When it comes to finding the type of bed frame that’s perfect for you, picking the right mattress size is the easy part. But there are so many other factors to consider—like the color, material, and bed frame style—that you can easily feel overwhelmed.
Not to mention questions like, do I need a box spring? What about a headboard and footboard? Is a canopy bed too much? What’s a sleigh bed and is it just for log cabins?
If parsing through all the different types of bed frames and variety of styles has you ready to take a nap, this guide is here to help!
We tried on the most popular bed frame designs, added a few newcomers for 2020, and are breaking down the pros and cons of each. Read on to find out which type of bed frame is right for you.
The Platform Bed Frame
Out of all the types of beds, one of the most popular frame styles is the platform bed. Platform bed frames come in a wide range of styles and offer a sleek, low-profile look. You can easily spot a platform bed frame by its flat base—all you need is a mattress, no box spring required!Shop This Room
Cost-Effective: Platform bed frames are generally more affordable, as you don’t need to purchase a box spring to go with them.
Use Any Mattress: You can use any type of mattress with your platform bed. They’re especially perfect for memory foam mattresses.
Small Space Friendly: Platform bed frames are one of the best frame styles for small bedrooms. Why? Their sleek design takes up less floor space, which will help you minimize clutter.
Climbing In and Out: Platform beds tend to be low to the ground, so climbing in and out of bed takes getting used to. If you have back or knee problems, consider if this is something you want to do daily!
A Note for Side-Sleepers: Because the mattress sits directly on top of a solid platform or wooden slats, platform beds tend to be firmer. For side-sleepers, a firm mattress can create too much pressure and might become uncomfortable.
What to Look For:
Platform beds are made for comfort across the board, so find a design or style that appeals to you. Many styles also feature hidden interior storage—an added bonus for small-space dwellers!
Small spaces, such as urban lofts or small apartments. They also work well for open floor plans, as platform beds have a sleek look and feel that won’t add visual clutter.
The Upholstered Bed Frame
If it’s luxury you’re looking for, upholstered beds have you covered. These beds are super comfy, bold, and can easily fit into a wide range of spaces.Shop This Room
Ultra-Comfy: The cushioned support and a soft headboard means you can comfortably read or watch TV in bed.
Variety: There are tons of different types of fabric, color, and pattern choices, so you’re bound to find a design that works with the rest of your bedroom.
Maintenance: You’ll need to keep your upholstered bed in tip-top shape with frequent and light vacuuming to keep dust and pet hair at bay. If you’re allergic to dust, an upholstered bed might not be for you.
Wear and Tear: Because fabric is simply less durable than wood or metal, dents, impressions, and grease spots can develop over time.
What to Look For:
Make sure the bed frames are made of sturdy hardwoods and choose a fabric and color that can stand up to a little wear over time, such as a deep purple, navy, or gray. Check out our guide to upholstered beds for more helpful tips.
Classic and traditional-style bedrooms or a large master bedroom that needs an infusion of cozy vibes.
The Storage Bed
Designed to help you maximize storage in the bedroom, the storage bed is the most multipurpose and space-efficient of the bed frame styles.Shop This Room
Storage (Duh): Storage capabilities are designed and built directly into the bed frame, so you have a bed frame that is one cohesive unit, stocked with everything you need!
Sturdy: Many storage beds are made with beautiful woods that give them good looks as well as a sturdy and solid construction.
Difficult to Move: Because they have all those extra parts and pieces, storage beds are heavy. And since they’re often built as one large piece, they tend to be difficult to move.
More Expensive: Equally hefty is the price tag on storage beds. They can often be more expensive than other bed frame styles.
Maintenance: It’s hard to maintain the hardware and track rollers that are built into the storage units underneath the bed. Over time, these can fall off or become loose and require repair.
What to Look For:
Opt for a platform bed with storage built into the base. This approach guarantees your bed will have firm mattress support given the flat surface, deep storage units, and a stylish streamlined look.
Modern and eclectic style rooms, especially a city apartment bedroom where storage is limited. Just make sure there’s enough space to fully pull out the under-bed compartments! Storage beds are also great for kids bedrooms where extra and easy storage is always welcome.
The Sleigh Bed Frame
Simply put, the sleigh bed is exactly what it sounds like—a bed that’s shaped like a sleigh, with a high headboard and footboard. This is one of the types of bed frames that has serious style and works in any setting.Shop This Room
Slay With Style: A sleigh bed is an instant statement piece that’s sure to become the focal point in your bedroom. Sleigh beds come in styles ranging from solid wood designs to upholstered versions with more streamlined appeal, so you’ll have endless options to choose from.
Limited Leg Room: If you’re tall, a sleigh bed with a footboard might not be the best option for you.
Difficult to Move: Traditional sleigh beds are made entirely from high-quality solid woods so they tend to be heavy. Modern upholstered versions are lighter, but can still be unwieldy to move.
More Expensive: Sleigh beds are generally quite expensive, given their design and construction.
What to Look For:
If you’re considering an upholstered sleigh bed, make sure the bed frame is made of wood and not metal for durability.
Grand, classic-style rooms and modern, open bedrooms alike. They’re suitable for spaces with distinctive interior architecture, like exposed wood beams or ornate molding.
For a bed that gives you all the style without the full frame, a beautiful, standalone headboard is a great choice.Shop This Room
Cost-Effective: You have the option of getting the headboard alone, which is less of a commitment and more cost-effective. A standalone headboard works with a range of setups, like a box spring or a metal mattress stand, and still looks super stylish from afar.
Easy to Move: Freestanding headboards can be easily attached and detached from a bed frame, making them easy to move.
One-Piece Wonder: A headboard is just that—a headboard, not a full bed frame. If you’re looking for something to also hold your mattress, this might not be the option for you.
What to Look For:
Headboards that are made with solid or kiln-dried hardwoods, or an upholstered headboard that coordinates with your design style and bedding.
When you’re looking to upgrade from your IKEA furniture on a small budget. Standalone headboards are perfect for guest rooms and kids rooms, too, because they’re simple, clean-lined, cozy, and versatile.
The Canopy Bed Frame
Also known as a four-poster, the canopy bed has been gaining popularity in recent years with more streamlined and modern designs cropping up in the marketplace.Shop This Room
Stylish Statement: It’s difficult for other bed frames to compete against the ultimate stylishness of a canopy bed frame.
Cozy Vibes: Canopy beds make a room feel immediately cozy thanks to its enveloping design. Add some draped fabric for extra cozy vibes!
Maintenance: Dust tends to collect at the top, so you’ll want to clean it regularly.
Size Restrictions: Many of today’s canopy bed designs are built to fit into spaces both large and small, but you’ll still need tall ceilings in order for a canopy bed to work in a room.
Difficult to Move: Because of their size and construction, canopy beds will require a good amount of assembly to move in and out of your bedroom.
What to Look For:
Consider a modern canopy bed with a built-in headboard for a piece that can evolve with your interiors over time—meaning you can redecorate and it will still blend nicely with your decor.
Classic and modern bedrooms alike. They’re best in lofty spaces with lots of space and high ceilings, but would also be perfect in a master bedroom that gets a lot of light.
The Wrought-Iron Bed Frame
When it comes to longevity, a wrought-iron bed outshines all other bed designs given its strong metal construction. These beds also come in a wide array of styles.Shop This Room
Low-Maintenance: They’re extra durable, since metal doesn’t warp or fade over time. Wrought-iron beds don’t require the same amount of cleaning and care that wood and upholstered bed frames do.
Durable: Wrought-iron beds are durable and can hold a lot of weight, making them a great investment that will last for many many years.
Easier to Move: They’re not as heavy as you might think. In fact, they’re often lighter than other solid wood and platform beds.
Limited Styles: While there are lots of wrought-iron bed shapes to choose from, these beds have a very distinct look that can be difficult to decorate around if you’re looking to change up your bedroom design in the future.
More Expensive: Price points vary greatly and wrought-iron beds, in particular, can get super expensive. But that’s because of their high-quality construction, with perfectly welded joints.
What to Look For:
Try wrought-iron bed frame styles that have a painted finish to them for a more versatile option, such as bright, antiqued white.
Rustic and boho spaces alike. They’re great in starter apartment bedrooms where you want a bed that lasts or in guest bedrooms and kids rooms where you want a bed that’s durable and low-maintenance.
If you love multipurpose furniture pieces, then you’ll love this. A daybed is a bed and sofa in one. Typically a twin-sized bed, it can be used for sleeping, reclining, lounging, or as an extra seating option.Shop This Room
Space conscious: Because of its dual purpose, it’s great for homes with limited space, where you need furniture to pull double duty.
Stylish: Daybeds can be more stylish than a typical bed. They have an almost luxurious feel that begs to be used for lounging.
Good for split-use spaces: Have an office that’s also a guest bedroom? A daybed is the perfect option, as it can be used for seating during the day and a bed at night.
Size: You don’t have a lot of versatility in sizing since daybeds typically only come in twin size frames.
Bulky: Despite holding a twin size mattress, daybeds are bulkier than a typical twin bed, so you’ll need to consider that when thinking of the space where you want to use it.
Party of One: Since daybeds hold twin-size mattresses, they only sleep one person. So, this isn’t ideal in a guest room if you tend to host more than one person at a time!
What to look for:
Daybeds come in so many different styles, so you can definitely find one in the style you want. Look for one that functions for how you’ll use it—like opting for a style with a three-sided “headboard” if you want to primarily use it as a sofa. Many daybeds also have trundle bed add-ons if you want additional sleeping space.
Small spaces like studio apartments, where your bed also needs to function as your sofa during the day. They’re also great in guest bedrooms and kids rooms—or in home offices and basements where you just want another sleeping option for guests!
The Shelter Headboard
These tall headboards wrap slightly around on the sides—almost like the bedframe version of a wingback chair. They give the illusion of a safe shelter around your bed, enveloping you in cozy comfort.Shop This Room
Cozy: Shelter headboards are typically upholstered. Between that and the shape, it gives a cozy feel to your space.
