A squeaky bed is one of the last things you want to encounter while you are drifting off. It can interrupt your slumber, especially if you are a light sleeper. It can disturb both you and your co-sleeper. In other words, nobody is signing up for this “add-on”.
However, it is important to face it head-on once it starts showing up. And knowing how to fix a squeaky bed should be a top priority The creaky sounds could be coming from loose fasteners or corroded joints. Or they could be signaling you to replace your old, battered mattress. It could even be something worse like a bed frame is about to give way.
The first thing to do is to locate the source. And then you can decide what to do next. This guide will take you through the steps, so you can just refer to it from time to time in case you forget what step follows. You have different approaches to use depending on the culprit: is it the bed frame, box spring, or mattress?
Table of Contents
- How to Figure Out Why Your Bed Is Making Noises
- How to Fix A Squeaky Bed
- Squeaky Bed During Sex
How to Figure Out Why Your Bed Is Making Noises
Inspect Each Part of the Bed
Have you been wondering where the noise is actually coming from? Maybe you’ve been hearing something creaky and metallic here? Or something squeaky and rubbery there? Stop guessing and start investigating.
For this step, you’ll have to remove each part of the bed. Lift the mattress first and the box spring (if you have one) next. You should be able to place them in a wide, open space. Make sure they’re out of reach of children or pets.
This should set you up for the next step. You now want to know if it’s indeed your mattress that is making the noise. Innerspring or hybrid types are likely culprits. But you should not discount all-foam ones. Box springs, of course, have springs. And bed frames could have screws or parts incorrectly placed.
Check the Mattress
So, let’s start with the topmost part, which you come in contact with when you drift off. You can lay the mattress flat on the floor. Begin to roll over its surface. While we said to make it off-limits to kids, you can actually call them in to help at this point. Let them jump up and down the bed. Cover the entire surface area to be sure.
Press on the parts to reach every nook and cranny. Once you are clear it’s not the mattress, then good for you. But if it is, see if it’s still within warranty. Some models come with 10, 20, or 25 years. A few are protected by lifetime coverage. The shortest can be 3 to 5 years. If your warranty has expired, then it’s probably time to replace your squeaky mattress.
Check the Box Spring
If you’re using a box spring, then follow the same steps you did for the mattress. Put it on the floor and roll over the surface. You can also press your palms section by section. Don’t forget the corners and edges. But no jumping from kids this time. If it makes noise, then the problem might be the coils. Otherwise, it’s the wooden or metal parts hitting something.
It’s time to switch if the box spring is old. If new, see what you can with the warranty.
Check the Bed Frame/Foundation
Once you’ve cleared the mattress and the box spring, it’s time to check the bed frame or foundation. Do this even if you’ve found the culprit. Cover all sides and corners of the bed base. It’s possible that some screws are loose at the joints. That’s a common issue with these structures, which you can easily solve with a screwdriver.
On the opposite end, the joints may be held tightly by the screws. The parts may be rubbing against each other. Hence, the creaking. In this case, apply some coating of beeswax or WD-40.
You will learn more about how to fix a squeaky bed frame in the next section.
How to Fix A Squeaky Bed
Let’s go over how to fix a squeaky bed frame first. Here are the steps to follow:
Prepare the Proper Tools
Make sure you have the right tools for the job. Once you’ve found the reason for the noise, prepare what’s needed. If the screws are too tight or loose, use a screwdriver that matches the size of the screws’ head. If you are going to deal with bolts, you will need a wrench instead.
Tighten the Joints
The squeaking noise is often the result of a loose joint. Get your tool and start tightening the loose areas, be they held up by bolts or screws. You will know if they’re tight enough when you are no longer able to turn any screw or bolt further. Once done, check if the creaking is gone. Apply pressure on many parts to ensure you’ve hit the nail on the head.
If the bolt or screw won’t tighten, you might need to insert a washer in between the bolt or screw and the panel. A washer is a thin plate with a hole in the middle which helps spread the load and prevent bolts or screws from getting loose.
Take Apart from the Frame
If the squeaking persists, it is time to take apart the frame. You need your tools from the first step back. Loosen the bolts and screws. Make sure to put them in one place, such as a ziplock bag or case they came in. Do not lose any of the parts so as not to make matters worse.
Set the parts that make up the joint on the floor or against the wall, whatever is safe.
Lubricate the Parts
Now, this part entails paying attention. You need to lubricate all the components that make up your joints. From the flat surfaces to the hooks and fasteners, you must cover all areas to guarantee that the squeaking will be gone. You can use a store-bought lubricant, such as WD-40. This is perfect for metal bed frames. It comes in a spray form for easier application and drying.
A bar of paraffin wax can also be rubbed on the surfaces to reduce corrosion. If you don’t have access to these store-bought products, you can substitute them with candle wax. Rub it like you would the paraffin wax on the surfaces.
