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The term ‘bed frame’ refers to a wide range of products designed to support mattresses and their owners. Some bed frames are also capable of supporting mattress bases, but most are designed with wooden or metal slats that can only accommodate the bed itself. Most bed frames sold today are made from a combination of wooden and metal components, and many are upholstered with foams and/or fabrics.
Common types of bed frames include canopy beds, panel beds (also known as box spring beds), platform beds, and sleigh beds. Price-points for a new bed frame are highly variable, ranging from less than $300 to more than $4,000. Many high-end frames offer remote angle adjustment and other high-tech features.
This guide to bed frames will look at some important factors and considerations for first-time buyers. Below you’ll find our top six picks for the best bed frames sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, along with intensive product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick is the HomeBase from Nest Bedding, a bed frame that combines old-school appeal with modern convenience. The HomeBase is offered in two height profiles, 5.5″ and 8″, bringing the total height with legs attached to 10.5″ and 13″, respectively. The frame is constructed entirely from durable Canadian spruce, giving it a lengthy expected lifespan.
The HomeBase is available in three color palettes – black, sand, and grey – to accommodate different aesthetic preferences. It also comes with a USB port built into each side of the bed for easy gadget charging. HomeBase bed frames are made for the six standard mattress sizes (Twin, Twin X, Full, Queen, King, California King), as well as a split California King option. The HomeBase is backed by a lifetime warranty and a 100-night trial. Its price-point is below average.
The price of a bed frame is often linked to its quality and performance, but this is not always the case. Take the Zinus Sonoma, our top value option. It is widely available for less than $200 in a Twin, Full, or Queen size – making it much cheaper than the average bed frame – but it offers the same durability and aesthetic appeal as many of its higher-end competitors.
The steel frame is designed to support a headboard, giving it a total height of 41.5″ off the floor with nearly one foot of clearance for extra storage space. The Sonoma is also equipped with sturdy wooden slats, spaced less than 2.5″ apart to accommodate any mattress type. Foam-padded tape is used to keep the slats from slipping. The Sonoma has seven legs for maximum stability, as well. Zinus backs this bed frame with a five-year warranty. Those who order the frame from Amazon.com can choose expert assembly for an additional $89.95.
Sleepers who don’t use a mattress base
Those who prefer steel/wood frames
Shoppers looking for a frame that provides ample storage space underneath
For shoppers with bigger budgets, our pick for the Best High-End Bed Frame is the Eco Wood Bed Frame from Avocado. This model is handmade using reclaimed Douglas fir with a gorgeous, VOC-finish, making it a great option for eco-friendly buyers as well. The Eco Wood Bed Frame does not contain particle board or other cheaper, less green materials found in many competing frames.
The durable wooden slats are spaced 3″ apart and can support a mattress of any standard size. The frame measures 16″ high, with abundant space underneath for added storage. The Eco Wood Bed Frame is available in four palettes: grey, natural, ebony, and white wash. It is also sold with a raw, untouched finish; this option ships quicker than the others. No tools are needed to assemble the frame, and Avocado offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Eco Wood Bed Frame is backed by a 10-year warranty.
Steel and wood (pine) frame with fabric upholstery
40.5″ to 44.5″ height (headboard included)
Stable, noise-free slats
Footboard option available
A headboard or footboard can bring strong aesthetic appeal to any bed frame. The Zinus Upholstered Platform Bed offers both features, along with a durable steel frame, sturdy wooden-slat support, and attractive square-stitched fabric upholstery available in blue and grey palettes. These features can drive up the price of a bed frame, but the Zinus model is available in Twin, Full, Queen, or King sizes for less than $300, making it a high-value option.
A total of 10 slats are included. The slats are especially stable to to foam-padded tape that prevents them from slipping or making noise during the night. For quick assembly, all bed parts are contained in a pocketed headboard compartment for shipping. The Zinus Upholstered Platform Bed is backed by a five-year warranty. Amazon.com customers can opt for expert assembly for an additional charge of $89.95.
