The 9 Best Eco-Friendly Bed Frames of 2021

Support your sustainable mattress with a green bed frame.

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A bed frame can change the feel of your whole bedroom, giving your bed the feel of a piece of furniture, rather than just a collection of linens on a mattress. Because it's such a large item, the materials it's made from and where it's made matter. Buying a more sustainably-made bed can mean better pay and fairer working conditions for the people who construct it, whereas many of the "fast furniture" retailers usually often source their products from developing countries where workers are often exploited.

Buying a second-hand bed frame is the most sustainable option in many cases. When shopping for a new sustainable bed, you'll want to consider the materials it's made from, where they come from, and to keep an eye out for trusted certifications and other ethical businesses practices.

We've researched the furniture market to bring you the best eco-friendly bed frames.

The Rundown
Not only are the hardwoods used in the bed frame sustainably sourced, they are dried in solar kilns on site.
This frame is as simple as you can get — but it’s still made with higher quality materials, including FSC certified walnut veneer.
This company’s beautiful wood bed frames are all made in Vermont using sustainable hardwoods.
Made in Avocado Green’s Los Angeles wood shop from 100% FSC-certified wood, and stained with a non-toxic finish.
The company’s HQ is a certified wildlife habitat and they are a member of 1% for the Planet.
Best for a Boxspring:
Saatva Amalfi Bed Frame at Saatva
If you want a luxurious bed, the Saatva Amalfi is made for a box-spring plus mattress combo.
Made to order in the United States, all upholstery is 100% cotton, and it has a foam-fill core.
This bed transforms in a few different ways to fit kids at various ages with various needs.
Being a part of a reuse project makes this bed frame incredibly sustainable, since no new trees were cut down to make it.

Best Overall: Masaya & Co. Coyotepe Bed

Made Trade Coyotepe Bed

Not only are the hardwoods used in the Masaya & Co bed frame sustainably sourced, they are dried in solar kilns on site at the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Managua, Nicaragua. They are finished with low-VOC oil.

The company was initially founded as a reforestation project in Nicaragua, and grew into a furniture brand—but they still plant 100 trees for every product sold. So far, that has resulted in almost a million trees planted to combat deforestation due to clear-cutting, and 150 artisans are employed as well. When you buy through MadeTrade, that company donates to 1% for the Planet and offsets every order so that it’s carbon neutral.

Best Budget: Floyd The Bed Frame

The Floyd Platform Bed

This frame is as simple as you can get—but it’s still made with higher quality materials, including FSC certified walnut veneer (a more expensive option) or birch plywood (the least expensive), which are TSCA Title VI certified to ensure “extremely low adhesive emissions.”

Supports are made from powder-coated steel, and nylon straps are used instead of tools or screws. You can get a headboard with this one, as well as underbed storage, but those add-ons bring the cost of this bed to the same as the others on this list, many of which are made from solid wood, so this is a budget buy only when it’s just the frame on its own.

Best Splurge: Maple Corner Woodworks Cherry Moon Pagoda Bed

Maple Corner Woodworks Cherry Moon Pagoda Bed

This company’s beautiful wood bed frames are all made in Vermont using sustainable hardwoods from New England, Pennsylvania or the Midwest. Opt for cherry or walnut wood and it will be finished with raw linseed oil, derived from the flax plant—this means no VOCs in the finish. Walnut wood is the most expensive option, but the dark wood is coveted by those who appreciate it.

The company’s HQ is a certified wildlife habitat and they are a member of 1% for the Planet. They’ve also had a long-standing partnership with a Central American organization known as Forests for Monarchs and plant thousands of trees every year in Central America that are important for the survival of the Monarch butterfly.

Best Platform: Avocado City Bed Frame

Avocado City Bed Frame

If you buy this one without a headboard, it’s a great deal, but if you prefer a footboard, it’s an option here (not usually the case with a platform bed). It’s made in Avocado Green’s Los Angeles wood shop from 100 percent FSC-certified wood, and stained (in either brown or clear blonde) with a non-toxic finish.

The brand brags that its design is so sturdy, they got a patent for it, and sturdiness means durability, so this one should give decades of service. It boasts no VOCs and is easy to take apart and reassemble.

Best Storage: Lyndon Furniture Sutton Storage Bed

Lyndon Furniture Sutton Storage Bed

This is one of a few storage beds sold by Vermont Wood Studios, and like all of the company's other frames, is made in Vermont using sustainable hardwoods from New England, Pennsylvania, or the Midwest.

This one comes in four wood options (cherry, maple, oak and walnut) and is finished with a clear, non-toxic, low-maintenance lacquer. The under-the-bed drawers are not only a great option for tiny houses and small apartments, but can add storage space to any bedroom.

Best for a Boxspring: Saatva Amalfi Bed Frame

Saatva Amalfi Bed Frame

If you want a luxurious bed, the Saatva Amalfi is made for a box-spring plus mattress combo. It’s made from sustainably sourced hardwood that is kiln dried for durability and strength. Choose the natural linen that’s made without chemicals or dyes for the most sustainable option, although two velvet fabric options are also available.

This bed comes with free delivery and setup, and a lifetime warranty.

Best Upholstered: Abstrakt Lawrence Wingback Platform Bed

Abstrakt Lawrence Wingback Platform Bed

If you are going with an upholstered bed, it’s important to have style options—and this bed offers 16 different fabric colors and prints so you can choose with your design in mind. This frame is labeled with ABC Carpet & Home’s “Goodwood” label because it’s made of FSC-certified wood from responsibly managed forests.

