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What are Platform Beds?

S. Mithra
S. Mithra

Platform beds support a single mattress or futon on a slatted top. Usually, they do not have head or footboards, but use simple lines to create a contemporary style. Other areas of the world, such as Scandinavia, western Europe, and Japan have always preferred this style of beds because they give a firmer sleep surface, sit low to the ground, and provide under-the-bed storage capacity ideal for small houses.

The slats of a platform bed provide the support usually given by a boxspring mattress. This means that a consumer only needs to buy one innerspring or futon mattress, which makes it a less expensive alternative to a traditional bed. It also reduces the amount of bedding required, as it does not need a bedskirt. With the thickness of only one mattress, the bed is also lower to the ground. Platform beds can complement a modern, minimalist decor in the bedroom.

A modern platform bed.
A modern platform bed.

Usually, this type of bed has four legs, one at each corner, but sometimes they rest on a rectangular box. This box, slightly smaller than the size of the mattress, can include storage. Drawers, cubbies, or cupboards could be lined with cedar to protect linens or seasonal clothing. Some people prefer open space instead, and fit large baskets or decorative bins under the bed to hold files, photographs, or anything that should be kept out of site.

An elegant platform bed.
An elegant platform bed.

Many exotic and environmentally friendly lumber types can be used in the bed construction because consumers are often concerned with a low environmental impact. For instance, platform beds are often made of hardwoods commonly farmed and harvested in Asia, such as teak, rubberwood, palm, and ramen. These are not old growth or endangered trees, so while they are more expensive than oak, these species have less of an effect on threatened forests.

Some platform beds feature pull-out storage drawers.
Some platform beds feature pull-out storage drawers.

This style often appeals to those with an Eastern aesthetic. They appear modular or sleek, sometimes incorporating other pieces of furniture into their overall design. Wider planks might frame the slats on the platform so that a lip surrounds the mattress. This area can function as a bench or a nightstand. Decorators with a Zen sensibility often appreciate the smooth lines of these beds, as they are stylish yet functional furnishings.

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Discussion Comments


@Oceana – I've seen some metal platform beds with leather headboards. However, the headboards were not very tall at all, so they looked great with the short stature of the bed. I recall seeing an iron platform bed with a black leather headboard that looked really cool.


@shell4life – A storage platform bed sounds like a good idea. Years ago, I decided to just put my boxspring mattress and my regular mattress directly on the floor on top of each other. I hated the squeakiness of the bed frame, and I also hated the thought of someone potentially hiding under there!

I might just get rid of the boxspring and just have the one mattress on a platform. It sounds like a better use of space to me!


Platform storage beds are the best! It seems I have so many clothes that I need somewhere to store them besides just my closet, and the drawers in my platform bed are the perfect place for them.

In the spring, I can fold up all my sweaters and warm pants and organize them into separate drawers. I have drawers all around the base of the bed, so there is just enough space to hold all of my off-season clothing.

I didn't have space for another dresser, though I needed the drawers. So, the platform storage bed was the perfect solution. The only space these drawers take up is under the bed, where I would have had nothing but empty space, anyway!


My best friend has a couple of queen platform beds in her home. They rest on legs, they are low to the ground, and they each have soft leather headboards that look like mattresses resting on their sides.

I hate hard headboards, but these are so soft. If you scoot back too far and bump your head on one, it doesn't hurt at all.


I love platform beds -- the elegant design, extra storage, and the price! However, the best part is they don't squeak.


We purchased a nice wood platform bed set with matching nightstands and a dresser. Many platform beds come without a headboard, but I wanted a complete look, so we purchased a headboard too.

It also has some drawers for storage underneath that come in handy. This also makes it sit up a little higher which I like too. I have been very happy with this type of bed and like how convenient it is to move when you need to.


The contemporary look of platform beds are very appealing. You see many young people who buy them and I can understand why they like them. We bought a platform bed with storage for my daughter and she still uses that bed.

She did not have a very large area to put this in, so the extra storage really helped. It was easy to assemble and was not very expensive. I plan on buying another one when my son is ready for his own place.


The first bed my son purchased when he was out of college for his first apartment was a platform bed. He loved the look of this modern platform bed that he bought from Ikea.

He has moved several times since then, and an advantage of this type of bed is that it is pretty light and easy to move. You don't have to worry about springs and the bed comes apart so it easily fit in to the back of my SUV.

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    • A modern platform bed.
      By: Photographee.eu
      A modern platform bed.
    • An elegant platform bed.
      By: sowanna
      An elegant platform bed.
    • Some platform beds feature pull-out storage drawers.
      By: mariesacha
      Some platform beds feature pull-out storage drawers.