Buying Guide for King Bed Frames
Why buy a king bed frame?
You’ll rest better if you’re sleeping in a bed that’s big enough for you and anyone else who might be sharing the bed with you at night. Standard king and California king beds alike are ideal for couples when one or both partners like having lots of room to spread out or have several kids or big dogs who frequently come in and snuggle up. Those who are exceptionally tall will likely appreciate having a king bed to stretch out in. If you want a king mattress, you’ll need a king frame to hold it properly. A good bed frame both supports and protects your mattress, increasing its service life. It also elevates your mattress off the ground, which will be more comfortable for you and help keep dust and bugs out. Platform bed frames are especially useful in this area.
What should you look for in a king bed frame?
- Size: Unlike other mattresses, king beds are almost square in shape, 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. The one exception is California king beds, which are 72 inches long by 84 inches wide, the longest on the market. And a large bed, of course, means an equally large bed frame. Most king bed frames will be around 78 to 80 inches wide and 82 to 84 inches long. Therefore, you’ll want a master bedroom of at least 12 by 12 feet in size if you’re interested in buying a king mattress and frame.
- Material: Like other contemporary bed frames, king bed frames will likely be made from one of four materials: wood, metal, upholstery, or leather (real or fake). If durability, strength, and sturdiness are the most important factors you want from your bed frame, you’ll want to go for a wooden or metal one. Wood can be carved into various shapes and patterns, while metal is easy to wipe clean, though neither is the most comfortable option to sit against. Upholstered and real or faux leather bed frames aren’t as durable, though they are soft, comfy, and stylish. Upholstery offers the best variety of colors, while leather provides a luxurious, modern feel.
- Design: Even though king beds aren’t as commonly purchased as smaller standard mattresses, there are still a good number of style and design options out there. Unless you opted for a painted wooden or upholstered fabric model, your king bed frame will likely come in a neutral color like black, white, or gray. Various browns are also pretty common, especially in wooden and leather frames.
- Storage Space: King bed frames and the mattresses they hold take up a significant amount of room. You might be worried that the bed will eliminate valuable storage space. There are some bed frames that offer a solution and allow you to utilize the space beneath or behind your bed to help make up the difference. Bed frames with built-in drawers are becoming more and more common. So are models that have shelved headboards. Since king bed frames are so big, their drawers and shelves will provide a good amount of storage space. Even platform or otherwise raised king bed frames will open up room underneath for items like shoes, toys, and even extra clothes in bins.
Does my king bed frame need a headboard and footboard?
While not absolute necessities, there are benefits to picking a frame with a headboard, footboard, or both. Many people find them aesthetically pleasing, as their design, color, shape, and size can add to or enhance the interior design of the bed and bedroom. Headboards, especially solid upholstered and padded ones, can give you a comfortable place to lean back against when reading or watching TV in bed. A headboard also helps to keep your pillows in place rather than falling off the back in the middle of the night. A footboard does the same for your bedding at the end of the mattress.
However, some people prefer a frame without either in order to save space. Others who are much taller than average may not like headboards and footboards since they tend to bang their head or feet against them at night. Not all king bed frames come with a headboard and footboard, so you can buy them without if you so choose. Some of those models have pre-drilled holes at one or both ends of the frame, so you can buy and add a headboard and/or footboard later. This is handy if you want a headboard and/or footboard but don’t like the looks of the ones that come with bed frames.
Our Picks for the Best King Bed Frames
Zinus Abel Metal Platform Bed Frame
A durable, platform king bed frame that's easy to assemble and cost-efficient.
Pros: King mattresses and frames are more expensive than other types of beds, yet this frame is highly affordable, unlike many high-quality king bed frames. The bolt-free metal slats ensure that you don’t need a box spring for this king bed frame and can even help extend your mattress’s life expectancy. It’s designed with a quick-lock assembly system that saves time during setup, and the necessary parts, tools, and instructions come with your purchase. The frame is 14 inches tall, providing you with 12-inch high storage space underneath—plenty of room for shoe organizers, boxes, and other similar items.
Cons: This frame has a maximum weight capacity of up to 500 pounds. Also, it doesn’t come with a headboard or footboard, and it doesn’t have pre-drilled attachment slots on either end.
Bottom Line: This is a great minimalist bed frame. The understated design takes up as little extra space as possible without sacrificing durability. And with its low price, it’s sure to fit into almost any household budget.
Mellow 12" Solid Wood Platform Bed Frame with Classic Wooden Slat (No Box Spring Needed), King, Espresso
A solid wood king bed frame that won't make noise even if you toss and turn at night.
