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What's the Best Wood for a Bed Frame?Chiropractor's Guide(2024)

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What Kind of Wood Is Best for a Bed? | Bed Designer Explains

The Ideal Wood for Bed Frames

Selecting the perfect bed frame requires a deep dive into understanding the types of materials available, their durability, aesthetics, and functionality. In this comprehensive exploration, together with insights from Dr. Lawrence Woods, a seasoned Bed Designer, we dissect the pros and cons of various woods to bring clarity to the debate.

The Spinery® Wooden Bed

Free Delivery & Assembly

Average Delivery Time 7-10 Days

Product DetailsSolid Wood Design

Recommended ForDurability & Support

Optimal Spinal Support

Perfect for those who prioritize spinal health, this wooden bed offers outstanding support, promoting better sleep and overall well-being.


Eco-Conscious Comfort

Crafted to minimize pressure points, this bed frame ensures a comfortable sleep experience while also being an eco-friendly choice, sourced from sustainable Hevea Maple.


Durable Design for All

Ideal for all mattress types. This bed frame is designed to last, accommodating a diverse range of beds and ensuring even weight distribution.

Video Guide

What’s the Best Wood for a Bed Frame? How Long Will It Last?

When considering the lifespan of a bed, it’s not just about the mattress. The bed frame, especially if it’s wooden, plays a significant role. Wooden bed frames are popular for their classic look and durability. Here’s a breakdown of the best wood types for bed frames and their longevity:

Understanding Wood Types:

  • Hardwoods: Known for durability, hardwoods like oak and cherry are dense and resistant to damage. They might be pricier but last longer.
  • Softwoods: Cedar and spruce are less dense, making them more prone to damage. They’re affordable but may need more care.
  • MDF & Chipboard vs. Real Wood: MDF and chipboard are engineered woods that are smooth and termite-resistant. However, they can warp with moisture and age quickly. Solid wood beds, on the other hand, are durable and can be refinished multiple times.

Quick Summary: Types of Wood and Their Lifespan:

  • Hardwoods (like oak, cherry, and maple): 20-25 years
  • Softwoods (such as cedar, spruce, and fir): 5-10 years
  • MDF and Chipboard: 5-8 years

Choosing the Right Solid Wood for Your Bed Frame

When it comes to selecting the perfect wood for your bed frame, understanding the technical properties of different wood types can make a significant difference in durability, comfort, and longevity. Here’s a breakdown of the most crucial factors to consider:

  1. Specific Gravity: This metric provides insight into the wood’s density. A higher specific gravity indicates denser wood, which often translates to increased durability and resistance to wear and tear. Denser woods are less prone to dents and scratches, making them ideal for bed frames.
  2. Modulus of Elasticity (E): Represented in 10^6 psi, this factor indicates the wood’s flexibility. A wood type with a higher modulus can bear more weight without deforming, ensuring the bed frame remains sturdy and maintains its shape over time.
  3. Impact Bending: Measured in inches, this metric gauges the wood’s resistance to sudden forces, such as someone jumping onto the bed. Woods with higher values in this category are less likely to break or crack under sudden stress, ensuring longevity and safety.
  4. Compress. Parallel to Grain: This value, given in psi, measures the wood’s resistance to compression along its grain. It’s a clear indicator of how well the wood can support weight without being crushed or deformed. A higher value suggests a wood type that can withstand more weight, making it suitable for bed frames.

Based on these factors, here’s a concise table showcasing some of the most common hardwoods and softwoods used in bed frame construction:

Tree Species Specific Gravity Modulus of Elasticity (E) Impact Bending Compress. Parallel to Grain Grade
Oak, White 0.68 1.78 37 7,440 A+
Heava Maple (My Choice) 0.65 1.70 51 7,400 A+
Maple, Sugar 0.63 1.83 39 7,830 A+
Cherry, Black 0.50 1.49 29 7,110 A
Ash, White 0.60 1.74 43 7,410 A+
Pine, Longleaf 0.59 1.98 34 8,470 B
Douglas-fir, Coast 0.48 1.95 31 7,230 B-
Cedar, Western Redcedar 0.32 1.11 17 4,560 C+
Spruce, Sitka 0.40 1.57 25 5,610 B-

Grading Criteria:

  • A+: Exceptional in all metrics, offering the best durability and strength for heavy use.
  • A: Excellent overall properties, suitable for most bed frame applications with heavy use.
  • B: Good properties but may not be ideal for very heavy use or long-term durability.
  • B-: Suitable for standard bed frame applications but might require additional care.
  • C+: Average properties, may require reinforcement or may not be ideal for heavy bed frames.

