12 Easy Fixes for a Squeaky Metal Bed Frame
Author: Omar Alonso | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Are you noticing squeaking when you get into bed? We're not talking about mice squeaking but rather a noisy bedframe that's irritating you and interrupting your sleep. If you turn in bed and hear squeaking, it's enough to give you a hard night's sleep. A squeaky metal bed frame is a huge problem.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent a metal bed frame from squeaking. This post looks at what causes the squeaking and how to avoid it.
Why Does My Metal Bed Frame Squeak?
The squeaking sound can come from your mattress or the frame, but it's more common that the frame is the source of the sound. It's a good idea to rest each component of the bed frame to isolate where the noise is coming from.
In the case of squeaky bed frames, the source of the issue usually comes from friction between the frame's components. Also, the wooden edges of the box springs may rub against the frame's foundation. Or the joints connecting frame components are loose and require tightening. Loose parts create friction and excessive noise.
Humidity Causes Swelling That Increases Friction
If you have a wooden bedframe, it might swell when the weather is humid or rainy. The wood soaks the moisture from the air and expands, creating pressure on the joints, and squeaking. Most wooden bed frames are untreated, so if you live in a coastal environment or around a large lake, the humidity may affect the porous wood in the frame.
Oiling and/or coating the frame with polyurethane can help with this, though you'll have to take the bed apart to do this, and the coating can wear off over time with the rubbing in the joints that occurs.
Friction is the Immediate Cause of Squeaking
Friction often occurs in metal frames with polished finishes. The mattress fabric might rub against the metal, creating a squeak. This is especially true if you have an active sleeping style and toss and turn during the night.
Parts of a Bed Frame That Can Squeak
The first step to stopping the squeaking is to locate the part of the frame causing the noise. All metal bed frames require assembly, and there are several frame components to check depending on construction and materials used.
The joints in the frame are spots where two parts of the structure connect. For instance, the outer frame and legs, the outer perimeter, and the slats. These points can create squeaking when they experience pressure or wear out.
Standard frames feature slats made of metal or wood or feature mesh-like construction. The metal parts can rub on each other because you overtightened the nuts and bolts when you built the frame or because they experience wear and tear, causing rattling or squeaking.
Bed frames featuring minimalist design might not have slats. Instead, they have a central support bar and an outer perimeter. These parts can become loose, creating friction that results in squeaking.
The legs on the bed frame are another source of squeaking. Check the areas where they connect to the frame for loose fasteners.
The headboard could be the source of the squeaky metal bed frame sounds. Pull it a few inches away from the wall if it's rubbing against it. Ensure the screws holding the headboard to the frame are tight. Screws usually have a metal washer between the screw head and the bed frame.
How to Stop a Metal Bed From Squeaking in 12 Ways
It's time to treat the problem after localizing the spots in the frame responsible for creating the squeak. If you're dealing with several squeaky components, you'll need to mark them with white-out or nail polish to ensure you don't forget them.
The last thing you want is to think you have the problem licked, only to climb into bed and hear squeaking – that's super frustrating. I've even heard of people getting a noise complaint from apartment neighbors over their squeaky beds. Here are a couple of strategies you can use to stop the squeak.
1) Soap or Wax the Frame
If you have squeaky joints in the frame, you'll need to lubricate them to stop the friction. You can use a lubricant to do the job or materials like soap or candle wax on the squeaky spots.
Remove the fasteners and rub the material of your choice into the area until it's fully coated, then tighten it back up again. The material breaks the surface tension, eliminating the squeak.
2) Cork the Frame
You can also create space between the joints to limit friction and stop the squeak. If the joints in the frame are worn and rubbing, you can prevent them from making contact by slipping cork into them. Wedge cork or plywood into the joint, and you'll find the noise stops.
Chip away a piece of cork or plywood and press it into the joint until you secure the frame. Place bits of cork in the outer perimeter where the slats touch, preventing future squeaks.
3) Tighten the Nuts & Bolts
If loose surfaces rub on each other, the frame squeaks. Check the frame and tighten all the nuts and bolts. Don't apply too much pressure, or you'll strip the threads in the fasteners, making them loose again. The looseness can create the squeaky metal bed frame noises as that allows rubbing that otherwise wouldn't occur.
