Sleigh Bed Pros and Cons – A Definitive Guide

Beds are the focal points of most bedrooms. Choosing a style might be challenging because of the wide variety of bed frame designs available in the market. Sleigh beds are comfortable and decorative bed designs that can make quite a statement in both traditional or contemporary design schemes. In this article, we help you weigh some sleigh bed pros and cons before you go shopping.   

The pros of sleigh beds include the variety in their styles, their sophisticated and elegant appearance, the sturdiness of their high-quality wood designs, and the statement they create in any bedroom. The cons of sleigh beds include the limited under-bed storage, their heavy weight, and the limited legroom for tall people.  

What Is a Sleigh Bed? 

Traditionally, sleigh beds were made of heavy wood with quite exaggerated curves, scrolls, and side rails, which give the bed a bulky appearance. Nowadays, sleigh beds are more modernized and are made of materials such as aluminum, iron, steel, and some models are available with less exaggerated curves in comparison to traditional styles. Read our article about 6 different sleigh bed styles to find the right design that complements the overall look of your bedroom.  

A sleigh bed is a type of bed characterized by a curved or scrolled footboard and headboard that models the silhouette of a sleigh or sled. Some sleigh beds have sideboards or side rails, which cover up the mattress and/or the box spring. 

When thinking about sleigh bed pros and cons, one advantage is that sleigh beds look ornate, classical, and bring a feeling of grandeur to the bedroomA traditional sleigh bed with a scrolled headboard and footboard. Image from Amazon.

Sleigh Bed Pros – Are Sleigh Beds Good?

Let’s get into some sleigh bed pros and cons. Typically, because of their elaborate designs, some people consider sleigh beds as bulky and heavy pieces of furniture that only fit in large rooms. However—contrary to popular belief—sleigh beds can be both practical and stylish, especially in limited spaces because they can hide storage space underneath the bed and provide additional space in a small apartment. Read our article on how to use sleigh beds in a small apartment to learn about easy space-saving hacks.

A sleigh bed is a good addition to a bedroom because it comes in many styles, adds sophistication and elegance to a room, feels cozy, is sturdy, and acts as a focal piece in the bedroom. 

Lattice based sleigh bed designs make a bedroom look interesting and uniqueA lattice sleigh bed adds interest and texture to a bedroom. Image Source: Amazon.

Sleigh Beds Come in Many Styles

Sleigh beds are available in different styles and colors and can be made of different materials to complement the style of your bedroom, ranging from traditional to contemporary styles. They are most commonly made out of wood, but can also be upholstered or made of metal. 

Traditional sleigh beds have ornate designs carved into the wood which adds warmth and elegance to the room. More modern styles have subtle curved headboards, and footboards in various heights. Contemporary sleigh bed options include lattice sleigh beds, upholstered sleigh beds, storage sleigh beds, and minimalistic sleigh beds—all of which are elegant and refined.

Lattice sleigh beds aren’t as bulky as regular sleigh beds that are made of wood. They feature a foot and headboard with grid designs that give the bed a unique appearance. Take a look at this one

Upholstered sleigh beds are cushioned and wrapped in fabric such as leather, linen, or velvet to keep you cozy and relaxed in bed. Designers have reinterpreted the classic look of a sleigh bed to create more sleek and minimalist sleigh beds. This stylish contemporary sleigh bed from Amazon has a timeless design, which can elevate the look of any room. The listing states that it’s a platform bed but you can clearly see some of the sleigh bed elements. Some models feature slimmer heads and footboards or a footboard in an upside-down position like this one.

Some sleigh beds come with built-in storage space so that they fit inside small apartments with limited storage. Storage sleigh beds with drawers or spacious ottoman sleigh beds are practical and stylish. You can read more about storage sleigh bed varieties in our article which will help you choose the right type of sleigh bed for your space. 

Examples of the various materials and styles of sleigh beds.

