Best Wood for Bed Frame (Queen, King, Slats)

Oak Wood Bed Frame

The bed frame enhances the support and comfort your mattress provides, so you have to choose a durable one that fits your mattress perfectly. Wood is a preferred material because it lasts longer than others, looks beautiful, and is versatile and easy to maintain. That is most especially true if you know what the best wood for bed frame construction is.

So, what is the best wood for bed frame – queen, king, slats? There are a few varieties of hardwood and softwood materials that are great for bed frames that manufacturers and experts use. You can also opt for such when planning to create your own bed frame headboard, footboard, rails, and slats.

Since not one kind of wood works or looks pleasing for everyone, it is ideal to have plenty of choices. Likewise, each wood has its characteristics responsible for its level of durability and aesthetics. As such, let’s get to know hardwood and softwood materials recommended by experts for you to have a list ready when you go shopping for your DIY project.

What Kind of Wood Should I Use for a Bed Frame?

Any wooden product can be made from either hardwood or softwood material. These two main categories of wood come from a different variety of trees, namely slow-growing, flowering trees, or faster-growing, coniferous trees, respectively.

Hardwood

Most hardwood materials are dense, robust, hard, and dark-colored, but are quite expensive. Here are some of the best hardwood materials for creating a wood queen bed frame and king bed frame:

1. Mahogany

Considered as one of the most expensive hardwood, mahogany lasts longer than other varieties, and you can choose from colors ranging from reddish-brown to tan. It has straight, even, hard grains, making it resist warping, decaying, twisting, swelling, and shrinking.

Using power tools is also not a problem when working with mahogany, and with its great bending properties, you don’t have to worry about splinters and shatters.

2. Teak

When it comes to durability, teak is another contender since bed frames and other furniture pieces made from it can last up to five decades because of its great resistance to acid and decay. It is also very stable, heavy, and moderately hard. The problem with teak wood, though, is that it has a low level of stiffness and resistance to shock.

3. Oak

Another hardwood known for its durability is oak, more specifically because it has anti-fungal and insect-resistant properties. It also absorbs minimal moisture, which makes it perfect for humid conditions. Another thing worth noting is its beautiful grain markings that can give your bed frame a natural look or style.

4. Maple

This hardwood comes in mild beige, red, black, silver, and almost tan varieties, depending on the specific type of maple tree it came from. Not only will you have several choices that can match your interior design, but also have a wooden bed frame that resists wearing, warping, and shrinking. Also, although carving on it is challenging, you can dye it easily to enhance its natural beauty.

5. Cherry

This reddish-brown hardwood or fruitwood is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a material or bed frame that both have durable and decorative properties. It doesn’t swell, shrink, and warp, plus you can carve on it easily and smoothly. 

6. Birch

Durability and versatility are two of the things that describe this hardwood. It is available in shades ranging from tan to white and can be stained to imitate other types of hardwood, such as walnut, mahogany, and cherry. However, this wood lacks intricacy.

7. Walnut

Walnut is a hardwood that resists swelling and wearing since it is dense and tightly-grained. You will also have no trouble polishing or finishing it since it has a smooth surface. You must be careful, though, not to expose it to water and iron, especially while making the bed slats, since blemishes can occur.

Softwood

Having a lighter color and lower price, as well as more highly available than hardwood, softwood is a material that’s easy to work with, especially if you plan on making your queen- and king-sized bed frames. Here is a selection of quality softwood that you can consider:

1. Fir

As a robust type of softwood, fir tops the list of one of the best softwood materials for wood king bed frames and queen bed frames. It has a reddish-brown color that is appealing to the eye, so your bed frame can enhance the style of your bedroom.

2. White Pine

As a highly available softwood, white pine can swell, shrink, and wear out after a few years. That said, this is great for bed frames since it is easy to work with. Ideally, you can use this material if you have plans of changing bed frames in the future.

What Is the Best Wood to Use for Bed Slats?

Oak Wood Bed Frame Slats

If you plan to create slats instead of a simple base to support your bed mattress, you must also be wary of the kind of wood that you will use.

Hardwood

You can use similar wood materials used in creating the other parts of your bed frame, such as red and white oak, and yellow birch but if you want more options, you can consider the following:

1. Hickory

As one of the most durable wood, hickory has three amazing properties: toughness, stiffness, and shock resistance. Even so, it has great bending capabilities when exposed to steam, so you can work with it with ease. Just make sure the wood has dried well before even starting your project to ensure you get the right size since it quickly expands when wet and then shrinks when dry.

2. Ash

Often referred to as golden oak, ash wood has a density and grain similar to oak. It is one of the strongest hardwood and has one of the highest shock resistance, but has a lower weight than hickory and oak. It’s also flexible and bendable, as well as easy to stain and polish. What’s better is that it can handle gluing, nailing, machining, and screwing, which is essential if you want to prevent slats from squeaking.

3. Beech

Beech is a light-colored hardwood that is perfect for individuals who don’t want to have any woody smell in their bedroom since it is odorless. It is known for its medium to high hardness, resistance to abrasion, and large grains, making it durable but quite challenging to work with.

That said, you can stain and polish the slats made from beech with ease. Just one note to consider is that it has moisture-absorbent properties, so make sure you don’t use the beechwood slats in areas where there is too much moisture or humidity.

Softwood

When it comes to recommended softwood material for bed slat construction, fir is a good option, but you can also use Southern yellow pine or SYP.

This particular type of pine wood is one of the best wood for bed slats because of its high density and textured grain patterns. Though you should be careful when sanding it and using power tools, it works well with almost all types of finishes. Also, using nails would be challenging, but you can use glue easily without worries.

Other Important Considerations

Not only is it essential for you to know the right kind of wood to use when making bed slats, but you also have to consider the factors below. That is especially since the slats will be responsible for supporting your weight, plus the weight of your queen or king-size memory foam mattress (view on Amazon).

Slat Thickness

When making your bed slats, you must keep in mind that thinner is always better. Most experts recommend that its maximum thickness should be around one inch for you to remove, move, and store the slats without hassles. Nonetheless, three to four inches of thickness is still acceptable when you prefer to use fir or SYP wood.

Slat Gap

The gap between the slats when you install them is essential for you to have an idea of how many slats you need to make. When slats are too close to each other, there would be moisture buildup between the slats and mattress, making it a suitable place for molds to grow. This will also cause mattress deterioration.

On the other hand, if the slats are too far apart, your body weight will push your mattress to the spaces, so it will sag easily, even if you have a quality and multilayered mattress (view on Amazon). As such, ideally, the slats should be 1.5 to two inches away from each other.

Best Wood for Bed Frame – Queen, King, Slats: Final Thoughts

Big Wooden Bed Frame

If you want to construct your own headboard, footboard, side rails, and slats to build and assemble your own king or queen size bed frame, hardwood is the top choice because of its high level of durability as compared to softwood. If you’re on a budget, though, softwood will do its job just fine.

Choosing the specific type of wood will depend on your personal needs and the design you’re opting for, so always keep in mind each of their pros and cons. In case you plan to buy a pre-made quality and beautiful bed frame (view on Amazon), you can also narrow down your search by considering products made of the wood materials discussed above.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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