What's in This Guide?
Last Updated on January 17, 2022 by Sandra Allens
Top Pick: Bed Base in Black Metal, CB2 Simple
If you’re looking for the best platform bed frames under $300 without wasting time on research, then just go for this one.
We recommend Bed Base in Black Metal, CB2 Simple as our first choice.
The best Platform bed frames are an effortless way to change the appearance of your bedroom without spending lots of money. Supporting your mattress this way is a simple, affordable, and comfortable way to make your bed more comfortable and prevent mold growth. We tested the three bed frames based on their ease of assembly, durability, style, and pricing, for about a month.
The only type of platform bed we recommend is one with a headboard. In our tests, we tested several black powder-coated, iron frames, and the black powder-coated frames felt and looked twice as expensive as the uncoated frames.
- Best for. When you’re looking for something that can last over the years, won’t creak or move, and won’t upset a restless sleeper, a low-profile frame might be a good choice.
- What Makes it Great. Designed to fit a wide range of bedroom styles and sizes, CB2’s Simple Black Metal Bed Base comes in a low, minimalist design that matches low-ceilinged bedrooms well. This matte black desk has an all-iron frame and a focus on clean lines, which is consistent with its name. This bed has a thicker and scratch-resistant powder coating when compared with many budget beds. Compared to other beds we considered, the frame is distinguished and high-end. The headboard is easily removable from the frame and can be easily replaced whenever you like, so those who are often changing their decor can opt for one of the many styles CB2 offers. The only one we tested had so many options.
The bedframe was called the CB2, and was the easiest to assemble. Unlike other, more complex beds we have tested, this bed had only eight components. In addition to being the heaviest platform bed we have assembled so far, the frame for the CB2 took about 40 minutes to assemble. Although the workforce was limited to just one, each piece was moved into place with little difficulty.
There are eight bolts that can be used to assemble the CB2 frame, and sixteen bolts are needed to secure the slats and the center beam. It contains 14 rope ladders with 2 inches wide, 34 inches thick that connect the pine slats to the canvas strips. This means the bed is most easily maneuverable than one consisting of many pieces. We recommended the CB2 bed for its low slat spacing, resulting in a more solid structure resulting in fewer slat spacings.
We didn’t feel any bumps or dips while sleeping thanks to the evenly distributed slats. Its low and light design prevents squeaks and creaks when you get up or move around. It enhances pretty much any mattress, as a whole. Two times in 2021, our editor disassembled and reassembled the bed frame, but it held up well.
- Not a dealbreaker but flaws. If you’re looking for a larger bed, the king-size CB2 is closer to $375 than the queen-size version. The frame was also extremely difficult to move, either assembled or disassembled. In our sample, there was an erroneous washer. A washer prevents the frame from becoming loose over time, but without it, the frame is more likely to become loose. Check the hardware for damage and cleanliness before assembling it.
This bed is the only one we recommend that can be stained or finished to your specifications. It supports up to 600 pounds.
- Best for. If you are into DIY or are interested in changing the raw wood frame in a way that fits your style, then this sturdy bed frame is just the thing for you.
- What makes it great. One of the strongest wood bed frames that we found, KD Frames Nomad Plus Platform Bed features poplar hardwood and holds up to 600 pounds of weight. This figure is conservative due to the rib-like design of the slats on the Nomad Plus. We did not pick any that offered this weight-bearing design, regardless of how strong they were. Moreover, KD Frames’ beds have two more slats than their competitors, for a total of 16 thick, 2-by-1-inch wood boards. Only 2.8 inches separate the pieces of the bed, so it is sturdy. According to former reinierdejong tester Kevin Purdy this best platform bed frame can also withstand jumping on it and body slamming it with confidence.
Since the Nomad Plus is heavier than lightweight softwoods and veneers, assembling it is more challenging. Wiggles or wobbles while in bed shouldn’t be an issue. There were dozens more slats, sides, and hardware pieces in the Nomad Plus than we found in our other picks, so assembly was not straightforward, even though the instructions were easy to follow.
We recommend only the Nomad Plus for those who are into DIY projects and want to customize the look. If you are interested in customizing your frame, you can stain or paint the blond wood. A straightforward silhouette can also serve as a point of inspiration for creative designs. Direct sunlight will cause a frame to patina slightly over time without any treatment.
It sits 15 inches tall, and has 1112 inches of clearance, making it taller than any of the frames we recommend. KD Frames also sells replacement legs that will raise the clearance to 1412-inches, so you’ll have a little more storage space beneath the bed. Whether you need to store bins at the bottom or the top of the bed, there is enough room underneath. With matching under-bed storage from KD Frames, you’ll have easy access to rolling drawers that roll smoothly and easily. A roll-away trundle bed can add an extra bed underneath if you often host guests and sometimes need to make room for one more.
- Not a dealbreaker but flaws. Because it is bare wood, it can be scratched, cut, and holed easily by household objects. We’ve had trouble locating the bed, but the company is very honest about its availability, so we’ll keep recommending it.
