What are the parts of a bed?

by | Mar 18, 2021 | Furniture | 0 comments

Whether you sleep in a luxurious bed with over 1000 count sheets or in a sleeping bag on the floor, you have a bed. The type of bed you have probably depends on the culture, your design style and your salary.

What are the parts of a bed?Look in the gallery

That bed type you have does not matter. Beds are made to sleep, not to impress. That is why we have marked the parts of a bed in a practical way. So you can get straight to the facts before focusing on personal style.

Bed history

bed with plants and canopyLook in the gallery
Photo by Coffey & Co. House of Interiors

Even in our own lifetime, we have probably seen the way beds have changed. Just imagine how much beds must have changed in the thousands or even millions of years they have existed. Because beds have been around for as long as humans have.

The first beds were probably grass beds. The people who build these will lay ashes and certain plants that repel insects and keep them safe. It took thousands of years for humans to build raised beds.

When they did, they were either made of stone or wood. This protected the bed itself and kept snakes and other creepy crawlers away. Since then, beds have evolved a lot, and today there are dozens of different types of beds to choose from.

Parts of a bed frame

built in bunk beds
Picture from ULFBUILT

The bed frame is the main part of the bed. That’s what makes the bed the type of bed it is. But there are many parts to a bed frame. Not all bed frames have all of these parts, though many of them do.

  • Hovedgavelam – this is a vertical grid or a set of slats attached to the back of the bed. This is usually the base for the headboard. For example, if you Putting horizontal slats first, the bed frame gives nothing to attach to.
  • Headboard Top rail – the top rail goes on top of the main gift list, which sits vertically. It is the top of the headboard while the slat is the bottom that goes up. You only need these two pieces for a headboard.
  • Headboard cross rail – if you want stability, use a headboard. It supports the headboard from the bottom and attaches to the bed. While the slat is attached directly to the bed, the cross rail is attached to both.
  • Bed rail – side rails support the bed in the longitudinal direction. They also allow, among other things, storage under the bed. They go long distances and are placed at the top of the bottom of the mattress.
  • Bottom side rail – the lower side rail is placed at the bottom of the bed. There is usually not much space between the lower side rail and the floor. This rail is parallel to the other rail, it is simply lower.
  • Foot plate slats – the slats of the footplate are like the slats of the headboard. In most cases, the footboard sits lower than the headboard so you can see which is the head and which is the foot of the bed.
  • Leg – this requires some explanation. The legs can extend down from the headboard and the footplate on the sides. Without them, your bed would be sitting on the ground, which is a type of bed we will talk about later.
  • Clamp – this is the bottom of the bed. Often this is a built-in boxspring, so there are two features. To make the bed more comfortable and act as the bottom of the bed and the frame.
    Foot plate top rail
  • Cut slats slats can be considered as part of the clamp. They are slats that lie over the bed in the same way that the top rail does. You can only add a few or more to get optimal mattress.
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Mattress parts and materials

mattress on bedframeLook in the gallery

What is actually more important than mattress parts are mattress materials. Because mattresses are similar. They are upholstered so that one can sleep comfortably. You can use a mattress without a bed frame, but not the other way around.

  • HD or PU foam – this is a foam layer that usually forms the bottom layer of the mattress. It can also be used in padding eggshells and other cushioning and comes in both HD – high density – and PU – polyurethane foam.
  • Double foam quilt – this is a layer of the mattress that is quilted and provides cushioning and comfort.
  • Memory Foam – memory foam is a relatively new material that has been used primarily for the last twenty years. It sinks when you touch it but will jump up again after a few minutes of being away from it.
  • Polyester padding – upholstery goes in the middle of the mattress and provides the most cushioning.
  • Springs – the springs make the mattress bouncing. Not all mattresses have springs, as those that are pure memory foam often do not need them. But traditional mattresses always have springs.
  • Cotton felt this is a material that separates the spool system from the padded layers in the bed.

Bed extensions

tropical canopy bedLook in the gallery
Image from dararosenfelddesign

There are several things you can add to a bed other than a bed frame and a mattress. Many parts of a bed are not original parts.

  • Canopy – a canopy bed is a bed that has a large frame over so that a canopy can hang over. It provides privacy and protection from elements and insects. You can add a canopy frame and canopy to any bed.
  • Post – bed posts protrude from the bed and are an extension of the legs. They are usually built into the bed instead of being added.
  • Storage – if there is enough space, you can add storage space under your bed. If you have more than a few inches, you can build stock. But if you do not, you can add sliding storage that is separate from the bed.
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Types of beds

day bed window bedLook in the gallery
Photo of Miller-Roodell Architects Ltd.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different types of beds. However, not many of them are too distinctive in relation to others, nor do they change the bed frame. Here are some of the most easily distinguished types.


A waterbed is a bed filled with water. They were used for medical purposes in the 1800s and are not nearly as popular now as they were. However, some people still enjoy them and they can be an experience.


Futons does not usually make the best primary beds, but they are good for company and guests. These beds come in many different shapes and sizes and usually rely on a simple frame and a layer of upholstery.

Sofa bed

A sofa bed is a sofa with a bed built into it. You can turn it into a regular sofa during the day and pull out the bed at night. It works a lot like a cot, as it is most often the same material, only with a thin mattress folded into it.


A day bed is a bed with three sides rather than two. It has a headboard, footrest and sideboard. They are made to be placed next to a window or against a wall. They also look pretty good with a canopy.

Murphy bed

A murphy bed is a bed that can be folded up into a wall or closet. They were designed to save space and hide your bed away. You can learn everything there is to know about murphy beds with this guide on murphy beds.


A sleigh bed is simply a type of bed frame rather than just a bed. The footboard, and often the headboard, curves up like a sleigh. It was popular in France in the 19th century and will hopefully return soon.

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Divan bed

While sofa beds vary in style, one thing they all have in common is that they are upholstered. They usually have buttons and are a smooth material. You can upholster most beds in the same way and consider it a sofa bed.

Modern platform bed with lucite legsLook in the gallery

Platform bed

A platform bed is a low-to-the-ground bed often without legs. They are popular in Japan and in minimalist homes and are also great for kids. Find out more about platform beds and why they are so popular here.

Bunk bed

Of course the classic bunk bed. Most people know what a bunk bed is. They are beds designed for children and people living in small rooms with more people than rooms. Do not underestimate a good bunk bed.

Trolley bed

A trundle bed is an older bed style that resembles a regular bed with a drawer. But the drawer pulls out to create another bed. This is a great alternative to a bunk bed if you want to keep both beds low to the ground.

More parts?

hanging chain bedLook in the gallery
Image from Tamara Rosenbloom Design LLC

Now that you know the parts of a bed, it’s easier to tell people what you want in a bed. Do you want a high headboard? Maybe a good amount of cut slats? And of course, do not forget your additions. A canopy can transform any room!

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