Discover Unique Types of Handcrafted African Furniture – Beds

Types of Handcrafted African Furniture - Beds

Africa has a rich history of craftsmanship, with handcrafted furniture being one of its most significant cultural expressions. The handcrafted African furniture industry is known for its unique designs, high-quality materials, and attention to detail. Among the many types of handcrafted African furniture available, beds stand out for their exceptional beauty and authenticity. In this article, we will explore the different types of handcrafted African beds, their cultural significance, and how to incorporate them into your bedroom decor.

Key Takeaways

  • Handcrafted African furniture is known for its unique and authentic designs.
  • Beds are one of the most significant cultural expressions in the handcrafted African furniture industry.
  • African beds come in various types, each with distinctive features and materials used in their construction.
  • Handcrafted African beds can be incorporated into bedroom decor to add an exotic and beautiful touch to the overall aesthetic.
  • Proper maintenance and care are crucial to ensure the longevity and preservation of handcrafted African beds.

Canopy Beds

Canopy beds are a popular type of handcrafted African bed that features a decorative canopy or covering suspended above the mattress. These beds are often made from natural materials such as wood and woven fibers, giving them a distinct organic look and feel.

The construction of canopy beds often involves intricate craftsmanship, with skilled artisans using traditional techniques to create unique designs. The canopy itself may be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, silk, or mosquito netting.

Canopy beds have significant cultural and historical significance in African furniture. They were originally designed to provide privacy and protection from insects, but eventually became a symbol of status and wealth.

Today, canopy beds are a popular choice for those seeking a unique and exotic addition to their bedroom decor. They can be found in a variety of styles and sizes, ranging from simple and rustic to elaborate and ornate.

Platform Beds

Platform beds are another type of handcrafted African bed that boast unique design features and impeccable craftsmanship. These beds are typically constructed with a low-slung frame and a solid base, as opposed to the traditional European bed design that includes a box spring. Platform beds are known for their sleek and modern appearance, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a minimalist aesthetic.

The materials used in creating platform beds can range from natural hardwoods, such as mahogany and teak, to more unconventional options like bamboo or recycled wood. The design elements of platform beds are what truly set them apart, with intricate carvings, geometric patterns, and cultural motifs often incorporated into the headboard or base.

Platform beds have a rich history in African furniture, with some designs dating back to ancient Egyptian times. They were often used in communal sleeping spaces and had practical purposes, such as providing storage underneath the solid base. Today, platform beds continue to be a popular choice for those who appreciate the unique blend of function and style that they offer.

When it comes to maintenance and care, platform beds require little upkeep beyond regular cleaning and dusting. Because of their sturdy construction, they are often durable and long-lasting. However, it is important to avoid placing heavy objects on the bed frame, as this can cause damage over time.

If you are considering incorporating a handcrafted African platform bed into your bedroom decor, there are many options to choose from. Whether you prefer a minimalist design with clean lines, or a more ornate bed with intricate carvings, there is sure to be a platform bed that suits your style and preferences.


Daybeds are another popular type of handcrafted African beds. These beds are known for their practicality and versatility, as they can be used as both a seating area and a sleeping space. Daybeds are often designed with a wooden frame and a woven mat or cushion for the sleeping surface.

Daybeds are widely used in African culture for their functionality and ability to accommodate guests. They are also a common feature in outdoor spaces, such as patios or porches. The craftsmanship involved in creating daybeds often includes intricate weaving techniques and the use of natural materials, such as bamboo or rattan.

