Sturdy bed frame for under $500: is it possible?
November 20, 2019 7:30 AM   Subscribe

I am in the market for a queen bed frame. Under $500, has a headboard, and supports two non-ace adults (500lbs?) and all the activities that entails. I won't be using a box spring so I guess it will have to use slats or a bunkie board (?). No upholstery on account of having cats. I'll be putting it on risers. Is this possible? Do you have recommendations? More details within.

  • I've looked at IKEA, but I don't know how those hold up to lots of movement.
  • Ideally no more than 65'' across and 85'' long.
  • Probably would have to be a platform bed on account of needing the risers. Basically I need at least 18'' underneath it for my various storage boxes, and I figure that's not realistic to expect out of a bed frame alone.
  • In a perfect world it would be relatively easy to dissemble for moving, but I'm guessing this and "sturdy" don't go together and sturdiness is paramount.
  • I don't really care about the design, I just want it to function.
If these criteria are not realistic, how much should I expect to pay and what frame do you use that you like?
posted by anonymous to Shopping (21 answers total)
Best answer: I just got the Zinus Arnav Modern Studio 10" Black Metal Platform Bed from Walmart and I love it. It should check all your boxes. I find it very sturdy, but you may need to test it out. I discovered recently that returning large items to Walmart is fairly easy though - so you can order it online and if it doesn't work, return it to a store.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 7:37 AM on November 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

CB2 has some options. I have the Alchemy bed frame from CB2, though the queen size is a bit more than the $500 cap you mention. I've had it for five years and it's held up nicely. I keep it on risers so it's not as low to the floor (and I don't have a box spring). Not sure of the clearance underneath since I don't have storage boxes.
posted by wicked_sassy at 7:49 AM on November 20, 2019

If you're in the US: Craigslist or Salvation Army store. Lots of good options, at least in Chicago and NC. Generally older furniture is better.

You could also build a platform pretty easily.
posted by amtho at 7:54 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: Seconding zinus. Mine is very very sturdy.
posted by seemoorglass at 8:29 AM on November 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Thirding Zinus. We have three of their bed frames and all three have been super sturdy for larger sleep-thrashing people and remarkably easy to put together and take apart. They have stuff like Velcro on the bed rails to hold the accompanying slats!

We just ordered their wooden minimal platform bed* (currently $164 for a queen) that is the exact footprint of our mattress--it seems like it might work well for you with risers?

*note that the website says Andover Mills but the box you get says Zinus and the bed inside conforms to the Zinus method of instructions and assembly. Wayfair confirmed that Zinus makes the beds but they are branded as Andover Mills.
posted by stellaluna at 8:51 AM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

We have had an IKEA MALM for almost 10 years now and no complaints. We have had to replace the metal beam that runs down the center of the bed twice (bow chicka wow wow) but they sell it separately for like $10 so it's not too big a deal.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:59 AM on November 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I use the Zinus in all our bedrooms, on heavy duty risers in one room. We currently don't have headboards, but they have headboard mounts on them, should be pretty standard.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:10 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: Oh, yes - the Zinus folds up like nothing. It's heavy, but I can move them (they're all twins, the king is two twins that bolt together) to and from the garage by myself. A queen might be a two person job to get up and down stairs, but it'll still be folded up to maybe 5" thick so still quite easy to corner.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:12 AM on November 20, 2019

one comment is that adding risers to the mix greatly reduces the stability of the bed during vigorous activity. if you screw the riser to the bed frame that will be much less of a concern. or, get a platform bed with drawers built in, which is what i have and is great. (though large and heavy and not easy to move)
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:27 AM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

The IKEA MALM design is sturdy. There's more a danger of it sliding across a smooth floor and bumping into the wall than taking any damage from bed sports. (Which problem can be solved by felt cups or padding.) I don't know Zinus but it sounds like a good option, too. MALM has a variety of configurations including a tilt-up mattress and under-bed drawers to reclaim a bit of storage. Also the MALM design is easy to dis/reassemble and move from room to room should you need it, without losing strength. (Not fold-up easy, but half an hour with a screwgun easy.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:29 AM on November 20, 2019

If you decide to go for the Malm please go to a store and sit down on it and get up again....a few times. I spent a month in a furnished apartment that had a Malm. It was nice enough to sleep in and did seem really solid. However, I also managed to bump into the wide edge of the bed frame multiple times (and not just during the first week), which was really painful and I ended up getting bruises. I was literally just sitting down on the bed or getting up from the bed. I will gladly admit to being neither graceful nor very coordinated but getting into bed should not require a lot of focus and conscious effort...

You can see the wide frame on the photos on the website. For most beds the outer edge of the frame is not three inches away from the edge of the mattress.

I will say that my (no longer available) IKEA bed is very sturdy and I rate their mid range and up price point beds and mattresses highly.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:04 AM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The Malm isn't an option because I'll be using risers, but I appreciate the suggestion.
posted by Anonymous at 10:11 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: Zinus is the best-engineered bed I've ever owned, and also by far the best price/performance mix.
posted by aramaic at 10:12 AM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: So I have an 18" Zinus bed frame that I purchased on Amazon. I have a twin size that wasn't seeing any extracurricular activity, but like others I found it to be sturdy. They have lots of styles available with free Prime shipping, including a metal platform style that you may like. Headboards available and sometimes in the same package or sometimes separately based on my recollection of shopping Zinus products a year or two ago. It seems an 18" frame might be more sturdy than a lower frame + risers?
posted by cheese at 10:30 AM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Charleston Platform Bed with the 18" legs--it's $339ish alltogether and has a headboard. My husband has the Nomad full version and it's rock solid. If you don't like that headboard, you can buy the Nomad instead and look into a different headboard to attach to it, since it's enough under $500 that you could then fit in the headboard.

Once thing is it is unfinished wood, so you might want to stain and seal it, like we did with ours.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2019

I bought this bed frame a few months ago and have been very happy with it. Doesn't come with a headboard but has spots to attach one. Bonus is that it's extremely easy to assemble -- no screws/bolts, just need to line it up and give it a few whacks with a mallet (included).

I don't recommend trying to assemble late at night when your roommate is trying to sleep, though... ask me how I know.
posted by mekily at 10:54 AM on November 20, 2019

Seconding foxfirefey's suggestion of the beds from KD Frames. I just put one together a couple of weeks ago, it's sturdy AF, was easy to assemble and I bought the 18" legs so it's plenty high. Definitely recommend!!
posted by mccxxiii at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2019

I have an Ikea Nyvoll and it's perfect in every way. Naturally, I think (?) they discontinued the line.
posted by phunniemee at 5:19 PM on November 20, 2019

Best answer: My zinus is great and absurdly high (18 inches)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:51 PM on November 20, 2019

I have an inexpensive basic solid-wood IKEA bed frame and it’s quite sturdy and good-as-new despite being 15+ years old. It’s been dismantled and reassembled three times now without any issues. My exact model has been discontinued but it closely resembles the TARVA.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 12:19 AM on November 21, 2019

Response by poster: Picked all the Zinus answers because in the end I got a Zinus Brianne. I am only four months into ownership so can't speak to the durability, but so far it is holding up well. I do need risers but the bed itself is probably tall enough for people not trying to stick giant storage tubs underneath.
posted by Anonymous at 3:03 PM on March 17, 2020

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