Are Wood Bed Foundations Good? 5 Good & 3 Bad Considerations


Whether you are purchasing a new mattress or are curious as to whether or not there’s a better way to support your current mattress, you’ve come to the right place.

Wood bed foundations are good and pros include affordability for better quality, lip to keep the mattress from moving, almost unlimited designs, and environmentally friendly compared to metal. The bad include usually lower to floor so less storage, heavy and hard to move, and some people don’t like wood.

All of this and more is coming up in our exploration of wood foundations.

WOW, beautiful!

I found a super-strong model with 1,500 lb capacity with Japanese joinery, beautifully made in Brazil, and has a headboard. It is my favorite of the ones that I have founds so far and you can read my review here.

What Is a Wood Bed Foundation?

Not many years ago, you could pretty much guarantee that your bed would be placed on a metal bed frame. This consisted of a metal square or rectangle mounted on four legs.

These metal frames required the use of a box spring with a mattress. The box spring was needed to provide additional support to the mattress, which provided a better night’s sleep and helped the mattress last longer.

In more recent years, it’s become increasingly common for mattresses to be placed on a wood foundation instead.

In addition to being wood instead of metal, a platform differs from a metal frame because it does not require a box spring. That’s because platform beds rely on a solid wood surface or a series of slats to support the mattress.

There are numerous advantages and disadvantages compared to a traditional frame with a box spring. When you understand more about these pros and cons, you’ll be able to determine whether or not this is a good option for you.

This is a monster with a super simple design

Good 1: It’s Affordable

When you choose a wood foundation, then you don’t have to use a box spring. That can represent significant savings because box springs add a lot to the price when you buy a new mattress.

TIP: If you are buying a new mattress, keep in mind that the warranty on some models may be voided if you don’t use the mattress with its intended box spring. This is because the manufacturer can’t guarantee the longevity and performance of the mattress when they don’t know what kind of platform it will be on.

Good 2: You Have More Mattress Options

Pretty near any mattress is compatible with a wood foundation. Latex, memory foam, traditional innerspring, and everything in between will work with a platform foundation.

Most have a lip to hold the mattress in place unlike most metal frames.

If you are concerned about the durability or longevity of the mattress you’re buying, then be certain to check out the warranty.

Choose a mattress that doesn’t require you to use the matching box spring to get the best options for protecting yourself.

Dark stained oak

Good 3: Almost Unlimited Options

Options include:

TIP: Your choice of mattress also will affect how “hot” you sleep. If high temperatures keep you awake at night, consider getting a mattress that incorporates some kind of cooling gel technology.

Good 4: Environmentally Friendly

Wood is a renewable resource and the processing of wood is much less energy-intensive than the non-renewable metal manufacturing process. This is important to many people, and certainly to our one and only planet.

Good 5: The Minimalist Aesthetic

If you’re a fan of clean, straight lines and interior décor over a fancy handmade wrought iron bed then a wood frame may be for you. Just feast your eyes on these gorgeous options:

If you like fancy beautiful works of art you need to check out my article showing the amazing handmade iron frames by greek artisans here.

There are even crazy fancy models made with logs, built in storage underneath and in headboards. The options are almost limitless.

As you can see, there is a broad range of prices, and you have choices when it comes to built-in storage. However, virtually all of these designs have an undeniable clean and simple aesthetic that can help you to achieve an uncluttered look.

Oak model with built in storage underneath

Bad 1: Lower Sleeping Height

Most foundations will keep your mattress on a lower level than you may be used to if you’ve been using a traditional mattress and box spring. People may be bothered by this for a variety of reasons.

For instance, some people with knee or back problems may find that getting into and out of a low rider is more difficult or painful.

Other people might not like the way a low rider looks as they might feel that it appears diminished, especially if the bedroom is particularly large.

Still, other people may not like how they feel when they sleep on a lower mattress. That’s because it makes them feel like they’re a bug on a microscope.

Give all of these possibilities some consideration before you choose your next platform or box spring frame.

Bad 2: Moving Can Be a Pain

Some wood foundations are one solid piece, and they can be large. No matter how near or far you are moving, this is definitely going to be a major chore.

You may have the option of disassembling the foundation if you’re handy with tools and don’t mind the extra work. Still, when you’re moving, you’re probably looking for fewer things to do, not more.

This isn’t necessarily a major consideration, but if you’re planning to move soon, then you may want to delay the purchase until after your move.

Heavy wood bed that reminds me of my old furniture. I prefer dark stain however.

Bad 3: The Style May Not Be for You

As noted in the Pros above, wooden platform beds tend to have a really clean and simple aesthetic. If you want one that looks really luxurious or opulent, then this may not be the right choice.

TIP: The simple lines of a wooden platform bed may lend themselves well to an over-the-top profusion of pillows and linens. Play with textures and patterns on the duvet or comforter to make even the sparest platform bed look opulent.

Considerations When Buying a Wood Bed Foundation

In addition to aesthetics, give some thought to the material used in the construction. Is it real wood, particleboard, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), and MDF (Medium-density Fiberboard)?

Real wood may cost more, but it’s usually worth it because the quality and the look are unbeatable.

Also, consider the platform itself. If the platform is made of slats, are they close enough together? Remember that the closer the slats are to each other, the better your mattress will be supported.

TIP: A gap of no more than two or three inches between slats is recommended for most mattresses.

If the platform is a board instead of slats, then take a look at the holes or channels. Are there enough of them to allow for good air circulation?

Personally, I love wood because it’s comfortable, sturdy, stylish, and economical. It is so warm and smells outdoorsy (is that a word?) compared to cold and industrial metal.

But of course, that is my two-cent opinion.

Scott Boyd

A semi-retired workaholic in Thailand is a challenge. It is too hot to keep building adobe and earthbag buildings so a new project was needed. I became interested in bed frames after purchasing a bamboo bed frame from a local supplier here and I learned there is little information about them on the Internet. So now I spend my days researching, testing, and reporting my findings to help others while having an occasional beer and istening to 60s and 70s B side rock, blues, and much more.

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