How To Choose A Platform Bed

If you're in the market for a new bed, it can seem like a straightforward process. You go to the store and pick a frame you like and a mattress that seems comfortable. What many people might not consider are platform beds. Below we'll look in-depth at what they are, why you'd want one and how to pick the best one for your situation.

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What Are Platform Beds and What Are their Benefits?

Platform beds are simply beds that are missing the box spring. Thin wood pieces are placed under the mattress, imparting some of the give that a more traditional box spring would. 

There are a few reasons to forgo a box spring. You might have a low ceiling and want more space above the bed. Another reason might be wanting a bed surface that's lower to the ground and easier to get into. A lower bed can be good for people with mobility issues, children or small pets. 

Platform beds can also be useful for mattress styles that are higher or if you have a mattress topper, and you want to keep the height of the bed more reasonable.   

Another reason people choose platform beds is that you can save money by not buying a box spring. Box springs are surprisingly expensive, since they often add around $200 to the price of your sleeping arrangements.

How to Choose the Right Type of Platform Bed?

Platform beds come in a few major types based on size:

  • Twin: These are meant to fit a twin mattress. They work best for solitary sleepers. They can also work well in small bedrooms.
Twin Low Profile Platform Bed
Dark Wood Twin Platform Bed
Twin Upholstered Platform Bed in Cream
Wooden Twin Platform Bed
Twin Platform Bed in Grey
White Twin Platform Bed
  • Queen: This is a standard bed size for two people and fills out a larger master bedroom quite well.
Queen Fabric Upholstered Platform Bed
Queen Low Profile Platform Bed
Queen Upholstered Platform Bed
Queen Solid Wood Platform Bed
Queen Platform Bed in Green
Queen Upholstered Low Profile Platform Bed
  • King: For even more space, choose a king bed. These types of beds are good for two people who want the most space, especially if they toss and turn. They can also be good if you have kids or pets in bed with you at night. These sizes also fill out the largest bedroom spaces well.
Metal King Platform Bed
King Storage Platform Bed in Grey
Decorative King Platform Bed in Brown
King Low Profile Platform Bed in Brown
Grey King Canopy Platform Bed
Simple King Platform Bed Frame

You also have a few options when it comes to the style of the platform bed itself.

  • Headboard: These provide a solid backing up by where you put the pillows. Choose a solid headboard if you tend to sit up in bed reading, as that can act as something of a backrest. Headboards can also prevent your pillows from falling between the bedand wall at night. Choose a slatted headboard if looks and keeping your pillow in place are more important than something you'd lean against. 

  • Headboard and footboard: Many styles also have both a headboard and footboard. Footboards give you something extra to tuck the blankets into at the edge of the bed and can help keep blankets in place at night. However, footboards are mainly there to match the aesthetic of the headboard.

Grey Platform Bed with Headboard
Decorative Platform Bed with Headboard and Footboard
Low Profile Platform Bed with Headboard
White Platform Bed with Headboard and Footboard
Platform Bed with Headboard in Grey
  • Tufted: Many headboards will have a tufted design. This is where fabric is sewn with batting inside and small buttons are set into the fabric for texture. If you tend to sit up in bed, this can add comfort as you lean against the headboard. Tufting also creates both a classic and timeless aesthetic.

  • Open: This type of platform bed is simply open on all sides. Choose this style if you want a minimalistic-looking bedroom space.

Tufted King Platform Bed
Tufted Upholstered Platform Bed
Navy Blue Tufted Platform Canopy Bed
Open Metal Platform Bed Frame
Open Solid Wood Platform Bed
Wooden Open Platform Bed

How to Choose the Materials in Platform Beds?

Platform beds also come in several types of materials, all of which are very durable. Some of the main types are:

  • Wood: Wood is a classic for any type of furniture. It's common to see platform beds made out of pine. This type of wood imparts a rich grain texture. Some styles get quite decorative, with boards that are arranged in a herringbone pattern or an eclectic combination of differently colored boards. Choose wood for rustic, rustic chic or classic home styles.

  • Metal: Metal is another bedframe favorite. These tend to be made out of steel or iron. They are often in very austere styles, usually with bars placed far apart. For a modern or industrial look, choose a metal frame that has little ornamentation. Some metal beds have curving romanticstyles that look best in classic home styles, like Victorian looks.

  • Upholstered: Another option is to choose from platform beds that are upholstered. The frame of the bed is usually made of wood. The fabric itself comes in a wide variety of options, but polyester and faux leather are the most common options for affordability.

    Many platform beds have foam under the upholstery to add a uniform texture and comfort on the headboard. Choose upholstered beds if you're going for a timeless style and max design cohesion, as these beds tend to fit in with other furniture in the space.

Classic Wooden Platform Bed
White Wood Storage Platform Bed
Single Metal Platform Bed
High Profile Metal Platform Bed
Upholstered Platform Bed in Navy Blue
Grey Upholstered Low Profile Platform Bed

Quick Tips

Below are some tips to keep in mind for finding the right bed.

  • Decide if platform beds are right for you. If you prefer a shorter bed or have a taller mattress, these are good space-saving options. You might also be able to save money by not purchasing a box spring this way.

  • To select the type, assess which type of mattress you have or want from the twin, king or queen sizes. Then, decide on the headboard and footboard style by assessing your sleeping style.

    • If you read in bed often, get a flat and comfortable headboard for support.
    • If you toss and turn and end up with pillows and blankets everywhere, a headboard and possibly a footboard can keep blankets and pillows in place better.
    • Also, keep in mind that headboards and footboards give a more traditional aesthetic, whereas an open style looks modern and minimalistic.
  • When it comes to materials, your main choices are wood, metal and upholstered. Choose upholstered for classic or timeless styles and to match other furniture, choose metal for more austere or classic looks and choose wood for rustic or classic looks.