Antique beds are so short because of these 2 popular reasons : Antique beds were shorter because people were shorter, or Antique beds were short because people slept sitting up.
In today’s article, we will explore both answers and expand on the topic.
Beds were shorter back then because people were shorter
Everyone knows that antique beds are shorter than modern beds. But why? A possible explanation is that people used to be shorter. This makes sense, considering that the average height of an adult male in Medieval Europe was only about 5’4” and the average height of an adult male today is about 5’9”.
So a bed that seems too small for us would have been just right for someone from the past. Antique beds are usually made of wood, and they often have beautiful carvings on them. They can be quite ornate, and sometimes even have a canopy over the top.
The medieval period spans from the 5th to the 15th century – a time when Europe was plagued by war, poverty, and disease.
Beds were short because people slept sitting up
Another popular reason why antique beds were short was because people slept sitting up. And they did so because for health reasons that this was safer. Sleeping flat out could lead to evil spirits entering your body.
They also slept sitting up so that they would be able to have their weapons ready to fight anytime of an intruder.
Some antique beds are tall
It is common for historic houses to surprise visitors when a tour guide measures an antique bed and finds it is as long or longer than a 75″ double bed.
Colonial Williamsburg curators analyzed the antique beds that were found in the exhibition areas in 1981 and revealed that each bed was equal to or more than 6’3″.
There are some as long as 80″. Make sure to measure your antique bed, then see if it’s shorter or longer than today’s.
Why do we think that the beds are shorter than they used to be? The reason is that they look shorter than they should be.
In comparison with their counterparts, beds appear shorter thanks to high bed posts, fabric hangings, canopy, and plouffe mattresses.
These beds are frequently found in rooms with super high ceilings and big windows, so they seem small in a big room.
Why were 18th century beds so short?
In the 1800s, men had an average height of 5’7” and women had an approximate height of 5.22”. Therefore, the beds should also be smaller.
Other reasons for making these beds are that many of them were constructed prior to the development of mattresses. In the past, beds were constructed of wooden frames with a straw-filled mattress over them.
Why are antique beds so high off the floor?
They were elevated higher than they are today because cold drafts were close to the ground. The higher a bed can be built from the ground, the closer it is to the warmer air that collects at the ceiling.
Did Vikings sleep sitting up
The most common materials used for bedding were straws and animal skin. According to historians, the Vikings actually slept up with their backs against the wall, since they had limited space on the benches.