Wooden Beds vs Metal Beds - which is the best option for my Kids Bed?

In recent articles I addressed the topic of mattresses; when to update your child’s mattress and how to choose the right mattress firmness for your child. Both of these posts should hopefully help you create a comfortable sleeping environment for your children – however, the other vital ingredient that can’t be over-looked is of course, the bed! Think peanut butter and jelly, frosting on a cake, nuts in a nut roast, gin and tonic… moving on quickly (actually, I’m doing remarkably well with my Dry January!) Almost over!✋

A good quality mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep – paired with a carefully selected bed and you’re onto a winning formula, as Sergei the Meerkat beautifully quotes – simples! As you know by now, I spend hours upon hours a day immersed in the magical world of kid’s beds, but for others, I can appreciate that the topic of which bed to choose can leave your head swirling in a maelstrom of doubt and indecision.

So to help, this week I’ve decided to tackle the topic of wooden beds verses metal beds, as these are the two most common contenders when it comes to choosing a bed frame for your child. Is one better than the other or is it simply down to personal preference? Read on for some helpful pro’s and con’s to metal and wooden beds while I pour myself an invigorating cup of jasmine tea.

What are the Pro’s of a Metal Bed Frame?

I am of an age where Bed Knobs and Broomsticks was “the film” to watch and of course who (born in the 70’s) didn’t love Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke (even with a slightly dodgy accent) in Mary Poppins. Perhaps this is where my passion for all thing’s beds began! I remember trying to convince my bemused, long-suffering family that my name was actually Paul (for those of you who aren’t fans, Paul had the power to make the bed fly), in the vain hope that I too could twist my bed knob and fly off to a fantasy world… sadly I wasn’t blessed with the travelling spell and my beautiful metal bed didn’t move an inch. So I can safely say that metal beds can’t fly – but they do have many other benefits:

  • Metal beds offer excellent value for money

Metal beds are often a cheaper option than a wooden bed, making them a super choice for a kids bed, particularly if you are having to splash out on more than one bed!

  • Metal beds are exceptionally strong

Metal beds are robust and can withstand the demands that kids may throw at them! They’ll easily cope with knocks, dings and bouncing (not too high please!), whilst retaining their rigid structure. Praised for their longevity, metal frames are a great choice if you’re looking for a kid’s bed that is long-lasting.

  • Metal beds are lightweight

I’ve lost count of the number of weekends that I’ve spent helping my kids to re-arrange their bedrooms! It’s a rite of passage for any child – but boy oh boy it’s hard work! Lifting, shifting, to me, to you; then they tentatively say, “I prefer it the way it was before!”… Arghhhh! Metal bed frames are usually fairly light and easy to move, bonus – so you don’t have to have the physique of Dwayne Johnson to move the bed at least!

  • Metal beds come in a variety of colours & designs

Metal beds have come a long way since my childhood, many people still consider them to be a more traditional option, with decorative features, swirls and knobs (as we’ve established these are merely decorative and hold no special powers!). However, metal beds have had a design makeover since I was a kid, so if you’re looking for a more modern style there’s plenty of options to choose from. Take a look at this very cool four poster metal bed frame from Woood, even the hardest to please teenager would swoon over a bed like this!

Metal beds also come in a variety of colours. Check out the New York Bed from cuckooland.com, available in 6 colours you are sure to find one that will perfectly match in with your child’s bedroom decor.

New York Metal Kids Bed in Blue

What are the Con’s of a Metal Bed Frame?

I’m not one for focusing on the negatives, but when you’re buying a bed it’s important to consider all things.

  • Metal beds are prone to squeaking

Due to having metal on metal joints, there is a chance that as the years go on and a metal bed gets older it can develop a squeak or two. However, here’s a few handy tips that can help reduce and even stop a metal bed squeaking:

  1. You can simply replace the metal washers for rubber ones (handy tip from my DIY husband… quite possibly via YouTube!), this will make a noticeable difference and minimise the squeaking.
  2. Line the area between the mattress and the base / slats with a blanket to create a thin barrier between these two parts of the bed.
  3. If the bed is on a slightly uneven surface this can cause squeaking, simply address the problem by slipping a ready-made self-adhesive furniture felt pad (available at most DIY/hardware stores) under the offending leg and build up the pads until the right height is achieved (a piece of cardboard cut to size and thickness would also do the trick).
  • Metal beds can rust

Rust is formed when iron and oxygen react with water &/or moisture in the air. To help prevent rusting you should limit metal’s exposure to water or moisture and try to keep the bed free from a build up of dust and grime.

