Category Archives: Bed Rails

How to Choose the Right Bed Frame or Rails

Every profession has its own dictionary of terms. The bed support industry is no different. To learn how to choose the right bed frame or rails, the first step is to learn a few key terms in the bed support dictionary.

Bed Frame or Rails?

To choose the right bed frame or rails, first you should know the difference between the two. In the bed support world, a bed frame is a structural support with at least four sides with at least four legs to the floor. A bed frame fully supports a mattress set without the help of a headboard or a footboard. Most of today’s bed frames are made from angle iron, lengths of steel shaped in 90 degree angles.

right bed frame or rails
Bed Frame – Queen Size (Notice this bed frame has headboard brackets, but does not require a headboard.)

In contrast, bed rails require both a headboard and footboard in order to support the mattress and box spring. Like bed frames, many of today’s modern bed rails are made of strong angle iron.

Choose the Right Bed Frame

Your bed does not have a footboard (maybe a headboard later?), how to choose the right bed frame? Consider these three factors:

  1. Weight capacity of the bed frame. Today’s modern bed frames come in different strengths, from relatively flimsy to the heavy duty Monster Bed Frame, and everywhere in between. Get the strongest one you can afford.
  2. Size of the bed frame. Some bed frames are one size only, while others allow for lifetime transitions from twin through king size. Think long term and a bed frame can transition with you throughout your life. Clamp-style bed frames make use of special C-clamps for getting the size just right. Choose this type of bed frame for odd-size bedding like three-quarter size or for a more perfect, snug fit on your box spring.
  3. Special features widely available. Today, more than ever before, bed frames come in many styles and varieties. No longer is the consumer stuck with plain black or brown angle iron. With the elegant and strong emBrace Bed Frame by Knickerbocker, choose brown, black, gray, or white to match your bedroom’s decor. Low profile bed frames allow the use of taller mattresses or help lower the bed as needed. Bed frames with risers allow storage of out-of-season clothes, extra shoes, and holiday decorations.

Choose the Right Bed Rails

Your bed has both a headboard and a footboard, requiring bed rails, now – how to choose the right bed rails? Consider the following:

  1. How to attach the bed rails? Companies manufacture two types of bed rails today: hook-on and bolt-on. Many modern wood beds attach with hooks, while metal beds attach with bolts. Examine the headboard and footboard to determine which style it needs.
  2. Wood rails or metal rails? Replacement wood bed rails come in all sizes. With the right mattress center support (running horizontally), wood bed rails offer a long-lasting option for those with hook-on headboard and footboard sets. For bolt-on and hook-on beds, many sizes of metal bed rails are available with center supports included in the package. Choose metal bed rail sets for their affordability compared with wood rails. Opt for wood rails and a strong mattress center support (like the BedBeam) when price is less of a factor.
  3. Speaking of center support. Get the best mattress center support you can afford. Ensuring your bed is properly supported is one of the keys to sleeping well each and every night.

Choose the Right Bed Frame or Rails

Getting the right bed frame or rails to properly support your mattress and box spring adds to the value of your mattress set in several ways. Properly supported bedding lasts longer, remains more comfortable, and resists body impressions and sagging better than bedding that is not properly supported. The right bed frame or rails reduces noise and creaking commonly experienced with cheaper bed frames, leading to a more restful night and a more rested you.

Full Bed Rails for Crib Bed

Replacement Full Bed Rails for Crib Bed

Convertible cribs are very popular these days. These beds start out as cribs for your infant. Then morph easily into a daybed or toddler bed for your growing toddler. Then by simply adding full rails, convertible cribs transform into full size beds. What’s the problem with that? Almost no one buys the full bed rails for crib bed when they buy their crib. Turning the crib into a full size bed is an event far in the distant future, and the rails will take up space in an already cluttered closet. . . .

How to get full bed rails for crib bed

First, try contacting crib manufacturer

If you did not purchase the full size bed rails at the same time you purchased the crib, contact the crib manufacturer to see if the rails are still available to purchase. Sometimes, the convertible crib is still in production, and you can buy the matching rails. Unfortunately, it is the case that the manufacturer no longer makes the crib, and you can go with option 2.

