This Thuma bed frame is my favorite new addition to my apartment – and it assembles in 30 minutes without tools

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Thumabed
The Thuma bed frame took 30 minutes to assemble, starting from the moment my husband and I laid out all the pieces to placing the slats on top of the frame.

  • Thuma is a new direct-to-consumer brand; its flagship platform bed frame can be assembled easily with no tools required.
  • It took my husband and me 30 minutes to assemble the frame. 
  • Each bed is crafted from solid, repurposed wood and all the pieces interlock, requiring just two hand-tightened screws.
  • It’s pricey, starting at $695 for a Twin, but I’ve never liked a bed frame more and I plan on using it for years to come.

The Bed (Queen) (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

When my husband and I decided to upgrade to a king-sized bed, we did tons of research on mattresses. We labored over the decision for weeks, read hundreds of reviews, and toured dozens of showrooms, before landing on a King Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Premium Silver Chill Plush Mattress. It offered the support of a traditional mattress with the plush comfort and motion reduction of foam and cooling technology that would help us as warm sleepers.

 

As a couple, it’s been our most expensive purchase to date at $2,499, which was much more than we intended to spend. But sleep is important, and the splurge felt worth it. Since purchasing, I’m no longer woken up by my husband’s movement.

But, because we went over budget, we decided to be frugal when it came to an accompanying frame. We chose a stylish but cheap upholstered frame online and ignored negative reviews thinking, how bad could it be? 

Pretty bad. It squeaked at the slightest movement, felt flimsy, and was labor-intensive to build. After a few months, it was proving detrimental to our sleep and we decided once again to go for something well-made that would last for years. So, I began researching high-quality bed frames online. 

What is Thuma?

I started seeing ads for Thuma on Instagram and was intrigued by the claim that it could be built in just minutes (the former frame took hours, not including the resulting bickering), with interlocking solid wood made from Japanese joinery techniques, and no need for tools or hardware. The rounded corners were designed to protect shins, and the bed’s cushioned slots and “pillow board” (a low, padded headboard) aided in noise reduction. Everything about it seemed thoughtful and over a thousand online reviews averaging 4.9 out of 5 stars raved about the quality craftsmanship and functional style.

We decided to try Thuma for these reasons, as well as the fact that it had the exact minimal, midcentury modern look we wanted. Plus, the low-profile platform eliminated the need for a box spring, and still offered nine-inch clearance for storage underneath. The company sent me a free review unit to test out, and after sleeping on it for four months before I moved into a different space, I can say that I love the frame just as much as my mattress. It was so simple to build, is beautifully-made, and doesn’t make a squeak. I’ve never slept better. 

But that’s not to say I wasn’t skeptical. A claim of assembly in “five-ish” minutes without tools seemed too good to be true. Could a couple really build a bed together with no fighting at all? 

Assembly process 

Our first impression was strong. As an apartment dweller, I appreciated that the bed arrived in three boxes, designed to fit upstairs and through hallways.

Thuma boxes
My bed frame, before reaching its final form.

Inside were the frame pieces, slats, pillow board, and legs with pre-applied cork-padded bottoms for floor protection and cushioning. The copy was clever, and a small smile during any type of furniture assembly goes a long way.

Thuma box copy
This is how the wooden slats arrived, cute note and all.

I decided to time how long it took to build the bed. I spent about 15 minutes just getting everything out of the boxes and arranged in order of assembly, which is what the instructions said to do.

Significant minutes could have been shaved off had each frame bar been labeled like the legs were. This would have helped us know if we were laying the pieces out correctly. Instead, we spent a lot of time second-guessing ourselves.

Thuma bed layout
Thuma suggests laying out the bed frame’s pieces in order of assembly.

I would suggest opening the boxes in another room if you’re short on space. We opened everything in the room where we would be building and spent extra time moving around our mess.

However, we were immediately impressed once the frame was in place and ready to put together. Each bar locked into the adjacent one through the leg, without any screws, drilling or hardware. It really did take just minutes to put the base together. The wood was solid and smooth, and the bed felt sturdy and well-crafted.

Thuma leg corners
Interlocking notches eliminate the need for tools.

Two hand-tightened screws then went in on each end, no screwdriver necessary. A word of warning, though: the screws came in an unlabeled box, and we almost accidentally threw them away.

Thuma screw
Tightening the screws by hand.

Next came the slats, which locked into place and were cushioned and lined with eco-friendly felt made from recycled plastics for durability and sound reduction. They too felt solid, unlike our rickety previous model. 

Thuma slats
15 minutes of work got us here.

From the time we laid out all the materials to this point, exactly 15 minutes went by. It took about 10 more minutes to place the mattress back on top, make the bed, and position the pillow board, bringing our total assembly time to half an hour. While that’s a generous interpretation of “five-ish,” it was still very quick. 