Incorporating African Beds into Your Bedroom Decor

Handcrafted African beds add a unique and authentic touch to any bedroom decor. Here are some tips and suggestions for incorporating these beautiful furniture pieces into your space:

  • Choose complementary colors: Consider the colors used in the bed and choose complementary shades for your bedding and accent pieces. Earthy tones such as browns, yellows, and greens work well with African furniture.
  • Add accessories: African-inspired accessories such as woven baskets, pottery, and textiles can add depth and texture to the overall design.
  • Invest in quality bedding: A high-quality duvet cover, sheets, and pillows can bring out the beauty of the handcrafted bed and create a comfortable sleeping environment.
  • Mix and match: Mix and match different patterns and textures to create a layered and interesting bedroom design. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations.
  • Consider other African furniture pieces: To create a cohesive look, consider incorporating other African furniture pieces such as chairs, side tables, or wall art.

Incorporating handcrafted African beds into your bedroom decor is an excellent way to add a unique touch to your home. With the right accessories and color scheme, you can create a beautiful and inviting space that reflects your personal style.

Maintenance and Care of Handcrafted African Beds

Handcrafted African beds are not only beautiful and unique, but also require proper maintenance and care to ensure their longevity. Here are some tips to keep your African bed looking its best:

  • Clean regularly: Dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of your African bed, so it is important to clean it regularly with a soft cloth or brush. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the wood or finishes.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: Sunlight can cause the colors and finishes of your African bed to fade over time, so it is best to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight. If possible, position your bed away from windows or direct sunlight sources.
  • Apply protective finish: To protect the wood and finishes of your African bed, you can apply a protective finish such as wax or oil. This will help to repel moisture and prevent scratches or dents.
  • Address stains quickly: If spills or stains occur on your African bed, it is important to address them quickly to prevent them from setting in. Use a damp cloth and mild soap to gently clean the affected area, then dry it thoroughly.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: African beds should be kept in a temperature-controlled environment, as extreme temperatures or humidity can cause the wood to expand or contract, leading to warping or cracking.

By following these simple maintenance and care tips, you can help to preserve the beauty and authenticity of your handcrafted African bed for years to come.

Where to Buy Handcrafted African Beds

If you’re interested in adding the unique and authentic touch of handcrafted African beds to your home, there are various options available to you. Here are a few places where you can purchase these stunning furniture pieces:

Option Description
Online platforms There are many online marketplaces that offer a wide selection of handcrafted African beds, such as Amazon, Etsy, and Houzz. It’s important to read reviews and check the seller’s ratings before making a purchase to ensure authenticity and quality.
Specialty stores Many specialty stores carry handcrafted African furniture, including beds. Look for stores that specialize in African decor or artisanal furniture. These stores often work directly with craftsmen in Africa, ensuring authenticity and ethical sourcing.
Artisan communities There are various artisan communities and cooperatives that promote sustainable and ethical African furniture production. These communities often offer a selection of handcrafted African beds, and purchasing from them supports local artisans and communities.

Verifying Authenticity and Quality

When purchasing handcrafted African beds, it’s important to verify their authenticity and quality. Look for signs of handmade construction, such as variations in color and texture, and ensure that the materials used are natural and sustainably sourced. You can also ask the seller about the bed’s origin and the craftsman who made it, and request detailed photos or videos of the bed before purchasing. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you’re getting an authentic and high-quality piece of African furniture.

Prices of Handcrafted African Beds

The prices of handcrafted African beds can vary depending on various factors. The materials used to create the bed, the level of craftsmanship involved, and the rarity of the design can all impact the final cost. Additionally, where the bed is purchased from can also play a role in its price.

As an example, a simple platform bed made of sustainably sourced wood and featuring minimal embellishments may be priced in the range of $600-$800. On the other hand, a more intricate canopy bed constructed from rare hardwoods and featuring elaborate carvings may be priced upwards of $5,000.

It’s important to keep in mind that purchasing a handcrafted African bed is an investment. These unique and authentic pieces of furniture hold cultural and artistic value, in addition to their practical use as a bed. While the price may seem steep compared to mass-produced alternatives, the quality and craftsmanship involved in creating African beds make them worth the investment.

For those with budget constraints, there are options available to still incorporate African beds into their home. One option is to look for secondhand or vintage pieces that can often be found at a lower cost. Another option is to opt for a simpler design or to work with a craftsman to create a customized bed within a budget.

