How to Fix a Squeaky Bed
It’s annoying, it keeps you up at night, and I’m going to show you how to fix it.
A couple of weeks ago I moved the bed to clean and vacuum underneath it, and ever since I put it back these noises have started. I pinpointed a couple areas where it’s happening. My guess is that when I moved it I might’ve loosened up the joint where the rails meet the foot board, and also back at the headboard.
First I’m going to take the mattresses off and take the frame apart. I’m going to take a look. Got a couple things here that I think will fix the problem. We’ll see if we’re successful or not. I went ahead and got the mattress and box springs taken off. Now that’s probably the first thing you want to check. Make sure your box springs aren’t the cause of the noise and the squeaking. I checked mine out, and it doesn’t look like those are making any noise, so I think we’re good in that department.
I think I’ve pretty much narrowed down the noise to the joint from the frame to the posts on all four corners, up at the headboard, the two corners, and then again at the footboard. Now in general when you get squeaking, especially on wood, it’s usually the cause of two pieces of wood rubbing together. But, your noise can also be coming from some other areas. You want to check the slats that run between the stretchers on both sides because you can get a noise down in these areas. We’re going to address those as well while you have the mattresses off.
This is a king sized bed and I’m sure as you know moving a mattress around isn’t any fun so I only want to do this job once. What I’m going to do now is break apart the frame. There are brackets that fit into some mortise joints and some type of flush bracket inside the post. They just pop right out. If you have a different type of bed frame, say with nuts and bolts, more than likely all you have to do is just tighten the nuts and bolts, and that should solve your problem and you can even lubricate them with Singer acid free sewing machine oil.
Before I go ahead and take this apart I think I’ve found what the problem is. If I rock the post here forward a little bit you can see a gap between the frame and the post. I think that when I went ahead and moved this bed it probably had too much weight with the mattresses on it and I think I probably depressed the wood on the post, and I no longer have a tight joint between these two pieces of wood. When that happens, the bed can start to rack and shake, and that’s when your noises start. So we have to address that issue first. I broke the bed apart and I think my suspicion is true. The wood on the post is indented, and I think that’s causing some slop between the frame rails at the posts, so I’m going out to find something that could fill the gap between that rail and the post.
I went to Home Depot and this is what I came up with. This is down the hardware aisle near the felt pads that they sell to put on the bottom of furniture so you don’t scratch your wood floors. This is an adhesive backed roll of felt. What I’m going to do is cut a few strips of this and to attach it to the edge of the frame rail and that’ll take that gap up. This will also stop the wood on wood contact, which I think is where the noise is coming from. The noise might also be coming from the bracket where the bracket hooks into the bracket here on the post, so I’m going to go ahead and lubricate these as well. Do not use spray lubricant like WD 40, or something similar. Use regular acid free Singer sewing machine oil or 10-40 motor oil, it will last a lot longer.
Just cut strips off the felt and peel off the tape on the back of it and adhere it to the frame rail. In most cases you probably don’t have to be too careful with this because all this is hidden underneath the bed. We are interested in function not form. I’m also cutting a few little strips to put on the top and the bottom of the bracket as well. Again it doesn’t need to look pretty, it’s gonna be hidden. Go ahead and lubricate the brackets at the rails, and also those mortise brackets at the post. What I’m going to use for that is dry lube it’s made by PB blaster. You might have heard of them for their other products to loosen up stubborn nuts and bolts. The reason I like using this as opposed to WD 40, when you spray it on you could see that within a couple seconds it completely evaporates, and what it leaves behind is a lubricated film. I like using indoors when I’m lubricating hinges, and basically anything else that might make a mess. I find this to be superior to WD 40 for that reason. You could find this down the hardware aisle at Home Depot or Lowes.
Basically all you need to do is get the head of the footboard into place and it just slips in there, and then you just give it a little push and press it down and step on it, and that fits into place nicely. I can wiggle this pretty well now and it’s not shaking as much as it used to. That felt fits in there really nice. I got the headboard attached the same way. So the bed frame is all put back together now, and all four corners are attached and I’m going to turn my attention now to the slats, and wherever one of these meets the frame rail I’m going to go ahead and put a piece that felt underneath, and I’m also going to put a piece of felt on the edge of the slat as well so that both contact points, which will be the bottom and the side, are protected and we don’t have any wood to wood contact. The slats just sit on the frame rail but this can be improved by using a Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/ product. They make this very clever interlocking bed slat connectors that solidly secure the slat and keeps the frame rails from separating https://www.amazon.com/Tech-Team-Positive-Connector-Hardware/dp/B07CRPVR4P/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1544565693&sr=8-5&keywords=tech+team+bed.
Another thing I want to show you guys is this center post here that basically sits in the middle of the slats that run in between both the stretcher rails. I noticed what looks like a lag bolt on the bottom and it’s got a threaded connection on the top, basically the lag bolts section fits down into the top of the post here, and you can see how this hole got stripped out. This is a real easy fix. All you want to do is just get it in there as best you can, and then just take a mallet and just hammer into place a little bit. Go ahead and grab a pair of channel locks and then just twist the post, and you can usually get a couple of those threads seeded into the piece of wood.
One other thing I went to head and purchased was L brackets at Home Depot. You can find them down the building supply aisle with the joist hangers.
My intent was to install them in the corners just to stiffen up this joint a little bit. What I’m going to go ahead and do is just install the box spring and the mattress, and rock the bed around a little bit see what we have. Hopefully the noise is gone. If it’s not I’ll take the mattress and the box spring back off and we’ll go ahead and put these in. If I don’t need them, this is just another option for you if you still have noise. You just got to get some wood screws, probably #8 ¾” long and just drill them into the post and on the structure here. In my case, I would also have to drill through the metal bracket, which isn’t a big deal.
Let’s go over the repairs we made so far. On all four corners where the side rails meet the posts we went ahead and installed felt pads. We also lubricated the bracket on the end of the side rail, and also the bracket in the post. On the center slats we installed felt pads on the bottom and on the sides of all the locations where it meets the side rails, and we also made some repairs on the center posts where it meets the slats as well, and tightened all those up real well. Finally we tightened up the slats
I’m going to go ahead and install the box spring and the mattress now and give it a test to see what we got. When you go ahead and put the box spring back on you want to make sure you have some separation between it and both the foot forward and the headboard on both ends, so you want it centered on the frame. So I’m happy to say I think we fixed it. No more noises, no more squeaks, and maybe I can get a good night’s sleep finally.