It is a very stylish, straightforward, and simple and best platform bed frame, and it is the lightest of all the frames that we recommend, so you can put it together and move it by yourself comfortably. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that it will be available at all times.
- Best for. Anyone with steep stairs, a large hallway, or narrow entrances, or who is on a budget, should consider this option.
- What makes it great. If you tend to move around a lot, this solid wood platform bed will be a good addition to your bedroom. These beds are available from Zinus in both standard and deluxe versions. The standard rails have a narrower width and are less expensive, though they look similar. While we prefer the deluxe version, we believe the standard version is also quite effective. It is easy to move both frames, and they are simple and quick to assemble to serve as solid and stable platforms for most mattresses.
ZINUS’s lack of remaining stock of the sizes of both of these versions means that, if a specific size is available, you should get it immediately if possible. Supply-chain complications related to the Covid-19 pandemic may be to blame for some of these stock issues. In our next testing round, we will evaluate alternative features available more consistently than those we chose this round.
Clearly, Zinus designed the frame to make assembly easy. The instructions and materials are clear and concise, and the parts list is longer than any of the other beds we tested. A sticker is also attached to each major component. In total, we spent about 40 minutes unpacking and assembling the Moiz. At this price, we didn’t expect a ratchet wrench, extra hardware, and predrilled parts.
Even though it is a lightweight best platform bed frame, it is strong and has a good sense of style. The bed frame can be raised to a height of 14 inches with the help of three sturdy steel legs that measure approximately 8 inches in length. An upright steel center rail and three legs stabilize the middle section of a bed frame. We found that the Moiz frame supports us equally well as the CB2, with two fewer support slats overall. The panels are 3 inches apart from each other as you can see, which is within our range of preference. Side rails attached to the frame have Velcro strips attached to keep slats in place.
In light of the price offered, it is not surprising that the frame consists of veneer rather than solid wood. With regards to Zinus, the company has been praised for making sure that all their veneer grains are uniform, smooth, and matte, which result in a Scandinavian platform that appeals to people of varying tastes. The Moiz is a softwood piece of furniture, so it is bound to ding and scratch over time, and its lifespan is not as long as the metal furniture at CB2.
- Not a dealbreaker but flaws. Slats were twisted and stapled incorrectly in one Velcro strip intended to hold them in place. The strips of Velcro move when we leap into bed, causing a crinkling sound.
With a sturdy dual arm frame and rubber-covered metal support slats, this low-profile metal bed frame is easy to assemble and features a low-profile design.
- Best for. One person can assemble this sturdy, metal bed frame in less than 20 minutes, thanks to its fast and easy assembly.
- What makes it great. Its affordable price, squeak-free construction, and durable build make it stand out in its price range among bed frames. Its easy assembly allows for a wonderful display of three different colors and two sizes with two different heights. In less than 30 minutes, you can assemble the unit with just one hex key. Grey frames are available in two options, and both can be chosen. The two grey models, despite their similarities in appearance, are actually different. This option does not have rounded edges in grey; we like this option because not only do these legs look cool, but they prevent your toes from being bumped when you get into bed. As well as being able to hold 1,000 pounds, grey frames also require fewer parts and do not mention weight limits.
Reviewers particularly appreciated the frame’s sturdy design and strong support, particularly among heavier users, who appreciated its ability to distribute weight evenly over 11 metal slats, as opposed to other wood frames that buckled and eventually fell apart over time. Moreover, due to the metal slats, we can go beyond the 3 in. guideline. As the sleeper moves in and out of bed or turns and tosses in bed, the slats are secured within small slots so there will be no squeaking.
It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a complex supply chain that has caused Mellow’s available stock to fluctuate from week to week. You can currently purchase both models if you are an Amazon Prime member within two to three days if you purchase the 9.2-inch model.
- Not a dealbreaker but flaws. When configured with a 9-inch-deep floor, there is less than five inches of space between the two bar frames, making it difficult to access underneath. Due to the lack of holes, it is impossible to attach the headboard. The online reviews for this frame were mostly positive, but we did notice one reviewer mention that it might slide on hardwood floors; we suggest placing it over a rug instead.
Platform Bed Frames Are Best Suited For
Mattresses should not be placed on the ground. With the best platform bed frame, you don’t have to deal with a foundation or box spring, and it can support spring, foam, and hybrid mattresses. By keeping the bed at a height and supporting the mattress by slats, mold can’t grow. Besides being lighter and more portable, platform beds are usually also easier to assemble, and they tend to have sleeker and more contemporary designs than traditional frames. You can get into and out of bed more easily when you’re up off the floor.
In case you have broken, bent, or too thin slats or if they are too far apart, you might consider purchasing the bunkie board to fit within the frame. All of our frame designs include slat-replacement boards made by Zinus, whether they are twins, fulls, queens, or kings in size. One Wirecutter writer assembled such a bed insert with the help of the instructions and was quite pleased with how snugly it fit in his Malm bed.
