What Is a Platform Bed?

There are many bed base types but there is something about a solid platform bed. Its aesthetic can fit comfortably in any bedroom, it can support a mattress in a way that allows plenty of air circulation, and they are so widely available that they can be found in an array of price points.  

A platform bed frame is a mattress foundation that is sturdy and breathable

What Is a Platform Bed Frame?

A platform bed frame is a mattress foundation that is sturdy and breathable, unlike box springs that can be a little flimsy in construction and suffocate the mattress. A solid platform bed is modern and sits low to the ground, roughly 12 inches to 18 inches off the floor with wooden slats, iron or metal grids, or a solid base. 

Types of Platform Beds

Solid Platform Bed

Solid platform traditional bed frames are made of wood, iron/steel, or particleboard. It supports the mattress with its solid base and should not require a box spring. 

Slatted Platform Bed

A slatted platform bed allows better air circulation than a solid base due to the 3-6 inch gap between the wooden slats. The slats can be noisy or pop out of place if there is a vigorous activity in the bed, flexed slats give a little suspension to the bed but fixed slats could feel more sturdy. 

Metal Platform Bed

A metal platform bed offers a minimalist design and could be considered less bulky than a wooden platform base. The metal frame has a criss-cross pattern of support for the mattress and is durable and breathable. A metal platform bed could be used in conjunction with a box spring but you would have to forgo the metal criss-cross support.  

Floating Platform Bed

Contemporary platform bed designs that are unique, attractive, and functional are fused in the floating platform bed. The solid base is much lower to the ground than metal, slatted, or solid platforms and looks like a floating mattress. You may not have any under-bed storage but the modern aesthetic will be ideal for the minimal and modern bedroom. 

DIY Platform Bed

With a little creativity, you could make your platform bed. Wooden pallets can be easily put together to create a bed base. Put fairy lights in the space between the pallets for pretty under-bed lighting. Smaller wooden pallets can be used as a headboard and footboard. 

Headboards and Footboards 

Headboards and footboards are not necessary with a platform bed and box spring. But, they could add a stylish touch to the bed. A fabric headboard is also comfortable when sitting up in bed reading or relaxing. 

Platform Beds vs Panel Beds

Panel beds are more traditional than platform beds as they are designed to incorporate headboards and footboards. The four-wall frame of the panel bed can include a box spring for sturdy support. A platform bed is more modern and does not rely on headboards and footboards for sturdiness. The platform bed will have a wooden or metal base to support the mattress. 

Platform Bed vs Box Spring

Some may consider a platform bed to be more pleasing to the eye and functional than a box spring. A box spring is a fabric-covered wooden frame that does not allow much mattress air ventilation. The lack of under-bed storage may be off-putting for some and not all mattress types are suitable. A platform bed allows greater mattress flexibility as it can handle even the heaviest latex mattresses. Whereas a box spring typically is used with the accompanying mattress or a similar light foam mattress. A box spring bed is a bed that most people slept in as a child. As an adult, sleep needs change and you may require a stronger construction or more comfort.      

Pros and Cons Platform Bed, Panel Bed, and Box Spring 

Platform Bed Pro

Platform Bed Con

Panel Bed Pro

Panel Bed Con

Box Spring Pro

Box Spring con 

Visually pleasing

Low to the floor

Reasonably priced

Minimal air circulation if used with boxspring 

Reasonably priced

High motion transfer


Heavy and difficult to move

Widely available

Difficult to disassemble alone 

Widely available

No under bed storage

Used with most mattresses

Includes headboard and footboard 

Causes moisture buildup on the mattress

Minimal air circulation 

Plenty of air circulation 

Which Mattress Types Are Good for Platform Beds?

 Do I Need a Bunkie Board on a Platform Bed?

Platform beds are constructed with fixed or flexed slats. A bunky board is not necessary but could be a solution to maintaining mattress integrity if some slats are broken. A bunkie board may permit moisture to develop on your mattress as it does not allow any air circulation. The flat surface will distribute your weight evenly but slats are better for air ventilation and lighter than a bunky board. 


Some platform beds have storage drawers and others are open underneath, unlike a solid surface, a slatted base provides much-needed air ventilation to keep your mattress fresh and free from mold. The majority of mattress types are suitable for a platform bed and provide a comfortable night's sleep from its sturdy construction. A mixed wood metal construction is of minimalist design, affordable, and widely available. A solid platform bed could provide the best sleep comfort and aesthetic for any style and sleep space.