That being said, for this listing of some of our favorite bed frames out there, we haven’t had the luxury of testing all these firsthand. But we really think that finding something affordable and stylish should be your top priority, and from there looking for an abundance of flexibility for testing it out first-hand in your own home. All of the options that we’ve listed below have a generous return policy that allows you to personally sleep on it, perform a creak test, and get a feel for whether a couple nights on it will cause the bed slats to cave in like a sinkhole in the middle. Many of these have upstanding warranties, too, in case something gets wobbly over time.
If you’ve been coasting on the mattress and box spring life, it’s high time you upgraded to something a little more grownup. Even if you prefer the look of a low-to-the-ground tatami futon bed, plenty of these frames will get you the same look without having you sleeping directly on the ground. Without further ado, the best bed frames to level up your sleep setup.
The Best Bed Frame Overall
This GQ Home Award-winning Thuma bed frame is one of those rare breeds that occupies all three categories of “high quality,” “decently affordable,” and “easy to put together.” It’s why it’s our top pick for an overachieving, mid-budget option. Besides its well-stained solid wood construction and sensible fabric pillowboard (which comes in a few different color options for both), it’s also a pretty reasonable price. For people tempted to outsource this construction job to a Taskrabbit, the Thuma also assembles as easily as promised—it took one GQ staffer about 30 minutes to put the bed together himself, no galaxy brain maneuvering required. Its frame and double-strength slats lock into place to prevent them moving (and squeaking) about, and the bed itself features solid, repurposed wood, plus cork padding underneath, so it doesn’t scrape your bedroom floor. The finished product is motion-stabilized, thoughtfully designed, and exceedingly sturdy.
The Best Storage Bed Frame
If you’ve ever wanted a bed that feels a little like a souped-up convertible, EQ3’s ultramodern “Marcel” bed is the one to consider for your current life crisis. Instead of a cupboard-style system that rolls out storage from underneath, the Marcel physically lifts up like a Murphy bed for stuffing all of your unmentionables and linens where the sun don’t shine. The design is so ingenious we recognized it in our Home Awards this year, with the only ding here being that it’s made from a composite core wood, finished off with a varnish (not fully solid wood).
The Best Upholstered Bed Frame
The horologists at Shinola make a plenty handsome upholstered bed for folks who want something upholstered that doesn’t look like it’s starring in a shabby chic home reno. The Runwell is sorta the perfect marriage of woods and fabrics, combining a solid walnut wood with understated linen and softening all the edges with eye-pleasing curves. It supports a box spring or just the mattress itself thanks to a slatted support system anchored by box and square joinery.
The Best Sleigh-Style Bed Frame
Sleigh beds were big in the, uh, 19th century, but there are some modern iterations that don’t feel like they time-traveled from someone’s country estate. The CB2 Drommen is just one: a best-seller for the brand, made from angled acacia wood. Our tester loved the soft linen material of this bed’s upholstered headboard (which is surprisingly dust- and dirt-resistant after years of use), the squeakless design, and high-quality frame for the price point. Plus, the bed doesn’t use any slats at all, which equals stunningly easy assembly. Simply slide your bed on top! Because of the sloping headboard, its length is a little wider than average, so we’d recommend it to someone with ample space.
The Best Metal Bed Frame
Olee’s steel bed frame is one of the odd metal options we’ve seen that actually has a full steel slat system rather than a measly support bar holding the thing together. That means it’s more stable, and less likely to make you feel like you are emerging from a sinkhole every morning. The good shoppers over at Amazon don’t often unanimously agree, but they do on this point: This thing is sturdy as hell, and plenty convenient considering that it comes with all the tools you need to assemble and tighten it.
The Bed Frame That’ll Make Your Home Feel Like an AD Spread
Australian designer Sarah Ellison’s known for her dreamy furniture that’s all soft curves, warm woods, puffy textures, and earth tones. Replacing traditional legs with spherical orbs, her spacey Yoko bed frame makes the bed look like it’s hovering somewhere above the ground, supported by a large slatless plank. Now you can finally tell them, “This is where the magic happens,” and mean it.
