Cathy Grunfeld

Design blogs and magazines love to feature chic beds where the platform base is quite a bit bigger than the mattress, making them look wonderfully architectural and modern. We discovered that the REALITY of these beds is that when we get in or out of them (or on or off), we scrape our shins on the hard edge of platform…unless we remember to stretch our legs way out to miss the edge (too much work for a sleepy person). We’ve added it to our mental file of design whose good looks belie what it’s like to actually use it.

An essential part of our d-i-y design process is trying to imagine using our design, even to the point of play-acting to figure out how our idea will work.  Every time we see one of these beds, we go “Ouch!”

What do you think?

via French by Design

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

12 replies on “design flaw? bigger-than-the-mattress platforms for beds

  1. This bed is not appealing to me as I like a bit more height. The only time I’v seen this type of platform work was when I first met my husband and he made a similar bed and then upholstered the entire thing with carpeting. It was lovely and functional. No bruises!

  2. I think ouch, too. But if the bed frame can support the weight of a person it would be a handy place to sit while putting your shoes on.

  3. My shins and I agree 100%. Plus, I like my beds high so I can store things beneath them.

  4. I recently updated my platform bed’s mattress to match the size of the footprint. Previously,the mattress was undersized.

    What I find myself missing is the built in bedside table that extra bit of ledge poking out offered. It was the perfect place for my book, ear plugs, chapstick, and my glasses. Everything was at my fingertips. Now I have to lean way over to reach my bedside table, often stretching the covers with me, off of my dozing mate.

    Oddly we never had “ouch” problems with the smaller sized mattress. But our platform bed is very tall- not an ankle biter like pictured above.

  5. I go ouch too! I think they look awesome, in photographs. But how many bruises would I endure, first thing in the morning, before remembering. And what a leap I would have to take to crash dive onto the bed in the evening.

  6. Um, yeah! Sometimes furniture design is too much about look and not enough about function. I remember the sky high beds with overstuffed mattresses from the 90s (how do you get down? they actually sold little steps to match the beds!) And some of the lounge couches of the last few years are so wide and low that either my legs stick out in front of me when I “sit” back against the couch back or when I sit forward, it looks like I’m crouching over an outhouse hole Not really comfortable. But fashionable and expensive.

  7. We had a bed like this and it was very comfy, and looked great, but we definitely hit our shins on it more than once. I have a very distinct, funny memory of our midwife cursing at it during our homebirth, too.

  8. I’m just wondering where I could find a mattress like this? I’m not looking for a formal mattress, something a little different.

  9. A related question for you: I’ve had a beautiful mattress platform measuring 72 x 90 inches for a long time with a queen mattress on it. Yes, I hit my feet and shins a few times. Now I’m thinking about putting a king mattress on this platform, but king-size mattresses are sized 76 x 80 inches. QUESTION: Would it work, considering that the mattress would stick out two inches on each side of the mattress? The platform has a non-slide cover, so movement isn’t the problem. May not look as cool, but do you think it would be workable with that 2-inch “overhang” on both long sides? Thank you.

  10. For sure you can. A two-inch overhand is not enough to impact the sleepability of the mattress. As long as there is no lip that rises up around the edges of the platform. If that were the case, then you should put some filler inside the perimeter, say a sheet of 1 inch plywood if the lip were 1-inch high, to make the platform flat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *