One of the most foundational pieces of furniture you’ll place in your home is your bed. It’s likely the first item you ensure is set up and ready to be used when you relocate.
The type of bed you choose is determined largely by a few important factors. We’ll cover those and help you decide whether a wood or upholstered bed best fits your needs.
All About Wooden Beds
Wooden beds are the classics. The first beds that were raised from the floor were crafted by ancient Egyptians and made from wood. As the modern bed has evolved, so have the types of wood with which a bed can be crafted.
Today, you can find bed frames made from oak, maple, mahogany, and also from lighter materials like bamboo and birch.
Wood Bed Pros
Structure, detail, and classic design are the hallmarks of a wood bed.
Here’s what makes them an ideal choice:
- Beauty. There’s not much that compares with the beauty of a wooden bed. Available in numerous different shades and natural finishes that allow you to capture a bit of nature and bring it inside, wood beds are simplistic yet a powerful decorative force.
- Practicality. Wood furniture is very low-maintenance, especially if it is finished in a protective coating. Wood requires dusting and occasional polishing or treatment with a wood-nourishing compound.
Many types of wood can resist scratches, which is ideal for families with small children or pets.
- Timeless. The last thing you want to do is select a bed that needs replacing in two years because it’s just simply outdated. A wooden bed is a timeless piece of furniture that can easily be updated or changed to evolve with your family’s needs or style.
Wood furniture has a classic beauty that can be appreciated for decades, which is why so many pieces of wooden furniture become heirlooms.
- Easily updated. Because wood is so timeless, it’s easy to update your wood bed to fit a current style. It’s also easy to change the color of your bedding or restyle your room with a wooden bed. You won’t experience an issue of mismatched colors, as the natural beauty of wood complements virtually any theme.
- Sturdy and durable. Wood beds last. In fact, it’s more likely you’ll have to replace other pieces of non-wood furniture before you replace your bed.
Wood beds that are antique are still in use today and still maintain the same type of structural soundness as they did when they were first built. In short, a wood bed is a “solid” choice.
Wood Bed Cons
When considering a wooden bed, remember that the headboard will be solid wood. This gives your bed an impressive, structured design, but it might affect your overall comfort.
Here’s what you should know:
- Wood beds are very structured. If you’re going for a softer look, a wood bed may not be able to accommodate the style without an abundance of pillows and softer finishes throughout the room.
- They need some maintenance. If you don’t properly maintain a wood bed, the joints can begin to creak, making it difficult to sleep at night. Proper maintenance may be as easy as replacing old screws or using wood glue to tighten a specific area that is loose.
Address maintenance issues immediately so they remain easy fixes and don’t interfere with the structural integrity of your piece.
- Wooden beds may be uncomfortable for some users. If you’re a late-night reader or an early morning laptop-in-bed person, you might find a wooden bed uncomfortable. A hard headboard doesn’t provide much comfort to your back.
- They can be weighty. Depending on the type of wood your bed is crafted from, it could be extremely heavy and hard to relocate. If you don’t have any plans to rearrange your furniture or move in the near future, that shouldn’t be an issue. If you like to change up your style more frequently, be warned-you’ll probably need a few strong backs.
All About Upholstered Beds
At the opposite end of the bed frame spectrum is the upholstered bed. Upholstered beds are fashion-forward, elegant, and inviting.
Here’s why you might consider one:
- Upholstery is comfortable. Let’s face it; upholstery is the height of comfort. In terms of a bed that won’t keep you up at night, there’s no other choice that will envelop you in cloud-like comfort. Perfect for reading a book or catching up on a few emails in bed, the plush, upholstered headboard is easier on the back than a wooden bed.
- Extremely versatile. Upholstered beds are extremely versatile, and it’s easy to find a bed in virtually any fabric/color combination you want. If you can dream it up, you can likely find it and implement it into the style of your bedroom decor.
- Upholstery softens the look of your room. If you have some serious materials in your room (a glass table, concrete floor, or even industrial hardware), an upholstered bed can soften the look of the room and create a more comfortable space. Using an upholstered bed is an easy way to make your bedroom or guest room more inviting.
- Upholstered beds offer an executive look and style. Many five-star hotels feature upholstered headboards because they have a clean look and polished design, befitting an executive space.
Using an upholstered headboard in your home can give your bedroom a classic elegance that transforms a room from cozy and homey to swank and richly appointed.
- Don’t like interior design? Use an upholstered bed. The headboards of upholstered beds are large enough to fill the space above your bed with enough decor you won’t even need additional art.
Upholstered Bed Cons
You may be overcome by their comfort, but upholstered beds require a bit more upkeep than a wooden bed, which may make it a non-viable option for some.
Consider these notes:
- Upkeep on an upholstered bed requires more attention. Obviously, any time fabric is involved, there’s the risk of stains and spills. Your upholstered bed will likely also be a favorite place to collect pet hair.
If you routinely lean against an upholstered headboard without a pillow, the natural oils in your skin and hair can stain it and require cleaning. You’ll need to vacuum and dust it regularly and spot treat it when needed to make sure it looks like new.
- Pets can destroy upholstery. Your kitten is adorable, and she loves to sharpen her claws on everything she can find… especially your upholstered headboard. If you have an active pet who has access to your room, upholstery might be the best choice.
- Upholstery can be more expensive to update. Depending on the design you choose, you may find that an upholstered headboard becomes outdated quickly. Additionally, choosing bright colors can make it difficult for you to update your room’s style or change the decor.
To avoid these issues, look for classic, simplistic designs in muted earth tones and neutrals that can easily lend themselves to other decorative themes.
- Wear and tear happens. Upholstery will wear it faster than wood, even if you take good care of it. Eventually, you’ll have to either reupholster your bed or buy a new one.
Which One Is Right for You?
Both wood beds and upholstered beds make convincing arguments for the sleep space in your room.
Here’s how to decide the case:
- How much space do you have? If you have a small room, an upholstered bed may not be an option. Generally, the headboard of an upholstered bed is much larger than a standard wood bed. Alternatively, a small wooden bed may be a little too shaker for your tastes or style.
- Do you have time for upkeep? A wooden bed will require less upkeep than an upholstered bed, but if you have a cleaning service, this might not be an issue for you. Wooden beds will still require maintenance, and that may require a professional.
If you’re a DIY expert, you can attempt wooden bed maintenance on your own.
- Which do you love? More often than not, one style appeals to you more than the other. Go with that style and build your room around it, if possible.
When you trust your stylistic instincts, you’ll find you have a better chance of creating a room that beckons you to linger just a little bit longer.
Modloft offers both wooden and upholstered beds that are designed to preserve the integrity of your favorite space. Our pieces are durable, crafted with unexpected accents, and available with matching bedroom furniture to make sure energy flows effortlessly in your space.
Whether you choose wood or upholstery, Modloft makes it easy for you to get a dreamy night of sleep on a bed you’ll absolutely adore.
The History of the Bed, Mattress, and Bedroom - Furniture | The Spruce
How to Fix a Cracked Wooden Bed Frame | Do It Yourself
Updating an Upholstered Headboard | Home Guides.SFGate