Maybe you can relate to this story: When I was 20 and still living at home, I had the world’s squeakiest bed, and it was killing my sex life. It was a twin-size pink metal relic from my childhood, and its relentless creaking made it blatantly obvious when I was having sex. Since I wasn’t even supposed to have boys in my room with the door closed, let alone take my clothes off with them, this obviously wasn’t ideal — so my boyfriend and I started fucking on the floor.
Yep, every single time we got busy, we would arrange pillows on the carpet and go at it right there next to the dusty heating vent and discarded pairs of socks. It wasn’t exactly romantic — and sometimes I ended up with bruises from the hard floor — but at least it was quiet.
Eventually my dad offered to buy me a new bed, and I got one that was decidedly less noisy (not to mention bigger). But I never again underestimated the importance of a well-made bed frame.
Curious about which bed frames pass the sex test? I consulted two sex workers I know whose rough sex and wild kinks could definitely push a bed to its limits: Billy Lorea porn performer and kink educator who shoots a lot of his content at home on his bed or couch, and Erin Pim, a dominatrix who’s been known to fuck, peg and wrestle in her bed. I figured if anyone would know what makes a bed sex-safe, it’d be them.
What to Look for in a Sex-Friendly Bed Frame
1) Height. This doesn’t matter all that much if all of your fucking happens on your bed, but if you like to stand to the side of the bed for any reason during sex, you’ll want a frame that puts the top of your mattress roughly at crotch level. Face-fucking, pegging and certain intercourse positions can all be made easier by a bed that’s just the right height for your body. “I have a much easier time standing while I’m doing that hip-thrusting motion,” Pim says. “I find if I’m on my knees, it’s difficult for me to maintain consistency, which a lot of people like when they’re getting fucked.”
Keep in mind that you have to factor the height of your mattress — and box spring, if you’re using one — into your calculations when picking a bed frame. If you have low ceilings, that could limit you too; you don’t want to get a bed so tall that you risk hitting your head.
2) Low to the ground. If you’re not the type to attempt any standing-up sex positions, the height of your bed isn’t as important, and Lore says it’s better to get one that’s pretty close to the floor. A tall bed, or one suspended on long skinny legs, can sway like a skyscraper on a windy day once you start knocking boots on top of it; whereas a shorter bed will tend to move around less, make less noise and (naturally) be less dangerous if it happens to break, since you won’t have as far to fall.
3) Headboard. Lore and Pim both favor a headboard for any position where you’ll be sitting or squatting and facing the top of the bed — like when you’re riding a partner, sitting on their face or getting fucked from behind while bent over. It gives you something to lean against and displace some of your weight onto. You could always just lean against the wall instead, but it’s not usually as comfortable since, y’know, it’s a hard, flat wall. Lore also points out that if you get fucked against a wall while you have makeup on, you could end up staining your wall and perhaps pissing off your landlord.
Headboards are also useful for quick ‘n’ easy bondage, provided they have slats, loops or other design features that you could attach cuffs or rope to. “I’m a super kinky person, so if I have the opportunity to get a new bed frame, the main thing I’m gonna be looking for is: is it compatible with my kinks, and what am I gonna be able to do on this bed frame?” Pim says. Frames with headboards are usually pricier than those without, but they’re definitely worth saving up for if you think their utility will come in handy for you.
4) Materials and Construction. In perusing Reddit threads on the best bed frames for sex, I noticed that many respondents said solid-wood, platform-style frames are the quietest. Metal frames, and frames that have legs rather than a solid base, tend to require more bolts and screws — and the more bolts and screws there are, the more squeaking is likely to ensue as they loosen over time.
Construction quality is important too, and since you’ll be spending a lot of hours on your bed, it’s worth getting a frame that feels sturdy and like it won’t fall apart anytime soon. “If you’re paying bottom-dollar prices, odds are you’re gonna get what you pay for,” Pim says. She’s broken many a bed in her time doing “crazy sex shit,” and says that while it’s momentarily impressive when a bed crumples beneath you, it’s obviously annoying having to buy yet another bed frame.
