Updated May 20, 2020Bed frames are a great way to showcase your bedroom. Bed frames are both functional and decorative—they serve to support your mattress and you, and frames can be a stylish focal point to any bedroom. To find the best bed frame, make sure it fits your current mattress and leaves room for walking and additional furniture.What is a Bed Frame?Bed frames are built to support a mattress and mattress foundation, and to raise the mattress off the floor. This makes it easier to climb in and out of bed. Also, keeping the bed off the floor reduces exposure from dust mites and other allergens.A typical bed frame contains either a wood or metal frame with side panels, a headboard, and a footboard. Some models may not come with a headboard or footboard, but include built-in attachments to add your own.Bed Frame SizesBed Frame SizeFrame DimensionsTwin38 inches by 75 inchesTwin XL38 inches by 80 inchesFull54 inches by 75 inchesQueen60 inches by 80 inchesKing76 inches by 80 inchesCalifornia king72 inches by 84 inchesThe bed frame size matches standard mattress sizes, including twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. Find the right frame, take your mattress dimensions, and add two to five inches to each side. The extra inches represent the frame’s structure and additional features, like built-in drawers or shelves.To make sure a potential bed frame is a good fit, measure your bedroom or guest room. A crowded room may create a stressful environment, making it harder to unwind and fall asleep after a long day.TwinMinimum Recommended Room Size: 8 feet by 10 feetTwin bed frames are 38 inches by 75 inches and fit twin size mattresses. This small size is perfect for children graduating from toddler beds. The larger frame provides more room, but won’t feel too big. Twin bed frames are easy to transport and fit limited spaces.Twin XLMinimum Recommended Room Size: 8 feet by 10 feetTwin XL size bed frames are similar to standard twins except they’re 5 inches longer, providing more legroom. While twin XL and twin frames are similar in size, it’s not a good idea to purchase a twin mattress for a twin XL frame. The longer frame leaves a noticeable gap between the mattress and headboard and footboard, and could also cause the mattress to slide. Instead, stick with a twin XL mattress.Twin XL bed frames are best for single adults. The extra length accommodates any height and may provide better comfort if you’re a taller person—that’s why twin XL frames are standard in college dorm rooms. Twin XL frames are also easy to move and fit nicely inside bedrooms and guest rooms.FullMinimum Recommended Room Size: 10 feet by 12 feetFull or double bed frames are 54 inches by 75 inches. Teenagers and single adults love full size bed frames because full mattresses give 16 inches more width to spread out compared to a twin or twin XL size. Full size bed frames are also an excellent option for combination sleepers—they can comfortably change sleeping positions without worrying about rolling off the mattress.Full size beds are perfect for single adults living in one-bedroom or studio apartments. This size may feel too small for couples, but a full bed frame may fit a parent and small child, great for storytime.One variant of a full bed frame is a full XL frame. Full XL bed frames are 5 inches extra long and are a better option for taller sleepers who need more legroom.QueenMinimum Recommended Room Size: 10 feet by 12 feetQueen size bed frames are a popular size for both couples and single adults. For couples, queen frames are an excellent budget option—they’re less expensive than a king or California king size, but they take up less room and provide 30 inches of personal space.Queen size frames give plenty of room for a queen size mattress and may feel like a luxury size if you’re single and don’t have to share the bed.KingMinimum Recommended Room Size: 13 feet by 13 feetKing bed frames, also known as Eastern kings, are among the largest bed frame sizes available. A king size mattress is made for couples. At 76 inches by 80 inches, it provides 38 inches of personal space—plenty of room to spread out without bumping into your sleep partner.California KingMinimum Recommended Room Size: 13 feet by 13 feetCalifornia king bed frames are a luxury upgrade from a standard king. This size isn’t larger than a king, but California king mattresses are narrower and longer. Taller sleepers may appreciate the extra legroom.Types of Bed FramesThe most popular bed frames are platform, panel, and bunk beds. Other bed frames include four posters, sleigh, and Murphy beds. When choosing a new bed frame, keep the frame weight and cost in mind. Lighter frames work better if you tend to move frequently, but heavier frames are best if you’re planning on staying in one place long-term.PlatformPlatform beds are designed to support a mattress without a box spring. The surface consists of wood slats spaced 2 to 3 inches apart and side panels. Most platform frames have built-in headboards, but some may include attachments for a footboard. Platform beds great options if you prefer a modern, simplistic look.PanelPanel frames are constructed to support both a mattress and a mattress foundation, like a box spring. Panel beds contain rail-like supports on the sides of the frame with only a couple of support slats across the surface. The lack of support is filled in with a box spring.Panel frames also include side panels and a metal or wood headboard. The more open structure improves airflow inside the mattress, which might enhance temperature regulation. Like platform beds, panel frames don’t take up a ton of space, but give a stylish look to any bedroom.Bunk BedsBunk beds are the perfect choice for families with more than one child. They contain multiple bed frames stacked on top of one another, holding up to three beds. The frame is supported by four pillars and includes a ladder to reach the higher bunks. The upper bunks have built-in side rails to prevent a child from falling out of bed.Bunk beds provide a sleeping area for you kids without sacrificing room to play. Most bunk bed frames are made to fit a twin or twin XL size mattress, though some models may accommodate full size beds.Loft beds are similar to bunk beds. Instead of two beds, loft frames have an upper bunk with either a desk or small couch underneath. Loft bed frames can also fit twin and twin XL size mattresses.Four PosterFour-poster bed frames have four tall columns on each corner of the mattress with side panels, a headboard, and a footboard. Modern four posters may include a canopy or attachments to add a canopy. Canopies can be used for decoration or to block light.Traditional four posters include a rectangular panel parallel to the mattress and thick curtains for warmth and privacy. Four-poster frames are pretty large and tall. If you have a bedroom with a high ceiling, a four-poster could be the perfect fit.SleighSleigh