How to Fix a Squeaky Box Spring: Step-by-Step Guide

In this article, you will learn several ways to fix a squeaky box spring so that you can get better rest.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
Reviewed By
Medical Advisory Team
Medical Advisory Team
Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: August 24, 2023
TalkAboutSleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

If you have come to this page, you will likely wonder how to fix a squeaky box spring. Due to this issue, it is probably also likely that you are not getting enough sleep lately. It’s one of those small things in life that must be fixed because you may feel you can’t roll over or move your legs without hearing a squeak or a creak. 

A box spring that makes noise can be one of the most annoying sounds that exist, not just for you, but for anybody who lives with you and also your neighbors if you happen to live in an apartment building with very thin walls. It can also be miserable sleeping with a partner who rolls over a lot, making those one or two mattress coils squeak. It can be worse than snoring!  It is also frustrating to realize that you cannot often tell what part of your bed is making the noise! When it comes to your bedroom, Silence is Golden, so here are some ways to fix a squeaky box spring.

Find a source for squeaky box springs

How to Fix a Squeaky Box Spring: Step-by-Step Guide
Sometimes it is hard to find the exact source of the squeaks and noises coming from your bed. To locate the joint or location of the squeak, have someone crawl over the bed or rollover on it and listen closely as the motion disturbs the springs. This can help you locate the exact location of the problem. If the problem is not the mattress, then remove it from the bed and try the same tactic by rolling over the box spring or even stepping on it to see if you can find the squeak. If this still does not reveal the source, check your frame for loose joints or bolts. Sometimes seams of metal or wood might be rasping or chafing against each other and making lots of noise. Keep in mind that sometimes the culprit is rubber feet on your foot legs or even the casters on the feet of your bed. If rubber or plastic feet are not appropriately fitted to support the bed, it may throw it out of balance, so it squeaks. Sometimes casters simply need good oiling to prevent squeaking noises, and that can be done with WD40 or even vegetable oil.

The mattress

If a mattress starts to squeak, it is likely due to a problem with the coiled springs inside of it. They get bent, get squished and lose their shape. The metal springs could also be getting stiff from humidity or exposure to moisture. It could simply be that your mattress is getting old, and the springs are wearing out or stretching out, so they no longer have any bounce or too much give. When this happens, the mattress can start sagging. 

If you are a heavy person, your box springs may have become worn out due to the strain of supporting too much weight every night. Many problems with squeaky springs are caused by a balance problem within the fabric casing of the mattress. It could also be that the mattress is not set correctly on top of the box spring or slats and that it simply needs a repositioning, straightening out, or a flip over to its other side to silence the noise.

The box spring

Box springs are made of metal or wood boxes that encasing metal springs (coils). When one of these springs malfunctions, it can make a variety of noises: a squeak, a creak, a springing sound. One of the most efficient and fast ways to fix a squeaky mattress, especially if multiple springs are squeaking simultaneously, is to flip over the box spring, which will reveal a layer of thin fabric through which you will be able to see the springs.  You can then cut a slit in the fabric that covers the spring with an exact knife. Do this from the side of the box spring so that the part you cut looks like a flap when you pull it back. Once the flap is pulled back, examine the springs and straighten or bend any crooked ones.

You can also spray WD-40 on each individual spring (or anywhere there’s metal) to lubricate the areas that may be responsible for the noise. You can then pull the flap back to its original position and use a stapler to reseal the box spring. When you replace the mattress back on the box spring, the squeaking of the metal should be gone. It’s okay to repeat this procedure a couple of times to get it right.

