Do I Need A Bed Frame with Center Support?

Some mattresses and boxspring sets need center support  added to a bed frame in order to validate the warranty, while others do not. This blog will help you determine whether or not you should use center support on your mattress and box spring. So lets answer the question:

Do I Need A Bed Frame with Center Support?

Center Supports add necessary support for the boxspring and mattress. Queen center support can be added to an existing frame that does not have it. If you are buying a new queen frame and will be using the bed daily make sure that it includes a cross bar with at least one foot.

Do I Need A Bed Frame with Center Support?

Shop all our frames with middle support by Clicking this photo

King and California King  bed frames usually have center support that runs head to foot due to the wider frame. These frames with extra support and feet down the middle are a must. Most mattress manufacturers require the use of a center support for their queen, king, and California King size mattress sets or the warranties will be considered void. You can verify this by reading your warranty card, calling the manufacturer, or mattress retailer.

There are cross bars with extra support avialable for full size frames, but they are not required by mattress manufacturers. Often the reason twin and full size bed frames do not come with a center support bar is because they are not necessary. If you feel you need the extra support because of above average weight on the bed or an active child or teenager we would suggest a more heavy duty frame, a center support may not be enough.

Complete bed frames with center support

Everyone from local mattress and furnitures stores to online retailers offer complete twin, full, queen, king, and California King frames with center supports. If you are looking for long life out of your bed frame and mattress set our suggestion is to get the proper size frame with center support.

If have a bed frame can I just add the center support bar?

Do I Need A Bed Frame with Center Support?

Shop our BL1 Center Support Here

Yes most frames can have a middle brace or bar added to them for relativeling low cost. Our Bl1 from Glideaway is a steel cross support with 2 legs and 2 adjustable feet, which give the mattress set needed stability. This stability is given where boxsprings are most vulnerable in the middle. Extra center support is even more important if you have a king or queen split boxsprings. Having the proper middle support can prevent sagging, bowing. They can also prevent cracking in boxsprings, wooden headboards, and side rails.

Important NOTE:

Some mattress retailers offer a less expensive bed frames for free with a mattress set purchase; many times these do not have adequate center support. Be sure to upgrade the frame see to it that the store gives you one with center support. If they will not, offer to pay the difference and upgrade to one that does. Most of these center supports are very easy to assemble and usually cost $30.00 to $80.00.

Shop all of our Frames with Center Support and Middle Support Bars

Waterbed owners, center supports are also available for waterbeds for a little extra cost contact us with questions.


Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds - a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won't find the brand names here - just call and ask us why!

33 Comments Leave your comment »

I just have a question-We have a queen mattress and low profile bed frame that we just purchased. We are going to have it elevated on 15″ wide cubes on each side, running the entire length of the bed. This will leave 30″ in the center, unsupported. Would we need some time of center support for that?

Comment by SanDee — February 28, 2011 @ 10:19 am

Having too much support can never be bad, however if you are going for a certain look and the cubes or “piers” are getting in the way of that look, then you could have a dilemma. Most boxsprings or foundations could probably handle such a gap running side to side not so sure it could handle it lengthwise though. Additionally there are other factors to consider like the construction of the foundation which in your case I know nothing about. Also consider the combined weight of the individuals that will be using the bed. My answer is proceed on the side of caution and add the additional support. Additionally doing so you should never have an issue if warranty ever comes into play.

Comment by Doug Belleville — March 1, 2011 @ 7:40 am

I am purchasing a beautiful queen size sleigh bed off of Craig’s list today. Comes wig head board and foot board but no metal rails to connect the two beds. Where can I find the rails that I need to connect the two together? I am waiting to find out if the bed takes a screw type or hook like rail. Also. Are there different size rails for queen beds that may not be compatible? Thank you!

Comment by Lisa — March 27, 2014 @ 3:42 pm

Lisa as soon as you know whether it bolts up or hooks up you can then get your rails but not until then because yes there are several different rails that could bed used. You may also want to take an extra step and get one with additional cross support bars and feet. This will be better for the mattress set for support and remove excess weight off of the headboard and foot board redirecting it to the floor. Use our Frame Finder to help you or give us a call Toll Free for help at 888 785 2337.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — March 28, 2014 @ 7:04 am

I am buying a double size (54″), high-quality mattress and box spring (Simmons)
Should the metal frame have a centre rail/support?

Comment by peter dunn — April 12, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

Peter, Most bedding builders Simmons included do not require extra middle support to be warranty compliant. I can tell you it won’t hurt a thing to add it. Think of it as insurance for high-quality mattress and box spring.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — April 16, 2014 @ 6:49 am

I recently purchased a new queen size mattress and need to purchase a center support to add to my existing frame in order to comply with the warranty. I notice some add-on center supports have one leg in the center, while others have two legs – one at each end. What is the reason for the difference? Which one is better or what does it depend on?

