Wood is the material of choice for most people shopping for bed frames. Aside from being extremely sturdy, wooden bed frames are easier to assemble ad highly customizable.

However, many people rarely consider the type of wood when buying a bed frame. This is a big mistake as the type of wood determines the quality of the frame and even user comfort when sleeping.

Above all, the wood type directly determines the life expectancy of the bedframe. To this end, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best wood for bed frames.

Let’s begin with a straight answer, though;

What’s the Best Wood for Bed Frame?

Common hardwoods, such as maple, cherry, mahogany, and teak wood, are considered the best types of wood for constructing bed frames. Although softwoods, such as pine and cedar, are easier to shape, they aren’t as strong as their hardwood counterparts thus might not last very long.

Pros and Cons of Wooden Bed Frames

Now, let’s consider why you should consider wood over materials for bed frame construction in the first place. Why wood and not metal, for example?

Pros of Wooden Bed Frames

  • Sustainable: The most significant advantage of wood over other bed frame materials is sustainability. Unlike metal which doesn’t decay, wood products easily decompose and become manure that benefits the growth of new trees.  
  • Style options: Wood is a lot easier to style than metal. This can be a big deal if you’d like to add intricate details to your bed frame. It’s also a lot easier to drill through wood pieces to add ornamentation to your bed frame.
  • Durability: Wood is very durable. Yes, metal frames last a lifetime. But so do most hardwood products. For instance, walnut wood products easily last 70+ years, and some can last beyond a century with good maintenance.
  • Practicality: Although metal is a great option, issues such as rusting and exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) make it less practical for bed frames. Studies even show that metal beds expose you to insomnia, headaches, and nightmares.  

Cons of Wooden Bed Frames

  • Cost: Unfortunately, the best wooden bedframes are significantly more expensive than metal frames. For instance, in-demand hardwoods, such as oak, cost tens of dollars per foot, making the bed frames very expensive.
  • Weight: Weight generally depends on the type of wood. However, the best woods for bed frames are typically heavier than metal frames. This may present a problem when moving the bed or moving houses.

Best Wood to Make a Bed Frame: Softwoods vs Hardwoods

So, we now know that wood is the best material for bed frames. But, how do soft and hardwoods compare in bedframe making? Are both types of wood bed frames okay?

The short answer is – yes. Both hardwoods and softwoods are good to make a bed frame. In fact, some softwoods are even better than some softwoods for bedframes.

The most important thing to remember is that hardwoods (from flowering trees (dicots)) are generally harder than softwoods, thus more durable and wear-resistant.

They tend to last longer and require less maintenance too. Above all, hardwoods tend to have more distinctive grain structures and a darker color than most people like.

However, hardwoods products, including bed frames, are significantly more expensive than their softwood counterparts. Meanwhile, obtained from coniferous trees, softwoods stand out for their workability and availability.

These two qualities mean that softwood products are far more affordable than hardwood products. Softwoods also tend to be lighter (weight).

So, you should go for a hardwood frame if you’re focused on getting quality, durability, and style, and budget isn’t an issue. However, if you’re looking for a short-term solution on a budget, then a soft wood bedframe would be a great choice.

Best Wood for Bed Frame (Updated List)

Let’s now look at seven of the best types of wood for bed frames. The list heavily features hardwoods, as you’d guess. However, we’ve also included a few excellent softwoods options to consider.

1. Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir is originally native to North America, mainly growing along the Pacific coast of British Columbia to California. It’s a medium-weight hardwood, though fairly hard but elastic.

It’s also subject to low shrinkage and has good stability. The sapwood and heartwood are quite different in color. While the sapwood is yellowish to reddish-white, the heartwood is yellowish-brown to reddish-yellow.

This gives Douglas Fir furniture a striking appearance. It is also naturally resistant to fungal and insect attacks and exhibits exceptional weather resistance when exposed to extreme conditions.

