How Platform Bed Frames are Different from Standard Bed Frames

An example of a modern platform bed made with bamboo
An example of a modern platform bed made with bamboo | Source

In my experience, there are still some people out there who aren't exactly sure what the difference is between a "platform bed" and a standard bed frame. I'm writing this article in the hopes that it will be a concise and informative analysis of the differences between these bed styles! Hopefully this helps. So, without further ado, let's run through the similarities and differences!

The modern platform bed frame is, in my opinion, the perfect decorative addition to any bedroom. The sleek designs of platform beds provide a touch of unexpected elegance, essentially serving as functional pieces of art in many contemporary homes.

The platform bed frame is different from the traditional style of bed frame in a few notable ways. For one, it eliminates the need for a bulky box spring mattress, allowing instead for your mattress or futon to rest directly on the frame itself. The extra space that would normally be taken up by the box spring in normal bed frames is freed up for other uses, such as a trundle bed or additional storage space. Platform beds are all about maximizing functionality by eliminating unnecessary bed embellishments.

This lovely platform bed features delicate curves, a clean and efficient design, and a warm and comfortable character
This lovely platform bed features delicate curves, a clean and efficient design, and a warm and comfortable character | Source

Most bed frames have only two or three cross beams on which the box springs rest. This forces the entire structure of the bed to depend on the strength of these key cross beam points. These slats often aren't built into the frame, and can slip out of place over time, causing the box springs to fall.

Platform beds have the support cross beams built into the frame. The beams are placed much closer together, capable of supporting the mattress comfortably on their own. Since the slats are part of the construction, there is no chance of them slipping out of place. The weight of the mattress is spread out over multiple points, making the entire frame more secure. Some platform beds come with solid bases, providing even more support for the mattress.

Platform bed frames are most commonly constructed of wood, not necessarily for any structural reasons, but simply because the aesthetic of a low-profile platform bed is much more conducive to wood use than metal use. Wood has a very warm and welcoming character that makes it ideal for bed frames; you wouldn't want to sleep in something that looks cold and clinical, right?

Platform beds like this one feature TONS of storage built directly into the frame.
Platform beds like this one feature TONS of storage built directly into the frame. | Source

Almost any type of hardwood can be used for making a platform bed frame. Popular choices are based on wood density, grain patterns and color; therefore the most commonly used woods are oak, cherry, ash, walnut, maple, and pine. Poplar and birch can be used as well, though they are less common. Teak is a wood that is growing in popularity also, largely because teak is a very strong wood.

As far as colors and designs for platform beds go, it depends on the type of wood that they are constructed from but because so many platform beds are "modern" there are some consistent design tropes to recognize. Lighter woods like pine and birch are used to show off grain patterns, while darker woods like cherry and walnut are used for their deep hues. Some wood beds are finished with paint, and the most popular colors for this are white and black. The idea behind most platform beds is "simplicity and modernity" so color variation is usually fairly limited, and you shouldn't expect to see super intricate designs on the frame.

Styles of platform beds vary according to taste. One popular model is the sleigh bed, with the headboards and footboards high and curved. Another typical style has built-in storage underneath, often with drawers built in to the bottom or sides of the bed. The most common style is a simplistic one, and quite popular, with no headboards or footboards to draw away from the stylistic choices of your bedding.

Many contemporary low profile bed frames come in unique styles, like this one which draws on a notable Asian aesthetic influence
Many contemporary low profile bed frames come in unique styles, like this one which draws on a notable Asian aesthetic influence | Source

Any More Questions? Ask in the Comments Below! 3 comments

livelifeworryfree profile image

livelifeworryfree 3 years ago from The DMV

I love the platform bed. I bought my girls one last year and wish I had instead of opting for the bulky king sized bed frame. What a great share! So many people can benefit from this post as I have.


superfly47 profile image

superfly47 3 years ago from Canada

The bottom bed frame photo is really cool


furniturez profile image

furniturez 4 years ago from Washington

Platform bed frames are much more appealing than the standard bed frame, in my opinion anyway!

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