The Best Budget Platform Bed Frame
Platform bed purists need look no further than this no-frills, Scandinavian-style birch wood frame from Helix that’s everything you want—a well-made throne for your cushy mattress—and nothing you don’t. There’s no option to add on a headboard or anything, but for just under $600, you don’t need to know much else except that it’s sturdy, completely inoffensive style-wise, and offers a 100-night sleep trial (and returns) if you’re not absolutely loving it. Plus, putting it together doesn’t require any tools—just a little free time.
7 Other Bed Frames We Like
If you’re online in any sense, it’s probably algorithmically unlikely that you’ve missed Floyd’s elegant, low-lying platform bed. The jewel of Instagram’s targeted ads owes a lot to the minimalist Donald Judd aesthetic: It uses a slatless, screwless design relying on a couple of wooden planks that are held together by fabric support straps and attached to some steel legs on the bottom. It’s a heck of a lot easier to assemble than any old IKEA step-by-step. Reviews online vary—some point to peeling wood to and sometimes flimsy support straps—but if you’re looking for a stylish low-to-the-ground option to take with you to your next five apartments, it’s hard to imagine a superior combination of aesthetics, ease, and price (even if the Floyd isn’t a slam dunk A+ in any of those lone categories). The company now offers an option to buy your own wood and assemble it with Floyd hardware, but if you’re determined to buy a complete bed set-up, we’d just recommend scouting to see if someone’s selling a second-hand version online. Or, at least buying one when it’s on sale.
Burrow’s more well-known for its couches-in-a-box than its sleeping arrangements, but the brand’s sturdy sofas show it knows a thing or two about a good foundation. And the Chorus bed takes the right cues. With its low-lying frame—constructed from solid hardwoods and anchored by Japanese-inspired joinery—plus ‘grammable chubby legs (aw!), it’ll earn you some style chops and a trustworthy throne for your bed and bod. It’s just the thing if you want something low-stress, low-mess, and zero excess. If you did want to dress it up a little, there’s even the option to tack on a fabric or wood headboard.
There’s never been a better time to get into boucle, and if you’re the type to throw caution to the wind with a pristine white fabric and a Tide pen, the Diana might be calling your name. The curvy slopes of the upholstery resemble a cloud, with some solid oak legs keeping it down to earth. It’s definitely going to be harder to clean, but might be just thing you need to dress up that barely frequented spare bedroom.
If budget isn’t a concern, design studio Sun at Six makes one of the best low-profile options with a built-in headboard. The studio is a family affair, guided by the trade of traditional Chinese joinery, and using oil-finished white ash that resists stains and breaks down for flat-pack shipping. Combined with a frame that nestles your bed inside it like a throne, the chubby, rounded legs give it a fun childlike touch. There’s even an option to buy it in a black finish directly from the site if you’d prefer something a little vibier.
For people on a shoe-string budget, Tuft & Needle also makes a durable steel bedframe (the traditional support bar kind) for stacking up a box spring and a mattress on top. It’s designed to fit together like puzzle pieces, without any tools needed for assembly, and the reviews seem to be mostly positive. It’s a little pricier than the Olee above (and slatless), which is why that one’s still our top choice. But if you’re already a Tuft & Needle fan, it might be worth going in on some bedding and a bed frame all at once.
Brooklyn-based design studio Akron Street (makers of one of our favorite desks) is always a winner for modern, well-made furniture pieces that won’t look like everyone else’s Ikea collections or Alvar Aalto knockoffs. It makes two beds—both platform-style—but we like the extra under-bed storage options on this one that allow you to squirrel away sweaters and bedding in its innards without having to worry about moths attacking your precious cashmere, or dust bunnies building up under the bed. The only downsides are a less forgiving return policy. If it’s not brand new in the box, buddy, you’re stuck with it!
The ‘Zon might not be your first choice for a direct-to-doorstep bed frame, but the retail powers that be do stock a mean platform bed from the likes of KD Frames, a woodworking company based in Athens, Georgia (go dawgs). The Scandi-style design uses kiln-baked woods that are perfectly low-profile and budget-friendly for a first apartment. There’s even the option to tack on separate storage drawers to give yourself more space to conceal your mess.