What is a Platform Bed?
A platform bed is a type of bed that has a large, durable foundation that is made to support a mattress. You do not need a box spring with a platform bed as the bed frame provides your mattress with ample support. Most platform beds are lower to the ground, with an average height of 12-18 inches. However, you can also find some platform beds that are as low as 5 inches off the ground.
History of the Platform Bed
It is hard to determine precisely when the first known platform bed became a style trend, as early human civilizations have all used some version of what could be defined as a platform bed. However, you can find some of the earliest existing platform beds looking at ancient Egyptian royalty. For example, King Tut’s tomb was found to have a stunning gilded wooden bed with a solid foundation, a headrest, and a detailed footboard.
In its simplest of definitions, a platform bed is a bed that only requires a mattress. In other words, a box spring is not needed for support.
The modern box-spring was created in the 1980s and was used alongside a panel bed. Essentially, bed frames at the time required additional support to keep a mattress stable, and the box springs added height to make your mattress more comfortable to get in and out of. With that said, box springs have an added cost, and many people prefer buying frames that they can place their mattress on and then be done with shopping.
That is where the platform bed started gaining popularity. With an increase in minimalistic designs and modernism, the platform bed is now generally made from wood, metal, bamboo, or leather and is a perfect mix of functional and beautiful!
Pros and Cons of a Platform Bed
How is the Platform bed different from a Panel bed?
A panel bed has rails on its side, and it is designed to hold a mattress and box spring. You will need to have a box spring with a panel bed, whereas you will not need one for a platform bed.
Furthermore, a panel bed usually has a large headboard and footboard made from a large panel or multiple panels – giving homage to its name.
From a design approach, if you are someone who likes a traditional style bedroom, then you will prefer a panel bed frame. However, if you prefer a modern or minimalistic bedroom, you will gravitate more towards a platform bed frame.
Should I get a panel bed frame instead?
I like bed frames that do not need additional purchase, like adding box springs, so I prefer platform beds. However, there are some benefits of a panel bed with a box spring. For example, a panel bed tends to be higher off of the ground. On average, Amerisleep states that panel beds are 25 inches in height. The springs on a box spring are also great at supporting your weight and can make your mattress feel more comfortable or responsive to your body. Springs are also great at extending the life of your bed and can sometimes be better at relieving back pain. However, with that said, it is also important to note that box springs do wear out, and the added expense can add up rather quickly.
With that said, if you are someone who likes grand bedroom designs with an elevated bed, gorgeous headboard, a bedspread that includes a bed skirt, then you will want to go for a panel bed frame.
Do some companies use the terms “platform bed” and “panel bed” interchangeably?
Some manufacturers make panel beds with their slats close together, and they do a great job of connecting the sides of the bed, creating a solid foundation. These beds are usually advertised as a “platform” bed because they do not require a box spring, but they are made in the design/style of a panel bed. So, yes, money-saving, some manufacturers and companies interchangeably use elements of a bed style and select to name it after one over another. However, almost every manufacturer knows that if they use the term “panel bed,” they will expect their customers to add a box spring.
Additional Questions and Answers:
How do I add Height to my Platform Bed?
Some individuals do not like how low to the ground a platform bed is. Beds that have a box spring are much easier to get in and out of and can be especially beneficial for elderly individuals with mobility issues.
However, if you are looking for some height with a platform bed, you may want to invest in a more dense mattress. Standard mattress heights are 9 to 12 inches, but you can also find some that are 12 to 15 inches thick. By adding a thicker mattress to a platform bed, you will have many of the benefits of a panel frame: having a more oversized headboard and finding it easier to get in and out of bed.
What is a floating bed?
A “floating bed” is a very modern style of platform bed constructed in a way where it looks like it is floating or hovering. Some floating beds are anchored to the wall, whereas most floating beds are attached to a solid but smaller foundation that looks hidden from the exterior. Beds like these make for futuristic designs or allow designers to use light in creative and modern ways.
If you would like to save some money and make your own floating bed, check out our friends at Shanty 2 Chic for a tutorial!
I want to save money. Do I even need a mattress frame?
There are many ways to save money, but skipping on a mattress frame and putting your bed on the floor shouldn’t be one of them. A bed frame provides mattress support, prevents mold, and can be a clever way to add storage. Furthermore, many mattress companies will void your mattress warranty if you don’t have a bed frame. Your money-saving trick might lend itself to a costly nightmare. So, in short: don’t do it!
Ammar is the founder of Crafts & Bolts and is an avid writer, school administrator, and doggo-dad to a goofy Labrador mutt. Through blogging, Ammar brings his passion for education and love for homeownership together to help readers turn their starter homes into dream homes! If you ever want to chat about: interior design, starting a blog, or cooking spicy meals – He’s your guy!