Are Bed Risers Safe?

Last Updated On December 1st, 2023
Are Bed Risers Safe?

Key Takeaways

  • Incorrect installation, uneven floor surfaces, the bed frame’s legs being loose in the holder, and too much weight on the bed riser are all things to avoid.
  • Bed risers with broader bases tend to provide more support, as long as the legs rest surcely in the holder.
  • Aside from avoiding DIY bed risers for safety, you also need to avoid stacking mattresses or box springs for extra bed height.

Do you struggle with getting out of bed because your frame feels too low to the ground? For many shoppers, the easiest and cheapest way to fix this problem is with a set of bed risers.

A bed riser is typically placed under the foot of each bedpost to give the frame added height. This can give you more space to store items under your bed or simply make it easier to slide off your mattress in the morning.

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Despite the name, you could also use a set of bed risers to increase the height of a sofa or standard chair by placing one under the furniture legs. If you have a sleeper sofa or sofa bed, then the bed risers are still serving their intended function, too!

Bed risers can also be invaluable if you live with a condition that restricts your mobility. For example, some wheelchair users find their furniture is too short to use unless they add a set of risers.

Similarly, it can be challenging for people with arthritis to move in the morning. Again, raising the bed’s height can make it easier to swing their legs over the side and get up.

Despite their benefits, shoppers may wonder if bed risers are safe. We examine the conditions that can lead to unsafe bed risers and discuss the types of bed risers available on the market.

When is a Bed Riser Unsafe?

Well-made bed risers should be safe as long as they are used properly. There are bed risers that are inherently unsafe, such as one made with inexpensive and unsupportive plastic. Yet the danger can also come from unintentional misuse.

Installing the Bed Riser Incorrectly

Naturally, failing to set up the bed risers correctly means they won’t provide a stable base. For example, if you use a set of screw-in bed risers but don’t tighten the screws enough, then you compromise your frame’s overall security.

Installing bed risers is often best treated as a two-person job, with one person lifting the bed and the other person setting up the bed risers. Naturally, the job is also easier if you remove the mattress and all assorted bedding, leaving the frame bare. If you don’t have a friend or family member that can help you, try using a carjack to safely raise the bed frame.

Uneven Floor Surface

You may have experienced the difficulties that come with trying to coax a piece of furniture to stand straight on bumpy or rough ground. Placing bed risers on a surface that won’t let them rest flat means the bed risers won’t provide stable support. And a lack of support can cause your frame to tilt or wobble underneath you.

Overly Large Bed Risers

By overly large, we mean bed risers where the space for the bed’s leg is too wide, leaving the leg loose in the holder. Measuring the diameter of the bed’s legs before you purchase a set of risers can prevent this from happening.

Too Much Weight on the Riser

Every bed riser has a limited weight capacity, and some can bear more weight than others. So naturally, if you overload your bed riser, it will not provide safe and stable support.

A bed riser’s expected weight limit usually depends on how the risers are attached and what materials they contain. Some manufacturers may note how much weight a single riser can support on its own, while others may list the weight capacity of the entire set. This additional support provided by bed risers ensures stability and prevents any strain on your bed frame.

Remember that when it comes to bed risers, it’s not just the weight of the furniture you have to consider. A set of bed risers supports not only your frame and mattress but also your body and heavier bedding items like a thick duvet or even a weighted blanket.

The diameter of your bed’s posts can also affect the pressure it puts on the riser. A thicker furniture leg distributes weight more evenly, placing less stress on a bed riser.

Types of Bed Risers to Consider

Bed risers tend to fall into one of three categories:

  • Screw-in
  • Stackable
  • Adjustable

Broader bases typically mean more support.

Screw-In Bed Risers

Screw-in bed risers are made to replace a frame’s set of legs. They come in plastic, steel, and wood. Because of their design, they only add so much height to a structure.


Stackable bed risers take their name from the fact they can be placed on top of each other when not in use. These bed risers have a wide base and a cup-like depressed area for the bedpost. Stackable bed risers are often made of plastic or rubber.


Adjustable bed risers usually come with eight pieces instead of the usual four risers. The bottom base risers have a similar design to stackable bed risers, with a broad base, while the other four pieces can be placed on top to increase the bed riser’s height.

If you choose a plastic set of adjustable bed risers, check that the material is durable enough to bear the total weight of your bed.

Choosing the Right Bed Riser For Your Frame

The type of bed riser that suits your needs depends on the bed frame you’re using. Platform beds and panel beds, or a traditional bed frame, have less stringent requirements than bunk beds when it comes to bed risers.

If you have any doubt about whether you can safely pair a set of bed risers with your current bed frame, try reaching out to the manufacturer and ask what frame structures the risers work with and how much weight they can support.

