How The World Sleeps - Bed Styles From Around The World
Bedrooms and bed styles tell a story. They express your identity, reveal your culture and display long standing traditions. When travelling abroad, you’re likely to encounter sleep environments that you’re not used to. Beds styles from around the world have striking differences between countries, and are shown through the varying types of bed designs that each offer the perfect sleep environments. Providing warmth, comfort and security and doing wonders for your sleep quality, check out these beds across the world.
Japan - The Futon:
Japanese sleeping involves the use of ‘Futons’, which is the traditional Japanese style bed. A Futon set consists of two separate components - the ‘Shikibuton’ (the mattress) and the ‘Kakebuton’ (the duvet). Futon sets are usually laid onto the floor in Japan and stored somewhere else throughout the day, as both elements are pliable enough to be aired, stored, and folded away. Usually, Futon creations are used on tatami, a type of mat that gives a softer base for the futon, than the floor itself which has harder surfaces.
Northern Europe - Ice Beds:
Ice hotels and igloos are commonplace in Northern Europe, as are ice beds. People in Northern Europe, as well as in other continents and countries that are the furthest away from the Equator in both hemispheres, will have had to adapt to sleeping in sub-zero temperatures and this is where ice beds come in. Ice beds involve sleeping on blocks of ice, with a wooden bed base and a mattress covered in reindeer skin - you are also kept warm by sleeping in a poler sleeping bag.
South America - Hammock:
Hammocks are steeped in history, going back to colonial times where they were used by Native Americans and then brought back to Europe by Christopher Columbus. The ultimate space-saving beds. They offered protection from insect stings and animal bites in Central and South America and were used as beds on Royal Navy ships going as far back as 1597. Typically made out of rope, nylon or cotton, the way a hammock works is that they are hung between two trees or posts 12-15 feet apart or in a hammock stand. Air also flows through the hammock making it perfect for the warmer climates.
India - Charpoy:
The Indian Charpoy is the traditional bed of Indian sub-continent and South Asia, most specifically India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Elegant in its design, a charpoy bed is a rectangular structure that is tightly woven in ropes or chords and supported by four wooden legs. They are very strong and can support heavy weights. Indian charpoy beds come in a variety of colours and designs and are also referred to as a: ‘charpai’, ‘manja’, ‘manjaa’, ‘manji’ and ‘khartiya.’
Africa - Netted Beds:
In Africa, mosquitoes and malaria are a problem and so netted beds are popular across the continent. In this culture, beds are surrounded by nets that are made out of polyester and fibers that are multi-filament. Mossie nets and mosquito mesh curtains are a necessity in order to reduce transmission of Malaria, as it’s not possible to fight off the mosquitoes whilst you sleep, especially as you can’t feel them biting you.
China - Kang Stove Bed:
The ‘Kang’ is a heatable brick bed and is widely seen in Northern China. Chinese Kang beds have been used for over 2500 years and is one of the oldest floor heating systems in place to date, with over 175 million users in China. Kang stove beds are made out of bricks and inside the bricked platform is a heated area, warmed up by a furnace; a flue leads to the outside for the exhaust fumes. The heat is maintained all day long and through the night, leading to a very comfortable sleeping experience, especially during the cooler winter months.
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