Furniture shopping can be a daunting task—and finding the perfect bed can quite possibly be the most challenging, yet most important. With endless options of style, color, size, materials, comfort levels—the list goes on. Shoppers usually have an idea of a style they may be interested in. In this case, it’s no mystery that our affinity for midcentury modern will be translated through the pieces chosen to fill a home.

Bedrooms are a key place to decompress at the end of a day—and the bed allows you to do this comfortably. You want the comfort and something that complements your enjoyment for MCM (obviously), but what should really be taken into consideration when purchasing a new bed? We had the opportunity to speak with Ben Copeland of Copeland Furniture to gain further insight.

 

Astrid bed cherry Copeland furniture
Astrid bed in Cherry. Photo courtesy of Copeland Furniture.

Consider the Materials

When purchasing a bed, it is important to assess the materials used for construction—this is an area where some manufacturers cut corners for cost-saving measures. Midcentury modern furniture is known for its high quality and craftsmanship. Plus, sturdy pieces will provide greater longevity for normal wear and everyday use. Copeland notes that it is extremely important for buyers to ask detailed and probing questions throughout the process, as he once “encountered deconstructed ‘wood’ beds that [were] actually made of rolled up newspaper impregnated with resin!” Staying informed and one-step ahead will allow buyers to be proactive.
catalina bed walnut by Copeland Furniture
Catalina bed in walnut. Photo courtesy of Copeland Furniture.

Proportions, Proportions, Proportions!

Copeland makes it clear that proportions are one of the top points to consider when purchasing a midcentury bed, especially when visiting large showrooms. Manufacturers know that “normal-sized” beds can look tiny in a large space, which can hurt sales. Copeland mentions, “Some of the more mainstream manufacturers actually guard against this loss of sales by deliberately designing beds that are impractically large for most homes.” In fact, homes in the 50s and 60s were built with smaller rooms and proportions than those today. When looking at a piece of furniture in your home, one rule-of-thumb emphasized by Copeland is that the top of the headboard should not be much higher than half the ceiling height.

 

moduluxe bed with clapboard headboard box by Copeland Furniture
Moduluxe bed with clapboard headboard. Photo courtesy of Copeland Furniture.

The Mattress

One of the main features of midcentury modern beds is their low-profile look and platform design. Since this is the case, box springs are often-times not appropriate and mattresses should generally be thin. Big and bulky mattresses can disrupt the design and proportions, which will stray from the overall look.
contour bed with nightstand in walnut by Copeland Furniture
Contour bed with left shelf nightstand in walnut. Photo courtesy of Copeland Furniture.

Your Personal Design + Style Preferences

Of course, choosing a midcentury bed wouldn’t be complete without a bit of personal flair. While modern designs are relatively simple and meant to serve a specific purpose, it is still necessary to consider individual preferences. Copeland suggests that the most popular wood for midcentury furniture is American black walnut, which should not be confused with English or European walnut (these have a grayer tone). Historically speaking, teak was popular, but the plantation-grown teak of today isn’t as favorable—American black cherry is a preferable alternative.

Like anything, all beds are different and all styles are different. Copeland recommends that customers “…don’t merely react to a design as you perceive it in the store but try to visualize it in your space to the absolute best of your ability.”

According to Copeland, the Astrid is their best seller—other popular choices include Catalina and Contour. Check them out!