Canopy bed frames are popular because they allow sleepers to decorate their sleeping area with curtains and other privacy-granting partitions. Our choice for the Best Canopy Bed Frame, the Modern Canopy Bed from DHP, boasts a minimalist modern design that will fit in with most decors. The frame is constructed from pure steel with four finish color options: gold, white, grey, and pink.
In addition to the canopy, this frame also includes headframe bars and sturdy side rails. The metal slats – 22 in all – offer great stability and strong airflow beneath the bed, which helps keep sleepers cool. Assembling the Modern Canopy Bed is fairly easy, as well; the frame weighs 92.5 pounds when assembled, making it fairly easy for two or more people to move as needed. The Modern Canopy Bed is available in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes, though size availability varies by color finish. The frame is widely available in any size for less than $250.
The Leggett & Platt Prodigy 2.0, our pick for the Best Adjustable Bed Frame, is one of the most cutting-edge frames available. The bed can be adjusted at the head and foot to create a wide range of positions, including elevated-head positions for people with sleep apnea and other conditions that cause frequent snoring. Up to six memory positions are available, along with timed adjustments. Adjustments may be made using a remote or a free wireless app.
A silent alarm awakens sleepers at their requested time with soothing vibrations. Other built-in features include a wave massage option for sleepers with aches and pains, under-bed lighting, and a total of eight USB ports for easy device charging during the night. A microhook retention system is used to keep the mattress stable and prevent it from slipping if the base moves. Due to this wealth of features, the Prodigy 2.0 has an above-average price-point and is a good option for shoppers with bigger budgets. Leggett & Platt backs this product with a 25-year warranty.
A ‘bed frame’ is used to support a mattress and its sleeper(s). Some bed frames are also designed to support the mattress base or foundation, while others come equipped with slats that properly support the mattress without a base. Most bed frames sold today are either made from wood, metal, or a combination of these two materials, and some models are upholstered with foams and/or fabrics.
This guide will explore the various types of bed frames that are available for today’s shoppers, as well as our picks for the top bed frame models of 2019. First, let’s look at some common features of bed frames made and sold today, as well as the most popular styles.
Please note that a bed frame cannot be adjusted, making it different from an adjustable bed base. To learn more about these products, please visit our Adjustable Beds Reviews page. Additionally, bunk beds are bed frames that are designed to accommodate more than one mattress. We have reviewed these products separately; please visit our Best Bunk Beds guide for more information.
Bed Frames: Common Characteristics and Styles
The term ‘bed frame’ refers to any standalone structure that supports a mattress and base independently. The precise construction of a bed frame will vary by type, as will the typical profile (or height) of the bed. Some bed frames are upholstered with fabric for a softer feel, while others do not feature any upholstery.
Common types of bed frames include the following:
Canopy: All four posts of a canopy bed are connected to an overhead frame (or canopy) that can be used to hang curtains, drapes, or other decorations that provide additional privacy for sleepers. Traditional canopy beds are often ornately crafted, while contemporary canopy beds tend to be thinner and more minimalist.
Panel: Panel beds, also known as box spring beds, are constructed with flat wooden panels for the headboard and footboard. Unlike platform beds (see next), they also have side rails to support both a mattress and a base, and tend to be taller than most other bed types.
Platform: Platform beds feature evenly spaced or latticed metal or wooden slats that are capable of supporting a mattress without a base/foundation. Reinforced center support bars are often required for Queen, King, and California King sizes (see warranty section for more information).
Four-poster: A poster bed has posts that are not connected using an overhead canopy. Four-poster beds, the most common type, have four taller posts; low-poster beds have shorter posts; and half-poster beds have taller head posts and shorter foot posts. The posts may be rounded or pointed (also known as ‘pencil posts).
Sleigh: Sleigh beds get their name from the curved headboard and footboard that resemble the construction of wooden sleighs. These beds are considered more comfortable for sitting up in (due to the rounded surface). Sleigh beds are usually made from wood, but metallic models are also available.
Storage platform: Storage beds are platform bed models outfitted with drawers on one or both sides, and are ideal for shoppers who need a bed and would like to free up some extra bedroom space. These may also be known as ‘captain’s beds.’
