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10 Best Bed Frames for Heavier People 2021

I need a bed frame folks! In my last apartment I had this extra, extra tall bed that I made with a friend. 22 Inch clearance under the bed, then a box spring and mattress! I’m 5’10” and needed a step stool to climb into it. It was nearly impossible for anyone shorter than I am to get up and into it without a running start. I was in a studio apartment and had no storage. So lots of under the bed storage was a necessity. When I moved into my current place, storage was no longer an issue, so the frame did not come with me. Also, we were amateur carpenters and did not take into account building it to come apart easily to move, we were focused on strength to keep my fat butt so high up in the air! I ended up needing to take a mallet to it to get it out of the apartment. There was no coming back from that. This means I’ve been sleeping with my box spring and mattress on the floor and it’s not a good look.


A great mattress is important (oh Big Fig, how I covet you!) but a frame is as well! You want something that will hold you, your partner(s), (dogs, kids, cats, llama’s, whatever), and your mattress and box spring. I know lots of people like the platform style. I’ve found that is the fastest way to kill my back, so I’m BoxSpring 4 Life! You also don’t want it to move or make lots of noise. You want to feel secure when you get in and out. And it should look nice and be inviting in our bedroom. Far too many things for fat people are purely utilitarian. I’m a function over form person, 100%, but I don't want to live in a purely utilitarian, spartan room of boringness. Your room should be a place to relax from the day, inviting and comfortable.


As always, I learn so much when I do this research. Apparently the entire sleep world changed while I was sleeping on my extra tall bed! I knew that memory foam type mattresses and platform beds had become a thing, but wow they are THE thing now it seems. On Amazon, the only real heavy duty options are metal platform beds. There are some GREAT options in this category. If this is what you want, you are in luck. I slept on a platform bed for two weeks once, each day my back hurt more than the previous. After two weeks, I could barely stand up. I was in so much pain. I was on an innerspring pillow top mattress, that may have been the problem. They are designed to go with Box Springs. I also know lots of people who say that platform beds have helped relieve their back pain. I think this comes down to know what is best for you. Online shopping makes this difficult. It helps that Amazon has a generous return policy, and a lot of modern online memory foam type mattresses offer 100 days no questions asked return policy.


There are a lot of options for bed frames and foundations these days. Choosing the right one depends on your needs and the mattress you have. First we need a few definitions, because foundations and bed frames are two different things, but the terms are often used interchangeably.


Foundation

The foundation (also called a mattress base) is what your mattress rests on. Common foundations are box spring, platform frames, or a foundation box. The foundation’s purpose is to support you, protect the mattress to ensure it doesn’t sink, slide, or sag. It also helps with airflow and temperature regulation. Different types of mattresses have different foundation requirements, some dictated by their warranty. So be sure to know the needs of your particular mattress.


Bed Frame

The bed frame holds the mattress and foundation up off the floor, and surrounds the mattress (if something does) and. Bed frames may consist of side panels, legs, a headboard, and a footboard. Usually the foundation is placed on the frame. However some frames have a built in foundation, like a platform bed.

A bed frame is optional, a foundation is less so. So my box spring and pillow-top mattress on the ground are fine, but a mattress directly on the ground is a bad idea. On the ground, the mattress is closer to dirt and dust. Foundations allow for airflow under the mattress, without this, they can stay damp from sweat, which can cause mold and mildew to start growing on the underside of the mattress. Because of the above reasons, having the mattress on the ground may void the warranty. Mattresses often have long warranties, but they come with very strict rules about the foundation requirements for the mattress. Mattresses directly on the ground may also be too low, making it difficult to get up. It may not be comfortable for everyone, I know putting my mattress directly on the floor would leave me in excruciating pain. Foundations really help the longevity of your mattress.


With all of that being said, I am looking at the frames that lift the mattress and foundation off the ground. Here are the best frames I’ve found on Amazon.


Platform beds

A platform bed is a frame and foundation in one. The slats are much closer together than in a more traditional frame, eliminating the need for a box spring. When looking for a platform to hold a lot of weight, look for a center bar and three rows of feet. Beds with only the outside feet and no center bar are going to support less weight. A lot of platform beds are made with wood slats. Wood can be very strong, but often mass manufactured platform beds do not have the strongest wood slats. Many larger folks will often replace the wood slats with stronger wood.


The highest weight capacity platform beds usually are steel. They come with metal slats, or in a grid pattern. A very common complaint with metal platform bed frames is that the mattress moves a lot. There are non-slip products that can help. The cheapest and easiest is just a basic non-slip rug pad. But they are not built for the force of a mattress so some folks find there is still some slippage, though less so. There are also non-slip pads made specifically for platform beds.


One other thing to look out for with platform beds, is the space between the slats. Some mattresses will specify the maximum gap between slats, any larger will void the warranty. I know one solution people use is to add a plywood board under the mattress, but that negates the air flow/cooling aspect of the slats and can cause mold and mildew.


