Bed Frames – The Complete Buying Guide

When looking for a bed frame, you don’t have to choose between comfort and practicality the way you sometimes have to if you’re buying new clothes. Today, manufacturers give you plenty of options when choosing a bed frame so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Choosing a bed can be easier than you think. In this Bedstar Bed Frame Buyer’s Guide, we look at when to replace your bed, the different types of bed frames, box springs, and bed frame materials. We also provide tips on buying the right bed for you. We start with knowing when to replace your frame.

Knowing when to replace your bed frame

Your bed frameworks are hard. It’s one of the pieces of furniture you use the most and endures some real wear and tear. You need to keep an eye on your bed frame and check if it still fits its purpose. If not, your bed could give you a stormy night’s sleep. Worse still, it could cause you an injury.

Here are some signs you need to replace your bed frame:

  • Despite replacing your mattress, you still don’t get the support you need.
  • The bed creaks or makes crunching noises when you move.
  • The slats are warped or broken.
  • There’s split wood in the frame, or the slats have cracks (the bed could be about to cave in).
  • Fixings in the frame are bent, loose, or twisted.
  • You’ve got your best night’s sleep on another bed recently.
  • You feel sore and unrefreshed when you wake up.

If you spot any of these signs when using your bed, it’s time to go bed hunting!

Types of Bed Frames

Variety is the spice of life – and bed frames are no different. You can purchase various types of bed frames, depending on your needs. Here are the most common ones:

Divan beds

Divans are the most simple style of bed available. They’re affordable and also very popular. You can purchase divans with pocket springs in the base or a firmer platform top. You could also add a headboard and footboard to them as desired. Some divan beds come with storage options and are helpful if you don’t have much space in the bedroom.

Not sure if this is the correct type of bed for you? Please read our detailed divan beds guide so you can decide more easily.

Divan Bed Frame.


A bedstead has a slatted bed frame rather than a platform top. They consist of a base, legs, and a headboard. You can find them in various styles, from traditional pine to luxurious four-poster beds. Bedsteads are more expensive than divan beds; however, placing items under the bed can disturb the room’s aesthetics. 

Storage beds

You don’t have to be a genius to know that storage beds have storage options. A storage bed can be a divan with storage drawers with sliding doors or drawers that you open out, or it can be an ottoman bed, the base of which you lift from the front or the side.

If you have a small bedroom, a storage bed is beneficial. You can see some of the different storage options that a storage bed provides in our short guide to storage beds’ evolution and design.

Sofa beds

Sofa beds work well in a guest room or in any room where you won’t be using the sofa as a bed every day. They’re compact and flexible; you can fold them back into a sofa when you’ve finished using them. They’re like the Transformers of beds!

However, if you don’t want a full sofa bed, you may prefer a guest bed, which you either pull out from the main bed or fold-out (and up) like a camping bed. 

Bunk beds

Bunk beds need very little explanation. They’re double-decker-style beds and are terrific if you don’t have much space. These are mainly beds for children.

You should check the weight limit if you’re using them for adults. You can learn more about buying bunk beds in our guide to choosing the perfect children’s bunk bed.

Adjustable beds

An adjustable bed is a bed in which you can adjust the position to get the needed support. The perception has long been that they’re for the elderly and people with mobility issues, but some buy them because of the comfort and health benefits they offer.

You don’t have to be old to buy an adjustable bed! If you’re considering purchasing an adjustable bed, you can find out more about how to do so in our complete guide to adjustable beds.

Slatted bed bases

It’s not just the bed frame that is different, but also the base of the bed itself. Many bases have slats that go across the bed upon which you lay the mattress.

There are two types of slatted bed base:

Solid slatted bed frame

Solid bed slats are firm but inflexible. Often bed manufacturers will make them out of wood such as pine — or sometimes out of metals such as steel — and the slats will be screwed to the bed or fixed to it somehow.

If you’re looking for a firmer level of support, solid slatted bases are a good option, and you can pair them together with a firm mattress. 

Sprung slatted bed frame

The slats on a sprung slatted bed base are made from (beech) plywood, making them more robust and slightly curved upwards. Their curved nature makes them more flexible.

They act like a spring, and the frame adapts to your movements when you’re in bed, so you’ll enjoy a more cushioned feel from the bed. Sprung slats are also much easier on your mattress because they allow it to last longer.

Note that the slats on a bed should be no further apart than just under 3 inches (7.6 cm). Any more comprehensive and the slats will damage the mattress. 

