Canopy Beds

Custom Canopy Beds

There’s nothing like a king canopy bed to make you feel like royalty at bedtime. Whether you choose a simple modern canopy bed frame left bare without curtains or an elaborate Victorian inspired king bed accented with luxurious drapes, a canopy bed can bring a bit of grandeur to any style of bedroom.

What is the point of a Canopy bed?

A canopy bed is a bed with a canopy, often hung with bed curtains or drapes. Different than any other type of bed frame, a canopy bed and curtains provide:

    • Privacy
    • Warmth and protection from low temperatures and cold drafts
    • A barrier from light and noise
    • Style that reaches all the way back to the 14th century

Canopy beds

While canopy beds may conjure up images of Kings, Queens and royal courts, they are remarkably versatile and can be used with many different bedroom styles. Canopy beds are even growing in popularity for kids’ rooms – princess theme anyone? -and other places where they were not used in the past. In this guide to canopy beds we will do a deep dive into all types of king and queen canopy beds, explore styles, materials and different ways canopy beds can be used.

Lets start at the beginning!

Tester beds: the history of canopy beds

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, hanging canopies, known at the time as Testers, have been used over beds since the 14th century. Canopies were originally hung from the ceiling above a bed to provide privacy and warmth to nobility in drafty castles and royal halls. In the 14th century, large common buildings and great halls where many people slept at the same time could be separated by canopies to provide privacy and warmth.

Later in the 16th and 17th centuries the canopies with curtains began to be built into bed frames and supported by 2 or 4 large posts. These canopy beds kept their users warm and provided privacy from other sleepers and in many cases domestic staff that would come and go from the room during the night. The size and thickness of the canopy curtains and well as the headboard and footboard often were a status symbol.

Canopy Beds became very popular in early American history, not only to keep out noise, cold and light, but as a social status symbol. If you’ve ever taken a trip to historic Colonial Williamsburg, you can see the importance – and style of early American canopy beds.

Types of canopy beds

Today canopy beds are available in a wide range of styles and bed size, from Contemporary and Mid-Century-Modern to classic Arts and Crafts and Victorian era looks. The most popular include:

King size canopy bed

King size canopy beds are all about grandeur, sophistication and perhaps a bit of royalty in the home!

The king size canopy bed frame is based on a Eastern king bed or California king bed and is the largest commonly available size in the marketplace. Larger sizes such as Alaska, Wyoming or Texas king bed sizes are also available, generally by special order for both bed, mattress and bedding!

King canopy beds are large enough to be the focal point of a large bedroom with high ceilings and can support a wide variety of canopy frame styles and many different bed frame designs. While standard canopy bed height is 7FT, the overall proportions of a king canopy bed can easily support a much higher bed if desired.

Queen size canopy bed

Queen canopy beds are based on a queen bed, and are a remarkably versatile addition to a bedroom. Many customers report that a queen bed is the “sweet spot” between the bigger king bed and smaller choices such as a full or double frame. A queen canopy bed is a best seller because it gives the perfect amount of space in the bedroom with the perfect touch of sophistication.

Canopy beds with storage

Storage beds are a great choice if you are looking for added storage capacity in the bedroom. A Canopy bed frame with storage adds drawers and other hidden storage areas within the frame and footboard of the bed. This is perfect for storing out-of-season clothing, blankets and sheets, or any other items that need to be tucked away discreetly.

Canopy beds with a trundle

Trundle beds are a type of bed with an extra mattress frame that fits beneath a regular-sized bed. This space-saving solution is perfect for when guests come over and need additional sleeping capacity. The trundle bed can be pulled out from underneath the primary bed when needed, then pushed back in to save room when not in use. Some trundle beds also have a mechanism that raises the lower mattress to the height of the upper mattress to make one large bed.

Canopy Bed Curtains

Canopy bed curtains are used today for the same reason as the people did in the 16th century – to block light and sound from outside the bed, keep out the cold and provide privacy. Many canopy bed users say that curtains give them a sense of peace, quiet and safety that gives them their own private space to read, rest and fall into a very deep sleep.

