Are Traditional Bed Frames Officially a Thing of the Past?

modern bedrooms
Fantastic Frank

When I was a little girl, a gorgeous, wooden canopy bed frame was the “wow” factor” of my childhood bedroom. By no means was I a design expert back in the day, but I knew how special my bed frame made me—and the rest of my space—feel. (Plus, any piece of furniture that served up princess vibes was enough to satisfy my elementary school aesthetic.)

Fast forward twenty-something years and my bedroom is very different. Instead of a fancy frame, my direct-to-consumer mattress rest on a simple, wooden platform I built myself. Come to think about it, most of my friends have the same simple setup.

So what’s the deal? Have traditional bed frames with a headboard and footboard faded into design oblivion?

Cheap Bedroom Decorating Ideas
Orlando Soria for Hommemaker

Well, it depends on who you ask. According to Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy, a pared-down bed is a sign of the times.

"Millennials are known to be a bit more transient as a generation,” she explains. “With the rise in popularity of boxed mattresses, it makes sense that people are ditching their box springs in favor of less stuff to buy, put together, and move."

Though millennials are moving homes less than previous generations, they do want pieces that are designed with convenience in mind. Not only do they love to shop from the comfort of their own couch, but are also looking for pieces that can be transported easily when they do decide to move.

“One of the hardest things to move is a box spring; it’s not heavy, but it is super bulky and you can’t smoosh it to fit into a tight hallway,” Wood says. 

Instead of spending time, money, and energy on a box spring and proper bed frame, you can cut costs (and a headache) with an affordable platform. If you think about it, the trend makes a lot of sense. Nowadays, very few millennial-approved brands are putting bed frames front and center. When they do, it’s a simple style that can move as easily as you do. Floyd’s platform bed, for example, can easily be converted from a twin to a King—and vice versa.

Although the decline of proper bed frames might be practical, there’s no denying it creates a certain, laidback aesthetic that’s aligned with our obsession with Scandinavian style. 

"Lower profile beds are a great option for small, tight spaces, which might reflect the city-dwelling trend,” Wood explains. “It creates an optical illusion of taller ceilings and consequently more space."

Cheap Bedroom Decorating Ideas
Tessa Neustadt; INTERIOR DESIGN: Amber Interiors

But just because proper bed frames may be making less of an appearance in today’s boudoirs doesn’t mean we should write them off for good. For some, bed frames still seem to be the most practical—and comfortable—option.

"It really depends on the type of client,” says Suzanne Ascher, co-founder of Waterleaf Interiors. “If they value true comfort we always recommend a proper bed frame, mattress, and box spring,”

At the end of the day, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder—and, yes, that includes whether or not your bedroom features a formal frame. If you like the look and feel of a frame, go ahead and buy one! (Trust, us there are plenty of styles that offer the same low-slung coolness of a platform bed.) But if you want to keep things simple—especially if you live in a rental apartment—you might find the benefits of sticking to a frills-free platform. 

It’s no princessy canopy, but it turns out that keeping it simple isn’t so bad after all...