Thuma Bed Alternatives: Wicked Money Saving Options


The Thuma bed is awesome and expensive. It costs too much for most budgets (or you are cheap like me) and you are hunting for options to help you figure out your situation for the next decade or two.

Thuma bed alternatives include one lower-priced model for $561 less with a similar look. Other options include hiring a carpenter for a day, DIY pallet, and DIY hybrid (modify a 1,500 lb capacity box spring with a skirt), and add wood to cheaper models to prevent sag, squeaks, movement, and breaks.

All the cost information below is based on queen-size comparisons. Smaller bed sizes will be closer in comparison while the King and Calfornia King options will save more money.

Alternative 1: Buy This Zinus and Make it Stronger

This option is a hybrid of purchasing a good bed frame and a DIY project to boost strength and weight capacity. Simply purchase the Zinus Vivek platform bed with headboard (seen here) and add 2×4 or 1×4 lumber to the inside of the bed frame rails.

To reduce potential movement and squeaking you can apply a construction adhesive such as PL Premium like this and screws.

Also, you can add a sheet of 5/8″ plywood to the top of the slats to reduce the likelihood of sagging in the future.

Another trick it to actually fasten the legs to the wall. Yes, the wall. To attach the bottom of the two legs against the wall you can drill a hole into each leg 0.75″ off the floor and then insert long wood screws. These screws will attach to the wall framing sole-plate (2×4 in the wall that sits on the floor).

TIP: Only use screws that penetrate the 1/2″ drywall and about 3/4″ into the soleplate to make sure not to pucture any potential plumbing or electrical wires running between floors in the middle of the soleplate.

They do the same with the top of the legs or headboard. This simple modification can greatly increase stability while reducing the potential for squeaks.

Check out my article How to Add Plywood to a Bed Frame.

Alternative 2 ($371): Add Legs to 1,500 lb Box Spring

Cost

  • $325 for the US Box Spring queen size for either 5.5″ or 8″ high model
  • $20 for 2x4x96″ for strong bed frame legs
  • $16 for a bed skirt like this one
  • $10 for fasteners (3″ bugle head wood screws)
ImageTitlePricePrimeBuy
Product ImageZINUS Alexia Wood Platform Bed Frame with headboard / Solid Wood Foundation with Wood Slat Support / No Box Spring Needed / Easy Assembly, Rustic Pine, QueenPrimeEligibleBuy Now
Product ImageZINUS Becky Wood Platform Bed Frame / Wood Slat Support / No Box Spring Needed / Easy Assembly, QueenPrimeEligibleBuy Now
Product ImageMellow Naturalista Classic - 12 Inch Solid Wood Platform Bed with Wooden Slats, No Box Spring Needed, Easy Assembly, Full, Natural PinePrimeEligibleBuy Now
Product ImageZinus Adrian Wood Rustic Style Platform Bed with Headboard / No Box Spring Needed / Wood Slat Support, QueenPrimeEligibleBuy Now
Product ImageZinus Vivek 12 Inch Deluxe Wood Platform Bed with Headboard / No Box Spring Needed / Wood Slat Support / Antique Espresso Finish, QueenPrimeEligibleBuy Now

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Adding Strong DIY Legs to Bed Frame

2×4 lumber comes in two standard 8′ lengths, 96″ and about 92 and 5/8″. One is a true 8 footer and the other is for framing house walls and either is fine, just remember to adjust the measurements to cut 8 equal pieces from the lumber (and please remember that each cut with a circular saw wastes 1/8″ so the seven cuts equal almost ONE FULL INCH per piece of lumber. Ok, I will list the measurements to cut for both:

96″: Make a mark every 11 7/8 and cut on the side of the line with the longer piece of wood (leave the line)

92 5/8″: Make a mark every 11 1/4″ and cut on the side of the line with the longer piece of wood (leave the line). This will result in a small piece of scrap wood, but this is easier than trying to be too exact. Actually, you can just cut it all to 11″ if that is easier for you.

TIP: Use a small speed square like this to make 90-degree marks or even use anything square in your house such as a book. Simply line the book up with the lumber and your measurement mark and use a pencil to make a mark along the book edge.

If you purchase the 8″ US Box Spring and this bed skirt you will need to add 7.5″ to the base, which is 5 pieces of 2x4s for each leg. If you purchased the 5.5 high box spring... well just don’t haha. They cost the same so there is no reason to do so unless you want a low-rider bed.

  1. Purchase 4 2x4s (96″ or 94 5/8)
  2. Cut 30 pieces of lumber to length (11 7/8″ or 11 1/4)
  3. Lean the box spring against the wall so that it is easy to access the bottom rails.
  4. Measure in from each corner on the sides (not the head or the foot) 6″.
  5. Fasten a piece of lumber starting at the line (so the leg starts 6″ from the foot and head of the bed) using eight 3″ coarse-thread screws with bugle (tapered) heads evenly spaced.
  6. Repeat for the remaining four pieces of lumber and for each corner (four legs total).
  7. Repeat for two center beam legs, again starting 6″ from the foot and the head.
  8. The box spring cover needs to have the velcro strip moved to the side of the legs and will not work as well as the original design. Additional velcro strips like this can be added to the cover to fasten to the side of the box spring instead of under it.
  9. Add the 15.5″ bed skirt like this one.

TIP: If you don’t have a handsaw or circular saw (like this one I have that I have had for decades).

Alternative 3: Higher a Carpenter For a Day

I know that most of us automatically think of online and brick-and-mortar stores when we need to make a purchase. But here is an idea I think we all need to consider more often. I need yet another bed frame for a twin-size mattress and I automatically thought of going back to the furniture store when they sell bamboo bed frames for less than $100.

Compare carpenter hourly rates in each US state here. These rates are useful to help you determine how much to pay a carpenter to work on the weekend after their day job. Sometimes they charge a simple cash rate of $20 – $25 per hour so you can budget for this rate range. Hiring a company to send a carpenter is going to set you back $45+ per hour

Scott

But Air reminded me that her uncle, a carpenter, and a local furniture maker can make exactly what I want for about the same price. This seems like a no-brainer as I can work to create the exact design that I want and works well for… the earthbag roundhouse. I can also choose the stain color and if I want I can also apply the stain to save a few bucks.

I am from a small village in Canada and there are many carpenters and cabinet/furniture makers so this option also employs locals rather than putting money into the pockets of global giants purchasing materials and labor overseas.

It might cost the same as a Thuma, but the benefits of creating your own unique bed frame with the help of locals, but can be very worth it!

Check out my article Build or Buy a Bed Frame.

Alternative 4: Save $800 with a Pallet Bed

This is a DIY project that can cost as little as $20 and is insanely strong. You have a few options for how the finished product will look, including:

  1. leaving the pallets exposed for a rustic look.
  2. installing a bed skirt
  3. attaching hardwood Verner plywood and stain to the color of your choice.
  4. attaching MDF panels coated with white vinyl.

If you are seriously considering this option you should check out my article on how to build a pallet bed here.

For more specifications please see Wikipedia and you can download the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association specifications sheet.

Conclusion

I hoped this has been helpful to some of you looking for Thuma bed alternatives. I am sure the price may not be in your budget, or some of you are cheap, like me, and want a cheap alternative. Whatever your needs I hope that helped provide you with some options to consider and possibly help you decide on a plan for your next bed.

To learn more about the Thuma bed please read my review here and my article about if it is worth it here. Comparison articles to Valyou here and Zinus here. And of course, if you wish to purchase the real deal Thuma you can do so on their website.

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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