Bed frames support mattresses or the foundations or box springs underneath a mattress. In all, they should provide total stability for the rest of the bed. There are several types of bed frames as well as significant cost variation among different types.
The simplest bed frame is made of metal, and sits on low wheels or casters. This type of frame usually comes in twin/full, queen and king sizes. On metal king size frames, the width of the bed requires center support, so these usually have a metal strip in the middle of the frame to provide that extra support. Each side of the frame, in any size, has slightly raised edges with an inch or two (2.54-5.08 cm) of metal support to keep the mattress from slipping off the frame.
The advantage of metal frames is mainly cost. Frequently mattress stores include one with the purchase of a new mattress. Even king size bed frames of this type are usually less than $50 US dollars (USD). Twin frames are often less than $20 USD. It is also sometimes possible to attach a head or footboard to the metal frame.
Some wooden bed frames are constructed on similar principles to the very basic metal styles. These may also only feature support around the edges of the mattress. The principle differences are that most wooden frames are not on casters or wheels, and instead are on legs, which can make the bed when completely assembled much higher, and provide extra storage under the bed.
Wooden frames of this type can feature a variety of head and footboards attached to the frame. Variants include the four-poster and the sleigh bed. Occasionally a wooden bed frame adds additional support with slats of wood that run perpendicular to each long side of the frame. Bunkbeds frequently feature slats as well.
Another style is the platform frame, which consists of a long box-like platform that completely supports the mattress or box springs. Actually, platform beds are often used with only a mattress, since the support of the wood beneath the mattress is frequently adequate. Certain beds, like those made of memory foam don’t feature a foundation or box spring and are best adapted for platform bed frames. You do lose out on under the bed storage with this type of frame, since it is frequently supported on all sides with wood that runs the length of the frame and lends more height to the bed.
Waterbeds require a type of platform bed frame that normally has much higher edges. These are less common since waterbeds are no longer as popular as they were in earlier decades. Another variant on the platform frame is the captain’s bed, often a good choice for kids. Captain’s bed frames often feature useful drawers underneath the bed for storage.