Pros: Many “wooden” bed frames advertised as such are actually MDF or particleboard, which isn’t as sturdy or durable. But that’s not an issue with this bed frame. It’s not only made entirely of real wood, but it’s 3.5 inches thick for increased strength and support. And unlike a lot of other wooden models, this bed frame comes in several color options. The slats are also made of wood and equipped with nonslip tape to keep the mattresses of even the most fidgety, restless sleepers from moving around or sliding off. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the bed creaking or squeaking whenever you shift your weight or roll over. Light sleepers will likely appreciate this feature.
Cons: This wooden bed frame doesn’t come with either a headboard or footboard option. If you want to add either down the line, you’ll have to drill the holes yourself. And this frame is a bit shorter than many similar models.
Bottom Line: If you’re on the lookout for a wooden king bed frame, you can’t go wrong with this simple yet classic model. It’ll match just about any bedroom decor, from more vintage looks to mid-century modern and beyond. The noise-free construction makes it a particularly good option for fidgety and noise-sensitive sleepers.
COMASACH 16 Inch King Size Bed Frame
This reinforced steel king-sized bed frame can support up to 3,500 pounds and doesn't require a box spring.
Pros: Sleek and minimal, there’s a lot to love about this king bed frame. It’s made of reinforced durable steel, and its nine thick legs support the platform and add to its strong weight capacity. Also, it’s stable, and it won’t shake or squeak when you get in and out of it or move around. You do not need a box spring or additional support. The smooth black slats also protect your mattress from damage. The frame is easy to assemble, with hardware and instructions included. And the 16-inch height is great for storing things underneath your new bed.
Cons: Some people found the assembly instructions confusing. Also, your mattress may slide around on the bare frame. Some folks remedied this with carpet tape, while others opted to use a box spring.
Bottom Line: This thick minimalist bed frame is great for most people and has a higher weight capacity than most others. It’s fantastic if you need to store things underneath, and it won’t take up a ton of extra space in your room.
Prepac Mate's Platform Storage Bed with 6 Drawers
With six convenient storage drawers, this king-size bed makes efficient use of your space.
Pros: This king platform storage bed has six drawers that don’t stick out, taking up extra space. At 18 inches deep, you can store clothing, linens, blankets, and anything else you might normally store in a dresser. This frame doesn’t require a box spring because the slat support system is enough to support your mattress. Sleekly designed and practical, this bed lets you get the most out of your king-sized mattress. It’s constructed from carb-2-compliant, laminated composite woods. And it ships ready to assemble and includes an instruction booklet for easy assembly. This frame is manufactured in Canada and meets all North American safety standards.
Cons: While this bed frame isn’t difficult to assemble, it is time-consuming. And some of the parts are made from particle board, which feels a little flimsy to some.
Bottom Line: All in all, this is a solid bed frame with the added luxury of six large storage drawers. It comes with everything you need to assemble it except for tools like a Philips head screwdriver and a hammer, so be sure to have those on hand. And the finished product is sleek and modern, perfect for most bedrooms.
ZINUS SmartBase Metal Platform Bed Frame
No tools or hardware are required to set up this sturdy metal bed frame.
Pros: Plenty of bed frames claim fast and easy assembly, but this one actually lives up to that promise. No tools or hardware are required, or even extra assistance or real assembly. You don’t have to do much more than unfold the frame and then adjust and lock the legs into place. The plastic caps on the feet keep your floor safe from scratches, and the frame has a weight capacity of up to 1,500 pounds, more than enough for two full-grown adults together, plus kids and pets. And unlike a lot of metal frames, this one has a few decent style options. It’s available in black or white, with a headboard, and in a deluxe version. There is also a compatible bed skirt and/or brackets you can purchase separately; the brackets allow you to add on your own headboard and/or footboard without drilling holes.
Cons: Like some metal bed frames, this model is prone to sometimes creaking or squeaking. Its two connected parts affect the open, under-bed storage space, too; since it has six central legs instead of the usual three, there’s a bit less room for stashing boxes and bins underneath.
Bottom Line: Though it’s not the most sophisticated-looking king bed frame, there’s a lot to love about this model. Those who live alone will appreciate the speed and ease with which it can be set up; you won’t have to call over a friend, family member, or professional to help you put it together. This simplicity, coupled with its low price, makes it a great starter bed for those just starting out on their own.
As long as you’ve got the space, a king bed is a simple way to bring a touch of luxury into your home. People of varying shapes and sizes will enjoy stretching out and relaxing atop one. And with the right bed frame to support and protect it, it’ll look and feel even more lavish and comfortable, just like one in a hotel room.