The two most important considerations when choosing a bed frame are strength and aesthetics, so many manufacturers choose materials that will combine both. A brass bed frame is one such option, though it is important to keep in mind that brass is a relatively soft metal that may not be the strongest choice. To counter this problem, many manufacturers will only make the headboard and footboard from brass; the rest of the brass bed frame is likely to be made from a stronger metal such as steel or iron instead.
Brass tends to be resistant to tarnishing, though the color of the brass bed frame can change over time after significant use. If the bed frame is only brass-coated and another metal is used as a structural material, the relatively soft brass coating can wear off after several years of use. This is a more common problem on doorknobs and other devices that are handled regularly; a brass bed frame usually doesn't come in contact with human hands as frequently, which means the brass is less likely to wear off too quickly. Brass frames are usually highly polished for aesthetic appeal, and after time, this polished sheen can fade.
The aesthetic appeal of brass is perhaps its biggest advantage over other materials, as well as the ease with which brass can be coated over stronger metals to create a beautiful and visually striking piece. While the brass can fade over time, many consider this aging to be an advantage that can actually improve the aesthetic appeal of the brass bed frame. This easily altered metal can also be used to create elaborate designs that can end up being quite visually stunning; more traditional designs, however, tend to be very simple and far less elaborate.
In order to keep the cost of a brass bed frame down, many manufacturers will not brass-plate the bed rails that support the box spring and mattress. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage; the lower cost is of course an advantage, as is the presence of steel, since steel tends to be very strong and durable. Aesthetically, however, the bare steel may detract from the beauty of the bed. Fortunately, the bed rails are rarely seen once a box spring and mattress are in place, so this is usually only a drawback for collectors or exceptionally aesthetically minded consumers.