How to Fix a Squeaky Bed: 9 Tips

April 30, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

There are few things more frustrating than the sound of an unidentifiable squeak every time you move around in bed. Like the persistent ticking of a slightly-too-loud clock, this seemingly minor irritation can become much more bothersome over time. But what do you do when you don’t know how to fix a squeaky bed?

Not being able to fix a squeaky bed is frustrating — but it might negatively affect you even more than you realize. A squeaky bed might inhibit your ability to restfully move into a deep sleep, causing you to wake up feeling groggy and irritable because of a messed-up sleep cycle

If you want to fix the squeak (and hopefully improve the quality of your sleep), check out these nine clever tips to fix your squeaky bed below. We talk about how to identify why your bed is squeaking and quick tips on how to fix it.

Why Does My Bed Squeak?

Over time, the wear and tear from bedtime activities can eventually result in a squeaky bed. But how can you figure out where the squeak is coming from?

Usually, the squeaking will come from your mattress, box spring, bed frame, or bed springs. To figure out where your bed is squeaking, you may need to do some trial-and-error until you uncover the culprit. 

Squeaky Mattress

To figure out if you have a squeaky mattress, you’ll want to push into different parts of your mattress and move around the bed until you can determine the general area. Is it under where you usually sleep? Is it in one of the corners?

If you have a hybrid spring mattress, the innerspring is a common cause for the squeak. Since the innerspring isn’t easily replaceable, this is a sign that it’s likely time for a new mattress

Squeaky Box Spring

A box spring is the most likely cause of a squeaky bed. If you weren’t able to zero in on the squeak in your mattress, you might want to take a closer look at your box spring next. Luckily, most box springs can be fixed with a quick at-home remedy since the cause of the squeak is likely the wood frame.

If you don’t want to deal with a squeaky box spring, many people choose to forego it altogether in favor of a platform bed frame. Compared to box springs, platform beds have a built-in foundation that uses a sturdy base, often with wooden slats. 

Squeaky Bed Frame

Squeaky bed frames are often the result of a loose bolt or warped piece of wood and are usually a relatively simple at-home fix. If the bolts become loose, the bed frame might become slightly wobbly, while a water stain or change in humidity might cause a wooden bed frame to warp slightly, leading to a squeak. 

If you’re unable to find a squeak in your mattress or box spring, it’s a safe bet that the squeakiness is coming from your bed frame. Check out the below ideas for how to fix a squeaky bed frame at home.

How to Fix A Squeaky Mattress

Once you’ve zeroed in on the location of the squeaky mattress, you can get to work fixing your squeaky bed. Here are some remedies to help you silence the mattress squeak. 

1. Rotate Your Mattress

While a squeaky mattress is often a sign that it’s time to get a new one, you can try rotating or flipping your mattress in a pinch. Like rotating your car tires, you’ll want to turn your mattress periodically to ensure the filling is distributed evenly.

You should be rotating your mattress around every three months, regardless of if it squeaks, but if the squeak is located under where you normally sleep, rotating the mattress should help minimize the traction on the squeak in the meantime. 

2. Cushion With Plywood

If you’ve rotated your mattress but are still experiencing a frustrating squeak, you may want to try placing a thin piece of plywood underneath your mattress. This is especially helpful if you use a box spring to make the base more firm and minimize the squeak for a short time. 

3. Look Into Getting a New Mattress

A mattress with squeaky bed springs likely needs to be replaced with a newer model. You might want to consider looking into a hybrid vs. foam mattress for your next model, since all-foam mattresses won’t run into the issue of a squeaky spring. 

If you decide to upgrade your mattress, just be sure to dispose of your old one properly.  

How to Fix A Squeaky Bed Frame or Box Spring

If the mattress isn’t the culprit, it may be easier to fix a squeaky bed at home. Keep reading for some clever tips on how to fix a squeaky bed frame or box spring. 

4. Check the Joints

Loose bolts are one of the most common reasons for a squeaky bed frame. Before taking more drastic measures, take a quick look at your frame’s joints to tighten any loose bolts. You may want to lubricate the joints with WD-40 to minimize the chance of a recurrence. 

5. Cushion the Slats

Slats rubbing against the frame (or one another) is another common reason for a squeaky bed frame. To quiet any sound coming from the slats, take old socks, shirts, or towels and use them as a buffer between the slats and the frame to add a quick noise-canceling cushion. 

6. Oil the Frame

If you have a metal bed frame, grab some WD-40 and apply it to the guilty joint. For people with wooden bed frames, try using beeswax or candle wax for a wood-friendly alternative in a pinch. 

7. Use Cork

If you don’t want to use any sort of lubricant on your wooden bed frame, try wedging bits of cork between the squeaky wood to reduce noise. The cork will cushion the two pieces, reducing the sound of the squeak for the time being. 

8. Add Floor Padding

If you still haven’t found the culprit behind your squeaky bed, you might want to widen your view a bit — an uneven floor can also cause a rickety or squeaky bed. To minimize this frustrating imbalance, add padding in the form of a towel, old t-shirt, or folded sheet under the necessary legs of the frame.

If you have a bed on casters, the wheels might be to blame. Try greasing the wheels with WD-40 and picking up new caster cups from your local hardware store to stop the squeak. 

9. Purchase a New Bed Frame

If you’ve explored all your options and still can’t fix the squeak, it might be time to purchase a new bed frame. You’ll want to choose a versatile bed frame that works with your existing setup and is well-made, so you don’t end up dealing with another squeak predicament. 

However, if you’re used to the feel of a box spring, you might want to consider replacing that instead

A squeaky bed is a universally frustrating experience. Akin to a fly in your bedroom or a speck of dust on your windshield, a squeaky bed is one of those things that many people ignore until absolutely necessary. But why put yourself in a situation where you’re not only frustrated but also getting lower quality sleep?

If you can’t figure out how to fix a squeaky bed, it’s probably time to replace it — your body (and your peace of mind) will thank you for it.