Guide to Wood Bed Frame Styles

The 10+ Types of Wood Bed Frame Designs

Before investing in a new bed frame, learn about the different style options available to you. This guide from Countryside breaks down 10 different bed frame styles.

When it comes to choosing the right wooden bed frame design, it’s mostly about aesthetics and space. In other words, what look are you going for, and how much room do you have to spare? 

Consider whether you want a headboard, and then decide which shape or storage options you want with it. And do you need a footboard, or would you rather have your duvet hang over the edge? And what about box springs?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different wooden bed frame options and various style themes spanning from traditional to contemporary to help you decide which type of bed frame you should get.

Panel Bed Frames

Panel beds are a basic box frame with a high headboard, side rails and sometimes a footboard. The rails are either along the two long sides of the mattress, or along the bottom too (if there’s no footboard). They sometimes have storage options instead of flat rails or typical footboard, and intricate details in the headboard.

Panel beds come in many styles, and each bed’s particular details will vary. Typically the headboard of a panel bed will dictate its particular design aesthetic. For example, the more intricate and ornate, the more traditional bedroom furniture style it will match. Though in their basic form, they are quite minimal and tend to be used in more modern rooms.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Yes
  • Footboard: Sometimes
  • Mattress details: Requires a box spring—though they sometimes have wooden slats instead. Mattress can be any size from twin to king.
  • Perfect for: Variety! These beds are a basic design that can be customized to suit just about any taste.

Platform Bed Frames

These low-to-the-ground beds are very similar to panel beds, just without the side rails and footboard. A very basic style, they are suited for minimalist taste. Some have storage options within the bed frame—there’s plenty of extra space here since there’s no box spring needed. 

Platform beds are also synonymous with mid-century design. With sleek lines and geometric shapes, platform beds work well with other design elements of this era. 

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Usually
  • Footboard: Rarely
  • Mattress details: No box spring required. Mattress can be anything from twin to king.
  • Perfect for: Anyone looking to forego a box spring, or who enjoys a mid-century modern aesthetic. Or if your bedroom has limited space and/or low ceilings.

Upholstered Bed Frames

Upholstery can be a feature of any bed frame with a headboard or footboard. These premium fabric details add a layer of comfort and warmth to the bed. The upholstery is typically in a neutral color to complement the many bed sheet changes during its lifetime. It may be in a flat panel, including buttons or tufts, in leather, suede and a variety of other luxury fabrics. 

Upholstered beds are reserved for rooms where the bed is the true focal point. It commands attention, and deservedly so. These beds require more upkeep than standard wood bed frames, and will need to be vacuumed regularly. 

One consideration is that the upholstery will require extra upkeep to keep free from dust. Therefore, this particular type of bed frame style may not be ideal for people who don’t regularly clean.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Yes
  • Footboard: Usually
  • Mattress details: Box spring may be required depending on the bed. Mattress can be anything from twin to king.
  • Perfect for: Rooms with a modern aesthetic. Although, some upholstery fabric includes patterns to match a traditional motif.

Storage Bed Frames

Wooden beds with storage come in many varieties. There are wooden bed frames designed to provide additional storage for decorative items within the headboard itself, but most include drawers within the platform. These drawers can be accessible from the footboard, or along the sides of the bed. With everything from one drawer for special items, to six drawers for all of your swapped-out seasonal clothing. These beds work within many aesthetics, depending on the wood stain and design of the bed frame. 

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Usually
  • Footboard: Usually
  • Mattress details: No box spring required but may be used to achieve more height. Mattress can be anything from twin to king.
  • Perfect for: Small spaces with limited storage elsewhere.

Sleigh Bed Frames

As the name suggests, a sleigh bed is reminiscent of Santa’s sleigh, with an outward-curved headboard. Some sleigh beds also include a footboard with a similar curve. These curves can be subtle or dramatic, depending on your design preference.

Traditionally sleigh beds are quite large, with solid wood frames, and are purposefully attention grabbing. This type of bed requires a large space where it is the focal point.  

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Yes
  • Footboard: Usually
  • Mattress details: Box spring may be required depending on the bed. This type of bed frame is usually not made for a twin size bed, so mattresses are typically from full to king.
  • Perfect for: The master bedroom. Or antique lovers with traditional bedrooms, and matching bedroom sets.

Cannonball Bed Frames

These wooden bed frames are immediately recognizable once you know to look for the ball-shaped tops of the bed posts. Aside from this, cannonball bed frames typically include headboards with symmetrical curves and ornate cut-outs. The footboard is usually a smaller-scale version of the headboard. 

