The preference for metal beds started in the early nineteenth century when beds were made from wrought iron or brass and hand crafted to extremely high standards. As the designs became ever more elaborate and detailed with ornate finishes such as brass finials (or bedknobs to you and me) metal beds grew in popularity but at the start of the first world war, mass production took over and the craftsmen who often spent days working on a single bed could no longer compete with factories that could produce higher quantities at cheaper costs.
These traditional iron beds called Oliver are from Feather & Black and have a convincing antique finish. You can get them in either bronze or white with side rails to match. They are beautifully simple children’s beds that will last many years and will have pride of place in your home.
Shops Selling Iron Beds…
Today only a handful of specialist shops sell hand-wrought metal beds, however there are also a few bed sellers who specialise in restoring and selling antique iron beds.
Cheaply manufactured metal beds are made from low grade steel tubing which is easily damaged and the fixings tend to be flimsy. Over time the constant movement causes metal fatigue in the frame and any fixings become very loose or even break. A good quality iron bed will be made from solid sections or thicker gauge tubular steel and will last forever – often fetching good prices on the second-hand market.
Metal framed beds also look spectacularly stunning and are often the centrepiece of the room. They are not recommended for younger children however as they can easily become trapped in the gaps.
The Willow iron bed from The Children’s Furniture Company has gone all Bedknobs and Broomsticks! A lovely traditional iron bed with beautiful ornate finishes that you’ll want to keep in the family so that generations of children can have magical adventures of their own in this fairytale iron bed.
Buying a Metal Bed…
If you are thinking of purchasing a metal bed you need to be aware that the price doesn’t usually include the cost of the mattress and it would be wise to check the measurements of the frame before you buy your mattress to ensure that it is of a standard size, otherwise you’ll have to find a mattress to order which is an expensive process. As a guideline, the size of a standard single mattress is 3ft x 6ft 3 inches or 90cm x 190cm
The Fran metal bedstead from John Lewis is available in pastel pink or classic white and is a cheaper but no less high quality metal children’s bed. A simple yet classical look that is timeless in its design.
The Milano Single Bed from OBC is a modern take on a traditional metal bed. The silver finish and contemporary design looks smart and classy and will fit in superbly with any room decor. Older children especially will appreciate the slight industrial undertones and unfussy structure.
The Pemberley Bedstead from Marks and Spencer has a beautifully detailed and ornate cast steel frame with hand cast mouldings in cream with polished brass bedknobs. The sprung beech slats will ensure excellent support no matter how much the bed is played on and slept in! It’s a bed fit for a princess.
Talking of princesses, this bed could have come straight from one of the popular fairytales – perhaps Alice in Wonderland? The iron bed is made in an antique style from Pumkin Patch and has been distressed for an original, rustic design that is bound to charm your child to sleep! You do have options to change the design from rabbits to lambs, rosettes, stars or airplanes to suit whatever your child is into!
Metal beds are a great investment as they are solid, sturdy and will still look great after many years of usage, after all how many wooden antique beds do you see around? They are also effortlessly stylish and graceful and can often bring the theme of a room together, providing a classical focal point, not to mention a talking point!