A piece of furniture which is used to sleep on. Commonly consists of a frame, springs, and a mattress, though it is often supplemented with sheets, pillows, and a brightly-colored bedspread. Besides its primary function, a bed can also be used as a makeshift trampoline for small children or as a dance floor for the horizontal mambo.

This is the best place to hang out, when you share your living space. A few reasons:
  • Your stupid roommate hangs out in the kitchen.
  • You are not there alone. You have no clothes on and it is happenin'.
  • You are there alone.
    You've got the newest book from Harlequin Romance and you are reading it faster 'n anything.
    If this is you, girl, i suggest you get a life.
  • It is more comfy than sitting on the floor
  • Your mother can't worry that you're out getting into trouble
and various other reasons. of course I skipped the most obvious, but it is still my fave reason for being there.
The bed in its simplest form consists of soft padding held in a frame elevated above the floor. As might be expected, this concept was known at least as early as the Egyptian and Roman empires, and modern beds, the most commonly employed sleeping surface in the modern first world, descend from the dual-purpose sofas of that era. Common among the European upper classes through the intervening period, advancing standards of living finally brought the bed to the middle classes by the seventeenth century, and it has since become ubiquitous in modern western societies. In its modern incarnation, fully accessorized, a bed consists of the following components:

A bedstead, a frame typically made of sturdy wood or metal, or some combination thereof. The frame typically includes an (often ornamented) headboard at the head of the bed, a footboard at the foot (these directions referring to the orientation of a sleeper using the bed), sideboards connecting the two, securing and shielding from view the box springs and/or mattress and creating an overall rectangular frame, and some type of supports extending towards or across the center to bear the weight of the box springs, mattress, and any occupants of the bed. Modern frames typically elevate the occupants to around 3 feet off the floor for ease of getting into and out of the bed (leaving some space under the bed that is often used for storage or otherwise collects dust), but older beds were often raised higher to allow drafts to pass under the bed without chilling the sleeper. Likewise, some older beds incorporated posts mounted at the corners of the frame to mount a canopy and curtains for insulation (or, as with mosquito netting, to keep pests out). While the modern "airtight house" and heating technology has rendered these features obsolete, they may be found in vestigial form in newer beds for the sake of aesthetics.

Into this frame is placed a box spring, a pallet typically about 8 inches thick containing an arrangement of springs mounted to a solid base, or some other elastic mechanism. This absorbs weight from the occupants of the bed, and in so doing prolongs the life of a mattress, which would otherwise flatten from use earlier. Box springs are produced in a variety of tensions from very firm to fairly yielding, including adjustable models. Bunk, collapsible, or just plain cheap beds may replace the box spring with a set of springs integrated into the frame's supports.

On top of this goes a mattress, a pallet of roughly the same dimensions as a box spring, but softer and of different composition. The contents and structure of mattresses (and the resultant firmness) varies, but most modern mattresses rely on plastic foams or fabrics like cotton for cushioning, the latter often also incorporating "innerspring" coils, smaller than those found in box springs. Older mattresses often used down, feathers, horsehair, hay, or similar materials for padding. As the mattress serves as the sleeping surface, it is typically soft and comfortable, and can be used on its own. This softness, however, means less resilience, and mattresses should be flipped and rotated regularly to wear evenly and prevent sagging, especially for users who remain relatively still during sleep. Even with these precautions, mattresses may wear out and need to be replaced every decade or less.

Some modern mattresses replace some or all of the aforementioned filling with adjustable-pressure air chambers or, in the case of waterbeds, an encased pocket of water. These mattresses may take the place of both the traditional mattress and box spring, and provide additional comfort by conforming to the shape of a sleeper's body, but tend to be more expensive and may require specialized frames or controls.

Next comes a mattress pad, a thin pad placed (logically enough) on top of the mattress. Thicker mattress pads may add additional support and comfort to sleepers, but the pad's primary purpose is to provide a (washable) barrier between the mattress and the occupants of a bed, preventing irritation from any allergens in the mattress and in turn insulating the mattress from dirt, body oils, and germs introduced by sleepers. The mattress pad is typically secured to the mattress by means of elastic or tied straps at the corners.

A fitted sheet is then placed over the mattress and mattress pad, and is so named because it is fitted to the shape and size of the mattress, covering the top and sides of the mattress like a sleeve. Fitted sheets are generally held in shape by elastic at the corners, and are a relatively new development; earlier, flat sheets were laid over the bed and then folded under to achieve the same effect. Fitted sheets create a smooth, gentle sleeping surface, and come in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles. Bedclothes are usually bought as a set or otherwise selected to create a coherent "look".

One or more pillows are placed at the head of the bed, which the sleeper places his or her head on while lying down, providing support to the neck. Pillows, too, come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses, and contents, and are often wrapped in a pillowcase for the same ease-of-washing and stylistic concerns mentioned above.

