What Is An Upholstered Bed?

May 15, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

Over the last twenty years, bedroom interior design has evolved rapidly. For a while, popular opinion favored a minimalist bed frame often made from metal, wood, or a combination of both. The sleek design aligned with a modern sensibility favoring clean lines and austere spaces.

But now, the winds are shifting, and people are looking for a softer, warmer, and plusher feel. Because of this, upholstered beds—bed frames that incorporate materials and padding—are making a serious comeback in the interior design space. 

Are you looking for a bed that’s covered in beautiful fabric? Do you want a style that will complement a classical home or a contemporary space? Then an upholstered bed frame is for you. To that end, here’s everything you need to know about them and the warmth they can bring to a bedroom.  

Our fabric-wrapped bed frames welcome you for a cozy night’s sleep.

The Material of Upholstered Beds

Upholstery is the term used to describe the work of giving furniture, particularly chairs and bed frames, padding, and fabric covers. 

It derives from the word upholder, which described an artisan who created fabric furnishings by hand.1 At the time, these craftsmen were the interior designers of the time. They were the fashion trendsetters, so to speak. While they used materials like hay or wool in the past, modern upholstered items use metal springs and foam for greater durability.

Today, upholstery is most commonly used to describe different types of beds that have fabric coverings. An upholstered bed typically consists of a layer of padding that’s covered by a textile. Together, these help cushion and soften the baseboards, sideboards, and headboards.

Types of Upholstered Bed Textile Fabrics

Textile coverings on upholstered beds can vary across an array of materials. To help create visibility, we’ve broken down the materials into two categories: natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics. 

Natural Fabrics:

  • Cotton – The most common and cheapest popular fabric in existence, cotton provides a soft and comfortable feel and is durable to use. However, this upholstery material is prone to stains and fading.  
  • Leather – The most durable upholstery fabric, leather is far more resistant to stains, scratches, and debris. This makes it easy to clean and maintain. Often, leather is associated with a more masculine space. 
  • Silk – One of the most expensive types of upholstery fabric, silk is usually reserved for formal, luxurious bedrooms. Though it delivers a sense of elegance, silk can be easily ruined, stained, or worn, so it isn’t exactly ideal for most beds.  
  • Wool – Wool is durable and resistant to pilling and staining. This makes it an effective bed textile since it’s warm and soft but doesn’t require much upkeep.   
  • Linen – Like silk, linen is often reserved for the adult’s room since it is vulnerable to wrinkles and stains. That said, since it’s a common print fabric, it’s affordable to get an upholstered linen bed with unique designs on it.
  • Velvet – For a luxurious feel, velvet is soft and plush but more durable and stain-resistant than its counterpart, silk. Glitz is a member of the velvet family that has grown in popularity in the upholstery industry. 

Synthetic Fabrics: 

  • Polyester – A blend of cotton and other fibers, polyester is a wrinkle-free fabric that easily retains vibrant dye colors. 
  • Polypropylene – Also known as olefin, this is another ubiquitous synthetic fabric that is stain and water resistant, making it durable and easy to clean. 
  • Acrylic – A synthesized wool imitation, acrylic has built-in fading, soiling, and wrinkling resistance. 
  • Rayon – Rayon was designed to be a more durable version of finer fabrics like linen and silk.   

What Are the Benefits of an Upholstered Bed?

So, why do people choose an upholstered bed for their room? While the needs of buyers aren’t always synonymous, some common benefactors to purchasing an upholstered bed include: 

  • The sheer variety of options – From an aesthetic point of view, you have seemingly endless possibilities for textures, colors, and fabric types. Because of this, an upholstered bed can fit in practically any style of bedroom. It gives you the freedom to choose the fabric that you feel best suits your room decor and design aesthetic. 
  • A range of fabric styles – Similarly, there are stylistic designs for the type of fabric you use, whether it’s plain solid fabric, a tufted back, print, buttons, or various other tactile and visual elements. This gives upholstered beds—particularly headboards—a versatility that can either cause the bed to be the focal point of the room or allow it to blend in with its environment. 
  • Comfort – An upholstered headboard can offer comfort and support. It keeps pillows in place and allows you to retain more heat in the bed. This creates a warmer and more relaxing space, which makes for an ideal sleep environment.
  • A soft visual effect – If your room already has a lot of wood or feels stark, an upholstered bed can give the bedroom a sense of soft coziness that was otherwise lacking.  
  • Durable and low maintenance – Most upholstered beds cover a sturdy, high-quality hardwood that helps them stand the test of time. The padded cushions also help protect the bed frame from external forces that might cause damage. 
  • Easy cleaning – While some high-end upholstered fabrics aren’t ideal for regular living, most of the common-use fabrics are designed to be stain-resistant and easy to clean.   

Styles of Upholstered Bed    

Many of the benefits discussed above touch upon the flexibility of customization. Upholstered beds give you the freedom to mix and match colors, fabrics, and designs to create a space that’s truly your own. But the seemingly endless possibilities don’t stop there.

Upholstered beds come in a variety of frame styles that you must also consider: 

  • Standard bed – The most versatile bed frame type, the standard bed requires a box spring. It can go from a traditional sensibility to a modern feel, depending on how you decorate the bed and space. You can add details to the upholstery material like nailhead trim or buttons, which add visual contrast. 
  • Platform bedPlatform beds are easy to install and don’t require a box spring. They sit lower to the ground, giving a modern, streamlined appeal to a room. This is a key difference when comparing a platform bed vs. box spring. These types of upholstered beds are ideal for smaller spaces. 
  • Storage platform bed – Need extra space to store your things? As the name suggests, storage platform beds sit higher off the ground to make room for your things. They either come with built-in cabinets beneath the bed or leave enough clearance for personal items to be kept beneath the bed.  
  • Canopy bed – If you have a traditional style and want an additional layer of coziness and privacy, the canopy bed is one of the classic, romantic designs. Although the bed frame tends to be predominantly wood or metal, they often include an upholstered headboard. 
  • Wingback bed – Evoking a luxurious feel you might get at a high-end hotel, a wingback bed has a built-in upholstered headboard that gives the space a weighty and substantial feel. The wings on either side of the headboard protrude outwards and give the bed a taller and wider profile. Because of this, the upholstery is often more fancifully designed with patterns, colors, or extra details. If you don’t opt for a wingback, you might be wondering, can a headboard be attached to any bed frame with upholstery? In which case, the answer is yes, in certain circumstances.
  • Panel bed – This type of bed specifically references the upholstery treatment given to the headboard. It uses seams to provide the bed with a paneled effect, adding a touch of glamor or playfulness to a room. 
  • Sleigh bed – While the headboard is often the focal point of most upholstery bed styles, a sleigh bed draws your attention to the weighty footboard, which looks similar to a sleigh and often features a button tufting for a more traditional aesthetic. 

The Casper Upholstered Bed Frame

Are you looking for an upholstered bed frame that pairs perfectly with your Casper mattress? 

If so, the Casper Upholstered Bed Frame may be just the thing you’re looking for. It has a cozy fabric wrapped around a full, queen, or king-size frame. Select one of three custom textiles—natural, gray, midnight—that are each woven for a high-end feel. With our upholstered bed, you don’t need a box spring or a foundation. You simply plop down your mattress for a perfect look and feel. 

At Casper, our mission is to help you sleep comfortably and soundly. Whether you need a mattress, bed frame, pillow, or bedding, we’ve got everything you need for style and comfort.


  1. Partridge, Eric. Origins: An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English. (1966)  
  2. Architectural Digest. What Is Upholstery and How Do You Choose the Best Fabric for Your Sofa? https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/how-to-choose-upholstery-fabric