This type of bed frame is very clearly old-worldly, yet timeless. It could be mixed into a modern room to add softness to a too-industrial motif, or just as easily fit into an 1800s bedroom set.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Yes
  • Footboard: Usually
  • Mattress details: Box spring may be required depending on the bed. Mattress can be anything from twin to king.
  • Perfect for: Anyone who wants to add dainty charm to a traditional style room, whether it be French Country or Victorian inspired.

Canopy Bed Frames

Wooden canopy bed frames are defined by their four posts with connective beams and/or decorative drapery. These beds include high bed posts at the four corners of the bed, with fabric hung over, and typically draping down the sides of the bed. This is usually combined with a matching bedskirt.

The drapes can vary in color and fabric, depending on whether the style of the room is more Victorian, royal or ethereal. It can be as luxurious or as whimsical as you choose.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Yes
  • Footboard: Yes
  • Mattress details: Box spring may be required depending on the bed. This bed frame is usually not made for a twin size bed, so mattresses are typically from full to king.
  • Perfect for: Master bedrooms, with a nod to classic styles, or for dramatic flair.

Four-poster Bed Frames

An ornate and traditional design style that includes a headboard, footboard and 4 high posts on the bed’s 4 corners. These posts can be as simple or as decorative as you’d like. Four-poster beds are generally large and commanding.

Wooden four-poster beds have the same initial concept of the canopy bed, but are updated for more modern needs. Our bedrooms aren’t as drafty as they once were, so we don’t need the canopy or curtains to keep us warm (that’s what duvets are for). But we still have a love for traditional design—enter, the four-poster bed. The 4 posts we love remain, but without the upkeep of the canopy drapes.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: Yes
  • Footboard: Yes
  • Mattress details: Box spring may be required depending on the bed. This bed frame is usually not made for a twin size bed, so mattresses are typically from full to king.
  • Perfect for: Master bedrooms, and for a luxurious aesthetic.

Murphy Bed Frames

When not in use, a murphy bed can be folded up vertically against the wall, into a beautiful wood frame or even bookcase. This folding bed is a great option for small bedrooms, or for an extra sleeping space in a spare room. 

Murphy beds were named after their inventor, William Lawrence Murphy. He wanted an option to make his studio apartment a welcome place for guests, without his bed in full view. Now these beds vary from simple frames to elaborate decorative pieces.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboard: No
  • Footboard: No
  • Mattress details: This frame requires a mattress around 10” or thinner, with no box spring. Usually a full to king sized mattress.
  • Perfect for: Small spaces, a guest room or an extra bed in the office.

Wooden Bunk Bed Frames

Bunk beds are a two-tier sleeping solution, and the bed frame comes in many varieties. Typically the top bunk is a twin bed frame, with either a twin, or full mattress on the bottom bunk. A ladder or steps are also required to make it easy to reach the top bunk. Another option is a  trundle bed. In this case, the top bunk would be a normal twin bed or daybed, and a second bed frame is wheeled out from underneath. 

Bunk beds are traditionally used in kids' rooms because they’re quite whimsical in nature, and make sharing a room in a small space much easier. Some bunk beds even have storage solutions built into the bed frames for even more clever space-saving. For more tips on buying beds for youngsters, read Guide to Kids Bed Sizes and Styles - Ages 4-10.

Wooden Bed Frame Style Profile:

  • Headboards: Usually 
  • Footboard: Sometimes
  • Mattress details: Always a twin mattress on the top bunk, and sometimes a full or queen on the bottom bunk. No box spring is usually required.
  • Perfect for: A child’s room, or a room likely to have multiple guests in a smaller space.

Common Bed Frame Decor Styles

Of course there are more to consider besides the type of bed frames when updating your bedroom. Other factors should include wood type and finish, as well as the overall decor themes. While there are dozens of different design influences that your bedroom can reflect, below are some of the most popular amongst today’s shoppers. 

Farmhouse Style Bed Frames 

Explore the solid wood farmhouse bed frames sold by Countryside Amish Furniture for examples of this popular, surprisingly diverse style. Encompassing pieces both traditional and contemporary, Farmhouse bed frames celebrate simplicity with rustic yet elegant decor undertones. Comfort is a top priority with such pieces. While there are many exceptions to this guideline, farmhouse bed frames tend to let the wood’s natural grain and texture shine through. To elevate the organic nature of the hardwood, consider choosing a bed made from recycled barnwood or live edge frames

French Country Style Wood Bed Frames 

The close cousin of Farmhouse design would be French Country bed frames. While the two style themes share many similarities, the latter tends to be more refined while Farmhouse is seen as “down-to-earth.” Other features of French Country bed frames and furniture include the increased usage of pastels and floral or intricate patterns. 

In truth, many wooden bed frames could arguably fit under both Farmhouse and French Country design themes. However, the choice of finish and the accompanying linens may push in one direction more than the other. 

Contemporary Style Wood Bed Frames 

Contemporary furniture style is broad, encompassing multiple subsects of design. However, the telltale sign of a modernly styled bed frame is the use of clean, simple silhouettes commonly associated with Mission or Mid-Century woodworking. 

Other common characteristics include use of natural or neutral tones (you’ll be hard pressed to find a pastel colored bed frame that qualifies as “contemporary”). 

North American Hardwood Options For Your Bed Frame

So, you’ve chosen the preferred type of bed frame and the design aesthetic you want to achieve. Now, the next major decision is the choice of hardwood. 

Take note, bed frames made from real wood are incredibly heavy and ultimately built to last decades, a far cry from the options found at Ikea. However, the choice of hardwood can influence the coloring, makeup, and pricing of the bed. Common selections for bed frames include:

  • Oak- Be mindful of the fact that “oak” is a broad term that encompasses multiple species of trees. Generally speaking, it's often chosen for its adaptability to any stain or finish, comparative affordability, and overall strength. Comparatively harder than some other species, it can endure the typical bumps and scrapes of everyday use. 
  • Cherry - This wood is a favorite for many different bed frame types. People appreciate its warmish tints, natural beauty which changes with age, and robust nature. It’s often the wood of choice for intricately carved bed frames. 
  • Reclaimed and Salvaged Barnwood - Countryside Amish Furniture exclusively uses North American hardwood that is sustainably harvested. However, for the most eco-friendly option of them all, turn to reclaimed barn wood. This adds history and rugged charm to the bed frame for truly one-of-a-kind creations. 
  • Rough Sawn Maple - There are many types of maple at homeowners' fingertips, including the ever-popular brown maple. However, we chose to highlight the rough sawn variation due to its inherent organic, untamed aesthetic that lends itself beautifully to contemporary or farmhouse styles, alike. 
  • Walnut - No list would be complete without highlighting this king of hardwood. Celebrated for its luxurious coloring and subtle, tight grain, walnut is softer than some other hardwoods (like Oak). Therefore, it may be better suited for adult bed frames rather than those intended for the jumping feet of active children. 

Ensuring Your Bed Frame is Built to Last

Solid wood is not the only indicator of quality, as the construction techniques are equally as important. The last thing you’d want is for your bed frame design to be held together with glue! Increase the likelihood of a solid build by keeping an eye out for the following:

  • The bed frame’s joint connection style - The meeting point between two pieces of wood is where the bed frame is most vulnerable. Any quality furniture builder (including Countryside Amish Furniture) will answer your questions about the specific techniques that go into the creation. Look for terms like “mortise and tenon,” “knapp joint” or “dovetail.” 
  • Made in the USA - Though American-made bed frames don’t guarantee quality, you have greater odds of buying a piece made with responsibly harvested hardwood, sound manufacturing practices, and better eyes for quality control. Keep in mind, some companies falsely apply this moniker (for example, 95% of the piece’s build happens overseas but then the last coat of varnish is applied within the states). 
  • Handcrafted by skilled woodworkers rather than machines - There’s a lot of benefits to support experienced artisans over large corporations. However, the increased quality is reason enough, alone. Mass produced furniture goes through Quality Assurance stages in which only a sampling of the pieces are (hastily) inspected. Alternatively, expert woodworkers who handcraft each bed frame are keeping a close eye on the quality the entire time due to the up-close-and-personal nature of the building process. What’s more, Amish workshops will inspect each piece upon completion rather than a fraction of them. 

Ready to buy a well-designed bed frame for yourself or a loved one? Explore the many Amish-made bed frames we offer! We will customize it to your exact specifications, producing a piece you’ll love for years to come. 

Author, Baileigh Basham

Bailiegh Basham is Lead Sales & Marketing Strategist at Countryside Amish Furniture. She's been a team member since 2014. Bailiegh is deeply passionate about furniture design and home decor.