One or more flat sheets, thin sheets of (usually woven) fabric, are then laid over the top of the mattress, perhaps tucked under at the foot of the bed. These are pulled over the body while in bed, where they serve as insulation, trapping warm air in a pocket around the sleeper. In warm climates or seasons, this may be sufficient to create comfort; if not, they supplement the insulatory effect of heavier bedclothes, and once again insulate these bulkier and more difficult-to-wash coverings from human dirt and grime.

Finally comes these coverlets, be they blankets, quilts, comforters, duvets or whatnot. Thicker and heavier (and thus better insulators) than sheets, one or more of these are usually pulled over the sheets during sleep, though they may be partly or wholly discarded (and recovered) during the night to moderate temperature. (These coverings and the flat sheets, when not in use, are either left as they were from their last use or pulled over the length of the bed and straightened, a process called "making" the bed which takes time but some find makes the bed look more attractive or feel more comfortable when they next use it.)

All these individual components must be made to fit each other, of course, and so for your consumption (and our mass production) convenience, beds are designed in a variety of standard sizes, again as listed below, with commentary:

  • Twin (Single) beds are 39 inches wide by 75 long, the first name coming from the fact that it is approximately half the size of a king bed; some may find using two twin mattresses and box springs easier than their larger, more awkward King-size counterparts. By themselves, they're best suited to children or as guest beds.
  • Twin Extra Long, at 39" wide by 80" long, is a relatively uncommon format most commonly found in college dorms or other institutional settings, where space is at a premium but beds must accomodate adult-height sleepers. It's difficult to find any bedsheets this size, let alone stylish ones, and when you move on, they won't fit anything else.
  • Double (Full) beds, at 54" wide by 75" long, fall far short of twice a single. While you can put two people in this bed, at 27 inches of space per person, it's not very comfortable, and if you plan to do this sort of thing regularly, you'd best look for something bigger.
  • Queen beds, at 60" wide by 80" long, can more feasibly fit two sleepers, but still leaves them with less individual space than they would have with individual singles. If you've not got that much space to work with, though, it's a decent compromise, and as a one-person bed, it's positively decadent.
  • King (Standard King, Eastern King) is the largest standard bed size, with 76 inches of width and 80 of length, and is common for two-person sleeping arrangements, and almost mandatory for more. If it'll fit where you want it, it's pretty much the way to go, though if you want a little more width or convenience, you might want to try two Twin or Twin Extra Long mattresses laid side-by-side.
  • California King (Western King), at 72" wide by 84" long, is the longest variant. If you really need 7 feet of length, the sacrifice of four inches of width is a decent tradeoff. As might be expected from the name, this size is more common, and easier to find bedclothes for, on America's West Coast.
Of course, custom sizes, or irregular and non-rectangular arrangements (heart-shaped, anyone?) are possible, but components and bedclothes usually must be specially ordered and produced at extra cost.

On its opening in 1999, Bed (23, Sukhumvit Soi 11, Bangkok, Thailand) was lauded as "the hottest club in Asia" -- with much more truth than most claims of this type, mind you. The Big Mango's notoriously fickle hi-sos have long since moved on to whatever the flavor of the month happens to be, but while the heat has decreased a little, Bed remains by far and way the coolest club I've ever been to. (Except maybe Tantra in Tokyo, but that one I can't node about...!)

Bed Good

What gives Bed its name and elevates it beyond your run-of-the-mill ultra-trendy bar is the nightly Bed Supperclub. Reservations are essential (be sure to request a bed!), and you'll be told in no uncertain terms to show up by 8:30 PM. This is, after all, a supper club, not a restaurant -- there's a set menu and only one seating, so if you miss it, that's just too bad. (However, the Thai concept of punctuality being what it is, the actual serving only starts at 9 PM.)

The first thing that strikes you on arrival to Bed is the external appearance: it's a two-story building shaped like a squished oil drum, painted a striking white, with a UFO-like ramp leading up to the entrance. On entry, you'll notice that white is indeed the theme of the day, with everything in sight colored a completely surreal pure white, down to (as you'll notice the first time one of them bends over a little) the panties of the microskirted waitresses. On both sides and both floors (the 2nd is just a balcony), extending for the entire length of the room, is a white bed, with white pillows and white leather padding, and little white tables on which you'll be eating your meal. Take off your shoes, lie back and relax, order a little something to drink, and try wipe off that shit-eating grin and any trails of drool off your face as you contemplate the fact that places like this actually exist outside the movie set of A Clockwork Orange.

Enough description-- this is a place that has to be experienced in person. Suffice it to say that the food is very good (contemporary, if not white), service is friendly, the DJs funky, and the weekend banquet's special shows interesting.

Bed Bad

Alas, a harsh return to reality will be presented in the form of the bill, which will run to 1000 baht per head for the weekend 4-course meal plus drinks at around B200 a pop and, yes, even B100 for the coffee/tea that you thought was complimentary. Fine, $30 may not be all that much by New York standards, but in Bangkok that's a month's salary for your average Joe. Consequently, the disappearance of Bangkok's elite has been made up for by importing the only other people who can throw around money like that -- namely farang tourists, all too many of the middle-aged Patpong variety who've dragged along their entirely unimpressed rented girlfriends.

