How to Stop a Wooden Bed Frame from Squeaking


It’s not easy to get to sleep when you have to worry about moving a single muscle and waking up your missus, the cat, next door neighbors… it’s like having trumpeter stuck in your mattress. While any bed can produce strange noises, wooden beds are the biggest noise makers. The problem is typically some part of the bed frame. But don’t worry. This is a problem that you can easily diagnose and fix by yourself.

How to Stop a Bed from Squeaking

1. Find where the squeaking noise comes from

To do this you’ll want to push down on different points of the mattress. Do this especially near the headboard and the footboard. When you hear the squeak, make sure to remember where you pressed. Then remove the mattress and check out the bed frame.

You can also rock the frame to find the squeak in case of smaller beds. But the first option is more accurate.

2. Tighten loose screws and bolts

Any loose screws and bolts will cause the frame to squeak. Because every time you move in the bed, it will cause friction in the area where the bolt/screw is loose. Typically all you need is regular screwdriver to tighten them. Once you’ve tightened all the problematic areas, try rocking the bed to see if there are loose areas left.

3. Spray the screws with a lubricant

Lubricating the screws can really get rid of the squeaks for good. Because even if you tighten the screws completely, there can still be some fraction the minute they get a bit loose. And you probably don’t want to tighten them every day. So using a lubricant can be a good long-term solution for minimizing noise.

Another solution similar to lubricant is hard soap or beeswax. Coating the screws in one of these substances will serve the same purpose. This beeswax in particular is awesome and I’ve personally used it on wooden furniture with great success.

4. Replace worn-out or broken screws/bolts

Both screws and bolts can wear out or change shape over time, or the holes can become enlarged and those particular ones no longer fit inside properly. In that case replacing the bolts and screws is the only solution that will work.

5. Replace metal washers with plastic washers

This is pretty logical. Two metal parts being in contact with each other can produce a lot of noise. So if your bed frame has metal washers touching some metal parts of the frame, consider replacing them with plastic ones.

They’re really affordable (whole package with different sizes typically costs around $10). This is the standard package of plastic washers (link to Amazon) that probably has the size you need.

In case you’re not using them at all, here’s how they can come in handy. If you can’t get a bolt to tighten all the way up against the frame, you can place a washer between the bolt and the frame to fill in the extra space.

6. Apply wax or talcum powder where wood meets wood

Wax and talcum powder are often used to prevent friction between two wooden parts. If there’s a larger gap, placing a piece of cloth in between can also be helpful.

7. Check the box spring for squeaks

The box spring can often be the culprit rather than the bed frame. Move it around a bit and see if it’s the only problem or perhaps an additional one you should take care of.

8. Check the mattress for squeaks

The mattress itself can cause squeaking and different types of noises. When you remove the mattress from the bed frame, place it on a solid surface (floor). Then push it on different parts, lay down and sit on it in order to see if any parts are producing the sound that bothers you. If it does, replacing the mattress is the only option.

9. Place a towel or a mat under uneven legs of the bed frame

You’ll deal with severe noise if the bed frame legs are uneven. In that case measure the difference and place something under the shorter leg(s). That can be a piece of cloth, a towel, rug or a rubber mat. Really doesn’t matter as long as you even out the legs.

10. Check if your wooden floor is not level

Wooden floor under the bed can be another noise source. Basically, any time you apply pressure to the bed frame, the pressure transmits to the floor.

If the floor itself is squeaky when you walk on it, this can indicate that it’s causing the problem. The way to solve this problem completely is to move the bed to an area where the floor is level and doesn’t make any sounds.

An alternative is to place soft but thick material between the bed frame legs and the floor. This can be a really thick rug. But in my experience shock-absorption pads or thick rubber mats are the best option.

I recommend placing one of these 0.78 inch thick shock-absorption pads under each leg of the bed frame. These will reduce the pressure on the wooden floor and reduce the noise as a result.

11. Get a noise-free sturdy bed frame

Wooden bed frames are not all that great. They’re prone to wobbling, sliding, broken parts and most of all – noise. Something you’re already familiar with.

So you may want to consider replacing it with a sturdy steel bed frame with a silent construction. This HOMUS bed frame is the most popular silent option.

This is a one-punch solution for those who don’t want to spend their time patching their old bed frame while waiting for the next problem to pop up in the not too distant future.

Conclusion

Just like diagnosing an illness, you need to be Dr. House and diagnose the real source of your bed’s squeaking symptoms.

But unlike a human body, bed frames are fairly simple, and if you follow this list I’m 100% sure you’ll find the source(s) in less than 15 minutes. Then you can apply these simple and affordable solutions to get rid of the problem for good.

Luka Baron

Soundproof expert and a staunch opponent of noise. This website is a free source of information on how to 'keep it down a notch'. I update the content regularly to keep up with advancements in the soundproofing industry.

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