How to Put Together a Metal Bed Frame (7 EASY Steps)

What peace it is to lie down on a relaxing bed after a long tiring day! But unlike sleeping on that bed, setting up that bed frame might be a tough job! You must follow a step-by-step procedure and know what to do to assemble.  

So how can you put together a metal bed frame? Most Metal bed frame has two side rails with folded arms.

First, you need to set and connect these pieces. Then comes the center support, which balances the bedding. Lastly, you put the slats, headboard, and footboard to complete the frame structure. 

bed with black metal frame

Still having doubts about how to do that? Well, don’t worry! We will explain every step, and it’ll get EASIER! Keep reading, and don’t miss a thing! 

7 Easy Steps to Put Together a Metal Bed Frame

So if you have already unboxed your metal bed frame parts, you’re just a few steps away from throwing that body down in comfort! 

But first, let’s have a quick check if you have the following pieces- 

  • Side rails
  • Feet or wheels
  • Cross arms
  • Center support beam
  • Headboard and Footboard (optional)
  • Tools- Screw, nuts, bolts, hammer, screwdriver, wrench

Got them already? Then let’s get started! 

Step 1: Arrange Your Side Rails

After unboxing, it is vital to arrange all the side rails first. These rails support the head and foot side of your bed. 

You’ll find two long rails in the package. Place them at a distance that covers your bedding length. If it’s a bit long or short, do not worry. They’ll get set once you go to the next steps!

If you have bracket root caps at the head of these rails, they will help to hold the headboard and footboard. We will get to that later. 

Step 2: Connect Feet or Wheels

Some bed frames might have detached feet or wheels. In that case, you need to connect them manually with the side rails—a total of four pieces.  

They are easy to set, as just a simple push is enough to make them stand. But in some beds, you may need to use screws to hold them in place. 

Step 3: Fold out the Cross Arms

Your side rails will have inner metal parts folded inside them, also known as cross arms. 

So after setting the rails, fold out the cross arms. These arms will have joining points at the end, which you need to join to form a rectangular shape. 

Some bed frames might come with separate cross arms. If that’s the case, you need to put them perpendicular to the side rails. 

Step 4: Join the Cross Arms

You may need screws or nuts and bolts to join the cross arms. 

Here is another vital thing to focus on – Cross arms have several holes or connecting points that allow you to make a king-size or queen-size bed.  

If you connect the endpoints, it’ll become a king-size bed. On the other hand, connecting the furthest points from the ends will make it queen-size. Another option is connecting the middle points, which represent ‘California King.’

To join the cross arms, simply overlap one over another to the selected holes. Now with the help of the bolts and nuts, lock them.

black metal bed frame

Some beds may come with rivets. In that case, place that rivet in the middle of the two arms and lock them with bolts.  

Step 5: Put Caps on the Side Rails

You’ll find metal caps with the package that should be placed at the end of the side rails. 

Side rails might have pointy ends, which can lead to unexpected accidents. That’s why you need to cover that end with metal caps. 

metal bed frame installation

Step 6: Position Your Center Support

You can skip this step if your bed does not have a center support beam.

But most bed frames have it, so you may need to place this piece too. You’ll find slots in the side arms to position the centerpiece. If you don’t have slots, you just need to position it in a manner so that it stays just in the middle of both arms.

Usually, it does not require screws or bolts to lock it. But sometimes, you may need to attach a foot underneath it. 

Step 7: Complete the Remaining Parts

You’re almost done! Now you only need to add the last pieces with the frame package. 

You may have metal slats that must be placed on the top of the frame. Or sometimes there might be glides to place underneath the feet. You can also add the headboard and footboard to the right spots.

Once you’re done with that, you can put your bedding on the frame as you assemble! 

How To Put the Headboard and Footboard on the Metal Bed Frame?

The headboard and the footboard are easy to place if you have metal brackets in your bed frame. 

Hold the board on top of the side rails and place the legs into the bracket. You’ll find screw holes in the boards as well. Place the screws correctly and tighten them with a wrench. 

You need to do the same for both the headboard and footboard. Make sure that the boards are leveled.

Some beds might have connecting hooks to connect these boards. If that’s so, you may not need to use any screws or bolts. 

Also, you sometimes need to assemble the headboard or the footboard before connecting them with the frame. Follow your instruction manual to assemble the boards flawlessly. 

Let’s focus on the interior as the exterior frame is made. First, by putting two crossbars that serve as the spine down the middle for holding the slats, make sure that the brackets for the slats are facing up.

In the middle, two parts are where we will put the longer screws. Tighten the screws at each end of the twenty narrow struts to assemble the interior.

How To Assemble a Metal Bed Frame With Slats?

You might have many slats with metal bed frames, depending on your bed. These slats help the bed to hold the bedding even better. You can have either metal slats or wood slats.

