Poster Beds Buying Guide

Classic, refined, and good-looking, the poster bed has been a popular choice for bedrooms through the ages. Today's poster beds are just as appealing.

Types of Poster Beds

Types of Poster Beds

Poster beds come in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes, and there are several different styles to choose from. Most are made from wood in a variety of finishes, but there are some metal versions. Here is a list of the types to look for.

Poster Beds with Canopies

Technically a poster bed does not need to have the testers that connect to the top of each post to support a canopy. But many do. You can leave the posts and testers in place but not add the fabric canopy or bed draperies.

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Pencil Posts

Posts at the corners of the bed that extend fully to the ceiling but do not hold testers are called pencil posts. They taper to soft or sharp points, depending on the style. Typically the posts are straight, but they can be turned or carved.

Low Posts

A low-post bed has corner posts that are roughly half the height of standard bedposts. They are typically topped with a carved finial.

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Half-Poster

An uncommon variation of the poster bed is a half-poster, which has tall posts at the head of the bed. At the foot of the bed there might be half-posts or no posts at all.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Take these factors into consideration when choosing and bringing home a poster bed.

Size

When you buy a poster bed, take note of your ceiling height and any ceiling features such as molding, beams, or fans. The bed might fit, but make sure there are several inches to spare so the furniture doesn't look crammed in. Because poster beds take up a lot of vertical space in a room, you'll need to be sure your bedroom can accommodate not just the assembled bed, but also the assembly process; the bed will need to be erected in the room.

Height Restrictions

Work around or remove a ceiling fan or dangling light fixture, if you have one.

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