Sleigh Bed Style Materials Product Price
Traditional Wooden Sleigh Bed Solid wood and engineered wood Roundhill Furniture Renova Platform, Queen, Vintage Black ~$600
Farmhouse-style Sleigh bed Metal frame with metal casting details Hillsdale Queen Metal Bed ~$200
Upholstered Sleigh Bed Wood and metal frame covered with cotton linen upholstery fabric Modern Upholstered Queen Size Size Bed Frame, Nailhead Trim ~$800
Nordic-style Sleigh Bed Steel frame with wood slats and wooden trim Zinus Brianne Metal and Wood Sleigh Bed, Twin ~$300
Storage Sleigh Bed Pine wood Donco Kids Sleigh Bed with Dual Underbed Drawers, Full, White ~$400

You may also find interest in our related article explaining how to turn a sleigh bed into a couch. Make sure to check that out too.

Sleigh Beds Add Sophistication and Elegance to a Bedroom

Sleigh beds break the monotonous and dull appearance of an ordinary bedroom and add elegance and style with their curved and sophisticated foot and headboards. Some models feature intricate carvings and details, which give the bed a regal appearance. More contemporary models have sleek designs that are covered in upholstery fabric, which add a sophisticated touch and elegance to the bedroom like this gorgeous button-tufted upholstered sleigh bed from Amazon. 

Cons of Upholstered sleigh beds are that they are heavy. Pros of these beds are that they’re comfortable and beautiful. A velvet finish upholstered sleigh bed adds opulence and luxurious warmth to the bedroom. Image Source: Amazon.

Sleigh Beds Feel Cozy

Sleigh beds are a comfortable and decorative bed design for a master, guest, or child’s bedroom. They add a dramatic touch to the room because of their curved and striking silhouette. In fact, the elevated footboard keeps you cozy and ensures your feet stay warm in the tucked-in sheets at night. However, the footboard could make tall sleepers feel restricted and uncomfortable, as it would limit their legroom. 

Traditional wooden sleigh beds bring a touch of coziness, hospitality, and warmth to the room due to their rustic materials. Upholstered sleigh beds also add lovely softness and comfort over the headboard and footboard of the bed to create a snug sleep environment.  This article from Florida State University discusses the characteristics of upholstery fabric and investigates its durability and wear, which is important to consider when buying an upholstered sleigh bed. 

Solid Wood Sleigh Beds are Sturdy

Traditional sleigh beds are incredibly sturdy as they are typically made of high-quality solid wood, which makes the bed frame durable. Nowadays, sleigh beds are made of engineered wood, which offers a shorter lifespan. This article from the Journal of Materials and Design entitled, “Materials selection for sustainable product design: a case study of wood-based furniture eco-design,” discusses how engineered wood is integrated into the furniture design process and how its use reduces environmental impact. 

Although solid wood sleigh beds can be twice as expensive as those made of engineered wood or metal, they offer enhanced durability and are worth the investment. This solid wood sleigh bed is extremely durable because it is made from solid wood.   

Sleigh Beds Act as a Focal Piece in the Bedroom

Unlike a regular bed, a sleigh bed can create a focal point in a bedroom because of its distinctive shape and luxurious appearance. Sleigh beds tend to be bigger than other bed frames because of their substantial footboards and headboards. 

You can alter a sleigh bed to match your room decor and create an instant focal point by painting it a different color, adding luxurious bedding, integrating fabric detailing, or adding a bed canopy. Read our article on sleigh bed decorating ideas to learn more about different decorating ideas to make a statement.  

One sleigh bed pro is that they can look impressive like this leather sleigh bed Sleigh beds that are covered in leather stand out and add an impressive aesthetic to the bedroom. Image Source: Furniturestop.co.uk.

Sleigh Bed Cons and Disadvantages

Despite the sleek appearance and the elevated headboard and footboard, a sleigh bed isn’t without its drawbacks. A sleigh bed is a grand piece of furniture, which can take a lot of space in a room. Traditional sleigh beds have less storage space than other bed types and are made of high-quality wood, which makes them hard to move. Furthermore, the elevated foot base would be a disadvantage for tall people as it would limit their legroom.

A sleigh bed is disadvantageous because it has limited under-bed storage space, is heavy to move, and is not suitable for tall people.

Below we discuss three of the most evident sleigh bed disadvantages and offer a couple of solutions to help you make the right choice.

Limited Under Bed Storage 

Bed rails are part of the design of the sleigh bed and can be exaggerated or understated. They make the sleigh bed sturdy and attractive. However, storage space is decreased to make space for the sleigh-like side panels. 