Cultural Significance of Handcrafted African Beds

Handcrafted African beds hold a significant place in the cultural traditions and values of African communities. Beds in African culture have been more than just a piece of furniture; they represent a sacred place where important life events take place. In many African societies, beds were used as a symbol of social status, wealth, and power. The intricate designs and unique materials used in crafting these beds carried cultural messages and narratives that served as a testament to the ingenuity of African artisans.

For example, in West Africa, chiefs and important leaders slept on beds made of wood and adorned with intricate carvings and brass embellishments. These beds were a symbol of the leader’s power and authority. In contrast, the beds of ordinary people were often made of simpler materials such as straw or animal hides. In other parts of Africa, such as Malawi, the bed was a central piece of furniture in the house, and it was believed to bring blessings and good luck to the family.

“The bed is a potent symbol of identity and memory, family and community, and an insightful expression of artistic imagination and creativity.” – African Art in the Barnes Foundation

Handcrafted African beds also played a significant role in cultural rituals and ceremonies. For example, in some cultures, the bed was used during initiation rites to symbolize the transition of a person into adulthood. In other cultures, the bed was a place where pregnant women were cared for and gave birth.

The cultural significance of handcrafted African beds continues to influence contemporary African artists and furniture makers. Through their work, they are preserving and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of African furniture, while also creating innovative designs that reflect the modern tastes and preferences of consumers.

Sustainability and Ethical Considerations

Handcrafted African furniture is not only unique and authentic, but it can also be sustainable and ethical. With increasing concern for the environment and social responsibility, many African furniture producers are adopting eco-friendly and fair trade practices in their production processes.

One key aspect of sustainability in African furniture is the use of ethically sourced materials. This means that the wood, leather, or other natural materials used in creating the furniture pieces are obtained from sustainable sources and harvested in a responsible manner.

In addition, some African furniture producers are embracing eco-friendly production practices such as using recycled materials, reducing waste, and minimizing their carbon footprint. This not only helps protect the environment, but it also creates a positive impact on the local communities where the furniture is produced.

There is also a growing trend towards fair trade initiatives in the African furniture industry. This means that the producers ensure that the artisans involved in creating the furniture are paid fairly and work in safe and healthy environments.

By choosing to buy sustainable and ethical handcrafted African furniture, you can be assured that you are not only getting a unique and high-quality piece, but you are also contributing to a positive impact on the environment and the people involved in the production process.

Customization Options

One of the unique aspects of handcrafted African beds is the possibility of customization. Artisans can work with customers to create a bed that is tailored to their specific preferences, whether it be the design, dimensions, or materials used. This allows for a truly individual piece of furniture that is both functional and visually appealing.

Customization options can vary depending on the artisan or store, but many offer a range of choices for customers to make their bed their own. Some may offer a selection of different wood types to choose from, while others may allow for the incorporation of personalized carvings or engravings into the bed frame. Some artisans may even create entirely new designs based on customer requests, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.

Customization does often come with an additional cost, as the artisan must put in extra time and effort to create a bed that is unique to the customer’s specifications. However, the result is a piece of furniture that is not only functional and beautiful, but also holds personal meaning and significance to the owner.


In conclusion, handcrafted African beds offer a unique and authentic touch to any bedroom decor. With their distinctive designs, materials, and cultural significance, these beds are more than just furniture pieces – they are representations of African craftsmanship and values.

Whether you are interested in canopy beds, platform beds, or daybeds, there are a variety of options to choose from. Incorporating African beds into your bedroom decor can be a creative and rewarding experience, adding warmth and personality to your living space.

It is important to properly maintain and care for these furniture pieces to ensure their longevity. By following simple cleaning methods and upkeep practices, you can preserve the authenticity and beauty of African beds.

For those interested in purchasing handcrafted African beds, there are many reputable stores and online platforms available. It is important to verify the authenticity and quality of the beds before making a purchase.

