Thanks to its slighter profile, a metal bed frame can feel airier in a space than one made of wood, and they have the benefit of greater strength and durability. (It takes less metal than wood to make a bed solid and durable, so a high-quality metal bed will also generally weigh less than a high-quality wooden one, making it easier to move.) And if you’d rather opt for more festive hues than your standard black- or brown-toned finishes, a metal frame comes in more color options, allowing you to choose the exact shade to match the rest of your room’s decor. To help you decide on one, we reached out to expert interior designers, pulled from our extensive home design archives, and consulted thousands of reviews across the internet. In the interest of comparison, all of the prices listed are for frames in a queen size, but all of the beds listed are available in various sizes.
What we’re looking for
The shape and features you’ll want in a frame come down to two factors: space and personal preference. In smaller rooms, frames with a basic, lightweight shape will slot nicely in your space. If you have a little more wiggle room, headboards, footboards, and even canopies can entirely change the vibe. We’re also specifying whether a frame is proportioned for a box frame and mattress or is a platform-style, mattress-only frame.
Most bed frames are made of either iron or steel, although this list does feature one aluminum frame. In general, steel is the strongest and most durable, and often has a powder-coated finish; iron is also a popular material that can, in the case of wrought iron, be crafted into finely detailed, organic shapes, although iron furniture tends to be heavier than steel furniture. Aluminum is impressively lightweight for its strength (the same reason why many beloved sewing machines and beach chairs are made from aluminum) and, unpainted, has a cool silvery finish.
Each frame below is designated according to the following categories: $500 or less ($), $500–$1,000 ($$), and $1,000 and over ($$$).
Best overall metal bed frame
Style: Headboard and footboard, box spring | Material: Solid iron and steel tubing | Price: $$
Interior designer Yoan Walter recommends this traditional, pared-down frame from Crate & Barrel. It’s simple and well-designed: Its ultra-thin spindles showcase the durability of the material, and the slender, curving lines of the headboard and footboard give the frame a soft, elegant feel. Walter calls it “a perfect, versatile piece of furniture that can adapt to many styles, like rustic, traditional, eclectic, or industrial.” The frame is made of solid iron and steel tubing and it requires a box spring.
Best (less expensive) metal bed frame
Style: Platform | Material: Steel | Price: $
Zinus makes some of our favorite affordable and highly rated mattresses, and its bed frames are very popular on Amazon, as they strike the right balance between price, quality, and style. (Strategist writer Lauren Ro owns Zinus’s Vivek frame and uses it in her guest room. It’s one of the Strategist’s top platform-bed picks.) The industrial-yet-simple design of the brand’s Joseph frame comes highly vetted with more than 29,000 five-star reviews. Swathes of reviewers testify that it’s “stable and sturdy” and easy to assemble. It’s a simple metal box that requires no box spring and, instead, uses wooden slats (with a sticky panel) to support and secure the mattress. Plus the ten-inch raised platform provides some airiness (and extra storage).
Best vintage-style metal bed frame
Style: Headboard and footboard, box spring | Material: Iron | Price: $$$
Interior-design publicist Molly Schoneveld is partial to this hand-forged iron bed from Pottery Barn, saying that she used to own a frame very similar to this one. “If I had had an extra room, I would have kept it forever,” she says. The softly curving corners of the headboard and footboard, along with the handcrafted joint castings, are reminiscent of Victorian-era beds, so the frame would look quite nice in a bedroom that leans more traditional. A box spring is required for this frame — Pottery Barn recommends one with a low profile of 5.5 inches.
Best gold-toned metal bed frame
Style: Platform | Material: Coated steel | Price: $$
This understated, minimal steel bed frame comes from Keetsa, which is primarily a mattress company. We heard about it from Colony design-group founder Jean Lin, who hails it as her “price-conscious favorite.” The frame includes only the basics — four legs, and a raised platform — but has openings for you to attach a headboard of your choice, if you prefer. Some warmth is added thanks to its hand-brushed gold finish, which Lin says that the “dresses up earthen neutrals and tones down brighter palettes.” Suitable for a variety of aesthetics thanks to its simplicity, Lin points out that its affordability leaves room for a “splurge elsewhere in the room.” You won’t have to fork out for a box spring, either: The frame works just fine without one.
