person trying to choose a bed frame
Buying Guides

How To Choose A Bed Frame: Buying Guide

    Last Updated
    January 30, 2023
    min read

    To choose a bed frame, you need to consider your sleeping environment, bed size, bedroom style, sleeping preference, and mattress. But as there is a large variety of bed frames, choosing which one is right for you can be a challenge.

    Whether it’s for your primary bedroom, kids’ room, or guest room, a bed frame is the one piece of furniture a bedroom will feel empty without. Read on to learn about the different types of bed frames and how to choose the frame that fits your needs.

    How To Choose The Best Bed Frame

    steps to choose a bed frame

    To choose the best bed frame, you might want to consider the following factors:

    • Choose what size you need
    • Choose your bed height
    • Decide your bed frame type
    • Decide Material & Features
    • Identify your room space needed
    • Know if you need a box spring

    Step 1: Decide What Size You Need

    The best bed frame for you will be one that meets your particular size requirements. You need to ensure that your bed frame fits the mattress you’re placing on top of it. Bed frames come in all the standard mattress sizes, so you won’t have any problem finding one that fits your mattress.

    Your chosen bed frame would ideally fit comfortably in your room, with enough space around it to move around and add other furniture. Getting a bed frame that’s too big can make your room feel cramped and leave you with little room for activities.

    Still unsure what bed frame size is right for you? Check out our bed frame sizes and dimensions guide

    Step 2: Choose Your Bed Height

    The perfect height for your perfect bed frame depends on how tall you are, how deep your mattress is, and the height you prefer your bed to be. The average bed height is 24 inches, but you may need a taller or short bed depending on your needs and preferences. 

    Taller folks and people who have difficulties bending low due to joint pains may need a taller bed, while short people, seniors, and children might benefit from a shorter one that’s easier to get out of.

    Still unsure? Read our bed height guide.

    Step 3: Decide Your Bed Frame Type 

    There are many different types of bed frames, and each one has its own unique quirks and aesthetic. 

    Four-Poster Bed

    A four-poster bed is a type of traditional bed frame, named after the tall posts rising from the corners of the bed frame. The posts are connected by horizontal braces at the top. Four-poster bed frames were popular in older, affluent households, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Usually made of solid wood, this type of bed frame fits best in rooms that have high ceilings since low-ceilinged rooms may feel cramped with a four-poster bed frame.

    Platform Bed

    Platform beds are one of the most popular styles of bed frames today. This modern bed frame is simple yet elegant, lending itself well to minimalist-themed bedrooms or small bedrooms where you don’t have a lot of space. Some platform bed frames also come with built-in storage, giving you additional space you wouldn’t have otherwise.

    A platform bed frame has hardwood slats or a solid wooden surface where your mattress rests, giving it solid support. With this style of frame, you don’t need to add a box spring, but your mattress will feel much firmer when you lie on it.

    Sleigh Bed

    This bulky bed frame is named after the way it looks, with its headboard, side rails, and footboard resembling a sleigh. Sleigh bed frames are typically made of wood and are designed to be large, making this type of bed frame quite heavy and hard to move about.

    Because of their traditional design and heavy-duty construction, sleigh beds can be a tad expensive. However, their status and stately demeanor make sleigh beds a favorite of people who like traditional bedroom design.

    Bunk Bed

    A bunk bed is a type of bed frame that consists of two beds stacked one on top of the other, allowing you to have two beds occupying the same amount of floor space. Some bunk beds can also be reconfigured as two freestanding beds.

    Bunk bed frames are commonly found in twin sizes, but you can find them in full or queen sizes as well. This type of bed frame can be made from metal, wood, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Keep in mind that bunk beds need to be able to support the weight of the person sleeping on the top bunk, so check weight ratings before you decide to buy a bunk bed frame.

    Bunk beds are great for housing multiple people in one room. They’re a common bed frame in kids’ rooms, vacation homes, and dorm rooms. 

    Trundle Bed

    If you want to have access to an extra bed when you need it but aren’t a fan of bunk beds, look into the trundle bed frame. This kind of bed frame allows you to store a pull-out mattress under the main bed, which can be pulled out when needed.

    Trundle beds are great for kids’ rooms, guest rooms, or anywhere you need to sleep multiple people in a pinch. These bed frames come in many sizes, materials, and designs, so you have a lot of flexibility when picking a trundle bed frame to match your room's aesthetic.

    Adjustable Bed

    Adjustable beds allow you to raise the head or foot of the mattress whenever you need it. These bed frames typically have a motorized base that raises parts of your mattress, but some older adjustable beds are operated manually.

    Adjustable bed frames typically aren’t very decorative and don’t have a lot of space under the bed, which is where the motor and moving platforms often are. If you like sitting up in bed or putting your feet up at the end of a long day, a motorized bed might be a good option.

    Still unsure? Check out our guide on types of bed frames.

    Step 4: Decide Material & Features


    What material do you want for your bed frame? Two common materials for bed frames are wood and metal. 

