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What is the Difference Between a Bed Frame and a Bedstead?

Whether you read about a "bed frame" or a "bedstead", both are describing the same thing: the framework, or platform, that your mattress is placed on. At Mattress Online, we tend to use "bed frame". An increasingly popular choice, a good-looking bed frame is a great way to add character and style to your bedroom. Since bed frames tend to be the largest piece of furniture in the bedroom, they are often the main focal point in the room.

Bed frames are available in a great range of styles, materials and colours, and are typically available in a choice of:

  • wood
  • metal
  • fabric
  • real or faux leather

Are you looking for a new bed frame? Read on to find out more!

The Limelight Rhea Fabric Bed Frame, with button-detail headboard in a stylish bedroom
The Limelight Rhea Fabric Bed Frame - a beautiful upholstered bed complete with Chesterfield-style headboard

Bed frame buying guide

When choosing the right bed frame for you, you'll need to consider:

  1. how much space you have
  2. the style of bed you like
  3. whether you prefer a firm bed
  4. your storage needs
  5. your budget

Read on to find out how to choose the bed frame that's right for you!

1. How much space do you have?

A bed frame is one of the biggest items of furniture in your bedroom, so it's important to measure the available space you have for it. To do this, outline the area for your bed on the floor, using masking tape. Remember to add some clearance space if you want to add drawers.

Unlike divans, bed frames include a headboard and a foot end as standard. We recommend checking the dimensions of both to ensure your bed frame will fit comfortably in your room.

Since bed frames are usually larger than a mattress - unlike divan beds, which are the same dimensions as a mattress - it's important to check the overall width, length and height of the bed frame, especially if you have a small room.

  • Do you have a small bedroom?
    A single or a small double bed may be the best option. If you need a bed for your loft room or box room, the Friendship Mill Studio Wooden Bed Frame is a great choice. Choosing a bed frame with storage, or with plenty of underbed space to store your items, could also be helpful.
  • Are you tall?
    We recommend that your bed is 10cm longer than you are. A king size or superking size bed frame is longer in length than a double. We also offer a number of bed frames with low foot ends, and a selection can even be made-to-measure. Please get in touch for more help and information.

2. What style of bed frame do you prefer?

Bed frames are available in a great range of styles, materials and colours. Whether you prefer wooden bed frames, metal beds, leather or fabric, read on to discover the perfect bed frame for you!

1. Wooden bed frame

A wooden bed frame is a classic addition to your bedroom and creates a warm and attractive look. A natural product, a wooden bed can be made from pine, oak, or other types of wood. Many wooden beds are also environmentally-friendly, since they are constructed using wood from sustainable sources, such as Scandinavian pine.

Whether your style is modern or traditional, we offer a wide range of wooden beds, wooden guest beds, children's beds and wooden bunk beds.

The Silentnight Minerve Wooden Bed Frame features a slatted headboard and foot end
The Silentnight Minerve Wooden Bed Frame - featuring a crisp, white finish and natural wood detail

2. Metal bed frame

Metal bed frames are a popular choice. Sturdy and stylish, they add a sophisticated look to your bedroom, and are equally suited to traditional or modern decor. Available in a wide range of colours and styles, our range of metal beds start from as little as £94.95 - so they're a good option if you’re on a tight budget.

3. Fabric bed frame

On-trend and available in a wide range of colours, a fabric upholstered bed is a great choice if you're looking for a stylish centrepiece for your bedroom. Perfect for contemporary and traditional tastes alike, a fabric bed frame can give your bedroom a cosier feel than metal or leather beds.

The Limelight Aurora Fabric Bed Frame features a high, winged headboard and stylish tapered legs
The Limelight Aurora Fabric Bed Frame - featuring a stylish winged headboard in a pretty duck egg blue finish

4. Leather bed frame

A leather bed adds a cool, sophisticated touch to any bedroom. A stylish focal point, you can choose between faux leather or real leather, and they're available in a choice of colours. Leather beds tend to offer a wider variety of storage options than wooden or metal beds. We even offer a range of leather TV beds - for the ultimate indulgence!

3. Do you prefer a firm bed?

Bed frames are constructed using two types of base. These are called slats, and they determine the overall firmness of the bed. We advise that the gaps between each slat should be no greater than 7-8cm, approximately 3 inches.

  • Solid slats
    A firmer, more supportive option, solid slats enhance the firmness of your bed. They are rigid and more sturdy than sprung slats, and offer no "give". You should choose solid slats if you prefer a firm bed.
  • Solid bed frame slats, ideal for if you're looking for a firmer bed frame
    The Silentnight Hayes Pine Wooden Bed Frame features solid slats for a firmer feel
  • Sprung slats
    Sprung slats are slightly curved, or bowed, creating a natural flexibility. They are less firm than solid slats and offer more gentle support. They may also help to prolong the life of your mattress.
    Sprung bed frame slats offer greater flexibility than solid slats and work in harmony with your mattress
    An example of sprung slats: the Silentnight Sydney Metal Cream Bed Frame

4. Do you need storage?

Underbed storage is particularly useful if your bedroom is small. Whilst most bed frames do not include storage underneath as standard, some do include built-in storage. Check out our bed frames that include storage, or take a look at our top picks below.

Bed FrameStorage Type
Time Living Atlanta Fabric BedDrawers
Faux Leather Drawer Bed FrameDrawers
GFW Regal Grey Fabric Ottoman BedOttoman

Do you simply need a lot of underbed space? Check the dimensions of the specific bed frame you like for further information - we call this "underbed clearance".

5. What is your budget?

Our range of bed frames at Mattress Online offers great value for money and is competitively priced. Whether you are on a tight budget, or you can afford to splash out a little, read on to discover the perfect bed at a price that suits you.

Budget bed frames under £100

Looking for a great bed at a low price? Available in a range of sizes, our budget range of bed frames under £100 are fantastic value for money - and look great, too!

Mid-range bed frames

Our mid-range bed frames between £100 and £300 are a great option if you want a little more for your money, without breaking the bank. We offer a wide selection of over 50 bed frames to choose from.

The Silentnight Dakota Oak Wooden Bed Frame is a solid white oak bed at great value for money
The Silentnight Dakota Oak Wooden Bed Frame is a beautifully crafted solid oak bed, starting from only £249.95

Luxury bed frames

Make a statement with our wide range of stunning, higher-end beds. Give your bedroom the wow-factor and choose from our luxury collection of bed frames.

The Time Living Sache Fabric Bed is contemporary, low bed frame featuring buttoned headboard
The Time Living Sache Fabric Bed - a truly stunning, contemporary style bed frame
The Silentnight Hamilton Solid Oak Bed Frame features a spindle headboard and low foot end, with tapered legs
The Silentnight Hamilton Solid Oak Bed Frame - a contemporary twist on mid-century design

A bed frame is the centrepiece of your bedroom. Considering we spend around a third of our lives in bed, choosing the right bed is an important investment. Why not browse our full range of bed frames - handpicked to suit all styles, budgets and preferences.

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