Hook Rails For Headboard and Footboard Missing or Broken?

The best repair for this type of situation is a good ounce of prevention…

which we will discuss in a moment, but the truth is many beds never have enough support to begin with and especially when larger people are using them.  Cracking, breaking, or splitting out are common failure in wood rails with down hooks. These down hooks slide down into vertical slots where horizontal receiving pins are located within both the footboard and headboard.  The failure comes when too much weight is applied to the side rails.  Another possible failure can be where the receiving pins in the headboard or footboard  are not encapsulated by enough wood and fail, in either case repair is usually not an option.Hook Rails For Head board and Foot board Broken or Missing?

How to prevent wood rails from cracking or splitting

The way to prevent such an issue is with supports like the ones offered from Glideaway MFG. If the wood side rails are new or still in good condition we use their BB8 steel cross supports they utilize heavy angle iron and have multiple adjustable legs in king or queen sizes. With enough feet and proper installation such a support is strong enough to hold even a soft sided waterbed one of the heaviest beds sold. For everyday use under average weight couples and lighter weight loads we recommend their G-FORCE support system which utilizes less steel and fewer feet. Both systems span the width of wood rails and lay where wood slats typically go. They screw firmly into place and help take load weight off of the down hooks and tranfer it to the floor safely and effectively.

What if my wood side rails have been lost or cannot be fixed?

It happens to the best of us and yes they do get lost especially in the case of moving companies. In the case of queen size beds we replace the wood rails with Glideaways all steel frame system.  They call it their 62CS hook rails with an adjustable center support. It literally replaces the need for wood rails which are often covered by bedding and bed skirts anyway. Steel side rails and universal down hooks replace the wooden sides. The strong center support bar with adjustable feet keeps wide boxsprings supported properly and meets all warranty requirements.

For twin and full size models we use Glideaways number one for beds that have a headboard and footboard. These use the same rolled steel frame as the queen previously mentioned but not center supporting legs. Instead it utilizes a connecting wire that keeps the rails from spreading and looking like an old whiskey barrel.

If you choose to not use specialty frames as mentioned above and instead use wood slats this can be done. However we recommend that you utilize wooden board cut a minimum of 1”x 4”. In addition add at least a vertical center support from the center of each slat going down to the floor, this will act as a leg and offer strength that will keep the box spring from sagging. Repeat on each of the 5 slats.

Can the wood side rails be repaired?

Repairing solid wood or laminated side rails can be a hit or a miss undertaking and it is one that we do not recommend attempting. Have this done by a professional. We have seen people glue or scab the broken / cracked area only to have it fail or fall and do more damage to the bed.


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!

16 Comments Leave your comment »

I have a head board that is missing the two metal rods that the rails hook onto. Is their a way to repair this?

Comment by Angie — December 16, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

Angie, I am assuming you are talking about the 2 horizontal hook pin that are situated in the vertical slots of your headboard? These are where the down hooks of the side rails hook into. If these are missing you very well could have real problems. I personally do not know anyone who can repair this issue. You may have to do an Internet search to resolve your issue. Perhaps someone local who does furniture repair and refinishing. Hope this helps.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — December 18, 2012 @ 8:03 am

I am reinstalling the siderails to the head and foot boards. The right side is a half inch higher than the left. I have reversed the rails and have the same situation. Any suggestions?

Comment by Tom — May 22, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

I will assume that you are using the same rails that were being used when you took it apart. Unless it was uneven from the start my experience has been that the connection where the right side is a half inch higher than the left even after reversing the rails and having the same situation, that down hook is not tight and not fully engaged. A sign that would assure this is that when taking the frame apart this same connection would have been tight and hard to unhook. The fix in this case is to use a rubber mallet and force the down hooks to engage over the pins inside the slot of the bed leg. ½ to 1 inch is common to be out of alignment. Hit it hard enough to force the force the connection. If your side rails are not steel and made out of wood perhaps some old rags or towels folded over will help protect the wood from damage because of hammering with the mallet. Hope this assists Doug Belleville

Comment by Douglas Belleville — May 22, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

Is there a place in San Angelo that might sale metal hook rails like a second hand store ?

