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Metal vs Wood Bed Frame: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Carl Heinrichs, owner of Quagga Designs.
Written by,

Carl Heinrichs

CEO of Quagga

Did you know we spend more than a third of our lives sleeping? It makes sense then to consider which bed to pick carefully. 

Before considering a bed, There are many things to consider, such as cost, bed frame material, and size. So don’t rush! 

Most standard bed frames are either made from wood or metal. So which should you choose: a metal or wood bed frame? Are metal bed frames suitable, or is wood superior? 

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Pros of the Metal Bed Frame

white metal bed frame

Less Maintenance

One of the best things about a metal bed frame is the fact that it has less maintenance. Metal does not dent or scratch as easily as wood, making it the more attractive option. It also won't be damaged by termites or other insects (we wrote another blog about termites and how to prevent them).


What would you choose if you were in a sword fight and had to choose between a metal or wood sword? My answer would be metal. 

There's no question that metal is more robust and durable than wood, which could make it last longer. In addition, it could handle more weight than a wood bed frame.


Many metal bed frames tend to be lighter in weight than wooden bed frames. Some metal bed frames come with wheels, so mobility is never an issue. 

This may be the best choice if you enjoy moving furniture around in your room and redecorating or moving a lot.


Many metal beds adjust to fit the size of mattress you have. However, this does not mean there is no such thing as an adjustable wood bed frame. Have a Queen size mattress that you might upgrade to a king size? No problem; the No Fuss Plus has your back.

The No Fuss Plus Bed Frame from Quagga Designs
The No Fuss Plus bed frame from Quagga. Goes from Single to Double or Queen to King sizes.

Cons of the Metal Bed Frame


Yes, it's true; in general, there is less maintenance involved with metal bed frames. However, this does not mean that they are entirely susceptible to developing rust. 

Over time, the reddish-brown appearance of the rust won't look so good. How can you avoid this? Make sure you prevent your bed frame from coming into contact with moisture. 

To clean and maintain your metal bed frame, you must use a nylon brush, detergent, a toothbrush, and a towel which can become a nuisance over time.


Metal bed frames can increase exposure to electrical pollution or electromagnetic fields (EMF). This can disrupt your sleep and increase health problems, so this is something that you want to avoid if you are someone who values your health. 

Here are a couple of health problems you could come into contact with:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Muscle cramps/aches

This is, of course, something that you will want to avoid.


The answer is evident regarding which bed frame will squeak more. Metal against metal will eventually create a squeaking noise, affecting your sleep quality (unless you're someone who regularly oils your metal frame.. but I doubt it).


The design of steel bed frames can be flimsy, leading to the mattress not being supported properly. This is not only uncomfortable, affecting the quality of your sleep, but it can also result in back problems.

Pros of the Wooden Bed Frame


Although metal in and of itself is stronger than wood, in the context of a bed frame, the wooden frames win the battle.

Wooden beds are made of thicker material and sturdier stability systems. For example, the bed frame shown below from Quagga uses a unique V-shape for the legs to absorb weight in a way that metal frames cannot.

Flex Bed Frame from Quagga Desgns
Flex Bed Frame from Quagga, using a unique V-shape for its legs, making the bed stronger than its metal counterpart

Easier to Assemble

Some say that metal bed frames are easier to assemble than bed frames made from wood. This couldn't be further from the truth. 

The unique thing about wood is that it can be molded into things similar to screws like dowels. A great example is the No Fuss Plus from Quagga.

Close up of No Fuss Plus bed frame showing off its dowels.
The No Fuss Plus Bed Frame from Quagga

No screws or screwdrivers are required with this one, and it assembles and disassembles within minutes, even your kids can do it. With metal bed frames, however, they usually have more parts to put together, and you will need specific screwdrivers to assemble them.


The neat thing about wooden bed frames is that they are the more stylish bed frame, and you can customize them however you want. For example, if you have a saw at home, you can even cut the pieces to your liking. 

Want a specific stain or paint job added to your wooden bed frame? That shouldn't be a problem. Just hit up your local Home Depot, grab some paint brushes, and you're on your way to having a unique and personally customized bed frame.

White Tic Tac Toe bed frame
Tic-Tac-Toe bed frame from Quagga custom painted with white


Although some solid wood bed frames can get pretty pricey (especially if they are custom-made), it doesn't mean all wooden bed frames are expensive. Wooden bed frames have a wide range of prices, making them suitable for any budget.


Wood wins if you are looking for a more sustainable option between metal and wood. Some bed frame companies manufacture with FSC wood which stands for The Forest Stewardship Council. This means that the wood being used is being responsibly grown and harvested and is being replenished.

The Forest Stewardship Council logo
The Forest Stewardship Council

Wood Options

Another nice thing about wooden bed frames is that they can come in various types of wood, which can suit your needs better if you want to get more technical with the type of bed you want. This also informs pricing, so if you want something more affordable, go for the cheaper wood. 

Here are a few popular options from most expensive to least, as well as some unique characteristics each has to offer:

  • Oak: More expensive than pine. A hardwood is arguably the best for a bed frame.
  • Pine: Cheaper than oak. One of the most popular softwoods.
  • Birch: Reasonably priced. A hardwood that is good for simple contemporary lines.

Those are just a few, but there are many more to choose from!

Cons of the Wooden Bed Frame

Fire Hazard

As with many things made of wood, it is important to avoid putting anything flammable on or near a wooden bed frame to prevent it from catching fire. Despite this being a concern, there are probably already many things in your house that are prone to be caught on fire, so this shouldn't be a huge concern.


Wood tends to be heavier than metal which makes it harder to transport (if you are someone who moves a lot) and could make it more difficult to assemble. 

In addition, if you want to avoid scratching up your floor, a wood bed frame might not be the best option. However, A good compromise is to put felt under your furniture (available at Home Depot or Walmart) or get a good old rug.


Should you go for a metal or wood bed frame? The answer isn't always easy, and it depends on what you are looking for and what you value most. 

Is your health very important to you? Go for a bed frame made of wood. 

Do you want something easy to maintain? Go for the metal option. 

Both metal and wood bed frames have ample space for storage and under-bed storage boxes

If you can't decide, find a bed frame that mixes both! 

My overall opinion? I personally love the look of wood bed frames better. They're all-natural, so they are better for the environment, they are not prone to squeaking so you will have a good night’s sleep, and they are easy to assemble and don't necessarily require any fussy screws or screwdrivers you have to dig up from your garage. 

Find your next long-lasting, easy-to-assemble, affordable wood bed frame at Quagga.

Carl Heinrichs

CEO of Quagga
Carl Heinrichs is the Founder of Quagga, Canada's most innovative furniture design solutions that are easy to assemble and playfully made.

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