What is a Platform Bed? A Look At The Pros and Cons


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All good things start from a strong base. Why should your bed frame be any different? Choosing a good and sturdy bed frame is essential in guaranteeing you get a good night’s sleep.

Platform beds are a new trendy bed type that’s quickly gaining in popularity, mainly due to their aesthetic versatility and space-saving design. But like everything else, there are pros and cons to platform beds. Here’s what you need to know before making your purchase.

Platform Beds Pros and Cons

What is a Platform Bed?

A platform bed is a type of bed frame that consists of a raised, flat surface that is supported by either legs or foundations. The flat surface is what typically holds a mattress and replaces the need for a box spring. Because there isn’t a box spring, platform beds generally are much lower to the ground.

Platform beds are increasingly popular amongst modern sleepers. They provide better support, flexibility, and increased airflow to the mattress. You can keep it simple and sleek with a modern metal frame or splurge and get a sophisticated upholstered platform bed. The options are endless, and customization is painless.

Due to the relatively simple design of platform beds, they’re more sturdy, require less maintenance, don’t squeak as often and are priced much lower than other types of bed frames on the market.

The standard height of a platform bed can range anywhere from 13 to 60 cm (or 5 to 24 inches), but you often find them in low profile options.

Benefits of a Platform Bed:

There are several pros to owning a platform bed, including:

  • No need for a box spring: As we mentioned before, platform beds don’t require a box spring. This can save you money, as well as valuable space in your bedroom. Have you ever tried carrying around a box spring? It’s a pain that platform beds eliminate!
  • Compatible with all types of mattresses: Platform beds provide a flat surface to support all types of mattresses, including memory foam, latex, and coil. Unlike box springs, which generally work best for innerspring or hybrid mattresses.
  • Stylish & Versatile: Platform beds come in a wide range of styles, from modern and minimalist to rustic and reclaimed wood. No matter your bedroom aesthetic, you’re sure to find a platform bed that fits your needs.
  • Squeak-Free SupportThe simple design of a platform bed frame makes it incredibly strong, sturdy and squeak resistant. The solid surface evenly distributes weight and eliminates weak spots that can cause your bed to make noise when you move around.
  • Inexpensive: Platform beds are typically more affordable than other bed frames. If you’re on a budget, this is a great option. Since there is no box spring, there is no need to have a bed skirt, wiping away another extra cost.
  • Low Profile: As we mentioned, platform beds sit close to the ground. Younger folks would find it easy to crawl in or out of a platform bed. The low height also makes platform beds ideal for small bedrooms or rooms with low ceilings.
  • Easy to Assemble & Transport: Platform beds are usually straightforward to put together. You don’t require any special tools and the assembly is very quick and DIY friendly. They are also great for people who move frequently and want to transport their bed frames wherever they go next.
  • Increased Airflow: Platform beds usually have slats or slotted bases that allow increased airflow. This promotes airflow, helps keep your mattress cooler, and can prevent dust and other allergens from collecting. Hot sleepers or those who live in warm or humid areas would sleep relatively cooler on the platform beds than on box springs.
  • Headboard Compatible: Most platform beds come with pre-drilled holes that make it easy to attach a headboard. Some platform beds come with footboards or have the option to add one.

Disadvantages of a Platform Bed:

While there are many advantages of platform beds, there are a few disadvantages to consider as well, including:

