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American Beds

American beds are part of the rich history of U.S. furniture-making. From elaborate beds with hanging textiles to 20th century waterbeds, American beds transform with technology and style to ensure a good night’s sleep.

In colonial times, American beds reflected European style. The incorporation of hardwood like walnut began when the saw tool improved. The Queen Anne style, prized by collectors today, was one of the most popular colonial bed styles. The Chippendale bed, known for its ball and claw posts and Marlborough feet, also reigned during that time.

The Industrial Revolution lowered costs and simplified American bed styles. Mass-produced beds were devoid of the elaborate carvings and decorations of decades past. American bed manufacturers also produced replicas of Colonial beds.

Exquisite craftsmanship existed in the late 19th century in the form of iron American beds. The iron produced in the United States was considered the best in the world, and the beds crafted from it were also prized for their quality. Iron workers cast each bed individually and applied the finish by hand.


Quick Facts

  • The modern waterbed was developed at San Francisco State University in 1968
  • William L. Murphy designed the Murphy bed in 1900 while living in a small San Francisco apartment
  • Elvis Presley’s infamous “hamburger bed,” a round, crushed-velvet piece complete with headboard TV and stereo, sold for $50,000 in 2008 on eBay

Recommended Items at Auction

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EDWARD BERGE (American,1876-1924)WILDFLOWER BRONZE
Oct 21, 1:00 PM EDT
EDWARD BERGE (American,1876-1924)WILDFLOWER BRONZE
by Elite Auctioneers, LLC
Est: $100- $1,000
$1253 Bids
Frederick Carl Frieseke Signed Pastel on Paper
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Frederick Carl Frieseke Signed Pastel on Paper
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $7,500- $12,500
$5502 Bids
Brass bed, 53.5” wide.
Oct 21, 9:00 AM EDT
Brass bed, 53.5” wide.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
Piedmont N.C. Pair Twin Cherry Country Beds
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Piedmont N.C. Pair Twin Cherry Country Beds
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$92 Bids
American Chippendale Mahogany Claw and Ball Foot Four Post Bed
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
American Chippendale Mahogany Claw and Ball Foot Four Post Bed
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
MAHOGANY FOUR POSTER BED, TURNED SPIRAL POSTS
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
MAHOGANY FOUR POSTER BED, TURNED SPIRAL POSTS
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $800- $1,600
$4000 Bids
George Nakashima (American 1905-1990) (attributed to) Headboard
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
George Nakashima (American 1905-1990) (attributed to) Headboard
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £800- £1,200
£4000 Bids
GEORGE III MAHOGANY FOUR POSTER BED, C. 1800
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
GEORGE III MAHOGANY FOUR POSTER BED, C. 1800
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$6000 Bids
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PAIR OF CHARLES E. THIBEAU 4 POST TWIN BEDS
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
PAIR OF CHARLES E. THIBEAU 4 POST TWIN BEDS
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $500- $800
$2500 Bids
DOLL'S MAHOGANY TESTER BED, LATE 19TH C
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
DOLL'S MAHOGANY TESTER BED, LATE 19TH C
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $100- $150
$600 Bids
Robert James Sanibel Bed 1096 White Oak Clad Queen Bed
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Robert James Sanibel Bed 1096 White Oak Clad Queen Bed
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$2500 Bids
Historicizing bedroom ensemble
Nov 06, 10:00 AM CET
Historicizing bedroom ensemble
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1,2000 Bids
EBONIZED DAY BED IN MANNER OF DUNBAR C. 1950
Oct 26, 11:00 AM EDT
EBONIZED DAY BED IN MANNER OF DUNBAR C. 1950
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$9000 Bids
MCCOBB FOR CALVIN KING BED FLOATING DRAWERS
Oct 26, 11:00 AM EDT
MCCOBB FOR CALVIN KING BED FLOATING DRAWERS
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $900
$4000 Bids
FRIGERIO
Oct 28, 2:30 PM CEST
FRIGERIO
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €600- €700
€6000 Bids
BUFFA PAOLO
Oct 28, 2:30 PM CEST
BUFFA PAOLO
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €1,200- €1,400
€1,2000 Bids
A D. MARIA STYLE BED
Oct 27, 7:00 PM WEST
A D. MARIA STYLE BED
by Renascimento
Est: €150- €250
€1500 Bids
Framed Counted Thread Art by Needle Woman East
Oct 24, 2:00 PM EDT
Framed Counted Thread Art by Needle Woman East
by Pace & Hong Auctions, LLC
Est: $0- $0
$550 Bids
A SET OF SIX GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND UPHOLSTERED SIDE CHAIRS, CIRCA 1780
Nov 16, 10:30 AM GMT
A SET OF SIX GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND UPHOLSTERED SIDE CHAIRS, CIRCA 1780
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £5,000- £8,000
£4,5000 Bids
Eldred Wheeler Federal Style Cherrywood Tester Bed
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Eldred Wheeler Federal Style Cherrywood Tester Bed
by Nye & Company
Est: $400- $600
$2750 Bids
Federal Birchwood and Pine Bedstead
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Federal Birchwood and Pine Bedstead
by Nye & Company
Est: $150- $250
$300 Bids
Victorian Wrought Cast Iron Neo Classical King Bed
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Victorian Wrought Cast Iron Neo Classical King Bed
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $900- $1,200
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Beds


Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Nye & Company

Nye & Company

Kamelot Auctions

Kamelot Auctions