Platform Bed vs. Panel Bed | Differences & Similarities

Looking for a comfortable and sturdy bed that will help you drift away to the land of your dreams?

Start by finding the perfect frame designed to meet your style requirements. But is it that simple? Well, to be honest, it isn’t. With the availability of a wide range of beds and mattresses, choosing the best option often seems next to impossible.

This is why we’ve narrowed it down to the two primary types of bed frames – platform and panel beds. Now, both these names may sound familiar to you, but are you aware of their similarities and differences? We’ve got your back!

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Through this guide, we bring you a comprehensive comparative study between platform beds vs panel beds. Furthermore, each section has been briefly explained to help your decision-making.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Platform Bed vs. Panel Bed

What Is A Platform Bed?

What is a platform bed

A platform bed is designed with a large, sturdy, and solid base that usually doesn’t require the extra support of a mattress foundation or box spring. In other words, any memory foam mattress can be placed on its base to serve as a supportive and firm sleeping surface.

However, it is a bit lower compared to panel beds and other regular bed types. As such, mattress foundations are added to raise its height if and when required.

Traditionally, the sleek and minimalist bed didn’t include headboards and footboards. But today, platform beds are available in various styles and designs that may or may not include these features.

What Is A Panel Bed?

What is a panel bed 1

A panel bed, aka box spring bed, is designed to support both mattresses and mattress foundations. For this, its sturdy base is made of wooden slats or metal bars, which in turn, increase mattress breathability under the box spring foundation.

That said, panel beds are also distinguished by their side rails. Plus, they include headboards and footboards made of solid wood or metal. What else? Sitting comparatively higher off the ground, they feature gaps underneath that further add to your convenience.

Platform Bed vs. Panel Bed | Differences

Platform and panel beds vary in frames but may look surprisingly similar at times. Apart from this, there are multiple ways in which they differ from each other. In this section, we’ll be discussing the fundamental differences between platform beds and panel beds. So, let’s get going!

  1. Origin

 Platform and panel beds have come a long way in terms of design. Today, you may relate to them, thanks to modern trends and styles. But they were initially designed in ancient times to match traditional cultures and aesthetics.

That said, platform beds were created with sturdy bottom frames by the early Egyptians and ancient Greeks. As a matter of fact, it earned its name because of its solid and supportive platform base.

On the other hand, panel beds came into play much later. The elaborate woodwork of frames and headboards made this bed-type a popular choice in the Renaissance and American Colonial periods.

Panels of broad wood were used for making their headboards and footboards, resulting in the origination of the name – panel bed.

  1. Style and Design

Panel bed

 Both panel and platform beds are available in a wide range of styles that suit nearly every homeowner’s requirements. But there are few differences between them, which need to be highlighted.

Platform bed with drawers

First things first, a platform bed is heavier and bulkier than panel beds. It doesn’t require box springs; instead, its sturdy platform base is specifically designed to support your mattress. However, you’ll have to use box springs for panel beds as they serve as primary support.

What’s more? You’ll come across a wide range of panel beds equipped with footboards and headboards of various styles. These classic and traditionally styled beds can change the aesthetic appeal of your bedroom completely.

Coming to platform beds, they may or may not come with headboards or footboards to make way for other innovative features, including built-in bookshelves, drawers, and cubbies. Consequently, these beds are mostly associated with contemporary styles, and are popular options in modern and minimalist homes.

  1. Height

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Platform beds are usually designed to sit lower to the ground, while panel beds are a lot higher because of their box springs. In fact, the box support and mattress manages to add multiple inches of extra height to its frame for your convenience.

0609 panel vs platform bed dean sand queen

That being said, individuals with disabilities and those suffering from back pain or knee injuries may have trouble getting in and out of bed. In such situations, platform beds come to your aid, thanks to their low-profile design.

However, you may also consider an option that sits higher off the ground, provided you have the budget for it. If not, you can attach bed risers to the feet of your bed to raise the frame by a few inches.

  1. Price

It’s natural for the price to vary between both these types of beds, depending on their styles and features. But on average, platform beds are relatively budget-friendly and cost-effective options compared to panel beds. The reason for this is that you don’t have to purchase additional accessories in order for it to function well.

However, this doesn’t stand true for panel beds. You’ll have to invest in spring boxes, slats, mattresses, and other accessories while buying these frames. As a result, you’re bound to spend comparatively more. That being said, you can consider opting for a cheaper frame to balance out the total expense.

  1. Storage Options


As mentioned earlier, platform beds feature a modern and sleek design that blends perfectly well in a contemporary setting. But that’s not all. Unlike panel beds, it doesn’t necessarily come with footboards and headboards, paving the way for other innovative features like cubbies, drawers, and built-in shelves.

The under bed drawers and cubbies in the headboard offer ample space for storing books, pillows, sheets, and accessories like phone chargers for quick and easy access. Not just that, but these storage options also add a touch of sophistication to your overall home decor.

In fact, considering the heavyweight and bulky design of platform beds, the built-in shelving is highly functional in compact rooms with a lack of sufficient space. The drawers and cubicles can also be utilized as perfect alternatives to dressers when required.

Having said that, traditional panel beds don’t come with storage options because of their slatted design. But with time, the gap under the frame has managed to prompt manufacturers to introduce features like stacked drawers in these beds as well.

Other than this, trundles are commonly seen in panel beds because of their height. They come in handy during sleepovers. All you need to do is roll out the small low-profile bed from underneath the mainframe in order to convert it into an extra sleeper.

Platform Bed vs. Panel Bed | Similarities

These days, both platform and panel beds are often mistaken for one another because of their growing resemblance in terms of design. Now that we’ve already discussed their differences, it’s time we moved on to their similarities.

  1. Materials

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Modern style beds, be it platform or panel beds, may differ in design, style, and build, but the materials used for construction are similar. So, while looking for the right bed, you’ll always come across frames made using metal or wood.

That said, various types of wood are utilized for this purpose, including hardwood, Asian wood, engineered wood, and laminates. Asian woods such as bamboo, rattan, and teak are more eco-friendly and stylish alternatives to the long-lasting hardwoods like maple, pine, and oak.

On the other hand, engineered wood offers more options in terms of patterns, color, and textures. You may also consider laminate to enjoy the look of high-end wood without worrying about hefty price tags.

  1. Durability

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As you already know, panel and platform beds are constructed using similar materials ranging from wood to metal. Consequently, both the frames are durable, provided they come with excellent build qualities.

A flimsy bed with chipped laminate and uneven gaps in the joints, irrespective of the bed-type, is bound to fall apart with time. Furthermore, regular upkeep is a key factor that will enable your bed to last long.

For this, you’ll need to avoid spills, repair chips in protective metal finishes, and seal visible gaps. Also, ensure regular oiling and polishing of solid wood frames to prevent cracking.

Final Words

After a ton of deliberation, we can conclude that the primary difference between platform and panel beds determines the need for a mattress foundation. Apart from this, it’s crucial to note the importance and functionality of both their structural frames since these are factors that make them distinct from each other.

That said, it’s not possible to state which is better. Both these beds stand out in one way or another, be it in aesthetic appearance, features, and affordability. So, it’s best to consider your requirements, and then decide on your purchase.

What will it be for you, platform bed vs panel bed?

On that note, we’ll now take your leave. Till next time!

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