Design & DIY

How to fix a squeaky bed frame

Head piece of an antique brass bed in front of a white wall Photo by Andie_Alpion/Shutterstock

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The squeaky bed is a cottage classic. In tight quarters, it lets you know who tosses and turns, who gets up for a trip to the loo, and who keeps jumping up and down on their bed over and over, squeak, squeak, squeak. What could they possibly be doing? Even in total privacy, a noisy bed can make sleep difficult. So fix it.

Try to ascertain what’s making noise. Take the bed apart and independently test the mattress, the box spring, and the frame. Most likely, the metal or wooden frame will be your culprit. Start by checking that any wheels or casters aren’t broken or making noise. Then break out the tools and tighten down every nut, bolt, and screw you can find. 

If nuts or bolts are stripped, replace them. If wood screws just spin, use longer ones. Before tightening, apply some 3-In-One oil to every joint of a metal frame. On wooden frames, rub paste wax (or a candle) on mating surfaces. For noisy wooden slats, try the wax trick or buffer contact surfaces with old socks, dryer sheets, or doubled-up paper towel. Use your imagination. And good luck: cottage beds are notoriously fickle.

Pro tip
Light and thin 3-In-One is perfect for lubricating small bearings, padlocks, and fishing reels.

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