A Detailed Guide On How To Choose A High Quality Bed Frame
We’ve all bought and tested a number of bed frames when shopping for furniture, so it’s clear that time, cost and money are the primary causes of our poor purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, we end up spending more money in the long run as a result of these impulsive and inexpensive furniture purchases, as we either sell them on Facebook Marketplace or pretend they are manageable until we can afford nicer ones. So if you’ve ever been in this circumstance and are wondering where to get a sturdy bed frame that will not break within a year, this article is for you.
Bed Frames and Foundations Explained
Choosing the correct bed frame is an important step in buying furniture, but terms such as box spring, foundation, and bed frame can be confusing when used interchangeably in the bed furniture industry. Below, we’ll break it all down, outlining the differences and provide key information to help you make an informed decision when shopping for a bed frame.
Bed Frame — A bed frame is a structural support system that raises and support your mattress. It acts as a foundation and often have legs and a platform for the mattress to rest on. It is typically made of wood or metal and may be ajustable, have slats or a solid platform.
Who should use a bed frame? If you have an innerspring mattress, it works best with a slatted bed frame for proper ventilation.
Foundation — A foundation is a component that provides additional support for your mattress. It’s placed directly on top of the bed frame and increases the mattress’s longevity, prevents sagging, and provides a more stable surface for the mattress to rest on. Compared to bed frames, foundations are typically made of wood or metal with a fabric cover, include a grid of wooden planks or a solid surface, and shorter in height. They are also referred to as box springs because bed manufacturers used to place actual springs within them, and the term “box springs” continues to be used today regardless of whether springs are present.
An example of this is seen with Tempurpedic Tempur-Flat Foundation and Stearns and Foster Foundation both use the term “foundation” and describes it as a solid flat surface but Stearns and Foster does not have a flat top surface, it is an ordinary box spring like the Zinus Edgar Wood Box Spring, only difference it that Stearns and Foster uses wood and steel wires. While Tempurpedic Flat Foundation is a foundation due to it having a solid flat surface top.
Who should use a foundation? If you have a memory foam mattress, its best to use a solid foundation because memory foam mattresses tends to sink between the slats over time, but a foundation will support a mattress and keep it firm.
Other companies will sometimes use the term “base.” It is essential to note that “bases” integrate both the characteristics of a bed frame and a foundation, providing a complete support system for your mattress. They can have a range of heights, and be adjustable, depending on the design and whether they include a bed frame or foundation component.
An example of bed bases can be seen with Modway’s Transform Split Adjustable Wireless Remote Bed Base and Sleep Number Integrated Base.
Now that we’ve covered the industry definition of bed frames and foundations, let’s look at how to choose a quality bed frame.
How To Shop for A Bed Frame
First thing you want to do is determine what type of bed frame material you would like. The types of material used in bed frames are wood, metal, plant, cardboard, and combination such as wood/metal, wood/plastic, and etc.
Wood frame seekers should buy solid wood foundations or bed frames. Solid wood works best because wood-like materials like particle board, MDF, composite and engineered wood are manufactured by binding wood fibers or layers together with adhesives, which means its weaker and can break easier but solid wood is strong and last longer.
Now the type of solid wood is important too. There are two types of bed frames and foundations: hardwood and softwood. Prioritizing strength, durability, and upkeep over price is the best approach to identify which solid wood is best. Taking these things into account, we’ve ranked several popular wood kinds for bed frames from best to worst below.
1. Oak — is a popular choice for hardwood bed frames because it’s highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. Oak wood comes in red oak and white oak. White oak is slightly more durable than red oak and has a lighter color. An example of an Oak wood bed is seen in the Wood frame bed by Tuft & Needle.
2. Walnut — is a dark hardwood that is moderately durable and resistant to warping. An example of Walnut wood is seen in the Mid Century bed frame by Avocado.
3. Maple — is another common hardwood known for its strength, durability. Maple wood has a consistent color with subtle grain patterns. A great example is in the Maple version of the Mid Century bed frame by Avocado.
4. Mahogany — is known for its durability and strength, making it a good choice for sturdy bed frames. An example of Mahogany is seen in Zen bed Mahogany by The Futon Shop.
5. Cherry — have reddish-brown tones with beautiful grain patterns. Cherry is moderately durable but not as hard as oak or maple. An example of Cherry wood is seen in the Berkeley Cherry Platform Bed by Vermont Studios.