Comment by Robert — July 7, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

Robert, You are correct some supports can have one leg, others two, and yes even three. The fact is all of these choices is as American as it gets, it’s the freedom of choice. Manufacturers of middle add on supports want to offer something for everyone. Examples: If a person wants to spend less they typically will get the one leg support, if they are looking for more strength, better support, and assurance that their box-spring won’t fail from the lack of middle bracing they can opt to pay more choosing options that include more steel and support legs it is as simple as that. Appreciate you stopping by and asking this great question. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — July 8, 2014 @ 7:57 am

I have a sleigh bed did not come with any steel support so we put wood slats across sideways and 2 board from headboard to footboard now one side of the mattress feels lower than the other is that because we put the 2 board going accross from footboard to headboard? Would like to purchase the best steel cross center support with the 3 center legs like a kit where would I buy that in canada?

Comment by Francine — July 14, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

I have a queen size brass headboard with matching footboard. It is missing the connecting rails on the side and support through middle. What metal frame would work for me to purchase?

Comment by Beverlu Jones — July 16, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

Beverlu, Brass beds are nearly all bolt up style connections. Our BB 34 is likely to be a good fit or our 64 CS. These two frames accommodate different height beds. Be sure to read the description and details or give us a call at the toll free number above for more assistance. We would be happy to explain and can even have you send us some pics to be certain of proper fit. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — July 17, 2014 @ 7:44 am

Francine, I am sorry at this time we do not ship to Canada. I am confused about the description of your current slat support set up. Feel free to email me pics. Perhaps I can figure out what is causing the issue. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — July 17, 2014 @ 7:55 am

Hi Doug,

I just purchased a queen sized mattress (memory foam) with split box springs. My current bed frame does not have a center support. Will the lack of center support damage the mattress or box springs?

Comment by John — August 12, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

I just purchased a regular king mattress and to save a few bucks I purchased two twin frames at a second hand store for $35 total instead of paying $150 for the king frame. However when I got the frame home, it was only 65 inches long and the king mattress is 80 inches long so it will hand over 15 inches. This seems like too much overhang. Do I need to bite the bullet and get the king frame?

Comment by rebecca — August 24, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

We’ve all been there, you try to save a little money and somehow it ends up costing more. Yes those would definitely be to short. Not only might you have to worry about the problem of teeter tottering off the end of the shorter frame but you are likely to bust the slats or frame work of the boxspring/ foundations. Just to give you an idea our standard duty king frame 44 RR is 70 inches long and our super heavy duty K43WB frame is 77 inches long. Hope this explains the issue and gives you an idea of what you are supposed to have under a king mattress set. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — August 25, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

I have a twin size wooden, Sleigh bed headboard and frame also a wood bed frame for the mattress. This was purchased in JCpenny some time ago. We lost the bolts that go with it the bed, and we do not remember the size that go with it and need help in that regard. can anywone help.

Comment by Eileen — September 15, 2014 @ 11:07 am

i just bought a mattress set and the height is a lot so if i add a Metal Bed Frame it will be just too high way over my waist ,so my question is the matal frame is need it?
liek give a extra support for the body?

thank you

Comment by luis — September 21, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

Luis I would be glad to try answer your question but it was not clear to me. Could you reread your question and clear it up for me. Thnx in advance Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — September 24, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

Hi Douglas,

Just purchased a full size headboard from Pottery Barn and the metal frame as well (they suggested I get their frame so that the headboard would fit correctly). The frame has no center support (the box spring will be sitting on the edges). Will that be enough support or could I add a few wooden slats across the frame.

Thank you

Comment by l. campbell — October 2, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

im goimg to try and word this as good as possible to explain my problem and seek an answer. i have a queen size bed, the middle support bar does not have the flat flaps on the end to screw into the frame. now i have a center bar that does have the flat flaps, but its too short. does anyone know if its possible to take the flaps off? im asking before o try because the bolts are not screws and i dont wanna mess it up, the bolts holding the flat piece on are flat on both sides and black, is the flat “bolt” maybe just a covering on one side? do you think if i take pliers to it it will come off?

Comment by ashley — October 27, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

Ashley, If you would like to contact me at the phone # at the top of the page you can text or email me photos. We can then see what you are trying to do and make a judgement call. Hope this is helpful. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — October 29, 2014 @ 8:36 am

Hi Douglas,

I have a queen size mattress with twin box springs and am trying to figure out if I should get a rail frame with center support or not.Is there a specific type of rail frame I should get or will any frame be suffice,and should I have center support?
Thank You

Comment by Julian G — November 3, 2014 @ 8:23 am

What is the difference between a queen frame with the center support running head to toe vs. the center support running side to side — which is the better frame to buy ?

