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How to Fix a Squeaky Bed Frame?

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 8 minLast updated on April 13, 2021

A noisy bed frame can easily ruin your sleep or reveal your night activities to neighbors or relatives.

And both of these events don’t sound good.

 However, you can prevent them by fixing a squeaky bed frame!

And this article will guide you through all the steps you need to perform, right below!

Why Your Bed Frame Squeaks?

The first step to stop the bed from squeaking is to find out which part makes the noise. The majority of bed frames require some assembly, and there are several main squeaking spots, depending on the material and construction:

  • Joints. Joints are the places where two different parts of the bed frame connect, i.e. legs and outer frame, slats & outer perimeter, etc. These points can start squeaking when the said parts wear out or experience pressure.
  • Slats. Standard bed frames can have slats made of wood or metal or feature a mesh-like construction. When metal parts rub on each other — whether because they wore out or because you’ve tightened the screws too much — this may cause the squeaking and rattling sounds.
  • Legs. The bed frame legs are the parts that you usually mount, and they are a widespread spot that makes noises.
  • Bars. If you purchased a bed frame with a minimalist design, it might not even have slats, but it will have a central supportive bar and outer perimeter, and those parts can also begin to squeak sooner or later.
  • Friction. This is mainly the case with metal bars that have a polished finish. The mattress fabric can rub onto the metal surface and make a squeaking sound, especially if you are an active sleeper who tosses and turns a lot during the night.
  • Weather. Wooden bed frames are mostly made of unfinished wood that can soak in moisture from the air and swell. Swelling might alter the structure of the wood, making it more prone to cracks and splits (1). It also makes joints fit poorly, which can result in squeaking.

Bottom line?

Start by inspecting all these weak spots, if you cannot exactly tell where the sound is coming from. You can do it by rocking your bed, and checking the joints and screws.

How to Fix a Squeaky Bed Frame?

Once you’ve localized all your squeaky spots, it’s time to treat them.

If there are several squeaky parts, you can mark them with colored pencils or nail polish, so you don’t forget about them.

The way of making your bed frame noiseless again may vary based on its construction and materials. Below, you will find methods that work for wooden and metal bed frames, as well as some universal tips.

Let’s start with wooden bed frames.

Try Wax or Soap

If your bed frame has squeaky joints, the easiest way to make them quiet is lubrication. However, applying liquid lubricants to unfinished wood may result in deformation and make the noises even louder.

That’s why try applying a thick layer of paraffin, candle wax, or soap to a squeaky spot. You can also remove the screw and just rub it into the paraffin until it’s fully coated, then place it back and lightly tighten.

Secure the Splits 

If your wooden frame squeaks because the wood is deformed and the parts become unfit, you can solve this problem by wedging small pieces of cork or plywood into the spaces. Just chip away a small piece and stick it into the split until the whole construction is secured. You can also place small bits of cork on the outer frame, where the slats touch it to prevent any squeaks in the future.

Sprinkle Some Baby Powder

You can try fixing a squeaky bed frame by applying a generous amount of talcum or baby powder to joints or squeaky areas. Baby powder prevents excess friction, thus eliminating any annoying sounds, and is virtually the cheapest way to prevent bed squeaks.

Tighten the Bolts

This method works equally for wood and metal bed frames because if two loosened surfaces rub on each other, they will squeak.

So, check any bolt and nut and tighten up loosened ones. Do not apply too much pressure, or you might break the thread and the screw will become useless. First, tighten the bolt with your hands, then fix it with the screwdriver.

Also, you can change metal washers to plastic. They’re softer and will prevent two metal surfaces from rubbing on each other and make your bed frame quieter.

Put a Sock on It

If your metal bed frame has a lock-in slat fixation, here’s how you can prevent noises:

  • Place a sock on a slat’s end that goes into the slot. You can also wrap it in a thin layer of fabric.
  • Assemble the frame as usual and secure the squeaky slat properly.

