About the Old Bed Guy

My name is ****** *****. (I have to be careful!) I live in New York City, the true hub of the furniture industry. Since 1950 I have sold, advertised ,made, ordered, fixed and delivered furniture and bedding.

There isn’t much I don’t know about the tricks of the trade. I want to share this with you while I still have time.

My goal is to provide an inside look into the business. If you are shopping for furniture, especially beds, mattresses or bedding, you will do well to  pay attention. I can save you a lot of money and disappointment with my hard earned wisdom

I have nothing new to sell and not useful except in vague terms if you ask for valuation of vintage or antique beds. I am a fully retired guy in my eighties filling up my days walking my dog in Central Park, and trying to empty my mail box. I comparison shop at the local sleep shops, furniture and department stores when I am bored.

Please feel free to email me questions and I will answer them promptly. If you are asking for specific named-names mattress buying advice, please take the time to describe yourself as to age group, weight group, height, physical activities, chronic aches, and anything a qualified mattress salesperson should ask you to help narrow down the choices. If you have a problem with an owned bed or mattress, again, write too much in the first letter. I will reply and I probably will be very helpful.

Email Me Here

The internet is populated with loads of phony mattress review sites. 99.9% have an agenda to send you to a specific website that financially rewards them. You have to wade through pages of verbiage until they finally send you to site A or B with a convenient link. Some of them are extremely clever. Caveat Emptor. If you want to read real and trustworthy mattress reviews only one place can help you. Consumer Reports actually has a beautiful lab with testing instruments and tens of thousands of subscribers who report on their mattress experiences. And Consumer Reports, like myself, has nothing for sale. They do not sell advertising and I do not sell anything.

44 Responses to About the Old Bed Guy

  1. Ben Jarrell says:

    I have a simmons slumber king bed that i believe is at least 80 years old. the frame is wood with a headboard footboard and two side slats that inter lock with the head and foot boards. the spring looks like cast metal with flat metal slats that are connected with a bunch of small springs. do you have any information on the age of this product?

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear Ben,
      You have a classic flat bed spring that was made by many manufacturer’s from around 1910- 1917 and again 1919 until 1942. They used a lot of metal that was needed in the two war efforts. Post WW2 box springs eventually replaced them The strong castings on both ends probably have two metal pipes running between them, the length of the bed. They have to be very strong, because they have to resist the tug of the helical coil springs attached to each flat longitudinal slat plus the weight of the bed’s occupants. To my knowledge, Simmons brand beds were all painted metal in the first half of the twentieth century. Is the Slumber King label on the bed spring or somewhere on the bed?
      Marshall Coyle

      • Jim Fogarty says:

        I have this same bed. How much is it worth

        • Marshall Coyle says:

          Jim, Please send me a picture. Karen is only referring to a bed-spring, not the bed holding the spring. These springs are priceless, since few to none are on the market and this takes care of the demand.
          Marshall

  2. joan says:

    i have a bed with springs that sound like the above except my bed is metal. the spring say slumber king

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      You have a bed similar to Ben (below) made of painted metal with a Slumber King spring. It will last for eternity, but if you can afford it, you should treat yourself to a nice new bed that will support your back properly.

      Marshall Coyle

  3. Robert Mann says:

    Hello:

    My wife recently gave away an antique twin bed that I believe was quite valuable. It came from the Pacific Northwest. It had a medium tall cherry headboard that was rounded and decorated across the top. The most interesting thing was it had full 1′ tall cherry side rails and the foot board curved to wrap around the foot of the bed looking roughly like the stern of a ship. Any idea’s on what it was and what it is worth? I’d like to call and inform the new owners if possible, sorry I don’t have a photo.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Depending on the size and condition of the bed you can be looking at a spread, at retail, from $100-$500 for a 48 or 50″ 3/4 bed. Twin and full can be 40% higher. A rare queen size can be worth up to $1,000. If the curved foot board is bowed sufficiently so that a custom bed spring is required, you can deduct 25%. Obviously in the absence of a photograph, I could be off the mark with a highly decorated or artistic bed. If the bed is made of a cheaper wood and only stained cherry, more devaluing.
      Marshall Coyle

  4. Ed says:

    I have a Slumber King set of springs (71X50) that has the price ($11.75) painted on the frame. Is this an antique and if so how much would you estimate it might be worth>

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear Ed,
      If someone needs an odd size bulletproof metal bed spring you might get $50 or even more for each. They are Simmons entry-level product, but so well designed that a coat of aluminum paint can render them practically brand new. They were made from around 1920 until 1942 when the war effort stopped the use of metal in bed springs. After the war, box springs took over. In any case your springs are narrower than full size and wider than 3/4. I can only suggest that you put them on E-Bay and see what turns up. One problem is that they just aren’t worth enough to pack and ship any distance.
      Marshall Coyle