Comment by sportaxi — November 6, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

Sportaxi, I am no engineer so I maybe someone else will be able to chime in. Mattress manufactures on the other hand do not care if the support runs from the head to the foot or spans the width side to side, as long as it is there. The final requirement is that the bar must have a least one foot that touches the floor. This is designed to keep the middle from sagging, bowing, or warping which is the terminology used to describe what happens when there is a lack of support in the middle of queen and kings size mattress sets. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — November 7, 2014 @ 6:41 am

Julian, Queen split boxsprings need proper support. Since you did not specify what combination of frame and bed you have we will cover them. Stand alone frames or LB 34 and 34 RR and Q33WB are great choices. Beds with headboard and foot boards that bolt up the BB34 will get the job done. for everything else check out our article Frames That Support Split Queen Boxsprings.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — November 7, 2014 @ 6:54 am

I’m looking to buy a second hand queen bedframe from craigslist for use with my existing mattress. Many of the beds I see and like are intended for use with a boxspring, but since our mattress is 24″ thick, we’d prefer to just use the mattress. Some of these beds also have support legs in the middle of them which we do not want because we wish to store something rather large under the bed. My questions is — are those support legs intended to provide extra support for the boxspring and meet warranty requirements or are they intended to shore up a weak frame? I am asking because we already have a set of very strong hardwood bed slats on our current bed with no support leg underneath. We’d like have the greatest choice of beds and remove any support legs and replace with our very, very strong slats. We have no worry about the mattress on these slats at all as we’ve been using them for ages and they are perfect. What we are wondering is that if we remove the support leg, will the bed frame itself be weakened? Older beds never used to have those extra support legs and we are wondering if they started using them because the frames are not as well made or because the boxsprings are not as well made and the mattress manufacturers required it?

Comment by Beverly — December 16, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

Beverly you have asked a couple of great questions. Older beds never used to have those extra support legs because they were all twin, full, and three quarter sizes. Typically it was one person to a bed or they were smaller in size and weight. Today’s beds are queen, king, and California King and nearly always accommodate an adult couple that is bigger and heavier.

I would prefer not to give a blanket answer as to whether center supports are there to shore up a weak frame. The truth is some frames are quite stout while others are pretty much useless in strength and support. Unfortunately some are simply built for nothing but price point.

As for your new mattress I recommend closely spaced slats or a rigid platform. If you use a platform design you can turn your slats on edge like floor joists versus laying them flat like boxsprings. This will solve your problem of needing center support legs. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — December 17, 2014 @ 8:35 am

My question was never answered, Im trying to unsuscribe from your email please. thank you.

Comment by Eileen — December 17, 2014 @ 10:22 am

Thank you Douglas for answering my question. Since asking it, I have now identified a bed on Craigslist that I am interested in, but have not yet gone to see in person. It is a spindle bed made by Bassett and has three cross beams and each one of those cross beams has a support leg on it, so three support legs in all. The current bed we have, although not that old, is solid cherry with solid hardwood slats and no support feet. The slats are closely spaced, 12x 4″ wide slats in all for an 80″ long queen mattress. Rock solid, with no give that can see to those slats. Not sure of the wood, but definitely not something like pine. I will go assess the quality of the craigslist frame in question and see how strong it is, if there’s a possibility it would work. We want to switch the bed for two reasons: damage to the current headboard and a change of style. When you say “this will solve your problem of needing center support legs, do you mean only if we use a platform design and turn the slats on edge like floor joists, or do you also mean also if we just use closely spaced slats as we currently have? These slats could not be turned on their side like joists because they are only 3/4″ thick, but again they are inflexible and rock solid and currently supporting a 24″ thick mattress by themselves. They could be screwed to the support rail if necessary (as we did before) to provide stability and square the bed. We intend to put a trundle underneath the bed, so support legs are a dealbreaker for whatever we buy.

Comment by Beverly — December 17, 2014 @ 10:39 am

We own One bed with just a headboard that has a metal frame and one center support brace and have purchased 2 box spring and mattress over the past five years and are thinking it’s time to buy a mattress again. We have another bed that has a headboard and footboard left and right side rails and two boards that run width which is much more comfortable. Would this be because a foot head board give more support to the mattress that a frame with just a headboard and no footboard support? Thank you.

Comment by Joann — January 27, 2015 @ 12:02 am

Joann, No it is because if is what came standard with the bed and usually cost/money is the deciding factor of what kind of frame is used. Whether it is a headboard only or a headboard and footboard upgrade/higher quality frames with more horizontal or longitudinal supports with feet are available through companies like mine STL Beds. Feel free to visit the previous link or give me a call at the toll free number at the top of this page. Hope this answers your question. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — February 6, 2015 @ 8:05 am

Hello, my husband put together our sons crib which converted to a full bed! It did however not come with any slats so we then purchased a box spring and put his mattress on that. The problem is now that his mattress is very high!! I need it lowered but does that mean he has to nail in slats? We don’t know what to do. I saw that there are low profile box springs which means we need to go out and buy another box spring. Any suggestions?

Comment by Dana — March 17, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

Dana, Their are two solutions; the first you mentioned is a low profile boxspring/foundation. The other is a low profile bed frame. The important thing to make note of is does the decorative foot end and headboard ends of the bed. You need to know if they bolt up or hook in. Once you know that you can make a decision. Here is our low profile frame link that is typically used for these full size applications. This will drop mattress set height 3.5 inches. Used with a lo profile boxspring/foundation it will go even lower. This should do the trick. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — March 24, 2015 @ 7:27 pm

Leave a comment