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.
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. Anyone who is exceptionally tall will likely appreciate having a king bed to stretch out in, or even the additional length of a California king. 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?
- 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. A model without a headboard or footboard can save you some space, provide a more subtle look, and be easier to assemble. A bed frame with a headboard and footboard provides more decoration and various aesthetics from rustic to modern to vintage to minimalist and more. 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.
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. While this should be enough to hold two full-grown adults in many cases, it’s definitely on the lower end of average for larger bed frames. There are plenty of models that can hold 1,000 pounds or more, so you might feel more secure with one of those—especially if you have kids or pets who like to crawl into bed with you sometimes. The design is pretty basic as well, ideal for those aiming for a minimalist design, less so for someone who wants something more decorative. It doesn’t come with a headboard or footboard, but it doesn’t have pre-drilled attachment slots on either end. Thus you don’t have the option to add either piece down the road.
Bottom Line: If you prefer a minimalist frame for your king bed, this is a great choice; the mattress itself is already so large that you might want the frame to take up as little extra space as possible. This understated model allows you to do just that without sacrificing durability. And with its low price, it’s sure to fit into almost any household budget. Unless you want the security of a higher weight limit or the possibility to add a headboard/footboard down the road, you can’t go wrong with this black steel bed frame.
Mellow 12" Solid Wood Platform Bed Frame with Classic Wooden Slat (No Box Spring Needed), King, Espresso
A solid wooden 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: Wooden headboards are often completely solid and can add a lovely decorative touch to your bedroom. Unfortunately, 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, which means it’ll be harder to get out of for some people. The shorter height also means less under-bed storage space. Some boxes or bins that normally fit under a bed might be too tall to fit underneath this frame.
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. Its lower height isn’t a good choice for the elderly or those with knee, back, or mobility issues, as they’ll find it harder to get out of bed than they would with a taller frame.
TATAGO Metal Platform King Bed Frame
A heavy-duty king bed frame made from alloy steel that boasts an impressive weight-bearing capacity.
Pros: This black alloy steel bed frame is not only strong, but it’s capable of supporting much more weight than many other steel or metal frames. Its maximum weight capacity is a whopping 3,500 pounds, strong and stable enough to support a couple and their children and animals as well. This platform frame doesn’t require the use of a box spring, thanks to the sturdy steel slats that prevent sagging or shaking. The metal frame is also rustproof and dustproof, which makes it both easier to clean and ensures it stays in better shape for longer. This, in turn, translates to a longer service life. And you can buy it without a headboard, with a headboard, or with a headboard and footboard, depending on your preferences.
Cons: This is another king bed frame that likely won’t win points for its aesthetics. It’s a great choice for industrial or minimalist styles, less so for more classical, elegant, or vintage decors. If you want an eye-catching frame for your bed, this isn’t the one for you. Even though its weight capacity makes it a good choice for families, be aware that the metal edges of the bed are sharp. If you have babies, toddlers, or young kids but don’t want to have to babyproof your bedroom, you might want a different bed frame. And while this bed frame does come with hardware and instructions included, some buyers have found the instructions less detailed than they could be, which can lengthen the setup time.
Bottom Line: While king bed frames are designed to be strong enough to support at least two grown adults at once, this heavy-duty steel model goes above and beyond. With its extremely high weight capacity, couples, families, and those taller or heavier than average will feel secure lying atop this frame. As long as you don’t mind an understated-looking frame or taking the time to childproof the edges, this sturdy king bed frame should suit just about anyone.
DHP Tufted Velvet Platform Bed with Storage
An upholstered wooden king bed frame with built-in storage drawers.
Pros: The wooden frame is upholstered with velvet or linen, depending on which of the seven colors you pick, to soften the feel of the solid wood when you’re sitting upright in bed. This frame’s low profile provides contemporary style, while the metal rails on the side and legs add support and strength. The two sliding drawers on either side give you a convenient spot to store items. The bentwood slat system allows for better ventilation for your king mattress and eliminates the need for a box spring. It also provides good back support and helps evenly distribute pressure as you’re sleeping.
Cons: This king bed frame has a 500-pound weight capacity—plenty for an individual, and enough for most couples, but far from the highest weight-bearing model on the market. For a single person alone, this might suit well enough, but couples may want something with a higher weight capacity (especially parents or dog owners). And the velvet upholstery and handy drawer system come at a cost, quite literally. Even by king bed frame standards, this model is quite expensive.
Bottom Line: This king bed frame combines a trendy, modern design with convenience and functionality. It’s a great space saver, allowing you to safely stash away clothes, blankets, shoes, and other items underneath your bed. This model has drawers, which offer greater protection to your belongings, and you can save your boxes and bins for other items. But if you’re on a tighter budget, you’ll probably want a more cost-efficient model.
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 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: This frame is only really compatible with memory foam or spring mattresses. This shouldn’t be a big problem for most since many mattresses on the market tend to fall under one of these categories. But you should double-check and make sure yours is one of these types before you spring for this frame. Like some metal bed frames, this model is prone to sometimes creaking or squeaking when you roll over or otherwise move on it, especially since it’s made of two connected parts. These 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’re not a noise-sensitive sleeper or counting on a lot of extra under-bed space for storage, this frame should suit your needs nicely.
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.