The fabric layer will prevent metal surfaces from touching and keep the bed frame quiet.

Spray WD-40

If your bed frame squeaks because the screws have started to rust, try applying WD-40 or another petroleum-based lubricant to the corroded area. You can also use WD-40 to remove the rust: spray the screw with a generous layer of the lube, sit for 10-15 minutes and then rub it with the cloth. Repeat a few times until the rust is cleaned and then assemble the bed frame as needed. This is an easy method to make a sturdy bed frame (like one of these) last even longer and prevent any noises.

Make a Cushion From Electrical Tape

You can prevent squeaks and noises from coming from your metal bed frame during the first assembly. Here’s how:

  • Wrap any joint areas with 2-3 layers of electrical tape.
  • Poke a hole in the tape cushion, insert a screw and assemble the frame as usual.

The tape will act as a washer or cushion and keep the surfaces from rubbing one another, thus ensuring your quiet sleep (2).

Finally, here are some general tips for fixing a squeaky bed frame, regardless of its material:

  • Fix the uneven floor. If your bed frame doesn’t stand firmly on the floor, this results in uneven weight distribution and disproportional impact on the joints, which makes them more prone to squeaking. To secure the bed frame, place it on the rug or stack magazines under a certain corner to level it.
  • Place casters on the legs. In some cases, a bed frame scratches the floor with its legs and makes a screeching sound. You can solve this issue by purchasing plastic furniture casters and placing them on the legs.
  • Try rotating your mattress. Sometimes, rotating the mattress might help distribute the weight more evenly and eliminate a squeaky spot.

How to Prevent Your Bed Frame From Squeaking in the Future?

So, you’ve located the squeaky spot of your bed frame and successfully eliminated all noises.

Now, let’s think about preventing squeaks and noises from coming back in the future with these tips:

  • Check the screws and tighten them if needed. The easiest way to stop the bed from squeaking is to check it from time to time and tighten up the loosened screws. This will keep the bed frame sturdy and ensures proper weight distribution.
  • Lubricate the joints. Oiling or waxing up the joints will prevent them from corrosion and deformations and keep away annoying noises.
  • Wrap the bed frame in fabric. Some bed manufacturers include a fabric encasement for their bed frames, but if your model doesn’t have one, you can use a fitted sheet instead. This works especially well if you need a noiseless bed frame for a memory foam mattress, as these mattresses typically have synthetic covers that are more prone to squeaking sounds.
  • Keep humidity at bay. If you live in a humid or overly arid climate, make sure to regulate your bedroom air humidity to 30-50%, especially if you own a wooden bed frame.

F.A.Q.

What bed frames are more prone to squeaking: metal or wooden?

Both materials are prone to making noises, for example, if you apply different pressure to screws while assembling them. However, metal bed frames typically have more details, which means more potential squeaky spots, therefore they are more prone to squeaks.

How to quickly stop the bed frame from squeaking?

The fastest way to prevent potential squeaks is to use sticky foam tape, which is glued to the outer perimeter of the bed frame during assembly. 

Or you can locate the squeaky joint and lubricate it either with wax or WD-40. This generally takes a few minutes and eliminates the noises right away.

Final Word

Any bed frame will start to squeak over time, that’s a fact.

Thankfully, now you know several efficient methods to eliminate the annoying noises. They will work for different bed frame materials and construction types and will bring peaceful sleep back into your life.

Have you tried any of these methods? Share your experience below, we love to read your feedback!

References:

  1. Carl A. Eckelman, Purdue University (n.d.) The Shrinking and Swelling of Wood and Its Effect on Furniture. Retrieved from https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/fnr/fnr-163.pdf 
  2. Alec Preble (n.d.). How to Make a Metal Bed Frame Stop Squeaking? Retrieved from https://www.hunker.com/13403374/how-to-make-a-metal-bed-frame-stop-squeaking 

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