How to buy a bed frame
A bed frame buying guide
A bed frame is an important piece of furniture because it adds comfort to your bed and style to your bedroom. If you want to know how to buy a bed frame, you should learn about different bed frame designs, sizes and styles.
>> Who will use the bed frame and how often?
When deciding how to buy a bed frame, you'll first want to consider who will use the frame and how often he or she will sleep on it. If the frame is for you or a family member, you might prefer a more durable and stylish frame because it will likely be used almost every night. On the other hand, you might choose a basic bed frame if you plan to use it less frequently or only for a short while. A more cost-effective option is often appropriate for a guestroom, for a home that you plan to occupy temporarily or for a vacation home.
>> Choose your bed frame size
Choosing the right bed frame size is an important aspect of how to buy a bed frame. When deciding which bed frame size to buy, you should consider whether one or two people will sleep on the bed and how much available space there is in the room. You might choose a larger frame than you actually need if there's a lot of space to fill in the room.
The table below lists the mattress dimensions that correspond with bed frame sizes. You can use this information to shop for bed frames according to how much sleeping space you want and how much space is available in the room.
Bed frame size
Mattress dimensions (length x width)
|Twin ||75" x 39" |
|Double ||75" x 54" |
|Queen ||80" x 60" |
|King ||80" x 76" |
|California King ||84" x 72" |
A twin bed frame is suitable for a child or young adult, and a double frame is appropriate for a single adult. If you're sharing the bed with someone, however, you'll want either a queen or king frame. A California king frame is a good option if one person using the bed is tall. There are no standard dimensions for futon frames, so some are big enough for two people, while others are suitable for only one.
>> Consider bed frame materials
You'll want to consider bed frame materials when deciding which frame to buy. Most bed frames are made of either wood or metal, and understanding the benefits of each can help you choose one of these materials.
Wood provides a natural look that complements both traditional and modern bedroom furniture. You can renew it by sanding and staining, and it's easy to dispose of because wood decomposes quickly. Wooden bed frames do vary in quality, though, so choosing the right type of wood is important. Some of the best bed frames are made from hardwoods such as mahogany, oak or walnut because these woods provide a fine-grain texture and durability. Softwoods are cost-effective, making them a good choice for guest beds, temporary homes or lightweight users such as children.
Metal bed frames are durable because they won't warp, splinter or crack. They greatly vary in style, from basic frames that invisibly support a box spring to wrought-iron pieces with adornments at the head, foot and corners of the frame. Metal requires little upkeep, so it often retains its new appearance even after years of use.
>> Consider bed frame designs
Learning about different bed frame designs can help you decide how to buy a bed frame.
- Headboard and footboard bed frames have a board at the head and the foot of the frame. The headboard supports pillows, which is a useful feature if you plan to place your bed frame away from wall. The footboard helps to keep a folded blanket at the foot of the bed while you sleep. You can also find frames with just a headboard and ones that come with neither a headboard nor a footboard but with slots for adding them later on, if desired.
- Storage bed frames, also known as captain's beds, have drawers under the frame to expand the storage space in your bedroom. This bed frame design is ideal if you typically put items beneath your bed.
- Platform bed frames support a mattress without a box spring. Removing the box spring lowers your mattress, creating a modern look.
Some types of bed frames have more than one of these designs, so you can shop for bed frames that have all of these features, if desired.
>> Consider bed frame styles
Choosing the right style is important to buying a bed frame that looks good in your bedroom, so consider the following bed frame styles in order to enhance your bedroom's decor.
- Four-post bed frames have a post on each corner. These can be tall or short, and the posts at the head might be taller than those at the foot. The posts might be basic or decorative, but they draw attention to the bed either way.
- Canopy bed frames have four posts and cross-beams from which you can hang a canopy to add coziness and a romantic look to your bed.
- Sleigh bed frames feature a curved headboard and footboard, giving the bed a stylish look. Sleigh beds have been in fashion since the early 19th century, but they can appear modern or traditional.
- Daybed frames serve as both a sofa and a bed, making them ideal for a guest room. For sitting, you can keep cushions and a cover on the mattress. For sleeping, you can remove the cushions and cover and, on some daybeds, pull out a secondary frame and mattress.
You should be able to decide how to buy a bed frame now that you know what to look for. Whichever frame you choose, remember that the right mattress and accessories, such as pillows and sheets, can also help you to achieve a good night's sleep.