Blog > What Is a Platform Bed — Do I Need One?

What Is a Platform Bed — Do I Need One?

What Is a Platform Bed — Do I Need One?

A platform bed is a kind of bed frame that does not need a box spring to support your mattress. It’s possible that you already have one and don’t realize it! A platform bed is closer to the floor and can elevate your bed up to a foot or more off the ground. 

While platform beds don’t need a box spring, you can add one for extra height. Not sure if a platform bed is right for you? Here will we explain the types of platform beds, features, pros/cons, and answer a few FAQs. 

Features of a Platform Bed

One of the main features of a platform bed is the slatted wood, solid wood, or metal slats used to support a mattress without the use of box spring or a foundation. Since you don’t need a box spring or foundation, platform beds are a more cost-effective option for bed frames. 

Since platform beds are much shorter than other frames, by about 6 to 18 inches, you can use a box spring on a platform bed for added height. Platform beds are available with or without legs that elevate it off the ground or a solid or slatted surface depending on the design. 

Besides the cost-effectiveness, one another main draw of a platform bed is their versatility. Platform beds can accommodate all mattress sizes and styles and provide proper support to improve mattress longevity. 

Types of Platform Bed

There are multiple types of platform beds and the phrase “platform bed” refers to a variety of bed frames. From solid, slat, metal, and DIY, all types serve the same function. Keep reading to find out about the types of platform beds so you can compare and find the best one for you.

Solid Platform Bed

The most common type of platform bed has a solid base where a mattress is placed. A box spring is unnecessary for this type of platform bed; the solid base is tall enough to give height and support to the mattress. The bases of these platform beds are made from wood, metal, plastic, or a combination. 

Floating Platform Bed

If you’re looking for a more contemporary look, try a floating platform bed. This style of bed creates the illusion of the bed floating. These beds are much lower to the ground than other platform bed styles. Like other styles of platform beds, the actual platform is made from either wood, particleboard, or MDF, a material made from recycled wood fibers and resin.

Headboard & Footboard Platform Bed

As the name implies, this is a type of platform bed that has both a headboard and a footboard. Unlike storage platform beds, headboard and footboard beds do not have storage and are purely for decorative purposes. A head and footboard provide a more traditional style. 

Storage Platform Bed

A storage platform bed is a great option if you have a small bedroom or don’t have a lot of closets or storage space. These beds have concealed drawers in the bottom of the platform. 

Metal Platform Bed

Metal platform beds are less bulky than wooden platform beds and are the most durable option. The metal design is much more breathable than solid platforms. While metal platform beds are durable, they are not recommended for foam mattresses as the metal puts additional pressure on the foam and can damage it. 

Upholstered Platform Bed

This type of platform bed includes an upholstered headboard that goes with a more modern and contemporary design. You can easily find upholstery in different colors. Upholstered platform beds usually do not have a footboard. Another thing to consider with platform beds  is that sunlight can fade the colored fabric if exposed to too much sunlight over time. 

DIY Platform Bed

If you want a platform bed but have a tight budget or don’t mind a DIY project, you can easily make your own platform bed. 

Here is what you will need: 

  • Bed frame 
  • 3/4″ piece of plywood 
  • Nails, hammer, drills, and reinforcement brackets 

To make your platform bed, measure the base of your bed frame, visit a hardware store and purchase a piece of plywood measured to fit your frame. Then, attach the plywood to your bed frame. Make sure to add some reinforcement slats or brackets for added stability.  

Types of Platform Bed Surfaces

A platform bed’s main benefit is that it’s ready to use — a mattress can be put right on top of it without the need for a box spring or foundation. The actual platform portion of the bed can vary. While all platform beds have the same essential function, the type of mattress you have or plan on purchasing will need to work with the platform surface material. 

Solid Surface

Solid surface platform beds are made from wood, MDF, or particleboard. These materials will have holes or channels punched in to help air circulation around the mattress. It’s likely a solid function will feel firmer than a slatted surface. 

Slatted Surface

A slatted platform bed is also made with wood, MDF, or particleboard. To keep the mattress stable and supported, slats are spaced 2 to 2.75 inches apart. They are generally stiff and straight, but will bend slightly to accommodate the weight of the mattress and the person on it. Closely spaced slats give a stable foundation while also allowing for ventilation. 

Metallic Surface

Platform beds with metal rails or slats are not advised if you have a foam mattress. The metal can damage the base of the mattress and cause sagging. A foam mattress would work on a platform bed with metal rails if you added a box spring or foundation. 

Pros and Cons of a Platform Bed

Like any other type of mattress or bed frame, platform beds have their own set of pros and cons. 

Pros

  • Less expensive than other options 
  • Can have added storage
  • Simple design is visually appealing to many
  • Perforations or a slatted surface improve airflow

Cons

  • Low profile can be uncomfortable for those with back and knee pain or taller individuals 
  • Not recommended for those who want a taller bed or want to add height to a mattress 
  • Extra cost of purchasing a box spring or foundation to add extra height 

Should You Buy a Platform Bed?

Platform beds have a sleek, contemporary look and are a good choice if you don’t want a conventional or traditional look for your bedroom. Platform beds are more cost effective than other bed frames as you don’t don’t need a box spring or foundation. 

If you have problems getting in and out of bed, have back pain, knee pain, or any other type of injury, a platform bed would not be the best option because of its lower height. A lower height bed makes getting in and out of bed more comfortable. 

Also, compared to other bed frames with a head and footboard, platforms are easier to assemble and are readily available online, often with free shipping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still, have questions about platform beds? Here are some FAQs to help you decide if a platform bed is right for you. 

What sizes do platform beds come in? 

You can easily find platform beds in standard mattress sizes from twin to king. 

Will my mattress have the support it needs on a platform bed? 

Platform beds are typically compatible with all mattresses and will provide adequate support. If you aren’t sure, double-check with the mattress manufacturer. 

Do I need a box spring for a platform bed? 

No. A platform bed has a low to the ground sturdy foundation that will provide enough support to forgo a box spring. 

How many varieties of platform beds are there? 

There are four different kinds of platform beds: slat, metal, solid platform bed, or you can DIY one. 

How do I know what platform bed is best for my mattress? 

Most mattress manufacturers require buyers to use or avoid certain frames to maintain the warranty. Check the mattress’s warranty papers for guidance.

 
Emily Stringer

Emily Stringer


Emily Stringer is a Content Writer at SleePare. Emily has over five years of experience writing and conducting research for different industries. When she’s not writing, you can find Emily with her dogs in Lexington, Kentucky.