Bed Frame Materials

Bed Frame Materials-

Here we are going to take a quick look at some of the materials used to make a bed frame.  Often, when shopping for a new mattress you are searching for a whole new bedroom set, or at least a new bed frame to go along with the new mattress.  Either you are upgrading to a higher quality or different style, or perhaps getting a larger mattress that won’t fit in the bed frame you currently have.  In any event, here are some of the more popular bed frame materials that you may encounter.

The Common Materials-

The Basics- metals

First off, let’s acknowledge that you can of course get the basic metal 4 rollers bed frame that is offered as the bare minimum accompaniment at most mattress retailers.  We are in no way diminishing this option, it is popular and if you have not really decided what you want your bedroom style to be, it is a nice, cost effective solution (short or long-term) that keeps your mattress off the floor.  A high quality, stylish bed frame and set can be quite pricey.  If you are not sure what to get or haven’t decided, take some time to consider the choices and do your research.  Get the basic metal bed frame for $50.00 to $75.00 and use it until you’ve settled on your dream set!

basic metal bed frame

Your standard basic metal bed frame

A second choice is the more ornate metal bed frame.  Styles range from modern, cutting edge stylings, to the classic, colonial, and canopy beds.  A large array of metal bed frame options can be found in the $250.00 to $600.00 range.  Various types of metals used in furniture construction include:

  • Copper and Bronze– Used in furniture construction for centuries, these reddish colored metals offer stability and naturally beautiful colors.
  • Stainless Steel– Refers to shiny metal that contains chromium, making it resistant to rust and corrosion.    Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and has no extra surface coatings applied- good for the environment. A nice look for modern and retro decor styles.
  • Wrought Iron– Metal that is hammered or bent in to shape as opposed to being poured at a foundry.  This gives it a rougher look and fell that will hold a thicker layer of finish.
ornate styled bed frame

A more stylish metal bed frame

Laminates and Veneer

Another popular bed frame material is laminates and veneers.  These are layers constructed of wood or other products and applied over a wood frame and then sealed.  Veneers and Laminates can be made to look like more expensive products and then laid over less pricey wood bases.  Laminates and veneers are versatile, durable and popular.  Laminates and Veneers allow you to get a style, color, or wood type that you desire without having to pay for the real deal.


Finally we look at Wood.  Wood has been used for centuries to make furniture, including bed frames.  There are two types of wood to look at, softwood and hardwood. The terms are used to describe the leaves, seeds and structure of the trees, not technically the type of wood produced.  While hardwood tends to be just that, and softwood trees are generally softer, there is a lot of overlap between the two groups and the relative density and strength of their members (for example- balsa wood is a ‘hardwood’).

Softwoods tend to be ‘cone’ bearing trees- like evergreens (needles as leaves), found in cooler or cold climates.  Examples would be fir, pine, aspen and spruce.

Hardwoods often grow in more temperate/mild climates, they are typically more dense than softwood trees, and have broad leaves that they lose in winter.  Examples would be mahogany, maple, beech, oak and cherry.

The five most common woods used in furniture and bed frame making are:

1) Mahogany– A tropical medium to hard wood that is strong and excellent for carving.  It has a medium grain, uniform pores and is a tan to reddish brown in color.  Mahogany os durable, maintains its shape against swelling and shrinkage, is decay resistant and stable making ideal for high quality cabinetry and furniture.  It is a fairly expensive wood.

mahogany bed frame

A nice Mahogany bed frame

2) Oak– The most commonly used wood for finer, more durable furniture.  Very hard, heavy, open grained wood.  Comes in Red and White varieties: Red (a.k.a Black Oak) is pinkish and most popular.  Prominent rings and large pores give oak a coarse texture and prominent grain.  Oak stains well in any color.

3) Maple– A very light colored medium-to-hard wood.  Shock resistant with diffused, evenly sized pores that yield a fine texture and even grain.  Maple is very durable and takes staining well.  It can be finished to resemble walnut, cherry, or other more expensive hardwoods.

4) Beech– A heavy, pale colored, medium-to-hard wood used widely for chairs and stools.  Beech has a fine tight grain and large medullar rays, similar in appearance to maple or birch woods.  Beech is hard, strong material that is highly shock resistant.  Beech polishes well, and is very good for staining.  Beech is a less expensive wood that is used often for general purpose fabrication as well as furniture, toys and floors.

5) Pine– A softwood that grows in various parts of the world.  In the US, the most common types for furniture are Eastern White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, and Sugar Pine.  Pine has a knotty characteristic that provides warmth and brings a unique aspect to each piece.  Typically light yellow in color, pine has a broadly spaced striation pattern.  It is ideal for children’s rooms, family rooms, beach cottages and anywhere the owner is looking for an airier, lighter feel.  Natural grain and shades ensure no piece is exactly alike, and pine is great for staining.

So you see, there are a wide range of bed frame options available.  Do your research, you will find a wide array of styles and prices, and that is in your favor.  The more you have to choose from and look at, the better the chance you can find the bed frame you want at a price you can afford.