People have different ideas of what exactly can be considered "modern". Some have rather conservative tastes and may consider even traditional bed designs to be modern, while others may think that only the really cutting edge designs (some of which may not even be that great for sleeping in) deserve the label. The truth is, no one definition can be said to be THE right one. Instead, there are a few features shared by many beds that could place them in the modern or contemporary design category. Then again, there are also differing styles in modern designs, so the category could be considered a rather large one.

One of the defining characteristics of modern design, even though it's been around for a while, is minimalism. The minimalist movement perhaps gained the most notice when it started to be applied by architects, and it eventually trickled down to some of the every day objects we use. Of course, certain cultures have traditionally embraced minimalism, at least in some ways- Japan and Scandanavia come to mind. Nowadays, one of the hallmarks of modern bed designs is this minimalism that does away with what is perceived to be unnecessary. Superfluous decorations are usually the first to go, with other details following. The structure of the bed is emphasized, usually with smooth and simple lines, but also sometimes with unexpected angularity.

Not only platform bed designs (usually double bed designs in full, queen, or king sizes) but also single bed designs can be found employing modern design. Some of the latest bed designs to capture the imaginations of the modern-thinking are loft bed designs, or bunk bed designs, which are usually stacked single beds. Metal can play a big role in creating a modern look, in contrast to wooden bed designs. Metal enables the creation of different structures, many of which may be impossible with bed designs in wood. This makes it possible to cut down on materials (again, minimalism comes into play here) while creating novel visual effects.

Another aspect of modern design is the finish. Furniture pioneer Ikea has done a lot to spread the popularity of light colored wooden bed designs. These are a refreshing change from the often dark, heavy looking finishes traditionally used. As such, they go a long way to creating an interior that is airy and full of light.

Remember that some modern designs may work in more traditional settings. The lack of affectation means that these beds may be appropriate for more traditional settings that are simple and uncluttered.