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The Best Bed Frames – Top Picks and Buying Guide

Our Research

62
bed frames considered
110
hours of research
4
sleep experts consulted

Quick Overview

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.

Best Bed Frames

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 five 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 Top 5 Picks

The Best Bed Frames – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Zinus Sonoma

Editor's Pick – Zinus Sonoma

Highlights

  • Steel and wood (pine) frame, non-upholstered
  • 41.5" height (headboard included)
  • Durable wooden slats
  • 12" clearance
  • 5-year warranty
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Editor’s Choice Overview

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 Editor’s Pick. 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.

Good for:
  • 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

Best Bed Frame for the Price – Zinus Quick Lock Smart Platform

Best Bed Frame for the Price – Zinus Quick Lock Smart Platform

Highlights

  • Steel frame, non-upholstered
  • 14” height with 13” of clearance
  • Quick assembly
  • Extra-durable steel slats, 5.5” apart
  • 5-year warranty
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Best Bed Frame for the Price Overview

At less than $100 (with free shipping through Amazon) for any size, the Zinus Quick Lock Smart Platform is our choice as the best bed frame for its price. Boasting steel slats as well as a steel frame, it delivers a stable and durable sleep surface without any frills or gimmicks to raise the price.

With its clean, modern style and excellent construction, this is an ideal bed frame for the spare or master bedroom. In addition to the top and bottom connected legs, there are five under-mattress supports to offer support and avoid any unevenness. This does slightly reduce the storage capabilities of the frame’s 13” of clearance, but the gaps between the legs are large enough to fit all but the largest of boxes or items.

Good for:
  • Sleepers who don’t use a mattress base
  • Those who prefer a no-frills bed frame
  • Heavier sleepers (the queen frame can support 500 lbs, not including the mattress)

Best Upholstered Bed Frame with Headboard – The Nectar Bed Frame With Headboard

Best Upholstered Bed Frame with Headboard – The Nectar Bed Frame With Headboard

Highlights

  • Upholstered steel frame with solid wood slats
  • 40” with headboard, 8-inch legs
  • Tufted, upholstered headboard
  • Available in two neutral colors
  • 50-night home trial, 3-year warranty
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Best Upholstered Bed Frame with Headboard Overview

If you’re looking for a chic frame which combines modern design with classic appeal, the Nectar Bed Frame With Headboard is an excellent choice. The low-profile base keeps the look clean and uncluttered, while the button-tufted headboard will look sophisticated in any room. Of course, style alone doesn’t make a good bed frame, but Nectar has come through with a central support frame and wooden slats for comfort and durability.

While designed with the Nectar mattress in mind, this frame is appropriate for any variety of mattress without a box spring. (If your mattress has a high profile or you use a thick mattress topper, your mattress might intrude visually on the headboard but is otherwise usable.) If you’re uncertain about mattress fit or how this frame will work in your room, Nectar offers a 50-night home trial with free shipping and returns.

Good for:
  • Sleepers who don’t use a mattress base
  • Shoppers who wanted a stylish, upholstered frame
  • Nectar mattress owners

Best Canopy Bed Frame – DHP Modern Canopy Bed

Best Canopy Bed Frame – DHP Modern Canopy Bed

Highlights

  • Steel frame, non-upholstered
  • 73.5" height
  • Built-in headboard
  • Clean, modern design
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble
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Best Canopy Bed Frame Overview

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.

Good for:
  • Sleepers who don’t use a mattress base
  • Those who prefer metal frames
  • Privacy seekers

Best Adjustable Bed Frame – Saatva Adjustable Bed Frame

Best Adjustable Bed Frame – Saatva Adjustable Bed Frame

Highlights

  • Upholstered metal frame
  • Adjustable 6-10” legs for 14-18” of height
  • Remote control for frame adjustment
  • Wave, head, and leg massage
  • White glove delivery and 25-year warranty
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Best Adjustable Bed Frame Overview

There are many reasons to choose an adjustable bed frame. Whether you’re interested in reducing the symptoms of conditions like acid reflux or sleep apnea, increasing mobility, or just enjoying the luxury of a fully-adjustable frame, the Saatva Lineal Adjustable Base is our pick for you. An ultra-quiet motor allows for remote-control adjustability, while the included massage settings and under-bed illumination provide sumptuous comfort.

Not all mattresses are designed to be used with an adjustable frame. While some ordinary mattresses can appear to work correctly, over time they will weaken and deform for an uncomfortable sleeping experience. (Saatva offers mattresses for sale with the frame, but it will also work with any other adjustable mattress.) If you have a sleep partner who has different sleep needs, consider purchasing the split king size – by using two extra-large twin mattresses, it offers separate adjustment capabilities.

Good for:
  • Sleepers with conditions which respond well to adjusting head or foot height
  • Couples who have different sleep needs
  • Shoppers with larger budgets

Buying Guide – How to Buy a Bed Frame

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. Not all bed frames are suitable for use with a boxspring, and though not all mattresses require a boxspring this is something to keep in mind if you prefer to use one.

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 Canopy Panel Platform Four-Poster Sleigh Storage Platform
Construction 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 Yes No Yes Yes No
Profile Medium to High High Low Medium to High Medium 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
Pros Extra privacy; Well-insulated Low price-point; Wide range of styles Low price-point; No boxspring required Sophisticated appearance; Wide range of styles Wide range of styles; Comfortable when sitting up in bed Low price-point; Extra storage point
Cons 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.

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