I just got this bed frame and it is wonderful. Very well made, no squeaking and it's very sturdy. I would say it's a little closer to black than charcoal, but it's not quite black (a very dark charcoal). It adds a very nice modern touch. Had it up for less than a day and got compliments on it already. For those looking to buy it, the mattress is a very nice height with a box spring on this. Not low at all like a platform, but a nice modern platform type of look. Our mattress is 12 inches tall and the box spring is 9.25 inches and the top of the mattress comes up over the foot board (which I like). Hope that is helpful information for those out there. Assembly was a breeze. Very quick and easy with two people. Instructions were very easy to read. Don't hesitate to buy this. You won't regret it.