A platform bed uses slats to support a mattress without the need for a box spring or foundation. Platform beds have become a popular option with sleepers, who value the frames’ simplicity and style. Platform beds come in many different designs, from traditional sleigh and canopy shapes to chic, contemporary models with clean lines.
The right platform bed can be a game changer when it comes to slumber and bedroom decor. But with so many frames to choose from, how do you narrow down your options and select the perfect one? Check out my top 4 picks for platform beds. I tested frames from across the design and budget spectrum to help you find a model you’ll love.
Best Upholstered Bed Frame
Zinus Shalini Platform Bed Frame
My top pick for an upholstered platform bed is the Zinus Shalini Diamond Stitched Platform Bed. The Shalini is available in charcoal or sage gray with a classic button-tufted design and dark wood legs. The bed comes with a 5 year warranty and arrives ready to assemble.
- Classic style. With its mid-century modern echoes and contemporary edge, the Shalini’s design stood out among the other upholstered platforms beds I tried
- Under-bed clearance. The clearance between this frame and the floor is 7 inches, leaving plenty of room for under-bed storage
- Affordability. The Shalini’s style and sturdy construction are a great bargain at this price point
- Drill holes. Two drill holes were slightly too small on the model I tested. I was able to make it work, but this may make assembly difficult for some buyers
- Low profile. A higher profile option may be a better choice for folks with mobility issues or those who prefer more height in a bed frame
The Zinus Shalini Platform Bed Frame has a classic style that provides ample under-bed storage.
Best Headboard Compatible Frame
Olee Sleep Heavy Duty Steel Slat Bed Frame
If you’re looking for a solid, durable platform bed you can customize with your own headboard, check out the Olee Sleep 18 Inch Heavy Duty Steel Slat Bed Frame. This high profile foundation is made with a brushed black steel frame and slats and comes ready to assemble. The Olee bed frame is available in twin-king sizes and has a limited 5 year warranty.
- Headboard-ready. If you like to mix and match headboards or want to use an older headboard on a new, solid frame, the Olee Sleep comes with pre-drilled holes for easy attachment
- Durable. The Olee bed frame is constructed from sturdy steel that felt secure and stable under my mattress
- Slats. This frame’s slats are narrow enough to accommodate all-foam mattresses, including those made from memory foam and latex
- Value. The Olee platform bed comes in at the higher end of the price range for similar frames without a headboard
- Width. This frame was a bit too wide for my mattress. To be sure your mattress will fit, measure carefully before buying this model
The Olee Sleep Heavy Duty Steel Slat Bed Frame is super durable and headboard-ready for your bedroom.
Best Affordable Frame
Mellow Naturalista Classic Solid Wood Platform Bed
My choice for folks looking for an affordable option is the Mellow Naturalista Classic Solid Wood Platform Bed. This mid-century modern-style frame comes without a headboard and arrives ready to assemble. The Naturalista Platform Bed can be purchased in twin-king sizes and has 8.5 inches of underbed clearance.
- Price tag. A weighty solid wood platform bed at this price is difficult to beat
- Finish options. The 4 available finishes would suit both modern and traditional interior design styles. I tested the cherry, which looked striking without overpowering my decor
- Assembly. The Naturalista comes with a complete set of tools and took less than half an hour to put together
- No pre-drilled attachment holes. This frame does not come with holes or hardware for attaching a headboard
- Odor. The Naturalista had a varnish smell that took time to dissipate, something to keep in mind if you have respiratory issues or allergies
The Mellow Naturalista Classic Solid Wood Platform Bed is easy to assemble and comes in at a great price.
Best Wood Platform Frame
Nomad Plus Platform Bed
My top pick for best wood frame is the Nomad Plus Platform Bed. This frame is made of solid unfinished poplar and is constructed without the use of finishes, chemicals, and paints. The Nomad Plus includes a 5 year warranty and all parts, tools, and instructions.
- Toxin free. If you’re looking for a natural bed frame that won’t cause respiratory irritation, take a look at the Nomad Plus
- Quality. From the solid wood rails and joints to the assembly tools, the Nomad Plus felt durable and nicely constructed
- Under-bed storage. This bed frame offers 10.5 inches of underbed clearance, leaving storage room for folks who live in smaller spaces
- Assembly. I found the assembly instructions to be less than clear
- No headboard. Some sleepers will consider this a pro, but at this price, a headboard option would be welcome
The Nomad Plus Platform Bed from KD Frames use solid, quality wood rails and have enough room for under-bed storage.
