7 Types of Bed Frames and How to Choose One

Modern bed frame in room

Martin Barraud / Getty Images

A bed frame is designed to lift and support your mattress and box spring, if applicable. It keeps your bed off the floor, but also contributes to the comfort and longevity of your mattress. Some bed frames also are an aesthetic choice that contributes to the decor of the bedroom.

Bed frames come in seven main types to address style, space, and budget needs. Regardless of which type you choose, keep in mind that you'll need to select a bed frame that matches the size of your mattress. Here, learn more about the purpose, materials, and cost of each type of bed frame so you can choose the best option.

  • 01 of 07

    Frame-Only

    Metal frame-only bed frame

    Boris SV / Getty Images

    Best for: Supporting a box spring and mattress or for the most minimal appearance.

    Usually constructed of sturdy metal, a frame-only bed is designed to support a box spring and mattress without any extra components. It's the simplest bed frame style and also one of the most affordable, usually costing less than $100.

    Frame-only bed frames may have wheels for easy movability and are sometimes adjustable, meaning they can accommodate different mattress sizes. They are often seen with bed skirts and may be used to store objects underneath.

  • 02 of 07

    Platform

    Platform bed in modern bedroom

    Wachirawut Priamphimai / EyeEm

    Best for: Mattresses without a box spring and a modern, simple look.

    Platform bed frames offer a solid surface on which to place your mattress, eliminating the need for a box spring. This type of bed frame is similar to the frame-only style because they both are as streamlined as possible. However, platform beds replace the railings of a frame-only bed with a solid (or sometimes slatted) base. Typically, these bed frames work with almost any mattress and may even be recommended for specific types of mattresses, like memory foam. Platform bed frames may be made of wood or metal. Some also have upholstered headboards, or provide attachment points for your own headboard and footboard if you choose.

    It is important to note that platform bed frames may change the feeling of your mattress. Because these bed frames provide a solid surface for your mattress, it may make your mattress feel firmer. These beds are also lower to the ground, which can make climbing in and out of them a bit easier.  

  • 03 of 07

    Four-Poster

    Twin four-poster bed frames in guest room

    The Good Brigade / Getty Images

    Best for: A dramatic option to make your bed the focal point of the room.

    A four-poster bed features a tall post at each corner of the bed, with rails that connect to one another at the top. The tall design is chosen for its grandeur and traditional feel. A sub-type of the four-poster bed is a canopy bed frame, which has fabric draped around and over the posts of the frame to enhance the dreamy feeling of this bed frame.

    Four-poster and canopy beds are especially well-suited for use in large, open spaces or rooms with high ceilings. The look can be elegant, whimsical, or classic depending on the materials and finish you choose. Traditional four-poster beds are often made of wood, but metal options can give a more modern feel to this bed frame. The cost of a four-poster bed varies widely, with some simple metal versions costing as little as a few hundred dollars and high-end wood bed frames costing $2,000 or more.

  • 04 of 07

    Bunk

    Two sets of bunk beds in bedroom

    The Good Brigade / Getty Images

    Best for: Creating more sleeping space using the same amount of floor space as an individual bed.

    Essentially two bed frames stacked on top of each other, bunk beds can sleep multiple people and are often used for kids' rooms. You'll most often see bunk bed frames sized to accommodate twin-size mattresses, though some have a double-sized (or even queen-sized) lower mattress with a twin- or full-sized mattress on top. Bunk bed frames have ladders or stairs to reach the upper bed. 

    Bunk beds are made from solid wood, MDF, or metal. Pay attention to the weight rating, since some bunk beds are only intended for use by children while others can support the weight of an adult.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Sleigh

    Sleigh bed made of wood

    Perry Mastrovito / Getty Images

    Best for: A traditional bed frame in a spacious room.

    Sleigh bed frames feature large headboards and large footboards, giving the bed a sleigh-like shape. These are perfect for large rooms, as their design takes up more space than other bed frames. 

    Available in a variety of finishes, most sleigh beds are made of wood. This makes them quite heavy. Although sturdy, they are not easy to move around. Keep in mind that the sleeping space is capped by a headboard and footboard, which is fine for most people but could be problematic for especially tall individuals.

  • 06 of 07

    Trundle

    Trundle bed in room

    Camilo Morales / Getty Images

    Best for: When you need to add extra sleeping space on occasion.

    Trundle bed frames contain a secondary bed frame that can be pulled out when needed and pushed underneath when not in use. This makes these bed frames very versatile. They're usually made of wood, MDF, or metal.

    The adaptable nature of trundle bed frames makes them perfect for guest rooms or other areas where a second bed may be needed in a pinch. However, they are usually smaller in size and lower to the ground—making them a better choice for children. In addition, a thin profile mattress is typically required for the bottom mattress.

  • 07 of 07

    Adjustable

    Adjustable bed frame with mattress

    Pridannikov / Getty Images

    Best for: Raising the head or foot of the bed to accommodate more ideal resting or reading positions.

    An adjustable bed frame is motorized and gives you the option to raise a portion of the bed, usually the head, foot, or both. These beds are popular with individuals that like to read or watch television in bed. They also are useful if you find it beneficial to have your head or feet raised slightly while sleeping. Keep in mind that you'll need to have a nearby outlet available to plug in the bed frame in order for the lifting mechanism to be operational.

Choosing a Bed Frame

Selecting the type of bed frame that works best for you will depend on the space you have in a bedroom, the style of bed you prefer, and the budget you have to spend. If you're choosing a bed frame for a large, primary bedroom and you favor a traditional look, investing in a four-poster or sleigh bed may be the right choice. However, if you're looking for a minimal and affordable bed frame for a guest room, then consider a frame-only bed. Kids' rooms and guest rooms might also benefit from a bunk bed or trundle bed frame, which give you more sleeping space in less square footage.

If you already have a mattress you plan to pair with your new bed frame, then it's also important to consider what the mattress manufacturer recommends for effective support. Platform beds are the best bet for memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattresses. On the other hand, traditional innerspring mattresses that require the use of a box spring might be better suited to a frame-only bed or another type of conventional bed frame that can accommodate the depth of a mattress and box spring.

Make sure your mattress isn't left lying on the floor. By choosing the right bed frame for your sleeping space, you will have a room that is functional and well-equipped for sweet dreams.