Are DIY Bed Risers Safe?

While fashioning a set of bed risers may seem like the ultimate way to save money, it may come at the cost of your safety. If you produce your own bed risers, you have to make sure that all the risers are the same height and rest level on the ground.

You also have no easy way of knowing how much weight your homemade set of risers can support, which puts their safety in further question.

Improvising bed risers with items like cinderblocks can be risky when you have no way to lock the frame in place. If the frame should slide off the cinderblocks for any reason, you could injure yourself.

Overall, our recommendation is to skip the DIY idea and invest in a simple set of heavy-duty bed risers.

Finding the Right Bed Height

Your bed height expresses the distance between the surface of your mattress to the floor. Many beds measure between 16 to 25 inches tall. The ideal height for you depends on how tall you are.

Try standing beside your bed to gauge how close the top of your mattress is to your knees. If the frame is at a good height, the mattress’s surface should be level with your knees. Another method is to sit on the side of your bed. When sitting on your mattress, your feet should rest flat on the floor and your knees should be parallel with your hips. For some, a lower bed can suit better than a higher one.

Why so much fuss to calculate the height of the bed, some sleepers may ask. Do you even need to bother with a bed frame? Why not just keep your mattress on the floor? Our answer is that using a bed frame makes it easier for most to get out of bed instead of having to stand up from the floor, which older individuals may struggle to accomplish.

Plus, bed frames prevent pests Verified Source Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Works to control/prevent natural and manmade disasters. View source and dust from settling inside your mattress and make it easier for moisture to drain away. A mattress left on the floor can’t breathe the same way a mattress on a bed frame can, and this can allow mold Verified Source Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Works to control/prevent natural and manmade disasters. View source to flourish.

Adjustable Beds: An Alternative to Bed Risers?

If you have sleep apnea Verified Source Medline Plus Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. View source or acid reflux, Verified Source Medline Plus Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. View source it’s a common tactic to seek relief by raising your upper body. With sleep apnea, elevating your head and neck keeps your throat’s soft tissues from blocking your airway. Similarly, lifting your upper body can ease acid reflux symptoms by ensuring your stomach contents stay in place.

You can control sleep apnea acid reflux by elevating the head of the bed with bed risers, but this may not be the best option. Your mattress is more likely to slide out of place with this setup. It can also be challenging to keep your pillow in place if your entire bed is at an incline.

If you’re considering bed risers to alleviate acid reflux, sleep apnea, and snoring, you may instead want to try an adjustable bed. With the touch of a button, you can raise the head of your bed at night to keep your airway clear and unobstructed. You can also set it at different angles during the day for increased comfort.

Plus, an adjustable bed can still fulfill the primary function of bed risers. Some adjustable bed models not only let you experiment with the angle of the mattress’s head and foot but also with the bed’s height. For example, our Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+ lets you set the base’s height as low as 9 inches or as high as 15 inches.

When it comes to elevating the mattress’s head, we suggest looking for a wall hugger adjustable bed. Bases with wall-hugging technology do just what the name implies, with the panel moving backward and up to stay close to the wall and your nightstand.

Wedge pillows are another sleeping accessory worth considering. A wedge pillow usually raises the head and upper body by 30 or 45 degrees. Many high-quality wedge pillows cost between $50 to $200.

Some sleepers may be tempted to skip buying a wedge pillow for acid reflux or sleep apnea and instead pile up pillows under their head. However, we do not recommend this method as many sleepers find their comfort and sleep quality decreases when they use more than one head pillow.

What About Mattress Toppers?

Mattress toppers are usually used to make a mattress feel different. You might use a plush and thick mattress topper to soften up a firm mattress or use a soft topper to firm up a mattress. Some mattress toppers also focus on cooling features, giving hot sleepers a more comfortable sleeping surface.

However, you could also use a mattress topper to increase your bed’s height by a couple of inches. Most mattress toppers are between 1 to 3 inches thick, which can substantively increase a bed height that feels uncomfortably low.

Be careful not to confuse mattress toppers with mattress pads, as some companies use the terms interchangeably. While toppers add a few inches, mattress pads are much thinner and act similar to a fitted sheet.

Lift the Bed With a Lofted Frame

If your goal is to make the most of a small room and increase your storage space by raising your bed, you may want to go the extra step and try a lofted bed frame instead of using bed risers. Essentially, a lofted bed frame is a bunk bed frame without the bottom bunk. The raised bunk usually has a ladder to let you access it and guard rails to keep you safe at night.

While a traditional bed frame may have under-bed storage space for bins and boxes, a lofted bed frame can let you squeeze a set of drawers or even a desk under your bed. It can also provide space for shelves to store books in the bedroom, along with personal trinkets and bric-a-brac.

