5 Reasons Why an Upholstered Bed is the Right Choice

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Why choose an upholstered bed?

When creating a dreamy bedroom with a high-end feel, look to design professionals for inspiration and trends – even if you don’t have the same budget. The first thing you’ll notice is the use of an upholstered bed and mixed furniture pieces in most designs. In case you haven’t heard the news, the days of buying full sets of furniture are over!

bedroom with Tilly upholstered bed in green, neutral plaid wallpaper, cozy bedding, hardwood floors, rug, wood nightstands with lamps

Bed | Nightstands | Lamps | Wallpaper | Linen Sheets | Throw Blanket | Rug

Rejecting matching furniture goes for every space in your home, but you’re here because you want to know if an upholstered bed is the right choice for you. If it’s time to update the bedrooms in your home and you need some help making decisions, I’m going to share all the reasons why I loved this particular bed so much I bought it twice!

Avoids the matching furniture problem

Think about those sets you (or your parents) had over the years. The bed, nightstands, and dressers all matched and while it seemed nice at the time, it lacked the dimension and character you see in today’s designs. Qualities that a space needs to make it appealing are layers, texture, and visual interest. All things you don’t get from matching furniture.

Zuma White Tilly upholstered bed with neutral cozy bedding layers, Serena and lily wallpaper, black and glass bedside table with black lamp

Bed | Wallpaper | Nightstand | Lamp | Throw blanket

One of the best features of an upholstered bed is that it can be easily paired with other pieces. Mixing and matching wood tones can be problematic because of all the stain options available. Similar to cabinet hardware, hunting for matching tones across different brands usually leads to frustration and disappointment. Fabric is the ultimate workaround for that dilemma!

An upholstered bed is a universal design choice that will go with any color palette and removes the concern of trying to find coordinating furniture. There are endless options of fabric and texture available so you can combine it with any finish – stained wood, painted surfaces, glass, or metal – for a polished look.

How to maintain an upholstered bed

Wood furniture is easy to clean – just wipe it down and you’re good to go, right? Yes, but it’s not without problems. Over time, any heavily used surface will show wear. With wood, the stain or paint can rub off causing the finish to look uneven.

For beds with a fabric surface, you’ll need to do routine cleaning just like any upholstered furniture in your home. Regular vacuuming or rolling with a lint brush will help keep the material from collecting dust. Fabric with a heavy texture is more likely to trap dust, so consider that during the selection process if you are prone to allergies.

Do you spend a lot of time in bed watching TV or reading? Upholstered beds are softer and more comfortable for these activities than wood surfaces. However, I suggest using a barrier – like pillows – to minimize contact with the fabric. Just like the seating in your home, you run the risk of color transfer from clothing or hair products.

Budget-friendly options are available

Generally speaking, an upholstered bed may have a higher price tag than a wood bed due to the extra steps in the manufacturing process. While you may think the designer beds you drool over are unattainable, remember that most beds in your budget are made from the same materials.

side view of mauve velvet headboard in girls room, brass sconces, Serena and Lily wallpaper, drapes and interior window shutters

Bed | Sconces | Wallpaper | Drapes (similar) | Bedding

In my post about patio furniture, I discussed why there is a disparity in cost. One of the culprits is assembly. Having more connection points increases the chances of something loosening as it gets used. Oftentimes, higher-end furniture comes in fewer pieces and is delivered with white glove service – for a fee.

To cut down on costs, manufacturers break furniture down as much as possible to fit into flat shipping packages. If you’ve ever ordered furniture online, you’ve likely received a densely packed box that is deceivingly heavy! Now you are left to put it all together.

It’s a timeless design choice

Upholstered beds aren’t new. They’ve been around for centuries in one form or another. What has changed about them is the style and materials made to create them. I’m sure there have been some interesting materials, but these days the most common fabrics are some combination of cotton and linen blended with synthetic fibers for durability.

The first wave of recently popular fabric beds was the tufted style. Usually accompanied by a nailhead trim, the buttons add an extra layer of detail which leans more on the glam style of design. Next came the channel-tufted bed. You still get a little detail, but it’s more casual than the traditional tufting method. The lines draw the eye up vertically which enhances a smaller space.

The images below are from my bedroom before the primary suite renovation. I liked it but needed to upgrade to something that complemented the other new design elements.

Bed (similar) | Nightstands | Throw blanket | Lamps

Lots of fabric and color choices

Another way to express your style is with your choice of fabric. For my daughter’s room, we selected this mauve velvet beauty! It’s a far cry from the white wood/upholstery bed she had before, but she loved it and wanted to do something a little different.