  5. Lori Coffman says:

    We have two old twin beds that have metal springs as you have described in posts on your sites. They have become too squishy and bouncy. Is there any way to repair, replace or replace them with a box spring and keep the frame etc?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Lori,
      Can you please take a photo of one of the beds with the mattress removed so that I better see what kind of spring you have. I also will need a photo of the rails that the spring rests on. I need to know if they are wooden or metallic. Last, but far from least, I need to know the size of the top of the spring, length and width. If a box spring will not fit, I will lead you through the process of reinforcing your old springs.
      Marshall Coyle

  6. Louise Howard says:

    I recently bought a Twin sized Metal bed. The headboard and footboard are both painted with pretty little flowers. I also have the original rails and casters. The sticker on the bottom says Simmons company. I am trying to find out what is the value to see if I paid a fair price. I could send a picture, I just don’t know how to attach it here.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Louise,
      Please direct your email to oldbedguy at gmail dot com. You should be able to attach a picture to this ordinary email. I will be delighted to share my knowledge with you promptly on receipt.
      Marshall

  7. Roland says:

    We have a full size box springs all metal that are roughly 75+ yrs old. Is there any value to this piece??

    Thanks!!

    • Roland says:

      No manufacturing name just some numbers on the springs
      4770
      4/6
      FACT. 52
      Don’t if this means anything to you??

      Thanks!!

      • Marshall Coyle says:

        Roland,
        In a word, no. This type of coil bed spring antedated the box spring. Yours was probably made by the Simmons company. The only thing that can kill one is rust. In the highly unlikely event that someone wants/needs such a spring, searching the net is about the only way unless some thrift shop or antique store has one in the back room for nostalgia. Any antique bed that will use such a spring will also accept a modern foundation or box spring.

        I found one on the web today, priced at $35: http://www.postad360.com/classifieds/ga/view-235011-63/antique-vintage-box-springs-for-full-size-bed-35-kennesaw.html

        I’m sorry that I can’t tell you that you have a valuable rarity, but you do have one of the best made products from when America still made things.

        Marshall

        • Roland says:

          Marshall one last question, we have a mattress from the same period that still has the stamps….”War” stamps maybe??? Does that change anything??
          Thanks again!!!

          • Roland says:

            They are bedding stamps Marshall and your are right it is made by Simmons. The stamps are Georgia and one is South Carolina, the other 2 are illegible.

  8. Roland says:

    Thanks Marshall!!!

  9. Aileen Elgie says:

    I would like to find springs for twin beds which could be used as bunk beds or separate twin beds. They might have been sold by Sears? There are 2 wooden slats to hold the springs in place, which sit in wooden pieces on the bedrails. If I can find springs for these beds, I would like to pass them along to my granddaughter for her 2 daughters.
    The springs were not coil but elongated triangles fastened together with twists of metal.

    Do you know of a source for such springs which would not cost an arm and a leg to buy?
    Many thanks for your help,
    Aileen

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Aileen,
      Most sleep shops sell “bunky boards”. These are flat upholstered boards approx 38X74″ and 2-3″ thick. They and can replace any metal spring providing there are at least four bed slats minimum to support the bunkies. Alternatively, stronger, and possibly safer and/or more economical, would be a piece of minimum 1/2″ plywood cut to fit snugly on the longitudinal supports on the inside of the bed rails. No one, to my knowledge is still making flat bed springs. You might succeed with an internet Google search for two used ones, but I sincerely doubt that you will succeed, or that the springs have not fully stretched in their first lives.
      If you could send a picture of the beds and rails to: oldbedguy at gmail dot com, I would be a bit more secure in the quality of my advice.
      Marshall Coyle

  10. amy says:

    I found a coil spring that has a metal tag that says “ACE $19.75″ “Simmons Co”. It is in good condition and measures 7 1/2 inches thick by 53 inches wide by 73 inches long. Is it worth anything?

