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jordym84's avatar

What's your experience with metal bed frames?

Asked by jordym84 (4752points) October 15th, 2013

I’m planning on purchasing a new bed frame and I came across these two that I really like (even more so because they’re within my budget). I’ve never owned a metal frame and I’m somewhat nervous about creaking noises.

If you’ve ever used a metal frame, did you like it? Was there ever any creaking? If so, what did you do to make it stop (other than replace the frame~)? Is creaking inevitable or are there any “preventive care” tactics that might help? Anything else you’d like to share about your experience with metal frames?

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31 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I slept on a bed with a metal frame for the first half of my life. It didn’t creak, even though it was pretty old when it came to me. It was easy to disassemble and move; the head and foot were hollow tubes, sturdy but not heavy at all. Wood might have been warmer, but I had no complaint of it. I used it until I moved to California and got married.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve always used metal bed frames with zero creaking. All you have to do is make sure the fittings are tight.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I used to sell bedding, mattresses, and beds for a living. I managed 3 stores for a period of about 3 years. I have put together and taken apart many different kinds of beds.

I will jump straight to the point.

The two beds you have linked are cheap, and you will not be pleased with them in the long run. They will not stand up to years of use. They will be noisy.

I recommend starting with a frame like this. You purchase a mattress and box spring to go on the frame, and you can add any type of headboard you like. This kind of frame is available in all sizes, and it is the industry standard.

As a side note, if you were thinking you could buy the beds you linked and then save money just buying the mattress instead of the mattress and box spring set, you are in for a shock. I don’t know if you’ve shopped for a mattress at a reputable store, but if you mention you want the mattress only without the box spring, you will typically pay 75% of the price for the two-piece set. This is set by the mattress manufacturers and not the stores.

Edit to add: you can purchase the type of bed frame I linked at any mattress store.

jordym84's avatar

Thanks, everyone!

@Hawaii_Jake Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! I already have a memory foam mattress that I purchased a few months ago. I’m trying to avoid buying a box spring if I can help it, so I’m looking for frames that wouldn’t require additional support for the mattress. What do you think about this one? Are there any other frames you’d suggest that wouldn’t require a box spring?

Jeruba's avatar

There’s nothing pictured there, @Hawaii_Jake, or at least I can’t see it. It’s a main index page with a list of links and a place to sign in.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Jeruba That’s very strange. I click my red link, and it shows a regular steel bed frame without a headboard or footboard. Here is a standard steel frame at Target.

@jordym84 I see why you want to avoid having to buy a box spring. I would like to make a suggestion. If it’s not too personal or intrusive, could you supply us with a link to the mattress you purchased? It’s perfectly fine to decline. By seeing what you have, I might be able to make a more valuable judgement and recommend a bed that will give your mattress proper support and give you peaceful sleep.

Jeruba's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake, that one works. Thanks. Maybe you were logged in at the Crate & Barrel site?

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think I have ever had a creaking problem with a metal bedframe. I think maybe that might happen if the headboard is not attached well?

I have slept on a platform bed for over half of my life and love it because it is low to the ground. But, I spent many years in a regular bed with a metal frame (I am sleeping on one now again in my temporary apartment) and it is fine too.

If you are in the market for a bed and are going to go with the metal frame, one thing I always tell people is you can get a thin box spring. They are about 4 inches thinner than a standard. Many of the new mattresses are very thick, and those few inches can make a big difference. It can mean the differences between being able to squarely put your feet on the floor or wrenching your back getting out of bed. Also, if you are in an apartment with 8’ ceilings it can look out of proportion. Although, I have a very low more modern bed, and in some of the houses I have had with vaulted ceilings my bed probably looked out of proportion to some people.

The bed you linked with the slats, I only had one bed (actually matching twin beds) like that with wooden slats. It was in a secondary bedroom. I didn’t like it at all. I felt like if a kid stood on it, it would give. If an overweight adult was visiting I would not have wanted them to sleep in either of those beds. If I had sex in it, I would have worried. My platform beds that I have slept on regularly have always been solid below the mattress.

Right now I just have my metal frame and a box spring and mattress, no headboard. It’s fine in my opinion. You can get a headboard later if you want. It’s super easy to make the bed. Any bed that you will have to tuck the blankets is more of a pain to make.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to add one thing. The beds you linked look weak to me. I would not buy them. When I say metal frame, I mean good old fashioned standard metal frame below the box spring.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I had a metal bed for many years. We are not large, heavy people. That might make a difference.
It was easy to disassemble and assemble and has moved a few times over the years.

The bed is still in the basement, waiting for the day one of the “kids” needs one for a spare bedroom in their house.

