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Your Bed Buying Guide: Upholstered vs Wooden vs Metal Bed Frame

Castlery   |   Jan 16, 2023

The bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your home. After all, in which other item of furniture do you spend around a third of your life? So, it’s always worth investing in a good quality bed and bed frame. Skimping on your frame can lead to bad sleep, which can have both long term and short-term health consequences. And getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your everyday well-being.

Of course, when it comes to choosing a bed frame, there are several different options available. Upholstered, wooden, and metal bed frames are three of the most popular choices. As you might expect, each has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks – with cost, durability, mobility, and aesthetic factors to consider. With all this in mind, below you can find a guide to the pros and cons of the three main types of bed frames: upholstered, wooden, and metal.

Why choose upholstered bed frames?

Upholstered or fabric bed frames are known for their comfort and style. They often feature padded headboards and footboards that provide a soft, cozy place to rest against. This is ideal if you like to read or watch TV in bed before going to sleep or like to enjoy a morning cup of tea or coffee under the covers. They can also add a touch of luxury to your bedroom, with the soft touch fabric adding a tactile element. Upholstered beds also come in a wide range of colors and patterns to match any décor, and they are also available as part of a bedroom set with matching bedside tables, drawers, wardrobes, and more.

White upholstered platform bed in a bedroom setting with a wool rug underneath The Dawson Bed softens up the look of a room to give a cozy, inviting feel

The drawback of upholstered bed frames is that they can be more expensive than other options and may not be as durable, as fabric can tear and split, and is more susceptible to staining. They also tend to be heavier and more difficult to move, which can be a real pain if you want to rearrange your bedroom or when moving house.

The pros and cons of wooden bed frames

The wooden bed frame is perhaps the classic choice for the bedroom, adding an element of traditional, or even rustic, style to the bedroom. Wooden bed frames tend to be more durable than upholstered bed frames as they are harder, with no risks of ripping or tearing. And with the proper care and treatment, a wooden bed frame can be incredibly durable, even looking better with age. They also come in a wide range of styles, from sleek, minimal, and modern to ornate and traditional, with different shades and types of wood creating different effects.

Close up of a wooden bedframe and nightstand Wooden bed frames like the Emery Bed provides a cleaner, more modern look with the added advantage more being more durable and ageing better

Wooden bed frames can also be expensive, depending on what wood they are made from, and the level of detail involved in construction. They also may be heavy, making them more difficult to move. Wooden frames can also require a level of maintenance that metal bed frames do not. This includes treating the wood with polish, varnish or wax every now and then to keep it looking its best. That being said, wooden bed frames are generally easier to clean than upholstered frames.

Are metal bed frames for you?

Metal bed frames are generally very durable and affordable, although this does depend on the design style and the level of detail in the construction. Metal bed frames can be very lightweight and easy to move, with easy assembly and disassembly. This makes them a good option if you plan on rearranging your bedroom or if you move home on a more regular basis. Metal can also be painted or treated in several effective ways to create an elegant, sleek and stylish bedroom aesthetic.

How to choose between upholstered, wood and metal bed frames

The best choice of bed frame for you will depend on your personal preferences, stylistic choices, and sleep needs. If comfort is your top priority in the bedroom and you want a really cozy and tactile night’s sleep, then an upholstered bed frame may be the best choice for you.

However, if you want a durable, long-lasting bed frame that is lightweight and easy to move, then a metal bed frame might be the best option. And if you want a classic, stylish bed frame that adds a touch of warmth and natural materials to your bedroom, then a wooden bed frame might be the way to go.

Your choice will also be influenced by considerations such as your budget, color scheme, available space, and practical needs. Always make sure you measure your space accurately and think about how color choices will work both now and in the future. A more neutral choice, such as a grey bed frame might be more future proof, working with a wider variety of color and design schemes.

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