A great bed frame or base can make or break your mattress, so it’s worth taking the time to pick the best one for your needs, rather than tacking it on as an afterthought. When choosing a bed frame or base, think about the type of mattress you own or want, as certain types work better with specific bed frames. You won’t be short of options, as all of this year’s best mattresses can be used with a wide range of bed frames.
Here we’ve curated our pick of the top bed frames and bases for all budgets, from platforms and ottoman storage beds to divans and pain-relieving adjustable beds. But with so many on offer, how do you pick between them? From our experience of testing the latest models, the best bed frames offer plenty of support and sturdiness. They also ensure good airflow from the ground up so you sleep cooler, and they’ll work with your mattress rather than against it.
Memory foam mattresses, for example, work well on slatted bed bases that aren’t too widely spaced apart; otherwise, the foam spills through, risking premature sagging. Hybrid mattresses are the easiest to match with a bed frame unless it’s an adjustable bed – you’ll need to check compatibility first, as some hybrids have zoned support that can be damaged by the mechanisms of an adjustable bed.
Most of this year’s best bed frames and bases come on a trial period too, so you can test them at home for a few months or longer. If you decide the one you choose isn’t right for you after all, you can return the bed frame for a refund during the trial period. Let’s take a look at our pick of this year’s top-rated options now, with today’s best prices highlighted underneath each - we’ll also let you know if we’ve spotted any good mattress sales on these bed frames and bases…
The best bed frames and bases - chosen by pros
Simba Sleep is one of the UK’s top hybrid mattress brands, so we had high hopes for the Simba Sirius Bed Frame when we called in a double size for testing. We weren’t disappointed either, as this fabric-covered bed base is made to a very high standard from 100% recyclable materials, including sustainably produced birch.
When reviewing the Sirius Bed Frame, we were immediately struck by how well-made each individual component is. From the innovative slat mechanism to the stain-resistant fabric headboard, everything about it screams ‘premium’ yet the Sirius is regularly up to 50% off in the Simba mattress sale. Even better, this base is pretty much a tool-free build.
Once we unboxed all of the components, we built the bed comfortably within the 10-minute window that Simba Sleep states on its website (yes, we timed it). We did need back-up when connecting the headboard to the rest of the frame, however, as even the double size we tested was heavy to handle solo. We also had some issues when getting the second slat system clamp to slot into position and had to apply some force.
We never thought we’d get excited about bed frame slats, but the Simba Flex technology used here is impressive. It utilises responsive suspension to support your lower back and shoulders during sleep and relaxation. The slats (a mixture of hyper-reactive narrower and wide slats) are designed to relieve pressure while boosting support.
If you own a Simba Hybrid mattress or similar, this is without question the best bed frame to pair with it to take your sleep comfort to the next level. The handmade Sirius bed frame is impeccably finished and a sure-fire way to enjoy better, comfier sleep.
- Read more: Simba Sirius Bed Base review
Emma Sleep makes the best memory foam mattress we’ve tested this year (read more in our Emma Mattress review). So as with the Simba above, we were keen to review the brand’s stylish looking Divan Bed and received an Angora colour king size bed for testing. The Emma Divan is one of six different types of bed frames and bed bases made by the brand, making it one of the largest ranges offered by any UK online mattress manufacturer.
The major selling point with the Emma Divan Bed is the integrated drawers - one on either side of the bed that you can position at the top or bottom of the divan to best suit your bedroom layout. These drawers have ample storage room for linens, spare pillows and other bedroom necessities, and are smooth and quiet during opening and closing.
The Emma Divan Bed (handmade in the UK) also looks more premium than its price tag would have you believe. And like the Simba, it’s regularly up to 50% off with an Emma mattress discount, so you can often bag a double size for under £550. That’s an impressive price considering the overall build quality of the bed frame.
That said, there were a couple of weak points with the Emma that meant Simba slipped ahead as our overall best bed frame. The main issue for us was the headboard. While the fabric covering looks plush, when attached to the rest of the divan, the headboard on our testing model was prone to wobbling. Now, we were expecting a degree of movement considering the headboard almost floats on two thin pieces of wood above the bed base, but after several nights of testing, the wobbling when getting in and out of bed started to grate on us.
The Emma doesn’t sleep as cool as the Simba either, but that’s because these are two very different bed frames - there are no slats in a divan so you don’t get as much air circulating as you do on the slatted Simba. The guarantee is also two years compared to ten years on the Simba, and the trial period is shorter.
Still, if you have no issues with temperature regulation during sleep and you want a good-looking base with built-in storage, the Emma Divan Bed is definitely worth testing - you’ll have 200 nights to trial it at home, plus free shipping.
- Read more: Emma Divan Bed review
If you’re looking for a no-frills platform bed to support your memory foam or hybrid bed, then Nectar Sleep has what you need. The Nectar Platform Bed Frame is nothing particularly exciting to look at – it’s a basic grey square with slats and rubberwood legs. That’s it. But if you like a minimalist aesthetic, this will appeal, and the finish is excellent.
The Nectar Platform is designed with a simple clip and lock frame, making it one of the fastest bed frames in this guide to fix together – our tester was especially impressed with this aspect of the frame. The use of slats in the base encourages decent airflow, which is essential if you have a dense memory foam mattress prone to overheating. (Check out our Nectar Mattress review for a good temperature-regulating foam bed).
Don’t expect much else from the Nectar Platform Bed Frame though. You won’t get integrated storage or a luxury hotel-style headboard as you will with the Emma, nor the back support and pressure relief magic of the Simba. What you will get is a stripped back yet perfectly adequate base upon which to sit your mattress and pillows.
Curiously, a single size is only £10 cheaper than a double size, so the larger sizes are better value for money – we’ve seen similar single-size platform beds that sell for much less than the Nectar (as an aside, we are pleased that it is available in a single size; this isn't the case with Emma and Simba). Unfortunately, the trial period you get with Nectar mattresses doesn't apply here, and you've only got a two year guarantee too. You’ll get free shipping, though. Nectar is one of the world’s best mattress in a box brands, so you’re in good hands here.
- Read more: Nectar Platform bed base review
If you don’t require storage or a fancy headboard, yet you want a bed that can be raised at the head and foot, and set into a zero gravity position to relieve pressure on aching joints, then this is the best bed for you. The Sleepmotion 400i Adjustable Platform Bed Frame can be controlled via the included wireless remote and via the Napp by Dreams app. While it doesn’t offer as many features as the premium 800i version, you still get plenty of adjustability for your money here.
That includes an integrated massage function to help you physically relax when resting in bed, or to use as part of your calming bedtime routine. There’s also lumbar support to ensure your spine is aligned during rest and sleep, but our favourite feature is the zero gravity preset. This is excellent for creating a weightless feel and can quickly relieve pain and pressure.
If you’re congested or dealing with heartburn or acid reflux, all of which can disturb your sleep, then the ability to raise this adjustable bed at the head will help you rest and sleep in a way that eases your symptoms. The foot of the bed can also be raised to help reduce swelling in the ankles and legs.
All that adjustability does come at a price though, with a double size costing around £899. But that isn’t far off the price of the Simba Sirius, our top-rated bed frame, and the Sleepmotion 400i Adjustable Platform Bed Frame is the superior choice if you need multiple resting and sleep positions, plus massage at your disposal at night.
If you want a space-saving solution for your kids, teenagers or guest bedroom, then IKEA’s stackable bed system could be the answer. Another basic design like the Nectar Platform Bed Frame (see No 3), the IKEA UTÅKER Stackable Bed is two single bed frames designed to sit one on top of the other when the second bed is not in use.
The bed that sits at the bottom of the stack has purpose-drilled holes, into which the small plastic feet of the top bed fit. Double straps with press studs keep the beds in place when they’re stacked, so they shouldn’t slide around. This is an innovative solution to any room in your home where you’d like to offer guests a place to sleep, yet you don’t have the space or desire to set up a bed full time.
The IKEA UTÅKER Stackable Bed system is also perfect for kids and teens rooms, as it gives them the option of having a proper bed for friends to sleep in, yet they gain floor space back when the sleepover has ended. The downsides are that you’ll need to buy two mattresses to use with the UTÅKER, but IKEA sells plenty of good quality cheap mattresses to keep the cost down.
The guarantee is also confusing, as IKEA offers 10 years on some bedroom products but doesn’t disclose the warranty on the UTÅKER. You will get a 90-day trial period though.
How we test bed frames
The Tom’s Guide mattress review process is editorially independent and not influenced by any third parties. Our expert sleep reviewers test bed frames, bases and divans for ease of setup, comfort, support and quality of build.
Similar to how we test mattresses, our lead reviewer assembles a testing panel made up of people with different sleep needs and body types, who rate bed frames using a specific set of performance criteria.
In addition to data extracted from our own experiences, we also analyze user reviews from verified buyers to help us paint a complete picture of how well a bed frame will perform.
What type of bed frames are the best?
The best bed frame for you depends on the mattress you either own or are planning on buying, plus how many of you are sharing a bed and whether you have any sleep challenges such as overheating at night.
Here’s a handy guide to the best bed frames and bases for different sleepers:
Slatted bed bases
This type of bed frame is excellent for hot sleepers as it promotes better air circulation from the base upwards. Slatted bed bases work with a range of different mattress types, but be careful with memory foam - you don’t want to place an all-foam bed on widely spaced slats, otherwise the foam could spill through over time and cause premature sagging.
Best choice for: hot sleepers; hybrid mattress owners
Divans can really increase the height of your bed, especially when compared with a taller than average mattress. Divan beds are popular among tall people who want the extra leg space when getting in and out of bed, but in truth they suit a wide range of sleepers. They do sleep warmer than slatted bases though as air doesn’t circulate as well. The big bonus with divans is that many come with integrated storage.
Best choice for: adding height; integrated storage
This is one of the most basic types of bed frame you’ll come across, yet such a simple solution shouldn’t be disregarded as being too basic to be comfortable. A good platform bed will support your mattress, ensure good airflow and enable you to either ditch the headboard for a minimalist look, or pair it with a custom option unique to your bedroom. Read more in our article: What is a platform bed and do I need one?
Best choice for: minimalist bedrooms; small budgets
Trying to sleep when you’re in pain or experiencing physical discomfort is really hard, but an adjustable bed can make it easier by relieving a lot of pressure on your body. Adjustable beds and bases can usually be elevated at the head and foot, as well as be set into a zero gravity position to create an almost weightless sensation when you’re lying down. Most are controlled with a wireless remote, but we’re seeing more of these smart mattresses and smart beds controlled via app for sheer ease of use.
Best choice for: people who snore or experience physical discomfort
How much is a good quality bed frame?
Just like when you’re shopping for the best mattress for side sleepers, a cooling mattress or even some decent pillows, a good quality bed frame will require a decent investment if you want something that lasts. However, from our testing experience we don’t believe you need to spend a lot to get a decent bed frame.
Adjustable beds are the exception, as due to the very nature of how much sleep tech they’re packing, they normally cost £800 or more for a good quality one.
Our top-rated bed frame is the Simba Sleep Sirius and that costs from £737 at Simba Sleep. That’s on the premium side of bed frame prices, while The Nectar Sleep Platform Bed is more reasonably priced from £150 at Nectar. There’s a big difference between those types of beds though, with the Simba offering a groundbreaking slat system that supports your back and also relieves pressure when you sleep.
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