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Writer Story: Finding a Mattress for My Grandmother's Antique Bed

Updated: Apr 4

Ever wondered what the process of restoring a family heirloom like an antique bed frame is like? Here’s a story from one of our writers who, years ago, dealt with this exact issue -

Inheriting My Grandmother’s Antique Bed

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s beautiful wooden antique poster bed, which she had owned as long as anyone in my family could remember. The frame itself was in great shape and went perfectly with the rustic aesthetic I wanted to cultivate in my bedroom. It even had some beautiful wildlife-themed images carved in the wooden headboard.

Unfortunately, to my surprise, my standard double size mattress did not fit in the frame at all. After some quick measuring and a bit of research about standard bed sizes online, I realized my antique bed frame would require a rare three-quarter mattress.

Most Antique Beds Use a ¾ Mattress

With a quick search on why antique beds use this strange ¾ mattress size, it's clear that ¾ beds were a popular choice for practical reasons. They offered a comfortable sleeping solution that maximized space efficiency. They were perfect for homes that didn't have enough room for larger beds. During times when living spaces were smaller and multi-functional, such as in the 18th and 19th centuries, ¾ beds were well-suited for both children and adults.

Their smaller size allowed for more room for other furnishings. They were a practical choice for bedrooms that doubled as sitting rooms during the day. Additionally, ¾ beds provide an economical option. They used less material in their construction than full-size beds.

Today, while room sizes and living arrangements have evolved, ¾ beds still are perfect for modern homes. They remain a great choice for saving space and accommodating the needs of smaller bedrooms. They're perfect for tying together a rustic room's look and I’m not alone in that thought. Finding a fitting mattress in a store can be hard though. You need a custom made ¾ mattress in most cases.

Finding A Modern 3/4 Mattress For My Antique Bedframe

Options for getting such an uncommon mattress size were limited, and having an antique bed frame presents unique challenges to finding the perfect mattress. I didn’t want to take the risk of destroying the antique bed frame by having it altered in a risky attempt to convert the bed to a full size. I quickly realized that if I wanted a great mattress, I was going to need to get a custom made mattress for my antique bed.

When making a custom mattress for antique beds you have to take into account many factors, like your personal firmness and memory foam preferences, but also the ways your antique bed frame may be unique. “Antique beds” is an overarching term that can be broken down into very specific categories that will each require different things.

For example, my bed has a poster frame that was elevated very high off of the ground compared to the average bed frame made today. As someone on the shorter side, this meant having to consider getting a high-quality custom mattress with less height in order to make it easy to get on the bed, but I still wanted it to be just as comfortable as a regular mattress.

Another surprise factor I needed to assess was the corners of the mattress. My bed frame required that I get a mattress with notched corners in order to fit properly, which was amazingly easy to do after discussing with a Custom Mattress Factory consultant who had a lot of experience in making mattresses with custom corners. In the end, I had a bed that was a valuable family heirloom, and a miraculously comfortable and modern feeling mattress.

Custom Mattress Factory: Upgrade Your Vintage Bed with Modern Memory Foam

We can help streamline your antique bed restoration journey, too! There’s no reason to abandon the heritage and the craftsmanship of a beloved family heirloom, especially if it’s got sentimental value. You can have your vintage cake and eat it, too, with a bespoke memory foam, pocket coil or latex mattress that fits your past bed frame with your present comfort needs. No question – it’s the perfect marriage of old and new.

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