The 9 Best Beds for a Perfect Night's Sleep
Sorry nightstands and dressers—there's a reason the place you sleep each night is called a bedroom. Beds are the star of the show! That's why it's crucial for you to pick the right one for your room.
"Overall design aesthetic is the first thing I approach when selecting a bed," says Decorist designer Christina Manzo. "What feeling do I want this space to exude? A mountain getaway, spa retreat, luxury hotel?" Style shouldn't be the only consideration though: "As important as aesthetics are, functionality is equally as important to consider when purchasing a new bed," says Manzo.
To determine the best beds, we analyzed aesthetics, including style and material, as well as practical details like assembly method and storage space. We also consulted experts to weigh in on the most important features of beds, helping you to pick the best one for your home.
Our top pick is Thuma's The Bed for its simple yet elegant design and its ease of assembly.
Here are the best beds.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Bed: Thuma The Bed
- Best Budget Bed: Zinus SmartBase Zero Assembly Bed Frame
- Best Adjustable Bed: Saatva Lineal Adjustable Bed Base
- Best Platform Bed: Floyd The Bed Frame
- Best Upholstered Bed: The Inside Classic Wingback Bed
- Best Metal Bed: Andover Mills Matheney Platform Bed
- Best Canopy Bed: Pottery Barn Farmhouse Canopy Bed
- Best Low-Profile Bed: Casper Upholstered Bed Frame
- Best Storage Bed: Ikea Hauga Bed
Best Overall Bed: Thuma The Bed
Best Budget Bed: Zinus SmartBase Zero Assembly Bed Frame
Best Adjustable Bed: Saatva Lineal Adjustable Bed Base
Best Platform Bed: Floyd The Bed Frame
Best Upholstered Bed: The Inside Classic Wingback Bed
Best Metal Bed: Andover Mills Matheney Platform Bed
Best Canopy Bed: Pottery Barn Farmhouse Canopy Bed
Best Low-Profile Bed: Casper Upholstered Bed Frame
Best Storage Bed: Ikea Hauga Bed
Our top pick is The Bed by Thuma. We love its design, which blends an upholstered headboard with a wood frame, but more importantly, we love the ease of assembly. Its joints lock together like a puzzle, so there are no tools required for building the frame—it's easy enough for one person to do in about 20 minutes.
How to Shop for Beds Like a Pro
There are two main types of beds—traditional frames that require box springs to support mattresses and platform beds that can support mattresses on their own, usually due to a system of wood or metal slats. Choosing between the two is the first step in picking out a bed. Generally speaking, beds that require box springs usually sit a bit higher than platform beds, which often have very low profiles.
Then there are all sorts of variations beyond those two types of frames—canopy beds, sleigh beds, daybeds, and so on. These types of beds offer more stylistic differences rather than practical ones, but there are also variations in practicalities, too. Adjustable beds, for instance, allow mattresses to be elevated at the head and foot of the bed, while trundle beds provide a pull-out bed beneath the main bed.
Beds are most commonly made of wood, metal, or upholstered panels. Choosing between them is often a stylistic preference. "For example, if you're going for more of a mountain vibe, warm natural woods are a great way to bring the outdoors inside," says Manzo. "Whereas, to create a luxury hotel feeling, you'll want something soft and upholstered."
You might also want to consider how you'll use your bed, too. "If you are someone who likes to read in bed, then a padded headboard might be something you want to consider as well," says Decorist designer Linzie Merchant.
Standard bed sizes are twin, full or double, queen, and king. Twin and full beds are best for one person, while queens and kings can much more comfortably fit two people. There are also variations on these sizes. Twin XL beds, for instance, are the same width as a twin bed, but they are five inches longer (this is the common bed size in college dorms). A California king bed is slightly narrower and longer than a standard king.
You can find common bed dimensions below (note that this is regarding the mattress size, while bed frames are usually slightly larger to accommodate the mattresses).
- Twin: 39" wide x 75" long
- Twin XL: 39" wide x 80" long
- Full/double: 54" wide x 75" long
- Queen: 60" wide x 80" long
- King: 76" wide x 80" long
- California king: 72" wide x 84" long
The height of your bed usually refers to the height of the top of the mattress to the ground. "Bed height is a very personal requirement, and your design style of the space also dictates what will feel balanced within the room," says Merchant. She advises that lower beds usually look more modern, while traditional beds are often higher.
But bed height also has some practical concerns. "Younger children and elderly folks tend to like lower beds as it takes less muscle to 'reach' for higher bed frames," says Manzo.
Some beds have storage built into them, whether that's through drawers beneath the bed or shelving built into the headboard. Some beds even have a hinge mechanism that allows them to be lifted up with little effort, revealing storage space beneath the mattress. If you are limited on space in your bedroom, it's worth considering buying a bed with built-in storage. Otherwise, consider beds that have plenty of room beneath the frame so that you can create your own storage space.
Because beds are so bulky, they often require assembly—when they're disassembled, they're easier to move through doorways and up or down stairs. Some beds require two people to build, plus a number of tools. Others can be built by one person and are tool free. Before you buy a bed, be sure to research the method of assembly to make sure it's something you feel comfortable doing. Many retailers also offer professional assembly services for a fee.
Questions You Might Ask
Do all beds need a box spring?
No, all beds do not need a box spring. More traditional beds usually do—the frame is just a four-sided frame, and the box spring is designed to rest inside that frame and provide support for the mattress. But these days, platform beds are becoming very common, and they do not require a box spring. Platform beds are usually slatted to provide support for the mattress.
Beds without box springs may cost less, but without box springs, mattresses are lower to the ground. "Typically lower beds do not need a box spring and therefore save you some money by not needing the extra piece," says Manzo. "Higher beds usually require a box spring to raise it up more, so this is a factor when choosing what bed height you would like to go with as well."
How high should a bed be?
Bed height is a personal choice, both for aesthetic and practical reasons.
"Low-slung beds are very versatile and can float through a myriad of design styles. I find they proportionally fit best in rooms that are more modern or contemporary, while also working with a bohemian aesthetic as well," says Merchant. "Taller beds work really well with high ceilings, adding height to the space, and look lovely in traditional and transitional designs. It allows you to soften the walls as well if you choose to do an upholstered bed."
But you should also consider the mobility levels of the person using the bed. Lower beds often require more effort to get into and out of, which is not ideal for those with limited mobility.
And sometimes people just develop a personal preference for bed heights that have nothing to do with style or mobility levels. "To determine the proper bed height, you want to try out different bed heights and determine what is a comfortable sitting height without straining," says Manzo. "You want to be able to sit on the side of the bed with your feet on the ground comfortably."
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Stefanie Waldek. Stefanie is a contributing writer for Real Simple with seven years of experience writing about home and three years of experience reviewing products. To come up with these recommendations, Stefanie spent hours researching beds and ultimately narrowed down the list based on style, price, and room type. She also tapped two experts for professional input: Decorist designers Christina Manzo and Linzie Merchant.