Generally speaking, a platform bed involves a raised frame of varying height, upon which your mattress sits. These bed frames are often made from hardwood or metal (instead of plywood or other compressed materials), which means they generally do not contain harsh toxic glues or chemicals like formaldehyde. Platform beds are manufactured in a variety of different styles, yet a common factor with this type of furnishing is the lack of a box spring for support. Instead, the mattress sits directly on top of the platform, or is supported by a wooden latticework.
Demand for platform beds has increased over the years, due in large part to their compact nature and the storage solutions they can offer. Since they first became popular in the 1970s, manufacturers have also further developed the concept of platform beds, in response to consumer demands and needs. There are now a wide variety of these bed frames available, which can accommodate any sense of style or budget.
- Storage Space And Ergonomics - Platform bed frames are more compact than a traditional setup, and the underside of the platform can also be purposed in a variety of ways. Typically, the bed frame contains a set of drawers or a hidden storage area, allowing for the space underneath the bed to be utilized discretely. Certain models may also contain fold-out platforms, or integrated nightstands, thereby negating the need for separate, free-standing units. For this reason, these bed frames are often popular in situations where space is a concern, as in apartments.
- Comfort and Durability - Often made from solid wood, platform bed frames are strong and durable, standing up well to heavy use over time. As there are no springs, they are noiseless, and provide a firm surface to support your mattress. This is largely a case of personal taste of course, and side-sleepers may find their mattress too stiff on a platform, but others will likely find it preferable.
- Style - As Interiorholic points out in their post on the subject, platform beds can often be used as the focal point of a room, and their popularity assures that they come in a variety of styles. While platform beds can sometimes be designed to resemble traditional box-spring arrangements, others are built with a sense of flow and ergonomics at the forefront, allowing for a sleek, post-modern effect. Still others integrate reclaimed wood, giving those beds a distinct, earthy style in keeping with the ethic of sustainability.
- Low To Non-Existent Chemical Content - As is so often the case with mass produced goods or furnishings, some economy beds and nightstands are made from pressboard or plywood, which contain VOCs and other caustic chemicals (like formaldehyde), often in the form of glue. As we have documented before on this blog, these chemicals can off-gas, slowly leaching into the interior of your home. The long term effects of exposure to these compounds has been carefully studied, and linked to a vast array of negative health effects. Well made platform bed frames are often constructed from solid hardwood, meaning that they largely avoid the use of chemical-laden adhesives. When combined with one of the all-natural latex, cotton, or wool mattresses also sold by Green Conscience, exposure can be drastically reduced, a fact that takes on great importance when you realize that you spend as much as a third of your life sleeping.
- Height - Platform beds come in a variety of different styles, but because of the lack of box springs, many of them are lower to the floor than their traditional counterparts. For this reason, while a platform frame may be easier for a child, it could also be more difficult to use for an elderly person, or someone suffering from a disability that affects their mobility.
- Firmness - The feel of a platform bed depends in many ways on the quality and selection of the accompanying mattress, but one thinner than eight inches can often be too firm. As we previously mentioned, this can present an issue for side-sleepers, who may experience soreness and poor circulation. These issues can be highly subjective, however, and comfort is a decidedly individual concern.
- Mobility - Platform frames are often heavy and difficult to move should you need to do so for cleaning purposes. On a carpet, they can potentially pull fibers, and on a hardwood floor, the frame could leave scratches. If you don't move furniture often, however, this may not present an issue.
For more information on creating a healthy bedroom, stop by Green Conscience in Saratoga Springs, or check out our handy guide at the link below.
[Images via Savvy Rest]