Why Do Metal Beds Squeak?

Metal beds squeak due to joints that have come loose over time. The joints and metal frames begin to rub against one another creating excess friction between them. The resulting characteristic metallic squeak is due to loosening and lack of lubrication.

Other reasons the bed could squeak are old or broken mattress springs, broken bed slats, and uneven floor. 

The steps you can take to stop metal bed from squeaking are described in this post.

The following are the detailed explanations for why metal beds squeak:

1. Loose joints

Loose joints in a metal bed frame are the most common reason for too much squeaking.

The intersecting pieces of metal in the bed frame can grind against each other. Other times, the squeaking comes from loose bolts, screws, or connections.

All joint brushing and grinding are some of the common causes of creaks, groans, and squeaks.

2. Poor lubrication

A lack of lubrication increases the friction between sliding contact surfaces, typically to higher or erratic levels. A metal bed has joints that are tightened using bolts and nuts that require lubricant after certain periods. When there is no lubrication entirely or an incorrect amount of lubricant is applied, the metal bed frame might squeak a lot.

3. Broken mattress springs

The other reason a metal bed could squeak is the box spring mattress. A broken mattress spring becomes noisy and this is a problem that nobody wishes to encounter because it is not easy to fix.

why do metal beds squeak - an image showing broken mattress spring

If your metal bed is suddenly noisy and you notice the mattress sagging, perhaps you should investigate the springs.

Box springs wear out and it’s not always one something one thinks about when trying to diagnose a squeaky metal bed.

4. Broken bed slats

Bed slats are either made of wood or metal. For a broken metal bed slat, the solution will require measures such as adding adjustable support.

Since all types of bed slats are prone to breaking due to adults hoping on the bed, this may be one of the reasons your bed has been squeaking lately.

5. Uneven floor

A real problem in old houses is that the floors are sometimes not flat. There could be a small hole where the leg of the bed goes. That creates a slight imbalance on the bed frame.

Like any other piece of furniture, when unequal pressure is applied on it, the frame will begin to respond by producing strain sound.

How to stop metal bed from squeaking

Sleeping on a squeaky metal bed frame is not just troublesome, the noise can cause serious sleep disruption and deprivation thereby preventing you from feeling rested when you wake up. Even if one does not remember having had to wake up in the middle of the night due to the noise, your sleep may be light on a squeaky bed than on a sturdy, quiet one. Fortunately, there are a few inexpensive ways to fix a metallic bed frame making a racket.

Since there could be different reasons for why a metal bed might squeak, the solutions also vary.

The following are the steps and actions to stop a metal bed from squeaking:

  1. Locate the source of the noise
  2. Tighten the joints
  3. Use rubber washers
  4. Lubricate
  5. Level up the floor
  6. Fix/replace broken bed slats and mattress springs
  7. Get a new bed if possible

1. Locate the source of the noise

The first step to fixing a squeaky metallic bed is to track down the source of the squeaking. You cannot treat a problem that you have not diagnosed.

To diagnose the bed, physically shake it while listening carefully in a quiet bedroom. Noise such as a radio playing in the background or an operational air conditioner might hinder your ability to discern the exact source of the noise. Turn them off.

Try sitting on the bed and bouncing on it a little bit until you are sure about the source of the squeaking.

2. Tighten the joints

Squeaks are about movements. That is why the first action step is to limit such movement.

Joints holding the bed rails and frame together would require tightening if that is where the noise comes from.

How to do it: Remove all the screws and bolts holding the bed frame and rails. Place a plastic washer on individual screws.

Then proceed to replace the screws and place another plastic washer between the bolt and the bed frame.

Pick up your wrench and tighten the bolts for all the joints that had become weak.

Loose headboards can sometimes rub against a wall. If that is the case with your bed, then it is necessary to pull be bed frame a few inches away from the wall. Make sure that the screws holding the headboard are also tightened. 

3. Rubber washers

Replacing all your metal screws with rubber washers would minimize the impact of friction on the entire metal bed frame.

use rubber washers to stop metal bed from squeaking

Washers are expensive? Don’t worry. Use electrical tape by wrapping it around the legs of the frame it is attached to the rails. Poke a hole through the tape and insert the screws. Attach your bed rails and tighten as usual. This will cushion the metal pieces and reduce squeaking.

4. Lubrication

If it is the bed springs that are squeaky, then spraying them with petroleum-based lubricants is often recommended. Do the same for interlocking connectors at every corner of your bed. 

If you cannot find a spray of WD-40 to lubricate the joints where fasteners connect and hinged areas, graphite or other alternatives are okay.  

5. Level up the floor

After identifying that the squeaking was due to an uneven floor, then it is important to do a bit of floor leveling. Find a spirit level and find a piece of plywood. Pop a piece under any leg that appears a bit wobbly. That would minimize the noise. 

6. Fix or replace broken bed slats and springs

Box springs are sometimes the culprit. For broken box springs, flip the mattress if it is a double-sided one. In case it is single-sided, it might be time to bite the bullet and find a new replacement, although this might come at a bit of a cost. 

Meanwhile, wrapping pieces of cloth such as old blankets or socks could dampen the sound temporarily until you purchase a new one. 

But how do you fix a broken metal bed slat?

  • Inspect the bed slat and locate the crack. You can use a rubber mallet to bend the metal necessary. 
  • Fit metal brackets. When repairing broken mental bed slats, use straight metal brackets. Ensure that the size of the metal brace corresponds to the bed slat.
  • Mark spots for holes you’ll need and drill them.
  • Install metal brackets onto the broken slat to complete the repair.

Do not trade a good night’s sleep with anything else. A squeaky bed will never ruin your slumbers if you follow these suggestions I have listed. 

7. Crazy solution – buying a new bed

When all these solutions do not appear viable, then it is probably time to buy a new bed frame. 

Why does my bed squeak?

The main reasons why a bed squeaks when you move include the headboard rubbing against the wall, the bed slats rubbing against the bed rails, and potentially loose bolts. Also, broken mattress springs could cause loud irritating noise when you roll on the bed. 

Other measures you can take to reduce the squeaking include:

  • Wax. Grab a plain old candle wax and rub it thoroughly into all the likely areas that are producing the noise. You might have to take the bed slightly apart to achieve successful waxing of the metal frame.
  • Strip of duct tape. Try putting a strip of duct tape over the bed’s metal fingers. The tape eliminates metal-to-metal contact.

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