bed frames are made of solid wood and shaped like a sleigh. They have curved headboards and footboards—some models may include upholstery. Sleigh beds can add a stylish focal point to any bedroom, but they’re heavy and hard to move. Sleigh beds also extend further out and may cut into needed space. But, if you have the room and are settled in an area for a while, a sleigh bed frame might be for you.Murphy BedsMurphy beds are also known as wall beds. A Murphy bed frame mimics the appearance of a cabinet and easily folds out with the handle’s pull. Some Murphy frames may include shelves or side cabinets on either side of the bed.Murphy frames provide a sleeping area without sacrificing space. For example, you may use a guest room for a different purpose, like a sewing room or play area, when not in use. Murphy frames can be expensive, depending on additional shelves and sizing. However, they’re a great addition to any home, easily transforming an office into a guest room.Solid FoundationSolid foundations have either a wood or metal frame with wood or metal slats across the surface. Like a box spring, solid foundations are also covered in breathable fabric. Solid foundations are designed to raise the mattress off the floor and support both you and the bed.Many companies manufacture solid foundations that can fit inside a bed frame or stand alone. Most solid foundations also come with removable legs to give your mattress more height.Adjustable BaseAn adjustable base is an expensive, luxury option, but you may feel the cost is worth it. With an adjustable base, you can electronically elevate your upper and lower body. Some models come with USB charging ports and under-bed lighting for added convenience.Adjustable beds are also perfect for split mattresses. If you have a split king that addresses your specific needs, why not increase your comfort level by adding an adjustable base? You and your sleep partner can customize your sleep position without disturbing each other.Bed Frame MaterialsBed frames are commonly made out of metal or wood and constructed to provide long-lasting support to a mattress and mattress foundation. Some bed frames may come with a headboard and footboard, depending on the brand.MetalMetal bed frames are less expensive than wood frames. Metal is durable and supportive, but may not be as sturdy as wood. However, metal costs less than wood. You can easily change a metal frame’s appearance by painting the frame to suit your tastes.WoodWood is the most popular bed frame material. Wood bed frames are solid and give stable support with a classy look. Wood bed frames vary in weight, depending on the type of wood they contain. For instance, two of the most common types of wood are oak and pine—oak is heavier than pine, but both are strong, durable materials.If you’re looking for a low-cost wood frame option, particleboard is a great choice. Particleboard contains thousands of glued-together wood pieces that are pressed to create solid boards. The frame is then covered in a vinyl coating to imitate natural wood. Particleboard frames are supportive but not as durable as solid wood bed frames.Other Mattress SupportsOther types of mattress foundations enhance a bed’s support to your body. They’re built to fit inside a bed frame or can be placed directly on the floor, though we recommend adding a bunkie board between the mattress and the floor if you’re going that route. Some mattress types, like memory foam, may not need a mattress foundation. Instead, these types of mattresses perform better when placed directly on a bed frame, preferably a platform bed.Other types of mattresses, like innersprings, may need additional support to provide optimal comfort. A box spring is the perfect match for an innerspring mattress because they evenly distribute weight.Box SpringBox springs are wooden frames filled with innerspring coils, then covered in breathable fabric. The innerspring coils act as shock absorbers for your mattress. Box springs are not for memory foam, latex, or hybrids since these mattress types are heavier and could damage a box spring. But box springs are an excellent choice for innerspring mattresses.Bunkie BoardA bunkie board is a thick piece of plywood covered in non-slip fabric to prevent the mattress from sliding. Bunkie boards were initially used to support mattresses inside a bunk bed, and are placed between the mattress and the bed frame. Bunkie boards also work well when placed directly on the floor, if you prefer a minimalistic look.FAQsIs bed height important?Bed height can be important based on your personal preferences. If you experience chronic pain, elevating your mattress makes it easier to climb in and out of bed. Also, if you have limited space, being able to store your belongings under your bed is another reason to consider bed height when looking for a new bed frame.Will a full XL mattress fit on a full bed frame?Full XL mattresses will not fit on full size bed frames because they’re five inches longer than standard full mattresses. It’s better to have a full XL bed frame to match your full XL mattress. Otherwise, the end of the mattress will dangle off the edge of the frame and may damage your mattress.Can you put a mattress directly on slats?Yes, you can place your mattress directly on slats, depending on slat spacing. For example, some bed frames have closely-spaced wooden slats which cancels out the need for a mattress foundation, like a box spring. This type of bed frame already has the needed support built in. Other frames with either a couple or no slats across the surface, need a mattress foundation. You should never place a mattress directly on this type of surface. It won’t give enough support and could damage the mattress.Which is better: a box spring or slats?Innerspring mattresses perform better with a box spring foundation. Denser mattresses, including hybrids, latex, and memory foam, need slats for even support. These mattress types can also do well when placed directly on the floor, though we don’t recommend it. The floor is home to all kinds of bacteria and allergens—putting your mattress on the floor exposes you and your mattress to these irritants and causes allergic reactions.How much bigger is a bed frame than a mattress?A bed frame can be five inches bigger than a mattress. A bed frame’s size may depend on the frame’s shape. For example, sleigh beds are bulkier than platform frames because sleigh beds have large, curved headboards and footboards that tend to stick out.ConclusionBed frames come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Make sure to choose the size that matches your current bed size. Otherwise, you may not receive the right support and could damage the mattress. Plus, if you move a lot, a lighter bed frame, like a panel or platform, may be better options—the lighter weight makes it easier to transport.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.