Some Interesting Bed Frame Questions

We’ve received some interesting bed frame/bed frame part questions through the years (and we’ve answered them). Here are a few questions and answers:

Q. I have a metal twin bed frame that I want to attach a wood headboard to.  It does not use hooks.  The bed is too high due to the increased height of the mattress and box spring so the headboard sits too low and I want to raise the headboard.  Do you have a product such as the Modi plates that would raise the headboard?

A. The mod plates do not raise the headboard. To use the mod plates you attach them to the current headboard brackets and they make up the extra gap. Unfortunately we do not have anything that will raise the headboard itself.


Q. Do you sell 3/4 to full hook-on converter rails?

A. I am very sorry to inform you that we do not have converter rails to fit that size. (These are not manufactured, as far as we know.) It is possible to convert a 3/4 bed so you can use full size bedding on it, but it requires several different parts. You’ll need a full size bed frame for headboard and footboard. Then you’ll need two sets of mod-adapt headboard plates to bridge the distance between the two sizes. Then to convert to hook-on, you’ll need two sets of bed hook adapters.


Q. I was interested in buying the Eventide bed frame by Knickerbocker. I thought it came in different colors.

A. The emBrace bed frame by Knickerbocker comes in several different colors, but the Eventide only comes in brown.


Q. Hoping you can help me. I am trying to attach 2 headboards to twin beds (purchased used). They need hooks, which I have to bolt to frame.
Problem is the headboard is too wide for the bed frame by an inch plus. Even with the hooks on the headboard facing inward to make it the narrowest possible, it is that much too wide. Headboard measures 39 1/2” between hook slat openings and the bed frame is just under 38 1/2” at farthest width. Will the mod plate adaptor fix that?

A. It sounds like you can put the Mod Plate on the headboard bracket, attach your bed hooks to that, and hook it in the headboard.


Q. Can I purchase a modified headboard plates that will take a queen mattress frame and hook it to a king size wood headboard? Please let me know.

A. Yes, you can use the Queen to King Mod Plates and the Bed Hook Adapter to attach the frame to your headboard. Hope this helps!

Jamison Hotel Mattress Topper – Found at Marriott Hotels

Sometimes an overnight stay at a nice hotel prompts a customer to start looking for a new mattress. They’ll tell me that they slept so well at the hotel they realized their mattress at home needed to be replaced. Many customers even say they pull back the sheets and mattress protector to see what brand of mattress they were sleeping on!

Hoteliers have come a long way in creating restful spaces for their guests to sleep and rejuvenate for the next day. Only part of their “magic sleeping potion” is the mattress. Many hotels use relatively inexpensive mattresses for their guest beds, realizing the beds will need frequent replacement. Hotel staff know the key to making a cozy bed is layering. At many Marriott Hotels, you’ll find a thick mattress topper on the bed like the one below that adds a wonderful layer of cushion to any mattress.

Jamison Hotel Topper
Jamison Hotel Mattress Topper

You will also find high quality bed sheets on the bed. This makes a world of difference if you are used to sheets that are not as high quality. We highly recommend DreamFit Degree 4 Egyptian Cotton sheets by HomeTex if you are looking for a good quality set of sheets. Always silky smooth to the touch, Egyptian Cotton is the finest cotton you can buy.

Another great trick used by the hotel pros to help you sleep better is the use of room darkening curtains and blinds. Blocking all the light coming in to your bedroom is very beneficial for creating a restful place to get great sleep.

If your mattress does need to be replaced, by all means, come visit us at The Sleep Shop in Hudson, NC.

How to choose a center support for your bed.

Why Get a Center Support?

Your mattress needs a center support. Perhaps you’ve noticed your mattress is sagging in the middle, or the sales person at the mattress store mentioned that your new mattress warranty requires proper center support. Over the years, we’ve made it our mission to educate our customers about getting the proper support for their beds.  We do not sell a mattress to a customer without discussing the support under their beds, and our delivery guys will not leave a home without making sure that a center support is in place. It really is that important!

In selling center supports online, I’ve learned how having a good support under the bed helped customers get better sleep every night. So many of our bed support reviews mention that having a good support improved their sleep quality, because their bed wasn’t squeaking any more, they were no longer rolling into their spouse, or the support made their mattress feel better. I honestly did not expect a center support to improve the quality of sleep, but if the reviews are any proof, they do!

