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March 30, 2014 9:20 AM   Subscribe

I want to get my full size mattress up off the floor-- what is the best way to accomplish this given my space constraints?

I recently redecorated my small bedroom, and bunch of my belongings that I was previously able to squirrel away have nowhere to go and are sitting in a pile in a corner. My only option for creating more storage space at this point is to get my mattress off of the ground, but because of how the room is arranged there is no room for a proper bed frame-- whatever supports the mattress cannot be any bigger than the mattress itself. I need at least a foot of space under the bed.

From what I can tell, there seem to be two options for accomplishing this. A metal frame would probably be the most straightforward option, but I have concerns about the frame creaking and squeaking after extended use. I also have an Ikea mattress that is thinner and floppier than the average mattress, so I don't know whether it would provide the best support.

Option 2 is buying a box spring and attaching legs to it. This would avoid my concerns about a metal frame, but I'm not sure that it would be much more efficient given that I would have to assemble it myself and get bed risers as well in order to get the amount of clearance under the bed that I need.

So, do you have a recommendation for a good metal frame that won't start squeaking after a few months? If you've done the box spring+legs method, were you satisfied with the results? Is there a third option I'm not thinking of? I am open to pretty much anything that falls under a $150-200 price point, although I don't want to get too far into DIY stuff since I'm concerned about accidentally creating something structurally unsound.
posted by fox problems to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have done the IKEA box spring plus legs option for years and feel totally duped about the previous years when I thought I needed proper bed frames. I have absolutely no complaints and recommend it without reservation!
posted by telegraph at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2014

In my guest bedroom, I have an IKEA mattress on a Durabed frame. It's nice because there's some decent storage underneath, and the frame itself provides support like a box spring. No squeaking so far. Sleeps really well, and I like that I can fold it up so it'll be easier to move.
posted by mochapickle at 9:32 AM on March 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

I use one of these: Wood Slat Bed Frame. It's tall enough, cheap enough, and would be supportive for a floppy mattress. I haven't had any noise issues, but I haven't had it all that long.
posted by colbeagle at 9:48 AM on March 30, 2014

Until recently, i had a metal frame bed. The frame was about 30 years old. It did not creak once, ever. All the metal frames owned by my family members also did/do not creak, ever. In fact, i'm pretty sure it's wood that creaks, not metal.

Your instinct that the simplest idea is the best idea is correct, you are inventing an obstacle with the creaking.

Also: don't attach legs to a box spring. It doesn't have the structural integrity to substitute for a bed frame.
posted by Kololo at 10:00 AM on March 30, 2014

Do you have enough space for a really simple wooden slat frame like this one? We have a Tuft and Needle mattress on ours and it works great, takes up very little space and leaves a ton of storage room below. The mattress is a tiny bit smaller than the wooden frame but apparently this isn't true of traditional mattresses (the Tuft and Needle one runs a bit short).

That said, I agree with the previous posters that I have not had a metal frame that really squeaked at all. Our previous frame we got rid of because it was ugly and didn't get the bed that far off the ground (had a boxspring).
posted by selfnoise at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2014

I recently bought this frame. It sets up in seconds, doesn't squeak at all, and has over 12" of clearance for sliding boxes underneath. I like it a lot.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:15 PM on March 30, 2014

I have the same wooden slat frame that selfnoise linked to, and it works great for my similar small-room space and storage needs.
posted by pemberkins at 1:23 PM on March 30, 2014

I know you said basically no DIY, but just on the off chance (or for someone else perusing this thread later) here is a great set of plans/instructions that I just used to build a queen size bed for myself.

I too was worried about building something structurally unsound but this plan is really simple with no fancy joinery or brackets or what have you: just cutting boards to size and screwing together. I used a handsaw and a cordless drill for the screws and drilling holes. The end result is very sturdy and I learned a lot in the process.

My notes:
That plan is for a queen but you could calculate the measurements for a full size. The frame is meant to be slightly smaller than the mattress so no added footprint.

I'm not a skilled woodworker at all. My father and I did this project together but I think I could have done it myself; it just would have taken longer for me to understand each step as a first-time bed builder.

Make sure you buy boards that don't have too many big knots or sticky spots of pitch and resin. They will let you choose at the lumber yard. Some knots are fine (and inevitable) but big ones or irregularities in the grain that go across the whole width of the board may lead to a weakened bed slat prone to breaking. (We broke one and I replaced it with two for security) For extra peace of mind you could choose to add an extra slat in the first place and redistribute the spacing accordingly.
posted by dahliachewswell at 2:31 PM on March 30, 2014

This Ikea bed frame is exactly the size of the mattress - and has storage built in! And no box spring needed!
posted by amaire at 5:05 PM on March 30, 2014

I put a 4x8 of 1/2" plywood on 4 concrete blocks. Works great.
posted by herox at 6:44 PM on March 30, 2014

Ikea double bed slats on top of Billy bookcases is what we do. The bookcase is turned on the side and the shelves provide storage.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:05 PM on March 30, 2014

Since IKEA seems to be so popular in these responses... and because your needs will potentially change over time: I love the utility of using the IKEA Expedit line.

Depending on the type/style of items you need to store, try this or this.

If you want something even sturdier (seriously - several people at over hundred-fifty pounds each going nuts for a video prank) without a creak, try something like this.For that last option you could choose to NOT screw the top plywood in and perhaps use hinges or velcro if you need more frequent access. Come to think of it - Velcro would be pretty sturdy and reduce any friction/rubbing of wood.
posted by emjay at 3:25 AM on March 31, 2014

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