Comment by Vanessa — August 30, 2013 @ 8:08 am

I am sorry I am not familiar with the Sn Angelo area. We are based out of St. Louis MO. and we do distribute anywhere in the continuous 48 states. Please contact us if we may be of service.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — August 31, 2013 @ 10:04 am

I recently bought a new box springs and mattress. When it was delivered I realized it was 9″ taller than the previous set, making it difficult to get in and out of bed. The bed is queen sized with a nice wooden head and foot board with wooden rails that hook-in. Is there something I can buy like a bracket with hook-in and a lower receiver of the hook-ins from the rails?

Comment by Scott Gilbert — December 16, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

Scott, It would take a little more than a conversion bracket set. You would need to eliminate your wooden side rail and then get a replacement low profile steel bed frame like our DRQ60. This would lower the set 3 1/2 inches. If you still need to go lower picking up a low profile boxspring can lower it another 4-5 inches.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — December 23, 2013 @ 7:52 am

I am looking for the S hooks that are bolted into the side rails …they were missing when I purchased a used bed. It has two bolt holes in the rails. Are the “hooks” a standard size? if so, where can I purchase these? Thanks in advance,

Comment by tim Williams — February 14, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

Tim, I am sorry to say that hook ins are not all the same. I would make sure to get a template of the hook in plate. Then assure it matches up to what you have. Without a template to match up to it would only be a luck to determine if what you are buying would fit and engage properly.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — February 17, 2014 @ 7:29 am

Is there a certain type of bracket or brace can I use to reinforce the side rail when it has split and the hook/pins have come loose? The rail itself has been repaired and glued to put the hooks/pins back in place, but I would like to go ahead and have some type of metal reinforcement around the entire rail for good measure.

Comment by Allison — March 1, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

Hi Allison, To the best of my knowledge the answer is no. Usually people would either purchase a new set of wood rails from the manufacturer of the the bed if still available, have a new set made, or buy steel replacement and do away with the wood. Scabbing the old ones is very likely not going to be very good looking or safe. Hope this helps Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — March 2, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

In the process of moving my bed the bed frame had four long metal parts where are used to hook onto the headboard and foot board to make it be complete. Well i lost one of those metal black pieces and now i have no way in connecting my headboard to the bed frame and the foot board to the bed frame. What can I do to fix this problem?

Comment by Judy Gutierrez — March 11, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

I wish I had a dime for every time a frame or part of a frame was lost during a move. I would be $$$$$. To replace you would need the bed frame’s model numbers and specific manufacturer’s name which is located on the purchase receipt. Color is rarely an identifying factor. Those who sell the replacement part(s) will need that detailed information to get the exact replacement part. Anything else is a gamble and is likely “not” to work or fit since most are built and patented to the manufacturer’s unique engineered design. The cost of having a fabricator make the replacement part is most likely going to cost more than the price of a brand new complete frame. Sorry for the bad news. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — March 12, 2014 @ 7:31 am


One of the hooks that connect the side rail to the headboard has fallen out of the side rail. The side rail is not cracked. There are two metal bolts without threads, that are encased in the wood which hold the hooks in place. I can’t figure out how to put the hook back on, since the side rail is not cracked and there is no way to remove the bolts. Any suggestions or solutions? I can’t figure out how the hook fell off in the first place. Please help.

Comment by Cheryl Robinson — April 10, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

I was at a furniture sale. I did see that there was this gorgeous antique style king bed frame. Problem is it was on sale because the railing was missing. Is there away that I could have the railing built and added on? It’s pretty heavy. And the railing are originally wooden and spray painted to make it have an old look to it. When I looked at the original displayed floor model there were metal pieces at the corner. I figured it’s what held up the corner of the box springs. Also, I was told by the sales person that two twin box springs would be needed. How can that be builded if possible as well as the railings?

Comment by Ny — April 13, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

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