The first and most important step in choosing an antique bed frame is determining whether or not it is a true antique. This can be difficult, especially to the untrained eye, so it is best to do some research to figure out what to look for. You can narrow down your search, as well as your research, by figuring out what type of antique bed frame you want. They can be made from a variety of materials, though the most common materials are hardwoods, wrought iron, and brass. Try to learn some of the tell-tale characteristics of each material as well as aging characteristics of each material.
It is also a good idea to seek out a reputable antiques dealer when looking for an antique bed frame. This is advantageous because the antique dealer will have more connections in the antique world than you will, which means he or she is more likely to be able to track down an antique bed frame that will fit your needs. In addition, he or she will be able to offer you a fair price on the unit, though you will still need to do some research to find out what the common values of such bed frames will be.
If you choose to look for an antique bed frame on your own without the help of a dealer, you will need to be prepared not only to recognize a true antique and to know the market value, but also to assess a particular antique for potential refurbishing needs and costs. Some wood frames may be made from softwoods such as pine, which tend to warp, crack, split, or rot over time. Iron can rust if left untended, so you will need to be able to recognize such damage and have an idea of how much it will cost you to make necessary repairs before the antique bed frame is usable.
As is the case with other types of bed frames, you will need to determine the proper size for your bedroom. Many antique bed frames can be quite large, so it is a good idea to measure your bedroom carefully to ensure the units you are considering will fit comfortably in the space. Consider, too, how you will transport the frame into the bedroom. Many antique frames can be exceptionally bulky and heavy, so it may not be easy to transport the antique frame into a bedroom without damaging the unit or the walls of the home.