Origins of Canopy Beds

Canopy beds started as a way to prevent dead wasps and droppings to fall into the bed. The ones who mostly suffered from such annoyances were the poor peasants, whose house roofs were not well made. In fact, they had to sleep on floors or straw pallet just so they could avoid such pests.

Meanwhile, wealthy people, like the noble lords, ladies, and knights, did not need canopies and curtains in their bed. However, having a canopy bed was a different thing in medieval England and Europe.

In an old European castle, the lord and his family would sleep together with their servants in a great hall. The lord and his family had their own sleeping area, and were only separated by a curtain. Over time, castle builders had built castles with a separate room for the nobles. The lords, ladies, and knights had their own beds. Servants sleep in one room for security and convenience purposes. The lord’s bed had curtains to make it warm and comfortable while, servants slept on simple pallets on the floor, benches, and trundle beds.

The bed for the lady and the knight was large enough, and had a wooden frame. It came with sheets, quilts, pillows and fur coverlets. It could be easily dismantled and transferred to another castle. Curtains, which originally hung from their ceiling, were ultimately used as canopy, supported by a frame.

Since the town homes were not as warm as the rooms in the castles, the use of canopy beds spread already to the poor peasants. Since then, several styles have been produced to make canopy beds look more elegant and royalty.

However, as time progressed, making a fine bed became more and more expensive for the peasants, so, only the nobles and the wealthy citizens could provide to have them made. Because of this, canopy beds became a position symbol for the affluent. This was how beds with canopy attained wide popularity among the upper classes and became a standard for elegance and style in bedrooms.

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