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What Is An Upholstered Bed?

What exactly is an upholstered bed? Find out more as we answer all your questions in the latest Bed Guru blog post.

18th May, 2018
by Carl Walsh

For a long time, the fashion for upholstered beds waned a little. Minimalist metal and wood framed beds took centre stage. As good looking as some blonde Scandinavian pine design may be, or a classic wrought iron frame with some serious swirls, nothing really compares to the warmth and sheer plush luxury of an upholstered bed.

What does ‘upholstered’ actually mean?

Put simply, it’s any bed frame (including the foot and headboards) that incorporates materials such as velvet, faux leather or suede, or other materials other than wood. The upholstery is usually overlaid on top of additional padding. That means headboards are softer to the touch and more comfortable – perfect if you enjoy sitting up and reading in bed.

They’re often finished with decorative flourishes such as button studding or embroidery, to give them that luxurious feel. Taking inspiration from a wide range of interior design styles, you can choose from traditional designs that would look perfect in an older house, to contemporary styles that have that statement, wow-factor impact.

Upholstered beds also include extra padding on the frame. If you choose an Ottoman or divan style bed then you’ll find the sides are upholstered to give the frame a more pleasing look.

Modern feel bedroom

What styles are on offer?

With so many different designs to choose from, it can be confusing picking out one that will suit your décor. Here are a few things to think about when choosing an upholstered bed:

Existing style

Are you going for a contemporary or a traditional look? There is no point putting a classic red velvet buttoned headboard with a modern bed frame in a minimalist room. Get your designs to complement one another, rather than clashing.

Are you planning on changing your room? – If you’re one of those people who regularly hits the DIY stores for the latest buttercup yellow paint or candy-stripe wallpaper, then choose a relatively neutral style that will look good even if you decide to do a dramatic bedroom makeover.

Snuggly Scandi

Upholstered beds come in a fabulous range of styles, including wonderfully snuggly sled beds that are just begging for faux fur throws and piles of cushions. Add in some soft lighting, a gorgeously upholstered body and top-and-tail curved ends, and you have the ultimate sled bed.

Ottomans and Divans

Struggling for a bit of extra storage space but want that classic upholstered look as well? Take a look at the choice of Ottomans on offer that tick all the right boxes. Divans have additional drawer spaces underneath the mattress, but the clean rigid lines can be softened by adding upholstered footboards or headboards for a sophisticated look.

Bedroom with dark colours


Using buttons and stitching to create a panelled look on the headboard or sides, this design lends itself particularly well to ultra-modern styles and contemporary chic. Pick a neutral colour such as slate grey or powder blue and you have a real statement piece that’s the focus of any bedroom.

Faux leather

Real leather is a serious luxury, which inevitably means it comes with a serious price tag, too. However, you can still achieve that ultra-sophisticated look with faux leather or suede. The beauty of it is that (apart from being a fraction of the cost of real leather or suede), it’s easy to look after. For faux leather, all you need is a wipe over occasionally with a damp cloth, and fake suede will benefit from a light brushing to bring the nap back up.

They may have been out in the cold for a while, but there’s no doubt that upholstered beds are very much back in fashion. Why not take a look at our collection and see for yourself the possibilities on offer?

Bed Guru beds

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