How to Buy a Bed Frame
Weigh the Size of the Mattress
If you already have a mattress you love, choosing a new bed frame becomes a bit easier. If you have a full-size mattress, you want a double bed frame. If you have a queen-size mattress, you want to look at queen-size frames. Make sure you know whether your king-size mattress is a California king or an eastern king, as they’re slightly different; a bed frame that fits one may not fit the other. If you’re buying your entire bed set from scratch, consider how much room you have for a bed and what bed size makes you feel most comfortable. Read our Bed Size Fact Sheet for mattress dimensions you need to know.
Measure the Size of the Room
A bed is usually the largest piece of furniture in any bedroom, and a large bed can easily overpower a small room. Place your mattress on the floor to get a sense of its size, or use pillows or masking tape to approximate it. If you find that you already feel cramped, opt for a simple metal bed frame under your box spring to maximize the usable space in your bedroom. A simple platform bed frame can also be a space-saving option, and you can even expand your storage options by choosing a bed that offers drawers under the box spring or shelves in the headboard.
Choose Between a Platform Bed and a Box Spring
With many platform beds, you only need a mattress and no box spring; this makes buying a platform bed a wise choice for many shoppers watching their budgets. Of course, some platform beds can also accommodate a box spring if you like your bed a little higher off the ground. The choice between platform bed and box spring is also a question of firmness for some, with many people preferring the hard foundation that many platform beds provide. To get the facts about both types of bed frames, read FAQs About Platform Beds and FAQs About Box Springs.
Consider the Height and Bulkiness of the Bed
If you desire the drama of a more elaborate bed frame, such as a four-poster or canopy bed, aim your tape measure toward the ceiling. A tall bed frame requires a high ceiling, as even a large bedroom can start to feel cramped. Do a little extra measuring as well if you prefer a bulky bed frame such as a sleigh bed or a bed frame-headboard combination with bookshelves included. Bear in mind that you might have to disassemble and reassemble larger beds to get them through a bedroom door, and make sure that’s possible with your chosen frame. For a simple way to add height after the bed frame is assembled, read How to Use Bed Frame Risers.
Match Your Own Decorating Style
Because the bed is the focal point of any bedroom, choosing the right style is paramount. If you want to create a warm, welcoming, comfortable feel, you may want to opt for a wooden bed frame, piling up quilts and pillows to set a cozy mood. Those who prefer a sleek, modern look should choose a bed frame of metal or wood with clean, minimalist lines. Once you’ve figured out what styles might fit in your bedroom, take a look at various models, including upholstered bed frames, sleigh beds, wrought-iron beds, and brass beds to find what suits you best. For inspiration, read Bedroom Styles for Your Home.
Double Up for Guest Rooms and Kids’ Rooms
When furnishing a kid’s room or a guest room, you have even more options. Consider a daybed for the guest room so you can use the space as a home office or crafting room when you don’t have guests. A bed with a trundle works well for both overnight guests and kids’ sleepovers, and bunk beds are another handy, space-saving option for kids. Read FAQs About Bunk Beds and our Top 5 Ideas for Guest Room Beds to help you decide what’s best for your space.
If you still can’t decide on a shape, size, and finish for your bed frame, read our Bed Buying Guide to explore the benefits of each style.