Types of Side Rails

Choosing a center support is easy on our website. The most important thing to do is take a look at your current side rails. (Side rails are the rails that run from your headboard to your footboard, or if you don’t have a headboard or footboard, side rails are the rails that support the length or long side of your bed.) Are they made of wood or metal? If your side rails are made of wood, you can choose from one of our center supports designed for use with wood side rails. Make sure to choose one that matches the correct size of your bed.

angle iron
This is a length of angle iron. Many modern bed rails and bed frames are made of this.

If your side rails are made of angle iron metal (at left), you can choose from the bed supports for use with metal side rails. Again, make sure you choose a support that matches the size of your bed.

 

Metal Rails
Old-fashioned metal bed rails – often painted to look like wood.

There is another type of metal bed rail out there. It’s metal, but painted to look like wood. (See image above.) We do not have supports to work with this type of bed rail system. However, you can order them from Garrett Supports.  If you are tired of the old-fashioned wood-look metal bed rails, another option would be to update your bed rails to more modern wood bed rails and compatible center supports. We also have metal side rails to replace those metal wood-look rails, as well. These come with center supports, so it’s usually a less expensive option!

We also have a center support that is specifically designed to work with slat beds and platform beds, the Lazarbeam, by Knickerbocker.  It is currently available in full, queen, and king sizes.

What is the Best Mattress?

Mattress StackI’ve been in the family mattress business since 1999. I bet I’ve been asked “What’s the best mattress?” every day since I started working here! The truth is that I can’t tell you what the best mattress is for you, but I can share with you some of the research I’ve done. I can also share with you some great tips about buying and trying out mattresses!

If you’re lucky, you spend seven or eight hours each night in bed (hopefully!), getting the restorative sleep your body and mind need. Your sleep surface has a lot to do with ensuring that your night is restful so that you  can face your daily challenges with gusto. Ahem. If your sleep surface has gotten old/worn out or is not appropriate for your body type or size, you may start to wake up with aches and pains. In fact, when you start to wake up with aches and pains, and you know you didn’t spend the past few days working in your yard, building a deck, or trying P90X for the first time, this is when you know it’s time to replace your old mattress. Don’t listen to the mattress industry that tells you to replace your mattress every eight years! If you are still comfortable, and you do not wake up achy, your mattress is FINE!

Common aches and pains you might experience if you have an old, worn out mattress: shoulder pain, neck pain, and stiffness. But by far the most common complaint is lower back pain. This is the complaint that drives folks in to see their chiropractor, asking him or her, What’s the best mattress?

Scientific studies done in the last 15 years have focused on what effect changing the sleep surface had for people suffering from low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and stiffness.  All the studies have a very limited sample size (probably because it was costly to provide everyone a new mattress!), but the studies basically reach very similar conclusions.

Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain

In this study of 27 adults with low back and shoulder pain, a mattress was designed specifically for each patient based on his or her dominant sleeping position, back, side, or stomach. The mattresses were “medium-firm mattresses specifically layered with foam and latex based on the participants’ reported prominent sleeping position”. Each patient answered questions about their pain and sleep comfort each night for 21 nights before they received their new mattress. After receiving their mattress, each participant rated his or her pain and sleep quality at intervals of four, eight, and twelve weeks. And guess what? “It was concluded that sleep surfaces are related to sleep discomfort and that is indeed possible to reduce pain and discomfort and to increase sleep quality in those with chronic back pain by replacing mattresses based on sleeping position.” You don’t say.

Better Backs by Better Beds?

This 2008 study was to test the notion that a firm mattress is always best for chronic low back pain. You’ve heard this your whole life, right? You need a firm mattress if you have a “bad back.” The study started with 160 participants, and each participant was randomized in to one of three groups, each group was to receive 1 of 3 different types beds. The beds were: water (I know, right? But the study was done in Denmark, and waterbeds are really nice when it’s cold outside), body-conforming memory foam mattress, and a hard mattress. 19 people dropped out before they even got their waterbed heaters plugged up, and another 27 people stopped before the one-month trial period. In conclusion, it appears that the waterbed and the memory foam mattresses were superior to the hard mattresses in providing folks with chronic back pain some relief, but the differences were small. I think the point here is don’t choose anything too firm, and this funny little study from 1981 should quietly disappear. It advocates a very firm bed for chronic low back sufferers, but if that doesn’t work, go ahead and get a waterbed! Bedding has come a long way since 1981, needless to say.

Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems

This neat little study published in 2009 set out to determine if replacing a mattress set, older than 5 years old could help a patient experiencing minor back pain, poor sleep, and stress. Each of the 59 participants were asked a series of questions to assess his or her sleep quality, pain, and stress levels for 28 days before receiving a new medium-firm mattress. After receiving their new mattress, each participant was again asked to fill out questionnaires about his or her pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress level.  The conclusion of this study was that “new bedding systems increased sleep quality and reduced back discomfort, factors that may be related to abatement of stress-related symptoms.” All good news for a mattress purveyor.

The Goldilocks Effect

The reason I highlighted medium-firm mattress above is because Goldilocks was right, Baby Bear’s mattress was the best mattress. It wasn’t too firm, and it wasn’t too soft, it was just right. In my experience, customers are most happy when they choose a mattress more in the middle, too, but don’t listen to me! You have to try a mattress out to make sure that it is the right mattress for you. Your weight, height, and body mass index are all factors that influence how a mattress will feel to you. When you decide that it’s time to shop for a new mattress, here are some of my handy mattress shopping tips to help you make the most of your shopping trip. If you live close to our store in Hudson, NC, please stop by. We’d love to help you find the best mattress for you.

 

Two Sided vs. One Sided Mattresses

I remember watching my grandparents flip their full size mattress over periodically. Then my grandmother would carefully vacuum their mattress while the curtains in their bedroom swayed in the breeze. “It’s good to let the fresh air in when you can,” she’d holler over the sound of the vacuum. Most mattresses today are not meant to be flipped over. I’m not sure what my grandparents would think about this, but I know many of my customers are disappointed when they realize none of the major bedding manufacturers make two sided mattresses anymore. The one sided mattress has been the standard since the early 2000’s.

“It’s like you’re getting only half a mattress,” an unhappy customer said of the trend.

Why No More Two Sided Mattresses?

Why did bedding manufacturers like Simmons, Sealy, and Serta start making all their mattresses one sided? It really all came down to a change in the federal flammability standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that took effect in July, 2007. This flammability standard was specifically aimed at mattresses and foundations, but also crib mattresses and futons.  You might wonder if this new standard was needed. Prior to this regulation, a mattress was a massive source of fuel in a house fire, due to its large size and the fact that most of the foams inside are made of petroleum. Within three to ten minutes, the whole mattress could be engulfed in flames, creating massive heat and smoke, hampering rescue efforts and endangering the lives of the home’s occupants and firefighters.

With the new flammability standard, mattress companies were required to use flame retardants, and those worked incredibly well. Rather than burst into flames, a mattress would smolder, allowing occupants to get out of harm’s way. (Of course, there are folks who argue about the safety of the flame retardants, but that’s a discussion for some other time!)

Starting in July, 2007, mattress manufacturers were required to send each new mattress set they wanted in their lineup to a testing lab for compliance with this regulation. At the lab, each mattress set was placed as it would be in a home, mattress on top of foundation, and it had to pass a flammability test before the set could be sold in the US. All this testing was and is costly for bedding manufacturers, and they did not believe consumers would be willing to pay for flame retardants in their bedding, an advantage that customers can’t see and can’t feel. Additionally, if bedding had two sides, both sides had to have flame retardant material in it, and both sides had to be tested.

And so it was in the early 2000’s, the one sided mattress took over the mattress industry. This helped keep the costs of the required flame retardants from affecting consumers, even if they didn’t know it.

Are Two Sided Mattresses Better?

No, not really. We still sell some two sided mattresses, and if you want to be able to flip your mattress, you can. If you have a two sided mattress, you must flip it to keep it in good shape. Plenty of folks who had the old two sided beds never flipped them anyway, and that’s why one sided mattresses made sense to begin with, notwithstanding the flammability issue.

One sided mattresses were really designed to be “one sided” mattresses,  and the design was studied and well thought out, at least by the larger manufacturers like Serta. They used (and still do use) a sturdy base foam at the bottom, topped with coils, and then pre-compressed foams on top. We always recommend rotating your mattress from head to foot frequently, at least with the seasons.

