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How to pick a Metal Bed Frame

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 7 minLast updated on May 7, 2021

Durability is one of the main concerns when choosing or upgrading a bed frame. Unfortunately, when reading product descriptions and user reviews, it’s not always clear how well this or that frame may hold up over years.

That’s why we decided to find and list the best metal bed frames on the market. You can take a look at our findings and recommendations below.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Metal Bed Frame

So, what makes a quality metal bed frame?

Actually, a lot of things.

So, let me just list them below for your convenience.

Type of Metal

Modern metal bed frames can be made of several types of metal:

  • Steel. Steel frames offer the best balance between weight and durability. Their slats and frame bars typically have a hollow structure and are more lightweight than other types. Yet, they provide a long-lasting rigid carcass for your mattress.
  • Iron or cast iron. These may be cheaper than steel frames because iron wire requires fewer resources to be forged. However, iron is prone to rust, which means that sooner or later the bed frame may become rusty and start squeaking. Also, iron wires don’t feature a hollow structure.
  • Metal alloys. The most common metal alloy you can come across in a bed frame is brass, and while it has this luxurious look, brass is actually pretty soft and pliable. So, a brass bed frame will be more prone to bending and breaking and will generally have a lower weight capacity.

Type of Mattress

The type of your mattress will also determine the material of the frame you’ll need.

Typically, a metal frame is a good pick for denser mattress models, such as hybrids and latex mattresses. The bed base will reinforce their edges and improve the anti-sagging properties.

But that doesn’t mean you cannot pair a metal frame with a foam bed.

Just make sure that your bed frame for a memory foam mattress has no more than 5 inches of space between the slats. A wider spacing can cause the foam base to protrude, and your mattress would fail to give you the proper support.

Weight Capacity

Now, metal bed frames typically have larger weight capacity than wooden models, but you still need to know how to figure the needed weight limit for you.

So, here’s a hint:

A bed frame should be able to hold you, your partner, and your mattress weight combined and have some margin just in case.

This means that if you’re choosing a bed frame for a single sleeper, the minimum weight limit should be around 300 lbs. For two average-weight adults, double that amount — and you’ll get 600 lbs as a starting point.

Design

I don’t know about you, but for me, everything should be in harmony, including the furniture design. Otherwise, I just cannot sleep tight.

That’s why I recommend you thoroughly think about what bed frame style would fit into your interior.

For example, if you live in a minimalist loft, you may want to check out my reviews of minimalist bed frames. They come with a simplistic design and can easily help you turn your bedroom into a light and airy sleep kingdom (1).

If you’re into classic things, choose models with forged footboard and headboard to add more chic points to your interior. The headboard and footboard will also help you secure the mattress in place.

Box Spring Compatibility

Most of the modern bed frames don’t require a box spring, as they already have a slatted support surface and work as a standalone bed foundation. Adding a box spring to this setup will only increase the height of your bed and make it heavier but won’t change the supportive properties (2).

However, there are models of bed frames compatible with a box spring. These are the ones that don’t have slats or those that come with slats spaced widely apart. 

Use

How you will use your metal bed base is another important factor to consider. Because sometimes you might not need a lot of extra features that add up to the price.

Anyway, here are the essentials that will make the use of your bed frame easier:

  • Foldable design. If you plan to use your bed frame occasionally — for example, in the guest room — a foldable design will come in handy, not to mention that it will save you space in the storage room.
  • Noise-free construction. Some of us use their beds not only for sleeping, but also for intimate things. And I think that you’ll agree with me on the fact that a perfect bed frame for sex should be totally quiet. Often, metal frames start squeaking and rattling pretty sooner, especially if you’re a very passionate couple. To prevent this, I recommend you look for models with foam padding around the perimeter and plastic caps on each slat’s ends.
  • Wheels. For those who feel the need to refresh the room’s layout from time to time, a wheeled bed frame would be a lifesaver. Wheels allow you to rotate and move the bed frame without lifting it up or dismantling it, which, again, saves a lot of time.

Speaking of the assembly process, I recommend that you go with models that have fewer details. First, it makes the assembly process much easier. Second, fewer screws and joints mean that you will have less time spent maintaining them and your bed base will have fewer potentially squeaky points in the future.

FAQ

Are metal bed frames noisy?

Mostly yes. But if you assemble the frame correctly and provide proper maintenance, you may eliminate squeaking.

Wrapping Up

A decent metal bed frame can easily serve you for decades, offering uniform support for your mattress.

What makes the best metal bed base for you? And which model among the five do you think can fit your demands? Share your thoughts below!

References

  1. Caroline Biggs (2020, April 3). 20 Minimalist Bedrooms to Inspire You to Design Your Own Dreamy Space. Retrieved from https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/minimalist-bedroom-ideas-257254
  2. What Kind of Bed Foundation Do I Need? (2020, January 12). Retrieved from https://purple.com/blog/what-kind-of-bed-foundation-do-i-need

Our research

27

Mattresses Considered

112

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

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