Put Back the Bed Frame
After applying lubricant, you can now reassemble the panels in their proper place. Return all the hooks and fasteners to their rightful place. Lock them up to make sure the joints are steady. Be very careful about the setup as you don’t want to cause more squeaks.
Check for Squeaks
Try the steps we used to inspect the source of the squeaks. Shake the frame on all sides and listen for any noise. Normally, it should be gone if you put things back together properly. If not, go back to the fasteners to see if you missed anything.
A squeaky box spring can be common. So the steps on how to fix a squeaky box spring are very straightforward. However, you might have to cut a hole at the bottom side of your box spring. So this procedure is at the moderate difficulty level:
Add Padding to the Bed Frame
You will need fabric for this step. It can be your old pillows and towels, as well as shirts and sheets. These will be used as padding for the spaces between your box spring and bed frame. If you know the source location of the noise and tension, that will help you focus your attention on that area.
So, take the old pieces of fabric and place them underneath the box spring and above the bed frame. You can also insert more in between the bed frame panels and the box spring edges. Wedging pillows between the wall and the bed frame can fill the gap that’s causing the bed frame to shake back and forth or side to side.
Just a word of caution: Do not overdo the padding method. Avoid bulking up the bed as this can damage wooden or metal slats. The surface would also feel uneven if you do not line up the materials nicely.
This step requires you to spray lubricant, preferably WD-40, to the coil units inside your box spring. So be very clear about your intention as this includes putting a hole in the box spring cover and stitching it back up. Aside from grease, you will need a knife or a box cutter.
So, you can create a hole or open up a side using the knife or box cutter. You can cut from the bottom side to hide the stitches later. Aim the spray lubricant to the coils. You should be able to reach all areas in order to grease the box spring correctly. Once the spots are saturated, sew up the opening and flip the box spring back to the original position.
Use Plywood Underneath
Is the box spring still noisy? After padding and greasing, you may think that something else is the problem if it persists. But you may need to provide a buffer between the box spring and the bed frame. A piece of plywood might just cut it. The material does not have to be thick. And you can have it cut in the hardware store to complement your bed dimensions.
If you have spare plywood at home, cut it accordingly. Precision is key here. If the plywood is too small, it might not work as intended. And you will be left with a bed that still squeaks.
Innerspring and hybrid mattresses are the usual suspects here. Let’s leave all-foam designs alone as the squeak can be a symptom of something else. Or you can skip to the third step for that:
Rotate the Mattress
If you are using a hybrid or an innerspring, you can try this method first. Rotating simply means you are turning the bed 180 degrees. The head area becomes the foot area, and vice-versa. But the surface is the same surface you have been lying on. It’s different from flipping, which requires you to make the surface the new base and the base the new surface.
Aside from sanitary purposes, you would want the squeaky noise to go away. Rotating may help distribute the weight and pressure across the springs. Hopefully, this should allow the springs to recover and stop annoying you at night. If the problem persists, proceed with the next step.
Apply Pressure Using Heavy Objects
What you want here is for the source of squeaking to be precisely located. You will then need a flat, heavy object that can put enough pressure on the mattress spring in question. A set of books should do.
Bring out an old towel and place it in the target area. Then, pile up the books you have. Leave them in place for a few hours. The idea here is to get the misbehaving spring or springs fixed. Check if you have succeeded afterward.
Place Plywood Underneath
This is similar to the treatment we described for fixing a problematic box spring. So, do the same steps for your mattress. Buy or upcycle a piece of plywood, cut to fit the bed frame on which your mattress sits. This should provide a buffer between the two structures. Also, it will add some firmness to your sleeping space.
If all else fails, and if it is within the trial period set by the manufacturer, you can request a replacement or return the mattress. It may be a factory defect which the QA did not detect (which sounds a bit off, because how could the QA miss it?). You don’t want to get stuck on a squeaky bed.
Make sure that this case is also covered by your warranty if it happens after the trial period has elapsed.
However, if it is an old mattress, it might be a sign to let go and buy a new mattress. All-foams are great at not squeaking by the way.
Squeaky Bed During Sex
Whether or not you have kids or guests sleeping in the other room, a squeaky bed can be too much of a distraction when you are feeling frisky. Of course, you might be thinking if the noises your bed is making would wake up the little ones. This constant worrying and thinking can sully the mood.
Also, as we said, the squeaks can be a sign of a bigger problem. Doing your thing might make it worse. So, if you can postpone your amorous activities, please do so. And fix the issue before it gets out of hand. Do not mistake the squeaks for a bounce. One is a problem and the other is a perk.
It can be harder to deal with box springs and innerspring/hybrid mattresses. It might be easier to ditch the misbehaving item and buy a new one. But if it’s a new purchase, you may not have the budget to replace it right away. Check the return and exchange policy of your manufacturer.
And that’s just some of the things you can do. If you jumped to this part, we recommend going through the previous sections as they are the meat of this article. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to fixing squeaky beds. You need to go through the whole ordeal for your peace of mind.
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