How to Fix a Squeaky Bed in 5 Steps

By Mitchell Tollsen
Last Updated On March 26th, 2021

We’ve all slept on a squeaky bed before—they’re disruptive to you and anyone you share your bedroom with. It’s an unnecessary stressor and plain old annoying, but the solutions for…

How to Fix a Squeaky Bed in 5 Steps

We’ve all slept on a squeaky bed before—they’re disruptive to you and anyone you share your bedroom with. It’s an unnecessary stressor and plain old annoying, but the solutions for a noisy bed are usually straightforward. We show you how to fix a squeaky bed with these simple steps.

1. Find the Source

You won’t be able to fix a squeaky bed if you don’t know what’s causing the problem. Potential causes of a squeaky bed could be the box spring, the frame, the foundation, or the mattress itself.

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Your Mattress

Foam mattresses won’t cause squeaking, so if you have a memory foam mattress or a latex bed, it’s best to assume your bed itself is not the source. However, innerspring and hybrid mattresses—both of which contain coils—are at risk of making noise.

If you have an innerspring or hybrid bed, place it on a clean floor so it’s not on a frame or foundation. Lay on the bed and move around to test for any noise.

If nothing happens, it’s likely not your mattress. If your bed is making noise, the most likely solution would be to replace your mattress entirely. It’s worth checking to see if your warranty covers noisiness, but most warranties won’t.

Your Box Spring

Some box springs have springs susceptible to squeaking. Since there may be hundreds of coils in a single box spring, the coils can clink together and make noise. With this in mind, fewer and fewer box springs contain actual springs, so if your box spring doesn’t have coils, this is unlikely to be the problem.

If your box spring does have coils and is the culprit, the best bet is to replace your squeaky box spring.

Your Bed Frame or Foundation

If it turns out that neither your box spring nor mattress are the cause of the squeaks, it’s probably your bed frame.

How-to-Fix-a-Squeaky-Bed

Noise from a bed frame or foundation is typically the result of the different pieces rubbing together or improper assembly. Your box spring or mattress foundation may be causing friction against your bed frame, or perhaps the legs of your bed frame are scraping against the floor.

Remove your mattress from your bed frame or foundation and gently shake the frame or foundation to see if it produces noise. If so, your frame or foundation is the problem.

2. Tighten the Bolts and Joints

Mattress foundations and frames include multiple parts attached by bolts and joints—a common cause of a squeaky bed. Tightening the screws is the smart first step to minimizing noise.

Using a wrench or screwdriver, tighten all bolts on your bed foundation or frame. If you can’t tighten the bolts securely, use a washer between the bolt and the frame for a tighter fit.

Test for noise once more, and if tightening the screws did not help, try our next steps.

3. Lubricate the Bolts and Joints

If you’ve tightened the bolts and joints on your bed frame, but the frame is still squeaking, the joints might need some grease.

Apply WD-40 spray or a similar silicone lubricant to the joints where the frame parts connect. One coat or so is effective for minimizing squeaks, but you may need to reapply the WD-40 every few months.

If you don’t have silicone lubricants, try applying candle wax, paraffin, or beeswax to the joints. While this is an effective method, it may take several coats of wax to be fully effective.

4. Add Cushions to the Frame

If your bed frame is the cause of the squeaks, but it’s not due to the bolts and screws in the frame, the noise may be a result of friction against another surface, such as the floor, the mattress, or the slats. The solution for this is to cushion the friction between the surfaces.

If the noise is due to the mattress and the frame or the box spring and the frame, place thin fabric materials between the two objects to reduce friction and noise. Use items such as old socks, t-shirts, sheets, cork, or kitchen towels on top of the frame, then place the mattress or box spring back in place.

One possibility is that your bed frame is scraping against the ground. If so, place furniture pads on the legs of the bed frame to minimize noise.

If your frame is wobbly due to uneven bed legs, add extra furniture pads beneath the shorter legs to even the surface.

The wooden slats on your bed frame or foundation may be scraping against the perimeter of the bed. Offset this by wrapping socks, an old t-shirt, or towels, around either end of each slat.

5. Replace Your Furniture

Nobody wants to replace their expensive furniture, but if all else fails, it may be time to replace your mattress or invest in a better mattress foundation. Although you may not be able to get a new mattress and replace its accessories right away, it’s best to save and invest in new furniture pieces to stop the frustrating squeaks.

Amerisleep Platform Bed

Amerisleep-Platform-Bed-Frame

Our Amerisleep Platform Bed is the perfect solution to a squeaky bed. This base sits 13.5 inches tall and is made of durable solid wood. Since this base is so supportive, it works as a bed frame and mattress foundation in one. There is no need for any additional support layers or bunkie boards with this base.

No matter what type of mattress you have, this base will keep you resting in a safe, comfortable position and ensure your mattress doesn’t sag.

The side panels of our mattress foundation are wrapped in a sleek gray upholstery that will match any bedroom decor. With a low-profile design, this base can help you achieve a stylish, minimalistic look.

The support base features solid wood slats that are secured to the side panels. These slats are extra-wide to minimize the chances of sagging. Raised edges along the frame’s side keep the mattress from moving out of position.

Our platform bed can be assembled in minutes and requires no tools. It also comes with a generous 1-year warranty covering manufacturing or structural defects.

FAQs

How do I stop my bunkie board from squeaking?

Bunkie boards—a type of bed foundation—are thin pieces of wood or plywood. Since bunkie boards don’t have coils, the potential causes for squeaking are due to friction between the bunkie board and your mattress or between the bunkie board and the edges of the bed frame.

In case it’s due to friction between the bunkie board and your mattress, place thin t-shirts, towels, cork, or socks between your bed and the bunkie board to absorb the friction.

If it’s due to the bed frame and the bunkie board, place t-shirts, towels, cork, or socks between your bunkie board and the perimeter of the bed frame.

Do wood or metal bed frames squeak more?

A wooden bed frame typically squeaks less than a metal frame because wood-on-wood friction is less likely to produce noise. Conversely, metal scraping against metal is much louder. Also, wood is durable enough to be tightened more securely than metal, ensuring bolts and screws won’t make any noise either.

Are beds supposed to squeak?

No, if your bed is squeaky, that’s a sign something is wrong, whether it be loose bolts or noisy coils. Although nothing bad will happen if your bed is squeaky, the noise can be disruptive and make it hard to sleep.

Is it normal for a new bed to squeak?

New spring beds shouldn’t squeak or be noisy, but it’s common for older spring beds to start squeaking.

If your new bed is noisy, you can likely file a warranty claim or a defective mattress. With this in mind, you can’t file warranty claims for mattresses that have gone squeaky with age because this is not a defect.

How often should I replace my mattress and accessories?

Most mattresses last between 6 and 8 years, while bed frames, foundations, and box springs last around 10 years. At that point, the pieces have lost their structural integrity, might squeak, or be unsupportive, so it’s best to get a new sleep surface to support you and prevent spinal misalignment. Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source Similarly, if your mattress or its accessories aren’t this old, but have begun squeaking to no avail, it’s best to replace your mattress.

Conclusion

There’s no need to have sleepless nights due to a squeaky bed. Noisy beds are loud, disruptive, and frustrating to deal with at night. The solutions for a squeaky bed are simple and usually won’t take much of your time, so you’ll be sleeping in no time.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.


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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