Bedroom Evolution

Sleeping through the Decades

Since the ’50s, beds have been the “main attraction” when it comes to bedroom design. Yet those styles have changed dramatically over the years – just like green shag carpet is no longer a thing (thank goodness!). Here’s the Better Sleep Council’s quick peek at the evolution of bedroom design and décor along with changes in mattress styles.


The functional fifties

This post-war era had homes decorated with Formica, chrome furniture, modern appliances and colorful pastel paints. The typical home had two bedrooms, with siblings often sharing a room. When it came to mattress comfort, foam rubber was the “it” thing, and couples sleeping in twin-size beds – made popular by TV couples like Lucy and Desi – were a hit in the bedroom.


Hippie hype

Bedrooms became stages for self-expression as America headed toward the psychedelic era. Do-it-yourself designers began using colorful posters and memorabilia to transform walls into personal art. Blowup furniture, beanbag chairs and open plan designs brought a “groovy” feel to the bedroom, while larger beds and waterbeds also became part of the free-love culture.


The sparkling seventies

Unlike the do-it-yourself attitude of the ’60s, in the ’70s glitz became glam and bigger became better when it came to home decorating. The decade brought a focused attention to bedroom design, with bold, earthy colors, woodgrain paneling and wallpaper dominating the décor. As bedroom sizes expanded, queen and king became the preferred bed sizes for couples.


The extreme eighties

The term “McMansion” first appeared in the ’80s to describe the extreme size of new homes. Bedrooms increased in both size and number, accommodating larger furniture and electronics. Interior design became more stylized, with geometric patterns and bold, electric accents of hot pink and teal. Retreating to a spacious bedroom with a queen-size mattress to watch late-night TV became one of America’s most desired ways to relax.


The new age nineties

By now, more than 85% of new homes were being built with three or more bedrooms. With more available space, bedrooms became even more multifunctional and personalized. In 1991, the queen-size mattress surpassed the traditional full-size as the most popular sleeping choice for American couples. Also happening at this time, luxury mattresses were reaching mainstream popularity with the pillow-top feature.


21st century: sleep sanctuary

Home sizes have doubled since 1970, and homeowners are taking advantage of the extra space by transforming the bedroom into a place for personal retreat, relaxation and rejuvenation. Calming colors and textures are taking over, creating a spa-like atmosphere. The added sleeping space of queen- and king-size mattresses continues to win new fans. Intriguing new technologies, such as memory foam and adjustable airbeds, are piquing consumers’ interest in exploring the many luxury mattress choices now available. More than ever, the bedroom has become a personal sleep oasis.

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