Given the heavy use and load from a bed frame, hardwoods like Oak, Maple, Cherry, and Ash are more suitable due to their inherent strength and durability. Softwoods, while they have their advantages, may not be as durable in the long run, especially under heavy use. This grading reflects a more accurate representation of the woods’ suitability for bed frame construction.

Why I don’t recommend MDF & Plywood for Bedframes

MDF (Medium-density fiberboard)

  • What is it?: MDF is a type of engineered wood made by combining wood fibers with adhesive. It has a smooth finish, making it different from particle board.
  • Pros:
    • Aesthetics: MDF’s smooth surface is ideal for painted bedframes, giving a sleek and modern look.
    • Cost: Typically, MDF bedframes are more affordable than those made of plywood.
    • Workability: MDF is easy to shape and design, leading to a variety of stylish bedframe options.
  • Cons:
    • Durability: MDF is not as sturdy as plywood. Over time, especially if not reinforced, it might sag under the weight of a mattress and occupants.
    • Moisture Sensitivity: MDF isn’t water-resistant. In humid environments or if exposed to spills, it can swell or warp.
    • Health Concerns: MDF can emit certain chemicals, like urea-formaldehyde. However, some modern MDF products are treated to reduce these emissions.


  • What is it?: Plywood is made by stacking thin wood layers (veneers) and gluing them together. It’s versatile and can range from smooth finishes to more rugged looks.
  • Pros:
    • Strength: Plywood bedframes are robust and durable, less likely to sag or warp over time.
    • Design Flexibility: Depending on its grade, plywood can offer a rustic wood-grain look or a polished appearance for bedframes.
    • Stability: Plywood’s structure makes it resistant to changes in temperature and humidity, ensuring a longer lifespan for your bedframe.
  • Cons:
    • Cost: High-grade plywood, which looks good and is durable, can be more expensive than MDF.
    • Finish Challenges: While it can be aesthetically pleasing, getting a smooth finish on plywood can be more challenging than with MDF.
    • Moisture Concerns: Though better than MDF, plywood can still get damaged if exposed to water for prolonged periods.

Concerns with Using MDF & Plywood for Bedframes:

  • MDF: Given its tendency to sag under weight, using MDF for bedframes requires additional reinforcement. Its susceptibility to moisture and emissions of volatile organic compounds are also concerns.
  • Plywood: While sturdier than MDF, plywood’s cost and challenges in achieving smooth finishes can be drawbacks. Its susceptibility to water damage over time and potential formaldehyde emissions are also points of consideration.

The Reality of MDF, Plywood, and Particle Wood Veneers

Although these materials have gained traction as affordable hardwood alternatives, it’s essential to understand their limitations. Being engineered woods made by fusing wood fibers with adhesives, they bring certain challenges:

  1. Less Endurance: On the durability spectrum, these engineered woods pale in comparison to solid hardwoods. I’ve observed firsthand their susceptibility to chipping, swelling upon contact with moisture, and general wear over relatively short periods.
  2. Veneers: The glossy veneers these materials often boast are, unfortunately, fleeting in their charm. While they might offer a fresh, polished look initially, they tend to wear, peel, or lose their luster faster than expected.

In conclusion, both MDF and plywood have their and concerns when used for bedframes. Ultimatly, both are cheaper alternative to solid wood and thus there are compromises when choosing these materials for your bedframe.

Why I only Recommend Solid Hardwood Frames

  1. Durability: A standout attribute of hardwood frames is their resilience. Whether faced with the occasional bump, regular use, or even the playfulness of children, these frames have consistently proven their mettle in my living quarters. Their ability to resist everyday wear and tear ensures they remain an investment for years, if not decades.
  2. Support: Beyond their aesthetic appeal, hardwood frames are structural marvels. Their inherent strength provides mattresses with a firm, supportive foundation. This support is instrumental in ensuring that the sleeper gets a restful, rejuvenating sleep night after night, translating into overall better well-being.
  3. Airflow: This might seem like a nuanced benefit, but proper ventilation is crucial. By permitting the mattress to breathe, these frames stave off moisture accumulation. This translates to a prolonged mattress lifespan and a fresher sleeping experience overall.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Their timeless charm is a testament to their versatility. Hardwood frames seamlessly complement various interior decors, from rustic to contemporary. The natural grains and rich tones of woods like oak, walnut, and cherry are each distinct, offering a plethora of options for those keen on personalizing their spaces.

