Different Types Of Beds, Frames & Styles Explained
The right bed style can help improve your sleep quality and even add to your interior decor. To create an optimal sleep environment, you’ll want to find a style that accommodates your individual needs. But what’s the difference between these designs? What kind of frame should you have for your room size and aesthetic?
If you’re struggling to answer these questions, fret not! Check out our guide to different types of bed frames and styles. We’ll explain the differences between each one so you can choose the best one for your sleeping needs.
What Is A Bed Frame?
A bed frame (a.k.a. a bedstead) is the railing of your bed. It provides support for your bed base, which in turn serves as the surface where you rest your box spring and mattress. Your frame raises the mattress foundation off the ground and helps evenly distribute body weight.
A bed frame traditionally includes a headboard, footboard, side rails, and legs. However, many modern bed frames have adapted a minimalist design that omits the legs, footboard, and headboard. This can give modern-style beds the appearance of floating.
Types Of Bed Styles
When choosing a bed style for your room, keep a few important factors in mind. Namely, consider the bed size, frame, and foundation type you’ll need to tie everything together. Here’s our complete guide to types of bed styles, classified by size, frame type, and design.
By Bed Size
These are the standard bed sizes produced by most mattress manufacturers using a variety of materials. Learn more about who each size is best suited to and what their dimensions are. Note that as the bed size gets larger, it also becomes more expensive.
A twin-size bed measures 38 inches in width by 75 inches in length. It's an ideal choice for transitional beds for children, and its compact dimensions make it a common size for bunk bed frames.
While great for dorms and children's bedrooms, it may not be the most comfortable size for adults to sleep in.
The twin-XL bed measures 38 inches wide and 80 inches long. Because it's five inches longer than the standard twin bed, it's recommended for tall solo sleepers who want extra legroom.
While a queen bed is 22 inches wider and provides more room to spread out, a twin XL bed doesn't occupy as much space, making it a solid option for single sleepers or a guest bedroom.
The full-size bed a.k.a. the double bed measures 54 inches in width by 75 inches in length. Its dimensions make it fairly roomy for single sleepers, but it may not be the comfiest size for couples who need some personal space.
The standard measurement for a traditional-style queen-size bed is 60 inches in width by 80 inches in length. While not as big as a king bed, it still has plenty of room for couples to sleep comfortably. Another main advantage of this size is that it fits into most master bedrooms as it only needs a minimum room space of 10 feet by 10 feet.
Also known as an Eastern king bed, a king-size bed measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. It's one of the largest bed sizes that's most commonly manufactured in an array of designs, with plenty of room to sprawl and move while you sleep. The luxurious extra space allows co-sleepers to share a bed with a child or pet with no fuss.
A California king-size bed measures 72 inches wide and 84 inches long. This bed size is best for tall sleepers who need extra legroom, especially if they shift sleeping positions at night.
The extra length means their feet won't dangle off the mattress edge while they sleep. It also has a generous width which allows co-sleepers to snuggle up without feeling cramped.
The bed frame — a supportive structure that holds your mattress in place — is another important variable to consider when deciding on a bed style. Typically made of wood or metal, bed frames can help enrich your room’s aesthetic in a variety of subtle ways. The right bed frame adds sophistication to any living space and helps support your body while you sleep.
You have several options, whether you prefer an elegant or simple frame to support a box spring. Some of the most popular bed frame types include:
- Platform bed frames create a lower-profile look by holding your mattress closer to the ground. Your mattress will rest on wooden slats — or a solid slab of wood or metal — often eliminating the need for a box-spring system.
- Canopy bed frames can vault your bed frame’s structure high above the mattress itself. Often, you’ll hang curtains or decorative sheets from a canopy bed frame, to create an additional privacy barrier in your room.
- Wrought iron bed frames offer a simple, straightforward bed frame option. Metal frame elements can hold your mattress firmly in place, for a durable, low-maintenance look and feel. Many wrought iron bed frames have vertical iron bars at the head and foot of the bed.
