Putting It All Together

As you have seen there are a number of reproduction bed styles and original antique beds to choose from. Your bed will be a made up of a combination of a bedstead, mattress, box spring or platform, pillows and perhaps a bed skirt or hangings. In the end everything needs to work together. That's why I make each bed to order to your specifications.

Mattress Height

My standard height to the top of the mattress is 29" which is a bit higher than most modern beds but not so high you need steps to get into it. It's about the height of a kitchen table. You may want your bed higher or lower which is fine, just let me know.

Today mattresses come in wide variety of thickness' from about 8" up to 18". I make your bed to work with the mattress you're going to use. If you don't know your mattress and box spring thickness or will be purchasing them later that's fine. You can place your order now but I will need the thickness dimension before I begin building your bed.

Mattress Support or Foundation

Open this sheet for diagrams of the first three options.

Box Spring or Bunkie Board: If you like the comfort of modern mattresses and style of antique beds one can use either a box spring or bunkie board. I supply the bed irons, screws and cross-braces when needed. Unless you are using our wide rail option the box spring will hang below the rail and require a skirt.

European Slats: Wood slats placed across the bed eliminate the need for a box spring and a skirt as well as maintain the open look underneath the bed

Undersize Beds: Using European slats the bed can be made "undersize". This makes the outside edge of the mattress flush with outside of the side rails allowing the coverlet to hang straight on the sides.

Rope Spring: If you are a purist use the original rope spring. I supply manila rope and a straining wrench for tightening. This method is used primarily by museums and historic restorations.

Sacking Bottom: An 18th and 19th century alternative to rope. This is canvass laced to pegs on the rails.


You probably know the size mattress you want but if not, here is a chart of standard and special mattress sizes. If you are looking for a custom mattress to fit an antique bed use this search on Google.


The standard headboard varies in height depending on the size of the bed. Standard headboard heights are twin 14", full & queen 16" and king 18". If you use a number of pillows or sit up in bed to read you may want a higher headboard. Let me know your requirements. If you haven't seen them yet here are the standard headboard styles.

Bed Skirt

If you are using a box spring and any bed rail except wide rail #4 you will need a bed skirt to conceal the spring. Modern bed skirts tuck in between the mattress and box spring hang down over the bed rail. This works if the bedstead is a metal frame or has a modern thin rail. I recommend hanging the skirt from the bottom of the bed rail on a rod or with self-adhesive velcro. This allows the rail to show and provides a better appearance to the skirt. Here is the sheet that shows these options.

Bed Hangings

If you are doing a full set of traditional bed hangings (curtains) or just a net canopy let me know. I'll give you the dimensions you need to get started and will construct the tester frame to meet your needs. I have a blacksmith that makes forged iron hardware for traditional hangings. For a net canopy you'll need a six piece tester frame rather than the standard four piece frame otherwise the net will sag in the center.

If you have questions feel free to call or email.

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