Many people who really believe they need a two sided mattress have a one sided pillow top. They truly believe that if they could just flip that thing, all would be right in the world. As human beings we have done so much scientifically, but mattress manufacturers have not been able to make a pillow top that won’t get body impressions. Even if those pillow tops magically grew a second side, that second side would get body impressions within a night or two.

 

 

How to Add a Full Headboard to a Queen Bed Frame

Adding a full size headboard to a queen bed frame is usually a simple thing to do! First, determine whether you have a hook-on headboard or a bolt-on headboard. Below, you’ll see a picture of a typical hook-on bed rail and headboard. (And by the way, you could use these products to add a queen headboard to a full bed frame as well!)

A detailed view of a hook-on bed rail and hook-on headboard.
A detailed view of a hook-on bed rail and hook-on headboard.

The other common type of attachment is bolt-on. Bolt-on bed rails and frames attach using long bolts or screws through metal plates. You can learn more about both types of connections on our bed frame vocabulary page.

Mod Adapt Plates
Mod Adapt Plates on Bed Frame

If you have a great full size headboard and want to attach it to a queen size bed frame, we have some great headboard hardware to help you do this.

If your headboard is bolt-on, you only need Mod-Adapt Headboard Plates. This nifty bed frame hardware makes it easy to bridge the distance between your full size headboard and your queen size bed frame headboard brackets. Our website shows a video of how easy it is to install mod plates.

Bed Hook Adapter
Bed Hook Adapter # 711 attached to Bed Frame

Queen bed frames nearly always come with bolt-on headboard attachments. This makes it easy to attach today’s decorative metal and wood headboards, but it makes it very hard (well, nearly impossible!) to attach a hook-on headboard. If your headboard is a hook-on style, you will need the Mod-Adapt Plate to bridge the distance between the full to queen width, and you’ll also need a set of Bed Hook Adapters. Bed Hook Adapters are a wonderful little piece of bed frame hardware that turn a standard bolt-on bed frame into a hook-on bed frame! The video below shows the two headboard adapters being used together.

Difference between a box spring and a foundation

Coil Box SpringBox springs like the one at left are rare today. Bedding manufacturers opt for less expensive wood foundation or steel foundations, though some suppliers still offer the old fashioned coil box springs as an option. It is not a requirement for today’s bedding, however, to have a coiled box spring, because today’s bedding offers so much more plushness than bedding of old. The old coil box springs provided additional “give” to old fashioned mattresses that were either offered in firm, firmer, or firmest!

What We Offer

In our store, we offer most mattress sets with a steel foundation, not that wood foundations don’t offer proper support. The support is often just fine. The problem is in the construction. Wood foundations are made with wood slats to create a stable base for your mattress. The wood slats are covered with cardboard, and the cardboard is covered with fabric so it looks just like a box spring or steel foundation. Over time, the cardboard tends to squeak, and the wood weakens. There is nothing more annoying than rolling over in the bed and being awakened by a squeaky foundation.Steel Foundation

That’s why, when we have the choice, we always choose to provide our customers with steel foundations, like the one at right. Steel foundations have a wood base, with a heavy gauge steel grid designed to support your mattress properly. Steel foundations are generally stronger and less likely to crack and squeak than wood foundations.

When given the choice, your best choice is a steel foundation. Really inexpensive bedding often only comes with a wood foundation. If it is for a guest room or a child, that may be okay, but if you want a good night’s rest, the steel foundation is the way to go.

Mattress Sizes

Mattress Sizes
The most common mattress sizes are twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. Sometimes twin size is called a half bed. Full size is often referred to as double or standard size. Listed below are the most common bedding sizes (and some uncommon ones!). These sizes are approximate – each manufacturer has its own specs and sizes may vary slightly.

Twin Bed Dimensions:  38″ W X 75″ L

Other than a crib mattress, the twin size mattress is the smallest mattress available. A twin size bed is a good size bed for one child or one small adult.

Twin Extra Long (XL) Bed Dimensions: 38″ W X 80″ L

Twin XL Size mattresses are often used in college dorms, because they are a good size for one adult. They are longer than regular twin size mattresses to allow for the extra height of adults. Twin XL mattresses are also often used on adjustable beds.

3/4 Bed Dimensions: 48″ W X 75″ L

3/4 Beds (Three-quarter beds) are not manufactured today, but they were once a common bed size. You can find 3/4 beds in antique shops around the country. While larger bedding manufacturers do not make this size of mattress, you can have it custom made for you by smaller suppliers. This size bed would be very uncomfortable for most couples, so we recommend this size only for one adult or one child.

