I Would Give a Box-Bed a Try

@Corbin5 (115753)
United States
October 10, 2018 10:47am CST
A box-bed, closed-bed, enclosed-bed, or close-bed contained a bed that was inside a nicely-decorated box made from wood. Carvings, painted designs or scenes decorated box-beds. The box-bed was first used in late medieval times in western Europe. To get into a box-bed, a weary person would just remove curtains from the opening, slide a door or two aside, or open a hinged door to gain entry. The box-bed had short legs to protect the bottom of the box-bed from the moisture that was within a dirt floor. The box-bed also protected sleeping adults, children, and babies from any wandering pigs, chickens, and the occasional wolf. A person sleeping in a box-bed slept in a near-to-sitting position while leaning on three to four pillows for support. Lying down completely was not to be done in medieval times because lying down was the position of the dead. My mother's family hails from Brittany, France, and the lit-clos, or box-bed, was a traditional piece of furniture in that area. The people of Brittany were rather short, therefore, fitting in a box-bed was not a problem. I inherited that "rather-short" gene, so a box-bed would work well for me too. Western Britain had its fair share of box-beds, or enclosed-bed furniture, and the Netherlands had closet-beds that were built into the walls of a home.
20 people like this
23 responses
• United States
11 Oct
I was thinking more of a trundle bed but this one looks okay. But what about claustrophobia for those that do not like smaller spaces ?
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
I would be a bit too claustrophobic in a box-bed. No way could I ever close the door or draw the curtains. I suppose those who could not handle a box-bed had to sleep on the floor.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Oct
@Corbin5 I'll take the box bed then if the floor was the only other option, rather not be a critters din din !
1 person likes this
@akalinus (21171)
• United States
12 Oct
I think it looks cozy. At first, I did not like it but am starting to now.
1 person likes this
@akalinus (21171)
• United States
10 Oct
A box-bed sounds very uncomfortable. I like to stretch out when I sleep. I am not crazy about the one in the photo. At first, I thought it was a stove. I just did not like it.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
Some where a bit more ornate and looked more inviting than the one in the photo. I needed a photo of one that sat on a dirt floor, which was most-likely what the floor of my great-great grandparent's house in Brittany. Their stone house is still there in Brittany, but I believe it is empty. My cousin Pierre sent a photo of their house to me.
3 people like this
@akalinus (21171)
• United States
10 Oct
@Corbin5 I would think that stone houses would be really cold in the winter. Did you live in one?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
@akalinus No, never have lived in a stone house. Have never been to Brittany, France. Just recently learned we have a lot of cousins in Paris and in Brittany.
@Juliaacv (33168)
• Canada
10 Oct
I've not read anything about these beds from another era. I cannot help but to think that they would be awfully uncomfortable compared to the nice soft big beds that we enjoy today.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
I bet they were uncomfortable. I read that the box-bed was the most prized possession in the house.
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@Juliaacv (33168)
• Canada
10 Oct
@Corbin5 it was probably because of the privacy it offered.
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@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
@Juliaacv My great-great grandparents home still stands in Brittany. Our newly-found cousin Pierre took a photo of the home and sent it to my sister and me. It is a tiny house, so I bet a box-bed was a space saver in that house.
1 person likes this
@Courage7 (15652)
• United States
10 Oct
I would love one of those, I would feel so safe Deborah. I know someone who loved to sleep in a closet lol That is so great that you can know of your history of your heritage Deborah too.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
Our son loved sleeping in our walk-in closet when he was little. I let him do that a few times. I would like one of those box-beds too. A light, little TV, and books would make for a comfy spot to get away from it all. Some of the box-beds were quite lovely.
1 person likes this
@Courage7 (15652)
• United States
10 Oct
@Corbin5 Indeed so ornate and superb Deborah. We could have pajama parties in there
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
@Courage7 Now, that would be so much fun!!!
