Why would an bed designer, design a bed with a bowed or curved footboard? Many people feel it’s just something to set one manufacturer apart for another. Something to make straight line beds a little different from the rest.
But there actually is a practical reason for “bowed footboard” iron beds.
Both of the reasons are quite practical in nature. Traditional straight line beds have a mattress the usually either touch or comes close to touching the inside of the footboard. When that happens you encounter two definite inconveniences . The first is that of making the bed with sheets an bed covers. There’s little room to get your hand down between the footboard of the bed and the mattress. People are constantly complaining about skinning their knuckles when making their iron beds. The other issue is a more personal one. Most people like beautiful antique iron beds, but….many people don’t like the confined feel of a bed frame and being tight against the mattress footboard. Especially those people who like to sleep with their feet draped over the end of the mattress. If your bed has no room between the end of the mattress and the footboard, this personal habit of sleeping with your feet hanging over the end of the mattress, isn’t going to work.
Do you now see the advantage of the “bowed footboard” ?
As you’ve probably read in previous blogs of mine, manufacturers were constantly trying to come up with new designs for their own bed selection to set themselves apart from the rest of the beds that were on the market.
The “bowed footboard” model enabled people to sleep with their feet over the end of the mattress without having to worry about their feet hitting the footboard. They could also hang quilts over the footboard and make the bed without nicking their knuckles.
Modern reproductions of the “bowed footboard” actually lost the practical reasoning for it. They started making their beds with “wrap around” footboard which would come up along the side of the mattress instead of out away from the end of it. The “wrap around” design completely defeats the whole reason the “bowed footboard” was designed.
But then reproduction companies have always made the mistake of trying to redesign what were already beautifully designed beds. Instead of simply making exact replicas……..they felt they knew better than those 200 year old designs and injected their own modern concepts into what they thought would be improvements. Unfortunately what modern day man has seen as being improvements on antique’s have simply move the beautiful design and practical applications farther from the reason they were originally developed in the first place and also farther away from the charm that is inherent in an original old antique.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
I also invite you to take a look at the multiple “Before & After” photo’s on our company Facebook at