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What Should I Consider When Buying a Bed Frame?

J. Beam
J. Beam

In most cases, buying a bed frame involves buying an entire bed, including the headboard and footboard. Some furniture retailers include a frame whenever these other pieces are purchased, and in many cases, a new mattress will come with a very basic frame upon request. You may need to buy just the frame under some circumstances, however, such as when taking advantage of a special purchase or closeout deal. If your current bed frame is broken or damaged, it may also need to be replaced. Before buying one, you'll want to consider what it's made out of, if it will fit your headboard and/or footboard, if it's the right size for your mattress, and if you need storage space under the bed.

Most bed frames are made of either metal or wood, and either one is suitable. In most cases, a wooden frame will look best with a wood headboard, and metal with metal, but this can depend on the style of headboard and how much of the frame will be seen. Whichever material you choose, you'll need to make sure that headboard, and footboard if applicable, will properly attach to the frame. Most headboards can adjust to fit frames that vary slightly in height, but this will depend on what the headboard is made out of and what size it is. By measuring ahead of time, you can be confident that your new frame and existing headboard will work together.

Bed frames are available in many styles.
Bed frames are available in many styles.

Another consideration is the size of your mattress. While it's important to buy a frame that fits your existing mattress, consider whether you want to plan ahead as well. Some are adjustable to fit different sizes of mattresses, so a twin may adjust to a full, and a full may adjust to a queen. Bed frames for children’s beds and guest bedrooms are excellent examples of places where you may want to have this flexibility. If there is a possibility you will want to use a different sized bed in the near future, then consider buying an adjustable frame.

Some bed frames feature pull-out drawers.
Some bed frames feature pull-out drawers.

In addition to ensuring that all the pieces will work together, consider whether or not you want to use the space under the bed for storage. If this is the case, then either buy a frame that sits high enough to accommodate storage boxes or consider buying a platform storage bed. Rather than using a traditional bed frame, a storage bed is a box-type frame that includes drawers. More often than not, these are sold as a separate piece of bedroom furniture or are included in a bedroom furniture package.

Some bed frames, such as platform beds, do not need a box spring.
Some bed frames, such as platform beds, do not need a box spring.

While shopping for a bed frame shouldn’t be a daunting task, be sure to take the time to look for what you want while keeping in mind what you already have. Finding a frame to suit your needs and fit your existing pieces should be rather easy. Check local furniture retailers after shopping online to get an idea of various styles and features. In many cases, if they don’t have what you want, they will be able to order it or something quite similar.

Discussion Comments


I knew that a metal bed frame would be a bad idea for me. I am very accident prone, and I'm always ramming my shins and knees into sharp corners.

I decided to buy a wooden frame instead. I just took one look at those sharp metal corners, and I could feel my future pain!

The wooden frame I got has rounded edges, so I should be relatively safe. Wood just looks more natural and goes with the theme of my room better, too.


My daughter bought an Ikea bed frame for a bed in her apartment and this was really light weight and different than a traditional bed frame. She moved several times after college so this made it a lot easier than moving some of the heavy bed frames that we have had in our house for years.


I am dating myself a little bit here, but I remember when water beds were really popular. It was very common to have the bed frame that included drawers underneath it for storage. When you were using a water bed you really needed to be sure the frame was sturdy enough to hold the weight of all that water.

I still have an old water bed frame in a spare bedroom in my house, but I use a big air mattress in the frame instead of the water. This is a lot easier to deal with and I think sleeping on an air mattress is just as comfortable.

I also have an old queen size bed frame that is on rollers. This comes in handy if you need to move the bed for any reason, but the bed is in a really small room so it really doesn't do much good.


When we were looking for a twin bed frame for my sons bunk bed, I wanted a wood bed frame as opposed to a metal one. I think the wood is safer for kids and also looks nicer. I also wanted a headboard that gave him some storage space for his books and some of his favorite things.

A good bed frame should last a long time as long as you don't need a bigger bed. I think it is more important to make sure you get a new mattress more often than you get a new bed frame.


@angel7240 -- That is a good point. There isn't all that much difference in size between a regular king size and California king, but when it comes to a bed frame, there is just enough to make a big difference. You might be able to get by with it if you are just buying sheets, but a bed frame is totally different.


One thing to always check on before you buy a bed frame is that you can get it through all the doors on the way to your bedroom. Some frames don't break down, or break down into very large pieces. I have heard stories of people that buy nice new beds and realize they can't get them in their house.


It was difficult for me to find it on sale but I got mine online for 30 percent off! They are high enough to place storage underneath too.


If you have a king size bed, make sure you purchased the correct frame for it. I made the mistake of buying California King and I needed a standard king bed frame. There are plenty to choose from, including adjustable bed frames.

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    • Bed frames are available in many styles.
      By: moonrise
      Bed frames are available in many styles.
    • Some bed frames feature pull-out drawers.
      By: mariesacha
      Some bed frames feature pull-out drawers.
    • Some bed frames, such as platform beds, do not need a box spring.
      By: Alexander Gitlits
      Some bed frames, such as platform beds, do not need a box spring.
    • Canopy beds are a popular type of classic bed frame.
      By: Lisa Turay
      Canopy beds are a popular type of classic bed frame.
    • When shopping for a bed frame and mattress, it's important to take comfort, size, and cost into consideration.
      By: WavebreakMediaMicro
      When shopping for a bed frame and mattress, it's important to take comfort, size, and cost into consideration.