The second side of Bed, the bar/nightclub, also seems terribly boring after the supperclub. The antiseptic whiteness is diluted with shades of gray, there's no dance floor to speak of, and the musical selection isn't quite what you'd expect from Asia's hottest club. Combine this with the fact that most of the clientele has filtered in from dinner -- non-dinner guests need to fork out a 500 baht cover charge, although that does get you 2 drinks -- and Bed isn't exactly rocking most nights. Q Bar, just around the corner, tends to be a much better choice if it's drinks, music, or interesting people you're after.

Another not-so-little negative has been introduced by Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who in his clean-up campaign has decided to introduce semi-regular police raids complete with compulsory piss tests on nightclubs like Bed. If any customers test positive (as happened at Bed), the club is forced to close at midnight, and since the dinner ends around 11 PM, you have exactly one (1) hour to get your groove on.

But at least there's some excitement left, since you can still head down to the bar's basement and try to figure out which bathroom is for men and which is for women. (Tip: one squiggle vaguely resembles an "F", while the other tries to be an "M".)

Getting There

The Skytrain's Nana station has an exit right on Soi 11. Bed is near the other end, but if you somehow manage to walk past, then it's just Nature's way of telling you that you probably don't want to end up in a police urine test right now anyway.

Personal experience

Bed (?), n. [AS. bed, bedd; akin to OS. bed, D. bed, bedde, Icel. ber, Dan. bed, Sw. badd, Goth. badi, OHG. betti, G. bett, bette, bed, beet a plat of ground; all of uncertain origin.]


An article of furniture to sleep or take rest in or on; a couch. Specifically: A sack or mattress, filled with some soft material, in distinction from the bedstead on which it is placed (as, a feather bed), or this with the bedclothes added. In a general sense, any thing or place used for sleeping or reclining on or in, as a quantity of hay, straw, leaves, or twigs.

And made for him [a horse] a leafy bed. Byron.

I wash, wring, brew, bake, . . . make the beds. Shak.

In bed he slept not for my urging it. Shak.


(Used as the symbol of matrimony) Marriage.

George, the eldest son of his second bed. Clarendon.


A plat or level piece of ground in a garden, usually a little raised above the adjoining ground.

"Beds of hyacinth and roses."



A mass or heap of anything arranged like a bed; as, a bed of ashes or coals.


The bottom of a watercourse, or of any body of water; as, the bed of a river.

So sinks the daystar in the ocean bed. Milton.

6. Geol.

A layer or seam, or a horizontal stratum between layers; as, a bed of coal, iron, etc.

7. Gun.

See Gun carriage, and Mortar bed.

8. Masonry (a)

The horizontal surface of a building stone; as, the upper and lower beds.


A course of stone or brick in a wall.


The place or material in which a block or brick is laid.


The lower surface of a brick, slate, or tile.


9. Mech.

The foundation or the more solid and fixed part or framing of a machine; or a part on which something is laid or supported; as, the bed of an engine.


The superficial earthwork, or ballast, of a railroad.

11. Printing

The flat part of the press, on which the form is laid.

Bed is much used adjectively or in combination; as, bed key or bedkey; bed wrench or bedwrench; bedchamber; bedmaker, etc.

Bed of justice French Hist., the throne (F. lit bed) occupied by the king when sitting in one of his parliaments (judicial courts); hence, a session of a refractory parliament, at which the king was present for the purpose of causing his decrees to be registered. -- To be brought to bed, to be delivered of a child; -- often followed by of; as, to be brought to bed of a son. -- To make a bed, to prepare a bed; to arrange or put in order a bed and its bedding. -- From bed and board Law, a phrase applied to a separation by partial divorce of man and wife, without dissolving the bonds of matrimony. If such a divorce (now commonly called a judicial separation) be granted at the instance of the wife, she may have alimony.


© Webster 1913.

Bed, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bedded; p. pr. & vb. n. Bedding.]


To place in a bed.




To make partaker of one's bed; to cohabit with.

I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her. Shak.


To furnish with a bed or bedding.


To plant or arrange in beds; to set, or cover, as in a bed of soft earth; as, to bed the roots of a plant in mold.


To lay or put in any hollow place, or place of rest and security, surrounded or inclosed; to embed; to furnish with or place upon a bed or foundation; as, to bed a stone; it was bedded on a rock.

Among all chains or clusters of mountains where large bodies of still water are bedded. Wordsworth.

6. Masonry

To dress or prepare the surface of stone) so as to serve as a bed.


To lay flat; to lay in order; to place in a horizontal or recumbent position.

"Bedded hair."



© Webster 1913.

Bed (?), v. i.

To go to bed; to cohabit.

If he be married, and bed with his wife. Wiseman.


© Webster 1913.

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