Mattress sales are not glamorous. But what is the least glamorous part of your new bed? The metal frame. It’s the part that you think is included, but it’s probably not. It’s the part that you don’t see, don’t care about, but can totally ruin your new mattress set. It’s the part that you think is cheap, but since it’s made of steel, it’s not.
First, let’s talk about why it’s important. It supports your foundation, which then supports your mattress. If the frame doesn’t have a center support (for a queen or king size), you WILL damage your foundation and mattress. Box springs aren’t designed to hold all the weight being placed on them without having support in the middle. Conversely, if your frame is held together with the dreaded C-clamps, chances are that things have shifted a bit and the side of your foundation isn’t even on the frame anymore. Also not good.
Second, let’s talk about why they cost so much. They are made of steel, which is expensive. They are heavy, and cost a lot to ship. They are not a big money maker for mattress stores.
Third, let’s talk about your frame at home, and whether you can just use it again. Does steel wear out? Not really, but you want to make sure that your frame will adequately support your new, heavy mattress. Is it the correct size? There should be minimal room on each side of the foundation, between it and the side rails. There should be a center support bar for queen and King frames. There should be at least one leg extending to the ground in the middle of the bed, attached to this center support bar. The frame should have all of the wheels/glides intact. There should be no rust or corrosion.
Finally, let’s talk about why you would buy the more expensive frame, rather than the cheap-o frame. A more expensive frame has more steel, more strength, and more of the rails touching the foundation. There is usually a center support bar that is about 3-4” wide, extending from the head of the bed to the foot of the bed, which is especially important for king sized beds. The wheels are wider, less likely to break, and have wheel locks. They will be a one size only frame, meaning that they are not held together by nuts and bolts, but by wedge locks. All in all, buying a more expensive frame will be a one time expense that you won’t have to replace.
So the next time you are buying a mattress, do your homework first and look at your frame. If you can use it, great. If you need a new one, spring for the best one that you can afford, and ensure that your investment in the mattress will extend as long as possible.