IKEA, what about them?
IKEA platform beds are not recommended by us. Most IKEA bed frames under $300 include headboards and footboards, but several models are low-profile and come with slat support. To save money and simplify assembly, we chose simple platforms this year, as we did in years past. In 2021, IKEA began offering the Grimsbu bedframe. The device has not yet been tested because of stock issues, but we will once it becomes available. As of now, we’ve updated the Competition section with our preliminary thoughts.
Testing and Picking Mattresses
Mattresses made of foam, innerspring, and hybrids should be compatible with the best platform bed frame. Numerous look-alike mattresses are available online, many of which are made from cheap wood or have poorly spaced slats. These defects cause the mattress to creak and sag over time. Platform beds are an affordable option that is also attractive and durable – while the tools that come with it can be used to assemble them using only the tools provided in the box.
The following are characteristics of the best platform bed frame:
- At a price of $300 or less
- Headboard not present
- A minimum of three inch spacing between support slats
- Guarantees and return policies that are reasonable
- A modern, adaptable design
We chose beds that met the following criteria:
- Assembles, disassembles and moves easily with just one person
- A person could carry the boxes up the stairs, through hallways and narrow doorways comfortably
- Step-by-step instructions
- There is everything you need included
For every frame you build, you will need a minimum of three feet between each one. As you prepare for your project, you should also gather the necessary hardware and tools. Sadly, we were missing a washer when assembling our CB2, which caused a real snag. When hands-on testing was not possible, extensive research was conducted. Our team intends to test the bed frames we haven’t been able to physically test as soon as possible and to confirm our research and long-term tests as soon as possible.
What is the purpose of slats? I discovered this firsthand during an unplanned experiment in college when they allowed airflow under mattresses and helped prevent mold growth underneath.
As we mentioned earlier, a mattress manufacturer may not honor a warranty claim if your frame lacks the structural support required to support the mattress. Purple, Leesa, and Casper are particularly affected. This rule is not set in stone, as the size and thickness of the slats themselves have a greater impact on the support of the mattress and bed. As opposed to more complicated specifications for thickness, Chapin notes that shoppers will easily remember “3 inches apart.”
In terms of our criteria and price range, the IKEA Grimsbu bed comes in as a close competitor at around $99, which is equally competitive. It is possible for one person to assemble 16 thin metal frames with no more than the ubiquitous IKEA hex wrench to aid with the connecting process. Combined with 9 evenly spaced support legs, the low-stance frame has excellent stability and won’t flex excessively due to its height and 8-inch clearance underneath. As of yet, we have not tested the bed’s 17 eucalyptus and pine veneer slats to determine if they have been manufactured in a way to make them strong and silent, rather than mere bedside accessories that squeak.
Specifically, we ordered the Andover Mills Maxen Wooded best Platform Bed Frame online from Wayfair, and it turned out that it was basically the same item rebranded among other names.
A lovely quick snap mattress foundation that can be easily assembled into a bed frame, the Zinus Justina Quick Snap Mattress Foundation is also designed to be compatible with adjustable bases. The 16 pieces snap into place without the use of tools or hardware using a simple rubber mallet (which is included). Due to a 6-inch space between the 11 beams, this option had to be removed from our list. Leesa representatives warned us that if the gaps were wider, the mattress could sink and deform over time if it was on the frame, but our test mattress didn’t show wide gaps when it was on the frame.
To replace the Malm bed, IKEA produced the Hemnes bed. This traditional bed is made from solid wood instead of veneer, giving it a more traditional look. Screws, bolts, and dowels – a typical Ikea build. It was necessary to read the instructions multiple times. The bed had too many different parts and pieces, and the slats were not very stable. Although its 114-inch-apart slats were just over 14 inches thick, the now-discontinued Lönset slat base did not achieve the firm, flat support mattresses require, despite its tight spacing. Friends and colleagues have reported that the slats on IKEA bed frames have broken or slipped. You can replace the wooden slats with a bunkie board, but that will cost you more. We have chosen the most cost-effective products. In the event you frequently order IKEA furniture and are a fan of the style, Hemnes or Malm might be a good option.
A metal bed frame by LexMod features slats measuring 3 inches wide and 312 inches apart, as well as being affordable. A total of 312 inches of spacing separate its three inches wide slats. There seemed to be a limited number of these available often, so the only option was to consider a different model offered by the brand.
It consists of curved wooden slats that are placed inside rubber holders that are hammered into the metal frame of the Handy Living best Platform Bed Frame. The instructions were poorly proofread or translated, which led to it being the most difficult frame to build in our tests. The pegs that sink into the frame were distorted when we assembled, disassembled, and tried to reassemble the frame. The mattress held up, but there was a feeling that it sank into the bed. Apparently this product is annoying and not a long-term solution, according to Amazon reviews. Several instances of broken slats have been reported as well.