Are Sleigh Beds Outdated? (Find Out Now!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf
Interior view of Bedroom

Your bed is the focal point of your bedroom. There are all sorts of complementary pieces to be sure. Nightstands, dressers, vanities, and a million other different things can be put into your room to play a complementary role. But the bed is the king.

Sleigh-style beds are a popular stylistic option. Sleigh beds have a sort of timeless style to them, which means they fit in any era. Because of their versatility, they are considered to be very much still in style. They come in a huge array of colors, sizes, and styles. That makes it easier to find the right style to fit your design motif, creating a seamless implementation.

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What are Sleigh Style Beds?

Made popular way back in 19th century America and France, it is a bed made of heavy wood and usually fits a more rustic aesthetic. It has a curved headboard and foot that curves away from the mattress. It is called a sleigh bed because it looks quite similar to a sled or sleigh.

Traditional sleigh beds tend to have designs carved throughout the wood. During the initial creation of sleigh beds, the carvings were meant to add a touch of charm to the overall design. More modern sleigh beds are a bit sleeker and tend to have an upholstery fabric covering them.

For earlier sleigh bed designs, the curves would be either inward or outward. But in modern designs, the outward curve is more preferable. They are constructed of aluminum, leather, steel, iron, or wood and can have upholstery on them as well.

Are Sleigh Beds Out of Style?

Sleigh beds are still very much in style. The main reason is that they are versatile. With the different material and color choices, it is easy to accommodate your sleigh bed to your current design aesthetic seamlessly.

Though it tends to favor rustic designs, sleigh beds can also fit in with a more modern appearance. Because of their versatility, sleigh beds stand a good chance of never fully going out of style. There will always be at least a niche group that enjoys them.

How Can You Make a Sleigh Bed More Modern?

The one complaint about sleigh beds is that they have a very traditional look to them. If you don’t have a rustic or traditional design aesthetic there is a chance that your sleigh bed can look a little out of place with more modern touches.

The good news is that you can use a few different tips to give your sleigh bed a modern feel. Remember that it really is a quite versatile bed choice. With these changes, your sleigh bed will fit in seamlessly with your modern design aesthetic.

Paint it a New Color

There are few things in this world that a fresh coat of paint can’t change. When you want to change the style of your sleigh bed, the quickest and cheapest way to do so is with a paint color change. When you are choosing a new color, consider your current color scheme for the room.

You can opt to paint your sleigh bed a single color or go with two separate colors to better compliment the design of the room. If you really want to get creative, drawings are possible on your sleigh bed. Just make sure that you have the right paint for the job. You want something that looks good but is durable enough to stand the test of time as well.

Change the Design or Style

Did you know that you can transform the head or footboard of your sleigh bed? All it takes is a little upholstery work to make it look totally different. Start by covering each surface with upholstery foam. From there, add a batting layer to give it a tufted or pillow look.

You can then place your fabric of choice over the batting on each side of the bed. The good thing here is that there are a ton of different fabric options to choose from. When you change the look with upholstery, you can give the bed a modern aesthetic that fits in with a modern design. That’s not even mentioning the level of sophistication that can be achieved with an upholstered look.

Change Up the Bedding

The curves are what make sleigh beds so unique. So, the last thing that you want to do is hide the curves under bulky or ill-fitting bedding. Try to stay clear of floor-length bedding. If you have a duvet cover or quilt, make sure that it goes no more than a few inches over the side.

For sleigh beds that have ornate or intricate carvings and level of detail, minimize the bedding. Go with something simple that is pale-colored to create a look of elegance. For more contemporary designs, then go with bolder colors and patterns for your linen.

Throw pillows also make for a great decorative touch. You can swap those out with a long pillow placed along the footboard, too. With just a few subtle, easy changes, you can make your sleigh bed feel modern in no time.

Add Wood or Metal

No matter what material your sleigh bed is constructed of, consider what a few simple additions can do. Adding metal or wood can give it a unique character that other beds just can’t match. It is important, however, that these be subtle accents that don’t overpower the aesthetic.

For tufted headboards, it can be as simple as adding something like a crystal button. By adding little touches of metal or wood, you can provide a visual pop without making it the dominant trait. It can add a layer of versatility to the bed as well.

Adding Lights

Though we more commonly know sleigh beds as being constructed of wood, there are also wrought iron sleigh beds out there. They have rails as opposed to a big slab of wood, giving the bed a slimmer, less-heavy aesthetic.

If you want to get really creative with the look of a wrought iron sleigh bed, implement some string lights. It can provide a whimsical, almost fairy-like appearance to the bed. Not only does that provide more light to the room, but it can make the bed itself appear lighter and more fanciful. Just be careful; overdoing it can give the bed a more child-like look. It takes some touch to find the right amount of lights.

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Storage Sleigh Beds are In

If there is ever a question about whether sleigh beds are in style, just consider those that have built-in storage underneath. You can easily find sleigh beds that have drawers built-in on the underside of the bed.

Not only can you provide a modern appeal to your sleigh bed, but you can also maximize your storage space along the way. It is the best of both worlds when it comes to creating a modern aesthetic while maximizing storage space.

You can get truly creative with a sleigh bed due to all of the options. Combining stylistic features and putting them to subtle use can give you a truly creative-looking sleigh bed. It all comes down to personal choice and design aesthetic (and budget, which always comes into play).

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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