Upholstered vs. Wood Bed Frame: A Buying Guide

October 25, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team
wood vs upholstered bed frame

Unless you’re one of the rare people who prefer to sleep on the floor (hey, no judgment), chances are you’re in the market for a new bed frame. But with so many bed frame options, how do you know where to even start?

While upholstered bed frames are a great option for those who want muted style and luxe comfort, wood bed frames are a timeless, classy option that are available at a variety of price points. 

Want to support your mattress in style? Keep reading for our buying guide of upholstered vs. wood bed frames, so you can make the right decision for your style and habits. 

Our wood and upholstered bed frames were thoughtfully engineered to welcome you into a good night’s sleep.

Wood vs. Upholstered Bed Comparison Chart

Should you get a wood or upholstered bed frame? Check out this comparison chart for a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

  Upholstered Bed Frame Wood Bed Frame
Price (budget) Approx. $500–$700 Approx. $450–$550
Price (luxury) Approx. $1,500–$2,000 Approx. $800–$1,000
Durability Depends on the upholstery material More durable on average
Support Medium support Very supportive
Cleaning Medium Minimal
Comfort More comfortable on average Depends on the headboard material
Storage space Typically minimal Depends, some platform beds have room for storage

Price

On average, wood bed frames are slightly more affordable than upholstered bed frames. 

Budget shoppers will find that both bed frame styles are typically similar prices, while luxury shoppers that are looking for solid wood bed frames may find higher prices than their upholstered counterparts. 

Durability

It’s worth considering the quality of wood and fabric used in various bed frames, as certain materials may be more expensive than others but can be significantly more durable. For example, the upholstered Casper Haven Bed Frame is made with premium felted wool that’s designed for longevity.

Support

Because wood bed frames are often platforms with wooden slats, they tend to be more supportive. However, some sleepers may prefer the extra-cushioned feel of an upholstered bed frame.

Cleaning

If you’re looking for a bed frame that requires minimal maintenance, you may prefer a wood bed frame. Since the wood is treated, the only cleaning needed for a wood bed frame is a wipe down once in a while. 

On the other hand, some upholstered bed frames require additional cleaning, depending on the material. Lower-quality materials tend to hold on to more dirt and dust, so you’ll need to vacuum your bed frame periodically to avoid any potential bedroom allergies.

Comfort

When it comes to the wood vs. upholstered bed comfort debate, both get some brownie points. 

Upholstered beds have a soft, cushioned headboard that makes sitting up in bed much cozier. Plus, since the corners are covered in fabric, you don’t need to worry about hitting your shins during a midnight bathroom run. 

Meanwhile, wood beds can provide more support throughout the midsection, making them better at preventing uncomfortable sagging. While some say that hard corners are a drawback of wooden bed frames, we designed our Casper Repose Bed Frame with rounded corners so you can stroll around at night worry-free. 

Storage

Storage space mainly comes down to the actual bed frame itself. If you’re looking to save space, you may want to opt for a wooden platform bed, which can have extra room for storage underneath and typically takes up a smaller footprint. 

What Is an Upholstered Bed Frame?

what is an upholstered bed frame

An upholstered bed frame is any bed frame that uses materials like suede, velvet, faux leather, or woven fabric over top a layer of padding. Because upholstered bed frames have a padded layer, they’re typically more comfortable than their traditional wooden counterparts.

While wood bed frames remain a timeless classic, upholstered bed frames have been making waves in the design world lately because of their soft, muted feel. Whether you favor a clean, minimalist bedroom or a room with moodier hues, an upholstered bed frame can elevate your space (and maybe even prevent a few stubbed toes along the way).  

Upholstered beds come in several different fabrics and styles, meaning you can find your perfect match and create a bedroom that’s unique to your personal style. Some common upholstered bed styles include:

  • Standard: Standard upholstered bed frames are pretty much exactly what you’d expect — a simple, timeless look that transitions well with many different design styles. 
  • Platform: Platform bed frames, like the Casper Upholstered Bed Frame, have gained popularity lately as an alternative to a box spring, and are built with slats so your mattress can sit directly on top.
  • Wingback: A wingback bed frame, like the Casper Haven Bed Frame, is a frame that has a built-in upholstered headboard for an extra luxurious feel. 

Pros

Why choose an upholstered bed frame over a wood bed frame? Check out some of the major benefits of going the upholstered route.