How We Picked
What you need in a platform bed frame depends on how you’ll use it, what height feels most comfortable to you, and your personal taste. We looked at some essential metrics that apply to all platform beds, regardless of material, price, or brand. When shopping for a new platform bed, keep the following in mind:
Most bed frames are constructed from wood and/or metal, and may include foam and fabric, as well. When browsing for platform bed frames, check out the bed’s primary materials used, how they perform under normal use, and how long they can be expected to last.
The most common woods used in bed frames are:
- Pine – Pine is a soft wood used in frames and slats. This wood is naturally light in color with a knotty appearance that gives a bed frame a distinctive, rustic look
- Maple – Maple is a durable, medium-to-hard wood that can be stained easily. Like pine, maple is naturally light in color
- Oak – Oak is a durable and very hard wood used in higher quality furnishings
- Beech – Beech is a light-colored medium-to-hard wood often used to make chairs, stools, and bed frames
- Mahogany – Mahogany is a reddish-brown hardwood that may be used in more expensive bed frames
- Laminates and veneers – Laminates and veneers are made from thin layers of higher quality woods over fiberboard or other less expensive wood composites
Metal is typically used in bed frames for bolts, slats, rails, or for the head and footboards. The most common metals used in bed frames are:
- Steel – Steel is often used in components such as rails and feet and may be used in head and footboards, as well
- Wrought iron – Wrought iron beds use iron alloy to create head and footboards with a distinctive, traditional look
- Iron – Black metal such as iron may be used in bed frame rails and hardware
Fabrics and foams have become popular materials in platform bed frames, which may be upholstered for style and comfort. Common upholstery materials include:
- Poly foam – Poly foam is a spongy polyurethane material used for cushioning in upholstered platform beds. This type of foam is often more cost-effective than other foams but may not be as durable
- Memory foam – Memory foam is viscoelastic, meaning it responds to heat and pressure. This material conforms to the body and is known for its plush feel. Memory foam may be more expensive than poly foam but typically lasts longer
- Polyester – Polyester and polyester blends are often used to make headboard and side rail upholstery, and is typically less expensive than natural fabrics such as velvet, wool, cotton, and leather
- Velvet – Velvet made from cotton and/or polyester is a popular fabric for headboards. It typically has a smooth hand-feel and a classic, elegant look
- Leather – Both natural and faux leather are durable but may be scratched or torn. Faux leather may not wear as well as natural leather, which can acquire a stylish distressed look over time
Bed frames are often intended for use with particular types of mattresses. A platform bed frame is specifically designed for use with a mattress without a foundation or box spring. Platform bed buyers who like the feel of a traditional box spring may want to choose a hybrid or innerspring mattress that offers some of the same support features as a box spring without the height.
When looking for a platform bed, know how thick your mattress should be to fit properly in your new frame. A low-profile mattress of 6-10 inches in height may leave gaps at the head and footboards of some frame,. Other frames look best with a lower profile mattress that won’t cover too much of the frame or prevent leaning back against the headboard comfortably.
Still not sure which bed frame is best for you? Check out the following tips:
- Express your style – The purchase of a platform bed can be an opportunity to express your personal taste. Wood platform beds with canopies or wrought iron frames may be a good choice for lovers of traditional decor, while folks who like a more contemporary look may prefer an upholstered or a wood frame with clean, modern lines
- Take measurements – Before choosing a bed frame, measure your mattress and bedroom to make sure your new frame will fit. The right frame should be large enough to support the full width and length of your mattress without leaving gaps around the edges
- Don’t forget height – Some sleepers prefer a higher frame that requires less effort when getting into or out of bed, while others like the look and feel of being closer to the floor. Check out bed frames in stores before buying if you’re unsure which height is best for you
- Understand the warranty – Warranties and return/exchange policies vary according to manufacturer. Before buying any bed, be sure you understand the fine print in case of defects, damage, or assembly issues
Last Word From Sleepopolis
A platform bed can be a sleep essential that accents your bedroom decor and endures for years. When looking for a platform frame, know which materials and designs you prefer and keep your sleep needs in mind. Along with the right mattress, choosing the right platform bed can maximize your comfort and help you enjoy healthy sleep.