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The Best Wood for Bed Frames & Platform Beds

Judd Jarvis, our product developer and woodshop manager, joints posts for our natural platform beds.

Savvy Rest solid wood platform beds are made with style and function in mind, but using natural materials and providing a durable product are equally important. We’ve covered all the bases with our Afton, Esmont and Adjustable Bed Frame platform beds.

The root of these products starts with literal roots—trees. We source three different types of wood: maple, poplar, and red oak. Learn why we chose to use these specific sustainable wood options in our designs, and how they result in superior furniture frames.

The Best Wood for Bed Frames & Platform Beds

We have three favorites…

Poplar

Poplar is found in our natural platform beds and platform bed insert. It is a fast-growing hardwood that shoots straight up like a telephone pole. It is native to the Northern Hemisphere; we source poplar from Virginia as well as West Virginia. Poplar is used for the ledger and slats, so the internal parts of the furniture piece.

While the poplar we use is typically lighter in color (off-white cream or yellow), this wood comes in a variety of shades, from yellowish green to brown or even black (this is found in the core of the tree). You can even find subtle streaks of other colors, such as purple, gray, or blue.

The poplar we use is local to our Virginia woodshop and is considered one of the lightest hardwoods. We think poplar is the best wood for bed slats.

Maple Hardwood

The hard maple wood we use is sourced from Pennsylvania and further north. When you place your mattress on top of the wood bed frame, every visible part of the furniture piece is maple.

Maple holds our zero-VOC stains beautifully. If we were to only use poplar in our beds, it wouldn’t have that same vibrant, pristine finish. But other furniture companies, unfortunately, don’t seem to mind.

“Some companies use poplar wood strictly for their furniture,” Judd, our Product Developer and Woodshop Manager explains. “However, then they have to use some pretty nasty dyes to make it look like other wood.”

We use maple for the center support beam of our platform beds, as well, because it is an overall sturdier wood than poplar.

You can also find maple in our solid hardwood coffee tables and benches. These gorgeous furniture pieces come with the same zero-VOC stain options as our platform beds and are available with or without a shelf.

Red Oak Hardwood

Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is red oak kitchen cabinets, and while this wood does indeed look fantastic in your kitchen, it can be used in all sorts of furniture pieces.

Red oak is incredibly durable while also stunning to look at. The wood grain is more defined than maple, and still holds the zero-VOC finishes beautifully.

When comparing the same finishes we use on both types of wood, you’ll notice the red oak has an overall deeper hue when compared to the maple.

The Afton platform bed is made using sustainably-sourced wood.
The Afton platform bed is made using maple and poplar wood. Pictured in linseed oil.

Sustainability

The maple, poplar, and red oak wood we use in our furniture is responsibly sourced and certified sustainable by Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc.

Will a wood bed frame last?

Yes! Hardwood beds are built to last. They tend to be more structurally sound and durable when compared to conventional beds made of engineered wood. We firmly believe in the saying, “you get what you pay for,” so we recommend investing in a furniture piece that you can enjoy for years.

Why opt for a natural wood platform bed?

There are a lot of different platform beds on the market, so it can become overwhelming quite quickly. When you buy something, you’re essentially voting for what types of products and what type of company values you appreciate.

If natural products and healthy practices are something you strive for, then opting for a natural wood platform bed is important. Savvy Rest has what you’re looking for!

“Our finishes are zero-VOC, which is a very important thing for people, especially those concerned about the air quality in their house,” Judd says.

However, not all zero-VOC finishes are created equal.

“It has to do with the makeup of the raw material. There are zero-VOC finishes out there that when set are zero-VOC. However, their raw form is different. There was one in particular I was excited about because it was water-based and sounded pretty nice. The customer would end up with a nice, clean finish that was durable and zero-VOC. Then I read the MSDS on it. The people applying it would have to wear a bunch of safety gear, and it had a lot of warnings. That’s why I use what we use. It’s safe for our people in its raw form, and it’s good for the customer in it’s finished state.”

How a stain is created in the first place is also worth looking into.

“The finish we use is flax-based, so it’s an agricultural product as opposed to something from petrochemical processes. In that way, the whole chain of it is better for the planet.” 

This Adjustable Bed Frame uses red oak wood.
This modern Adjustable Bed Frame includes red oak wood. Pictured in linseed oil.

Wood Platform Bed: Simple Setup

Our customers love that no tools are required when setting up our Afton platform bed, and minimal tools for The Esmont. You don’t have to worry about a bunch of bolts and screws. Instead, the posts fit together seamlessly. 

Even our platform bed insert is easy to put together. Click here to watch an assembly video.

zero-VOC furniture stains options from Savvy Rest

Maple Wood Finishes

As previously mentioned, we only use zero-VOC finishes for our furniture. There are a few options to choose from:

Unfinished: the ultimate natural look (not pictured above)
Linseed Oil: bright minimalism at its best
Cedar: a classic, light brown color
Mahogany: a bold finish with hints of red
Walnut: a dark and dramatic finish

Red oak stain swatches.
Red oak with zero-VOC stains. Left to Right: Unfinished, Cedar, Mahogany, Walnut, and Linseed Oil.

Red Oak Wood Finishes

The same zero-VOC finishes are also available for our red oak wood.

Start Shopping

It’s time to invest in furniture made with your health and comfort in mind!

Shop all Savvy Rest platform beds here.

Savvy Rest also offers organic sofas, loveseats, armchairs, ottomans, and more. Shop natural furniture here.

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