Best Beds Frames & Bases of 2021

Arguably one of the most important furniture pieces in your home, choosing the right bed to climb into after a long day takes some serious consideration. When picking a base for your mattress, it’s all about preference—its height, size, and aesthetic depend on your style and the size of your space. Then there are other details to think about when narrowing down options: Do you make your bed or keep your sheets and blankets loose? Are you a bedding minimalist or maximalist? And of course, how much are you willing to spend? 

With so many boxes to check, you’ll want to do some shopping before making your purchase. But it’s worth the effort and the investment (although, there are some seriously great budget-friendly picks out there) since you use your bed every single night.

Below, the best beds in every category

Best Beds Frames & Bases of 2021
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1 Best Upholstered: AllModern Kyree Upholstered Bed
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Best Upholstered: AllModern Kyree Upholstered Bed

There are a lot of trendy upholstered bed options out there, but the retro pattern on the Kyree really sets it apart. Between its pink and ivory shades and mid-century design, this bed effortlessly steals the spotlight all on its own. That means anyone who doesn’t want to coordinate throw pillows and bedspreads is off the hook—white or cream-colored linens will do the trick.

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The fabric on the Kyree is 100 percent cotton, and the headboard is padded with foam for extra cushion while sitting up in bed. It’s also constructed on a solid and manufactured wood base, so it’s plenty sturdy. In addition to its quirky charm and quality materials, the fact that it’s handcrafted in Illinois makes it a little extra special.

What We Like

  • Made with 100 percent cotton fabric
  • Foam-filled headboard
  • Handcrafted in Illinois
  • Available in various sizes

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited color options
  • Parts of frame include manufactured wood
2 Best Wood: Pottery Barn Dayton Platform Bed
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Best Wood: Pottery Barn Dayton Platform Bed

With its striking textural elements, the Dayton Platform Bed epitomizes natural beauty. On the headboard, planks of mango wood, acacia wood, and MDF (manufactured wood) are pieced together in a chevron pattern, and at the foot, the unique grain of the mango wood shines through.

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The finishing touch is a set of antique bronze legs that give it an industrial edge.

Thanks to its slat-roll support system, a box spring is optional but not necessary, and adjustable levers ensure your bed will stay firmly grounded, even on uneven surfaces.

Between its rustic appeal and sustainably sourced materials, the Dayton is a top choice for those who are eco-conscious and appreciate natural elements in their decor.

What We Like

  • Made with sustainably sourced materials
  • Includes solid mango and acacia wood

What We Don’t Like

  • Parts of headboard include manufactured wood
3 Best Metal: Zinus Mia Metal Platform Bed Frame
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Best Metal: Zinus Mia Metal Platform Bed Frame

When shopping on a budget, you often sacrifice quality materials for the price, but that’s not always the case when you choose a bed frame that’s metal. Sleek, sturdy, and often cost-effective, metal bed frames are a great choice if you’re trying to save some cash.

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Take, for instance, the Mia Metal Platform Bed from ZINUS, which features a city loft feel that decor purists will love. With its low profile and simple silhouette, it’s especially fitting for small spaces that can easily get overwhelmed by clunky furniture.

This solid metal frame is sturdy and comes equipped with wooden slats, so there’s no need for a box spring. Available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes—and all under $200—you can literally get bed frames for the entire family for what you’d typically pay for one.

What We Like

  • Super affordable
  • Made of solid metal
  • Available in various sizes

What We Don’t Like

  • Metal headboards can be cold and hard
4 Best Canopy: Joss & Main Paralimni Canopy Bed
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Best Canopy: Joss & Main Paralimni Canopy Bed

Far from the frilly princess beds you may be imagining, the Paralimni is like the grown-up version of the royal-looking frames you envied as a kid (because everyone remembers the friend who had one). Better yet, if you’re torn between the drama of ceiling-high posts and a cushy upholstered headboard, this pick offers the best of both worlds in tufted, sophisticated style.

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Impressively, the Paralimni features solid wood (FYI there are veneer wood parts, too), and the headboard is filled with foam, making it a soft place to recline back. With an aesthetic that balances both masculine and feminine, this option is equally suitable for single sleepers and couples.

What We Like

  • Available in various sizes
  • Features upholstered headboard
  • Frame features solid wood

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited color options
5 Best Platform: Floyd The Bed Frame
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Best Platform: Floyd The Bed Frame

With its streamlined silhouette, Floyd’s The Bed Frame emulates urban minimalism at its finest. The brand prides itself on sustainable, last-you-a-lifetime furniture, and this frame is no different.

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The main panels consist of a honeycomb core that keeps them lightweight, and they’re finished with your choice of birch or black walnut veneer. Set on a rugged powder-coated steel frame—pick either black or white hardware—everything is locked and loaded with nylon ratchet straps, so there are no tools required to assemble.

In line with their mission of sustainability, The Bed Frame is modular. Add-ons include a headboard (which you can get now or later), underbed storage drawers, and an expansion kit that lets you add panels if you get a larger mattress down the road. The brand has no shortage of certifications, either, and the materials used are certified for being sustainably sourced and having low formaldehyde emissions (FSC certified and TSCA Title VI certified, specifically). This option is available in twin, full/queen, or king sizes.

What We Like

  • Modular
  • FSC and TSCA Title VI certified
  • Comes in various finishes
  • No tools required for assembly

What We Don’t Like

  • Headboard and underbed drawers cost extra
  • Panels aren’t solid wood
6 Lark Manor Chadwick Tufted Upholstered Low-Profile Storage Bed
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Lark Manor Chadwick Tufted Upholstered Low-Profile Storage Bed

A platform bed with built-in storage is an excellent choice if you’re short on square footage (or just have a lot of stuff), and the Chadwick bed checks both boxes. The best part, however, is how it discreetly hides its four spacious drawers while becoming a glamorous focal point, making it ideal for dorm rooms, city apartments, kids’, or guest rooms.

