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Blog Lux Comfort

What is a Sleigh Bed: A Comprehensive Guide

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 6 min read.
What is a Sleigh Bed: A Comprehensive Guide

The sleigh bed, with its signature curves and elegant design, evokes the charm and sophistication of bygone eras. Reminiscent of a sleigh, this bed frame features a scrolled headboard and footboard, creating a cozy, enveloping feel.

This guide uncovers the sleigh bed’s allure, offering insights into selecting the perfect mattress and incorporating modern conveniences like adjustable bed frames.

What is a Sleigh Bed?

A sleigh bed is a distinctive style of bed characterized by a curved or scrolled foot and headboards, resembling the shape of a horse-drawn sleigh. Traditionally crafted from solid wood and richly finished, sleigh beds are a symbol of elegance and comfort in bedroom furniture. Their unique design, dating back to the Empire Period in the early 19th century, is inspired by classical Roman and Greek art, reflecting luxury and status.

Historical Significance

  • Origin: The sleigh bed’s origins can be traced back to France and America during the Empire Period, a time when classical art influenced furniture designs.
  • Evolution: Over the years, sleigh beds have evolved from their classic, heavy designs to include more streamlined, modern versions suitable for contemporary interiors.

Design Features

  • Curved Headboard and Footboard: The hallmark of sleigh beds, these elements are both aesthetic and functional, creating a cozy, enveloping feel.
  • Robust Frame: Sleigh beds are known for their sturdy construction, often made of solid wood to support the bed’s weight and ensure longevity.
  • Versatile Styles: From the rich, dark woods of traditional designs to lighter woods and even upholstered versions, sleigh beds can fit a wide range of bedroom decors.

What Does a Sleigh Bed Look Like?

The visual appeal of sleigh beds lies in their elegant curves and sophisticated silhouette. These beds make a statement in any bedroom, offering a blend of comfort and style that is both timeless and inviting.

Classic vs. Modern Designs

  • Classic Sleigh Beds: Feature ornate carvings, detailed panels, and are usually made from dark woods like mahogany or cherry.
  • Modern Sleigh Beds: Tend to have simpler lines, with less pronounced curves and are often made from a variety of materials including metal, lighter woods, or upholstered in fabric or leather.

Decorative Elements

  • Wood Finishes: Traditional sleigh beds may showcase intricate wood grain patterns, with finishes that highlight the natural beauty of the wood.
  • Upholstery: Modern versions might include padded, upholstered headboards and footboards in luxurious fabrics or leather, adding texture and color to the design.
  • Metal Accents: Some sleigh beds incorporate metal elements, such as wrought iron scrollwork or decorative metal frames, adding a contemporary touch to the classic shape.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

Best Mattress for Sleigh Bed

Choosing the best mattress for a sleigh bed involves considering both the design of the bed and the comfort preferences of the sleeper. The unique structure of sleigh beds, with their curved headboards and footboards, lends itself to certain types of mattresses that complement the bed’s aesthetics while providing optimal support and comfort.

Mattress Types and Considerations

  • Memory Foam: Offers excellent support and contouring to the body, making it a good choice for the solid structure of sleigh beds. Its motion isolation properties also make it ideal for partners sharing the bed.
  • Hybrid: Combines the support of innerspring coils with the comfort of foam or latex layers on top. The hybrid mattress is versatile, providing a balance of support and cushioning that works well with the sturdy frame of a sleigh bed.
  • Latex: Known for its durability and eco-friendly properties, latex mattresses offer a firmer support level, which can be a good match for the solid foundation that sleigh beds provide.

Factors to Consider

  • Height: The mattress height can affect the overall look of the sleigh bed. A mattress that is too high might obscure the beautiful details of the headboard and footboard, while one that is too low might not provide the visual impact desired.
  • Support: Look for a mattress that offers enough support to complement the sleigh bed’s structure, especially if the bed does not have a box spring.
  • Comfort: Beyond aesthetics, the primary function of a mattress is to provide a comfortable sleeping surface. Consider your preferred sleeping position and any specific needs, such as pressure relief or cooling features.

Pairing your sleigh bed with a Puffy Lux Mattress not only ensures a stylish look but also guarantees a restful sleep experience. The mattress’s design works seamlessly with the sleigh bed’s aesthetics, making your bedroom a haven of comfort and elegance.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Will an Adjustable Bed Fit in a Sleigh Bed Frame?

Integrating modern sleeping technology with classic furniture design, many wonder if an adjustable bed can fit within a sleigh bed frame. The good news is, with some preparation and the right adjustable base, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Compatibility and Considerations

  • Frame Size and Design: Check the internal dimensions of your sleigh bed frame to ensure the adjustable base will fit. Some sleigh beds may have a design that accommodates an adjustable base easily, while others might require modifications.
  • Slats vs. Solid Foundation: Many sleigh beds come with slats to support a mattress. For an adjustable base, you might need to remove these slats and ensure the bed frame can support the base’s weight and movement.
  • Height: Adjustable bases come in various heights. Choose one that allows the mattress to sit at a comfortable height relative to the sleigh bed’s headboard and footboard.

Making Adjustments

  • Professional Advice: Before making any modifications to your sleigh bed frame to fit an adjustable base, it’s wise to consult with a furniture expert or the bed manufacturer. This ensures that any changes won’t compromise the bed’s structure or aesthetics.
  • Custom Solutions: Some adjustable bed manufacturers offer bases designed to fit within existing bed frames, including sleigh beds. Look for “zero-clearance” or “platform bed” compatible models that can operate without a traditional foundation.

Integrating an adjustable base with your sleigh bed, especially when topped with a Puffy Lux Mattress, elevates your sleeping experience. This combination offers both timeless design and modern comfort, adapting to your lifestyle and sleep preferences.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


Sleigh beds stand out for their historical charm and distinctive aesthetics. Whether you’re drawn to the classic wood designs or modern upholstered models, choosing the right mattress and considering the integration of an adjustable base can transform your sleigh bed into a centerpiece of comfort and style in your bedroom. With the right approach, a sleigh bed can serve as a timeless addition to your home, blending beautifully with both traditional and contemporary decors.

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