6. Teak wood — is durable and resistant to decay hardwood. It can be expensive but it requires low maintenance and has a rich and warm appearance. An example of this is seen in the Terrabona bed by MasayaCo.
7. Acacia — is a hardwood known for its strength and sturdiness, making it a reliable choice for bed frames. An example of Acacia wood is seen in the Acacia wood bed frame by CB2.
8. Beech — is a strong hardwood that can withstand daily use, making it a good option for bed frames. An example of Beechwood is seen in Penta Beech Wood on Bed Bath & Beyond.
9. Mango — is moderately strong and can be used for bed frames, but it may not be as robust as some hardwoods. An example of a Mango wood bed frame is seen the Sydney Bed Natural Mango wood by Asher + Rye.
10. Ash — is strong and durable, similar to oak and maple. It’s a good choice for bed frames with proper maintenance. An example of Ash wood is seen in the Simple Bed Ash by Kalon Studios.
11. Birch — is a durable hardwood with a fine, even grain pattern but it’s not as sturdy as oak or maple. An example of Birch wood is seen in the Platform Bed | Birch Wood by Gothic Cabinet Craft.
12. Poplar — is a less dense hardwood, and it may require more care and maintenance for use in bed frames. An example of Poplar bed frame is seen in the Nomad Platform Natural Poplar Bed by Kd Frames.
13. Pine — is less durable and more susceptible to dents and scratches and is commonly used in budget-friendly bed frames. Pine bed frames often have a lighter color and a rustic charm. An example of pine wood is seen in the Solid Wood Platform Bed by Birchboards.
14. Rubber wood — also known as plantation hardwood, has a light neutral color and is a moderately durable and budget friendly. An example of Rubberwood is seen in the Jacob Platform bed by Baxton Studio.
If you are looking for budget friendly solid wood, consider pine wood, poplar wood and rubberwood, but keep in mind that they may require more care and maintenance over time.
Plant based buyers have several options for bed frames like Rattan, Wicker, Bamboo, and many more. We ranked these types from best to worst based on their strength and suitability for customers shopping for bed frames.
1. Bamboo — is lightweight, natural, organic, eco-friendly, durable, and resistant to wear and tear. They are low-maintenance and require frequent cleaning to remove dust and debris. However, bamboo is more moisture-sensitive than some hardwoods and must be kept dry and avoid excessive water exposure. It is also less prone to warping, cracking, and splitting than some softwoods such as pine, but may not be as naturally resistant to pests or rot as some hardwoods. In terms of strength, bamboo bed frames are stronger than mango wood and weaker than Beech wood. An example of a bamboo bed frame is seen in Azara Platform bed by Greenington.
2. Rattan — is made from a plant material, and it’s typically not as sturdy as solid wood for bed frames. You can find these bed frames often used in beach-inspired or bohemian decor. An example of Rattan is seen in the Avalon Rattan Bed by Serena & Lily.
3. Wicker — is a weaving technique made using plant materials like Rattan. It’s not as sturdy as solid wood for bed frames and requires regular maintenance and be less sturdy than solid wood for bed frames. An example of Rattan is seen in the Brown Wicker Bed Frame by Bold vntg.
Metal bed frame buyers should look for high quality metal for bed frames. We ranked common metal frames from best to worst in terms of strength and consumer suitability.
1. Steel — is considered the best material for metal bed frames due to its durability and strength. It’s highly resistant to bending, warping, and damage, and available in various thicknesses and designs. They are also less likely to squeak or make noise compared to other metals. An example of steel is seen in the Alpha Metal Platform bed frame by Nap Queen.
2. Wrought Iron — is exceptionally sturdy and often used for traditional and contemporary bedrooms. Wrought iron frames can be heavy and expensive, but their durability and aesthetics make them a top choice. An example of wrought iron is seen in the Sunset bed by Wesley Allen.
3. Aluminum — is lightweight, resistant to rust and corrosion, and suitable for humid environments. However, they may not be as robust as steel or wrought iron options. An example of an aluminum bed frame is seen in the Aluminum Car Camper Platform bed frame by Compass Camper.
4. Brass — is a warm golden attractive durable metal. Brass may require regular polishing to maintain its shine, and usually less common and more expensive. An example of a Brass bed frame is seen in the Vintage brass bed by Birchard Hayes & Company.