Made to order in the United States, all upholstery is 100 percent cotton, and it has a foam-fill core, but promises to be free of flame-retardant chemicals. A box spring isn’t required for this bed, so you have options for your mattress choice.

Best for Children: Sprout Montessori Floor Bed

Sprout's Montessori Floor Bed

This bed transforms in a few different ways to fit kids at various ages with various needs. With a very simple aesthetic, this bed would fit with almost any decor and is designed to minimize manufacturing waste.

Made from sustainably-sourced Baltic birch wood, it’s easy to assemble (and dissemble) so it can be moved or stored easily. The birch used by Sprout is CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant, which includes less than 0.000005 percent formaldehyde. Finishes are created with layers of a water-based paint and sealed with a non-VOC 100 percent finish.

Best Canopy Bed: VivaTerra Vintage Fir West Linn Canopy Bed

Viva Terra Vintage Fir West Linn Canopy Bed

As the name suggests, this canopy bed is made from vintage wood—the reclaimed Douglas Fir may be up to a century old, and is sourced from razed buildings. Being a part of a reuse project makes it incredibly sustainable, since no new trees were cut down to make it.

Handmade in California, the wood is finished with your choice of one of five water-based, eco-friendly, no-VOC stains.

Final Verdict

For the most eco bona fides at the best price, go for one of the Masaya & Co beds (view at MadeTrade). If you have a bit more to spend, a beautiful canopy bed from reclaimed Douglas Fir by VivaTerra (view at VivaTerra) or one of Vermont Wood Studios’ beds (view at Vermont Wood Studios) will be a love-it-for-decades option.

What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Bed Frames

For the fewest possible air pollutants, look for a solid wood bed frame. Most engineered woods and particleboards contain glues that contain formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), or possibly other chemicals that are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Many in this group of chemicals create a distinctive odor (that smell is often these chemicals offgassing). 

Short-term, VOCs and formaldehyde exposure have reportedly caused eye irritation, coughing, skin allergies, chest tightness and wheezing. Long-term, exposures can increase certain cancer risks and endocrine system disruption, but of course it depends on the dose received, other exposures, and other factors—which is what makes these chemicals tough to regulate. 

In the United States the federal government doesn’t set standards for VOCs but the EPA looked at indoor vs. outdoor air reports that levels of these chemicals are typically 2-5 times higher indoors. The agency links that to “household materials and furnishings” as well as household cleaning products, and dry cleaning chemicals. 

Wood Origin

Now that we’ve narrowed it down a bit, the next thing to consider is where that wood comes from. Old-growth and ecologically important forests the world over are still being logged, destroying animal habitats and in some places, Indigenous people’s homes as well. But wood is a renewable resource, and can be logged in a more sustainable way. 

The best certification for oversight of this process is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification, which you will see on a number of the bed frames on this list. FSC certification has its critics, but it’s a third-party certification with specific standards.

Another sustainable option is reclaimed wood (so a bed frame might be made from wood taken from an old barn or warehouse), which means no new trees were cut down. In many places, local makers will create furniture out of downed or fallen trees, and while there aren’t any of those on this list, they are worth seeking out in your community. 

Finishes and Other Ethical Considerations

The last thing you want to keep an eye out for is finishes like paints and varnishes—look for those that mention low-VOC or no-VOC finishes. You can also look for things like companies that use wind or solar power in their manufacturing facility or shop; those that minimize or tout being zero-waste, and those that give back to community or environmental organizations, or plant trees. 

FAQs

What bed frame materials are sustainable?

Look for solid bed frame made from sustainably forested wood, reclaimed/recycled wood, or wood sourced locally from the United States. Look for low- or no-VOC finishes and natural materials like cotton or linen for upholstery. 

What is the difference between a platform bed and a bed frame?

A platform bed doesn’t require a box spring and so a latex or memory-foam mattress can often sit right on the slats or foundation. That foundation isn’t separate, but either comes with or is built-in (usually a set of slats that can be low-quality and easily breakable or higher-quality and long-lasting).

A bed frame needs a box spring or other support to hold a mattress up above the frame. You will see many bed frames now come with slats, effectively making them a platform bed, since latex/foam mattresses are so popular now and many people are forgoing box springs. So a “bed frame” doesn’t automatically mean it won’t accept a latex bed or mattress without a box spring—if it’s unclear, ask the seller. 

Is it better to buy a mattress and bed frame from the same company?

Mattresses are very standardized sizes, and specs are available online (for bed frames as well), so generally, no. Most companies expect you to mix and match. However, if you have an “extra-thick” mattress or one with a pillow-top, it is probably worth your time to reach out to the bed-frame company you are thinking of buying from. The same goes for oversized mattresses like California King and others outside the standard. Furniture companies are almost always easy to reach and many have a chat option, or you can email if you don’t want to call, so double-checking will be very easy to do before you hit “purchase.”

Why Trust Treehugger?

To make this list, we selected furniture companies that follow ethical and sustainable practices, and use sources of eco-friendly wood.

Author Starre Vartan is a science, environment, and travel writer who specializes in stories about green living and sustainable design.

View Article Sources
  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Volatile Organic Compounds. 2021.

  2. American Cancer Society. What Is Formaldehyde. Cancer.org. 2021.

  3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sources of VOCs. 2021.