How to Fix a Squeaky Bed

Between our stressful lives and noisy neighbors, the last thing any sleeper wants is a squeaky bed that keeps them up at night. Maybe it won't be noticeable at first, but over time, it can reach a point where you can't toss and turn in bed or even reach over your nightstand without hearing the annoying sound.

Dealing with a squeaking bed can be quite challenging, especially if it starts disrupting sleep and affecting your sleep pattern. And even though you won't have chronic insomnia, the minor sleep deprivation due to a squeaky bed can significantly affect your mood, weight, and mental health.

So, what causes your mattress to squeak, and what are some of the things you can do to fix it? We'll help you identify the source of all this noise and then walk you through the simple tricks you can use to get rid of the bed squeak; read on!

What Causes Bed Squeaking?

To fix a squeaky bed, you'll first need to identify where the noises are coming from. Squeaking and other dreaded noises can come from your mattress itself, bed frame, box spring, or from different sources at once. That's why you need to taste each component separately before making a decision.

Squeaky Mattress

Generally, all-latex and all-foam beds will not cause bed squeak as they lack metal components. So, if you're using one, it's safe to assume that the sound is coming either from the box spring or the bed frame/foundation.

On the other hand, innerspring mattresses and hybrid models are more prone to noisiness over time due to their metal springs. The noise is often produced by the metal coils, which can rub together as the coils wear out. If you're using an innerspring or hybrid bed, take it off the bed frame and lay it on the floor. You'll want to rule your mattress out as the cause of the squeak before you start working on other components.

So, lay on the mattress and move around to test for sounds. If it squeaks, then the issue lies in the metal springs in your mattress. If your mattress is the culprit, the most likely fix would be to replace it entirely. While most warranties don't cover a noisy bed, you can check with your manufacturer for warranty coverage just to be sure.

Squeaky Box Spring

Some box springs feature springs susceptible to squeaking. There are hundreds of metal coils in a single box spring, which can clink together as they wear out and make noise. That said, few box springs come with actual springs, so if you're using a box spring that lacks coils, they're unlikely to be the culprit.

However, if your box spring features metal coils, it could be what's making the squeaking sounds. In this situation, your best bet is to replace it with a new box spring. You may also want to consider whether the box spring is necessary as many new beds don't require them.

Squeaky Wooden Or Metal Bed Frame

One of the common causes of a noisy bed is a squeaky bed frame. So, if you find out that neither your mattress nor your box spring is the cause of the noise, it's probably your wooden bed frame.

In the case of wooden bed frames, the source of excessive noise is because of the different components rubbing together: the wood edges of the box spring may rub against the bed frame. Or perhaps the joints connecting the bed frame components may be improperly assembled, causing excessive friction and noise.

To assess whether your wooden or metal bed frames are the cause for concern, remove your mattress and lay it on a clean floor. Now, gently shake the bed frame and check for squeaky sounds. If it produces noise, then your foundation is the problem.

A squeaking bed can also result from friction between your bed and your floor or the surrounding walls. Or perhaps a lack of padding in between your bed and the floor. This is a real problem in old properties where the bedroom floor may not be as even as you'd think. You might also find that the source of noise is the headboard rubbing against your wall or a loose headboard that hasn't been fitted correctly.

Other reasons could be old and broken springs or broken bed slats. Always ensure that you know the source of the squeaky sound before you settle for a specific fix for your problem.

How to Fix a Squeaky Bed

Now that we've covered the key components that can cause your bed to produce unwanted noise, it's time you know how to fix a squeaky bed. You can rest assured that these tried and tested tips will help you end your sleepless nights.

But first things first, you want to make sure that you've carried the right tool for the section of the bed frame or the box spring you're working on. Here, you'll want to check to confirm what's holding your bed frame together in the specific area where the annoying sound is coming from. If it's a bolt, get a wrench. On the other hand, If it's a screw, you'll need to get a matching size screwdriver.

Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the effective ways that can help you fix a squeaky bed and get the restful sleep you deserve.