Let’s discuss both!

Assembling Metal Bed Frame With Metal Slats

Depending on your bed size, you may have 22 to 28 metal slats. Although they are many, placing these slats are pretty easy.

But first, you need to assemble the bed frame similarly as we discussed. If it’s a bit different, try to follow the instruction manual. Mostly, you might have side rails and cross arms separately and need to connect them. 

You may also have two centerpieces and need to join them with screws. You’ll find exact slots and holes for that. 

After assembling the frame, you’ll see several slots on the side arms to place the metal slats. You just need to put the slats on the slots and push it a bit. Do this for all the slats, and it’s ready! 

Assembling Metal Bed Frame With Wood Slats

You can have a metal bed that comes with wood slats as well. For assembling this kind of bed, first, create the frame following the discussed steps. 

When the frame is ready, you need to prepare the wood slats for placing. Now, you can have different types. One type of slat needs to be put inside plastic caps to join them horizontally. You need to put caps at the end of the slats too. 

Now, you’ll see slots to put these slats in the side arm. Just gently slide the slats into those slots, and they’ll fit. 

Another type does not require any caps. You can directly put those slats into the slots and adjust them with the help of a hammer. 

Do this for all the wood slats. You might have twenty-eight pieces of them. 

Setting up a metal bed frame may be difficult in general and might require a significant amount of time, but with proper guidelines and steps being followed, as mentioned above, it should be easy!

How To Make a Metal Bed Frame Stronger During Assembly?

While assembling a metal bed frame, there are several things you can do to make the structure stronger and more sturdy. 

Metal bed frames are already durable and can hold significant weight. But a stronger bed frame will provide additional support to your whole bedding. 

Let’s see how to make the bed stronger during assembly-

Use More Slats

Using more slats will eventually make the structure stronger. For this, measure the width of the frame and set the slats accordingly. Placing them close will improve the strength as well. 

Add a Plywood

You can use thick plywood over the slats to make them more protective. This extra layer of plywood will withstand more load from the mattress. You can even use a screw to attach the plywood to the frame.

Screw the Slats

Drilling and screwing the slats will give them additional strength and keep them in place. It also reduces the squeaking noise of the bed and holds the arms and slats together. 

Provide More Support

You can use extra feet underneath the bed frame to increase overall support. For this, you can attach legs under the middle and end slats with two screws. Make sure to keep them leveled. 

How To Make a Metal Bed Frame Look Better?

If you don’t like the look of your metal bed frame, there are several ways to make them look better! 

Let’s see what you can do to change the appearance of your bed frame. 

Apply Spray Paint

If the dark metal color does not match your bedroom’s appearance, you can apply to spray paint to change the look! 

You may need to cover other furniture before doing that. Directly spray your preferred color paint on the pieces before assembling. Let it dry before applying the second round of coat. 

You can spray after assembling the bed frame as well. Just make sure it does not have bedding or a mattress at the top of it. 

Use a Slipcover

A slipcover can help hide the headboard and footboard of your metal bed frame. You can choose any desired fabric to cover these two exposed parts.

Read it Next: How to Stop Feathers From Coming Out of Pillow?

Put on a Bed Skirt

Adding a bed skirt is another way to change the appearance of your metal bed. It will not only hide the metal part but also help complement your room. But for this, you need to choose the color of the bed skirt wisely.

Final Thoughts

Setting up a metal bed frame may be difficult in general and might require a significant amount of time, but with proper guidelines and steps being followed, as mentioned above, it should be easy! 

Read It Next: Can a Daybed Be Used as a Couch?

Some FAQs

Are Metal Bed Frames Good?

Metal bed frames are pretty strong and can hold much weight. Moreover, they are long-lasting and quicker to clean. You can assemble them with simple tools and an easy mechanism. Also, it does not have wood bugs that you’ll find in wood frames. 

Do Metal Bed Frames Break Easily?

No, metal bed frames are robust, so they do not break easily. They are also resistant to being dented or scratched.

Do Metal Bed Frames Need Slats?

You can use your metal bed without having slats on it. But if you have a foam-based mattress, it’s better to have slats in the bed as these mattresses are heavy and need better support underneath them.

Only the beams and arms might not hold them for too long, so they need slats. 

Do Metal Bed Frames Fit All Sizes?

Metal bed frames are adjustable to fit different-size mattresses. For instance, you can have a queen-size, king-size, or California-king-size mattress on the same metal bed frame.

But for that, you need to adjust the bed accordingly while assembling the parts. 

Why Do My Metal Bed Squeak?

If your metal bed continuously squeaks when you move, it can be because of loose bolts or screws. When these joining parts are loose, they cannot keep things in place.

You can try tightening the loosened bolts and applying lubricant to the joint areas to stop the bed from squeaking.