5. Copper — is a reddish-brown color that requires maintenance to prevent tarnishing. They are also less common and more expensive than other metal options. An example of a copper bed frame is seen in the Marianne Queen Copper bed by Miami Direct Furniture.
6. Chrome — is durable and resistant to rust and is not as sturdy as steel or wrought iron frames. An example of a Chrome bed frame is seen in the Empress Chrome bed by Julian Bowen.
7. Bronze — is a durable brownish-gold that requires occasional maintenance to prevent oxidation and discoloration. Bronze bed frames are less common than other metals and may have limited design options. An example of a Bronze bed frame is seen in the Antiqua Bronze King bed by Walker Edison.
Acrylic also known as plastic bed frames are modern alternatives to traditional wood and metal bed frames. Acrylic is lightweight, durable, translucent, resembles glass but is resistant to shattering. A good example of this type of frame is seen in the Lucid dream bed frame by Stauber Furnishings.
Cardboard bed frames are lightweight and designed for temporary use, such as guest beds or quick assembly and disassembly bed frames, so finding sturdy and high quality cardboard frames may be difficult, but luckily we found some that are strong.
1. Yona — is a sustainable and minimalistic cardboard bed. It is made from the highest quality recycled Australian cardboard. The twin size holds up to 1700 pounds.
2. Karton — specializes in high-quality cardboard furniture. Their products are made from durable triple-layered corrugated cardboard and can support a weight of up to 4000 pounds.
3. Room in a Box — bed frames are made from 100% recyclable and biodegradable materials. The frames are designed to be sturdy and support up to 1,000 pounds.
4. Kartent — are innovative, sustainable, and environment friendly beds made from cardboard materials. They provide potential temporary housing for emergency shelters and large-scale events like music festivals or sporting events.
Combination material bed frame buyers have a plethora of options because when two or more materials are combined, you typically get the best of both worlds. We ranked combination material bed frames from best to worst based on this.
1. Wood and Metal Combination — are a popular choice due to their durability, strength, stability, and aesthetic appeal. This combination typically consists of a metal bed frame with wooden slats for mattress support. The disadvantage of this combination is a bed frame with metal center support in the middle. Metal center supports are easily felt through mattresses, causing severe pain and discomfort. To avoid this, purchase a frame without a center support or one with wood center support. An example of this is seen the Frame Gold Brushed Steel Bed frame by Keetsa.
2. Upholstered and Wood Combination — consists of padded headboards or footboards along with the durability of wooden a frame. These upholstery materials can be made of fabric, leather, or faux leather. An example of this is seen in the Cayman Upholstered bed by Pottery Barn.
3. Metal and Upholstery Combination — are metal bed frames with upholstered headboards and footboards that are not as sturdy as the wood and metal combinations. But just like with them, it’s crucial to stay away from metal center supports when using this bed frame combo in order to minimize pain and discomfort. Buy a frame without a center support or one with a wood center support. An example of this is seen in the Queen Metal Upholstered bed by Hooker Furniture.
4. Wood and Rattan/Wicker Combination — are a blend of wood and rattan or wicker components. The wood typically provides stability and structure, while the rattan or wicker elements add texture and visual interest. An example of this is seen in the Yvette Woven bed by West Elm.
5. Wood and Concrete Combination — creates a bold and contemporary bed frame look, but they are heavy and not as comfortable as an upholstered option. An example of this is seen in the Concrete Castle Joint bed handmade by Homemade Modern on Youtube.
6. Metal and Plastic Combination — are generally budget-friendly bed frame options. The plastic parts are less sturdy and may not provide the same level of support as wood or metal. An example of this is seen in the Lucite Bed by Lucite Hardware NY.
7. Upholstery and Plastic Combination — core structure is sturdy with a combination of wood and metal and the acrylic gives a transparent touch. This type of frame is designed for ease of assembly. An example of this is seen in the Filo bed by Pianca.
When choosing a combination material bed frame, it’s important to prioritize stability, strength, and durability over personal preference and price range. These factors will guarantee that you select a bed frame that will last a lifetime.
Where To Buy
After deciding on a bed frame type, we recommend you read the bed frame measurements, customer reviews, and information about the bed frame’s weight and weight capacity. Store return policies can be complicated, so it’s a good idea to read product descriptions or contact customer service with questions like “What type of solid wood is this bed frame made of?” or “How heavy is it?” before making a purchase.