While the main purpose of a canopy bed curtains is to provide privacy, they also can add visual interest and style to any bedroom. Canopy beds with curtains are particularly popular in children’s bedrooms. They can be used as a way to make the space feel more fun, while also providing a bit of separation from other parts of the room (and perhaps siblings).

Custom canopy bed curtains can also be used in other rooms, such as guestrooms and master bedrooms. They provide a great focal point for any bedroom.

Bed Canopies do not attract bugs. In tropical climates such as Florida and Alabama people use a canopy beds to hang netting that keep bugs away from sleeping people while still allowing for good air circulation.

Are bed canopies romantic?

Bed canopies have inspired romance in the bedroom since the 14th century! Lightweight or sheer canopy bed curtains bring a romantic, breezy flair to the bedroom. Heavier velvet and tapestry curtains inspire a sumptuous atmosphere. Many other types of material from linen and silk to sheer cotton or even flannel can be used to dress up a canopy bed.

Do canopy beds need curtains?

Canopy beds do not require curtains to look great in your bedroom! A beautiful handmade wood bed frame adds style and grandeur to a bedroom with or without curtains.

A well designed canopy bed will also allow you easily add and change curtain styles over time as trends and weather change. A heavy curtain might be a good fit for chilly winter months, whereas sheer linen or no curtain at all may be better in the spring and summer. Some people in also use their canopy beds to hand bug screens on hot summer nights allowing them to sleep peacefully with their windows open.

Do canopy beds work with low ceilings? 

Most canopy beds are 7FT tall and work surprisingly well in a room with a standard 8FT ceiling. A well designed canopy will become the focal point of a small room, making it feel bigger than it actually is. Another option for a canopy bed low ceiling is a four poster bed that has the same dramatic posts as a canopy bed.

On the other hand, high ceilings can showcase a larger king canopy bed, creating a level of sophistication not found with other options.

Do canopy beds make a room look small?

The right canopy bed can make a small room feel much bigger than it is by defining separate spaces within the room. A well chosen canopy bed will “open up” the room. For example, this queen canopy bed with a low platform thin rails and headboard is a best seller, and often left bare without curtains to maximize the size of the room.

What is the difference between a canopy bed and a poster bed?

Four Poster Beds

A poster bed, also known as a four poster bed, features four columns of wood that extend from each corner of the bed frame toward the ceiling. These four posts can be tall or short, square, tapered or round. The posts are typically all the same height but sometimes are taller on the head side of the bed. At Solid Custom Heirlooms we include poster beds in our canopy bed category because of the similarities in the two types of beds.

four poster bed
four poster bed
four poster bed

Canopy Beds

A canopy bed is different than a poster bed in that the posts connect to a canopy frame at the top. A canopy frame can be made from wood or metal and while typically is a rectangular in shape, can also sometimes be circular. The frame can be left bare or used to support curtains or fabric that drapes down to cover the bed. Canopy beds are often used to create an elegant atmosphere in a bedroom.

Canopy Bed with a square headboard side view
Canopy Bed with storage
full canopy bed

Canopy beds and poster beds are a great choice for both adults and children

Sometimes known as “princess beds,” kid’s canopy beds with bright colors and frilly lace curtains can make anyone feel like Sleeping Beauty and most likely make any little girl’s princess dreams come true.

But not all canopy beds are childish! Modern canopy beds with simple designs and natural wood colors create a elegant and sometimes even romantic feel to a bedroom.

Canopy beds yes or no?

We say yes! Custom canopy beds bring a touch of royalty and a quiet sense of sophistication to any space regardless of what bed size you choose. The ability to add curtains opens your options for style, privacy and functionality.

At Solid Custom Heirlooms we think that handmade wood beds should be accessible to anyone. Whether you want a simple platform bed for your Queen size mattress or a elaborate California King luxury canopy bed, we are here to help. Our goal is to offer a wide variety of options hand made from high quality American hardwood. If you don’t see what you are looking for, or want to talk more about achieving a specific look or type of bed, please contact us and we would love to help you find your dream bed!