What is a Platform Bed? The Complete Buyer's Guide

Platform Bed

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Streamlined and sturdy, a platform bed combines modern simplicity with an easy-to-assemble furniture style — and a comfortable place to land for your 8 hours of sleep. There’s often minimal detail on a platform bed and its low profile makes it a popular choice for those who prefer a clean, sleek look.

But there are a variety of types of platform beds, materials, and more to choose from, and our experts make it easy to narrow it down to the right one for your space.

Meet the Experts

At Living Cozy, we love working closely with design experts and leading brands to bring you professional recommendations for your home. In this guide, you’ll hear from:

So, What is a Platform Bed?

A platform bed is a streamlined style with a mattress sitting directly on a sturdy platform. The platform may consist of a totally solid surface or it could have slats that support a mattress. It’s an easy-to-assemble, simple design that is popular among those who like a clean, fuss-free look.  

Burrow Platform Bed
Burrow Chorus Bed

“This design is ideal for people who want a minimalist look in their bedroom or are looking for a bed frame that's easy to assemble,” says Karen Rohr, Interior Designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors, while also noting that they are a versatile style that can easily match any aesthetic. She explains that platform bed frames are typically lower to the ground than other bed frames, which adds to their sleek look. Rohr adds, “Platform beds often come with built-in storage space, making them an excellent choice for small bedrooms or for those who are looking to maximize storage.”

“This design is ideal for people who want a minimalist look in their bedroom or are looking for a bed frame that's easy to assemble."

There’s also a budget-friendly advantage to opting for a platform bed: you don’t necessarily have to buy a boxspring because of the platform that supports the mattress. “Unlike more traditional beds it does not require a boxspring which can offer ease of putting together and moving it,” says Amy Youngblood, Owner & Principal Designer of Amy Youngblood Interiors.

The Bed by Thuma
The Bed by Thuma

Pros and Cons of a Platform Bed

Pros

  • Minimalists love the clean, contemporary look of a platform bed. “They generally sit lower to the floor giving the bed a more modern European look,” says Youngblood.
  • Platform beds are often easy to assemble. A simple platform bed may only take a few minutes to put together (getting you closer to a good night’s sleep!).
  • Platform beds aid air circulation. The space between slats can increase breathability and airflow helping to make your bed cooler at night.
  • No boxspring saves you both time and money. “Most platform beds do not require a boxspring, making them more straightforward to set up than traditional bed frames,” says Rohr. However, she notes that depending on the mattress you use, you may need an additional layer of support.
  • “Platform beds tend to be very sturdy and durable,” says Rohr. There are no posters, spindles, or legs to break.

Cons

  • A platform bed often lacks the under-the-bed storage many people are used to. Rohr says, “If you have a lot of items that you need to keep in your bedroom and you like to use that remaining space under the bed, you may want to opt for a bed with drawers or a shelf underneath, as this might be a problem for future storage if you don't plan ahead.”
  • The low profile of a platform bed isn’t easy on everyone’s knees. “Because these beds are low and close to the floor, they are often difficult to get up and down on, which can be a problem for people with limited mobility,” says Rohr. If you have bad knees of suffer back pain a lower profile bed frame might not be the best choice for you.
  • Platform beds can be heavier than other beds. While you only have to move the bed and mattress (no boxspring!), these beds are typically extremely sturdy, making it a two-person job when you want to rearrange.

Types of Platform Beds: What are the Different Styles?

Platform beds come in a variety of styles. Here’s what you need to know about the most common types of bed frames:

Solid Platform Bed

Coburn Solid Platform Bed
Coburn Bed by Arhaus

The classic platform bed features a completely solid base that supports a mattress. This is the typical sturdy, simple bed that many think of when they hear “platform bed.” You won’t have room to put anything underneath the bed, but the tradeoff is perhaps the most durable bed on the market.

