How To Choose A Bed Frame

If you think that, on average, we spend 229,961 hours sleeping, it only makes sense to take extra care when choosing a bed frame! While its main job will be to guarantee a comfortable rest, you should also make sure that it looks stylish when you're awake.

Here's how to choose a bed frame that matches your needs, your mattress, and your entire room. A dream bed, basically.

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What Are the Different Types of Bed Frames?

Make sure you know exactly what you need before jumping into a purchase. A good way of ensuring so is to start by identifying the main types of bed frames that you can choose from:

Divan bed

  • This is a popular alternative to traditional beds, and usually consists of a wooden platform divided into two parts, springs or storage space, and a separate headboard;

  • As divan bed headboards are mainly upholstered, they're incredibly comfortable to lean against, more versatile, and it's easier to find a color that complements your room's palette;

  • Divan beds are a bit cheaper, easy to move, and more compact, which makes them a handy space-saving alternative for smaller rooms; however, it's harder to vacuum underneath them;

Upholstered Low Profile Divan Bed
Queen Upholstered Divan Bed in Beige
Upholstered Storage Divan Styled Bed
Upholstered Divan Bed with Drawers
Upholstered Divan Bed with Storage
Dark Grey Upholstered Divan Bed

Bedsteads

  • Instead of a compact solid base, these traditional bed frames consist of a headboard, base and legs, can be made of metal or wood, and can come with either slatted frames or sprung slats:

    • Rigid or slatted frames consist of fixed wooden slats: they're quite affordable and firm, but they don't offer any additional support;

    • Sprung slats are made of curved wooden beams with a slight arch, and are usually the most comfortable option because, thanks to their natural bounce, they will adjust to your profile;

  • Bedsteads are a rather decorative option, but, unless you use long bed sheet that reach the floor on both sides, any item placed underneath their frame will be in plain sight: you would either end up with a cluttered feel or missing out on precious storage space;

  • Fancy a luxurious upgrade? Some of these frames can even come with a TV storage unit at the foot of the bed;

Decorative Metal Bedsteads Frame
Modern Chic Metal Bedsteads Frame
Wooden and Metal Bedsteads Frame
Simple Industrial Metal Bedsteads Frame
Victorian Style Metal Bedsteads Frame
Classic Metal Platform Bed

Storage beds

  • These beds are true lifesavers when it comes to keeping your bedroom tidy with some extra storage space!

  • You can either choose an ottoman-style bed that lifts up or one with storage drawers;

White Storage Platform Bed
Grey Upholstered Platform Storage Bed
Grey Wooden Storage Bed Frame
Elegant Storage Platform Bed in Cream
Navy Blue Storage Bed with Drawers
Dark Wood Low Storage Bed

Four poster or canopy bed

  • Elegant and majestic, this bed with a vertical column in each corner will certainly stand out: it can work really well in large rooms, but could make smaller ones feel too cramped;

  • One with curtains will also give you an extra layer of warmth during the coldest months and keep buzzing bugs away during spring and summer (a blessing if you live in the countryside!);

  • You must be prepared to put in some extra cleaning and washing.

Black Simple Elegancy Four Poster Bed
British Colonial Style Four Poster Bed
Modern Four Poster Bed
Modern White Canopy Bed
Silver Modern Canopy Bed Frame
Golden Canopy Bed Frame

How to Make Sure That the Bed Frame is Sturdy and Reliable?

You could have the best mattress, but, if your frame is a bit flimsy, you'll still have a terrible sleep!

  • Divan beds with a platform top are generally quite firm and uniform, but a sprung base can make them more flexible and durable;

  • When it comes to bedsteads, the distance between the slats can change depending on the model and price, but make sure that it's not over three inches;

  • Beds with slats that don't attach to the side rails or don't feature a central one are more likely to sag overtime;

  • A central support leg will add another element of support.

What Is the Best Size for a Bed Frame?