Full Bed Dimensions: 53″ W X 75″ L

Full size beds, also known as double or standard size are a good choice for children. While for many years, full size was the choice for many happy couples, it is hard to see how a couple could get a truly good night’s rest on a full size bed. On a full size bed, each person only has 27 inches of space – that’s less than a crib! We recommend queen or king size for couples.

Full Extra Long Bed Dimensions: 53″ W X 80″ L

Full XL size is a usually a special order mattress, but it is a good size if you have less width in your bedroom. The 53″ width makes full extra long an unappealing bed size for couples, the extra length makes this a good choice for taller children who may have a smaller bedroom.

Queen Size Bed Dimensions: 60″ W X 80″ L

Queen size is the most popular size for couples. It has about 5 or 6 extra inches of width, compared with the full size mattress, and 5 more inches in length. Couples who like to snuggle find this size more appealing than the king size. Queen size is also a good size for guest rooms.

King Bed Dimensions: 76″ W X 80″ L

Over the years, king size has become a very popular option. Each person has his or her own sleeping space. There is generally less partner disturbance and both get a better night’s sleep. If you have pets or children who often climb in the bed with you, you’ll love the extra space of a king size bed. Sometimes, this size is called Eastern king.

California King Bed Dimensions: 72″ W X 84″ L

California king size is a good choice for taller people, because it is the longest of the standard bed sizes available. There is ample room in a California king size bed for two adults, and a pet or two. Maybe even a child!
The most confused bed sizes are king and California king sizes. Customers often believe California king is much larger than king size, and they often believe their bed is larger than it really is! California king is narrower and longer, but not really bigger than Eastern king. When someone orders a California king size bed frame or bed support from our website, and they are not in California, we always call them to confirm the size. If a local customer in North Carolina wants a California king mattress, we ask them to measure twice because it is quite rare to have a California king size!

Bed Frame Feet

Bed frame feet is such a simple concept that doesn’t seem like it needs a blog post, right? It doesn’t really. This is mostly to spread “bed frame foot awareness”.

Don’t spend $60-$120 on a new frame just because your current bed frame feet are cracked or broken, we have your back  legs!

The basic info:

  • Made of high density polyurethane, our bed frame feet fit snugly onto your bed frame leg to replace damaged or broken feet.
  • Our bed frame feet will not damage your carpets or hardwood floors.
  • Fit most standard bed frames in which the bed frame leg diameter is approximately 11/16 of an inch.
  • Polyglide bed frame feet are approximately 3 inches tall.
  • Your bed frame leg will go approximately 3/4 inch into the polyglide bed frame foot.
  • Bottom of foot is 2.5″ in diameter.
  • Please measure your bed frame legs to make sure these bed frame feet will fit your bed. For use on hardwood flooring and carpeting or rugs. Won’t scratch your floors.
    Click here for additional product info on our website.

Note: These feet do not add any additional height to your bed frame. If you would like to add height, our deluxe bed risers are the product for you.
2nd bedframe footBed Frame Footbed frame foot measurement

How To Use A King Mattress With A Queen Headboard

Have you found yourself longing to upgrade to a King size mattress, but don’t want to give up your perfectly good Queen size bedroom suite? Well, rest easy friends. We now have a product, the King Modi Plate, that will allow you to keep it.

That being said, I do want to highlight the pros and cons, and offer a few helpful tips.

Pros

  • You can keep your current bedroom set
  • Save money
  • Much less work involved in installing a mod-plate versus setting up all new furniture.

Cons

  • There are 16 inches difference in queen and king size mattresses. If you have a big, wood or metal headboard that’s over-sized as it is, you’ll more than likely be satisfied with how it looks. However, err on the side of caution when using thinner, more delicate headboards. We assembled this product in the store on two different headboards (one king to queen and again on queen to king) and found that it can look a little silly.

Here is what the Modi Plate looks like with a Queen headboard, and a King size mattress. 

swinge hinge and fbracket 066

Here is what the Modi Plate looks like with a King size headboard, and a Queen Size mattress.

swinge hinge and fbracket 069 

If your headboard is thicker than the ones pictured here, the difference will much less noticeable. We intentionally picked two “worst case scenarios” to show you that it can look a little off.