Also, you won't be able to part the fasteners, causing you to cut them off. That's a daunting task, especially if you don't have the right tools. You can also change to plastic washers to reduce friction and remove the squeak. Plastic washers are softer and prevent metal surfaces from rubbing and squeaking.
4) Spray Joints with WD-40
Metal types of bed frames are prone to rust. If you have an old frame, the joints might have worn away the protective coating sprayed on it at the factory. When the bare metal is exposed, it starts to corrode and rust, creating a squeak.
Spray some WD-40 on the joints. This lubricant also loosens and removes rust from bare metal. You should notice an immediate alleviation in the squeaking. You don't have to use WD-40. Specifically, any hydrocarbon-based lubricant will do the job.
Spray a generous application of the lubricant on the joints and wait 15 minutes. Wipe down the joints, and you should find the squeak is gone. Severely corroded joints may require you to disassemble the frame and treat the joints, removing all the corrosion before reassembly.
5) Use a Sock
Use a sock to prevent squeaking if your bed frame features a lock-in slat-style fixing system. Place it on the end of the slat going into the slot. Reassemble the frame and secure the slat. The sock prevents the metal surfaces from contacting each other, removing the squeak.
6) Wrap Joints with Electrical Tape
If you just bought a new bed with a metal frame, try this hack as a preventative strategy to prevent future squeaking. Wrap electrical tape around the contact areas of the structure and pierce the fastener holes. Assemble the frame as normal. The tape provides a similar action as a plastic washer, preventing contact with the metal.
7) Use Rubber Feet on the Legs
You might find the legs are the source of the squeak. If your bed frame sits on tiles, concrete, or linoleum floors, the contact with the metal produces a squeak. You can purchase plastic rubber feet or add casters to the legs to prevent squeaking.
8) Level the Floor
If the floor isn't level, it stresses the bed frame joints. Maybe it's not even your bed squeaking, but squeaky floors or a structural problem (doubtful). The uneven weight distribution across the frame results in distortions on the joints, producing the squeak. Use spacers under the feet to level out the structure and change the dynamics of the stress across it, eliminating the squeak.
9) Rotate the Mattress
Rotating the mattress might also correct imbalances in the frame, causing a speak. Flip the mattress over, rotate it from head to toe, and see if it makes a difference to the noise. Make sure your type of mattress can be flipped over, though. Not all are designed for that, but all can be rotated.
10) Wrap Your Bed Frame in Fabric
Some manufacturing brands utilize a fabric cover for the bed frame to stop speaking. If your bed doesn't come from the factory with this feature, you can achieve the same effect using a fitted bed sheet.
11) Use Baby Powder
As a last resort, try using talcum powder to stop the squeaky metal bed frame disruption. Coat the joints in baby powder and reassemble the frame. The powder reduces friction between the joints, eliminating the squeak.
12) Keep Humidity Under Control
Humidity is a big cause of squeaking problems in metal bed frames. If you live in a humid environment at the coastline or around a large lake, the air gets more humid than at high elevations inland.
If you don't have air-conditioning in your bedroom, it may cause corrosion of the joints in the bed frame, leading to a squeaking problem. Humidity creates a corrosion problem, leading to squeaking in metal and even wooden bed frames.
FAQ’s on a Squeaking Metal Bed Frame
Here are a couple of common questions that always arise when people think about why their metal bed frame is squeaky. Let's cover those so you aren't left wondering.
Are Metal or Wooden Bed Frames More Prone to Develop Squeaking Issues?
Both wood and metal are prone to developing squeaking issues. Over-tightening fasteners on both materials might create squeaking, as does elevated humidity in the bedroom. Metal bed frames typically have more problems with squeaking because there's more that can go wrong with the joints.
What's the Fastest Method to Stop a Metal Bed Frame From Squeaking?
The best way to prevent metal bed frames from squeaking is to glue sticky foam tape to the outer perimeter of the bed frame when assembling it. This action reduces the potential for future contact between the metal surfaces in the joints.
Squeaky Metal Bed Frame No More!
All bed frames eventually start to squeak, even wooden ones. Fortunately, this post gives you plenty of strategies to resolve the issue and get a good night's sleep. When a metal frame bed squeaks, the key fixes are usually lubrication, leveling, tightening, and padding. Eradicate that squeaky metal bed frame using the tips above and sleep soundly.