Sleigh beds stand on four feet, and some may feature a gap big enough to store very small or flat items under the bed. The limited under-bed storage is a significant issue in the case of small bedrooms. Furthermore, an open under-bed area leads to the accumulation of dust and dirt and keeps the items visible, which creates clutter in the bedroom. 

If that’s an issue for you, consider getting a storage sleigh bed that features drawers in the lower part of the bed frame like this one, to keep your items neatly stored. You can also purchase lift-up storage sleigh beds that make use of the entire bed base to provide maximum space-saving potential. Read our lift-up storage sleigh beds guide for more ideas about different types of lift-up storage sleigh beds. 

Heavy to Move

Sleigh beds are quite heavy and difficult to move because of the high-quality wood or heavy metal they’re made of. If that’s an issue for you, then consider the upholstered variants because they are lighter in comparison to traditional wooden sleigh beds. Read our article on moving platform beds to learn how to move a heavy bed. 

Not Suitable for Tall People

While most sleigh beds feature solid construction and are sturdy enough for heavy people, they are not always suitable for tall individuals. The elevated footboard can keep you warm at night by shielding the foot of the bed from cold draughts. However, that same feature would be a disadvantage for tall people as it would limit their legroom and make them feel cramped in bed. If that’s an issue for you, choose low-foot-end sleigh beds like this one to keep you comfortable throughout the night. Our sleigh bed dimensions article explains the different sizes of sleigh beds and recommends a California King sleigh bed for taller people. 

Summary of Sleigh Bed Pros and Cons

Sleigh beds have various styles to choose from to meet everyone’s tastes. They add charm and glamor to many design schemes, from minimalist to classical. They are sturdy due to their construction materials and design and act as a focal piece in a room. 

On the other hand, traditional sleigh beds have limited under-bed storage and are very heavy and difficult to move. Not to mention that sleigh beds with footboards may not be the best option for tall people. 

Below is a summary of sleigh beds’ pros and cons:

Sleigh Bed Pros Sleigh Bed Cons
Sleigh beds come in elegant styles ranging from high-quality wood designs to upholstered versions with a more streamlined silhouette. Traditional sleigh beds have limited under-bed storage to make space for sleigh-like side panels. 
They feature elegant scrolled foot and headboards, which make a statement in either a traditional or contemporary design scheme.  They are made of heavy wood or metal, which makes them heavy and difficult to move.
  Sleigh beds with a footboard can be uncomfortable for tall people because the footboard reduces their legroom. 

You might also be interested in 5 methods to turn a sleigh bed into a bench once you’re done with it. Take a look at our related article to find out.

Are Sleigh Beds Feminine?

Sleigh beds come in many different colors, materials, and styles to meet everyone’s tastes and preferences. Newer sleigh bed styles include woven wicker sleigh beds, lattice design sleigh beds, upholstered sleigh beds, wrought iron sleigh beds, minimalistic Nordic sleigh beds, storage sleigh beds, and modern upside-down sleigh beds. Wooden sleigh beds are beautiful and add a bit of masculinity to the bedroom. Upholstered sleigh beds are another popular choice, and these will feel a bit more feminine. We discuss more sleigh bed styles in our article so that you can find the design that fits your space and style. 

Traditional sleigh beds are feminine in design because they are characterized by feminine curves at the head and footboard. However, they are robust and heavy in structure, which makes them fit equally well in master bedrooms, guestrooms, and kids’ rooms regardless of people’s gender.  Modern sleigh beds incorporate sleeker straight headboards and footboards into the design so that they are gender-neutral, and fit into more decor styles. 

The bedding you choose for your sleigh bed will also determine the overall look of your room. Specific bedding types like monochrome comforters for instance are adaptable to a variety of themes, which work for both feminine and masculine styles. Read our article on different comforters ideas to decorate your sleigh bed to emphasize its beautiful curving silhouette.

Are Sleigh Beds Comfortable?

Sleigh beds come in both tall and short versions to meet seniors’ and childrens’ requirements. The best height is the one that is easiest for the sleeper to get into and out of, without straining or struggling. Read our sleigh bed height guide to choose the right sleigh bed height for your needs. 