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10861)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
10 Oct
I had a box bed as a child. It was made out of cardboard and had writing all over it.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
I bet it was one very comfy bed!! When you outgrew it, a bigger cardboard box! Easy and cheap.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10861)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
10 Oct
@Corbin5 Yes. We eventually moved into a cardboard house.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
@UncleJoe Those boxes in which new refrigerators are delivered sure do come in handy.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
10 Oct
This is very interesting, but you don't mean (surely!) that you slept inside the box?! Wouldn't you suffocate? Have you been to Brittany? We used to go there almost every year and camp for a few weeks when the kids were younger. Lovely place, very friendly people.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
No, I have never been, but I do have a very long line of ancestors, Guern and Gereec, who lived in Brittany. My great-great grandparent's home is still there, thanks to our newly-found cousin taking a photo. He lives in Paris, but decided to visit Brittany.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
11 Oct
@Corbin5 That's so cool, being able to trace your ancestors so far back to a faraway land! My great-grandmother was Swiss but I know very little beyond the town she came from, and I have no contact with my long Swiss cousins
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
@NormanDarlo Yes, it is great. One of the users here from France put together a family tree ancestry chart for me. My dad's family was easy to trace just using Find-a-Grave due to his family being from England and then coming to the USA in the 1600s. I hope that some day, you will have some contact with your Swiss cousins.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37723)
• United States
10 Oct
Well they sure looked pretty although compared to what we are used to now I assume they would be very uncomfortable. Very good idea though to be able to protect themselves from pigs and other wild animals!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
A TV, a light, and books inside one of those might make a nice spot to get away from it all. Not sure if I could close the door, though. Claustrophobia may set in.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37723)
• United States
11 Oct
@Corbin5 I would have loved hiding in one as a kid I'm sure
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
@shaggin For a kid, that box-bed would definitely been a lot of fun.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (2183)
• United States
14 Oct
Oh wow this would be cool to at least try out.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
14 Oct
Those beds were very well made, I am sure. I bet some were very well done. My great-great grandparents home is still standing in Brittany. It looks small, and a box-bed was most-likely used. Brittany folks were known for being quite short.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (2183)
• United States
14 Oct
@Corbin5 Yes I am sure they were made to last, nothing like today.
1 person likes this
@Janet357 (2952)
11 Oct
b you never fail to amaze me with your posts. But right now, im laughing at the sight of that box bed hahhaha
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
It is hard to imagine fitting into that space in the box. Even short me would have a problem.
@Janet357 (2952)
11 Oct
@Corbin5 i just stand five feet. Do you think i will fit in?
@ridingbet (59369)
• Philippines
11 Oct
isn't it hot when one sleeps inside the box-bed?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
I would think it would be hot if summer heat was in the forecast. Maybe folks slept on the floor if it was hot. I think a stone house would always be rather cool, so even hot weather may not deter someone from sleeping in a box-bed.
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (59369)
• Philippines
13 Oct
@Corbin5 i agree with you. especially if the box-bed has no windows
1 person likes this
@amadeo (73005)
• United States
10 Oct
we hand brass bed with three of us slept in.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
A bit crowded for the three of you, but nice and warm in winter thanks to more than one warm body.
@amadeo (73005)
• United States
10 Oct
@Corbin5 Not sure my body is warm any more.I am cold most of the time.This is due to my medical issues
1 person likes this
@kepweng (18547)
• Waikoloa, Hawaii
14 Oct
nice antique if my mom see these thing she will ask u to gave it to her
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
14 Oct
I am glad your mom likes antiques.
• Midland, Michigan
11 Oct
Interesting, I've never heard of this before. I thought at first it wasn't the type of need that can be lifted up into a wall or ceiling. But those are somewhat traditional beds and they are thinner similar to couches with needs inside. Not comfy at all. I can sleep pretty well in a recliner, rocker or chair, but I don't think I'd want to be in something like what you're talking about.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
Yes, you are thinking about the Murphy Beds. The first house my parents bought had a Murphy Bed which was in the living room. I do not think I would do well a bed like the box-bed. The house in Brittany, France, owned by my great-great grandparents is still standing. It looks like a one-room house, and I bet a box-bed was used.
@Susan2015 (21673)
• United States
11 Oct
I don't know. It doesn't sound like it would be very comfortable. Of course now there are so many options.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
Well, not being able to change position would be a problem for me, and I never can fall asleep on my back.
1 person likes this
@Metsrock69 (1073)
• United States
11 Oct
That looks very nice and very well built
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
I read that the box-bed was a very prized possession. Some are more detailed and ornate than the one in the photo
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (17302)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
11 Oct
A beautiful bed with lots of story. I’d love to have one.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
I would like to give one a try. I saw a vintage one for sale for around $1,000. Doubt if I would spend that much for a vintage box-bed though.
@JudyEv (134702)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Oct
I've seen these in museums in Ireland. Sometimes they slept almost sitting up because they had chest problems.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
11 Oct
I can see why that type of bed would help those who had health issues.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (52596)
• United States
10 Oct
I would try it!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
It does look cozy. Heck, add a small TV, some books, and a light, and it would be a nice place to get away from it all.
@dfollin (12768)
• United States
10 Oct
I didn’t know people could not lay down then. Weird! I couldn’t sleep like that I am chlostrophobic
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
I am a bit claustrophobic too. I would have to leave the door or curtain open.
1 person likes this
10 Oct
I like these beds. I think they'd be a bit uncomfortable though! I like to lie on my tummy.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115753)
• United States
10 Oct
These definitely would not allow for on-tummy sleeping. I prefer sleeping on my stomach too. Never can sleep on my back.