We stock full bed rails to convert your crib

Check the way the convertible crib, or the new headboard and footboard, attaches to the rails. Though we don’t have specific full rails for crib beds, we may have bed rails that will work with your child’s bed. We offer two types of full size bed rails that may convert your crib!

Bolt-on Rails

The phrase “bolt-on” refers to the manner in which the bed rails or bed frame attaches to your headboard or your headboard and footboard. Bolt-on bed rails and frames attach using long bolts or screws through metal plates.

bolt on full bed rails for crib bed
These are bolt-on bed rails. You can use bolts or screws to attach these to your convertible crib.

Hook-on Rails

The phrase “hook-on” refers to the manner in which the rails attach to your headboard and footboard. Hook-on bed rails have “hooks” on the end of the rails that slide into the headboard and footboard and usually slip down to lock in place.

full bed rails for crib bed that hook-n
Sometimes convertible cribs will use hook-on rails like the ones above. We sell full size wood or metal hook-on bed rails.

Whether you choose wood bed rails for your child’s bed, metal bed rails for your child’s bed, or a full bed rail frame for your child’s bed,  The Sleep Shop has what you need to convert your crib to a full size bed.


Wood Bed Rails

F.A.Q About Wood Bed Rails

Where do I find replicas of the wood bed rails currently on my bed?

The first step when searching for replacement wood bed rails is to contact the manufacturer. (Tip: Save your receipt when buying a new bed set, often the name of the manufacturer is not located on the bed itself.) Sometimes, the manufacturer will sell you the exact set of rails for your bed, as long as the bed is still in production. Without the manufacturer’s help though, it would be easier to find a needle in a haystack than to find matching rails for a decorative bed. But don’t worry, you have other options!

What do I do if I don’t know the producer of the bed?

Your best, and most cost efficient bet is to settle on some replacement rails. Though they are unstained, they are ready to be stained or painted. They also feature a thick cleat (inside lip) to attach a center support to, which you should do.

wood bed rails

How can I make sure they will fit my bed?

If you purchase them from The Sleep Shop we have a template that you can print out on your computer. Cut out the template (I recommend tracing it onto something a little more substantial than paper, such as cardboard) and hook it into your bed. If the template fits, the rails will work for you. However if it doesn’t, the rails will not work for your bed.

What colors are available?

Our bed rails are unfinished. However, they easy to stain or paint, so you can transform them into what ever color you desire!

What are the rails made of?

The rails are made from a laminated hardwood with the top edge being veneer banded. The term “laminated” doesn’t exactly sound like it can be stained, but the term describes the process in which the wood was pressed. They are 100% stain-able. (In fact, the rails are made here in NC, and they are purchased by many furniture manufacturers that stain/paint them for use them with their beds.)

What do I do if I have a headboard and footboard that require bolt on rails?

Currently, the only option available for wood rails is hook-on. If you have bolt-on rails, you may need to consider going to metal rails.

Bed Frames Vs. Bed Rails: What’s the Difference?

Our customers often use the terms bed frames and bed rails interchangeably. To us, they have different very different meanings. What is the difference between a bed frame and bed rails?

Bed Frame

A Bed Frame is a stand-alone structure; meaning, it can support your mattress and box spring entirely on its own. This is what you need if you have neither a headboard nor a footboard, or if you have only a headboard. This is what they look like:

differenceAs you can see, it is completely connected and has a beam across the middle for added support. (Some bed frames don’t have this, but you need the center support for queen size and larger)

Bed Rails

Bed Rails are two rails independent from one another. You would use these if you have a footboard and headboard you would like to connect them to.

Bed rails only work if you have both a headboard and a footboard.


Pictured above is a set of queen rails with a center support; without the headboard and footboard the structure will not be able to stand.

Hopefully this helps! If you have any questions, give us a call and we’ll be glad to point you to the product you need.

How-to: Display Headboard and Footboard for sale

We have a set of “Retail Display Rails” for sale on our website. Sometimes when people call in about them they think they’re about to purchase an entire bed rail.  When I tell them what they’re actually about to buy there’s always a small sigh of disappointment because they were so excited to find an entire bed rail set for so cheap. I always want to warn them that they should NEVER buy a bed frame that only costs $29.oo but, I don’t. It always seems to be almost rude. Anyways, even though they aren’t an entire bed frame they are pretty awesome.

