Before, when shopping for a new bed, the variety of sizes, names, styles, and parts left me overwhelmed and confused. Terms like “cross rail” and “slats” that I didn’t understand led me to make poor choices, resulting in uncomfortable beds and a poor night’s sleep.
I’m breaking down the different parts of a bed, explaining what each bed part does and key factors to consider when selecting them. With this guide, you’ll understand the anatomy of a bed frame and mattress so you can shop smarter and find the perfect bed to meet your needs and sleep style.
Key Takeaways: Parts of Bed Frames
A bed has major and minor parts. These are the most important ones to help you choose, assemble, and repair beds:
- Side rails
Exploring the Anatomy of a Bed: A Deep Dive into Bed Frame Components
Beds may look simple, yet they consist of various crucial components for comfort and support. Here’s a table showing common bed parts and their purposes:
|Decorative panel at the head for support
|Vertical grid on the headboard’s back
|Headboard top rail
|Horizontal piece at the top of the headboard
|Headboard cross rail
|Horizontal piece below the slat to support the base
|Vertical legs that raise headboards to the desired height
|Long rails on each side connecting both the headboard and footboard
|Rails with raised edges for safety
|Rails that sit lower than the surface of mattresses
|Decorative panel at the foot
|Vertical grid on front of footboard
|Footboard top rail
|Horizontal piece at the footboard’s top
|Base that the slats attach to
|Horizontal or vertical slats that support the mattress
|Rigid platform that supports the mattress
|Sleeping surface made up of springs, foam, padding
Let’s go over each of these in a bit more detail:
Headboards are among the most crucial parts of a bed because they provide structure and additional support. Interior designer Tina Martindelcampo shares how headboards can also make a visual impact in bedrooms:
“A headboard for your bed creates a complete and custom look to the room design. A room can seem unfinished without a headboard and sometimes look messy. A headboard creates a focal point in the room, drawing your eye in.”
There are various types of headboards, though, here are their typical components:
This part generally comprises vertical screens attached to the back of the bed frame.
Headboard Top Rail
This is a horizontal piece set on top of the slat.
Headboard Cross Rail
This is a horizontal piece set below the slat that supports the base.
These are vertical parts that position headboards at your preferred height.
The bed side rails prevents you from slipping off and protects the wall from getting damaged. Likewise, they can act as handles for adults or children who need assistance.
Bed Side Rail
These parts of the bed run from the headboard to the footboard and support the bed lengthwise.
Bottom Side Rail
These wood or metal pieces run below the headboard to the footboard.
The footboard is another one of the most crucial parts of a bed because it helps keep the bed in order. Current designs also add aesthetics to guest rooms.
This is a decorative piece of vertical panel attached to the front of the bed frame.
Footboard Top Rail
This is the vertical screen or grid attached to the front of the bed frame.
This area serves as the base for the bed to which cut slats are attached.
These slats are cut thin in desired lengths and widths to create a series of overlapping grids or screens at the base.
The box spring is a fabric-covered frame that serves as a base for mattresses, especially for those in a wooden frame. Some bed frames, like a bunk or trundle bed, don’t need a box spring.
For example, platform beds don’t need this part because of their low-profile design and sturdy base that can hold mattresses up. This is why I sometimes opt for this style to avoid the hassle of also needing to get a box spring.
Quality mattresses can lead to a peaceful sleep and contribute to overall health. A survey from the National Sleep Foundation shows that 92% of people believe comfortable mattresses are crucial to a good night’s sleep.
These components of mattresses also serve as essential parts of a bed.
- HDPU foam: High-density polyurethane foam can make mattresses, upholstered furniture, and car seats either flexible or rigid
- Double foam quilt: Two-sided quilted mattress
- Memory foam: Made of polyurethane and other chemicals and designed to provide relief from back pain and spine pain and pressure points
- Polyester padding: This non-woven, thermally bonded component provides comfort
- Springs: Resilient metal coils for support
- Cotton felt: Separates the coil system from the cushioned layers
I think a mattress is the most important component of your bed. I even spent hours at IKEA testing their mattresses to find the best one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Find Good Bed Frames?
You can find good bed frames at furniture stores, such as Wayfair or IKEA. I’ve tested several IKEA bed frames and personally love their Hasselvika bedframe.
Does Every Bed Type Have the Same Parts?
Most bed types share the same components, like headboards, rails, footboards, cleats, and mattresses. However, some types, like a platform bed or canopy bed, don’t need slats or box springs.
What Are the Optional Parts of a Bed?
Some optional bed components include a footboard bench, storage drawers, wheels, and poles for canopy beds. You can also add hook-on rails to secure the sides, particularly for double-deckers and high beds.
Knowing the basic bed parts will help you choose the right bed online or in stores to meet your needs and design goals. Focus on how these core components impact your sleeping experience and bedroom aesthetics.