Zinus

If you are looking for an affordable platform bed frame, you are in great shape with ZINUS. It’s the most popular brand on Amazon. They have a LOT of great options, but you want to pay attention to the weight capacity, many only have 550 lbs. Which is probably fine for many folx who live alone (though don’t forget to include the weight of your mattress). But for two bigger people that may not be enough. That weight also usually refers to static weight spread across the bed evenly. Too much pressure in one spot, or too much movement could put the force at over 550. However, ZINUS has numerous options over 1,000 lbs, some even up to 4,400lbs. If the bed frame has a high weight capacity, they will state it clearly in the description, or even the title listing.


These bed frames are very affordable! They usually have 13 -16 inches of clearance over the floor, which provides a lot of room for storage. They are fairly easy to set-up. Headboards can usually be attached by purchasing headboard brackets.


Here are the most popular heavy duty ZINUS bed frames:


ZINUS SmartBase Super Heavy Duty Mattress Foundation with 4400lbs Weight Capacity

Supporting 4,400 lbs, this is one of the highest weight capacity beds you can find. It's got 13 inch of clearance space. You’ll notice it has support bars going in both directions and 12 legs. No tool needed assembly. Reviewers say it is very stable and quiet. It doesn't come with predrilled holes or brackets for a headboard. So if you want one, you have to purchase their brackets separately. Slats are 6 inches apart which may void a foam or latex mattress warranty.


ZINUS SmartBase Zero Assembly Mattress Foundation

This ZINUS bed has a lower weight capacity of 1,500, and a slightly lower price point to go with it. It’s got 14 inches of clearance and the same no toll required assembly. Smae headboard citation as well. Slats are approximately 4 inches apart with a metal grid system.



Other Platform Beds

While ZINUS is the most popular brand, there are a few other platform beds on Amazon that are extremely popular.


TATAGO 3000lbs Max Weight Capacity Heavy Duty Metal Platform Bed Frame Mattress Foundation

  • 3,000lb capacity

  • 14 inch ground clearance

  • Thick cross beams in both directions and 9 legs

  • Engineered to be quiet and non-slip

  • Pre-drilled holes for a headboard

  • It also has a wood slat version with the same weight capacity.

  • Easy Assembly

  • 6 inches between slats


45MinST 14 Inch Reinforced Platform Bed Frame

  • 3,500lb weight capacity

  • 14 inch clearance

  • Center beam with 9 legs

  • Engineered to be quiet and non-slip

  • Pre-drilled holes for a headboard

  • Easy Assembly

  • 7 inches between slats


Classic Brands Hercules Black Heavy Duty Metal 14-Inch Platform Mattress Foundation Bed Frame

  • 2,400lb weight capacity

  • 14 inch clearance

  • Cross beams with 12 legs

  • Foldable

  • Needs headboard bracket

  • Easy Assembly

  • 12 inches between slats, but has a wire frame reducing the gap


NOAH MEGATRON Slatted Bed Base 14 Inch Mattress Foundation Bed Frame

  • 3,000lb weight capacity

  • 12 inch clearance

  • Center beams with 9 legs

  • Engineered to be quiet and non-slip

  • Easy Assembly

  • 6.6 inches between slats


Boyd Sleep Arched Platform Bed Frame/Metal Mattress Foundation

  • Unique Design

  • 2,500lb weight capacity

  • 14 inch clearance

  • Multiple cross beams with 12 legs

  • Engineered to be quiet and non-slip

  • Standard phillips head screwdriver required for assembly


Best Price Mattress 14 Inch Metal Platform Beds

  • 1,500lb weight capacity

  • 14 inch clearance

  • Center beams with 9 legs

  • Engineered to be quiet

  • Easy assembly

  • 7 inches between slats


Standard Metal Frames

For those of us who aren't into platform beds, there are less options on Amazon but they do exist. Standard frames are usually a metal frame with 2-5 cross supports meant to hold a box spring and mattress. They are low to the ground with limited storage capabilities, the height comes from adding the box spring. Do not put a mattress directly onto these frames, it will sink and sag! These are fairly utilitarian frames. You can easily attach a headboard if you want. Standard bed frames that have headboard, footboards, sides, etc seem to have lower weight limits. The options that have 1,000lb or more do not live on Amazon.


Knickerbocker Embrace Bed Frame

  • 2,000lb weight capacity

  • 7.5 inches high

  • Steel covered in resin provide a unique look and engineering

  • 3 cross beams with 7 legs

  • Engineered to be quiet

  • Headboard brackets

  • Four color options

  • No tool assembly


NOAH MEGATRON Metal Bed Frame-7 Inch Heavy Duty Bedframe

  • 3,000 lb capacity

  • 3 cross beams with 9 legs

  • No tool assembly

  • 7 Inch clearance

  • Headboard and Footboard brackets included



It seems that the best option for me is the zizin frame, since I’m not giving up my box spring. Maybe I’ll look for a headboard to attach to it to make it less utilitarian.


What do you look for in a bed frame?





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