Oversized bed frames are a shortcut to making your bedroom look expensive. A basic divan mattress can feel pretty lackluster, especially in a large bedroom and if you're not using the biggest mattress possible in the space. Of course, the big, bold and beautiful bed frames don't come cheap.
Restoration Hardware's now iconic Cloud bed is the perfect example of what an oversized bed frame and headboard can do. It extends beyond the mattress to give a bed a bigger, grander presence that just looks effortlessly expensive. However, it doesn't just look expensive. Restoration Hardware's version also retails for over $4,000 – something that's not in everyone's bedroom makeover budget.
We've made a discovery recently that's a brilliant cloud bed alternative that costs a fraction of the price, emulating the look of a brand new bed frame and headboard, without actually having to buy a new frame. This bedroom trend is big news on TikTok right now, so we're delving into the trend a little deeper, and finding out whether these new cloud beds are all they're cracked up to be.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to helping readers make the best choices in their homes through sharing practical tips and guides that make life more comfortable. For this piece, she spoke with sleep experts for their insight into whether or not the TikTok cloud bed is good for your sleep.
Why is this cloud bed alternative going viral?
While Restoration Hardware's slipcovered platform bed (opens in new tab) (which would set you back $4,435) is a solid bedframe, brands like Soft Frame Designs (opens in new tab) have created a budget-friendly alternative by turning the idea of a cloud bed into a slipcover. This means you can keep your existing box spring, and simply put this cloud bed cover over the top.
These slipcovers aren't super cheap - they generally start at around $800 - but in comparison to a new bedframe, they're a cost-effective way to get this luxurious look. These slipcovers are malleable headboards that are typically made just of high-density foam, so there are no hard elements like wood or metal, just foam encased in soft textiles (such as boucle). This also means they can be shipped in relatively small boxes and just unfurled before fitting them over your bed.
These pillowy slipcovers are the best way to dress up your divan for a bed that's, well, cloud-like. Plus, they're perfect if you subscribe to the soft, neutral, so-called 'vanilla-girl' aesthetic that's taking over TikTok right now.
@beccabeasleyy (opens in new tab) ♬ sure thing - luana (opens in new tab)
Are there drawbacks to cloud beds?
To consider a cloud bed slipcover, you'll need to make sure the dimensions of your current box spring meet requirements, or else you'll need to buy a new one of these, too.
Technically, these beds shouldn't make a huge amount of difference to your existing sleep set-up comfort-wise, as the box spring and mattress are the same. However, experts say there are actually a fair few problems lying under the surface of subscribing to the cloud bed trend, from back pain and disturbed sleep to problems with breathability and allergens.
1. Metal bases aren't good for your back
Many of the cloud bed TikToks we watched saw these slipcovers applied over metal bases, which are far less good for your back. Metal bases are light materials, and therefore tend to bend a lot more than wooden slats too. As a result, the frame will sink slightly under your weight which can disrupt the alignment of your spine.
Over time, this is likely to lead to back and neck pain or even damage to the nerves. For a more supportive bed that helps you sleep better, you'll want a frame that had wooden slats over metal ones.
2. The bed frame is too low
'A main issue with cloud beds lies in how low the actual bed frame is, which can cause knee pain as you’re getting in and out of bed,' explains Bridget Chapman, a sleep expert and certified Sleep Science coach at Sleepopolis (opens in new tab). Cloud bed frames are typically lower to the ground which makes it harder to get in and out of bed, putting strain on your knees and lower back.
'To get into bed, you’re having to bend your knees into an unnatural position that causes a strain on your joints, which is particularly troublesome to sleepers who have had knee injuries or chronic pain,' Bridget says. When shopping for a bed frame, a general rule of thumb is that you should be able to sit on the edge of the bed with your feet firmly on the ground, so that your knees are in a comfortable position.
4. The soft material collects more dust
The whole principle of a cloud bed is to add an extra upholstery layer around the bedframe to create the cloud-like effect, but while they're more aesthetically designed, upholstered beds are more like to trap dust and other allergens.
If you have asthma or allergies, your symptoms will probably be worse if you opt for a cloud bed, and the textured material will be a lot harder to clean, too. Worse still, dust mites could become a problem if your bed frame is made from high pile materials like boucle or velvet.
4. They're not always sustainable
It's 2023 which means sustainable living is at the forefront of everyone's mind, and there's little excuse for having a bed that isn't sustainable. The memory foam commonly found in these cloud bed covers is notoriously hard to recycle, and the synthetic chemicals that give the foam its bouncy quality are harmful to the environment, too.
These bed frames aren't as durable as more traditional types either. 'Cloud beds often have a shorter lifespan compared to traditional beds due to their softer material construction and higher rate of wear and tear over time,' says Isabella Gordan, a Sleep Science coach and co-founder of Sleep Society (opens in new tab).
3 supportive (and sustainable) mattresses for your cloud bed
For a safer night's sleep that's better for you and the planet, try the Natural Mattress from Birch. Their organic mattresses come with an organic cotton cover as their top layer, improving breathability and increasing airflow for a more comfortable sleep. The latex filling is super supportive too, relieving pressure from your body after the stresses of the day.
Sleep easy knowing your mattress is sustainable with this organic latex, wool and cotton option from Avocado green. The medium-firm mattress has no polyester, polyurethane foams, or toxic fire retardants to harm you either.
If you're not ready to splurge on a brand new mattress, try this organic latex topper from Naturepedic. The two inch mattress topper adds a smooth plush feel to you bed, helping to relieve pressure points. It's also the perfect solution if you find your mattress too firm or soft.
Lilith Hudson is the Junior Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news articles for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration that you need in your home. She discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. Lilith now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London (a degree where she could combine both) and has previously worked at the Saturday Times Magazine, ES Magazine, DJ Mag and The Simple Things Magazine.
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