7 Victorian Bed Frames We Love: Buyer Guide
A Victorian bed frame remains one of the most popular options in many households, especially those looking for a more classic or luxurious style. That said, what qualifies as a Victorian bed, and what should you know before you go shopping? Here’s a deep look at one of the most iconic bed styles.
What Is a Victorian-Style Bed Frame?
A Victorian-style bed is essentially a smaller version of a four-poster bed. Common elements include four (or, more rarely, six) legs that lift the bed comfortably above the ground and elaborate headboards and footboards. Victorian beds come in many colors, with some modern companies offering white and gold alongside the classic brass and iron looks.
Somewhat unusually, a genuine Victorian bed has a footboard that comes up over the edge of the bed. The footboard makes it challenging to let your feet hang off of that end and ensures that entry to the bed is primarily from the sides, never the foot.
The headboard can be of almost any height. While it’s always visible in a Victorian bed, it can be shallow and decorative or rise high enough to hold curtains. Either way, the headboard should always go against the wall. Most people put Victorian beds in the middle of a room to make it accessible from both sides.
Although originally manufactured in what we’d call a full-size bed today, newer options may fit mattresses of any size.
7 Best Victorian Bed Frames
1. The Chantelle Bed by ACME
The ACME Chantelle Bed has intricate details, ornamentation, and rich carvings that are typical of Victorian style furniture. Victorian style beds often feature elaborate carvings, scrolled arms, and cabriole legs.
The rose gold PU and pearl white finish of the ACME Chantelle Bed has some slight similarities to the ornate finishes and colors used in some Victorian style furniture.
If you are looking for a modern take on a traditional Victorian bed then this bed is sure to give you the best of both worlds, with a quality construction that is built to last for years to come.
2. The Cordova Bed Frame by Eluxury
This bed frame by Eluxury has a classic Victorian style and is made with 100% metal border for a solid and sturdy base for your mattress. The bed comes with the matching headboard and footboard set and starts under 0 making it a great value.
If you are looking for a simple yet elegant victorian bed frame for your bedroom then this would be a great pick. Eluxury has been manufacturing bed frames for years and is one of the most trusted brands in the industry today.
3. The Victorian Platform Bed by HIFIT
This Victorian bed frame perfectly weaves in a modern and classic design in order to bring the victorian style into any bedroom. This bed frame has 9.5″ of clearance underneath making it perfect for storage while also having built in bed slats as a platform system that you can put your mattress directly on (no box spring needed). With a low entry level price point this bed frame is a great way to get a modern take on a victorian style in your bedroom for a budget friendly price.
4. The Minori Bed by Saatva
The Minori bed by Saatva is one of our favorite modern bed frames with an ode to the victorian design. The tall headboard combined with the curved top and nailed edging makes this bed a statement piece in any bedroom. This bed can fit well in a victorian themed bedroom or in a modern bedroom and is very versatile. Saatva also offers their beds in a variety of different fabric colors and styles.
5. The Velvet Upholstered Platform Bed by Amerlife
This Amerlife Platform Bed Frame is a luxurious and stylish addition to any bedroom. The bed frame is upholstered in a soft, velvet material and features a deep button tufted and nailhead trim wingback headboard, creating a classic and elegant look. The bed frame is designed without the need for a box spring, making it an economical choice for those looking to upgrade their sleeping space.
The platform design of the bed frame provides stable support for the mattress and distributes weight evenly, ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep. The velvet upholstery is not only visually appealing, but it is also comfortable to the touch and will keep you feeling cozy and warm. The black color is versatile and will complement a variety of decor styles. The bed is also available in a variety of other finishes as well.
With its stylish design, comfortable velvet upholstery, and sturdy platform construction, the Amerlife Platform Bed Frame is the perfect choice for anyone looking to upgrade their sleeping space. The bed frame is easy to assemble, and the queen size design is perfect for those looking for a spacious sleeping surface. The bed frame is also low maintenance and easy to clean, making it an ideal choice for busy individuals who value both style and practicality.
6. The Violette Platform Bed by Modway
The Modway Violette Performance Velvet Tufted Wingback Queen Platform Bed is a stylish and comfortable addition to any bedroom. The bed is finished in a beautiful sea blue color, which will add a pop of color to any decor. The velvet upholstery is not only visually appealing, but it is also comfortable to the touch, making it the perfect place to rest your head after a long day.