Additionally, choosing sustainable and ethical African beds can have a positive impact on the environment and the communities involved in the production process. Customization options also offer flexibility and individuality in creating the perfect bed for your needs and preferences.

Overall, handcrafted African beds are not just pieces of furniture – they are representations of rich cultural heritage and skilled craftsmanship. By incorporating them into your home, you are not only adding a unique touch to your decor, but also supporting the African furniture industry and its values.


Q: What are canopy beds?

A: Canopy beds are a type of handcrafted African bed characterized by the presence of a canopy or drapes suspended above the bed frame. They are made using various materials such as wood, metal, or bamboo, and often feature intricate carvings or designs. Canopy beds have cultural significance in African communities and were traditionally used for ceremonial purposes.

Q: What are platform beds?

A: Platform beds are another type of handcrafted African bed that typically have a low-profile design with a solid, flat base. They are constructed using sturdy materials such as wood or rattan and are known for their minimalist aesthetic. Platform beds in African furniture often incorporate traditional motifs and craftsmanship, reflecting the cultural heritage of the region.

Q: What are daybeds?

A: Daybeds are handcrafted African beds that serve a dual purpose as seating during the day and a bed at night. They are designed to be versatile and practical, often featuring a cushioned or woven surface for comfortable seating. Daybeds in African culture are known for their unique designs and craftsmanship, with cultural influences evident in their construction.

Q: How can I incorporate African beds into my bedroom decor?

A: To incorporate handcrafted African beds into your bedroom decor, you can consider using color schemes and accessories that complement the bed’s design. African-inspired patterns, textiles, and artwork can be used to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal. Additionally, selecting furniture pieces that complement the style of the African bed can create a cohesive and visually appealing bedroom decor.

Q: How should I maintain and care for handcrafted African beds?

A: Proper maintenance of handcrafted African beds involves regular cleaning and upkeep. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning methods and use recommended products. Avoid exposing the bed to excessive moisture or direct sunlight, as it can damage the materials. Regularly check for any signs of wear or damage and address them promptly to ensure the longevity of the bed.

Q: Where can I buy handcrafted African beds?

A: Handcrafted African beds can be purchased from reputable stores specializing in African furniture, online platforms dedicated to artisanal products, or directly from artisan communities. It is important to ensure the authenticity and quality of the beds before making a purchase. Researching the reputation of the seller and verifying the craftsmanship techniques used can help ensure a genuine and satisfying purchase.

Q: What is the pricing range of handcrafted African beds?

A: The pricing of handcrafted African beds can vary depending on factors such as the materials used, the complexity of the design, and the rarity of certain styles. Generally, handcrafted African beds are considered investment pieces due to their uniqueness and cultural significance. However, there may also be more affordable options available for those with budget constraints.

Q: What is the cultural significance of handcrafted African beds?

A: Handcrafted African beds hold cultural significance in African traditions and communities. They are often associated with rituals, ceremonies, and communal life. The craftsmanship of these beds reflects the cultural values and beliefs of the African people, making them more than just functional furniture pieces. They serve as symbolic representations of heritage and identity.

Q: What sustainability and ethical considerations are associated with handcrafted African beds?

A: Handcrafted African beds can be sustainable and ethical choices for furniture. Many artisans use ethically sourced materials, employ eco-friendly production practices, and participate in fair trade initiatives. By choosing sustainable African beds, you can support responsible and conscious production methods that benefit both the environment and the artisans creating these unique pieces.

Q: Are there customization options available for African beds?

A: Yes, handcrafted African beds often offer customization options. You can personalize the design, dimensions, and materials used in the creation of the bed to suit your individual preferences. This allows for a more tailored and unique piece that reflects your personal style and vision. Customizing African beds offers flexibility and the opportunity to create an individualized statement piece for your bedroom.

Hendrix Morellaz
Hendrix Morellaz

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