How to Stop Your Bed Frame From Squeaking (Wooden & Metal)

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How to fix squeaking bed frame

As your bed gets older, you may notice an annoying squeaking noise. This is a common occurrence as beds age and can be caused by the slightest movement. Not only are noises like this irritating, but they can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

This article will help you work out what’s causing the bed to squeak and give you some suggestions on how to fix it.

What Causes a Bed to Squeak?

Some beds develop strange noises and squeaks as you move on them. In most cases, these noises come from internal mattress springs, bed frames or box springs.

  • Mattresses that have inner springs are common causes of squeaks. As the springs get older, they bend out of shape and rub up against each other, creating a squeaking noise.
  • Box springs are another common cause of squeaks, particularly if they’ve been moved regularly from room to room or house to house. This causes the joints and springs to come loose or start to rub against each other.
  • Bed frames can also be the culprit of any irritating squeaky noises. If parts become loose or warped, they can move against other parts as you move on the bed. Bolts and screws work loose over time, creating enough movement to make strange noises. 
  • With all types of frame and box spring, the parts may expand and warp if they’re exposed to changes in temperature. This is particularly likely if your bed is next to a window or heater. It can also happen if the bed has been in storage before you brought it into your bedroom.
  • Sometimes a bed can squeak because it’s not entirely flat on the floor. This could be because of an uneven floor or a slightly misshapen bed. As you put your weight on the bed, it’s forced out of shape so that all four corners can meet the floor. This movement can then cause a squeak or grinding noise.
How to fix a squeaking bed frame steps

How to Fix a Squeaky Wooden Bed Frame

To fix your squeaky wooden bed, follow these steps:

  1. Take the mattress off the frame. Then rock the bed frame from side to side. This may reveal what is causing the squeak.
  2. Loosen and remove all the screws and bolts, spray them with WD40 and replace them. Replace any metal washers with plastic or rubber ones. If possible, do one part of the frame at a time, then replace all the parts and move to the next. This will prevent you from having to take the entire frame apart all at once. If you were able to locate the cause of the squeak in the previous step, you can just focus on that area. 
  3. Look for any places where wood is rubbing against wood or where slats join~ the frame. Place a small piece of fabric, cotton swabs or velcro straps between the two pieces to prevent any squeaking.
  4. Check for any broken parts. Either replace them or fix them with strong wood glue.
  5. Use furniture pads if the flooring or legs are uneven.
  6. Now, place the mattress back on the frame and check to see that the squeak has gone. 
Most wooden bed frames would eventually squeak or creak due to thermal expansion and contraction. For example, a common complaint with Koala timber bed base is that it makes a creaky sound. However, rubbing the joints with the wax every 9 to 12 months gets rid of the sound.

How to Fix a Squeaky Metal Bed Frame

If the noise is coming from a metal bed frame, follow these steps:

  1. Take the mattress off the frame. Then rock it to see if you can work out where the squeak Is coming from. 
  2. Work around the frame, loosening and removing all the screws and bolts, spray them with WD40 or rub them with wax like beeswax, then tighten them. You should replace all the metal washers with plastic ones.
  3. Look for any places where metal is rubbing against metal. Stretch some pieces of rubber inner tube between the two pieces to prevent any squeaking.
  4. Now, place the mattress back on the frame and check to see that the squeak has gone. 

How to Fix a Squeaky Box Spring

Box springs can be tricky to stop from squeaking because it’s often the springs that cause the problem and they come sealed inside the premade unit. However, there are several things you can do to redistribute the pressure placed on the box spring and prevent the noise:

  • Tighten any screws or bolts you have access to.
  • Rotate the position of the mattress on the box spring.
  • Place a small board or hardcover book over the squeaking area.

If the noise persists, you will need to consider replacing your box spring.

How to Fix a Squeaky Mattress

When a mattress begins to squeak, it’s usually because of one of the internal springs. This makes it almost impossible to fix. However, as with the box spring, you can attempt to redistribute the pressure on the mattress to stop the squeak:

If the noise persists, you will need to either contact the mattress manufacturer to report the fault or consider replacing it. 

How to Fix a Wobbly Headboard

A wobbly headboard can be another cause of unwanted noise at bedtime. To prevent your headboard from shaking, follow these steps:

  1. Detach the headboard from the bed and look for any damage. Repair any damaged parts with wood glue. Make sure you carefully clamp them into position as they dry.
  2. Place self-adhesive felt patches on the places where the headboard touches the bed. 
  3. Spray all the screws and bolts with WD40.
  4. Reattach the headboard and make sure all the bolts are as tight as possible.
  5. If the bolts come loose, take them off and apply thread-locking adhesive. This will prevent them from loosening once you’ve got them into position.

Conclusion

Some bed squeaks indicate that your bed needs replacing; however, it’s worth running through each of the steps recommended here first. After that, you may be able to get some more use from your bed, or you will confirm that it needs replacing. 

If you need a new bed frame, check out our recommendations for Australia’s top-rated Bed Frames and Bases of 2022.

Tom Russell

Tom Russell

Tom Russell is a web content writer who specialises in health and wellness. He has a particular interest in sleep quality and how it can affect our day-to-day lives and overall health.

Five years ago, Tom was suffering from regular bouts of insomnia, which led him to explore the concept of sleep hygiene. He learned that a few changes and the introduction of a night-time routine could improve his chances of a good night's sleep. Now he avoids caffeine after 12 pm, puts all screens away at least an hour before bed, and sleeps like a log.

Tom and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime's collection of books. He grew up in Norfolk, UK, and graduated in English and History at Anglia Ruskin University.

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