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Upholstered vs Wood Bed

This is an in-depth comparison between Upholstered beds and the classic wood beds showcasing their advantage and disadvantages so you can pick your forever bed.

This is a close look at a bedroom with a queen-size wooden bed and matching nightstands.

The bedroom is arguably the most important room in the house. Sure, the kitchen is where everyone comes together, but the bedroom is where you rest your weary bones and become revitalized for the following day.  Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, a cozy haven away from the chaos of the world and adorned with functional beauty and comfort.

This is where the bed comes in. Choosing what type of bed to have can lead to a fair amount of confusion, but we are here to answer the question of whether an upholstered or wood bed is the best option.

Upholstered beds provide a luxurious finish that is soft and comfortable. There is a range of styles, sizes, and designs on the market. Wooden beds are a more solid alternative that has been around for thousands of years.

Although more simplistic, they are also available in a wide range of styles, colors, and designs.

Both upholstered and wood beds have benefits and downsides. Let’s look into what makes an upholstered and a wood bed and the pros and cons of each. Depending on your style, budget, cleaning, and space needs, we know the perfect bed is out there waiting for you.

Related: Types of Beds | Types of Nightstands | Types of Bunk Beds | Pallet Bed Ideas | Bunk vs. Trundle Bed

Upholstered Beds

This is a bedroom with a dark gray upholstered bed.

Long, long ago, upholders, the interior decorators of the time, used hay and wool to cover furniture with padding. Although we take our hats off to their hard work and creativity, we are so thankful for our modern alternatives. Today, we enjoy the comforts of foam and metal springs that give our upholstered headboards a soft and supported feeling while being durable.

What Does It Mean When a Bed is Upholstered?

This is a bedroom with a silky beige upholstered bed.

An upholstered bed is really a bed that is covered by padding and fabric. The fabric helps to soften certain parts of the bed, including the headboard, sideboards, and baseboard.

The fabric used to cover an upholstered bed can be as diverse as your tastes and needs. You can choose between natural and synthetic materials. Some natural fabrics include cotton, wool, silk, leather, linen, and velvet. Synthetic fabrics include rayon, polyester, and the like.

Since upholstered beds come in a wide variety of styles, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking one for your space. It’s a great idea to measure the available space and consider how each style would look within those dimensions.

Wondering what styles of the upholstered bed are available? Here is a list:

  • Wingback upholstered bed
  • Canopy upholstered bed
  • Standard upholstered bed
  • Platform upholstered bed
  • Storage upholstered bed
  • Sleigh upholstered bed
  • Panel upholstered bed

Upholstered Bed Pros and Cons

This is a bedroom that has a green velvet upholstered bed.

Now that you know what is available let’s look at the pros and cons of having an upholstered bed.

The Pros of Upholstered Beds

  1. Upholstered beds are comfortable. With meters of fabric and mountains of foam, comfort is definitely yours with an upholstered bed.
  2. Upholstered beds have versatility of style. Whether you are dreaming of natural, modern tones, bold leopard print and hot pink, or something in between, upholstered beds offer such a wide range of options that you are most likely to find what you are looking for.
  3. Upholstered beds are inviting. All that fabric and softness, mixed with style and luxury, will make you want to flop onto it and stay there for as long as possible.

The Cons of Upholstered Beds

  1. Upholstered beds are a little complicated to clean. While most fabrics used for the upholstery are stain-resistant, you will need to take extra care when resting your head against the headboard. Cleaning involves vacuuming, brushing, using a roller, stain removal and following instructions from the manufacturer to avoid having your bed looking shabby.
  2. Upholstered beds are pet magnets. If you have pets that shed, this may be something to consider when selecting an upholstered bed. Soft headboards seem to be a magnet for furry pets who just love to rub against them, leaving all types of hair, dirt and oils behind.

Upholstered Beds: Last Words

This is a bedroom that has a large gray upholstered bed.

With all the varieties and styles of upholstered beds available, it really is as easy as picking a style and fabric to go with. Having a soft, padded bed and headboard can be highly luxurious and inviting; however, you will need to commit to keeping it clean and in good condition.

Wood Beds

This is a bedroom with a wooden traditional bed.

Wooden beds have been around for literally thousands of years. We have images of wooden beds used as long ago as ancient Egypt! While these sturdy devices were mainly for royalty back then, thankfully, today, we have the benefit of choosing them as our place of comfort and rest.

What is a Wood Bed?

This is a bedroom with a dark wood sleigh bed.

Wood beds are beds made using one of a selection of types of wood. They often incorporate metal in the design and are typically sturdy and long-lasting.

Wood beds are available in a variety of styles. Here is a list of styles for you to choose from:

  • Sleigh wood bed
  • Canopy wood bed
  • Platform wood bed
  • Day wood bed
  • Storage wood bed

Not only can you choose from the different styles, but you can also select the type of wood used to make your bed. The type of wood used will determine not only the look but the durability, texture, and quality of your bed.

Basically, wood beds can either be made with hard or softwood. Hardwood includes woods like teak, maple, walnut, oak, mahogany, birch, Chesham, alder, and ash. For a softwood bed, you will be looking at woods like pine, redwood, spruce, cedar, fir, juniper, and spruce.

Wood Bed Pros and Cons

This is a rustic wooden canopy bed with garlands and swing.

Now that you know a little more about wood beds let’s look at the pros and cons of having one.

The Pros of Wood Beds

  1. Hardwood beds are fire-resistant. This is probably the best reason to invest in a hardwood bed.  
  2. Wood beds allow for style changes. If you like to change up the look of your room from time to time, having a wooden bed frame will give you the flexibility to change as often as you change your bedding. The wood also allows for you to paint it different colors if that is what you would like.
  3. Softwood beds are inexpensive. Softwood beds are made with price in mind. If you are working within a tight budget, a softwood bed will not break the bank.
  4. Wood beds are easy to clean. With a flick of a duster and a quick wipe of a cloth, your wooden bed will be as good as new. Spray a little furniture polish, and you are really rocking.

The Cons of Wood Beds

  1. Wood beds are hard. If you love to read or watch TV in bed, you may find the hard headboard of a wood bed a little unyielding.
  2. Some wood beds are large. If your space is small, you may want to consider a simple wood bed or an upholstered bed instead.
  3. Hardwood beds are heavy. It may be a little challenging to move a heavy wooden bed when the time comes to relocate.

Wood Beds: Last Words

This is a close look at a large wooden platform bed.

Wood beds are like the workhorse of beds. Being solid and durable, investing in one will likely lead to years of use. They are easy to clean and maintain. Consider the type of wood used to make your bed before purchasing it, keeping in mind your style, space, and budget needs.

Upholstered vs Wood Bed: Let’s Sum It Up

We have looked at both upholstered and wood beds and given you some information on both. While both have their good and not-so-great points, the selection you make will come down to knowing what you want. Know your style, your space, and the kind of comfort you want to invest in.

Also, know what commitment you are willing to make to maintain your bed. Once you have made an informed decision, rest easy on your new bed. Sweet dreams!


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