They’re 12 inch rails that you use to connect a headboard and footboard together to display it for sale. They are available in hook on or bolt on style. Maybe you have an antique shop or thrift shop and want to showcase the lovely new set you got in?  Or maybe you own a store with a variety of products? It’s very aesthetically pleasing to set up a head board and foot board that’s for sell and then drape a quilt over it that’s also for sell.

We’ve filmed a video of a head board and foot board we have on our showroom floor connected with the Retail Display Rails so that you can see what it looks like all together.

Headboard Adapters

What types of headboard adapters are available to modify your headboard to accommodate your bed frame?

At The Sleep Shop we have several types of headboard adapters. Two of our most popular are mod adapt plates and bed hook adapters.

Mod Adapt Plates

If your headboard is over-sized, too small, or the holes don’t line up with your bed frame, mod-adapt headboard plates often easily solve this problem.

mod-adapt plates

Bed Hook Adapters

Bed Hook adapters are great if you have a hook on headboard, but you don’t want to use the footboard. Simply add a bed hook adapter to your bed frame, and hook it into your headboard. It’s a very simple, space-saving solution.

mod-adapt plates

Hopefully, one of these headboard adapter kits will save you time and money, allowing you to use your current frame with your new head board or vise versa!

Using a Queen size mattress with a Full size headboard.

I was having a sleepless night last night and I started thinking about my bed. It’s a Queen size and when you’re all alone in a Queen size bed in a dark room on a Tuesday night it starts to feel infinite. Then I started thinking “Now why didn’t you just get a Full size? You have no use for such a giant bed.” From there I started compiling a list of who might better use it. I thought about people with animals because I know dogs are prone to being bed-hogs. Also I would imagine you’d like definitely want to get as far away from a snoring husband as possible. You might not want to fold laundry one night and all that extra space is a great place for it, the list went on. Anyways I decided I was happy with my endless plane of a bed. Then I started feeling really bad for people in a Full size. I remembered all the customers that tell us about how beautiful their Full size headboard and footboard are but they could use more bed space and for all those customers, I have good news. You don’t have to part ways with your gorgeous Full size headboard just because you’ve out grown the mattress. The Full to Queen converter rail set allows just that. You can easily use a full size headboard with a queen mattress. All you do is replace the rails with this conversion set and you’ll have plenty of bed space for whatever you’d like to use it for. If you want an extra sturdy Full to Queen converter rail set we also offer one with three supports verses one. I recommend this for heavy headboards and antique beds. To make it even easier, we even have a video on YouTube of how to assemble it.

Converter Rails
Full to Queen Converter Rails with 3 Supports

Replacement Wood Bed Rails

Wood Bed Rails - Unfinished

Our unfinished wood bed rails can be finished to match your bed. They are available in twin/full size, queen/king size, and California king size. Not much more expensive than metal bed rails, wood rails are made in the USA in our home state of NC. You’ll love the look of these and the price, too.

Learn more about wooden bed rails at

Converting a full size bed to a queen size

If you have a great antique bed or full size bed but you don’t want to sleep on a full size mattress, you can use full to queen converter rails to convert your bed. Full to queen converter rails are easy to use. You just hook them in or bolt them on to your full size headboard and footboard. They are long enough to accommodate a queen size mattress set and the rails come with special “L” brackets that accommodate the width of a queen size mattress set.

Full to Queen Converter Rails
Full to Queen Converter Rails

There is only six inches difference in width between a full size mattress set and a queen size mattress set, so that means only three inches hang over on each side. Most of the time, once your bed is assembled with an attractive bed skirt, you won’t even be able to tell that the bed has been converted. You will love being able to sleep on a queen size mattress set instead of a full size.

Bolt-On Bed Rails

You can buy replacement bed rails for your headboard and footboard. Some people choose to buy replacement bed rails if their old bed rails are squeaky or seem unstable. Sometimes replacing your bed rails is the best option. You can buy metal bed rails in all sizes. You can choose from bed rails that hook-on or bed rails that bolt-on. Below is a picture of a typical bolt-on bed rail set.

Bolt-On Bed Rail
Bolt-On Bed Rail