Finding the Best Bed Frame Is More Important Than the Mattress
Our top 12 even includes one under $200.
Published Jul 3, 2021 1:00 AM
We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, so it makes sense that after being homebound for more than a year there’s still a frenzied focus to transform the bedroom into a sanctuary space. Although our first instinct may be to pick up a set of fluffy pillow shams, a hotel-worthy duvet, or even sheets as soft as silk, we think it’s time to prioritize finding a brand-new bed frame.
A relaxing retreat isn’t complete without this signature item. Often the largest piece of furniture in the room, a bed frame should be both a stylish centerpiece and a slumber supporter. No matter if a modern rattan headboard or traditional upholstered fabric catches your eye, we promise there’s a frame on this list for you. Read on to learn all there is to know about finding the best bed frames or simply click “shop” on one of our 12 favorites.
- Best value: Allewie Fabric Upholstered Platform Bed
- Best storage: Pottery Barn Upholstered Storage Platform Bed
- Best platform: Mellow Naturalista Classic Wood Platform Bed
- Best statement: Crate & Barrel Canyon Arched Canopy Bed
- Best customizable: Serena & Lily Broderick Bed
- Best rattan: Anthropologie Heatherfield Bed
- Best glam: CB2 Alchemy Bronze Bed
- Best upholstered: Crate & Barrel Lafayette Mist Upholstered Bed
- Best Scandinavian: IKEA Björksnäs Bed Frame
- Best canopy: Maiden Home the Thompson Canopy Bed
- Best metal: Mellow Glen Metal Platform Bed
- Best Shaker: Article Lenia Bed
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Type: Style options are endless, but the main types of bed frames can be narrowed down to just two—standard and platform—with different iterations of each. Standard frames are the most common, lifting you higher (between 12 and 24 inches) off the ground, unlike a platform, which features a lower profile. Many platforms do offer under-bed storage despite this, making them an ideal choice for a studio where a nightstand or dresser won’t make the cut. Both can be statement makers with additional decorative details like upholstered panels or a canopy.
Material: Look for quality materials beyond the head or footboard, because a well-designed bed is only as solid as its foundation. The slats, base, and legs should be metal or hardwood and held together by strong fastings and brackets (avoid plastic if you can).
Assembly: Putting a bed frame together can be a real headache. We’ve been there—organizing a bag of mismatching bolts and screws; shuffling through instructions; stripping a piece of particleboard; or, worse, discovering an entire part is missing. To prevent your purchase from becoming a two-person project, look for less parts—our best metal pick, for example, doesn’t require the assistance of power tools.
Our Top Picks
Best Value: Allewie Fabric Upholstered Platform Bed
Allewie makes a luxurious, linen-paneled platform bed attainable—for less than $150 you can score a formal upholstered headboard without having to worry about a DIY project going awry. Although nearly 80 pounds in weight, this frame is shipped in one box with all the necessary tools, so no need to scramble searching for a matching screwdriver or Allen wrench. In fact assembly should take no more than a half hour.
Best Storage: Pottery Barn Upholstered Storage Platform Bed
If you’re tired of dealing with ugly under-the-bed bins, Domino’s chief content officer, Kate Berry, swears by Pottery Barn’s upholstered storage bed. “The thing is, a lot of beds with built-in storage are perfectly utilitarian but not exactly stylish,” she says, adding that this frame is just the right blend of practical and pretty in a “goes-with-anything flax fabric.” And with four drawers already proven to fit an assortment of Berry’s colorful collection of sweaters, it’s the ultimate small-space saver. This clean design will remain stylish for years to come.
Best Platform: Mellow Naturalista Classic Wood Platform Bed
Wood is known to last, so if you have your heart set on a classic, look no further than Mellow Naturalista’s 3.5-inch pine platform. A steal for less than $200, this simple mid-century frame is a great foundation for colorful layers of bedding that can be styled up or dressed down depending on your aesthetic (because is there really such a thing as too many pillows?). We also love that nonslip tape is included—use it to keep your mattress from slipping or sliding, since this slim style features a superlow side rail.
Best Statement: Crate & Barrel Canyon Arched Canopy Bed
Make your childhood dreams come true with Leanne Ford’s elevated, grown-up take on a canopy bed, designed for Crate & Barrel. This sleek statement maker isn’t just a Domino favorite; you’ll find it in a California bedroom designed by Abbie Naber and in HBFit founder Hannah Bronfman’s newly outfitted Hamptons haunt. The barrel-like solid metal enclosure in a matte black finish is a dramatic, modern take on this typically traditional frame style. And a supportive slat system makes box springs optional, so the only real question we have for you is: To drape or not to drape?
