Foundation for Queen-size Memory Foam Bed From Basic Frame




Perhaps I am a moron, but I searched for hours for a way to avoid using one of those metal folding foundations for my new memory foam mattress... I found things that were similar, that seemed promising but ended up being ads for the folding metal foundations, or were far more work and money than I wanted to commit.

See, I already had a very simple metal frame with headboard and foot-board clamps (it came with the headboard and foot-board, its the kind they often give away with the purchase of a mattress/box-spring). A stand alone metal foundation with 2 sets of brackets for the headboard and foot-board would have cost about $200 more and wasted what I already had. If you don't already have one of these, they are about $5 at the thrift shop.

So, here is what I did.

Step 1: $36 of Stuff to Buy


7 2x4x10s Have the guy at the store cut them in half so you will have 14 60" 2x4s. = $30

1 15' roll of rubbery shelf liner = $5.98 (see my pic of it)

Step 2: Trim the Boards, Place and Duct Tape

Half the boards dropped in my Queen sized frame perfectly, the other half needed about a 1/4" trimmed off. Space evenly, although those at the top and the bottom of mine had to be placed dependent on the welds of the bed frame. The rest fit in with about 2" gap. I used a usb charger with the plug out as my spacer. Then to make sure they wouldn't slide when I dragged the mattress on top, I duct taped the ends to the frame.

Step 3: Bed Risers If You Want a Tall Bed.

I like a tall bed and so I added 5" bed risers. Totally not needed and if they break I will just take them all out.

Step 4: Rubbery Shelf Liner

The old futon I've slept on for the last 5 years had this stapled to the slats, and I thought it seemed more breathable than the cardboard others use under the mattress, so I duct taped some of that on just on the top and bottom slats.

Step 5: Done.

Galumph the mattress up onto the slats, cut open the packaging, side it into place, make the bed, and viola! I added 2 inexpensive thin dust ruffles (one with the sheet over the slats, the other with the center cut out so I could easily pull it out and wash it).

Solid as a tank, nothing shifts or rattles, and cost me $36 (I already had the risers). I purposely bought a 14" mattress for the height, but since they are meant to last longer and be more comfortable, I am happy with that choice. I was going to buy a 12" mattress anyway, but I found a 14" on sale for the same price I was about to pay for the 12", so I don't think of it as having cost me anything more.

This may be so stupidly simple that an Instructables is not necessary for most people. However, I really did spend far more time trying to hunt down someone else's solution to this than it took me to 'build' what I did, so if it helps anyone not waste that time I'll feel better about having wasted my time.



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    10 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Some of us think of these things but unless we see someone else do it first, we aren't convinced it will work. Thanks for proving it's doable for the rest of us chicken types. Personally, I'm grateful I don't have to decide between one of those horrible metal grid frames with plastic legs and a decent set of dishes (love you Pottery Barn). Sturdy bed and porcelain both, hooray!


    2 years ago

    Thank you so much! I have spent hours trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Your idea is perfect!!!


    2 years ago

    I'm running into an unforeseen issue, and needing advice. I bought a headboard that connects to a frame like this. But there is no headboard. It functions fine if one has a box springs. But I was building this platform to not need a box springs. I've already built the platform now, but the rails end approx 6 inches before the length of the mattress. How should I extend the rails to hold the 2x4s at the end of the bed and support the mattress? Thanks in advance!!

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    So sorry you hit a snag! I just checked mine and the top of the mattress is about 3" from the first board and the bottom about 1" from the last board. So, could you shift the mattress up so you would have 3" overhang at the top and bottom? Perhaps that would be enough mattress resting on the slats...?
    Or, budge the mattress up toward the head to get maybe an inch or two and then, just for that one last slat at the foot of the bed, use a 12 inch wide slat so that more than half of the 12" slat is sandwiched between the mattress and frame and the hanging part would support the mattress. If you are going to sit on the foot of the bed then I would add some support there--- a couple of stacks of books piled on the floor to the underside of that last slat is probably what I would do but 2 or 3 six inch square blocks would look more finished...
    Maybe there is a better solution... I am just guessing what might work. Please write back with what works...


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for the quick response! The tails go directly into the headboard, but I'll try to have the mattress as far up there as possible. I'm 8 months pregnant, so just the making it this far has been a slow process! Hubby will lay the mattress on it tomorrow after work and we'll see how far the mattress hangs over and for from there. I'll update you after I figure out what works!


    3 years ago

    I came across your instructions while surfing the web for a new memory foam mattress and slats/foundation. I followed your instructions and all worked out well.

    Unfortunately I could see and feel moisture on the 2x4x10s so I had the fella cut down 2x4x20s into 5 foot pieces (you'll have a couple extra slats). I will add the first 2 cuts were free then 50 cents for each additional cut. I was then very fortunate to have all of the slats fit perfectly in to the frame so I did not have to trim any of the ends. The duct tape and liner both work well too.

    Thank you very much for saving me a lot of time and money. Hope you have a great life!


    4 years ago

    Great idea, wish I had thought of it, would have saved me about $80. I kept looking at platform bed solutions for my Cal King and most would have ended up in the $200 + range so I ended up just buying a somewhat cheap metal frame very similar to this design. This looks much more sturdy and would have been cheaper. Kudos to you, not all good 'ibles have to be rocket science in my opinion. Sometimes people overlook a simple solution, much to my chagrin I did.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Innovative, Ingenious, simplistic, and conventional. Considering my bed frame budget, ( non existent lol ) I'm definitely going to try your idea; I do not think that my version will turn out nearly as good as yours, but it will serve its purpose and be happy on my wallet. Thank you very very much for your sharing your awesome creation.

    That's an awesome fix, and it's so pretty. Not to mention it's hard not to adore the price point. Thanks for sharing!