How to Fix a Squeaky Bed Frame?

by Liam McGill

Introduction

When it comes to sleeping, the last thing you want from your bed is for it to squeak, creak and groan throughout the night! Even if you try to keep as still as possible, a squeaky bed will find a reason to make noise in the middle of the night. It puts you at unease for the structural rigidity of your bed and it can irritate roommates throughout the night (it can also be a bit awkward if it’s a couple sleeping in the offending bed.) The good news is that you’ve come to the right place to solve this issue once and for all!

Why Does My Wooden Bed Squeak?

Put simply, your bed frame is squeaking because either a bolt has come loose or the bed frame/ slats have slightly warped. As to why this might happen, a loose bolt comes from general use of getting in and out of bed, but can be exacerbated from excessive weight on the bed, both in general and having weight placed on areas that strain the joints. Other causes can come from unnecessary strain, such as children jumping on the bed or constant lifting of the bed for whatever reason.

When it comes to a warped bed frame or slats, this happens from a change of humidity altering the shape of the wood. This can either come from the bed being in either a particularly damp or a room with an altering humidity. As such, avoid placing beds in humid/ damp environments to prevent this from happening. However, sometimes this can be easier said than done, so consider other types of bed frames such as metal or box bed frames if this type of warping is unavoidable.

How to stop a wooden bed from squeaking

When it comes to silencing a squeaky bed, there are a variety of methods you can undergo to prevent this from happening. These range from cheap and simple, to more specialty solutions that might require going to a hardware store. As such, it’s worth trying each of the solutions to see which works for you.

Isolate the Problem Area

Person listening

Before we get to fixing, however, we should probably figure out where it is that we should focus on. If you’ve got keen ears, you should be able to roughly isolate where the bed is squeaking. Then it’s a matter of experimenting on why the squeak occurs, does it happen when you move even a little bit or only when you really fling yourself? Does the bed seem to shift at all when weight is applied or does it stay the same? It’s important to answer these questions as it will quickly cut down what could be hours spent with other fixes to the 10-minute job you actually need to do.

Check the joints!

This one is the most obvious, but if you haven’t already, TIGHTEN THOSE JOINTS! Plenty of times the simplest solution will be what solves your problem. So remove your mattress and twist those bolts clockwise till you can no longer. To really make sure the bolts aren’t the issue, use WD-40 or a similar lubricant to tighten the bolts further, if you’re an individual who might have issues performing this task, call in a strong relative/neighbour who is happy to assist you in this situation.

Screw-in those slats!

Certain wooden bed frames have slats that allow you to screw them in for added rigidity. While making the bed harder to disassemble, this can significantly help in quieting a creaky bed. If the slats to your bed frame don’t have holes to screw them in, consider this as a possible solution, however, we would also advise trying other, less destructive, methods before going this route.

Cushion the slats!

If you don’t want to commit to screwing in the slats to your bed frame, you could try cushioning the area where the slats and frame come in contact. For this, you could try lining the bottom of the slats with blu-tack or attaching fabric such as old socks, shirts, and rags to the end of the slats for an easy, noise-canceling solution. However, make sure not to add too much fabric to avoid making too much of a lump underneath your mattress.

Add Floor Padding!

If your bed is on a wooden or tile floor, sometimes the squeaky culprit can actually be the bed legs. Try adding some padding between the bed legs and the floor in the form of an old t-shirt, towel or some carpet off-cuts to soften the connection between the two.

On the topic of bed legs, if your bed is on wheels sometimes these can also be the culprit due to old bearings. Try lubricating them with WD-40 or replacing them entirely if you believe they are to blame for your nighttime squeaking.

Lubricate the Bed Frame

While normally a fix for metal bed frames, lubricating a wooden bed frame is a valid and possible solution! However, rather than using metal lubricants such as WD-40 or grease, you can instead use wax or soap (They don’t have to be expensive either, cheap soap or wax from a candle will do just fine!)

To lubricate, dismantle the bed so you can easily access all points of contact between the bed’s different pieces, then get your chosen wax/soap and rub it onto the surface area of the contact point on both pieces.

Just Replace the Bed

If you’ve tried everything to fix your bed, or you’ve tried nothing and you’re out of ideas, then sometimes the best answer is the easiest, just buy a new one. If you don’t know where to buy a bed frame from then clicking HERE might help.

If you also need help with buying a bed frame, then this guide HERE may also help.

Conclusion

In conclusion, fixing a squeaky wooden bed is a simple fix, however, the difficulty is figuring out what part of the bed is squeaking. Sometimes, you can try every fix under the sun to no avail and other times all that needs to be done is another quarter-turn on a single bolt. Regardless, it’s up to you whether the amount of effort you may need to fix the bed is worth the amount of irritation the offending squeak causes, which for most sleep-deprived individuals is always an exasperated: “YES!”

Q&A:

I have a squeaky mattress, how do I fix that?

If you’ve figured out that it’s the mattress and not the bed that’s squeaking, the simple solution is to simply flip the mattress. This will give the mattress a new breath of life as the previously unused other side of the springs in the mattress are now instead being used. Rotate the mattress 180° for maximum effect.

However, this solution is only temporary and will eventually lead to the mattress squeaking once again. If you’ve flipped and rotated the mattress to every possible position and it’s still squeaking, it might be time for a new mattress. If you need a mattress then luckily we know just the right people to buy from.

How to prevent a box bed from squeaking?

When it comes to preventing a box bed from squeaking, unfortunately, this is where solutions become few and expensive. Box beds begin squeaking for the same mattresses do: old and worn springs. However, unlike a mattress, a box bed can not be flipped for obvious reasons, and rotating may possibly be out of the question as the frame may have the hardware for installing a headboard at one end of the bed, making for an unsightly scene when out in the open. As such, the only real solution to a squeaky box bed is to buy a new one.


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