White Bed | Nightstand | Sconce | Rug | Mauve bed | Wallpaper

In the boy’s shared room, we used upholstered headboards with a platform wood bed frame. They love the simple style and I love the neutral color of the fabric.

Bed | Bedding | Lamps | Rug | Console table

When we moved the guest room to the basement, my boys got separate rooms. Instead of choosing a light color bed, like I usually do, we went for a darker shade of green that gives this space a masculine feel. More on this one later!

How often do you replace bedroom furniture? If you’re still sleeping on a matching set, it’s safe to say not very often. In my line of work, I get to make frequent changes but I understand that’s not an option for most. So, if you are looking for an upholstered bed as a long-term investment, avoid bold colors, loud prints, and unusual fabrics. Boucle and Sherpa are amazing, but maybe stick to something smaller like an accent chair or bench for those fabrics.

Wayfair upholstered bed review

A particular Wayfair upholstered bed has taken Instagram by storm! Popular among home decor influencers and interior decorators, this well-designed beauty checks all the boxes. It has a classic wingback design that is both understated and elegant. Available in a wide variety of colors, it’s virtually impossible not to find the perfect one for your space.

This highly-rated bed has been available for a few years and judging by its popularity and timeless design, it’s not going anywhere. Sold by Wayfair and Joss & Main, this bed has had a name change or two. Once known as Charlotte, and Hanson, the current Tilly famous upholstered bed can’t be beaten!

Zuma white Tilly bed paired with black and glass nightstands, black ceramic lamps with white shades, cozy neutral layered bedding

Bed | Nightstand | Lamp | Throw blanket | Rug

I bought the Tilly bed for my guest room in Zuma White and fell in love. So impressed by the quality and design, I bought a second one – in green/gray – for my son’s room mentioned above. Not typically my style to duplicate furniture in my home, but I truly couldn’t find another option that checked all the boxes for me.

bedroom with Tilly bed in green, neutral plaid wallpaper, cozy bedding, hardwood floors, wood nightstand with lamp

Bed | Nightstand | Lamp | Wallpaper | Linen Sheets

This bed is available in both a platform (no box spring needed) and a traditional (box spring required) version. A platform bed has wood slats on which the mattress can rest and is a little more expensive.

Both of my Tilly beds are the traditional version because it was less expensive and we already had a mattress and boxspring.

Tilly upholstered bed FAQ

If you are wondering what the fuss is all about, look no further! I’ll answer all your burning questions about this boudoir superstar.

Is it easy to assemble?

Yes! The manufacturer’s instructions state that assembly can easily be done with one person, but my husband and I did it together. The instructions were simple and straightforward and the only tool you need is a screwdriver!

Is it compatible with an adjustable base?

Technically, no (according to the manufacturer). I don’t have an adjustable bed, but maybe if you remove the inner frame attachments you’ll have room. I’d do some asking around to see if anyone has tried it before you buy.

Why is it so popular?

This is one of the most neutral upholstered bed styles out there! It is simple yet substantial and classic but not old-fashioned. Qualities of every timeless design element out there! It’s hard to find the perfect bed, but when it checks all the boxes for such a large amount of people, you know it must be good!

How deep should my mattress be?

This is an important question and since there is a lot to consider, I’ll dive a little deeper in the next section.

What size mattress do you need?

For the traditional bed that requires a boxspring:

  • If you want the box spring lower than the side rails so it isn’t visible, I suggest getting an inexpensive thin box spring. The website shows that the top of the footboard and side rails are 13.5″ off the ground and that the inner frame where the box spring sits is 6″ from the ground. That leaves 7.5″ for you to work so I would go for a 6″ or less thick box spring.
  • If you want the mattress to cover the gap under the headboard, you’ll need a thicker mattress to make sure the gap isn’t visible. For example, if you have a 5″ boxspring that sits 6″ off the ground, you’ll need at least a 12″ mattress to close the gap since the bottom of the headboard is 24″ off the ground.

For the platform bed without a box spring:

  • The gap between the wood slat platform and the bottom of the headboard is not as big here. Based on the measurements, even a thin 6-7″ mattress should cover that gap. Most mattresses nowadays are much thicker than that.

Here are the website measurements for the queen-size beds. The left image is the traditional bed and the right image is the platform option.

To be honest, my mattresses don’t cover the gap – especially in the guest room – but it doesn’t bother me one bit! I can easily hide it with pillows.

Is the Tilly upholstered bed right for you?


  • timeless design
  • goes with every style
  • lots of color options
  • pairs easily with other furniture
  • softer and more comfortable
  • great quality for the cost
  • easy to assemble


  • needs regular cleaning to prevent allergy issues
  • not compatible with an adjustable base

Check out my nightstand styling post for tips to make your bedroom look amazing!

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