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Amy,
      If you found someone that needed it to complete a bed you might get as much as fifty dollars. No dealer that I am aware of would bother putting it in stock owing to the extremely limited market. You should go to Google Images and search “Simmons bed spring”. One or more might turn up and might have some dollar information connected. The spring is probably 60-80 years old and made so well that it is still useful. You can put a zippered cover over it for cleanliness and use it as a box spring.
      Good Luck,
      Marshall

  11. Bev Hoffman says:

    I have a metal Slumber King box spring frame – numbers on it are 4 FT 6 or G. The spring looks like cast metal with flat metal slats that are connected with a bunch of small springs. Do you have any information on the age of this product and whether or not there is a market for it? Thanks

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Bev,
      I am sorry to tell you that your 4’6″ flat bed-spring has little or no monetary value or a market place. They were an inexpensive widely sold type of spring popular between the two great wars and for a few years into the fifties. They are not more than a metal hammock with no support in the middle, but they do last forever, and maybe, just maybe, provide a less hospitable home to vermin than an upholstered box spring.
      Marshall Coyle

  12. Marshall Coyle says:

    Dear Ms.Summers,
    A picture is worth a thousand words. Please take some snaps and send them to me at: oldbedguy@gmail.com and I will try to be helpful. The information you have provided can indicate a value somewhere between $0.00 and whatever you can imagine. If it is an original Sheraton bed hand made two hundred years ago it could be worth many thousands. If it is a tired old bed from a commercial bedroom set, it is worth nothing at all except to someone who needs it to sleep on, but not as an object. Hopefully, yours is somewhere in between.
    Marshall Coyle, THe Old Bed Guy

  13. mary says:

    I have an antique bed with coil springs that need reinforced as grandpa was significantly heavier than grandma and the springs are weaker on one side. Would love to keep using it as a complete set. The edges of the coil are metal and the coils are metal. The bed is probably late 1800′s to early 1900′s as it was a (used) wedding gift for my grandparents from grandpa’s family and they were married in late 1930′s

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Mary,
      It is likely that I can help you. If you can take a snapshot and send it oldbedguy@gmail.com, I can be more helpful. Take a closeup of the angle iron edge if it has one. Any closeups of the coils and how they are fastened will also help and one long distance shot that shows all or most of the spring and I will get to work.
      Marshall Coyle

  14. Adrian says:

    Hello! My great, great aunt willed me her antique sleigh bed. Usually, it’s displayed proudly in our spare nedroom. However, with a new baby on the way, we had to disassemble it and put it in storage. We threw out the last mattress in doing this since it was 40 years old but barely used. We still have the metal box spring. It’s in perfect shape, but hard to store. Should we try to keep it or sell it? Thanks!

  15. Ken Wightman says:

    I have an old iron bed bought for $10 in the early ’70s in Georgia. The bed was an antique, obviously. Can I simply replace the original iron spring with a box spring as the box spring will sit on the L-shaped rails on either side of the bed frame? For extra strength I thought I’d reinforce the 1×2 running down the middle of the box spring. This should lessen flexing of the box spring.

    Any ideas? Will this work? Is there a better way to use a modern box spring on an antique iron bed?

    Cheers,
    Ken

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Ken,
      To have a drama free experience, the boxspring has to be supported across the width and not the length. 6 1″ thick bed slats fitting firmly inside the angle iron rails will do the job perfectly. You should rub a cake of hand soap on the rails where the the slats will be resting (only under the slats) to eliminate any potential squeaking. You could also use candle wax, but that should be rubbed on the wood instead.

      Look for your box spring in the clearance centers of your local department store or on Craigslist. Absolutely no reason to pay over $100 in any event. Also, make sure that the foundation (no longer called boxsprings) actually has steel supports inside. Do not buy an all wood object. They are made of the cheapest wormiest knottiest wood god could make and man could buy. Simmons, Sealy, Serta, all use the metal construction. Others should be checked. Run the palm of your hand across the top and if it is completely smooth, no good. There should be a metal grid with slight padding.
      Marshal Coyle

  16. Chelsea says:

    I have a 65 year old bed that I would like you to tell me if it is really worth the price my grandmother wants to sell it for. It is a 3/4 with a 3/4 mattress. It was originally owned by a women that lived in Northern Ontario, Canada. It is still usable, since it wasn’t used a lot since getting it from her nearly 20 years ago, and it doesn’t seem like there is a lot wrong with it other then some rusting springs and chipped paint off the metal.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Chelsea,
      One picture is worth a thousand words. I have no way of being helpful until you take some snapshots and email them to oldbedguy@gmail.com

      Most painted metal beds are of small value, but occasionally one with exceptional style can have real value. So get out your camera or smartphone and snap away.

      Marshall Coyle

  17. Kyle says:

    I have an old metal box spring and would like to know if it is worth keeping. On the top right corner of the frame is say Simmons Limited, across the top middle is the word Eatonia and it has the numbers 3-3 on the left side. It is 72″ long by 38 1/4 “wide.
    Thanks

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Kyle,
      The old coil spring is worth keeping IF: You need a spring and the springs are still firm and supportive. It has little to no value as a resale item, but owing to their sturdy construction, and possibly years and years of not being used, it may still be able to do a job.