The bed frame

The bed frame can be responsible for making a lot of noise, especially if it is made out of metal and if it is second-hand or aging. Whether the frame is metal or wood and it can start creaking if it is loose at the joints or if interlocking parts of the bed don’t quite fit properly together or into slots. Bed slats can also make noise if they were never fixed to a platform properly or if they are the wrong size or loose in any way. Yet another culprit can be a headboard attached to the bed frame with a loose bolt or hook. Often this is the result of stress from motion on the bed, or it could also be the bed frame plus headboard was not assembled properly in the first place. The trick is to make the headboard flush with the mattress frame to stop the bed frame from squeaking. The bolt or hook can be tightened with a nut to the bottom of the bed to fix this problem.

How to fix a squeaky mattress

How to Fix a Squeaky Box Spring: Step-by-Step Guide
A squeaky mattress problem is usually a matter of rebalancing the mattress or somehow giving the coils mattress a chance to regain their shape after they have become distorted or bent in some way.  The fix is usually about redistributing the weight on the mattress surface or repositioning so that your body does not compress the springs in the same old places when you lie on it. One fix is to flip the mattress and sleep on its reverse side to give the springs a break. Of course, this is not a solution that works well if the mattress has a sewn-in foam topper, as the flipping of the mattress may displace or bend the coils at the bottom of the bed in a drastic way that actually ruins the mattress. 

Rotate the mattress

A fix for squeaky coils can be to rotate the mattress. Rotating the mattress can mean turning it physically on the bed frame  so that your head is positioned where your feet were on the mattress. This helps the coils “lose their memory'” and loosens them up. Rotating the mattress can also mean the same thing as flipping the mattress. If you like, you can also rotate and flip the mattress at the same time.

Add plywood

Flat blocks of plywood or even books or magazines can be used to fix a squeak caused by a mattress that is not quite balanced on the frame. If the mattress is of good quality, then you won’t feel the books or the plywood beneath you. You can also use flat sheets of plywood to fix a mattress that is squeaking because it has lost its shape. For more information about how to fix a squeaky bed by putting a sheet of plywood beneath it, check out how-to-fix-a-sagging-mattress-with-plywood.

Change the mattress

If the mattress doesn’t stop squeaking, then you may have no other choice but to replace it. You can go to a mattress store and test out them out in person, or you can order a mattress in a box. Before buying, be sure to choose the mattress that has the right firmness for you, and be aware that cheaper mattresses will be “off-gassing” fumes for a few days after you take them out of the plastic. To avoid this, try buying an organic or all-natural mattress or even one stuffed with good old-fashioned sweet hay. The rule of thumb when buying a new mattress is also that the more coils there are in the fabric casing, the more durable and comfortable it will be.

How to fix a squeaky bed frame or box spring

How to Fix a Squeaky Box Spring: Step-by-Step Guide
Sometimes, the squeaking and creaking source is not the mattress at all but the box spring or box spring. Check the joints for malfunctioning or splitting. You can buy wedges, glue, cork, and other items to help repair your wooden box frame. 

1. Check the joints

If the bed frame is metal, it is generally a bent frame or loose nuts and bolts that causing the noise issue; get a wrench and tighten them. If that still does not work, cushion the bolt by adding a washer between the frame and bolt to absorb the weight’s stress on the bed joint. The snugger the washer is, the less noise it will be capable of making.

2. Cushion the slats

Sometimes it is your slats, sitting on top of wood or metal bed frames, that are making noise. Suppose the noise is more like a clacking or clicking sound, then it is definitely more likely to be a slat. Slats will also squeak and creak if they are not appropriately interlocked or flush with the frame. If this is the case, then you can also try placing a layer of foam cut to size between the slats and your mattress to minimize the noise. You can also slip an old sock on each slat Trusted Source How to Fix a Squeaky Bed - 10 Easy Hacks - Bob Vila The sign of an old box spring is a bed that just won’t stop squeaking when all you’re trying to do is catch a bit of shut-eye. ; this is a good way to recycle old socks. He also suggests linking the slats with a sheet or old t-shirts to help muffle any noise.

