What is a Bed Frame, Anyway?

Metal bed frame on a white floor

If you’re like most people, you may have never thought about what goes under your mattress to hold up your bed. The bed frame is one of the most overlooked parts of a new bed purchase, just because most people don’t know what they are – or how important they can be to getting a good night’s sleep!

So what are bed frames?

A bed frame is what holds up your box spring and mattress so you’re not putting them on the floor. It’s usually a rectangular frame made of metal, with legs and feet that give it some height. The frame’s rails hold up the box spring, then the mattress goes on top. Check under your bed – chances are you’ve got one there and you never really noticed!

Some people may reference a "bed frame" for anything that holds up your mattress, which can include a platform bed or a headboard/footboard/rail system. But the most common bed frame is the metal support we've been making for almost 70 years.

There are also bed rails, which are not complete frames, and usually serve a specific purpose, like connecting a headboard and footboard.

A bad bed frame can be the cause of some of your bed’s problems. The right frame provides enough support for you to sleep comfortably, no matter how thick your mattress is or how many pillows you put on top. If your bed is sagging, squeaking, or unstable, the problem could be your frame. All those issues can impact your sleep quality, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got a good bed frame under there.

Are there different bed frames?

Not all bed frames are the same. They come in different sizes, shapes, heights, and materials to help people get the in-bed experience they’re looking for. Frames can also be specialized - if you’re still rocking the water bed, you want to make sure you’ve got the right bed frame for that!

Although metal is the most popular material used, different materials offer different support and comfort levels. Steel frames provide the best strength for the long run, and the thicker the steel the better the support.

Bed frames will also vary in the amount of weight they can handle. Larger sized beds (Queen, King, and California King) are often better supported if they have an additional rail running through the center to prevent your mattress from sagging and wearing out.

If you invest more in a higher quality bed frame, they will last longer, provide better support, and hold more weight than a cheaper bed frame.

And they come with different feet?

Bed frames also come with different foot options. Wheels (or casters) and glides are the most common options. Glides are flat feet, usually made of nylon or plastic. Wheels can be made from metal or plastic, and let you move your bed around more easily. Some wheels don’t have a locking mechanism, which can cause the bed to shift around when you lie down. When purchasing a frame with wheels, make sure to look for wheels that include a locking mechanism to keep your bed more secure. Glides will provide more stability, and the flat bottom helps to protect a wood floor.

Who knew there was so much to a simple bed frame? Take a look and see what’s holding you up at night. Make sure it’s giving you the right support for a good night’s sleep!

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