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While the Chadwick makes a dreamy impression with its tufted headboard and stud detailing, it’s more than just good looks. Built on a tubular steel frame, it’s both lightweight and durable with an impressive weight capacity of over 1,500 pounds. Further, it’s equipped with slats, so a box spring isn’t necessary. This pick comes in both ivory and gray linen upholstery and sizes queen, king, and California king.

What We Like

  • Four built-in drawers
  • Durable tubular steel frame
  • 1,500 pound weight capacity
  • Comes in various colors

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited color options
  • Does not come in twin or full sizes
7 Best Budget: Zinus Paul Metal & Wood Platform Bed Frame
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Best Budget: Zinus Paul Metal & Wood Platform Bed Frame

Zinus’ Paul Bed is proof that a rustic or industrial-style bed doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. The headboard is made with real pine wood planks, which is especially impressive at this price range, and you can’t go wrong with the sturdiness of the steel frame.
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It also includes support slats, so you don’t need a box spring underneath your mattress. That said, it’s important to note that its weight capacity is on the lower end, especially if you’re sharing this bed with a partner (and possibly a dog); sleepers on a full-size bed shouldn’t exceed 250 pounds, and queen and king size beds hold up to 500 pounds (excluding the mattress).

What We Like

  • Super affordable
  • Headboard planks made with real wood
  • Sturdy steel frame

What We Don’t Like

  • Lower weight capacity than other options
8 Best Overall: Thuma The Bed
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Best Overall: Thuma The Bed

Appropriately named “The Bed”—as in, the only bed you’ll ever need—this pick from Thuma has features to please just about everyone. It starts with a solid rubberwood frame that fits together like puzzle pieces. The result?

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A durable base that’s virtually noise-free and ridiculously simple to assemble (we’re talking, one person, no tools). Next, it has the PillowBoard, a plush, supportive headboard that consists of soft foam and a woven cover that’s removable and washable. Additionally, this frame contains Greenguard certified materials and CertiPUR-US foam. In addition to their emphasis on sustainability, Thuma donates a tree for every furniture piece sold.

Available in sizes from twin to California king, this low-profile bed works in just about any space. It also has sturdy slats, so a box spring is optional (and in fact, it’s discouraged). It even comes with choices: Pick from two wood tone finishes (walnut and natural) and two PillowBoard colors (dark charcoal and light linen) to design your perfect bed.

What We Like

  • High-end materials
  • Greenguard and CertiPUR-US certified
  • Comes in various colors and finishes

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited color/finish options

What to Look for in a Bed

Material

Beds can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, faux wood, and fabric. There are pros and cons to each in terms of durability, maintenance, stability, and cost. For instance, real wood is stronger and more durable than composite wood, but it’s often heavier. Think about your personal priorities when considering beds made of different materials.

Support

When shopping for a bed, look at what kind of support it provides for your mattress. Some beds have a comprehensive set of support beams, allowing you to put a mattress directly on top of them. Others have fewer slats, meaning you’ll need to use a box spring.

Size

Before making your purchase, you’ll want to consider the actual frame’s dimensions (as opposed to the standard measurements of your mattress). When measuring width, take into account any other pieces of furniture in the room—like side tables or a dresser—and be sure there’s plenty of space to navigate in between.

FAQs

Can you attach a headboard to a bed frame?

Designers say that yes, you can typically add a headboard to your bed. Sempliner says to make sure they’re size compatible, and “for extra security, you can also attach the headboard to the wall.” (The latter may also be the best option depending on the bed frame.)

Adds Dunford, “This is actually a great way to update the look of your bedroom without investing in an entirely new bed. In fact, if you are someone who opts to leave your bedding a little more free-flowing, it’s rare that the entire bed frame is exposed. This gives you the option to go with a more simple frame and leave the drama for your headboard.”

How tall should a bed be?

As far as the height of your bed, a lot of this depends on your comfort level: Do you prefer to fall into a low platform bed, or do you feel cozier climbing into a bed that’s higher off the floor? Note that if you have a small room and/or low ceilings, you may want to opt for a shorter profile so it doesn’t overwhelm it, while a higher-set bed can make a lovely focal point for larger spaces with cathedral ceilings. 

For a more concrete answer, “A good rule of thumb for the height of a bed is around 25 inches,” says Sempliner. “Regardless of the bed height, I always love to have the mattress height align with the nightstand height, for functionality, but also aesthetically as this will create a thoughtful looking and well-designed space.”

How do you style a bed?

It depends: Are you a bedding minimalist or maximalist? A bed frame with an eye-catching headboard will speak for itself amongst plain white linens. But if patterned throw pillows and bright duvets are your things, consider a simpler base. 

Says Sempliner, “I personally like to use decorative pillows to add pattern and color to a bed, as well as a throw blanket, duvet, or coverlet for added texture and layering.”

For a less-is-more approach, “You can’t go wrong with clean white sheets, a neutral duvet or quilt, and a simple throw for the foot of the bed,” advises Dunford.

Why Trust The Spruce?

With over 5 years of commerce writing experience, Karen Tietjen knows how to identify the key selling points that make an item worth buying. As a “quality over quantity” consumer herself, she carefully analyzes the pros and cons of each product to find the best option at any budget. For this piece, she thoroughly researched different style beds and chose her top contenders based on materials, aesthetics, and value—the same process she’d follow if she were making the purchase, herself. Additionally, she was able to try out one pick in her own home: The Quest 2.5 Adjustable Base at Ergomotion.

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