What is a Platform Bed

A platform bed is a bed frame that does NOT need the use of a traditional boxspring with a mattress on top. The mattress can lie directly on the supporting structure which is most often made of slats or for some manufacturers- plywood sheets.

Example of a platform bed frame with slat set that supports the mattress. Shown with premium solid poplar hardwood.
Example of a platform bed frame with slat set that supports the mattress. Shown with premium solid poplar hardwood.

Better quality platform beds have regularly spaced slats that support the mattress but also allow air to circulate into the mattress and keep it dry and comfortable. The spacing between slats can vary depending on strength of slat material and is more of a requirement of the mattress manufacturer. From experience we have found that most mattress makers want 3″ between slats with the slats being approximately 2-1/2″ wide. Other mattresses prefer to have tighter 1-1/2″ spacing or 1/4″ spacing.

Examples of premium poplar slats (top) and pine slats (bottom)
Examples of premium poplar slats (top) and pine slats (bottom)


People who might have a bospring and wish to continue using it, can still use a platform bed frame. However, it should be noted that most platforms are typically around 12″ high. If a boxspring and mattress are placed on top of that, the finished bed height may be 30+” tall which could be too high for some people. Additionally, having a boxspring and mattress can cover up a large portion of the headboard because of the extra thickness. Luckily, Dapwood Furniture’s bed frames can be crafted to accommodate the extra thickness caused by the boxspring and additionally, the platform height can be lowered to make the bed easier for people to get in and out of.

Platform beds can also be used with traditional Japanese futon mattresses which are usually made of cotton, wool or more recently- synthetics. Futons and platform beds are NOT to be confused with Japanese style Tatami mats which are typically arranged on the entire floor of a room and provide some cushion.


Wood Variation

Since our hardwood is made in nature, there will be beautiful variations.

At Dapwood, every piece we make is unique. Not just a bed frame, table, nightstand, nightshelf, desk or bookcase– but every piece that goes into that furniture. We source our premium hardwoods in various lengths with random widths. Our craftsmen inspect each piece of lumber and have to decide how to make pieces flat, straight, true, and free of cracks. Our craftsmen also have to determine what side would present better and which side can be put to the inside of the furniture and not seen. For headboard glue-ups, our craftsmen hand select every piece and try to find exceptional specimens. More often than not, we gravitate to the interesting instead of the boring. We understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but we have worked a lot of wood over the years and have developed a good eye.

Furthermore, this lumber evaluation process extends to each individual support slat. Every single piece is evaluated and worked in this manner. Internal Dapwood studies have determined that with all the straight lining, defecting, ripping, crosscutting, etc, that we have a fall-off rate of 40%. In other words, out of a single piece of lumber, only 60% of the lumber is top quality to us. This is a huge percentage of “waste” for a precious material so that is why we are working hard with other craftsmen and community organizations to utilize this fall-off.

On a rare occasion we get a comment that a piece of furniture is not completely homogenous in color or grain pattern. We appreciate all comments but would like to offer a counter-view. Because of massive marketing budgets of international corporations, we understand that most people are more exposed to furniture made in a far off land by the container load. These products are highly automated to squeeze out every penny of cost. Wood color and grain are often photographs or engineered products to be “wood-like”. They are manufactured to be stamped out and look exactly alike. We take a much different approach. Instead of making everything monotone, let’s highlight and celebrate the beauty and diversity of a natural product. Granite counter tops are sought after for natural color variations and graining and is a much different product than a plastic laminate countertop. The same holds true for a natural, solid wood product versus a wood-like product. While we would like to be all things to all people, we understand that is impossible so we will continue to showcase nature’s beauty.

Variations you may see in Dapwood Furniture include: figuring, quilting, ray flecks, mineral inclusions, color variation, small knots, sapwood, heartwood, insect bores, shotgun holes and on and on. These character variations enhance the uniqueness of your furniture and are your assurance that you are only getting the highest quality solid hardwood.