Things Not to Do for Extra Bed Height

Stack Mattresses

If you need a bit of extra height with your new mattress, it may seem logical to put it on top of your old one. However, while it’s good to upcycle or recycle mattresses, this isn’t a safe or comfortable way to repurpose an old mattress.

Firstly, an old mattress isn’t a supportive surface for a new mattress. It’s not designed to deal with the weight of another mattress pressing down on it, and the conforming surface of the “support mattress” can lead to instability. Your new mattress may even sag prematurely if you keep it on top of another mattress.

Additionally, stacking mattresses can lead to heat retention issues. The lack of airflow between the two mattresses can trap heat, making you feel hot and uncomfortable throughout the night. This can disturb your body’s natural temperature regulation and disrupt your sleep quality.

Another important point to consider is the mattress warranty. Putting one mattress on top of another might void the warranty of both mattresses. Manufacturers typically provide specific usage guidelines for their products, including what foundations are considered proper and which are not. In most cases, stacking mattresses will not be supported or recommended by them.

If your old mattress is still usable, it’s better to look into mattress donation options instead.

Stack Box Springs

Stacking two box springs on top of each other may not be a good idea for several reasons. First and foremost, it can compromise your comfort while sleeping. When you stack box springs, they may not align properly, resulting in an uneven surface that can be uncomfortable to lie on. This can make it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Moreover, stacking box springs can lead to potential safety hazards. Box springs are designed to provide support and stability to a spring mattress. By stacking them on top of each other, you may exceed the intended weight capacity or create an unstable foundation. The box springs could also shift or slide out of place or even collapse under pressure, posing a potential danger to you or anyone using the bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can bed risers hold?

Some bed risers can hold as much as 10,000 pounds, though it’s essential to remember that not all bed risers are equally well-made. The weight capacity of a bed riser varies depending on its materials and its installation. For example, stackable bed risers made with low-density plastic are more likely to collapse under significant amounts of pressure.

Bed risers can also take on more weight when they’re in more contact with the bed frame. Added contact helps to distribute the structure and mattress’s weight better.

How high should your bed be off the floor?

The best bed height for you will depend on your own height. Many people find their bed’s height feels most comfortable when they can sit on their mattress with their knees parallel to their hips, making it simple to move out of bed. The average bed height is 25 inches tall with the mattress on top of the bed frame, though you may find a lower or higher bed feels more comfortable.

How do I keep my bed risers from moving?

If your bed frame and bed risers keep sliding, one solution is to slip a rug underneath the bed, which will naturally establish grooves to keep the frame in place. You can also try slipping rubber furniture cups over the bed risers’ feet to prevent skidding.

Similarly, you can attach velcro pads to the underside of the bed risers and your floor to lock the frame in place, though the adhesive used to anchor the velcro pad may discolor your bedroom’s floor. Lastly, if you’re having no luck with any of these measures, you may want to take a more extreme option and wall mount your bed frame to keep it from shifting.

What are the highest bed risers available?

Some bed risers add 12 inches, or an entire foot, of height to your bed. You can pair these tall bed risers with platform beds as long as the risers are broad enough to support the bed. Bed risers offer more support and stability when there’s a greater area of contact between the frame and the bed risers.

Should your bed be level?

Not necessarily, as there are benefits to sleeping on an inclined bed. Raising the head of the mattress can ease symptoms of sleep apnea and acid reflux. However, bed risers aren’t the only way to create an incline. Some sleepers may prefer a wedge pillow or an adjustable bed.

Wedge pillows are a budget-friendly option, though they may cost more than a standard set of bed risers. Adjustable beds are more of an investment in comfort, but many shoppers find the price tag worth the adjustable frame’s features. An adjustable base gives a sleeper control over their bed’s setup, allowing them to raise and lower sections as they wish.

Are Bed Risers Right For You?

The best bed risers keep the frame stable, ensuring there are no jostling or wobbling movements. As long as they are made with sturdy materials and properly installed, bed risers are perfectly safe to use. Skimming through customer reviews can give you an idea of whether a particular set of risers is right for you.

For some, while they like the idea of a higher bed, they simply don’t like the look of bed risers. If you wish to hide your use of bed risers, we suggest considering a bed skirt to hide the lower half of your frame. You can even improvise a bed skirt with an old bed sheet,

About the author

Mitchell Tollsen is a graduate student and a freelance writer who’s contributed to the Early Bird blog for three years. Mitchell’s always been fascinated by the science of sleep and the restorative processes our bodies undergo when at rest. The self-titled “Sleep Expert” is always looking for ways to improve his shut-eye, and throughout the years has implemented numerous lifestyle changes and tried dozens of sleep-promoting gadgets to determine the best ways to truly get better rest.

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