- Loft bed frames can elevate your mattress above the ground. Popular in rooms for children and teens, lofted bed frames allow you to add a desk, play space, or even a second bed underneath your lofted mattress. Lofted bed frames are often made of wood, and can resemble a bunk-bed style, though there are distinct differences between loft and bunk beds.
- Trundle bed frames help you prioritize storage in smaller spaces. These frames fit comfortably within another, full bed frame. You can typically assemble a trundle bed frame in minutes, using the wheels to move it conveniently to any location.
- Sleigh bed frames are exactly what they sound like: bed frames that closely resemble a sleigh. Sleigh bed frames aren’t quite as popular today as they once were, though they still offer a quality, timeless look for any residential space.
- Ottoman bed frames create additional storage space in your room. These frames utilize hydraulics that actually lift your mattress partially out of the frame itself, creating in-bed storage. If you need to store more stuff than will fit in under-bed storage, an ottoman bed frame can free up additional space for small and medium-sized items.
In certain cases, you might also prefer an adjustable bed frame — a frame with hinges that allow you to enjoy a variety of different sleep positions.
By Bed Design
Finally, take some time to consider your preferred bed design, which dictates the tone and mood your bed creates in your home. Beyond your bed’s size and frame, the design itself should complement your home and lifestyle.
Common bed designs include the following options:
- Panel beds are likely what you picture when you think of a bed in your home: a mattress and box springs set atop a bed frame with wooden panels or metal bars.
Understand the differences between bed slats vs box spring.
- Murphy beds rely on a strong hinge, which folds the bed into the wall until it’s ready for use. You’ll often find Murphy beds in smaller rooms, or in rooms that double as an office or living room.
- Hanging beds don’t rely on a bed frame or box spring at all. Instead, they are suspended from the ceiling. As long as they are installed correctly, hanging beds are a safe, effective sleep option and can help rock you gently to bed.
- Bunk beds stack mattresses and frames on top of one another. Popular in children’s rooms and military-style living quarters, bunk beds help you make the most of your available space.
- Futons are doubly useful as both couches and beds. A daytime couch can easily become a nighttime bed, as long as you add a few blankets and a pillow. You can easily fold and store a futon to make room for other furniture.
- Waterbeds are filled with water instead of more traditional foam, coil, or gel mattress interiors. Effective in calming sore muscles and evenly distributing weight, water beds can offer a surprisingly firm, relaxing sleep quality.
- Round beds feature circular bed frames and mattress types. These beds are often the same length as a traditional king-size mattress. Round beds are a particular favorite for individuals looking to creatively arrange bedroom furniture.
- Daybeds are similar to futons in that they can be used as a couch, a bed, or simply a lounging area. Daybeds can elevate a living space or even come in outdoor varieties to complete your outdoor environment.
How To Choose The Best Bed Size
You’ll want to choose a bed that’s not overwhelming in size and still leaves enough room for any other furniture. The bed is often the focal point of a bedroom, the piece that helps to tie the rest of the space together, so it’s essential to get the right fit.
Every mattress type is slightly different in size and build. Consider your room’s size, height, and any existing items to help you decide on the ideal bed size for your home. To avoid purchasing a mattress that doesn't properly fit, you may want to measure your available space before considering different mattress dimensions.
If you have a large bedroom, choosing a bed size is often a matter of convenience. You might select a king-size mattress, one that allows more than enough space for natural nighttime movements. If you’re a taller individual, consider getting a California king mattress — a longer, thinner mattress option than the traditional king mattress — for an extra four inches of legroom. Be sure to know King vs Cal King differences.
If you know you don’t want a king-size bed but you’re looking for an upgrade over the traditional twin mattress size, queen-size mattresses offer an ideal in-between option. Many couples prefer queen-size beds, as they offer sufficient snuggle room and independent space.