Softwoods Like Pine: An Appealing Facade?

Softwoods, particularly pine, have gained popularity in furniture pieces. Their lightweight characteristic combined with an attractive grain pattern can be enticing. However, deeper understanding unveils some concerns:

  1. Inherent Softness: While this might seem obvious given their classification as ‘soft’ woods, the implications on durability are significant. Pine bed frames, for instance, show signs of wear much quicker than their hardwood counterparts. Even with gentle use, they are susceptible to dents, scratches, and other superficial damage.
  2. Appearance Vs. Reality: Although pine and other softwoods may present beautifully with their light hues and striking grain, this aesthetic appeal often masks their lack of sturdiness.

My Revelation of Heava Maple Wood

This discovery has been a watershed moment in my journey. Heava Maple is not just another wood; it represents an intersection of durability and sustainable practices:

  1. What is Heava Maple?: This wood is extracted from trees that also serve as sources for natural latex mattresses. In essence, it brings together the sturdiness typical of standard maple woods while championing eco-friendly sourcing.
  2. Why Choose Heava Maple: The dual promise of longevity and eco-consciousness is compelling. The idea of having a bed frame and a mattress sourced from the same tree species introduces a unique synergy and holistic approach to bedroom furnishings.


Choosing the right wood for a bed frame is a multidimensional decision. Aesthetics, while important, is just one piece of the puzzle. Durability, support, environmental impact, and longevity are equally, if not more, crucial. Through my explorations, solid hardwoods, particularly the innovative Heava Maple, emerge as frontrunners. While budget-friendly alternatives may have their place, a bed frame’s longevity and durability are paramount, making quality investments essential.

The Spinery® Wooden Bed

Free Delivery & Assembly

Average Delivery Time 7-10 Days

Product DetailsSolid Wood Design

Recommended ForDurability & Support

Optimal Spinal Support

Perfect for those who prioritize spinal health, this wooden bed offers outstanding support, promoting better sleep and overall well-being.


Eco-Conscious Comfort

Crafted to minimize pressure points, this bed frame ensures a comfortable sleep experience while also being an eco-friendly choice, sourced from sustainable Hevea Maple.


Durable Design for All

Ideal for all mattress types. This bed frame is designed to last, accommodating a diverse range of beds and ensuring even weight distribution.

Video Guide


  • Airflow and Its Significance: A mattress that breathes is a mattress that lasts. Proper ventilation wards off mold and dampness, ensuring a healthy sleep environment.
  • Sustainability Aspect of Heava Maple: Given that the Heava Maple tree is a source for both wood and natural latex, it epitomizes sustainable resource utilization.
  • Limitations of MDF and Plywood: Their composite nature, though cost-effective, makes them more vulnerable, especially to moisture, impacting their longevity.
  • Softwoods in Furniture: While they might not be the best fit for bed frames due to their reduced durability, softwoods can shine in other furniture pieces where strength isn’t paramount.
  • Distinguishing Hardwood from Softwood: A rule of thumb is that hardwoods come from deciduous trees and softwoods from coniferous ones. This distinction results in varying densities and durabilities between the two.

In conclusion, understanding wood types deeply can guide individuals to make informed, long-term decisions when selecting a bed frame, ensuring both aesthetic pleasure and durable functionality.

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Medical Disclaimer: This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Product Disclaimer: The seat cushion is designed by a chiropractor, but results may vary and are not guaranteed. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition.

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC


My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.


About Me

Dr Lawrence Woods

My name Dr Lawrence Woods DC and I have been designing mattresses, pillows, chairs and seat cushions for over 20 years. As a chiropractor, my goal has always focused on improving the health of my patients by optimizing how they sleep and sit. My designs have been nominated for numerous awards and I continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping people get the best night’s sleep possible. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West, I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified and an OSHAcadenmy certified ergonomist.


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