Sleigh Beds: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

Sleigh beds are a popular type of bed frame that can enhance the look of a bedroom. They come in various styles, including wood, upholstered, wrought iron, tufted, and storage beds. Sleigh beds work well with different types of mattresses, depending on the support system of the frame. Other bed frame options include platform beds, trundle beds, and panel beds. 

When you’re shopping for new bedroom furniture, choosing a bed frame is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Ultimately, the type of bed you choose will depend on your situation and preferences, as well as on the type of mattress you own.

Sleigh beds are a fairly popular type of bed frame that can upgrade the look and feel of your bedroom. If you’ve heard the term sleigh bed but aren’t sure what it is and whether it’s right for your situation, read on to find out more about this unique bed frame style and who would benefit from using it.

What is a sleigh bed, and who should use one?

A sleigh bed is a traditional style bed that has a curved headboard and footboard to make it resemble a sleigh. Because they’re fairly large, sleigh beds usually act as the centerpiece for a contemporary bedroom.

Since they tend to take up a lot of space, sleigh beds are best suited for a large primary bedroom or guest room. You might be able to find more low-profile sleigh bed designs, however, a typical sleigh bed with a bulky headboard and footboard would work best as a focal point of a larger sleeping space.

Sleigh beds come in a variety of sizes, ranging from twin beds all the way up to a California king.

Sleigh bed styles and design inspiration

Sleigh beds come in a variety of styles to fit any bedroom decor. They add interesting visual elements to the room and often come in bedroom sets that include a matching dresser and/or nightstands to help create a cohesive interior design look in your bedroom.

Here are some of the common sleigh bed styles you’ll see on the market today:

Wood sleigh beds

Wooden sleigh beds are the most traditional sleigh bed style and are guaranteed to elevate the feel of your bedroom. Depending on the style, a wooden sleigh bed can give your bedroom either a classic or a rustic look.

You can find sleigh beds made entirely from solid wood or a mix of both metal and wood elements. You can also find them in a variety of stains, ranging from light to dark wood.

Wooden sleigh beds can easily be matched with other bedroom accessories such as nightstands and dressers.

Upholstered sleigh beds

Upholstered sleigh beds are increasingly popular, especially amongst younger audiences. They’re more contemporary looking and are a great way to introduce both texture and color to your bedroom.

These sleigh beds have upholstery on the headboards and at the foot of the bed, providing extra comfort for you to lean against if you like to read a book or watch television in bed.

Keep in mind that upholstery can be a little tricky to clean—but if you’ve set your eyes on this contemporary bed frame, the extra maintenance is well worth it for the elevated bedroom look.

Wrought iron sleigh beds

Wrought iron sleigh bed frames are another type of sleigh bed that can add a unique focal point to your bedroom. They differ from most sleigh beds in that their curved headboard and footboard often include intricate castings. They can also feature antique brass accents and other embellishments, creating an elegant, light, and airy feel.

These metal bed frames are also usually more lightweight than other sleigh beds, which might be a bonus if you’re a renter who moves frequently.

Tufted sleigh beds

Tufted sleigh beds are fairly similar to upholstered sleigh beds, but they have an additional design element: a tufted headboard that adds additional style and texture to the bed frame.

Tufted sleigh beds are especially great for a sleeper who wants a comfortable back to lean against when reading or watching television.

Tufted sleigh beds are easy to find in a variety of colors and sizes, so you should have no trouble finding one to match your current bedroom design.

Storage sleigh beds

Storage sleigh beds, as the name suggests, are a kind of sleigh bed that includes storage space—usually in the form of drawers—underneath the mattress. These can easily replace a nightstand or a dresser, so they can be a great option for those whose bedrooms are on the smaller side.

Storage sleigh beds are both beautiful and practical, making them ideal for people who don’t want to sacrifice space for style.

Though queen and king sleigh beds still take up a lot of bedroom space, the built-in storage somewhat compensates for that. In other words, if you’ve set your eyes on a sleigh bed but don’t have a big enough bedroom, a storage sleigh bed could be perfect for you.

What type of mattress works best with sleigh beds?

Sleigh beds can work with just about any type of mattress. However, you should pay close attention to the support system on your specific sleigh bed frame because some may need a box spring or foundation, while others won’t.

If your sleigh bed frame has slats or a platform for mattress support, that means it doesn’t need a box spring. In that case, it’s best paired with a

memory foam mattress
loom and leaf memory foam mattress
Loom and Leaf

Our ultra-premium 5-lb memory foam mattress for a body-hugging feel


latex foam mattress
zenhaven latex mattress

Our dual-sided organic natural latex mattress for buoyant, pressure-relieving comfort

since they don’t need the additional support from a box spring.

If your sleigh bed doesn’t have a built-in support system and requires a box spring, it’s best paired with an

innerspring mattress
saatva classic innerspring mattress
Saatva Classic

America’s best-selling online luxury innerspring


hybrid mattress
saatva latex hybrid mattress
Latex Hybrid

Our hand-tufted, organic natural latex hybrid innerspring for buoyant, cooling comfort

, both of which work best with the support of a box spring.

Sleigh beds are a fantastic option if they fit your design preferences, but they’re definitely not for everyone. If you have a smaller bedroom or don’t want your bed to be such a focal point, there are tons of other options on the market.

Some other popular bed frame types include:

  • Platform beds: This versatile type of bed frame is lightweight and doesn’t need a box spring since it supports your mattress with slats.
  • Trundle beds: This bed frame type has one key benefit: It has an additional mattress stored underneath. This is great for children’s rooms or if you need extra sleeping space in your guest room. While they’re commonly twin-size, you can also find king- and queen-size trundle bed frames.
  • Panel beds: These bed frames are made to support both a mattress and mattress foundation (box spring). They often have rails on the sides for additional support as well as a headboard and footboard. You can find these in both minimalist styles and more eye-catching designs.

Ultimately, the type of bed frame you choose should fit well in your bedroom, match your design preferences, and provide adequate support for your mattress. For more information on what type of mattress is best for different types of bed frames, read our article on bed frame styles.

Transform your bedroom with these Saatva bed frames

Santorini Bed Frame

A platform bed, with a lower profile, sleek lines, and graceful legs. Featuring plush padded edges that lend a rich look and a fully upholstered back. Available in taupe and graphite vintage velvet.

Minori Bed Frame

An understated bed frame, with a lower profile headboard and gently tapered wings. Featuring a nailhead trim and fully upholstered back. Available in natural linen and taupe and graphite vintage velvet.

Marbella Bed Frame

A laid-back bed frame, with deep tufts accented with buttons in a diamond pattern. Optional side panels can be added for a dramatic look. Available in natural linen and taupe and graphite vintage velvet.

Upgrade your bedroom with new mattresses and accessories from Saatva

Sleigh beds are a great way to upgrade your bedroom aesthetic with a mix of contemporary and traditional design elements.

Once you’ve found your ideal bed frame, go ahead and browse Saatva’s wide range of high-quality mattresses, bed sheets, pillows, and other bedroom accessories to further elevate your sleeping experience.

Need more help finding the perfect mattress for your sleeping style? Take our online mattress quiz to find your ideal match.

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