Cupcake's avatar

I have a similar one from Ikea. I’ve used it for ~13 years. Never made a sound… other than when I roll over and inadvertently bang my wedding ring and wake up my husband.

The one from Ikea has a LOT of wooden slats tied together that go under the mattress. While I would be OK using it without a box spring, I opted to buy two boards that together fill in the frame and put a sheet over that with my mattress on top. I really like not having a box spring. The height works out better for me, and we have a foam mattress that might not work optimally with a box spring underneath.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @Hawaii_Jake, I’ve used that for years and I have no complaints. The problem with spring bed frames is that they will stretch with time. If you use one with a board on the bottom they will creak with time and the mattress tends to slide if it is small.

jca's avatar

I have a metal bed frame. It’s not creaky. I think if you are thinking of noisy springs, you may be thinking of a cot which has springs on it which may squeak. A metal bed frame is just that – a frame – it has wheels on the bottom but it does not move unless you really throw you weight up against the mattress and deliberately move it.

RocketGuy's avatar

You definitely want something with good support in the middle. Sag is a bummer.

YARNLADY's avatar

What you need is a platform bed.

jca's avatar

If you are using a metal bed frame, you need a box spring. Otherwise, use a platform.

susanc's avatar

A piece of plywood under the mattress, with a row of slats ¾“x4” under it, will support a foam mattress.

jordym84's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Oh no, don’t worry, I don’t find it intrusive at all. I appreciate your help! I have the full size version of this mattress. I’ve had it for about 6 months and it’s undoubtedly one of the best mattresses I’ve ever slept on. I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but it was certainly a great value. Would a platform bed be a better idea?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@jordym84 Yes, it’s my opinion a platform bed would be a better option. My main reason for saying so is anything with slats will allow the mattress to take on the impression of those slats. A platform won’t since it’s solid.

I have an ordinary mattress on a what I was taught to call a European wood base. It looks like a box spring, but it’s a simple wood box covered with cloth to appear like a regular box spring.

I did notice that on the page you linked they do sell a metal base for the mattress. If you can get the specifications of that base and compare it to how many slats the bed you like has, then you will know if you’re getting enough support.

The link @YARNLADY provided has an excellent version of a platform bed.

JLeslie's avatar

Some platform beds. I don’t know if these have a solid piece below the mattress. That is what you should get. You might also check Macy’s, they sometimes have great sales and probably you have one near you.

Cupcake's avatar

I don’t understand why a platform bed would be better than lining the bed frame with wood (plywood or MDF) if you don’t want a box spring.

As I said above, that has worked well for me on my metal bed frame.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Seems like that would work also. Just if she wants some sort of headboard or for it to be more decorative a platform bed will come with everything possibly. Depending on what she picks.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie The metal beds linked to in the question had headboards and footboards. They could easily accommodate a wood lining.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake I didn’t think those looked like they were good quality. I had said I wouldn’t buy those, so I was in that frame of mind. I wasn’t even considering those beds. It’s my mistake that I was not clearer about my thought process.

Also, the OP should keep in mind her linens and blankets and how they will fall on the sides or tuck in. The height off the floor effects this and platforms tend to be more work to make the bed if you need to tuck everything in. The beds she linked I think both had a foot, so blankets would be tucked there and then open sides. If she wants to tuck the sides the board or possibly metal will partly show. Thick blankets won’t be able to be tucked.

jca's avatar

If seeing the metal frame is a concern, you could always put a bed skirt on.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I’m guessing she prefers the look of no skirt. But, if she does like that look, she needs to make sure it is split on the corners if she wants it to hang in the frnt as well, and make sure of the height off the floor since bed skirts are typically the height of a standard bedframe plus a standard boxspring. If she likes the bedskirt, I think she should go with a standard frame and boxspring actually. Much easier. But, that’s me. I had that for several years, no headboard, big square decorative pillows in lieu of the headboard.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m thinking a metal frame wouldn’t have as much support as a platform bed that is designed for the purpose, but it would work.

P. S. I made a platform bed out of stackable wood drawers
by placing them plywood boards on the floor and placing two plywood boards on top.

The floor plywood was because the drawers kept getting caught on the rug, so I needed to raise them up a little.

jca's avatar

@YARNLADY: The support comes from the box spring. If you were to put a mattress solo on a metal bed frame, it would definitely fall through.

YARNLADY's avatar

@jca I was referring to the suggestion by @Cupcake of putting plywood on the metal frame to make a platform bed.. With slats it might work, but plywood doesn’t keep it’s shape with no support other than a frame.

Cupcake's avatar

@jca I looked at the pictures in the question details. They both have a lot of slats.

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