5) Hard points. If you’re into bondage, or would like to try it, look for a bed frame that has built-in “hard points.” These are areas on the frame that you could attach cuffs or rope to, like the aforementioned slats in a headboard or the leg of the bed. Lore says hard points need to be “core to the structure of the unit” and “able to withstand some yanking,” so they don’t just break off if you tug too hard on them.
That said, an easy way to turn any bed into a bondage-friendly zone is to get yourself an under-the-bed restraints kit. These come with long straps that you slide under your mattress and attach included cuffs to, so that the weight of the mattress itself is what keeps you pinned in place.
6) storage space. Got sex toys, kink gear, safer sex supplies or other sex-adjacent odds and ends that won’t fit in your nightstand? Some frames have built-in storage drawers underneath them which are perfect for stashing this stuff. “You can just bend over, see what’s in there, take it out and use it right where you are,” Pim says. “That’s the ideal setup, for sure.”
Ready to upgrade your bed for better head (or whatever else you plan on doing in there)? Here are some bed frames that could make for stellar sex.
IKEA NORDLI Bed Frame with Storage
Lore owns and loves this bed frame, which has a low center of gravity and a solid foundation, rather than teetering atop a quartet of skinny legs. “It doesn’t creak, it’s not squeaky and it doesn’t make noise in the porn I make,” he says. “I fuck a lot, rather actively, and at most, it inches off the wall a little bit if you’re bracing yourself against the wall.”
He also loves that there’s ample storage space underneath the bed. He can fill the six built-in drawers with sex toys, condoms, kink gear and whatever else he wants to ensure is within reach during sex. This frees up a lot of nightstand space and helps reduce clutter, so you can focus on boning.
West Elm Mid-Century Headboard Storage Platform Bed
This is another great bed frame if storage space is important to you — again, you can stow lube and other goodies right inside the headboard for fast access. It’s also super low to the ground, held up on some very short wooden legs, which floors well for its stability and silence. “Taller beds, I find, are way more likely to squeak, wobble, be unstable or get broken during sex,” Lore explains.
COSMOLiving by COSMOPOLITAN Mercer Upholstered Bed
Depending on which sex acts are in your repertoire, a good solid headboard can do a lot for you. “On the con list, it can wobble and bang against the wall and make more noise,” Lore says. “But on the pro list, it’s a thing to brace yourself on, so if you’re riding someone or riding someone’s face, you can use it to steady yourself and support some of your weight.”
In addition to its generously-sized headboard, this bed frame is also low to the ground and has ultra-short legs, so it’s less prone to creaking.
Best Choice Products 4-Post Queen Size Modern Metal Canopy Bed
Not everyone needs the over-the-top ornateness of a four-poster bed — in fact, I’d argue that almost no one does — but this type of bed frame can come in handy for certain kink acts. Pim likes that the four posts give you lots to hang onto, or to tie or cuff a partner to, no matter what wild positions you might find yourself in.
The rails at the top of the frame can be used to hang curtains if you’d like some privacy while you’re getting it on, but they can also help you keep your balance if you’re doing any kinky activities that involve standing or walking on top of the bed, like stepping on a partner or dripping wax on them. (We don’t have time to get into safety details on that stuff here because this is an article on bed frames, so do your research first, okay?!)
IKEA FLOTTEBO sleeper sofa
Lore keeps this convertible sofa in his living room, but often fucks (and films himself fucking) on it, and says it works just as well for that as it does for lounging around and watching TV on. He loves that the moveable cushions hold their shape well enough to be used like the sex pillows made by companies like Liberator — you can lean against them, bend over them and use them to find the perfect angle for whatever sexy stuff you’re doing.
Lore also removed the fabric along the outer edges of this sofa so he could screw some metal D-rings from the hardware store directly into the frame. They function as hard points, incase he’s suddenly struck by a desire to do some bondage mid-bang. He suggests checking the weight allowances of the D-rings and screws you buy to make sure they’ll work for kink purposes, and adds that the employees won’t know why you’re buying this stuff. “It’s a very normal thing to be asking for,” he says. “So people [at the hardware store] aren’t gonna be like, ‘Doing some bondage, huh?!’”