What do you do when your bed squeaks?
You try to fix it. Maybe you’re like me, and you heard the sound and immediately jumped out of bed (figuratively, not literally) and grabbed a flashlight and some screwdrivers. Or maybe those things aren’t part of your bedroom routine. No matter – if you’ve got a squeaky bed, then you should learn How to Fix a Squeaky Bed.
Here’s the deal: Your bed probably has two “rails” that run along the inside of each side of your box spring. These rails have a metal rod running through them and nuts on either end. The nuts are slightly loose (or may even be off), but this is by design – it allows you to tighten or loosen the nuts as your bed frame wears and changes over the years.
Why is my bed squeaking?
So if they’re off, why is my bed squeaking? Because those nuts that were originally tightened down are probably loose now, and there’s friction between both pieces of metal. When your weight is on the bed, it pushes one piece of metal up and the other down, squeezing those nuts together and making a squeak.
Something has changed in your box springs if you can’t hear squeaking or just one side is making noise. Either way – this article will tell you how to fix it.
What you’ll need: two screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench (preferably not the cheap plastic ones), one new nut, two washers and either some white lithium grease or some dish soap.
How to fix a squeaky bed? 5 Steps…
Step 1: Get under the bed and find where your squeak is coming from!
See? Right in the middle of this picture. You can barely see it but that’s where your problem is!
Step 2: Remove the mattress and box spring to get access to your rail.
If you have a regular bed frame, this is an easy step – take off your mattress and lift the box spring. Your mattress is probably secured to the box spring with long, stretchy straps – these are easy to release and you should be able to do it one-handed…but if it’s difficult don’t force it!
If your bed frame has a center support beam: Remove your box spring and take off the big rubber “feet” on your frame. There should be a bolt going through the middle of each foot/leg – remove those bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
Then take off the center support beam (duh) and find where it’s secured to the box spring. This is usually with another long bolt that comes up from the frame and screws into a wing nut on top of your box spring. Remove that bolt and set it aside.
Okay, so now you should have access to the rails…just like this:
Step 3: Take out whatever hardware is securing your rail in place
If you’re lucky, this metal nut came off on its own when you moved your bed frame around or took it apart. If not, use a pair of pliers to get it out.
Now you can remove the rail from your box spring…don’t worry about putting these nuts back! You’ll find new hardware waiting for you at the hardware store.
Now you can move this rail around however you want, but don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s supposed to be straight! Sorry – I just assumed that everyone knows how rails are meant to work. You’re not supposed to bend them up or down because they have a metal rod running through the middle.
If you bend them too much they’ll be permanently curved and your bed will look like crap.
Step 4: Replace the hardware with new hardware
You want nuts at least 3/4″ long with an inside diameter of at least 1″. They don’t need to be hex, but make sure they have a nut on the bottom so you can use an adjustable wrench. You also want two washers for each bolt – metal washers with a 1/4″ hole in them work great for this.
Once you’ve got the new hardware, grab your rail and line it up against your box spring like this:
Now re-attach the rail to your box spring with the new hardware. First put one of your washers onto the bolt, then put on another washer so it sits on top of the original washer…positioned like this:
Then slide your rail back into place and hand-tighten down that bolt. When you feel the bolt against the washer, make it nice and snug with your adjustable wrench.
Once you’ve tightened down one side, go back to the other end of the rail and tighten down. Nuts are usually placed about every foot or so along the rail, but if they’re not in a great place for you tighten them as close together as you can.
When you’re done, your rail should look something like this:
Step 5: Replace the mattress and box spring and enjoy a quiet bed!
You may want to go with dish soap for this step – trying to get all of those washers through your stretchy mattress/box spring straps can be a pain. Just remove the old hardware, put in new bolts (no washers needed) and replace your mattress/box spring…then enjoy your silence!