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How to Pick a Bed Frame: 4 Factors to Consider Before Purchase

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

Do you think through all the repercussions of the bed frame you are investing in? As a designer, I can appreciate the appeal of something ascetically pleasing but as you're living with your purchase decision, will you have some regrets? This post will take you through some considerations I run by my clients before making a bed frame decision.

Type of mattress

The first thing you need to consider is the mattress you plan to use. Some people have very particular preferences when it comes to the cushion they sleep on, so you'd hate to buy a bed frame that isn't compatible to your beloved mattress.

Some factors you should note about your mattress are the thickness, whether or not you want to use a box spring and whether or not it's adjustable (like a Sleep Number).

Depending on the type of bed frame you are considering, the thickness of your mattress will impact how much of the headboard will be visible and how low the bed will rest from the floor. The same consideration goes for the box spring. Check the specs to see how far off the ground the bed frame platform sits and then compare that to your current set up. Box springs can make up a height difference but if it will be visible make sure you have a solution to hide it (not all bed frames are made for a bed skirt).

If you have an adjustable bed, research what type of bed frame is most compatible. Typically, adjustable beds work best with a headboard attachment due to the mechanics.

Headboard height

So now you've measured your mattress height but what is the ideal headboard height above it? This detail is important because you'd hate to splurge on a new bed frame only for it to be hidden behind decorative euro pillows.

The headboard at a minimum should show at least 24" from the start of the mattress height. A standard euro cover measures 26" while flat so a 24" visible headboard will still slightly be seen. Depending on the headboard design, it may work well for only the edge to show but it also feels luxurious to have about 6" above your decorative pillows.

Making the bed

The way you decorate your home should also serve your lifestyle. This takes intentionality and forethought. So the next factor is how your bed frame will impact the bed making process.

The wrought iron bed frame has made a comeback. While I love the charm they bring to a room, depending on the design, they can complicate the process of bed making. The footboard railing shows the comforter in a way that it must be perfectly tucked in order to not look sloppy. A good alternative to keep the cottage feel is investing in a wrought iron headboard instead of the whole bed frame.

Other bed frames have their own issues, just consider this factor as you filter your purchase options.

Sitting up in bed

Do you enjoy reading in bed? Do you work from bed or sit up scrolling through your phone before falling asleep? Our next area of consideration is how the headboard will feel while leaning up against it. Sure you can put a pillow between you and the headboard but will it lay flat against the design? This is once again where the wrought iron bed can create issues.

For this reason, I love that the upholstered bed frame is becoming a more popular style. The only down side is fabric can soil so make sure to watch what leans directly against the upholstery!

Favorite Bed Frames on the Market

So we've thought through how to pick a bed frame and now I'm going to share some favorite frames you can find on the market. I've broken down the options by bed frame and headboards so that you can pick a style that fits your newly realized needs.


Platform beds

Do you feel prepared to pick your new bed frame? Go ahead and buy with confidence.




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