  • Too Low for Some: The lower height of platform beds may be a good or bad thing, depending on your personal preference. For some people, platform beds can be too low to the ground. This might make it challenging to get in and out of bed, especially for those with mobility issues or older folks.
  • Sturdy but not sturdy as foundation bed: While platform beds are still sturdy but if you’re looking for a rock-solid bed, you might want to consider a foundation bed base instead.
  • Wood platform beds need time to time maintenance: Wood platform beds expand or contract with changes in humidity and temperature. You may need to periodically apply some beeswax or fasten bolts to prevent the bed from squeaking. Additionally, the wood would need to be polished every other year to maintain its finish.
  • Chances of shin injury: Given that platform beds sit close to the ground, there is a higher probability of hitting your shins when you’re getting in and walking near the bed. This is especially true for platform beds with sharp edges. 
  • No Underbed Storage: Platform beds don’t offer the under bed storage options as other types of frames. If you need extra space for storage, you might want to consider an ottoman bed.
  • Mattress may slide: If your mattress is too slippery, it might slide around on the platform bed frame. Using a mattress with grippy under fabric or placing a non-slip mattress pad on top of the platform bed frame should help to prevent slipping and sliding.
  • Bed skirts are not an option: If you like the look of a bed skirt or dust ruffle, you won’t be able to use one with a platform bed. This is because platform beds sit close to the ground, and bed skirts would just hang down and not offer the desired look.

Top Pick: Koala Platform Timber Bed Base

Types of Platform Beds:

The three most common types of platform beds are solid, slatted and metal mesh.

  • Solid Platform Beds: As the name implies the surface on which the mattress is laid is made from one piece of solid wood or metal. It is the most common platform bed type and is popular because it is simple and sturdy.
  • Slatted Platform Beds: A slatted platform bed has a series of wooden slats that run parallel. This type of platform bed is more breathable than a solid platform bed and is a good option for those who sleep hot. Due to their flexibility, slatted beds also soften and dampen the feel of the mattress.
  • Metal Mesh Platform Beds: A metal mesh platform bed has a surface made from metal grids or mesh. These platform beds are more affordable than solid or slatted platform beds and, at the same time, are very sturdy and durable. However, they tend to have a minimal and industrial look which not everyone may like.

Points to consider while choosing a Platform Bed:

There are a few things to consider when picking a platform bed, including:

  • Slats width: For slatted platform beds, make sure the slats are adjustable. If the slats are further than 3 inches, the mattress may sag over time and may not offer the proper support. Ideally, the slats should not be more than 2 to 3 inches apart.
  • Height: Platform beds come in a variety of heights. Some are low profile, while others are standard and some are taller. An average or standard bed height is around 25 inches, but platform beds can range from 18 inches to 36 inches. Older folks should generally avoid low profile beds (less than 20 inches).
  • Storage: Some platform beds come with storage options, such as drawers on the sides of the bed or a headboard with shelves. At the same time, minimalistic platform beds don’t offer any storage space. Keep in mind that platform beds with storage tend to be more expensive.
  • Style: Platform beds come in a variety of styles, including traditional, modern, and transitional. Choose the style that best suits your needs and taste.
  • Material: Platform beds are constructed from various materials, including wood, metal, upholstery, and leather. Wood platform beds are the most common, but metal beds are sturdier and cheap, while upholstered options give a luxury look but tend to be expensive.
  • Budget: Platform beds can range in price from around $250 to $2000 or more. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on a bed and pick accordingly. At around $600 to $1000, you’ll find a good quality, mid-range bed.
  • Size: Platform beds come in all standard bed sizes, from twin to king. Consider what size bed will best fit your needs.

Wrapping Up

All in all, platform beds are a great option for those who are looking for an inexpensive, stylish bed frame that is easy to assemble and maintain. There are a few cons to platform beds, but I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case!

Now that you know a little more about platform beds, it’s time to start shopping! To save you the hassle, we’ve put together a list of our favourite platform beds.

What do you think? Will you be giving platform beds a try? Let us know in the comments below! Happy shopping!

James Lee

James Lee

James is the content director at WhatASleep, a certified sleep science coach from Spencer Institute and our in-house sleep product expert. Over three years, he's personally tested hundreds of mattresses. He likes to keep his reviews simple, objective, and straightforward so that the readers don't have to go through decision fatigue which is often the case while shopping for sleep products.

He hails from Sydney and has a journalism degree from the University of Queensland and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.


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