    • Wooden bed frames are made from solid pieces of wood, meaning that they can be heavy to move around. Wood frames require more maintenance and can easily be scuffed, marked, or dented, but they provide a more stable foundation for your mattress. Traditional bedrooms usually feature wooden bed frames.
    • Metal bed frames often seen in contemporary or modern bedroom designs, usually hollow, making them lighter than wood frames. But due to the material they’re made of, they’re more durable – it’s harder to scuff or dent metal bed frames. 
    • Upholstered bed frame: If you don’t want a bed frame that has exposed wood or metal, get an upholstered bed frame. These frames can be made of either metal or wood but are covered in fabric. Upholstered bed frames give your bed a warm and cozy feeling but need much more care and maintenance than wood or metal frames.


    What features are you looking for in your frame? Bed frames can come with vastly differing features, from basic to all the bells and whistles. Bed frame features can be divided into functional features and aesthetic features.

    Functional bed frame features can include wheels, storage space, pull-out beds, motorized platforms, Bluetooth speakers, and even USB ports. Aesthetic features are things like headboards, upholstery, footboards, and detailing. It’s important to consider which functional and aesthetic features you may want in your bed frame before buying one.

    Step 5: Identify Your Room Space Needed

    How much space does the room have? Before browsing bed frames to buy, think about the size of the room you’re going to put it in. Larger rooms are a great space to place a sleigh or four-poster bed frame, but these same frames can make a small room feel very cramped. If you want to be efficient with your room space, consider a platform bed or a bunk bed.

    Bed Frame

    Bed Frame Size

    Bed Frame Dimensions

    Minimum Room Size


    38 in x 74 in

    40 - 43 in x 77 - 80 in

    7 ft x 10 ft

    Twin XL

    38 in x 80 in

    40 - 43 in x 82 - 85 in

    7 ft x 10.5 ft


    54 in x 75 in

    56 - 59 in x 77 - 80 in

    9.5 ft x 10.5 ft


    60 in x 80 in

    62 - 65 in x 82 - 85 x

    10 ft x 10 ft


    76 in x 80 in

    78 - 81 in x 82 - 85 in

    12 ft x 12 ft

    California King

    72 in x 84 in

    74 - 77 in x 86 - 89 in

    12 ft x 12 ft


    Step 6: Know If You Need A Box Spring

    Some mattresses need a box spring to achieve proper support and maintain their shape over time. That said, box springs aren’t required or even recommended for all types of mattresses. Box springs are mainly used with older mattresses and innersprings, but they can void your warranty if used with a memory foam mattress.

    Most newer platform beds and adjustable bed frames don’t need box springs to get adequate support for modern mattresses. Purple’s mattresses don’t need box springs at all to provide sleepers with a comfortable, supportive, and airy surface to rest on.

    Still unsure? Read our guide on how to know if you need a box spring.

    Where To Buy A Bed Frame

    You can buy a bed frame at any reputable mattress and bedding store. Some stores only have brick-and-mortar locations, while others sell bed frames online. At stores that sell both bed frames and mattresses, you can ask their staff for a frame that fits the mattress you want. 

    Check out Purple’s selection of bed frames specifically designed to maximize your sleeping experience!

    Ascent adjustable bed frame: Designed to help improve your sleep quality and daily comfort. Premium, customizable support for your mattress at an affordable price.

    Platform Bed Frame: The platform bed frame is designed to help improve your sleep quality and daily comfort. Premium, customizable support for your mattress at an affordable price.

    Purple Bed Frame: The Purple bed frame is strong, stylish, and super-simple to assemble. Everything you need in an upholstered base for your mattress.

    Key Takeaways

    Bed frames are a very important part of your bedroom. A good bed frame provides not only support for your mattress but also functionality and aesthetics for your bed. There are a variety of bed frames available, so it can get a bit overwhelming trying to pick the perfect bed frame to go with the perfect mattress.

    Keep the considerations we’ve listed, such as your bedroom size and your sleeping position, in mind before choosing a bed frame. By consulting our guide, you’ll be able to pick a long-lasting bed frame that suits your mattress and personal preferences.

    How To Choose A Bed Frame FAQs

    What material should a bed frame be?

    A bed frame should be made of sturdy materials like wood or metal. A wooden frame is heavy but lasts a long time, while a metal frame tends to be lighter and easier to move but can wear down over time.

    How can you tell if a bed frame is of good quality?

    You can usually tell a bed frame is of good quality by how well it supports your mattress. If it doesn’t sag or lean when the full weight of a mattress and a person is placed on it, that’s usually a good sign. 

    Does a bed frame make a difference?

    A bed frame does make a difference in terms of your comfort when lying down. The biggest difference a bed frame makes is that your mattress doesn’t have to be placed directly on the floor. Depending on the features of your bed frame, it could also have other functions, like wheels to easily move it around or a motorized platform to elevate your upper or lower body


    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.