Sleigh beds are comfortable because they come in different heights, have a platform to support the mattress, bring a touch of coziness and warmth, and have a gently curving headboard for sitting up in bed to read. 

Most sleigh beds have a platform or slats to support the mattress properly without the need for a box spring. The foundation support boards or the slats ensure that the mattress fits snugly on a sleigh bed and its weight is evenly distributed across the board. Ensure that the slats are not spaced more than 2-inches apart to provide adequate support to the mattress. If the slats are further apart then you might need a box spring for your sleigh bed, and we recommend reading our article on using a box spring with a sleigh bed

A sleigh bed can be more comfortable for sitting up to read in bed than other types of bed frames because of its upholstered fabric and curved shape. It would be wonderful to snuggle into this fully upholstered sleigh bed from Amazon, with a warm drink and a good book. 

Sleigh beds are not out of style since there are so many version of them The softly curved headboard and footboard of this upholstered sleigh bed really shine in a minimalist or industrial-style bedroom. Image Source: Wantmattress.com.

Why Should You Invest in a Sleigh Bed? Are Sleigh Beds Out of Style?

While some people consider sleigh beds as out of style, this is way far from reality. Sleigh beds are still in style. Modern designs with short footboards and storage space can be used to style a bedroom and provide added utility. Traditional sleigh bed styles provide a more opulent look and tend to be bought to match the rustic bedroom decor. 

You should invest in a sleigh bed because it is affordable, comes in different styles, and is durable. Buying a sleigh bed is a good investment when you match its versatility with its strength. 

If you are still unsure why you should consider investing your well-earned money in a sleigh bed, here are three reasons that make sleigh beds ideal for all types of bedrooms. 

Large side rails on sleigh beds reduce under bed storage so this is a disadvantage of sleigh beds The exaggerated curves on this sleigh bed make it a timeless statement piece. Image Source: theodysseyonline.com.

Reason 1. You Can Choose How Much To Spend On a Sleigh Bed

Sleigh beds are available in a variety of price ranges, so you can purchase a suitable sleigh bed even on a budget.

Ornate sleigh beds made with solid wood and upholstered sleigh beds tend to be expensive. They cost between $200 and $2000 depending on their size, material, and sturdiness. 

If you are looking for a budget-friendly sleigh bed, consider getting a Nordic-style sleigh bed or a wrought iron sleigh bed for $300 like this one. You can also save some money by purchasing used or refurbished sleigh beds in local thrift furniture stores.  

Reason 2. You Can Choose Different Styles To Match Different Bedroom Decor

Another reason to consider investing in a sleigh bed is that they are available in various styles. Different sleigh bed styles include traditional sleigh beds, British colonial sleigh beds, upholstered sleigh beds, storage sleigh beds, wrought iron sleigh beds, and minimalist low foot end sleigh beds. We discuss different sleigh bed styles in our guide on sleigh bed sizes and styles.

A sleigh bed is a classic design that can work equally well in either a traditional or contemporary design scheme. Choose a classic sleigh bed with beautiful curves and sophisticated details to bring a mood of serenity and elegance to a room. If you want to take luxury to the next level, choose an upholstered sleigh bed with opulent fabric that fits perfectly in modern bedrooms. 

Another modern style of the sleigh bed is the storage sleigh bed, which features pull-out drawers like this one from Amazon. If you are looking for something unique, elegant, and ultra-modern, choose a sleigh bed with a low footboard or a footboard that curves downwards like this one

Reason 3. Durable Sleigh Beds Are a Good Long-Term Investment 

A sleigh bed is designed to be timeless because of its robust and heavy structure balanced by ornate curves. The scrolled design for the bed gives a show-stopping focal point in either a traditional or contemporary bedroom.  

Traditional wooden sleigh beds are durable and can hold a lot of weight because they are made of high-quality wood. Metal sleigh beds constructed with steel are also long-lasting and can stand up to heavy weight and movement. They don’t deteriorate over time, compared to wood or other materials. Read our articles on how to replace sleigh bed rails and how to replace a sleigh bed footboard to learn how to restore an old sleigh bed that requires an upgrade, simply maintain your current sleigh bed.