The bed features a wingback design with tufted details, creating a classic and elegant look. The platform design of the bed eliminates the need for a box spring, making it a practical choice for those looking to upgrade their sleeping space. The sturdy construction of the bed provides stable support for the mattress and distributes weight evenly, ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep.
The Modway Violette Performance Velvet Tufted Wingback Queen Platform Bed is easy to assemble and is designed to last. The bed is low maintenance and easy to clean, making it the ideal choice for busy individuals who value both style and practicality. The queen size design is perfect for those looking for a spacious sleeping surface, and the bed is suitable for any bedroom, from a master suite to a guest room.
7. The Vintage Victorian Bed by Nachtimoor
This bed frame has a vintage Victorian style design, with a headboard and footboard that feature intricate details and elegant curves. The antique bronze brown finish adds a touch of timeless sophistication to the bed, making it a great choice for those looking to add a vintage flair to their sleeping space.
The bed frame is designed as a platform, eliminating the need for a box spring. This makes it a practical choice for those looking to upgrade their sleeping space, as it saves on the cost of a box spring.
The bed frame also features under bed storage, providing additional space to store bedding, clothing, or other items. This is a great feature for those who are looking for extra storage options in their bedroom. The bed is easy to assemble and is designed to last, making it a practical choice for busy individuals who value both style and functionality.
Things To Consider When Buying a Victorian Bed
The main things to consider when buying a Victorian bed are the size, base, color, height, and weight. These are especially relevant if you want to buy an antique bed, as they followed different construction guidelines than we do today. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
Victorian beds are available in a range of sizes. New frames match the standard mattress sizes (twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king), although not every frame is available in every size.
Antique mattresses have a different setup. These beds rely on the spring sizes used for old mattresses, and the springs themselves took up three inches each. Accordingly, you can find bets with sizes like 4’ 6”, 4’ 9”, and so on. The only way to be sure of the size is to measure it, so make sure you do that before you buy.
Many antique beds are on the small side, as people felt at the time that everyone should have a separate bed to sleep in. You can still find larger options, but these are rare.
If you get an antique Victorian bed, you probably won’t find an off-the-shelf base and mattress to go with it. You’ll need to custom-order your mattress. The good news is that most good mattress places can make unusual sizes on request, and you can probably get a color that matches the bed itself.
Victorian beds generally require a base, as placing a mattress directly on their slats won’t work. Originally, they used coiled spring bases, but you can cut memory foam to size for modern mattresses and use that instead.
A few older Italian designs only need a base that’s about three inches deep. Your supplier can probably suggest an ideal base to use with the frame. If they don’t sell it directly, they may know companies that can help.
Victorian beds are available in a wide range of colors. Although classic beds are usually cast iron or brass, you can look for beds with porcelain or other materials and finishes to get exactly the look you want. The same holds with the headboard and footboard, which usually stay with the mattress and match the rest of its appearance.
Fancier Victorian beds may come in brighter colors like turquoise. They can have unique designs or accents, and rare pieces may have family crests or other distinctive and unique markings.
Victorian beds are elevated off the floor, leaving a distinct gap between the bottom of the bed and the start of the mattress. We’ll discuss why a little later, but it’s worth knowing there will always be space.
On top of that, the headboard and the footboard can have varying heights. While some are low, specific designs can include poles that reach up to your ceiling. Headboards are typically taller than footboards, with most of their design visible even when you have pillows on the bed.
Height isn’t an issue for most rooms, but Victorian beds may be awkward or inconvenient in rooms with slanted ceilings or limited space.
Most Victorian beds are relatively light, at least to the point a single person can drag them around a room and clean up the area. This doesn’t include the weight of the mattress, but most adults can maneuver the bed even without taking the mattress off.
Weight is not a factor when buying Victorian beds, as their metal frames are considerably lighter than bulkier wooden beds. However, like all beds, there is a weight limit on how much they can hold. Antique beds may not have this listed, but modern beds usually have a specific weight capacity.
Don’t forget about the weight of the mattress when checking to be sure your bed is strong enough. If you’re anywhere near the limit, for any reason, consider finding a tougher bed just to be sure.
What are Victorian Beds Called?
Most Victorian beds are called just that and don’t have any specific names to distinguish them further. However, you may occasionally run across a bed in this style that carries the name of a particularly interesting manufacturer or style, such as the wooden Eastlake style.
What Were Victorian Beds Like?
Victorian beds were part of an overall room design, so to understand them, we need to understand their context.
The first thing to note is that many Victorian bedrooms had personal fireplaces. This is different from earlier rooms (which emphasized blankets) and later rooms (which had radiators and electric heaters). Keeping the decorative frames simple and open makes it easy for the heat to reach the bed, while the tall curtains near the head could help catch and keep the warm air.
