4 Antique Beds That Won’t Convert With Converter Rails

Using full to queen converter rails, you may be able to convert your full antique bed to queen. Converter rails are designed to hook on or bolt on to your existing full size headboard and footboard. These rails are the length of queen size bedding and have specially designed L-brackets for the extra width of queen size bedding. Most of our customers LOVE converter rails, because the rails allow the use of their beloved antique full size beds with more comfortable queen size mattress. However, following are four antique beds that won’t convert with full to queen converter rails.

Tall and Heavy Beds

First, if your antique bed is particularly tall or heavy, full to queen converter rails won’t be substantial enough to support your bed. Though full to queen converter rails work well on many beds, some beds work best with their original bed rails. This is owing to the overall bed design. For example, see the bed pictured below. Full to queen converter rails could not support the weight of a massive bed like this one. The original bed rails appear over 12 inches wide.

Tall, Heavy Antique Bed
Unusually tall, heavy antique beds like this one won’t convert using converter rails.

Sleigh Beds

Antique Sleigh Bed
If you have a sleigh bed, you won’t be happy with full to queen converter rails.

Sleigh beds are beautiful with their graceful curved headboard and footboard. Often sleigh beds come with specially-designed and shortened bed rails to fit into the curves of the sleigh. When a customer adds the extra length of full to queen converter rails – 82″ – 83″, often they end up with an extra 6 – 8 inches at one end of the bed rails!

Wood Beds with “Puzzle Piece” Rails

The “puzzle piece” or key lock attachment is common among antique beds, but hook-on converter rails won’t work with this type of bed. Bolt-on converter rails may work for your bed; It may be possible to drill holes and use the bolt-on converter rails to convert your antique full bed to a queen. This process will require some knowledge of how to properly drill into the wood and what type of fasteners work best in each application. However, if your bed is truly an antique, drilling holes in it may destroy its value. Below, you’ll see two examples of wood beds that cannot be converted using hook-on converter rails. (Bolt-on converter rails – maybe.)

Antique Bed Key Lock
If your antique bed has this type of attachment, hook-on converter rails won’t work for you. If you’re willing and able to drill holes, you may be able to use bolt-on converter rails.
Antique wood bed with round attachment
Above: Another example of a wood bed that won’t easily convert using converter rails.

Iron Beds with Cone Type Rails

Antique iron beds are fashionable and fit in many decorating schemes. Many of these beautiful beds, unfortunately, are full size, and their owners want to sleep on queen size bedding. No wonder; for couples, full size bedding offers less space in width than a crib mattress! One type of bed that converter rails won’t convert are iron beds with cone type attachment parts. See the picture below.

Antique iron bed with puzzle piece attachment
Converter rails won’t convert antique iron beds with puzzle piece attachments

If you still want to convert this type of bed, consult a local machine shop or welder. Often they can custom weld a solution for your bed.

17 thoughts on “4 Antique Beds That Won’t Convert With Converter Rails

  1. Hello. I have an antique headboard and footboard made of rock maple. It is 3/4 size. Would love to make it at least full size. It currently does not have any side rails and it was originally a rope bed.

    I can send pictures if you can send me an email address.


    1. Hi Kathleen, converting a 3/4 size bed isn’t quite as easy as using a converter rail for full to queen, but it can be done. I would start by asking the same question as I ask anyone who needs bed rails: does your bed hook on or bolt on? If it doesn’t hook on or bolt on, you can drill holes in your head and footboard to bolt on new rails. To make this work, you’ll need a bed frame for bolting on a full size headboard and footboard. Because your headboard and footboard are approximately 48″ wide, rather than the 53″ – 54″ wide of a full size mattress set, you’ll need 2 sets of mod adapt headboard (or footboard) plates to accommodate the difference in width. I hope this helps! Lora

  2. Good morning! I have my great-grandmother’s antique full size bed. It has bolt on rails but they do
    not bolt through the outside of the posts, rather, the bolts are hidden on the inside of the rail and
    run through the rail into threaded metal sheaths that are embedded into the posts. Will your bolt
    on application of these converter rails work with this type of assembly? Thank you for your help.

  3. i need two bed rails for rod iron bed that are the puzzle attachment piece type
    like the ones on the precious picture

  4. Hi! I have an antique full size bed, iron rails, brass headboard and footboard. I would like to put a queen size mattress and box spring on it. My question is: if I attach a sheet of plywood to the frame, would I be able to use the queen mattress set? And would I have to make any alterations to the frame itself? My husband is a mechanic and can do welding if needed…I know I would have to bracket the edges of the plywood to keep the box spring from shifting…thanks for any help 🙂

  5. This is for anyone converting an iro antique bed to update your full to queen. Don’t ruin your full. The rails cost way more than the bed board and footboard (top and bottom). If you later decide to heirloom the bed, then it won’t be priceless and much of a keepsake. If you want to sell it later on, then you lost value to your antique. Beds dating from 1940s and back are hard to come by, especially if they were made before the 1930s. Like I said, the rails to these antique beds can cost from $100.00 up to $300.00. There is a difference between many of these beds. Some are iron mixed with brass, some are brass with real gold and silver, and then about 75% of your antique iron beds are cast iron and wrought iron. This makes the bed brittle as time goes on. If anyone happens to have one where there is a caps on top portion, pull the caps off to see if treasures are in them. The post was made to hide important stuff.

    1. Hello

      I have a metal head board and foot board that have a two bolt pattern. I can’t find a queen size metal bed frame that to connect to these pieces and I’ve looked everywhere. Can you help?

  6. Hi! I just bought a “king” sized antique headboard/footboard with no rails in hopes of converting to modern king frame. The headboard and foot board each split in half and when combine it’s about 2-3” too large on each side for modern frame. Can I purchase regular railing and attach?

        1. Hi! I have a French upholstered bed that is somewhere between a full and Queen size. Our mattress can be squeezed in but it’s way too tight to use that way. The rails are carved wood and attach to the carved wood trim around the bed. It looks antique but I’m not sure if it is or if it’s just vintage. Anyway, is there anyway to give it slightly more room to accommodate our mattress without ruining it?

          1. Hi Jamie, I don’t know of anything you can do to help this situation, short of finding a mattress manufacturer that will make custom-size mattress for you. Good luck!

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