So why were iron beds so high off the ground? The old beds and even their wooden counterparts were elevated higher than what we’re use to today because of cold drafts that were close to the ground. The higher a bed could be constructed from the ground, the closer to the warmer air that collected at the ceiling it would be.
One of the perks a high bed frame has today is the storage space underneath it. I’ve had many of my customers build rolling drawer, that have casters attached under them so they can pull out and allow tons of storage that is easily accessible. The storage space under any metal bed will rival, if not beat the storage a good sized dresser has. Thus actually eliminating the need for a dresser in a small bedroom that has little space for other than just a bed.
Sometimes the height of today’s box springs and pillow top mattresses require some adjusting to get use to . Consider the facts………the side rail of an antique iron bed is approx. 13″ off the ground.That is the level at which your box spring is going to set. A conventional box spring will be approx. 8″, sometimes more. A regular mattress will be about 9 to 10″ in thickness and a pillow top could be as much as 15″ in thickness. So you can easily be looking at 36″ or more in height to the top of the mattress. Solution……Yes……There is a rather simple one. It’s called a “bunkie board” or in some parts of the country a “low profile box spring or hard foundation”. They can be gotten from any mattress store. The lower the better. The ones we get here on the west coats are only 2″ thick. They effectively eliminate the need for a box spring and also lower the mattress by at least 6″. Making your bed a much easier bed to get in to.
Although the original reasons metal beds elevated their occupants off the ground at such a height were to get them away from drafts and rodents. Antique iron beds offer something other reproduction beds don’t…..charm, character and romance.