When selecting antique iron beds, it’s a good idea to consider the height of the headboard and the interior design on the headboard. Lets say you have big beautiful European square shams. Are they going to hide all the design on the headboard? If so you might want to consider having the headboard on your bed raised to expose more of the design element.
Back in the 1800’s, when iron beds were being made, there were two factors at play which no longer are an issue. One of those was the lack of pillows. I’ve never seen an old photo with lots of pillows propped up against and beds headboard. It just wasn’t fashionable like today. Pillows were always laid flat, so as not to touch or hide the design of the bed.
The other element that is no longer an issue is the mattress and box spring thickness. In the old days beds had a metal spring unit that was about 5″ thick and clipped on to the side rails. On top of that was a feather mattress, that was never thicker than 7″. That meant there was never more than 12″ above the side rails.
The rule of thumb on iron beds today, is to use 2″ x 4″ bed slats and then set your 8″ box spring on top of that and then the mattress on top of the box spring. Mattresses today can range from a low of 10″ to a 15″ pillow top. That combination alone can start covering up the headboard on your bed. Add multiple layers of pillows to that mix and you’ve hidden the better part of your bed.
We raise the headboard on nearly 50% of all the beds we sell. It’s a simple procedure any welder can do for you. The side tubes are cut right above the hitch, this is the cast iron attachment the side rails go in to on the head and footboard. Whatever amount you want your headboard raise can be added by welding an appropriate length of tubing into these side poles, at this position. It won’t alter the side rail position or the design on the headboard.
By doing this to your bed, you’re going to be able to appreciate and see more of the design you just paid for.