For those of us looking for a simple, clean design in bedroom furniture it makes sense to consider the new line of platform beds. An alternative to the traditional bed frame, platform bed has several important advantages. The platform bed is quickly becoming a popular choice for folks who are looking something different. The common feature of all platform beds is the absence of a box spring or other type of foundation under the mattress.
A traditional bed frame typically consists of a headboard, footboard and side rails. Most of us are familiar with the wide variety of styles that can be found when looking for a traditional bed frame. There are bookcase headboards, sleigh beds and dozens of other styles.
Platform beds can be very simple in design and construction. As the name would indicate, the frame consists of a relatively simple platform. Atop the platform sits the mattress without the need for a traditional box spring or other type of foundation. The platform is rarely larger than the mattress so the overall footprint is smaller than a traditional bed frame which features a headboard and foot board.
Most platform beds have four legs and a rectangular frame. The mattress or futon is supported by a series of slats that run perpendicular to the long axis of the frame. Platform beds range in size from a standard twin, or single, up to a standard king. Frames for larger sized mattresses, like queens and kings, will typically have a center leg to support the extra weight.
As with any type of furniture, many designers have developed platform beds that are quite stylish and contemporary. In contrast to a basic platform bed, highly stylized beds often feature a variety of finishes and colors.
No Box Spring Needed
Taking a page from the old days, your mattress sits comfortably on a series of slats, without the need for a foundation. There is a debate about whether a box spring will extend the usable life of your mattress. To make sense of the issues, there needs to be a look at the history of bed frames. If we go way back in time, a mattress may have been nothing more than a sack stuffed with rags or feather down. Even at the dawn of the twentieth century, mattresses lacked an innerspring. Bedsprings were typically part of the frame assembly, and not enclosed in a box spring or foundation.
The springs were needed to add support to the mattress. Even in the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties when the innerspring mattress was introduced, mattresses were still paired up with a spring assembly, whether as part of a box spring or frame spring. Today, the box spring seems like a redundant component. Plush top and euro top innerspring mattresses are so thick and so dense, that a separate box spring is not required. Even a quality innerspring mattress with a sufficient spring count does not require a separate box spring. Many bedding manufacturers have stopped offering box springs, instead opting for flat box foundations.
Simplicity at Its Finest
Simple platform beds have been popular in other parts of the world for many years. In many Japanese homes, the use of futons and small raised bed frames are quite common. Historically, Japan has not had an overabundance of natural resources and this includes timber. As a cultural imperative, the Japanese had adopted strategies to economize on what resources were available. Though it is common for futons to be placed directly on the floor, raised platforms can serve a dual purpose. Not unlike a daybed, the combination of a futon mattress and raised platform could be used for sleeping during the evening. During the day, the same combination could serve as a place to sit.
What most folks know as a loft bed can be considered a platform bed. Of course the difference is the length of the legs. The average platform bed is relatively low to the floor. Loft beds resemble a bunk bed without the lower bed. The space underneath allows for storage or other uses. Loft beds are very popular for use in college dormitories or small bedrooms and can maximize what is otherwise a fairly small space.
Those folks who enjoy woodworking can find plans to build a platform bed and building a platform can be a great do it yourself project. While building a platform bed from scratch can be rewarding and allow for a degree of customization, there are some draw backs. The cost of lumber has risen substantially in recent years and building a bed from scratch may up end costing more than buying a quality platform bed.