What We Liked Most

  • Comes in longer-than-average board lengths
  • A strong wood for bed frame. It can last for generations
  • It’s water and moisture-resistant
  • Easy to maintain and refinish

What Could Be Improved

  • Easily dents and scratches compared to other hardwoods
  • Fairly expensive

2. Oakwood

Oak is another wonderful choice when shopping for a wooden bed frame. It’s a hardwood that tends to be very grainy. It’s also hard enough to withstand everyday use. Above all, oak is highly resistant to warping.

You’ll need to choose between white and red oak, though. White oak has a tiger stripe grain pattern with yellow rays and flecks.

Meanwhile, red oak ranges from light brown to pinkish red, with a swirling, water-like grain pattern – making it the more beautiful of the two.

What We Liked Most

  • Extremely durable (can last a lifetime)
  • Highly resistant to warping
  • Has a distinctive and striking grain pattern
  • Highly resistant to insect and fungal attacks

What Could Be Improved

  • Staining darkens the hue
  • It is a bit expensive

3. Walnut

You’ve probably heard about walnut wood. Many woodworkers consider it a top pick for making headboards. However, it’s also an excellent choice for bedframes.

It’s a straight0grained hardwood that comes in a chocolate-brown hue (the heartwood) or yellow (the sapwood). Whichever the case, a clear coating or oiling really brings out the color.

Walnut is also extremely durable. And very dimensionally stable. It rarely changes shape, even in extreme conditions.

Additionally, walnut lumber is highly shock-resistant. As a result, it doesn’t break easily under sudden load.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s a highly workable wood
  • Has decent bending qualities
  • Comes in several unique colors
  • Durable, robust, and not heavy

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s one of the most expensive woods
  • The color variations, from dark to light, can be off-putting

4. Maple

When we mention maple, we essentially mean hard maple, also known as sugar maple or rock maple. Most woodworkers use maple sapwood rather than heartwood for making furniture, as the sapwood is easier to work with and more beautiful.

The sapwood color ranges from nearly white to an off-white cream, with a reddish or golden hue. Meanwhile, the heartwood is reddish-brown. It has a fine, straight grain texture.

Unfortunately, maple is rated toxic as it can trigger allergic reactions. It’s also slightly heavier than other hardwood species. Additionally, it’s not as insect-resistant as you’d want for a bed frame.

So, you need to treat it properly before use.

What We Liked Most

  • Moderately priced hardwood
  • Easy to work and style
  • Natural beauty with a striking, fine grain pattern
  • Hard and highly durable

What Could Be Improved

  • Not very resistant to insects

5. Mahogany

Mahogany is a popular choice for many woodworking projects, including making bed frames, because of its reliability, strength, and aesthetic qualities.

Timber from mahogany trees is characterized by beautiful straight and even grain patterns. Additionally, the lumber sands easily and takes stain very well.

Mahogany also stands out for its high resistance to water and moisture. It doesn’t shrink, warm, or swell even during harsh weather.

The reddish-brown color wood darkens over time, creating a red sheen when polished. Just remember that mahogany dust can trigger allergic reactions.

What We Liked Most

  • Highly workable and excellent finishing properties
  • Easily withstands extreme weather
  • Beautiful reddish-brown wood
  • It’s extremely durable

What Could Be Improved

  • Lots of fakes (beware)
  • It’s expensive

6. Pine wood

Pine is a softwood. It belongs to a family of trees known as conifers which are cone-bearing seed plants. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s too soft.

The lumber from pine is very strong and highly durable. Although it’s not ideal for outdoor furniture, it’s an excellent choice for indoor furniture, including bed frames.

Pine comes in about 126 varieties. However, the two most popular species are yellow pine and white pine. White pine is especially common. It’s characterized by a light, whitish color with medium texture and a closed grain pattern.

