What Is a Captain's Bed?

Captain's beds have been around for as long as ocean-going ships. They were used to store the captain's clothes and valuables without taking up much space in the cabin. Today, they have the same function in homes with small or shared bedrooms.


A captain's bed has drawers and storage compartments underneath. Some have a narrow hidden drawer in the headboard. A captain's bed does not have a box spring; it just has a mattress with boards underneath and the frame holding the drawers.

Other Names

Captain's beds are sometimes referred to as cabin beds, chest beds and storage beds.


Captain's beds come in a variety of sizes. While the name might suggest a king-sized bed, twin-sized captain's beds are actually more common.


Captain's beds are traditionally used in rooms that are too small to fit both a bed and a separate dresser or chest. Twin-sized captain's beds can provide answers to space and safety concerns in shared children's bedrooms. Those that have secret compartments are used by people to hide jewelry and small precious heirlooms.

Fun Fact

Some twin-sized captain's beds hold a trundel bed in a single drawer underneath.

About the Author

Kim Leslie has been writing for twelve years and holds degrees from Maryville College and the University of Tennessee. She has written for "Resource Recycling Magazine," "State Laws Recycling Update," "Recycling Laws International" and "Watermarks". She has knowledge of Lupus, GERDs, science education, environmental issues, eldercare, parenting, Pilates and yoga.