Storage Platform Bed

Playa Platform Storage Bed
Playa Platform Storage Bed by Raymour & Flanigan

Don’t fret if the idea of losing your under-the-bed storage makes you antsy! “The storage platform bed features built-in storage drawers or an elevated frame with space underneath for storing items, which is one of the best ways to maximize storage,” Karen Rohr. This is a great option if you’re in a small space and need to make the most of every square inch. Store clothes, off-season items, and linens (you’ll never forget to change your sheets!) in the drawers.

“The storage platform bed features built-in storage drawers or an elevated frame with space underneath for storing items, which is one of the best ways to maximize storage."

Headboard and Footboard Platform Bed

Brooke Platform Bed
Brooke Platform Bed by Lulu & Georgia

You can still get the traditional look of a headboard and footboard bed, but with the practicality of a platform bed. This type of platform bed features a solid or slatted support in the middle, bolstered by a headboard and footboard on either side.

Floating Platform Bed

Floating Platform Bed
The Bed by Floyd

Imagine the glamorous, modern profile of a hotel bed. It appears to float above the ground with surprising stability. Often that look is created with a floating platform bed. This type of bed features a platform support that’s smaller than the outermost footprint of the bed. The result is a bed that appears to float in midair.

Review: Floyd Bed Review: The Bed That Evolves With You

Platform Bed Surfaces

Slatted

A slatted platform bed will have slats made of wood, MDF, or even plastic forming the support surface for a mattress, often foam, and no boxspring. The slats may be rigid or, in the case of euro-style wood slats, they may be flexed or bowed. Often, they’re attached to each other with fabric for easy installation. Simply lay out the slats and they’re already measured to the 3-6” distance that offers maximum support.

Solid

A solid surface platform bed is durable and firm, and it often has small holes to allow for airflow below the mattress. This is one of the most common surfaces for a platform bed and can be used without a boxspring. It’s durable and easy to assemble.

What Are the Best Materials for Platform Beds?

Wood

If you want a classic look that will stay on trend for years to come, look for a solid wood platform bed. You can get a minimalist look or opt for something with a headboard and footboard that feels more traditional. Plus, it’ll be built to last. “Wood platform beds are typically sturdy and can last for many years with proper care. They also tend to be fairly affordable,” says Rohr.

“Wood platform beds are typically sturdy and can last for many years with proper care."

Metal

For a sleek or industrial style, metal is a sturdy, modern choice. A metal platform may be more of an investment up front, but the convenience of a lighter weight, easily assembled bed can be worth it. “Good quality metal platform beds are typically more expensive than wood, but they're much easier to move and often provide more support than wood alone," says Rohr. She adds, “They're also generally very easy to assemble and disassemble, which can be a major advantage if you frequently move your bed or change your sleeping arrangements.”

“Good quality metal platform beds are typically more expensive than wood, but they're much easier to move and often provide more support than wood alone.”

Upholstery

Reading in bed is so much cozier with an upholstered headboard behind you, right? Luckily, you can also get an upholstered platform bed featuring materials like fabric or leather.

Rohr says, “These beds offer a soft, welcoming look and can be customized with different fabrics and colors; their core structure is usually wood with a cushion upholstered.” However, be careful — upholstered beds can stain and, in some cases, can be difficult to clean.

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Platform Bed FAQs

Do Platform Beds Need a Box Spring?

No! A platform bed does not need a box spring because it offers a supportive and sturdy base in the way of a solid base or often wooden slats. Skipping a box spring can save money, as well as time, since you don’t have to move and assemble as many pieces.

Can You Use Any Mattress with a Platform Bed?

While any type of mattress can be used with a platform bed, typically a foam, latex, or memory foam mattress is best. A spring mattress will be most comfortable when used with a boxspring and there may not be room to accommodate a boxspring on every platform bed. if you’re in the market for a new mattress, be sure to check with the mattress manufacturer to confirm whether the mattress can be used on a platform bed (in some cases, it may void the warranty!).

Written by
Heather Bien
Heather Bien is a Washington, DC-based writer whose work appears on Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, Martha Stewart Weddings, mindbodygreen, and more. She previously worked in interior design and still can't resist redecorating every chance she gets.

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