Review of the Thuma bed frame

The pillow board comes in dark charcoal or a light linen color and is made of 100% polyester pebbled linen-weave with tapered foam filling. The covers are also sold separately, so you can swap colors when the mood strikes.

It sits comfortably on the back of the frame between the mattress and the wall and is not attached to the bed in any way. It’s an interesting alternative to a more traditional headboard, and it also reduces noise, thanks to the padding. The low profile can be covered by pillows or kept visible as a design accent. 

Thuma Pillow Board
An unobstructed view of our bed frame’s pillow board.

This is one area where I would have loved more options. My husband and I like the look of a headboard and didn’t want that lost behind our pillows. Even while visible, Thuma’s pillow board still sits quite low and doesn’t feature prominently. We’ve tried positioning it higher, which works as a temporary fix, but one side still falls occasionally.

In the future, I’d be interested in purchasing a higher board if Thuma starts producing other options.

Thuma bed

The bottom line

Ultimately, I found the Thuma bed frame to be a well-crafted product that is thoughtfully-designed. It’s solid, eco-friendly, and beautiful.

Since putting it together, we’ve taken it apart and reassembled it again while moving apartments and it was just as seamless and easy.

Starting at $695, and going up to $995 for a king-sized bed like ours, it’s certainly an expensive investment and a high-end alternative to its more affordable competitors.

But I’m confident it’s a piece of furniture we’ll have for many years to come, which, as I’ve learned, you can’t always guarantee.

The Bed (Queen) (button)

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The best bed frames in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

best bed frame 2021 floyd 2

  • A mattress can only offer so much support so you’ll also need a bed frame to pair with it.
  • We like bed frames from Zinus, Casper, and more, and are constantly testing new ones to recommend.
  • If you’re looking for a great mattress, check out our guide to the best mattresses.

A mattress is arguably the most important part of your bed, but the bed frame comes in at a close second. It often gets overlooked but it plays a big role in how your mattress’s support is distributed and how your space looks and feels.

There are about a million bed frames out there, but once you get past the construction, it comes down to the overall look. A velvet bed frame looks understated yet luxurious, while a canopy frame looks like something out of a fairy tale.

That’s why we researched popular brands and polled our colleagues to see what bed frames they use and love to curate our guide to the best bed frames. 

Here are the best bed frames in 2021

The best platform bed frame

best bed frame 2021 zinus

The Zinus Lottie Upholstered Square Stitched Platform Bed Frame is classic and sturdy, and has a convenient pocket behind the headboard that holds everything for the bed frame.

The Zinus Lottie Bed Frame has a classic look and sturdy builds — something we’ve come to appreciate from an affordable brand like Zinus

While some bed frames don’t include a headboard, this one does. All the parts, including the meta frame, legs, and wooden slats conveniently fit into a large pocket behind it and are shipped that way as well for convenience. Senior editor Jada Wong, who’s had this bed frame for three years, found the pocket to be especially helpful when moving — there was no way any of the parts could get lost.

The bed frame is available in Twin, Full, Queen, and King sizes. The King frame sits 14 inches off the ground for extra storage space. The frame is eight inches off the ground for the other sizes.

Overall, the Zinus can blend quietly into the background of a loud bedroom or hold its own as the centerpiece of an otherwise neutral room. The sturdiness and easy setup are two major pluses, and the strong mattress support and soft upholstery complement each other, creating an overall high-quality bed frame.

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The best bed frame on a budget

best bed frame 2021 zinus 2

The Zinus SmartBase Mattress Foundation is affordable, sturdy, and requires no assembly. It’s a no-frills bed frame at a price that can’t be beaten.

While inexpensive prices for big-ticket items can sometimes raise eyebrows, we’ve had enough positive experiences with Zinus to know that price is nothing but a number. 

In fact, senior reporter Connie Chen used the Zinus SmartBase Mattress Foundation for almost two years and loved the sturdy support, easy assembly, and ample storage underneath for her tiny NYC bedroom. 

The bed frame is made with strong steel, and anything larger than a Full comes as two pieces that you just snap together for easy assembly. It also gives you 13 inches of clearance, so you can easily store things underneath your bed.  

The steel frame eliminates the need for an extra box spring and can support spring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses.  

There are no bells and whistles so you can get a super minimalist style or add a headboard of your choice to jazz it up a bit.

Read our full review of the Zinus bed frame here

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The best adjustable bed frame

best bed frame 2021 Reverie

The Reverie Adjustable Base can help you get in and out of bed easier, sleep more comfortably, give you a massage, charge your devices, and more.

For those with limited mobility, the Reverie 9T Adjustable Foundation can help you sleep more comfortably.

You can set the legs at three different heights (8.25, 5.25, or 3 inches) to get in and out of bed easier, and the remote control can elevate your head, feet, or both to an optimal position for sleeping, watching TV, reading, or eliminating snoring. The remote control comes with presets for Flat, Anti-Snore, and Zero Gravity.  The frame also features lumbar support, which can be adjusted to best suit your needs.

