Difference between постель and кровать?

macdevster

Senior Member
USA, English
Hi all. Can someone explain to me the difference between these words for "bed": кровать and постель?

Спасибо большое!
 
  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Крова́ть is basically a piece of furniture specifically designed for sleeping. Посте́ль is basically a place prepared for sleeping (some sheets and a blanket are normally implied; its relation to стели́ть is apparent enough). Obviously, these concepts largely overlap (and, I suppose, крова́ть can be used figuratively to some extent), but not any посте́ль will be represented by крова́ть (a Japanese futon with necessary bedding is also посте́ль, for instance, but certainly not крова́ть; cf. also self-explanatory expressions like "постели́ть на дива́не"), while in some contexts крова́ть is clearly preferable (when you talk about moving furniture, for instance).
     
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    Shadiac

    Senior Member
    Russian - Moscow
    I see none. For the piece of furniture, you could pretty much say both. Referring to a place of rest, you could say "ложе" which is even more accurate than "постель" or "кровать".
     

    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    For the piece of furniture, you could pretty much say both.
    There's no such piece of furniture as постель at all; it is even not quite a separate material thing but rather, say, the very presence of a blanket and pillow, their ready-to-sleep setup at some place.
    you could say "ложе"
    Only figuratively, e.g. 'супружеское ложе'. Even in books it sounds comical to some degree. Also, it does not imply any fabric used but only location where someone or something rests.
     
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    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Which could also be a piece of furniture :)
    You can make it on the floor as well: [постелить | приготовить постель] на полу;
    neither does it mean that постель, as a term, now equals to 'the floor', it is only located there.

    As I understand, in English 'to make a bed' also does not necessarily mean that you are a furniture-maker.

    P.S. постелить can work as an intransitive verb in the meaning 'to make a bed', even though colloquially people often say 'постелить постель' - probably to make information structure more stable; приготовить постель is fine; сделать постель is not so natural - by the same reason that it is not quite a thing on itself. Постелить only means 'to prepare it for usage'; but when you do it in the morning tucking it to put in order - it is "застелить/заправить кровать/диван/тахту/софу..." - when it is made over a piece of furniture, otherwise no special verb is needed since there's no thing to tuck it in.
     
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    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Even if the matter is your location or intention to go to bed, these are interchangeable only to some degree.
    Быть ещё в постели means to be not up yet; Быть ещё в кровати is the same but only for a bed that has a framework.
    Лечь в постель, again, requires only bed sheets as opposed to лечь в кровать.

    'Coffee in bed' is 'кофе в постель'. Bed linen is постельное бельё. Bedroom scene is постельная сцена.
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    'Coffee in bed' is 'кофе в постель'.
    "В кровать" will work too for me.
    Also note "лечь в кровать" vs. "лечь на кровать".
    That's why I mentioned that "кровать" can be also used figuratively (and synonymous to "постель" in that case). But indeed it's a merely contextual synonymy.
     
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    Vx123

    Member
    Russian
    I just want to add that a simple trick that usually helps to resolve this and similar arguments is to do google/images search on each of the two words.

    In this case, the difference between the images found in each case is obvious and supports the first answer by Awwal:
    постель = a soft comfy safe place for sleeping.
    кровать = merely a piece of furniture. Also, blanket(s) not included.
     
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