The best size for your bed frame depends on two main factors:

  • How big is your room? If you already have a mattress, put it on the floor: does it leave you plenty of room to walk around it and add some bedside tables? If it does, you'll have plenty of choice, but, if it doesn't, you might want to consider thinner frames or divan beds;

  • How big is your mattress? Whether you already own one or are planning on buying it with your bed, keep in mind their standard measurements to make sure that they fit your new frame:

    • Twin: 38 x 75"
    • Twin XL: 38 x 80"
    • Full: 53 x 75"
    • Full XL: 54 x 80"
    • Queen: 60 x 80"
    • Cal King: 72 x 84"
    • King: 76" x 80"

What Is the Best Material for a Bed Frame?

As we'll see in more detail in the next section, your choice will mainly depend on the style of your room and your personal preference. However, there are some practical issues that you might want to consider as well when it comes to materials:

  • Wood is a traditional, versatile and environmentally friendly choice: it's natural, easy to recycle, and fits many aesthetics. Thanks to the differences in the wood grain, each piece is unique! The only problem with wood is that it can result in splinters, cracks or even insect damage if not looked after properly;

  • Metal is a solid, sturdy and durable type of frame, and is usually more cost-effective than wood; however, metal frames can be uncomfortable to sit up against, so you'll have to prop up a few cushions and pillows whenever you want to read in bed;

  • Leather or faux leather can result in a stylish elegant look, but keep in mind that they'll need extra care, and that exposing leather to direct sunlight will lead to discoloration overtime;

  • Upholstered fabric can give your room a cozy and warm feel, and, thanks to their wide range, these bed frames will make it easier to match your existing room's palette; their padded headboards are particularly ideal if you often sit up in bed to read or watch TV.

Classic Brown Wood Platform Bed Frame
Grey Wooden Platform Bed Frame
Decorative Metal Bed Frame
Industrial Metal Bed Frame
Blue Queen Upholstered Platform Bed Frame
Elegant Blue Upholstered Platform Bed Frame
Leather Standard Bed Frame in Royal Style

What's the Best Bed Frame for Different Décor Styles?

If future-you can't travel back in time to stop you from buying a bed frame that's got nothing to do with the décor of your room and looks awkwardly out of place, we'll do it right now. Before choosing a bed frame, consider the existing palette of your bedroom and the décor style that you'd like to keep cohesive:

  • Would you like your room to convey a cozy, warm and traditional feel? Opt for exposed wood! Leather is another great alternative for some rustic vibes;

  • If you want a frame that matches your palette, upholstered fabric will give you the most color options;

  • Ornate metal frames are known to create a vintage look;

  • Have you got a modern bedroom? Look for unusual metal designs or upholstered fabric frames that match the rest of your furniture; for the most modern touch, you could consider a frame with built-in TV storage;

  • Shorter and darker wooden frames with tapered and slanted legs or divan beds with upholstery in a rich tone work well in mid-Century modern bedrooms;

  • For a minimalist room, choose natural wood or monochrome frames with short legs (no clutter underneath!) and a simple no-frills headboard;

  • Minimalist bed frames work really well with Scandinavian-inspired rooms, too; another option is to go with simple upholstered fabric and choose a natural color such as white, cream, grey, charcoal, dark blue or forest green;

  • For a raw industrial feel, you can either go for a simple, minimalistic metal design (as a frame or a four-poster bed), a very bare wooden frame or a combination of the two materials; to add to its characteristic unfinished charm, you should opt for a frame without any storage underneath or one without any legs at all;

  • An elegant canopy or a mix between a particularly ornate wooden frame and upholstered elements can help you achieve a magnificent French-country look;

  • White wooden frames with decorated designs and a discolored feel are a must in shabby-chic bedrooms;

  • Canopy beds with colorful curtains can be bold scene-stealers in bohemian settings. Alternatively, if you haven't got enough room for one of those bad boys, you can get creative with the quirkiest frame shapes you can find: just make sure you add the brightest covers with eclectic patterns and lots of pillows!

Quick Tips

Are you ready to find the bed frame of your dreams? Let's make sure you remember the most important points:

  • Depending on your storage needs and space, you can choose between divan beds, bedsteads, storage beds or four poster and canopy beds

  • Slats shouldn't be more than three inches apart, and it's better when they attach to the sides and to a central rail

  • Always measure your bed frame in relation to your room as well as your mattress

  • Wood and metal are the best and most durable materials, but leather and upholstery can work better with certain types of décor

  • Match one of the colors in your existing palette or look for a design that complements your bedroom's décor style.