In Bed or On Bed, Which is Correct? Answered

In Bed or On Bed, Which is Correct?: A Bed is simply one of the most comfortable places for relaxation. In English Parlance, a Bed can be defined as a piece of furniture used for sleeping, resting or relaxing. However, in same English Language there have been confusion on how to perfectly use the phrase ‘Bed’, with some suggesting that it is grammatically right to say ‘In Bed’, while some others clamour that ‘On Bed’ is apposite grammatically.

This grammar perplexity with regards these two phrases ‘In Bed’ and ‘On Bed’, has made it imperative for me to consider in this Article which is grammatically correct between ‘In Bed’ or ‘On Bed‘.

In Bed or On Bed, Which is Correct
In Bed or On Bed, Which is Correct

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Meaning of The Phrase, “In Bed” or “On Bed”

In Bed: Simply means that you are sleeping. Thus, it is usually used to refer to when a person is fast asleep or just woke up from Sleep. For example, My Dad is in bed. I was in bed prior to your Call.

In bed may also refer to when a person is lying down in their bed covered with Blanket or Duvet.

On Bed: This Phrase on the other hand refers to where a person is sitting down on his or her bed, or just lying down casually on the bed. So for example, if I am just lying down or sitting down thinking and someone asks where are you? My answer should be ‘ I’m relaxing on my bed’ or ‘I’m on the Bed’.

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In Bed or On Bed, Which is Correct?

The real question is when can we use ‘In bed‘ or ‘On bed’, and generally which of these phrase is correct.

Differences Between In Bed or On Bed
Differences Between In Bed or On Bed

It is my submission that both of these Phrase are Correct, however it is dependent on it’s usage and grammatical context. Let’s therefore consider instances either of the Phrase can be distinctively used:

When Sleeping:

When you are sleeping or you were fast asleep, and you want to describe to someone that you were sleeping, the correct phrase to use is ‘In bed’. For example, Anayo, I was in bed. Hey Miracle I am in bed.

When Lying down covered:

In a situation you are lying down on your bed covered in Blanket, Duvet or Mattress, the appropriate and grammatically correct phrase to use is ‘In bed’. On the other hand, when you’re neither Asleep nor covered in Blanket or Duvet, it is only grammatically correct to say ‘on bed’. I.e. I am on my bed.

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Placing an Inanimate thing:

Another Scenario where these two phrases can be distinctively used is with respect to when you place an Inanimate object or thing on your bed. Say for example, I left my Car key in my room, and I am asked where is your Car key, the correct phrase to use is ‘My Key is on my Bed’.

Thus, in describing or placing Inanimate objects placed in your bed, ‘on bed’ is the appropriate phrase to use.

Sitting down:

In a Situation where you are Sitting down on your bed, the appropriate terminology to use is ‘On bed‘. It will be grammatically wrong to say ‘In bed‘. E.g Where are you? I’m in bed. You are only right to say I am on bed or I am on my bed.


The same principles of Sitting down is applicable to a situation where you are relaxing on your bed. For example, when asked Where are you? You are to reply “I am lying down on my bed” or “ I am on the bed”. It will be wrong to say “I am in the bed”. This is because the phrase “On bed” postulates that you are not ready to sleep, but you are just relaxing on your bed.

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In conclusion, asides the aforementioned instances, the applicability of ‘On bed’ or ‘In bed’ depends on the context in use, and you can only apply it appropriately in such context when tailored in line with the definitions of both phrases elucidated in this Article. Moreso, as established earlier on in this Article, both phrases are grammatically correct. However, it depends on the context or instance of usage.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Omole Opeyemi

    Thanks so much for the clarification…

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