Best Customizable: Serena & Lily Broderick Bed
The Broderick is Illinois-based designer Margaret York’s go-to frame for its breadth of customizations in classic lines. Although one of the pricier ones on our list, it is timeless and a perfect fit for York’s signature coastal style. Choose from more than a hundred options (the thin neutral pinstripes, sunflower-yellow gingham, and botanical prints reminiscent of Blue Willow china are calling our name). York will sometimes even order a plain muslin base, then add her own flair. “I love taking a beautiful textile and customizing a headboard,” she says, in order to bring in a hint of color or a bold pattern. She recently went for the performance options available (her favorite is Serena & Lily’s Perennials line—a thick acrylic weave offering a casual feel) for a client with small children and pets.
Best Rattan: Anthropologie Heatherfield Bed
For a whimsical woven accent, rattan furniture has long been making a comeback, and this curvy cane headboard paired with a primrose pink velvet base (not to mention the brass-capped wood legs) is the dream combination we never knew we needed. And supportive rails and slats mean you can rest easy without a box spring. Just make sure you have enough room for this bohemian masterpiece to breathe—with an 86-inch depth, the wrapping headboard needs extra space so the walls don’t feel like they’re closing in.
Best Glam: CB2 Alchemy Bronze Bed
Glitz and glamour await with CB2’s Alchemy bed, designed by Mermelada Estudio. Matching bronze-plated iron rails offer a modern update on a classic style. The head and footboard’s strong linear lines in a shiny finish will demand any visitor’s attention—just make sure your mattress isn’t too tall or else it may hide the hero of this piece. Past purchasers confirm it has held up years later, looking just as sleek and refined as the day they bought it home.
Best Upholstered: Crate & Barrel Lafayette Mist Upholstered Bed
The Lafayette Mist, exclusive to Crate & Barrel, may be love at first nap. The rounded headboard and curved corners offer a comforting embrace in a heathered gray linen-like texture, making it one of the most elegant options on our list. Going the upholstered route is a surefire way to achieve an upscale look, but it’s actually an incredibly practical choice, too, according to York. “Upholstered beds are great for those who read or watch TV in bed because they provide support,” she says, sharing that she relies heavily on fabric-covered frames to create the coziest of bedrooms.
Best Scandinavian: IKEA Björksnäs Bed Frame
Can’t decide to go with or without a headboard? Check out IKEA’s Björksnäs. Made from birch veneer—a lighter, honey-colored wood synonymous with Scandinavian style—this frame is a natural nod to Craftsman-level details at an affordable price point. It’s a two-for-one deal: Burlap tan pillows, laced on by detachable leather straps, gives what could be a bland, straightforward bedroom background a padded boost. A taller height keeps things roomy below, but the best feature may be its adjustable sides to fit a range of mattress heights (perfect if you’re a pillow-top lover).
Best Canopy: Maiden Home the Thompson Canopy Bed
Maiden Home’s Thompson has been a favorite since it launched. A rounded solid wood frame paired with an upholstered headboard roughly translates into 60 different fabric and leather combinations, with five different wood finishes. The company’s current favorite is matching the bouclé with a natural wood. “Our beds start with a foundation of solid hardwood slats to ensure an even distribution of weight and longevity of your mattress over time,” explains Hannah Rice, design adviser at Maiden Home. “The joints are glued, double dowelled, and corner blocked for extra stability. Mass-produced alternatives at our price point sometimes utilize particleboard, which will literally crumble over time.” Bonus: The four hand-carved posters are sustainably harvested and kiln dried in the U.S.
Best Metal: Mellow Glen Metal Platform Bed
If you’re not ready to give up the foldable metal frame from your college days, this ironlike platform is an elevated alternative worth considering. Domino’s go-to market insider, Cat Dash, remarks with the right styling you can unlock Urban Outfitters’s cool potential—just add a floral duvet or embroidered quilt. And although it may arrive in what looks like a million pieces, easy-to-follow pictured instructions and labeled tools ensure assembly is much easier than it appears.
Best Shaker: Article Lenia Bed
The Lenia is designed to blend into your bedroom, but we’d argue its mid-century tapered legs and ladder-back headboard are charming enough to catch our eye. True to the Shaker style, you can pair the frame with the company’s matching under-bed drawers for subtle storage. Another score: Although this frame looks as if only a skilled carpenter could craft it, Article estimates assembly should take only about 45 minutes.
Is it possible to buy a preassembled bed frame? Don’t let the “no assembly required” callouts fool you—there’s always some work involved in putting a bed frame together, even if it’s just unfolding a few parts, unless you opt for a special service. Some retailers, such as Amazon and IKEA, now offer purchasers the option of having a contractor or deliverer do the hard work for you (albeit at a fee, of course). Others, like Maiden Home, offer complimentary bed assembly with every order.
What is the strongest type of bed frame? According to Rice, platform beds offer the best of both worlds: extra support and firmness in a compact style. But for a true durable construction, it’s all about selecting the right material; that’s why Rice suggests hardwood slats milled from poplar.
How do I know if I need a box spring? It’s always a good idea to check with the manufacturer, but you’ll likely need at least some layer of protection between your mattress and frame to evenly distribute weight, whether it’s a box spring or supportive slats.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews from both our creative community and third-party websites to know that they pass the test IRL.
Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.