Now, the best places to find high quality solid wood and metal bed frames are:
1. Urban Outfitters — known for having bed frames with pine wood, rubber wood, Rattan, and Wicker.
2. West Elm — known for pine wood, rubber wood and Rattan, Wicker bed frames.
3. Crate and Barrel — known for pine wood, rubber wood and Rattan, Wicker bed frames.
4. CB2 — known for pine wood, rubber wood and Acacia wood bed frames.
5. Wayfair — marketplace of affordable bed frames of all kinds.
6. Perigold — marketplace of expensive bed frames of all kinds.
7. Shopstyle — marketplace of expensive and inexpensive bed frames of all kinds.
8. Joss & Main — marketplace of bed frames of all kinds.
9. Ethan Allen — known for one solid piece bunkie boards and wood bed frames.
10. Room & Board — known for having steel slats on their bed frames.
11. Avocado — known for nonrefundable Walnut and Maple platform bed frames.
12. Floyd— known for its birch, walnut, and American oak wood low profile bed frame.
13. High Fashion Home — marketplace of bed frames of all kinds.
14. Pottery Barn — known for pine wood, rubber wood and Rattan, Wicker wood bed frames.
15. Inside Weather — known for custom wood bed frames.
16. Poly & Bark — only sells Queen and King bed frames.
17. Interior Define — only sells Queen and King bed frames.
18. AllModern — marketplace of bed frames of all kinds.
19. Amazon — marketplace of affordable bed frames of all kinds.
20. Modloft — known for expensive pine wood modern bed frames.
21. Article — known for modern bed frames.
22. Sundays — known for its cloud style bed frames.
24. 1stDibs — marketplace of bed frames.
25. Greenington — known for bed frames made out of bamboo.
26. Birchboards — known for solid wood bed frames.
27. Wilbur Davis Studios — known for modern wood platform beds.
28. Kalon Studios — known for wood bed frames.
29. Asher + Rye
30. The Futon Shop — known for a variety of bed frames.
31. Gothic Cabinet Craft — known for wood bed frames.
32. Vermont Studios — known for solid wood bed frames.
33. Tuft & Needle
The majority of these bed frames listed above have a starting price of $1000 for a queen size, which can be difficult for many people to afford. So, we’ve compiled a list of additional places where you can find high quality bed frames for under $1000.
DIY Bed Frames
When low-cost options aren’t low enough, many people search for do-it-yourself solutions. And, there are a lot of do-it-yourself videos on YouTube or TikTok where people build their bed frames from scratch and share their instructions. So, here are a few DIY options that can help.
1. Floydbed — sells the Floyd platform bed foot frames to those looking to purchase and paint their own plywood panels.
2. Semi Exact — sells two DIY bed frames.
The Box Frame Bed allows you to select the bed foot height and color, mattress size, and headboard bracket type. You have to purchase your own wood but they provide you with instructions, videos and requirements to build the frame.
3. Open Your Eyes Bedding — offers a DIY bed frame kit that allows customers to build their own bed frame. The kit typically includes pre-cut wooden pieces, screws, instructions and other hardware needed for assembly for $335.
4. DIY Platform Bed Frame by DIYCandy — is an online blog budget friendly bed frame made of high-quality plywood with easy assembly and basic tools. The platform bed design also has storage underneath the bed.
5. Charleston Crafted — is an online blog that shows you how to build a platform bed with legs for only $50. The entire process does require you to buy, cut, and measure wood, so if you are up to the task, this tutorial is for you.
There are many more free DIY bed frame plan options, however, we are unable to list them all in this article, so, please check back for a comprehensive list, or purchase DIY blueprint bed frames on Etsy.
Having a good night of sleep requires selecting an appropriate bed frame, foundation, or bed base, and knowing the differences between these frames can help you make a decision. To summarize, it is critical to look for bed frames made of sturdy and long-lasting materials to ensure a bed frame’s stability and longevity. And, if you are feeling overwhelmed, narrow your options by considering your mattress type. Any bed frame will work if your mattress has springs, but only bed frames with 1 inch apart slats or without slats will work if your mattress does not have springs.
Written by The Resource Manual
The Resource Manual publishes resourceful articles on the topic of personal, health, love, finance, well-being, and business. Our goal is to provide valuable resources to help others navigate through life more smoothly.