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.

6 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Bed Frame or Rails

  1. What is the difference between the middle bar on a king frame going from left to right as opossed to head to foot?

    1. Hi Derrick, Bed manufacturers choose different types of supports when they design a new bed for sale. A really well-made bed will have good support straight from the factory, whether it comes with a support down the middle (head to foot) or left to right. The main objective of a center support is to support the mattress set completely. Mattress manufacturer warranties accept both types of supports – left to right and head to foot. The problem is that many furniture manufacturers have foregone good quality for cheap prices (and consumers are happy to accept the cheaper prices!). Fewer new beds today in the furniture market come with adequate center supports. Frankly, customers aren’t usually willing to pay for it until their bed falls down or their mattress starts to sag. Customers are quick to blame the mattress industry, but often the fault lies with insufficient center supports. That’s why we offer all the different center supports on our website. Most our “aftermarket” center supports are the type that go left to right. You can read reviews of the king BedBeam or Strong Arm support for assurance that these actually make folks’ beds feel better. The bottom line is just make sure your king mattress set is supported with either rigid left-to-right or head-to-foot supports with legs to the floor. Hope this helps!

  2. To me, Bed Frame is more important than rails. I see different kinds of rails and used a lot of them but none of them are effective for healthy sleep. But when I tried to change bed frame the circumstance were changed. You know, I found my dream sleep after that. So bed frames are more important for me than rails.

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