3. Oil the frame

Whether it is a metal or wood frame, it can really help to oil the seams in the joints or the actual nuts and bolts with WD40 or vegetable oil if you don’t have a can of grease on hand. In addition, you can make your own natural metal lubricant Trusted Source How To Make Amazing 'All-Natural' WD-40 - Off The Grid News With all-natural “WD-40,” you may never go back to the original formula again. by mixing one part water with three parts sunflower or olive oil.

4. Use cork 

Not all beds have squeaky parts made of metal. Sometimes the culprit is a loose or malfitting wooden joint that needs to be cushioned to reduce noise. Try wedging small bits of cork between the mattress and area of the mattress to stabilize the frame, so it does not squeak

5. Add floor padding

Sometimes the reason your box spring or frame is creaking is that the floor is a bit unbalanced or rickety. Adding floor padding beneath the box spring or bed legs can help minimize the noise. Floor padding can be anything that even out the legs, so they are balanced: a thick rug, towel, or sheet. You might also want to consider moving your bed to a place in your bedroom where the floor is more even.

6. Pad the space between the box spring and the bed frame

Sometimes creaking and squeaking noises come from a gap between the spring and the bedframe, so laying some padding between the box spring and the bedframe is a good idea.

7. Lubricate the bolts

A little bit of WD-40 or a similar oil can help to lubricate the metal bolts of the bed frame, so they are not as squeaky. Sometimes loosening a lubricated bolt can also help minimize or eliminate a squeaking noise.

8. Apply wax

You can also use any kind of wax to help fix a squeaky box spring. The handiest home solution for this is to use a little candle wax to lubricate the loose seams and joints and eliminate friction points. Take the candlestick and use it as a wand to rub it all over the problem areas until the box spring doesn’t make noise anymore.

For an even more thorough look at how to fix a bed frame, has some great suggestions, including advice on how to glue or remove minor splits in a wood frame using scrap wood, wood filler, wood glue, or a wood filler.

When is the time to replace a box spring

How to Fix a Squeaky Box Spring: Step-by-Step Guide
The good news about a box spring is that you do not have to replace it as often as you do the mattress, but you might want to because it is always nice to have a new platform or box spring to go with your new mattress. Box springs generally last about ten years, whereas a mattress usually lasts about 7 years. If your mattress and box spring were bought at the same time, they might need replacing at the same time, especially if the mattress was of good quality.

You also might want to consider trying an alternative to an old-school box spring and instead replace it with foundational mattress support. These box springs are all-inclusive units that can be used as a bed frame or can sit on top of an existing frame. They use corner hinges, and slats are sewn right into the fabric, making them easy to assemble and portable. Even though they are lightweight, they can usually support up to 1500 pounds. Brooklyn Bedding is a company that sells this type of alternative to a box spring.

Sweet night is another company that is offering a portable alternative to the usual bulky square wood-framed box springs. These box springs are adjustable beds that can support just about any mattress, including a futon. It can move from a flat position via a remote to a position reminiscent of a lawn chair where your back and knees are raised in a relaxing position.

Final thoughts 

Now that you know how to fix a squeaky box spring or mattress, you don’t have to replace your bed in order to get some peace and quiet. The mattress is the hardest to clear of squeaks because it is a sealed unit. You can’t strip it of its coils and oil them or reposition the coils like you can with a box spring. It is much easier to fix a box spring because you can usually detect the loose joint or bolt simply by examining the frame. Fixing a squeaking bed is often a matter of finding a new balance for the entire bed or repositioning both the mattress and the bed frame to alter the way they fit together, or moving the bed to a place in the bedroom where it is more balanced. Pads, cork, and WDforty can fix just about any problem when it comes to fixing a squeaky box spring.


How to Fix a Squeaky Bed - 10 Easy Hacks - Bob Vila
The sign of an old box spring is a bed that just won’t stop squeaking when all you’re trying to do is catch a bit of shut-eye.
How To Make Amazing
With all-natural “WD-40,” you may never go back to the original formula again.
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *