Q: Are platform beds sturdy? Are they comfortable? Is your platform bed sturdy enough?
A: YES, if they’re well-built and have adequate support systems to support the mattress.
How can you as a customer know whether the platform bed you’ve been eyeing is sturdy enough? How sturdy should a platform bed be to support a mattress?
Great questions. If you’ve ever purchased a platform bed from a department store or a discount big box store, you may already have experienced inadequate mattress support. If you’ve ever spent a night on a sagging mattress or one that felt uneven or higher in one area than another, in fact your platform bed frame may have been the issue, rather than your mattress.
Can your platform bed frame do its job?
A well-built platform bed will support your mattress like a dream. No bowing, sliding, or squeaking.
Not all platform beds are adequate to support a mattress.
Our store occasionally gets calls from consumers, concerned because their mattress feels uneven. Our first question is always, “What do you have the mattress on?”
“I just recently bought a platform bed from [big box store],” is frequently their answer.
Our follow-up response: “Put the mattress on the floor, lay down on it, and tell me if the mattress feels flat.”
The consumer does this, comes back on the line, and tells us (with surprise in their voice), that YES, the mattress does feel flat.
So then we know the platform bed is a culprit.
If you find yourself in the same situation, here are several ways your platform bed may not be sturdy enough to support your mattress:
Poor Slat Design
Slats should run underneath the mattress within the frame. They’re there to keep the mattress level and supported. But some platform bed slats are poorly designed and never stand a chance of supporting a mattress well. Ever heard of Euro Slats? These slats actually come bowed, which can create 1 of 2 potential problems: lack of strength or a crowning effect. If the slats lack strength, they end up sagging under the weight of a person (or people) and a mattress. If the slats ‘crown’ (bow upward slightly), this is because they’re too strong. Fairly obvious editiorial note here: avoid Euro Slats in a platform bed.
Some slat systems are flimsy, not thick enough to support the mattress, or too flexible and sag under small amounts of weight.
Shoddy Slat Installation
If the slats are installed in sections, and only go half way across the frame, they’re susceptible to sagging.
If the slats don’t attach to the side rails, but simply rest on a lip, they’re more likely to sag. Slats should be secured with screws or by some other method.
No Center Rail
Some platform beds lack adequate center support in the form of a center rail crossing the slats. The center rail helps fight gravity, as anything being pushed down on will eventually sag to some degree.
Poor center support often leads to people rolling to the middle of the bed. I’ve seen metal rails and thick wooden rails that sag under the weight of a mattress plus people, and sometimes even when no one is lying on it. If there’s no center rail crossing the slats, the slats will inevitably sag. Center support legs down the middle of the mattress gives you a comfier and more stable night’s sleep.
Poorly Designed or Cardboard Bed Boards (AKA Bunkie Boards)
Almost no bed boards, or bunkie boards, are appropriate for use by adults. Usually these are comprised of a few thin pine slats topped with cardboard. These will squeak and sag in numerous ways, making for a very unpleasant night’s sleep. If a retailer is recommending you use a bed board or bunkie board with a platform bed, then it probably shouldn’t be used as a platform bed at all.
What should a sturdy platform bed look like?
A sturdy platform bed should have [see above]:
- real wood slats
- center rail that runs from head to foot
- center support legs that reach all the way to the floor
At Bedrooms & More Seattle, we offer lots and lots of attactive, quality-made platform bed choices. We’re sure to have a look and a finish that works with your decor.
A sturdy bed frame makes for comfy sleep
At Bedrooms & More in Seattle, it’s easy to find a stylish platform bed frame that suits your decor & supports your mattress to perfection.