What are the Pro’s of a Wooden Bed Frame?

Wooden beds are a popular choice when it comes to buying a kid’s bed as they offer up many benefits;

  • Wooden beds are extremely long lasting

There are wooden beds still in existence that date all the way back to our Tudor ancestors (if only beds could talk – move over Love Island, we’ve got tales of Henry VIII!). One thing that can be said about wooden beds is they will literally last a lifetime. If you’re looking to buy a bed for your child that is built to last, then a wooden bed offers brilliant longevity.

  • Wooden beds come in a choice of styles

Modern designs are a little less imposing than those from the 16th Century – but as your child most probably won’t be demanding ornate, intricately carved details for their new bed you’re pretty safe here! We may not see the grandeur that our ancestors enjoyed but there are still a whole lot of styles and designs to choose between, from solid frames to more simple slatted finishes.

  • Wooden beds are easy to clean

Let’s face it, kids can be mucky pups, I think mine are actually muckier than our incredibly mucky Golden Retriever, Barkley. At least I can hose him down before he steps a paw in the house! Wooden beds are incredibly easy to clean, which is great news when they live in a typical child’s bedroom. A simple wipe over with a damp cloth and a spritz of wooden furniture polish once a year (every month is just not realistic is it?) and it’s like a new bed!

  • Wooden beds are sturdy & robust

An essential consideration when you are buying a kids bed is “will it cut the mustard” – will it endure and survive every challenge our beloved youngsters throw at it?! Thankfully wooden beds are extremely robust and sturdy making them an excellent choice for a kids bed.

  • Wooden beds can be a more sustainable option

If you’re looking to make a more sustainable choice when buying a bed, then wood ticks many boxes. With a growing number of manufacturers sourcing FSC wood you can rest assured that the wood is being responsibly grown and harvested.

One of my favourite brands that we have the pleasure of working with at cuckooland.com is a company called Lifetime, alongside using specially selected sustainable pine their concept is that all of their furniture can evolve and be adapted as your children grow, therefore extending it’s lifespan. And their factory is at the cutting edge of sustainable eco-friendly manufacturing; walking through their factory offers a glimpse into what the future might hold if all manufacturers cared as much about the environment as they do about profits. Big shout out for Lifetime!

Mathy By Bols Treehouse Bunk Bed in Lime Wood

What are the Con’s of a Wooden Bed Frame?

  • Wooden beds are heavy

If you happen to have a budding interior designer on your hands you may want to steer clear of a heavy wooden bed. Granted, some will be heavier than others, this will depend on the style and the type of wood it’s made from, but unless you want biceps the size of Popeye’s, I’d suggest opting for a more lightweight but equally sturdy timber design.

  • Wooden beds vary widely in price

Generally speaking you will pay more for a wooden bed compared to other types of bed frames, purely because wood is not a cheap material. Prices will vary depending on the design and the type of wood you go for, for example pine wood will be much cheaper than oak. Try to opt for wood that has been sustainably sourced, especially if you’re keen to keep your carbon footprint down to a minimum.

Wooden Beds vs Metal Beds - Which is Better?

Quite simply, I think that both metal and wooden bed frames have attributes that make them a super choice for your child’s bed. It really comes down to your own personal preferences, the style of your kids bedroom and your budget. At cuckooland.com there is a huge variety of both wooden and metal bed frames, from bunk beds for kids right up to kingsize beds for grown-ups (yes we cater for big kids too!).

Woood Dennis Single Bed

Thanks for reading my little blog, I hope I’ve been helpful, remember if you have any questions you can email me at nathalie@cuckooland.com or simply leave a comment below. Time for another pot of Jasmine tea and a hip hip hooray for another successfully completed dry January.


With more than 8 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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