  • Comfortable headrest: Because upholstered bed frames are covered in a cushion and a layer of fabric, they provide extra protection and comfort when sitting in bed. 
  • Softened corners: If you have a little one or are just a bit more accident-prone, you’ll appreciate the softened corners of an upholstered bed that make stubbed toes and bruised shins a thing of the past. 
  • Fabric options: Upholstered beds come in a variety of fabric options, including cotton, leather, silk, linen, wool, polyester, and more. 
  • More versatile: Since upholstered beds are visually softer, they can work in a range of bedroom styles and aesthetics. 
  • Durable: Most upholstered beds are made of a hardwood base that can last for years. Pair that with a sturdy, low-maintenance fabric like polyester and you’ve got a bed that requires minimal TLC. 

Cons

Before you make the choice to purchase an upholstered bed, it’s important to be informed about the potential drawbacks.

  • Not good for humid environments: Because upholstered beds are covered in fabric, a humid environment may cause the fabric to feel hot and wear prematurely.
  • Potential upkeep: If you like to lean against your headboard or snack in bed, you may need to devote time to cleaning grease, crumbs, or stains. 
  • Difficult for some pet owners: If you have a dog that digs or a cat that scratches, they may see your upholstered bed as a giant toy with their name on it. 

What Is a Wood Bed Frame?

what is a wood bed frame

Wood is likely what you picture when you think of a standard bed frame. Known for their timeless elegance, wood bed frames come in a vast range of styles and finishes, ranging from boho platform beds to elegant wingbacks. 

Wood bed frames come in a variety of styles, but the most popular form is a platform bed frame. Because platform bed frames are made with wood slats instead of a box spring, they’re great for smaller spaces and tighter budgets.

Luxury wood bed frames, such as the Casper Repose Bed Frame, are also available for those who want an elevated look in their bedroom.  

Pros

Check out some of what makes wood bed frames such a classic style option.

  • Easy to maintain: Wood bed frames require minimal maintenance (think wiping down once a week) and are perfect for people who want a stylish look without devoting much time to cleaning.
  • Classic look: Wood bed frames have been around as long as we can remember — and for good reason. The look of clean, natural wood never goes out of style, so it’s the perfect option for those who want to balance aesthetic and practicality.
  • Customizable: With so many styles and wood finishes to choose from, you can customize your wood bed frame to meet your personal preferences.
  • Sturdy: Whether you have a classic bed frame or a platform bed, wood bed frames can provide extra stability to prevent your bed from sagging.

Cons

Keep reading to get the full picture of whether a wood bed frame is right for you.

  • Headboard can be uncomfortable: Since wood is so sturdy, it can be uncomfortable to lean against a wood headboard. If you want the best of both worlds, check out the Casper Repose Bed Frame, which combines a wood base with a pillow headboard.
  • Can be more expensive: Depending on the wood quality you choose, wood bed frames can be on the pricier side. A solid wood bed frame could be in the thousands, so budget-friendly shoppers may want to look into alternative wood options. 
  • Can be heavy: Solid wood is one of the heavier bed frame materials, so those with solid wood bed frames may find it difficult to move their bed once it’s in place.

Best Bed Frames

Ready to hop into bed? Check out some of our wood and upholstered bed frames so you can find the perfect match. 

best bed frames

Casper Platform Bed Frame

With a clean, modern silhouette, the Platform Bed Frame is the perfect modern bed frame for stylish support — no foundation or box spring necessary. With an optional matching headboard for an elevated feel, the Platform Bed Frame comes in a variety of color and finish options so you can mix and match however you’d like. 

The Platform Bed Frame starts at $447.50 for a full, $497.50 for a queen, and $547.50 for a king or Cal king. 

Repose Wooden Bed Frame

A sleek wooden frame with softened edges for a warm and cozy look, the Casper Repose Bed Frame combines the best of both worlds with an option for a wood or pillow headboard. The Repose is designed with a high-quality wood frame and rounded edges for a warm, elevated look with built-in protection (trust us, your shins will thank you for it). 

The Repose Bed Frame starts at $795 for a full, $895 for a queen, and $995 for a king.

Upholstered Bed Frame

If you want the cozy look of an upholstered bed without a headboard, our Upholstered Bed Frame just might be your perfect match. With softened edges for a luxe, high-end feel, the Casper Upholstered Bed Frame has the look of a luxury bed without the price tag attached. 

The Upholstered Bed Frame starts at $495 for a full, $595 for a queen, and $695 for a king. 

Haven Bed Frame

The Casper Haven Bed Frame is wrapped in our premium felted wool for a cloud-like look that’s easy on the eyes and soft to the touch. With a relaxed headboard for extra comfort and high-quality upholstery that’ll last you for years to come, the Haven is the perfect option for sleepers who want an understated yet sophisticated look.

The Haven Bed Frame starts at $1,495 for a full, $1,595 for a queen, and $1,995 for a king or Cal king.  

Can’t decide which bed frame you like best? Check out the Casper Repose Bed Frame, which comes with a wood base and upholstered headboard so you can have the best of both bed frame types. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too?