What We Liked Most

  • Pine is widely available
  • Attractive grain pattern
  • Highly durable but easily workable
  • Pine wood is inexpensive

What Could Be Improved

  • Scratches and dents easily
  • Requires significant care/maintenance

7. Cedar

Cedar is also a good choice if you’d prefer softwood for your bed frame. If you’re wondering, it’s slightly softer than pine. While white pine is rated 420 Janka, Cedar is only rated around 320 Janka.

By comparison, hardwoods such as mahogany and maple are rated 1,000+ Janka. However, you don’t have to worry as the Janka rating isn’t the most important factor when assessing wood quality.

For instance, cedarwood is considered one of the most durable woods. It lasts decades, even centuries, with good maintenance.

Additionally, cedar is highly workable and has a uniformly textured grain pattern that makes it easy to fit into the modern home. It’s also the best wood for exterior shutters.

What We Liked Most

  • Very durable wood, more than many hardwoods
  • Excellent workability & accepts stains well
  • Lightweight
  • Red cedar is an excellent thermal insulator  

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s not very strong
  • It tends to fade in color over the years

8. Cherry

Finally, many woodworkers also love to use cherry wood for not just bed frames but also bed slats. It’s also applicable for other wood furniture, including outdoor furniture.

For one, cherry wood is very durable. It’s not the most durable hardwood. However, the heartwood is highly decay-resistant. Natural cherry wood bed frames are light pink-toned.

However, the wood naturally darks from oxidation into a medium red-toned or reddish-brown color. It has a straight grain and a fine uniform and smooth texture. Cherry is highly durable and strong.

What We Liked Most

  • Durable, long-lasting wood
  • Very attractive colors
  • Very strong
  • Wide range of applications

What Could Be Improved

  • Quite expensive, even more than oak
  • Not resistant to water damage

Other Top Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood to Build a Bed Frame

As you’d imagine, wood type isn’t the only thing you should consider when making a wood bed frame. The following are four other important considerations;

1. Weight

Generally, heavier frames can support more weight. However, heavier frames are also less mobile, thus difficult to move when repositioning the bed or moving homes.

2. Ease of assembly

Ease of assembly is especially a major consideration for people with mobility issues. It’s preferable to choose a bed frame that you can easily assemble, even without help.

3. Noise

Wood has a property to swell and contract with weather changes. This came cause creaking noises while you sleep. So, it’s important to consider the dimensional stability of the wood and frame.

4. Size

Finally, always make sure you’re getting the right size bed. Remember that you spend about a third of your life asleep. You don’t want to spend all that time on an uncomfortable bed.

Recommended Reading: What is the best wood for wood burning art?

Lumber for Bed Frame FAQs

How much do wood bed frames cost?

A wood bed frame costs anywhere between $300 to $700. However, high-end models cost $1,000+. It depends on many factors, including the particular type of wood. 

What type of wood is best for bed frames?

Robust woods, such as oak wood, walnut, and maple, are the best choices for making bed frames. However, wood types popular in the furniture industry, like pine and cedar, are excellent alternatives. 

How can I stop a wooden bed frame from squeaking?

To stop your bed frame from squeaking, first, choose the right type of wood. Dimensionally stable wood rarely makes noise. In addition, consider tightening the joints, cushioning the slats, and oiling the frame.

Is pine wood strong enough for a bed?

Yes, pine is an excellent choice to make nice wooden bed frames. Although it’s softwood, it’s very durable. Additionally, pine is readily available and highly affordable. White pine and yellow pine are the best choices.

How can I make my bed stronger?

There are several ways to make your bed slats and frame stronger. For instance, consider putting box springs or some plywood over the bed slats. You can also secure the slats, add more slats, and reinforce the supporting center beam.

What Wood to Use for Bed Frame Summary

All the types of wood discussed above are excellent wood choices for making a bed frame. They are also durable wood types with low maintenance (relative to other options) and high resistance to insect attacks and weather conditions.

So, it comes down to what type of bed frame you want, your budget, and other factors, such as aesthetic preferences.

Next, read about the best wood for exterior columns.

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