What Is a Platform Bed?

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Last updatedLast updated: July 26, 2021
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After years of sleeping on the same uncomfortable bed, it’s a great idea to purchase a new one. Due to the variety of options available, it’s always recommended to do your own research.

Perhaps, your eyes were drawn to a stylish bed that was labeled as a platform bed. But what is a platform bed?

A platform bed is a bed that is designed to be much lower to the ground than a traditional bed. It has a modern contemporary design and a minimalistic feel. Another interesting fact about a platform bed is that it doesn’t require a box spring. Because of its design, you can place the mattress directly onto the supportive surface it provides.

Variety of platform beds

There are many different types of platform beds to select from. Modern-day platform beds come with a variety of features, such as storage. That’s perfect for those that don’t have a lot of floor space or storage space in the room. With this type, there are storage drawers built directly into the bed frame. This is the perfect place to store extra bedding or winter blankets when not in use. Some designs come complete with a headboard and a footboard attachment.

As platform beds increase in popularity, many manufacturers are designing the mattresses to make them more versatile.

What is the main difference between a platform bed and a panel bed? Panel beds are ones most of us are used to. It was designed to hold and support a traditional mattress and has a mattress foundation.

A platform bed, on the other hand, allows you to place your mattress directly onto it with no need for a separate mattress foundation.

Solid platform

What Is a Platform Bed?

The solid platform bed option does not have any slats. It is built with a sturdy wooden base and a narrow sleek frame. The bed has slightly tapered legs that add to its minimalist look. The mattress can be placed directly onto the solid surface and doesn’t require a box spring.

Other variations include a legless version that is lightweight and easy to move.

The solid design makes the bed appear like it is floating, which adds to its overall appeal and fun look. Another benefit of the solid version is that it’s excellent for those that suffer from allergies as there is little to no space available under the bed so that less dust will gather.

If you enjoy the comfort of a memory foam mattress, then this is the option for you. The flat surface prevents the dense material from being damaged and distorted.

The only drawback is the fact that the design does little to increase your sleeping comfort or help distribute your weight evenly. Having a mattress for a flat surface platform can help ease your discomfort.

It is important to rotate and flip your mattress regularly because your body heat and sweat get drawn into the fabric. If you don’t, moisture could build up beneath the mattress, which could lead to mold and mildew.

Slat platform

The main advantage of the slatted platform bed is the fact that it allows adequate airflow to circulate beneath the mattress. This is ideal for those that get very hot when they sleep.

The newest slatted platform beds allow you to customize the distance between the slats for optimum sleeping comfort.

Slats are constructed from wood and are joined together with a fabric lattice weave. This gives the mattress support and provides a bit of giving when weighed down. This allows for excellent weight distribution and a supportive, comfortable sleeping surface.

The slatted design means there is no need to purchase a box spring, which makes this option very budget-friendly.

Not all slatted options are suited for every type of mattress. Memory foam and heavy options are not ideal. It’s vital to ensure that the mattress you choose can be accommodated without voiding the warranty.

What is the best mattress for a platform bed? The best way to select the correct mattress is to look at the warranty or ask the salesperson. Most leading mattress brands will provide this information in the warranty and give you examples of what you can and shouldn’t use.

When selecting a slatted version, the options include a supporting center rail that reaches all the way down to the floor. Some options may offer built-in storage, but this affects the airflow capabilities so keep that in mind when picking between designs.

The slat version consists of multiple strips of wood that span the entire width of the bed. This design allows air to freely move between the slats and the mattress and provides a much cooler sleeping experience. Some slat versions will enable you to remove or re-arrange slats to design your own level of sleeping comfort.

Metal design

If you’re looking for a durable platform bed frame, then the metal frame would be the best option for you. Metal is reliable and has less chance of breaking. Heavier individuals will find this the best option.

Even though the frame is constructed from heavy gauge tubing, it is surprisingly lightweight and easy to maneuver. One drawback with a metal frame is that it can get a bit noisy and is prone to squeaking. In very humid climates, it can also rust without proper care.

A wooden frame offers a more rustic look and feel and will ultimately be slightly cheaper than its metal counterpart.

What is a cross-sectional support?

Most foam mattresses need proper support. Otherwise, the material can compress and break down. Cross-sectional support is provided by a bar running down the center of the bed. It features additional supportive legs directly below it. Without this feature, your mattress will start to sag.

Lower profile

Platform beds are distinguished by their low profile design. This means the bed is much closer to the ground than your traditional box spring bed. Although this lends to its stylish design, it can be a bit problematic for those with knee, joint or back problems.

If you carry a bit of extra weight, you may find entering and exiting the bed problematic. If your heart is set on a platform bed, we are happy to report that you can place a box spring on the platform frame and raise the profile considerably. Our top recommendation is the ZINUS Smart. It is available in various sizes and has a 9-inch profile.

Less space under the frame

One of the worse parts about an old box spring bed frame is that it can be so high off the ground. This allowed objects to fall down and get lost under the bed! It also allowed dirt and dust to accumulate under it, and it had to be lifted to be appropriately cleaned.

Many owners love the fact that the platform bed is often so close to the ground that there is very little space under the bed. An added bonus for kids is that no monster could possibly hide beneath it.

What is a floating platform bed?

What Is a Platform Bed?

Many trendy hotels offer floating platform beds that look as though the bed is hovering above the ground. This stylish design feature is made possible by the fact that the support is located underneath the bed and not on the sides like traditional options.


The first platform beds on the market did not come with a headboard or footboard, but due to its ever-increasing popularity, many designs being released now include these features. Some manufacturers have produced headboards as accessories that can easily be added to older designs.

Headboards also help you turn your room into a stylish area. You can keep it simple with a design like the Zinus Adrian Wood Platform Bed that will go with almost any décor.

Final thoughts

So now you know the answer to the question, what is a platform bed? Experts predict that they will continue to grow in popularity. Every day new designs are being launched with stylish finishes and sturdy design elements.

The addition storage compartments is a benefit that is worth its weight in gold, especially when closet storage space is a problem.

Are you ready to throw away your old box spring and treat yourself to a luxurious sleeping experience in a new platform bed? Now all that’s left to decide is whether to get a slatted or solid version. Which do you prefer?

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