How to fix a squeaky bed and get a good night’s sleep

A woman wakes up happy after a good sleep
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There’s nothing more frustrating than the sound of a squeaky bed each time you move around at night. Not only will the jarring noise keep you awake, but this can affect the quality of your sleep if you're losing precious recharge time. 

This is why knowing how to fix a squeaky bed is important for our health and well-being. After all, we don’t want to feel even more tired the next morning, irritable or non-productive at work. What’s more, if you share a squeaky bed with a partner, it’s double-trouble!

So what causes a squeaky bed? Over time your bed is prone to wear and tear, and that will eventually cause it to squeak and groan. The common culprits are a worn and dated mattress, or it could be a squeaky bed frame or posts that need reinforcing. In any case, the sooner you know how to fix a squeaky bed, the better it will be for your overall sleep.  

Although it may seem complex at first, there are several things you can do that might help get rid of that unbearable noise. So here are some useful tips on how to fix a squeaky bed and get your sleep quality back.

If you are looking to upgrade, you also want to consider one of the best mattresses for comfier sleep, or the best pillow for every sleep position. 

How to fix a squeaky bed

A person turns over a mattress

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1. Rotate your mattress

If your mattress is squeaking, try rotating it or turning it over. This will ensure the filing is distributed evenly. If the squeak is located directly under where you sleep, rotating your mattress may help reduce the traction. Bear in mind, this will only apply to innerspring or hybrid types with metal springs. In any case, it’s good practice to rotate your mattress every three months to get the most out of it, and a quality sleep.

If you do need to replace a squeaking mattress, it’s consider switching to a memory foam mattress as, unlike innerspring and hybrid (foam and coil) models, these will not cause squeaking.

2. Try a mattress topper

If turning over doesn’t seem to work, try using one of the best mattress toppers to create a buffer. A bed topper is an added layer that will absorb some of the pressure of your body weight before it reaches any noisy springs. This will also help muffle any squeaking sounds.  

Fitting a mattress topper

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Tighten bed frame joints

Squeaky bed frames are a common culprit of our sleeping woes. Over time, your frame joints, usually connected with metal bolts or screws, can loosen. Look around your bed frame’s joints and tighten any bolts with a screwdriver or a wrench. Once the joints are tightened this should mimimize or remove excessive noise from movement. 

4. Lubricate joints

If tightening the joints doesn’t seem to fix the problem, they may need lubrication. Apply a lubrication oil for metal bed frames or any frame with metal bolts or screws. Products like WD-40 can be easily applied to joint areas, which may reduce squeaking. For those with wooden bed frames, you can try using candle wax or beeswax like this Wood Seasoning Beeswax Polish ($12, Amazon) which are more wood-friendly.  

Fixing bed slats

Fixing bed slats (Image credit: Shutterstock)

5. Cushion the bed slats

Bed slats can often rub against each other or against the frame causing a squeaky frame. Cushion the slats with towels, old socks or anything soft that can be placed between the slats. This will act as a buffer to reduce any noise or squeaking sounds. 

When is the best time to replace a squeaky bed?

Bed in room

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Of course, if you’ve tried-and-tested all of the above and the squeaking is still keeping you up, it’s probably time to replace your bed. Before buying, you’ll need to consider your current mattress size and find a versatile bed frame to accommodate it. Nowadays, you can find one of the best smart beds and smart mattresses to give you high-tech slumber. These use a range of smart functions from sleep tracking and dual-sided heating to cooling the bed to your preferred temperature. There are even options for restless sleepers or those with back pain. 

If you don't need to replace your bed frame but you are looking for a more affordable mattress in a box, there are now plenty to pick from to help you get sweet dreams for less. Either way, you can now say goodbye to all that annoying bed squeaking for good.

Save up to $750 on mattresses at Nolah Sleep

Save up to $750 on mattresses at Nolah Sleep
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This article is part of Tom’s Guide’s Sleep Awareness Week 2022 celebration, running until Saturday 19 March. Stay tuned for plenty of sleep tips, advice and expert-rated products to help you sleep better this year.

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!