person fixing a squeaky bed frame

How to Fix a Squeaky Bed: Top Solutions for Your Mattress and Bed Frame

by
/ August 3, 2022

A squeaky bed can be incredibly frustrating. The extra noise can grate on your nerves and make it hard to sleep or get out of bed without waking your partner. 

It can also be difficult to identify the exact cause of the squeaking since it can come from a variety of places, including your mattress, bed frame, or box spring.

Before fixing your squeaky bed, you’ll first need to identify the cause of the noise. 

Below, we’ll go over the most common causes of a squeaky bed and provide a few solutions to help you improve the quality of your sleep.

What causes a bed to squeak?

There are a few common sources of a squeaky bed, including box springs, bed frames, and mattresses. To solve the problem, you’ll first need to determine the root cause.

The most common cause of a squeaky bed is general wear and tear. Over time, as your mattress and bed accessories get older, they may start to squeak.

To identify the source of your noisy bed, start by pushing on the different parts of your mattress to see if it starts to squeak. If it’s not the mattress, then check for any broken pieces or loose joints on your box spring and bed frame.

Next, we’ll go over the top fixes for a squeaky box spring, bed frame, or mattress so you can find the source of the squeak and eliminate it.

Hopefully, this will lead to better quality sleep at the end of the day.

How to fix a squeaky bed frame or box spring

If you've determined the cause of your squeaking is coming from a box spring or bed frame, there are a few quick, at-home fixes you can try. 

Fortunately, squeaky beds and box springs can be diagnosed and fixed in a few different ways, depending on the type of bed frame and box spring you have.

Add cushioning to the slats

If your bed frame or box spring won't stop squeaking, it could be due to the slats supporting your mattress—especially if you use an innerspring mattress

One of the best solutions for this problem is to add cushioning underneath your mattress and on top of the wooden slats. Most commonly, the noise is caused by the wood slats rubbing against one another or other parts of the bed frame.

You can use a variety of at-home items to help reduce this squeak, such as putting old socks, old T-shirts, or towels between the bed slats and frame to help reduce noise. You can also use cork as a cushion.

Lubricate the joints

Some bed frames may need to be lubricated every so often to reduce bed squeak. This is especially common with metal bed frames or headboards.

For metal bed frames, WD-40 should do the trick. You can also purchase any other metal frame lubrication from most hardware stores.

When it comes to wooden bed frames, you may need to get crafty and DIY a lubricant from such household items as beeswax or candle wax.

The application process for these lubricants is fairly straightforward. Just coat the joints thoroughly until you start to see (and hear) the effects. 

With natural materials like candle wax or beeswax, it may take a few coats to stop the noise entirely.

Check for loose bolts and joints

Loose joints and bolts are another common cause of a squeaking bed frame or box spring. Over time, you may find there are a few screws loose in your bed frame setup. 

You should check all of the bolts and joints in your bed frame and box spring to cut down on squeaking. Simply using a screwdriver to tighten anything that may have come loose will do the trick. 

At this point, you can also lubricate any joints on your bed to help decrease the chances of your bed squeak returning.

Add padding to your floor

A sneaky cause of a squeaking bed may not have anything to do with your bed frame, box spring, or mattress at all. It could be based on your floors. 

If you have uneven floors in your bedroom, which is common in older homes and apartment buildings, this could be causing your bed frame to start squeaking.

A great way to improve bed squeaking from uneven floors is to get furniture pads to place below your bed frame. This can help reduce the squeak overall and give you a more silent sleeping experience. 

Purchase a new bed frame

You may not be able to solve your bed squeaking with any of these tips—especially if the main cause is general wear and tear. A big sign you need to replace your box spring or bed frame is when it starts to squeak.

When it comes to purchasing a new bed frame, you should choose one that fits with your current setup. 

For example, if you have a platform bed currently, you’ll want to ensure you don't purchase a bed frame that needs a box spring.

You’ll also want to make sure your new bed frame will fit your current mattress size.

How to fix a squeaky mattress

If the source of your squeaking bed isn't a box spring or bed frame, then the culprit may be your mattress. Memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses don't commonly squeak, but innerspring and hybrid mattresses may have this issue.

You can usually tell if your mattress is the culprit by pressing down on multiple spots. If you hear a squeak when you put pressure on a particular spot, that's likely going to be the reason for your noisy bed!

There are a few things you can do to try to minimize the noise of a squeaky mattress. 

Rotate your mattress

The most common reason a mattress starts to squeak is that the internal filling material isn't properly distributed. This uneven distribution can often be fixed by periodically rotating or flipping your mattress. 

If you rotate or flip your mattress, you may be able to evenly distribute the filling and reduce squeaking. We recommend rotating your mattress every three months for better distribution.

Just note that most mattresses aren't meant to be flippable. You should only flip your mattress if you know it's designed for this. Read our guide to flippable mattresses to find out whether or not your mattress can be flipped.  

Add a thin layer of plywood or a bunkie board

Your mattress may be squeaking due to a lack of support underneath it. To fix this, you can include a thin layer of plywood or a bunkie board underneath your mattress for additional support. 

With additional support, your mattress may stop squeaking. This tip is especially helpful if you have a box spring underneath your mattress for support as it will provide a more firm surface.

Bunkie boards are a viable option to provide additional support and prevent mattress squeaking. Check out our guide to what bunkie boards are and who should use one.

Look into purchasing a new mattress

A tell-tale sign a mattress may need to be replaced is if it starts squeaking. This is often a sign of wear and tear on your mattress—especially if rotating the bed or adding additional support doesn't stop the problem.

On average, your mattress should last between seven and 10 years if cared for properly throughout its lifespan. So if it’s been a while since you last replaced your mattress, it may be worthwhile to consider purchasing a new one. 

You can take our online mattress quiz to discover which type of mattress is best for your personal sleeping preferences.

Find high-quality mattresses and other bed accessories with Saatva

Squeaky beds can be a real nuisance when you're trying to get a good night’s sleep. They're loud and disruptive to your regular sleeping patterns.

You should aim to find a high-quality mattress and bed frame that provide comfort, stability, and—most importantly—no noise. 

If you can’t solve your squeaky bed issues with these simple tips, then it may be time to replace your mattress. 

Check out Saatva’s wide variety of mattressesbed frames, and other bed accessories to upgrade your bedroom and start getting better quality sleep.

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