One important thing to remember is that many people didn’t have truly central heating at the time. Rather, they had poor insulation and heated each room separately, so keeping the air in the right spot was important.
Most people had a single bed of their own, although couples might sometimes snuggle in together. Each side of the bed would usually have a matching table, where owners might put lamps, glasses, books, or similar items. Many of these have been split up, so finding a pair together can be difficult.
Typical rooms for a Victorian bed will also have a dressing table with a matching chair, and a wardrobe placed opposite the bed. People with enough room would add a privacy screen, giving them a place to dress. Incidentally, few people would ever see back there, so it was also a good place for clutter.
Wallpapers in the Victorian style are mainly floral, usually with colors from yellow to blue. Floors tend to be wooden, rather than carpet, which aids the ability to pull the beds around and clean the area.
Victorian bedrooms are primarily personal spaces used for sleeping and changing. For nearly anything else, people would go to another room in the house, so the rooms don’t need to be too large.
This, then, is the context with which we can understand the style and appeal of Victorian beds. They were warm enough to enjoy a fireplace from, light enough to move around, and clean enough to support the user’s health, all without totally sacrificing the ability to have a unique and pleasant design.
Why Were Victorian Beds So High?
Victorian beds were high for several reasons, but the most important was to help avoid cold drafts near the floor. Older homes didn’t have good insulation, and science figured out a long time ago that hot air rises. Building a bed higher away from the ground meant it would be in the warmer air at night.
Being so high offered several other advantages. Taller beds had room to store chamber pots beneath them at a time when indoor toilets weren’t available. Staying out of sight was more polite, even if people wouldn’t be entering the bedroom in the first place.
Beyond that, the height of Victorian beds made it easier to reach under them with a broom and clean out the area. Cleanliness was quite important, as the Victorians faced threats like typhoid and tuberculosis. Tall metal beds were much easier to keep clean than low wooden beds that might attract vermin, and disease with said vermin.
Heat, storage, and cleanliness are all main factors, but there’s also the second factor of social status. Taller beds usually meant more wealth, especially because of the warmth issue, and only the poorest people would sleep any closer to the floor than necessary. This was a driving force for people to get taller beds whenever possible.
What Were Beds Made of in the Victorian Era?
The Victorians saw a transition from wooden bed frames to metal ones, with cast iron and brass as the most popular options. Among other things, metal bed frames weren’t flammable when the Victorians had fireplaces in every room.
The main reason for the change is health. Metal is more sanitary than wood, and brass particularly so. Most versions of copper, including brass (an alloy of copper and zinc), are inherently antimicrobial, capable of killing bacteria as long as they’re cleaned regularly.
Other Bed Frame Options
Victorian bed frames are a classic and practical style, but they’re not the only option on the market. Beds are a big choice and it’s worth considering all of your options before you go shopping. Here are some other frame designs to consider.
Canopy frames are similar to Victorian beds, featuring four high posts that reach close to the ceiling. While some people leave the posts alone, others attach curtains and other decorations to transform the bed into a more private and comfortable area.
Canopy beds are some of the most elaborate options available, especially if you get creative with the curtains and decorations. Some families buy these for younger children, especially girls, as they can provide a ‘princess’ sort of feel.
Day beds switch between couch and bed. These are one of the most space-effective options, allowing furniture to serve a dual role and enable entirely new room resigns. Day beds are also great options if you don’t have the space for both a couch and a guest bed.
However, most daybeds are small, and they tend to be heavier than some of the other options. They weigh more than Victorian beds, which are deliberately lightweight.
Divan frames have one or more drawers that go into the frame. The drawers can be difficult to see while closed, but offer excellent utility in almost any bedroom environment. Many people store sheets or blankets in these drawers, but sometimes people use them for books, toys, food, or anything else that strikes them as interesting.
Divan frames tend to be a little taller than most other bedframes, but they’re not quite as tall as Victorian beds can be. Look for beds with drawers on just one side if you plan to put a Divan frame against the wall, or you’ll end up wasting a lot of space.
Victorian beds are known for being tall, but loft beds take this line of thought to the logical conclusion and place the bed as high as possible. Lofts can be exceptionally tall frames that can fit desks or other items underneath, but some are literal platforms that anchor to the wall far above the floor instead.
Lofts are especially effective when you have more vertical than horizontal space because they take up almost no room themselves, giving plenty of storage beneath.