Best colorful metal bed frame
Style: Headboard and footboard, platform | Material: Recycled steel | Price: $$$
If you like the minimalist lines and low profile of the Keetsa frame above but want a little bit more in terms of color and heft, check out Room & Board’s Parsons Bed. It comes in an impressive shade range — 18 rich hues — and has a medium-height headboard and a low, mattress-skimming footboard, giving you more structure and presence without being overpowering. The frame is a favorite of designer Anki Spets, founder of AREA Home, who says that the frame, hand-welded from recycled steel, is “quite sturdy and will last for a long time.” She credits the frame’s raised platform for its overall “airy look”, and as far as picking a color goes, she encourages something bold: “How about orange or onyx gloss?”
Best Art Deco–style metal bed frame
Style: Headboard and footboard | Material: Powder-coated iron | Price: $$$
For a frame that makes more of a statement comes this Art Deco frame from Anthropologie. Made of handcrafted, powder-coated iron, the arching, oval-motif headboard and footboard are “both on trend and timeless,” says interior designer Aimee Martinelli. But the feature that truly draws Martinelli to the frame are the “subtle gold details, which really make this bed special.” Over on the Anthropologie site, reviewers praise the solidity of the frame, and efficient assembly by the delivery team. The wooden-slat support system means it doesn’t require a box spring , either — so once you’ve tracked down a comfy mattress, you’re good to go.
Best canopy metal bed frame
Style: Canopy, platform | Material: Powder-coated iron | Price: $$
Like the Anthropologie bed above, this canopy bed frame features some subtly-glam brass detailing. It’s recommended by interior designer Megan Huffman, who likes how despite its “industrial design”, the “streamlined aesthetic and matte black silhouette” prevent it from becoming too overpowering. Instead, with the platform (and lack of a box-spring), the mattress appears to almost float in mid-air. Made of matte black, powder-coated iron, the frame utilizes rubber wood slats to support the mattress. And at $699, it’s a steal compared to frames of an equal grandeur.
Best colorful canopy metal bed frame
Style: Canopy, platform | Material: Recycled steel | Price: $$$
Here’s the canopy version of Room & Board’s Parsons Bed, and it, too, comes in a fun array of vibrant colors — 17 total including pink, aquamarine blue, and canary yellow. Los Angeles–based designer Betsy Burnham is a fan of the variety of shades and metal finishes, finding that they can “really fit into many different design schemes.” She adds, “We’ve used it in a guest room that had a more feminine palette and fabrics to balance things out and add modernity and linearity.” The frame’s “great lines” are made of powder-coated steel, and its minimal headrest and simple lines give it a fuss-free feel.
Best minimalist metal bed frame
Style: Platform | Material: Matte or powder-coated aluminum | Price: $$$
“The Min bed, to me, is the most simple, ideal metal frame,” says Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens. The aluminum frame comes in four finishes — matte silver, deep blue, black and white — and has a simple, lightweight silhouette that can suit any home. Senior editor Kayleen Schaefer, a self-described hater of clunky bed frames, also loves her Min frame. It’s so low-profile you “forget it’s there,” she says, and Kitchens appreciates the small details in its design, like the way its “slender, elongated, slightly curved legs” peek out from under a duvet or quilt. And although Kitchens thinks it’s a fair price for the quality of the frame, she recommends checking on Craigslist: It appears “somewhat regularly” secondhand in New York and L.A. marketplaces.
• Betsy Burnham, Los Angeles-based designer
• Megan Huffman, interior designer
• Simone Kitchens, Strategist senior editor
• Jean Lin, Colony design-group founder
• Aimee Martinelli, interior designer
• Kayleen Schaefer, Strategist senior editor
• Molly Schoneveld, founder of The Storied Group
• Anki Spets, designer and founder of AREA Home
• Lisa Spicer, interior designer
• Yoan Walter, interior designer
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