      I suggest that you take it outside on a sunny day and give it a few minutes of garden-hose dirt and dust removal. Prior to using it again for many years, you should buy a zippered mattress cover to keep out dust and possible insect infestations.

      Marshall Coyle

  18. Sherry says:

    My mid-19th century sleigh bed has just been restored. (It drowned in 5′ of flood water after a hurricane destroyed my ground-floor apartment.) Veneer is all tight, it’s been French-polished, disassembled and reglued and re-bolted with new hardware. It’s a three-quarter size, about 72 3/4 inches by 54 inches. It looks best with a low-profile mattress. I’m in Westchester County. Where’s the best & least expensive place to obtain a decent custom-made, low-profile 3/4 mattress? Can you estimate the cost?Last time the mattress came from a place in Syracuse, NY. Here’s a picture. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    http://s44.photobucket.com/user/sherryfair/media/SleighBed2_zps4f608932.jpg.html

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Sherry,

      Your bed is absolutely outstanding and more than likely, based on your approximate measurements, a full, not a three quarter size. If you actually have 75″ to fit in a mattress and low foundation, you can be spared the cost and frustration attendant with a custom made.

      Your bed is so beautiful that it would be a shame to hide it with a thick sleep set. I notice that you live in Westchester with easy access to Manhattan. Your most sensible thing to do, after you measure at least two more times, is to visit the Charles P. Rogers showroom off Fifth ave on Seventeenth street. You can buy a superior mattress direct from the maker at less than half of retailer’s prices for ordinary mass produced “stuff”. They do make very low profile foundations and have an 11″ thick mattress that is very good quality (.http://www.charlesprogers.com/St.-Charles%E2%84%A2-Mattress-with-Foundation-p-540.html?cPath=4_268&gs=full) It should cost you around $1,000 or less if this is a guest bed. More if it is for every night use. You should measure the distance between the bed slats and the start of the polished wood to be able to decide on the best thickness.

      I can also suggest Dixie Foam just east of Sixth avenue on 24th or 25th if you need still thinner than the innersprings and don’t mind sleeping on all foam. Same price story as Rogers. If you choose to pay the retail markup and buy a mass produced mattress, there is still one specialty store left in the area run by honest and knowledgeable third generation retailers who will treat you as if they value your business. It is Long’s on West 79th in between two chain sleep shops. You will get an honest deal over a wide range of prices. No phoney markdowns. One price policies in all three stores. Rogers sells on the internet, but the other two just have informational sites.

      Marshall Coyle, the Old Bed Guy

  19. Tara says:

    Hi Old Bed Guy!

    I have a wrought iron bed with brass fittings that was bought at a auction in the 70′s. The spring unit says Simmons Slumber Queen on it. Can you tell me anything about the bed and how much it might be worth?

    Here are some pictures:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8co5agoghlrezga/NunvPCp4_i

    I have more detailed pictures of the bed if you’d like to see them.

    Thanks,
    Tara

  20. Vikki says:

    Just wondering if you received the photos I sent of our bed with the surround/curved footboard and overlaid colors and designs. If not, I would send them again as I sure would appreciate some help in identifying it. I believe I sent 4 photos through your e-mail link.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Vicki, Please resend as the spam filter must have eaten them. I’ll get right on it as soon as I get the pictures. Marshall Coyle

  21. Crystal says:

    I have an antique bed frame not sure what type of woor or of the veneer it has mouldings on the corners,the side panels connect into the head and foot board with metal L shaped hooks and the footbaord curves back toward the headboard. Do you know what kind of bed this is and how much its worth?

  22. ed dorrell says:

    I have a Simmons mission style brass bed with springs can you tell me any thing about it

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Ed,
      For certain, you have a brass or brass look bed and a style that may or may not be mission. Absent clear photographs which you can attach to an email to oldbedguy@gmail.com, all I can tell you is in the first sentence. If the photographs show details such as the ends of the side rails and any decals or other marking that may still be on your, to me, unknown bed. Please also include the bedspring in your photographs. I need to see if the bed takes coil and flat springs or just one type. And last; before you send the email that might get you some useful information, take a magnet, any magnet even a “refrigerator” magnet ad, and hold it to the thickest tubing on the bed. If the magnet sticks to the bed, it may be a Simmons, and might even be in the very rare mission style, but it isn’t solid brass. Many beds were made of iron covered with thin sheets of brass veneer and they fall into a completely different class when it comes to buying and selling.

      Marshall Coyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


− 3 = four


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>