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What’s That Noise? Dealing With a Creaky Wooden Bed and Other Issues

Ever wondered what causes the annoying creaks in a wooden bed that sometimes wake us at night? Identifying this in a wooden frame is trickier than in metal frames because there are fewer joints and screws to check. You could spend a while scratching your head while you work out what’s behind the noise, but screws and joints are always a good place to start.

If you live somewhere hot, the weather could have an impact on the frame because heat causes wood to expand. If you’ve experienced a change in the weather and suddenly your bed has started creaking, there’s a good chance the weather is to blame (unfortunately!).

How do you stop it?

The first thing to do is find where the creak is coming from, which you can do easily by gently rocking the bed and listening out for it. Tightening up any screws or bolts is the quick, easy solution, but it’s not the only one and it might not even be the right solution. Then it’s time to call on slightly more unorthodox, but equally effective solutions. 

Here are a few:

Waxing over it

Candles might be a nice way to freshen up the room, but they also make handy creak busters. Once you’ve found where the offending squeak is coming from, rub a little wax over it. The first rub might not solve the problem, so be ready to give it another few if the creak doesn’t disappear without a fight.

Line the slats with old socks

You know those odd socks you have because the washing machine keeps swallowing one sock up but not the whole pair? Now is the time to get some use out of those odd socks again. Lift up your mattress and line the slats of the bed frame with your odd, old socks (or with old T-shirts or old sheets). The material removes friction points and acts as a buffer between the mattress and the frame.

Bring out the cork

Like the socks approach, this is just a question of identifying the creaky area and placing bits of cork between the offending spot(s) on the bed frame and the mattress. This cushioning will reduce noise and tighten up loose spots.

pin in a board

Dealing with squeaky castors

If the castors on your bed are causing the night-time ruckus, the fix couldn’t be easier. All it takes is the time and energy to visit a hardware store and pick up some castor cups. Then you just go home, lift up your bed and slip them under the wheels. Watch that racket diminish.

Tackling squeaky box springs

Some people manage to beat a noisy box spring by placing pillows between the bed frame and the wall to stop the bed rocking. If that doesn’t work, find the spot where the bed frame is shifting against the box spring. This is your starting point. 

Pad old sheets, T-shirts, etc between the box spring and the frame. Then buy a sheet of plywood, cut it to fit the frame and lay it between the box spring and mattress. The plywood will buffer any movements you make in the night and also lend you a bit of support while you sleep.

Is it even the bed?

That bed might seem like it’s creaking away when, actually, something else is to blame. Check that the legs on the bed are even and that the floorboards are, too. If they’re not, fold a sheet or a towel and put it under the uneven leg to even things out again. You could also move your bed to a part of the room where the floorboards are even.

You don’t have to put up with all that annoying creaking and squeaking. There are plenty of ways to combat it, but if your wooden bed is still giving you noisy grief, try turning over the mattress. This changes the way the weight balances on the frame, which could be all it takes.