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Platform Bed vs Panel Bed: Acquiring The Most For Your Money

Decisions, decisions. Isn’t that always how it goes when it’s time to buy new furniture for your home? Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as choosing between a futon or a daybed. The panel and platform bed are two completely different types of frames. Not to mention, they can differ from each other in multiple ways while looking surprisingly similar. The way they are characterized can be based on the overall look of the bed, the headboard and footboard style and the actual construction of the bed itself. Here’s how we break down the platform bed vs panel bed.

Platform Bed

The platform bed is a very unique and stylish piece of furniture. They kind of date back to 5000 B.C and 4000 B.C., due to the fact that the slabs of stone used as beds resembled their boxy shape. However, it wasn’t until the 1860’s when the modern box spring was actually invented. Anyway, this item has a variety of different options and many ways they can be used, such as platform bed slats vs plywood.

Platform Bed Pros and Cons

Pros

  • May include underbed storage
  • Can contain cubbies and bookshelves
  • Don’t always need a box spring

Cons

  • Can be rather bulky
  • Some sit low to the ground

Style

It’s already been mentioned the platform frame style has multiple uses and functions. First, no more box springs! These are bulky, heavy and honestly, not very well made. Sure, they give the mattress the support it needs to maintain the warranty and keep your spine aligned, but they’re a pain in the tush. These beds are specifically made to support your mattress with just a simple platform. It’s usually much thicker than panel beds, making up for the lost height of the spring board.

These types of beds also come in a variety of different styles that suits everybody’s needs. These can come with bookshelves built in, cubby holes for storage, trundles for extra sleepers and even drawers underneath to save space if you can’t fit a bulky dresser in the bedroom. Now, the only negative thing that I have to say about these is that they are very, very difficult to maneuver around tight corners in certain homes. So, if you plan on moving anytime soon after buying one, this may be another consideration to make.

One more consideration to make is whether or not to use a platform bed slats or plywood. I don’t think I have ever seen one with plywood as the base, but if there were, I wouldn’t go with that option. Plywood tends to bend over time and aren’t as thick as the slats, not to mention, once plywood gets damp in any way, it’s essentially no good and prone to rot.

Height

These types of frames often sit low to the ground if they don’t have any kind of storage unit underneath them. For some individuals, getting out of bed after a restful night’s sleep can require more effort than that of a panel bed. This could cause some issues with those who may have knee or back problems. For individuals with disabilities, this is a huge consideration. However, there are certain platform style beds that do sit higher off of the ground. If they aren’t in your budget, you can get these nifty bed risers that attach to the feet of your bed. They can raise the frame by many inches.

These types of frames often sit low to the ground if they don’t have any kind of storage unit underneath them. For some individuals, getting out of bed after a restful night’s sleep can require more effort than that of a panel bed. This could cause some issues with those who may have knee or back problems. For individuals with disabilities, this is a huge consideration. However, there are certain platform style beds that do sit higher off of the ground. If they aren’t in your budget, you can get these nifty bed risers that attach to the feet of your bed. They can raise the frame by many inches.

Price

It’s kind of tricky to put a price on a good platform style bed. The reason being is that the range is so wide. You can pay just a few hundred dollars for one or you can spend thousands. It’s really all dependent on what your personal budget is and how long you intend on having it. Fortunately, once you purchase the bed, you don’t have to buy any other accessories to go with it in order to make it function right, like you would with a panel bed.

Panel Bed

Panel beds, or box spring beds, are just that. They are beds that require a the box full of springs in order to function properly. Sure, they have their advantages, but they also have their disadvantages. The reason that the box spring is so important with this frame is because there’s nothing else to support your mattress. You don’t want to void your warranty on that brand new mattress by improperly putting it on a bed frame.

Panel Bed Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable frame styles
  • Multiple options to choose from
  • Very traditional looking

Cons

  • They require a box spring
  • Additional costs for frames and rails

Style

These types of frames are very traditional and really have no bells and whistles like the platform bed does. However, they do offer more styles of head and footboards. You can choose between solid wood, upholstered, slats, metal rods, wicker, and even rough-hewn logs. These are some options that can bring a whole new look into your bedroom.

With the panel beds, you have to use a box spring. The frame may be made up of slats or it can consist of just three metal bars or one metal bar in the middle surrounded by a ledge all around it. This ledge holds the supportive box in place. On top of the box spring goes the mattress. This is your main support. Unfortunately, this type of support system is prone to sagging over time and have to be maintained. Some can be flipped, whereas others cannot, especially if they are only one sided.

Height

Panel beds are a lot higher than the other kinds are. The reason for this is because of the box spring. If you need a lower profile bed to get in and out of, then this wouldn’t be a good option for you. The box spring gives you multiple inches of extra height. If you have a 10-inch box support and a 12-inch mattress, that’s a whole 22 inches off of the frame that you sit. Then you have whatever space is between the frame and the floor. Granted, you can purchase a frame that sits lower to the ground and the box spring sits inside of it, but that makes it harder for you to maintain it.

Price

The same goes for the panel bed as the platform type. The price range varies depending on the style that you want. The main difference between the two, however, is that there are extra costs to the panel beds. With these, you have to purchase the box spring and sometimes the actual slats if you aren’t a fan of the wide open space of the traditional frame as mentioned above. Honesty, if you purchase a cheap frame plus the extras, it may end up costing the same amount as a decent platform one would anyway. So really, price isn’t a huge deal breaker here.

Platform Bed vs Panel Bed Comparison Table

Platform Bed Panel Bed
Relatively affordable Relatively affordable
No added costs attached May have added costs
Sit low to the ground Require a box spring
Can come with storage Doesn’t come with storage options


Conclusion

You may want to read: Best Platform Bed Frames

This is a no brainer for me, honestly. I am going to have to say that the platform bed takes the cake. My reasoning is that they come in all different shapes and sizes, they don’t require added price costs of the box spring or slats, and they have a variety of different ways they can be used. They are especially great for kids who love to read and want their books close to them. They are also great for adults who need the added storage space underneath. So, in summation, if you don’t want the extra costs and don’t care about height, go with the platform style. If you want the added height and don’t care about cost, go with the panel bed.