Unscandalous Bed Manners

I bought a book called Bed Manners: A Very British Guide to Boudoir Etiquette which is a 2014 reprint of a 1936 book and I was dying to find out people could possibly have been printing in the 1930s about bed manners. It turns out that it’s much less salacious than the title implies. Though, thankfully it doesn’t pretend that people don’t share a bed (married people, only, natch): “Your first shock will come from the discovery that even the nicest person…is actually a skeleton most insufficiently padded at the forehead, chine, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.”

It offers pretty good advice in dealing with common shared-bed problems such as The Encroacher; The Human Caterpillar (aka Blanket Stealers); Readers-, Talkers-, and Eaters-In-Bed. And the sort of things you will have to decide on in a shared bedroom- what kind of bed, how much light, how much fresh air, noise, what/how many pillows, what time to get up, and how cold or warm.

It also recommends a great deal of consideration for your partner- picking up your clothes as you get undressed and putting them away, not blowing your nose on your sheets or putting your dirty shoes on them, wearing nice looking nightclothes, and brushing your teeth.

Of course there are some fun outdated bits about how unappealing hair curlers and face cream are to a new husband who has never seen such a thing before. Or about how much women love hot water bottles (…this may not be SO far outdated as I have one [heart shaped!] that I love, though I will concede that I am sometimes quirkily outdated).

Some other choice chapters:

  • Berth Control in the Railway Sleeping Car
  • Bed Manners in a Country House
  • How to be a Charming Invalid
  • How to make a Hospital Proud of You
  • Simple Rules for Subtle People


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