When it comes to appearances, the foundation is sleek and the gray upholstery complements the slighter darker gray wood on the lower half of the frame and legs. There’s also an LED nightlight under the bed.

The Reverie has a massaging feature with four functions and 10 intensities. Most other beds that offer built-in massage only offer two or three massage functions and around five intensities. While it’s not quite like having an in-house masseuse, it’s a fun feature.

As for the additional tech elements, the Reverie has can charge compatible smartphones wirelessly while also charging the remote via the built-in USB port. You can also program your bed via a companion smartphone app.

And should anything go wrong with your bed, it comes with a 20-year limited warranty. — Lulu Chang

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The best canopy bed frame

best bed frame 2021 DHP

The DHP Rosedale Metal Canopy Bed Frame adds glamour and romance to an otherwise utilitarian essential. 

The DHP Rosedale Metal Canopy Bed Frame, available in three colors, will give your space an old-fashioned glamour. You can drape the frame with your favorite curtains, upholstery, lights, and much more, change up the design with the seasons, or just use it as-is for a more minimalist look.

This four-poster canopied bed frame has sleek X-shaped accents in the headboard and footboard and is crafted out of sturdy metal so don’t think that this frame is just for looks. There are also multiple support bars underneath it to hold your mattress in place.

The frame doesn’t come with a foundation or box spring, so you might want to consider adding one on.

The best modular bed frame

best bed frame 2021 floyd

Thanks to its customizable, modular design, you can take The Floyd Platform Bed to future homes and through mattress upgrades with little fuss. 

The bed frame from buzzy direct-to-consumer home brand Floyd looks stylish and modern, but also allows for a lot of customizability. You can choose from four different wood and color combinations, and add a headboard or under-bed storage. It’s made in the US from FSC-certified wood and powder-coated steel. But we don’t only love it for its style. 

Thanks to the modular design, if you upgrade your mattress size down the line, all you have to do is add panels and supports instead of buying a whole new frame. 

The frame is lightweight yet supportive and sturdy, plus the optional under-bed storage is perfect for keeping extra bedding, linens, and clothing. 

Editor Caitlin Petreycik is testing the Floyd Platform Bed and loved the straightforward, tool-free assembly process. However, she notes that the boxes and panels are heavy, and it would help to have a second person for assembly. Make sure you assemble the frame in the general area where you’d ultimately like to place it — otherwise, you’ll have to grab it where the wooden planks are joined in order to move it. 

In case the frame isn’t for you, there’s a 30-day free return policy, as well as a 10-year warranty. —Connie Chen

Other bed frames we’re testing

best bed frame 2021 thuma

Thuma Bed Frame ($695+): This direct-to-consumer brand’s bed frame is sturdy, simple to build, and beautifully made — though it’s one of the more expensive frames we’ve tested. The style is on the modern and minimalist side, and it has a low profile platform that still has a nine-inch clearance for storage. Its headboard, while comfortable and supportive, is a bit short for our tastes. 

Read our full review of the Thuma Bed Frame

Saatva Santorini Bed Frame ($1,295+): Low-key yet luxurious, the velvet Santorini bed frame can complement any room decor and bedding. Senior editor Jada Wong has been testing this bed frame for the past few months and hasn’t had issues with stability or durability, though the frame’s thin legs are prone to shifting and squeaking if they’re not on top of a carpet or rug. Assembly is non-existent as it comes with free white-glove delivery, but that also means that disassembly for a move can be confusing. 

Casper frame and foundation ($250+): While best known for being the original bed-in-a-box brand, Casper also has bed frames. You’ll need both the frame and the foundation here for optimal support. The frame is made of 100% recycled steel and has solid wood slats so it’s very simple. Best of all, the frame can be assembled and disassembled in just minutes without tools. When a former freelance reporter tested the set, she was able to sleep on my newly assembled bed within 15 minutes.  

How do I pick the right bed frame?

Here are some handy tips to help you find the right bed frame:

  • Find the right height: Bed frame heights are usually around 13 or 14 inches, though they can certainly differ. Be sure to check if the frame also comes with or needs a foundation or box spring because that’ll add a few inches once you put your mattress on time, and make sure you consider your mattress height as well.
  • Figure out what style you want: Because your bed setup is the highlight of any space, the design of your frame plays a big role in your choice. Once you get past the construction of a bed frame, it’s mostly about aesthetics so you have plenty of options whether you want something minimal or elaborate. 
  • Check the assembly: Most bed frames require some sort of assembly but if you’re not handy or aren’t able to assemble items yourself, check what your new bed frame will need. Some brands offer free white glove and assembly so that’s something to consider if you feel comfortable.

Check out more great bedding guides

best bed frame

The best mattresses


The best sheets 


The best pillows


The best weighted blankets


The best duvet covers

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