The main downside to lofts is that most of them are only available in twin, twin XL, and full sizes. It may be hard to find them for a queen or king-size bed, which makes them a tougher buy for adult couples.
Ottoman frames feature a hydraulic system that lifts the entire mattress, letting you use the space beneath for storage. This is the second-highest amount of storage available with any bed (only beaten out by loft frames), and they’re especially helpful for seniors who don’t have the strength to lift the bed on their own.
Ottomans are effective, but parts can break. If that happens, you’re unable to use the storage area until someone can fix it for you. Unlike divan frames, though, Ottomans let you access storage even in rooms that aren’t big enough to pull drawers out.
Platform frames are among the simplest of all bed designs. These have four legs that stand a few inches off the ground and usually at least one cross-bar to support a base that goes below the mattress. Fancier platform frames may have extended sections on the bottom to help the bed look like it’s floating.
Platform beds are space-efficient, but often stay closer to the ground than other bedroom styles. If you want to store things under your bed, this may not be the best choice of frames.
Sleigh frames look similar to traditional bed styles, but feature a slight curve along the headboard and the footboard that gives it a rounded look instead of the straighter design you see in many other styles.
Sleigh frames are usually wooden and heavy, set much lower to the ground than a Victorian bed. Modern variations may have cloth designs instead, with the base serving as more of a footrest than a wall.
Trundle beds are similar to platform frames, but they’re a little taller because they hold at least one more mattress that rolls out. Trundles are a popular choice in rental units where people may need varying numbers of beds, or in homes that want to maximize open floor space during the day.
Trundles occasionally cross over with other bed designs like bunk beds. However, as they usually only have a mattress and no real base beneath them, some people find trundles uncomfortable for long-term use. They’re better as guest options instead of permanent beds.
Victorian bed frames are often tall enough to fit a trundle, but you’ll need to measure things to be sure.
A modern invention, the TV frame is exactly what it sounds like. These beds have a standard mounting bracket at the base (normally a VESA pattern), letting you attach a flatscreen television and enjoy TV shows or movies from up close.
Technically, almost any frame can be a TV frame if you’re sufficiently creative about mounting it. However, these are specialty beds designed to support televisions from the start and may be more attractive for people with mobility challenges or other special needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other common questions that people have about Victorian bed frames.
Why did Victorian beds have curtains?
Victorian beds had curtains for several reasons. On the practical level, they’re a good way to keep warmth in buildings with poor insulation, ensuring that any bed is as comfortable as possible. Victorians often slept separately, so adults didn’t even have partners.
Curtains can also provide some level of privacy for beds placed in public areas, like a parlor room. Many Victorians had private bedrooms, but some didn’t have the space for that.
On a less obvious level, curtains were one way to display wealth. If you could afford fancier curtains and a better bed, visitors might think more highly of you. Beds were one of the primary pieces of furniture in Victorian times, especially because they didn’t have competing things like televisions.
When did the Victorians go to bed?
Victorians often went to bed as early as 7 PM, around when the sun set. They didn’t have easy access to lighting once the sun set, so it was either go to sleep or spend a lot of money to keep things lit past dark. Most people opted to go to bed early and enjoy their comfortable beds for as long as possible.
Why were beds so small in the 1800s?
Beds weren’t as small as you might think, and they were rarely shorter than those we use today. However, there are several social pressures that ultimately affect bedroom design.
Across the 1800s, rapid urbanization happened thanks to the Industrial Revolution moving into full swing. Houses at the time were compact and built in rows, often with small rooms dedicated to specific purposes. One of these purposes was, of course, sleeping.
At the same time, Christianity was heavily affecting the culture at the time, particularly with the Evangelical views. These teachings felt that having friends or strangers sleep together was inappropriate, even though many cultures had long allowed this. Indeed, by the end of the 1800s, many felt using bedrooms for anything except sleeping and changing was wrong.
Following the social pressures, more homes were built to accommodate the single-person arrangement, and we often see the same thing even in modern society. Even spouses would sleep separately, and they would often take advice from published guides.
The result of all these social pressures is that beds were large enough to sleep comfortably in, but not to share, and they fit in rooms of the right size. Modern beds are often places to sit and watch television or work on the computer, and rooms trend larger to accommodate this.
Beds move in and out of style, but a Victorian bed frame has a timeless and elegant style that can work in almost any bedroom. As a buyer, the most important things to remember are the differences between antique and modern frames. Couples should look for modern designs, while single sleepers are more likely to enjoy an antique frame.