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FAQs about Platform Beds

MAY 24, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Bedroom Furniture Specialist

If a simple, rectangular wooden box comes to mind when you think of a platform bed, you may be surprised by the tremendous variety of styles available today. All platform beds let you create a foundation-free place to rest, but choosing between styles such as Mission, Victorian, and Mid-Century is difficult when you don't know what bedroom look you want to achieve. Decide what size, material, and functionality you need, and then look for platform beds in shapes and finishes that create a dramatic but complementary focal point for your bedroom decor.


What is a platform bed?

What is a platform bed?

While traditional beds have an open frame with supportive rails, a platform bed offers a supportive surface that is either solid or fitted with sturdy slats or wires. The slats are usually built into the frame, but some beds come with a removable slatted rack. Platform beds are often sold without headboards and footboards, making it easy to customize any bed that accommodates attachment hardware. If your family is always searching for more space, look for storage beds with drawers built into the platform or attached shelving.

What are the benefits of a platform bed?

What are the benefits of a platform bed?

Because foundations and box springs are no longer necessary, platform beds are a cost-efficient alternative and require fewer accessories to make an attractive, comfortable sleep setup. Any type of mattress is compatible with a platform bed, although solid platforms are often required to satisfy the warranty criteria for memory foam mattresses.

If you struggle with restless nights or squeaky springs, switching to the flatter profile of a platform may offer relaxing firmness. Slatted styles ventilate your mattress, reducing the buildup of allergens and mildew. Many platform bed frames also sit low to the ground, making a bed-skirt unnecessary and allowing children to climb up with ease.

What platform bed sizes are available?

What platform bed sizes are available?

Platform beds come in standard sizes: twin, which is 39- by 75-inches; full, which is 54- by 75- inches; queen, which measures 60- by 80- inches; and king, which is generously wide at 76- by 80- inches. Platform beds even come in the luxurious 72- by 84-inch California king, which offers extra space when your kids or pets want to share your bed.

What styles are most common?

What styles are most common?

The platform bed's design affects the amount of space around your bed, so make sure you choose styles that leave plenty of legroom. One common style is a legless, box-shaped frame with a slightly recessed interior surface that prevents your mattress from sliding around. The surface can also be completely flat, or in the case of Japanese platform beds, extra-wide to create a sleek border around the mattress. Don't fret if the legless look isn't for you. Platform beds are as varied as personalities, so you can find everything from tapered and hairpin legs to arches and carved claw feet.

What material should I choose?

What material should I choose?

A well-constructed platform bed can give you years of peaceful sleep and reduce wear on your mattress, whether you are buying a slatted or a solid model. Wood platform beds are durable and firm, offering a high weight capacity and damage resistance. Metal bed frames are also strong and sturdy; steel and iron are the most popular materials, and despite their tough construction, metal bed frames often have a thinner, lighter build. Particle board and medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, are the most common engineered materials, which are made from small fibers that are bonded together. As the least expensive option, engineered boards offer less durability and longevity, but they are sturdy and often finished with laminate or wood veneer for a polished appearance.

What style is best for my decor?

What style is best for my decor?

A legless wood platform bed with clean lines can add a chic, minimalist look to a contemporary bedroom, while beds with tapered or hairpin legs complement retro, modern, and industrial decor. Create a zen-like retreat in contemporary or urban environments with a low Japanese platform bed, or for a regal feel, pick thick, decorative wood or wrought iron in elegant styles. There are styles of platform beds to fit every feel and decor, so there are no limits to the possibilities.