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Choosing a New Bed Frame: 10 Top Tips for Buying the Best Bed Frames

new bed frame

For many people, choosing a new bed frame is an afterthought.

But it can be just as important as getting the right mattress when it comes to the quality of your sleep. 

On average, people spend 26 years of their lives sleeping. With that much time spent in bed, you want a good quality sleeping system underneath you.

The bed frame serves as the main support system for your bed, so you want to choose the right one for your situation.

We’ve put together the best tips for choosing a bed frame.

1. Consider Current Mattress Size

Do you already love your mattress? If you’re planning to keep it but just want to upgrade your bed frame, use the mattress as your sizing guide.

Your bed frame needs to match your mattress size for a proper fit.

Some mattress sizes come in a few variations, so be sure you know exactly what you have.

For example, twin XL bed is 5 inches longer than a standard twin-size mattress. An Olympic queen mattress is 6 inches wider than a queen. A California king is 4 inches narrower and 4 inches longer than a standard king.

2. Look at Your Bedroom Size

If you’re buying a completely new bed, including the mattress, you can choose whatever size you want. Taking into consideration your bedroom size helps you pick the best solution for your bedroom.

Ideally, you’ll want 2 to 3 feet around your bed on the sides and end. This gives you enough space to move freely in your bedroom.

Measure your available space to compare to standard bed dimensions. Keep in mind that your bed frame and headboard can add a few inches to the bed beyond the mattress dimensions.

Decide on which size of bed frame you’ll need to narrow down your options.

3. Choose the Support Type

Mattresses need some form of support beneath them. Without support, your mattress will sag or wear prematurely.

The two main support options are platform beds and box springs.

If you choose a platform bed, it provides built-in support for your mattress. You don’t need to use a box spring with it.

Platform beds usually sit lower to the ground than a traditional bed frame with a box spring. 

4. Compare Integrated vs Separate Frames

Platform Bed No. 4, A Headboardless Solid Wood Bed

A freestanding bed frame is typically a simple design without any

decorative elements. You can pair it with a separate headboard to create the look you want.

wilbur davis studios platform bed no. 3 - modern rectangular wood platform bed with wide headboard and platform
Platform Bed No. 3 with Flat Solid Wood Headboard

The other option is a complete bed with the frame integrated with the headboard, footboard, and side rails. This creates a more finished look. The frame is often more decorative since it includes the side rails.

Some options are made of wood with various painted, clear, or stained finishes. Others use an upholstered design along the side rails. 

The support slats sit inside the bed, held in place with the side rails.

5. Pick the Height

The height of the bed frame is another consideration. 

Decide what’s comfortable for you for bed height. A higher mattress is usually easier for people with mobility issues. 

If you like to stay low to the ground, a platform bed is a good option. You can also look for a low-profile bed frame.

If you want more height, look for a taller bed frame. Some beds can be custom ordered in the height of your choosing.

6. Evaluate the Legs

The base of the bed frame is a consideration for the sake of your floors. Look at the part of the frame that touches the floor. Does it provide any protection with glides or covers?

If not, the legs could snag your carpet or scratch hardwood floors. 

Some bed frames have wheels on the base of the legs. This allows you to move the bed easily when you want. Look for locking legs to keep the bed in place once you find the perfect spot.

7. Compare Materials

Wood and metal are the two main options for bed frame materials. Both offer sturdy options.

The main difference is in the appearance. Consider which option works best with your room. 

The quality of the material is also important. Solid hardwood is a very sturdy material, but a wooden frame with inferior construction might not hold up as well.   For a quality bed, always check what hardware and joinery system is used.

Likewise, weak or flimsy metal might create a low-quality bed frame that bends easily and doesn’t hold up under very much weight.  They can also be noisy.

8. Inspect the Support System

Since the main purpose of the bed frame is to support your mattress, you want to make sure the slat system is sturdy.

Choose a frame with strong slats that don’t bend easily. Weak slats won’t give your mattress the support it needs, and they might eventually break. Generally hardwood slats like beech or poplar are preferable to softwood slats like pine.

Consider the number of slats and the spacing between them. If there aren’t very many slats, the overall system isn’t as strong.

Some bed frames also have central support legs for extra strength. This can be especially helpful on larger beds.

9. Consider the Style

If the bed frame will remain visible once your bed is made, the style is an important consideration. This is the case when the bed frame includes exposed side rails.

Consider the overall style of your bedroom when picking the design. If you have a modern bedroom, a simple, sleek design is ideal.

If you have a traditional-style bedroom, you might prefer an ornate wood frame with intricate detailing.

For a rustic look, you might choose an aged-finish wood frame.

10. Ensure Overall Quality

cherry storage bed
Detail of Solid Cherry Platform Bed No. 2

You don’t want to skimp on your bed frame by choosing the cheapest option. You’ll likely find it doesn’t last or provide the kind of support you need.

Inspect the overall quality and craftsmanship of the frame before making your selection. Spending a little more on a higher-quality frame gives you more support and a longer-lasting option.

Choose the Perfect New Bed Frame

Buying a new bed frame seems simple until you start shopping and discover the number of options available. Knowing what you need and how to spot a quality bed frame help you narrow your options.

If you’re in the market for a new bed, check out our bedroom furniture options. Our modern platform beds are built to last with solid hardwood construction. Contact us if you have any questions about our beds or other furniture.