Bed Frame and Box Spring

A squeaky bed frame and box spring can significantly impact your sleep and overall well-being. Below are tips that can solve the problem of squeaky sounds coming from your bed frame or box spring.

Tighten the Joints

Generally, the bed frame parts are attached using bolts and joints, meaning loose frames could cause your mattress to produce squeaky sounds. Begin by investigating the joints and bolts and try

Sometimes, all that's causing your bed frame to make undesired noise is a loose joint. So, before you take apart your frame, tighten any screws and bolts in the section the noise is coming from. If you can't tighten the bolts securely, consider adding a washer between the bolt and the frame to fill in the extra space and ensure a snug fit. After fixing this issue, test it again by shaking your bed frame to make sure the problem is eliminated.

Lubricate the Joints

If the squeaking persists, loosen or remove the screws or bolts, holding the joints together, and then lubricate each component of the joint. Grab a can of WD40 and spray it where the parts of the bed's joint come into contact, such as the hooks, fasteners, and flat surfaces. While oil lubrication works well for metal bed frames or any frame with metal screws or bolts, you'll have to re-apply the oil after a few months.

If you don't have WD40, you can purchase siliconized lubricant or white grease and apply it to joint areas to keep the squeaking at bay.

Waxing

Once you know the exact spot the noise is coming from, you can add wax to it to reduce the noise. An easy way of finding the noisy spot is to shake the bed frame and keenly concentrate on where the squeaking comes from. After that, rub a wax candle all over the contact points. Remember, you may have to re-apply more coats of wax to eliminate the noise completely.

Cushion the Bed Frame

In many cases, the squeaky sounds can be caused by friction between your mattress and the bed frame. If this is the case, you can add a cushioning layer between your mattress and the frame or the foundation and the box spring.

To reduce friction and creakiness, you can use relatively thin fabric materials like t-shirts, kitchen towels, or old socks. Line the bed frame with the fabric, and then place your mattress back on top. If there's friction between the bed frame and the box spring, lift your mattress and lay the pieces of fabric in the bed slats. The wooden slats on the bed frame may be scraping against the bed's perimeter. So, offset this by wrapping thin fabric materials around either end of each wood slat.

If using fabrics doesn't help fix the problem, you can:

  • Place furniture pads on the bed frame's legs to reduce noise between the floor and the frame.
  • If your bed frame has wheels, consider using caster cups to reduce noise and movement. You can also get rid of the wheels and use furniture pads instead.
  • Reduce wobbliness by ensuring the bed is on an even floor. To do this, you can add floor padding underneath the legs.
  • Identify sections with wood-on-wood contact and gently apply a thin layer of candle wax or beeswax to reduce friction.

Use a Cork

If you've already lubricated or waxed the sections attached by bolts and joints, but your bed is still making noise, wedge small bits of cork between your mattress and the areas of the bed frame where the noise is coming from. The cork cushioning will help reduce noise by tightening the loose spots on the foundation. This solution is only recommended on wooden bed frames.

Mattress

If your mattress is the cause for concern, these remedies can help you minimize the noise:

Rotate the Mattress

Sometimes, all it takes to eliminate a squeak is rotating your mattress. Flip the foot of your mattress to the head of the bed to slightly change how weight balances on the frame. Whether your mattress is the culprit or not, it's always wise to flip or rotate it once every three months to prolong its useful lifespan.

Purchase a New Mattress

Nobody wants to replace their expensive mattress, but if you've used it for about 7-8 years, it might be time to opt for a new one. All-foam mattresses are the best alternative here as they don't produce squeaky sounds. They also offer great support by conforming to your weight and body shape. 

Closing Thoughts

A comfortable bed is crucial in ensuring you sleep peacefully at night. A squeaky bed, on the other hand, is a frustrating experience that shouldn't be ignored. Once your bed starts squeaking, identify the leading cause of the issue to find a helpful solution. If you can't find a viable fix, perhaps it's time you replace your furniture and mattress.

We hope that these tips will help you fix your squeaky bed. Know of another tip that can help stop squeaks? Please let us know your tricks for noisy beds in the comments below.

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