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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

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Why Don’t Cowboys Put Hats on Beds?

The iconic image of a cowboy often includes a rugged individual wearing a wide-brimmed hat. This hat has become synonymous with the cowboy lifestyle, but have you ever wondered why cowboys never put their hats on beds? It turns out that there are several reasons behind this age-old tradition.

1. Superstition: One common explanation for this tradition is superstition. Cowboys believed that placing their hats on a bed would bring bad luck. This superstition likely stemmed from the idea that a hat on a bed was associated with illness or death, as it was often placed on a bedridden person.

2. Hygiene: Another reason for not putting hats on beds is hygiene. Cowboys spent long hours outdoors, often working in dusty and dirty environments. Their hats would accumulate sweat, dirt, and sometimes even insects. Placing such a hat directly on a bed could transfer these unwanted elements onto the bedding, creating an unclean sleeping environment.

3. Hat Care: Cowboys took great pride in their hats and considered them an essential part of their attire. Placing a hat on a bed could damage its shape, as the weight of the hat could cause it to lose its form or become misshapen. By keeping their hats off beds, cowboys ensured they would stay in good condition for longer.

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4. Respect for Beds: Beds were highly regarded by cowboys as places of rest and relaxation. They believed that putting their hats on beds showed disrespect for this sacred space. By keeping their hats off beds, cowboys demonstrated their appreciation for the comfort and solace provided by a good night’s sleep.

5. Tradition: The tradition of not putting hats on beds has been passed down through generations of cowboys. It has become ingrained in cowboy culture and is seen as a sign of respect and adherence to the old ways. Even though the reasons behind this tradition may have evolved or been forgotten, cowboys continue to uphold it out of respect for their heritage.

6. Practicality: In addition to the symbolic reasons, there are practical considerations as well. Hats are often worn to protect cowboys from the sun, wind, and rain. Placing a hat on a bed could transfer any dirt or moisture accumulated on the hat to the bedding, which would not only be unhygienic but also uncomfortable for the person sleeping on it.

7. Custom and Etiquette: Lastly, not putting hats on beds is a matter of custom and etiquette. Just as one wouldn’t put their shoes on a table, cowboys have adopted this tradition as a sign of proper behavior. It is a way to show respect for the bed and the person who may use it for rest.

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In conclusion, there are several reasons why cowboys don’t put their hats on beds. Superstition, hygiene, hat care, respect for beds, tradition, practicality, and custom all play a role in this longstanding practice. Whether it’s to avoid bad luck, keep their hats clean, or simply adhere to the customs of their predecessors, cowboys continue to honor this age-old tradition. So next time you see a cowboy with a hat, remember not to place it on a bed!
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