5 Common Mistakes When Buying a Bed Frame

Ottoman bed
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Buying a Bed Frame

Buying a bed frame isn’t rocket science, but you can make a few mistakes, like not measuring your bed space and choosing the wrong bed base.

This article covers the five most common mistakes people make when buying bed frames so that you don’t make the same mistakes.

Let’s jump in!

Not measuring the bedroom.

Although beds come in standard sizes, those sizes denote the mattress size, not the dimensions of the bed frame. If you have a small bedroom, you should measure your space to figure out what dimensions you have to play with.

For example, a divan base pushes up against the wall and takes up little space, but adding a padded headboard pushes the bed out by at least 4cm.

Here are the standard bed sizes:

  • Single – mattress size 90 x 190cm
  • Small double (also known as a three-quarter bed) – mattress size 120cm x 190cm
  • Double – mattress size 135 x 190cm
  • King – mattress size 150 x 200cm
  • Super-king – mattress size 180 x 200cm

Use these as a guideline to measure your bedroom and ensure that the bed frame you buy is suitable for your space.

Not considering bed height.

Bed Size Guide. Buying a Bed Frame
Pictured: Confused woman with hands aloft about room measurements. Measure your bedroom and ensure that the bed frame you buy is suitable for your space.

The height of a bed frame plays a critical role in mobility, with a high bed helping you get in and out of bed without straining your lower back.

However, low bed frames have a more relaxed and lounging vibe, which many prefer to give their bedrooms a chilled-out feel.

High beds are best in traditional spaces and more oversized bedrooms; the higher height doesn’t make the room feel cramped. Low beds are best for small bedrooms because they take up less vertical space and lift the eye line.

Choosing the wrong material

When shopping for bed frames, most consider style more important than materials. While this will narrow your search, materials play the most significant role in what the bed feels like.

You have three options:

  • Wooden bed frames – the timeless appearance of a wooden bed makes it perfect as a design anchor. Building a bedroom around a wooden bed is easy, and you can get them in a wide range of traditional and modern styles.
  • Metal bed frames – metal bed frames are equally appealing as wooden frames, with traditional and modern styles. Most metal beds have ornate detailing, with Victorian and period styles trendy.
  • Upholstered bed frames – upholstered frames are softer and help bring a sense of comfort to bedrooms. They also have padded headboards, which are lovely to sit up against. They are also available as divans (or ottomans with a lift-up base).

Choosing the wrong base for the mattress

Mattress Sizes.
Pictured: Illustration about mattress sizes.

Bed frames have either a solid or slatted base. While you can use any mattress with either base, slatted bases work best with sprung mattresses because they maximise spring travel and improve bounce and impact absorption.

Solid bed bases work best with pure foam mattresses because the solid platform helps the foam retain its shape. Thick mattresses (over 30cm) also work best with solid bases due to having more substantial support systems.

Slatted bases also come in two varieties: sprung slats (where the slats have an arch that flexes under load) and solid slats (planks of wood). There isn’t a significant difference other than sprung slats providing more bounce.

Not thinking about storage.

Most of us have experience stuffing boxes under our beds, but a bed frame with in-built storage is worthwhile to maximise space.

There are several types of storage beds:

  • Beds with drawers – available with a divan or regular bed frames
  • Slidestores – these have a sliding door and cubby instead of drawers
  • Ottomans – these have a lift-up mattress base on a gas/hydraulic strut
Aspire Chesterfield Sleigh Bed Frame, with ottoman storage solution.
Pictured: Aspire Chesterfield Sleigh Bed Frame, with ottoman storage solution.

Ottomans are the ultimate storage solution, using the whole underside of the mattress for storage, and you can specify an end or side-lift platform.

Storage is a critical consideration for every bedroom, and using your room’s most significant piece of furniture makes sense as a storage solution. Please read our new storage beds guide for more information.

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