The table below details the similarities and differences between these six bed frame types.
Type of Bed Frame
Four posts connected to the bed and an overhead canopy
Slats or bars with a headboard and footboard
Slats or bars with a headboard, but no footboard
Four tall posts with no overhead canopy.
Scrolled headboard and footboard
Platform beds with storage drawers on one or both sides
Box spring Needed?
Sometimes but not always
Medium to High
Medium to High
Low to Medium
Average Price Range
$200 to $1,000+
Less than $300
Less than $200
$600 to $1,500+
$5000 to $1,000+
$300 to $800
Extra privacy Well-insulated
Low price-point Wide range of styles
Low price-point No box spring required
Sophisticated appearance Wide range of styles
Wide range of styles Comfortable when sitting up in bed
Low price-point Extra storage space
High price-point Too tall for some bedrooms
Box spring required Questionable durability
Low profile uncomfortable for some Questionable durability
High price-point Box spring required
High price-point Box spring required
Low profile uncomfortable for some Questionable durability
Important Considerations for Bed Frame Shoppers
Now that we have discussed the differences and similarities between the most common bed frame types, here are a few factors to keep in mind when comparing different brands and models:
How much do you (and your sleep partner) weigh? Lighter people may feel more comfortable on a low-profile bed, while heavier individuals may prefer a higher profile. Additionally, some bed frames have lower weight capacities than others.
What is your bed frame profile preference? Keep in mind that the profile includes the space between the bottom rail and the floor, as well as the height of the mattress and, if applicable, the box spring.
Do you have a material construction preference? For most shoppers this will be an aesthetic choice, although metal frames tend to cost less than wooden ones.
How long do you plan to use the bed frame? The average lifespan of metal and wood bed frames is comparable, but solid bed frames tend to last longer than those outfitted with slats.
What is your bedroom height? Some canopy and poster beds are too tall for some spaces.
What is your bed frame budget? For those who are hoping to save money, a platform, panel, or storage platform model will usually be priced much lower than other bed frame types.
Is upholstery a deal-breaker? Most bed frame types are available in upholstered and non-upholstered models, but the former tend to cost more than the latter.
Do you sleep better on a box spring? Some bed frames, such as platforms and storage platforms, are not designed to support box springs.
What is your bedroom aesthetic? Depending on the look of your room, an ornate bed frame may be more suitable than a minimalist model (or vice versa).
How long is the product warranty offered with the bed frame? In most cases, bed frame warranties cover one to five years. However, some bed frames do not come with any sort of product warranty.
What are the bed frame requirements of your mattress warranty? Not all bed frames meet the criteria for standard mattress warranties, so it’s important to double-check these requirements before making a final purchase. Please see the next section for more information.
Mattress Warranties and Bed Frames
A mattress warranty will almost always require owners to use their mattress on a foundation that will support the weight of the mattress, its foundation and its sleeper(s). Additionally, warranties may specify the following:
Queen, King, and California King mattresses must be supported on frames with at least five to six legs.
Twin, Twin XL, and Full mattresses must be supported on frames with at least four legs.
Frames with slatted systems must have slats that measure at least two inches (2″) wide, and have spaces between them of no more than two inches (2″) to four inches (4″), depending on the brand.
Slatted systems used with larger sizes (Queen and larger) must have a center support beam.
The mattress may not be used on the floor, or on beds or bases made from certain materials (such as spring-based models or models made with wired metal).
A common mattress defect is sagging in the sleep surface. The mattress warranty will not cover sagging that occurs due to improper support; additionally, using an incorrect support system may ultimately void the warranty.
Be sure to research the requirements of your mattress warranty before purchasing a frame to ensure your selected frame model will meet the criteria.
It’s also important to note that many bed frames come with warranties. Generally these warranties provide anywhere from one to 10 years of coverage; however, some bed frame models do not come with a product warranty of any kind.
For more information about bed frames, foundations, and other types of bedding accessories, please check out the following Tuck pages: