A canopy platform bed in most cases, feature posts at each of the four corners extending a few feet above the mattress. Cross beams connect the four posts, where decorative fabric is often draped across. Large pieces of fabric may be draped over the four posts creating the canopy above the bed.
The use of the words 4 poster platform bed and canopy platform bed have been used synonymously, although very similar, they are not the same bed. A four poster platform bed does not have the cross beams connecting the posts.
There are two broad categories for canopy platform beds, traditional or contemporary. Like other types of platform beds, the traditional canopy platform beds are very ornate, with intricate carvings. They may be made from metal, such as iron, or more often wood. It is common to find the posts of canopy platform beds carved with elaborate designs. These throwbacks also often feature ruffled, pleated elaborate draping, sometimes with rather heavy cloth. The colors of the canopy platform bed drastically set the mood of the room. Unlike traditional canopy platform beds, contemporary canopy beds adhere to a less ornate design. The posts generally lack any ornate carvings and are thinner. The large, bulky designs found in the traditional style have given way to a more simple design featuring straight, sharp lines. Wood, metal, or a combination of the two is used in the construction of modern canopy beds.