Style Statement: Their unique design makes a bit of a statement, adding a stylish flair to your bedroom.
Size: These headboards are very large, making them unwieldy to move or less-suited for small spaces.
Accessibility: Because of the wraparound edges, they can block easy access to your nightstand. You’ll either have to float your nightstands a little bit away from the wall to make them more accessible or just be willing to reach a bit further to grab your glass of water at night.
Maintenance: Upholstery tends to need extra cleaning and special care, so these headboards are a bit more high-maintenance than a wooden or metal headboard.
What to look for:
Since these headboards are taller and wider than average, you’ll want to choose a style that fits in your space, considering both ceiling height and the width of your room. You’ll also want to choose a headboard with sides that don’t block too much of your nightstands.
A master bedroom suite, where you want your bed to make an elegant statement. They’re also perfect for creating that cozy bedroom feel.
Mid-Century Modern Bed Frame
If mid-century modern design is your jam, opt for a mid-century-inspired bed frame! This style has tapered legs, simple forms, and are often made of polished wood in a blonde or acorn finish.
Sleek design: These beds are stylish, sleek, and simple—great for a modern space. Their sleek forms also mean they visually add less clutter, making them a good design choice for small spaces.
Low-maintenance: With simple forms lacking extra ornamentation, they’re easy to maintain and clean.
Versatile: While they have mid-century lines, this style of bed can be incorporated in rooms of many styles, making it a very versatile piece.
Not soft and cozy: While polished wood is beautiful, it doesn’t have the soft, cozy appeal of upholstered bed frames.
Style-specific: While these frames are simple, they definitely have a specific style and vibe, more specific to mid-century, modern, and eclectic spaces.
Price: Solid wood frames can be more expensive than other materials. And since mid-century style is popular right now, price tags for this style are sometimes marked up.
What to look for:
Look for a frame with sleek, modern lines and tapered legs. These styles are often labeled as mid-century in the product description, which can help point you in the right direction. Look for polished natural wood—but make sure it’s not raw with knots, as this gets to be more rustic than modern.
Modern and minimal spaces, where you want a bed frame that matches the style of your space without being a statement piece of furniture.
The Spindle Bed Frame
Spindle bed frames are classics—and for good reason. They have a timeless, traditional look that’s still very versatile. What is a spindle bed frame, you ask? It’s a bed frame with—you guessed it—spindles, arranged in a row to create a headboard, and often a footboard. Typically these bed frames are wood, but occasionally you’ll see one made of metal.
Open + Airy: The open space between each spindle creates an airy look and feel.
Lightweight: These bed frames are often more lightweight than a typical solid headboard—a great option for those who love to constantly rearrange their room.
Not comfortable for reading: Since the headboard isn’t a solid piece of wood or upholstery, it’s not the most comfortable to lean against. So, those who love to read in bed will either need to pile on the pillows or opt for a different style.
Style-specific: Spindle bed frames are a very specific style, so you don’t have the versatility of it translating as well to new spaces.
What to look for:
Spindle beds can range from very traditional, with slightly more ornate spindles—like the Jenny Lind style—or lean a bit more minimal and Scandinavian modern. You can find spindle beds in natural wood finishes or many-colored finishes.
Rustic and traditional bedrooms—or even for acing the modern farmhouse trend. This style is great for people who aren’t used for reading a lot in bed, where the less comfortable spindles won’t have a negative impact.
The Bunk Bed
Want to make use of vertical space in a kids bedroom or at the cabin? We love the space-saving features of a bunk bed.
Saves space: The most obvious reason to love a bunk bed? You’re getting two beds for the floor space of one!
Fun for kids: It’s a truth universally known that kids love bunk beds. There’s something so fun and adventurous about them! It’s also a perfect design solve for shared kids bedrooms or when you’re short on space.
Great for sleepovers + guests: Bunk beds offer wonderful extra sleeping options for both guests and when your child’s friends sleepover. Opting for a double bed on the bottom bunk gives even more space and versatility!
Climbing: When it comes to top bunks, there’s no avoiding climbing steps or a ladder to get to it. This isn’t ideal for kids under the age of six.
Not easy to get in and out of bed: Whether you’re on the top or bottom bunk, getting in and out of bed is more difficult in a bunk bed. You either have to climb up and down a ladder or watch your head if you’re on the bottom bunk.
Size: Even though bunk beds take up the same amount of floor space as a normal bed, they’re obviously larger with the top bunk. You’ll want to make sure you have enough ceiling height to accommodate someone sitting up in the top bunk.
What to look for:
Look for style and construction that is easy to use for the age group using it. If you have younger kids, opting for a bunk bed with thicker ladder rungs and side rails. Then, consider if you want a twin over twin bunk bed or a full-size mattress on the bottom bunk, depending on how it will be used. We also recommend choosing a style that can be repurposed as individual beds when your kids grow out of wanting to bunk together. Finally, make sure you choose a set that fits the height of your space and matches the room’s overall design style.
Households with kids or families that host a lot of guests. We also love using bunk beds in vacation homes and cabins where you’re likely piling lots of people into a smaller space!