What is a Bed Frame?

If you’ve ever wondered what a bed frame is, it’s essentially a frame that supports a bed. However, there’s a lot more to bed frames than this simple explanation. 

In this comprehensive guide on "what is bed frame,"  we’ll explain what a bed frame is, the different types of bed frames, and how to choose the right one for your needs and budget. Let’s get started!

Bed Frames: A Definition

A bed frame is the foundation for your mattress and provides support, enhancing your bedroom’s overall aesthetics. 

However, this is where the general explanation ends because bed frames come in many different styles, functional features, sizing options, and materials such as hardwood or fabric upholstered.

Do You Need a Bed Frame?

Unless you enjoy sleeping with your mattress directly on the floor or your mattress comes with a base, you’ll need a bed frame. 

While there’s no hard and fast rule about bed frames, having another support under your mattress is good. 

A bed frame properly supports your mattress and may even give you a better night’s sleep. In addition, it can also make your mattress and bed look neater and enhance the look of your bedroom. 

A bed frame can also improve the airflow under your mattress, keeping you cool in the summer and preventing the accumulation of dead skin cells, dust, and microbes. 

Types of Bed Frames

Many different bed frame types suit all style preferences, budget constraints, assembly requirements, storage needs, and durability requirements.

If you’ve ever wondered “what is bed frame,” below are the most common kinds:

Wooden Bed Frames

Wooden bed frames (as their name suggests) are made from wood, which can be either solid or plywood. 

Solid wood bed frames are durable and long-lasting and come in various types, such as oak, maple, cherry, or walnut, each offering unique grain patterns and color variations that add character to your bedroom decor. 

Additionally, solid wood is less susceptible to moisture or humidity damage than engineered wood frames like MDF or particleboard.

Birch plywood, for example, is a popular choice, as it’s strong and resistant to warping. 

These bed frames provide a classic look that complements most bedroom decors. That said, wood bed frames need more maintenance to preserve their durability, while metal bed frames are more modern-looking and need less maintenance. 

If you’re looking for a beautiful wooden bed frame collection, consider Pottery Barn's selection, which features timeless designs crafted from high-quality materials.

Metal Bed Frames

Metal bed frames offer a sleek, modern aesthetic with less upkeep than wooden alternatives. 

However, they can sometimes become squeaky over time due to loosening joints or bolts - an issue not commonly found in well-constructed wood frames. 

Platform Bed Frames

A common question when shopping for a bed frame is, “What is platform bed frame.” 

A platform bed frame supports your mattress without needing a box spring, making it an ideal choice if you're looking for simplicity and cost-effectiveness. 

These beds often have slats or solid panels that evenly distribute weight across the whole surface area, ensuring optimal support while eliminating potential sagging issues associated with traditional box springs. 

Now that you know what is a platform bed frame, you’ll be tempted to buy one! 

Adjustable Bed Frames

Adjustable bed frames offer the ultimate in personalized comfort, allowing you to adjust your mattress’s angle at the head and foot. 

This can help alleviate pressure points, improve circulation, and provide customized support for different sleep positions. An adjustable bed frame could benefit you if you have recently had surgery or suffer from a medical condition requiring you to sleep in a certain position.

Some adjustable bed frames even have built-in massage features or USB charging ports for convenience. 

Popular Bed Frame Styles

Whether you’re more traditional and prefer a classic mid-century bed frame or prefer a contemporary model, there’s a bed frame for you. 

However, before deciding on a style, consider your bedroom’s style and your partner’s preferences. 

Let’s take a look at the most popular bed frame styles: 

Mid-Century Modern 

You can find timeless style mid-century bed frames at most furniture outlets and online retailers. Since this style has been around for several decades, you can also find used mid-century modern bed frames for sale. 

These bed frames are a fantastic choice because their style never goes out of fashion, and if you choose a good quality frame, it will last you for decades. 

Mid-century modern bed frames often feature clean lines, tapered legs, and natural wood finishes, creating a warm yet sophisticated atmosphere. 

Minimalist Bed Frames

Minimalist bed frames, as their name implies, have simple features, plain designs, and very few or no ornate patterns or features. 

They have a beautifully understated appeal, allowing them to look great in any bedroom, regardless of the style. A minimalist bed frame is also a great choice if you’re someone who doesn’t like fussy designs. 

Steel Platform Bed Frames

Steel platform beds could be your best bet if you prefer a more industrial look. 

These frames have clean, sharp lines and geometric patterns that add visual interest without overwhelming the bed. However, like other metal bed frames, they can squeak after a few years due to the parts becoming loose.

That said, it’s usually easy to address this issue by oiling the squeaky parts or tightening loose joints. 

Functional Features in Bed Frames

If you’re looking for a bed frame that can double as storage or something else, consider buying one with functional features. 

Here are some ideas to consider if you want a bed frame with functional features:

Built-In Shelves for Extra Storage Space

A popular choice to maximize bedroom space is a bed frame with built-in shelves. Shelves are convenient storage solutions without compromising on design. 

If you don’t like the look of open shelves but still need storage space, choose shelves with covers or doors.

You can use your built-in shelves for various uses, such as storing books or items you need at night. 

Detachable Nightstands for Versatility

You’ll love a bed frame with detachable nightstands if you love the versatility. You can easily remove detachable nightstands when you don’t need them and add other attractive features, like an upholstered headboard, which adds an element of comfort.

Style and Comfort with Upholstered Headboards

Fabric upholstered beds bring a touch of elegance to any bedroom setting by offering beautiful design options such as tufted details, wingback headboard styles, or completely upholstered surfaces. 

How To Choose The Right Bed Frame

When choosing a new bed frame, taking your time is a good idea because bed frames are usually a huge investment. 

You might consider factors such as the following: 

  • Durability
  • Budget
  • Style preferences
  • Bedroom size (smaller bedrooms may not be able to accommodate functional bed frames with shelves)
  • Material preferences

When shopping for your new bed frame, consider your mattress’s size. For instance, you might ask yourself, “What size is a queen size bed frame?” to ensure your mattress fits correctly.


A bed frame is an essential piece of furniture that supports your mattress and adds style and functionality to your bedroom. 

When selecting a bed frame, consider the material, aesthetic and practical characteristics most suitable for your needs. Wooden frames offer durability, while upholstered headboards provide comfort.

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