedsteads whether low-post or tall-post was referred to as the vintage bed frame. The hangings which usually included a canopy cloth or tester to cover the top of the frame; a head cloth hung up against the wall to ensure the head was insulated well from the cold; foot curtains and head curtains were able to be pulled all around the bed to enclose the entire bed; a valances and coverlet; and bases or dust ruffles were known as furniture.

Expert upholsterer

The owners of the home would often get an expert upholsterer to make up their beds, but only if needed; most of the time, they would make their own hangings. Since the hangings needed 50 to 60 yards of fabric, they were the most expensive and valued part of the bed.

Furniture for children

Furniture was made for children in America from the very earliest days of the colonies. While there were tables, chests, stools made as miniature version of adult furniture, most of the small scale bedroom furnishings were aimed to suit the needs of children.


Early cradles were made of wood and wicker and were among the very first piece of furniture made in American. Very early cradles were wood and were simple –mostly a box that was and fixed with rockers on the bottom. Such sections normally had footboards, high headboards and frequently had a hood to help guard the baby from drifty air; later examples were elevated off the floor on to swinging frames.

Antique shops

There are some antique shops that have only sell the iron frames of antique beds. Nothing has been done to the frame until you buy it. Then the store refurnishes the bed frame as you want it. All of these antique iron frames are made in American and were created between the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Every frame stays in the inventory unrestored until it is purchased. Once you buy it, the store restore and refinish the frame to suit your own personal tastes and needs.

Iron bed frames

You can also buy antique iron beds and refinish it yourself which is some of the fun in collecting real antiques and displaying them in your home. Nothing is nicer than a complete home with all the furniture being antiques. This is what draws everyone to collecting of antiques.