Twin-size mattresses are ideal for rooms that have at least 70 square feet of floor space. You’ll have enough room for a comfortable night’s sleep, with space on all sides of your mattress for a nightstand, storage bench, or other furniture.
The same length as a twin mattress with an additional 16 inches of width, full-size mattresses can truly fill out a living space. Perfect for single sleepers who want a little more room to roll around, full-size mattresses are ideal for slightly larger bedrooms with a few more feet to fill.
Still unsure? Learn what size bed to choose.
Things To Consider While Buying A Bed Frame
Searching for a supportive, and well-made bed frame? If you’ve only just started looking around, the variety of styles on the market can be overwhelming to choose from. Here are some basic considerations that will help you buy the best fit for your room size, mattress, and personal preferences.
Make sure that your bed frame and mattress are matching sizes. If a bed frame is too large, there will be gaps on either side of your mattress. On the other hand, a mattress that's too big for your type of bed frame will fold and bend. This deforms the mattress, causes sagging, and shortens its lifespan.
How large is your bedroom? Even if you find an elaborate bed frame more suitable to your aesthetic, you may find that there isn’t enough space to contain extra features like a canopy-style frame or side rails.
When choosing a bed frame, it shouldn’t just fit your mattress snugly. It should also fit into your room with enough room to walk around as well as accommodate lamps and other furniture comfortably.
Height And Features
Another important consideration is the height of your chosen bed frame. Most bed frames will come up to a comfortable height roughly up to your knees. However, there may be other factors that can determine if you should get a frame that’s a few inches higher or lower.
For example, if your mobility is hampered, you may want a frame that’s not too high so you don’t have trouble getting in and out of bed. You may also choose a lower bed frame if you’re petite, as a too-high frame will make it easier for you to trip when you try to get in bed. If you plan to co-sleep with a pet or child, you should also consider their ease and comfort to avoid difficulties during bedtime.
For those who need extra space, there’s a major advantage to picking a higher bed frame. You can use the space under your frame for additional storage, which is a huge plus if your room size is limited.
A set budget is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your type of bed frame. There's a huge range in price depending on the style you choose. Some types of bed frames are as affordable as $100, while others can cost well over $2000.
While it can be tempting to choose the least expensive types of bed frames, consider the materials being used and the quality of the frame. It's important to choose a long-lasting frame that comfortably supports your mattress.
Once you've narrowed down your bed frame and room's respective dimensions, you'll want to consider which bed frame style suits your bedroom interiors. For example, you may prefer simple bed frames if you're keeping a minimalist look, but ornate bed frames may fit a more intricately styled room.
If you want a room that is more sleek and modern, plain metal or wooden bed frames may be more to your liking. Those who want an elaborate design for their room may consider getting frames for traditional canopy beds.
Whatever style you choose for your bed frame, it's wise to note your general preferred look so you can narrow down your options. A mood board is useful for picking between design styles. It will also make it easier to visualize how it will fit with your bedroom style.
Choosing The Right Bed For You
Choosing the right bed design can be daunting because of the range of options available. But if you keep our suggested considerations in mind, it’ll be easier for you to narrow down your choices.
List your major considerations and talk to store specialists before buying a bed frame and mattress. With careful deliberation, you can find a supportive, affordable frame and mattress combination that helps you sleep restfully at night.
Still unsure? Learn how to choose a mattress.
Bed Styles Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular bed type?
The most popular bed type is the innerspring mattress, as it is the most commonly sold and bought type on the market. The affordability and wide availability of innerspring beds make them a standard option for some homeowners. Although trend is moving towards other beds like, memory foam, gel and adjustable mattresses.
What type of bed is most comfortable?
The most comfortable type of bed is one that offers enough space, cushioning, and support while sleeping.
There's no one-size-fits-all bed type that all sleepers will find comfortable. If you want to find a bed that best suits your sleeping needs, consult a bed frame and/or mattress store specialist to narrow down the features that will help you sleep cozily.