Find out more about sprung slats in the video below:

What is a Sprung Slatted Bed Base |

Box springs

While researching and reading about beds, you’ve probably come across the term ‘box spring.’ This isn’t a spring but more of a supportive square or a foundation that raises your mattress. Up until the year 2000, box springs used to have heavy gauge coils in them. Today, they tend to be solid, supportive squares that match the size of the mattress. 

What is a platform bed?

Platform beds often don’t need box springs and tend to be significant but lower than standard beds. These types of beds are an option for people with bad backs.

Platform bed.

Bed frame sizes

Generally, bed frames come in a range of sizes, from small singles through to king-size beds. Here’s a quick rundown of our sizes:

  • Small single (75 x 190 centimetres / 29.5 x 74.8 inches).
  • Single (90 x 190 centimetres / 35.4 x 74.8 inches).
  • Small double (120 x 190 centimetres / 47.2 x 74.8 inches).
  • Double (135 x 190 centimetres / 53.1 x 74.8 inches).
  • King size (150 x 200 centimetres /  59 x 78.7 inches).
  • Super king size (180 x 200 centimetres / 70.8  x 78.7 inches).

When choosing your bed, think about the size of your bedroom. You do not want the bed to dominate every single inch of space.

Neither do you want it to look lost because the room is too large? If you choose a mattress, add 2 to 5 inches (5 to 12.7 centimetres).

This allows you to accommodate the bed frame and any special features it may have, such as drawers, shelves, or upholstery.

When choosing the right bed, an essential factor to consider is how much space the person or persons will need.

If you have children, you can be sure they will want to climb into the bed and snuggle up beside you or your partner.

Bed frame materials

When it comes to bed frames, you have a choice of materials:

  • Wood is versatile and can work with modern and traditional looks.
  • Metal, which works with more contemporary interiors but can also work with traditional ones.
  • Upholstered, such as velvet, crushed velvet, and leather, convey an extra sense of warmth and luxury.

You can learn more about the different bed frame materials in our short guide to each type of frame.

Tips for buying a bed frame

If only you could walk into a bed retailer and buy the first bed frame on which you clamped your eyes. There are several things to consider, so here are some tips for choosing your bed frame:

Measure the room and the bed

Measure the size of your bedroom (and the bed). You can place your mattress on the floor to get an idea of how much space the bed would occupy. As mentioned, add a few inches for the frame.

If the bed is going to dominate all the space, choose a smaller one. You could go for a metal bed, under which you could store belongings on the floor, or a storage one, such as a divan bed with drawers or an ottoman bed with built-in storage options.

Remember the size of the mattress

Choosing your bed frame will be easier if you already have a mattress serving you how you would like it to.

If you already have your mattress, you will need a bed frame that is the correct size for your mattress. There should be enough space readily available to manoeuvre around your bedroom comfortably.

Depending on the frame’s style, some bed frames’ dimensions will be more significant. You will need to allow a few extra inches when considering buying a wooden bed frame or upholstered bed frame.

However, a divan bed without a headboard is more inclined to have dimensions that accommodate the mattress completely. 

Of course, there are many different mattresses to choose from, so why not check out our size guide and see which size would be the best for your bed?

Think about the bed frames height and bulkiness

A taller bed frame will require a higher ceiling but think about your health and mobility. If the bed is too low, it can lead to back pain because getting out of bed will be uncomfortable on your joints, whereas if it’s too high, jumping out of bed each morning will also create pain in the joints in the long run.

To gauge whether your bed is a suitable height, sit on the edge of the bed. Your feet should be flat on the floor, and your knees should be aligned with your hips.

If they are above your hips, your bed is too low. A bed or around 24 inches (60 centimetres) would be the correct height if you are elderly or have trouble with your joints.

A higher bed would be the better option. In the long run, it can have less impact than a lower one when this is the case.

Make sure the bed frame is compatible with the décor and style

Choosing the right bed frame is not just about practicality. The aesthetics have got to be correct. Metal or wooden frames with clean lines will make your bedroom look more modern.

Wooden bed frames, with lots of cushions and a decent quilt, will give it a more traditional esthetic look. Remember that the bed is the centerpiece of any bedroom, so the frame must be in keeping with the room’s overall design.

Thinking about doubling up

A guest bedroom with a trundle is worth considering if your children like to have sleepovers. Trundle beds or day beds are useful if you would rather keep your spare room free for other purposes.

Final thoughts

Buying a bed frame deserves some consideration. Not only have you taken into account practical issues such as comfort, size, and space, but also ones such as style.

Considering the suitable material is essential and can influence the price a bed may cost. Other factors could be how easy it is to maintain, durability and quality.

The good news is that you do not have to choose comfort over style, nor style over comfort. The design of bed frames today allows you to enjoy both. When it comes to choosing a bed, the world is your oyster.

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