How to Stop a Bed From Squeaking (Full 3 Step Guide)

A noisy bed isn’t going to help you get to sleep any faster.

So how do you fix a squeaky bed?

To stop a bed from squeaking, you should clearly identify the cause by examining the mattress, box spring, frame, fixtures, and floorboards; before applying an appropriate fix such as tightening the fixtures and screws, lubricating the joints, filling any gaps, and replacing any broken parts.

The rest of this article shows you how to fix your noisy bed step-by-step.

Alternatively: if you cannot fix your noisy bed then you can buy a new mattress and a compatible frame here.

How to Fix Your Squeaky Bed in 3 Steps

Below is the full 3 step process that you can apply to fix your noisy bed:

1: Pinpoint the Cause (8 Strategies)

Why do beds squeak?

Beds squeak mainly due to a broken box spring, faulty frame, loose slat, noisy castor wheel, loose floorboard, improper fixture (such as where the headboard attaches to the bed frame), or an issue with the more complex mechanisms of an adjustable bed or a Murphy bed.

Below is an 8 step process that shows you how to pinpoint the exact cause of your squeaky bed:

1.1: Remove and Test the Mattress

If you have a spring or hybrid mattress, then the noise could be coming from a broken coil inside your mattress, and whilst some broken coils can poke through the mattress, many go unnoticed.

To find out if your mattress is the cause of your squeaky bed, remove the mattress from the frame, place it on the floor, lie on it and move around to see if the squeak still shows up.

If the mattress makes the same sound then you have a faulty mattress – in which case you should either buy a new mattress, or try to return it under the terms of the sleep trial or warranty if either is still valid in your instance.

If the noise is not apparent, then the issue isn’t with the mattress and you should continue to the next step below.

1.2: Test the Box Spring

If you have a box spring then you should remove it and apply pressure selectively across the entirety of the frame to find out if this is the cause of the noise.

To fix a noisy box spring, you can either try repairing it by tightening any loose fixtures and replacing any broken parts – but if it’s beyond repair, then you might want to consider buying a new mattress without a box spring to reduce the chance of the same issue arising again in the future.

If it’s not the box spring, then move on to the next step below to test the frame.

1.3: Apply Pressure to the Bed Frame

The most common cause of a squeaky bed is due to the bed frame – this is especially common with metal bed frames that have bolts that have come loose and wooden frames that aren’t properly fixed together.

To find out if the bed frame is the cause of your squeaky bed, remove the mattress (and box spring if appropriate), and apply pressure to the bed frame in all planes – and look for obvious signs like broken slats, loose bolts, cracked wood, or other structural issues.

Minor issues like loose fittings can be fixed easily by tightening them or filling gaps with cork cuttings, but broken slats or other major structural issues may require you to buy a new bed frame.

1.4: Rock the Slats

Even if the slats aren’t visibly broken, you should still try moving them around and rocking them to see if they produce a sound – since the sound generated by wood-on-wood or metal-on-metal is a very common cause of a noisy bed.

Creaky wooden slats can be fixed by tacking or gluing them down, whilst noisy metal slats can often be fixed by tightening the bolts and screws.

If the issue isn’t with the frame or the slats, then you should move on to the next step below.

1.5: Move the Castors

If your bed has wheels then you should try moving the bed around to see if it’s the castors that are generating the sound.

If so, this can be fixed by spraying WD40 on the wheels and fixtures, replacing or removing the wheels entirely, or using castor cups.

1.6: Wiggle the Headboard

If you have a headboard or any attaching bedposts, then you should wiggle them around to see if a loose joint or fixture is the cause of your noisy bed.

If so, then you may be able to fix this by tightening the fixtures.

Check out my guide to attaching a headboard to an adjustable bed if it’s appropriate to your situation to ensure that everything is fixed together securely.

1.7: Check the Fixtures and Mechanisms

If you have a more complex bed like an adjustable bed or a Murphy bed, then you should take the time to check the integrity of each joint, fixture, attachment, and mechanism to help remedy the issue of your noisy bed.

If you can’t fix the issue yourself, then you may be able to claim on the warranty or sleep trial if it’s still valid – contact the manufacturer or the company that you purchased your bed from for specific guidance on fixing any broken parts.

1.8: Stand on the Floorboards

If you’ve not been able to identify the cause of your noise bed using the steps above, then the issue may be with your floorboards – move the bed and stand on the floorboards to see if this produces the same sound.

If so, then placing your bed on top of a sheet of plywood may fix the issue by dissipating the downward pressure and providing greater stability.

2: Fix the Squeak (12 Methods)

Below are 12 methods that you can apply as appropriate to fix your noisy bed:

2.1: Tighten Fixtures

Most beds make a noise due to loose fittings, so the most effective way to stop your bed from squeaking is likely going to be to tighten all of the bolts, screws, and other attachments to minimize movement of the frame, slats, and box spring.

Make sure you use an appropriate screwdriver or hex wrench and do NOT overtighten any screws because this can strip the thread and make things worse.

If your bed was nailed together then you might need to purchase some corner braces to strengthen the frame and stop the movement that’s causing the noise.

2.2: Lubricate Joints

To stop a metal bed frame from squeaking, then in addition to tightening all of the bolts, screws, and other fixtures, you should also lubricate any friction points with WD40 or another lubricant to help reduce the chance of the frame making any noise.

2.3: Apply Wax

To stop a wooden bed frame from squeaking, in addition to tightening the bolts, screws, and replacing any broken slats or other parts, you can use beeswax, soap, a candle, or petroleum jelly to reduce the friction points where the wood meets – such as where the wooden slats touch the frame.

2.4: Fill Gaps

If there are gaps remaining – no matter how much you tighten the screws or bolts – then you can try purchasing extra washers to fill these gaps and reduce the movement that may be causing your bed frame to squeak.

You can fill gaps under the legs of the bed or between other joints with cork, cardboard, wood, or other materials to stop the frame from rocking, placing stress on the bed frame, and making noise.

If there’s a gap between the legs and the floor when your Murphy bed is in the downward position, then the frame is likely fixed to the wall too high up – the best solution here is to re-attach the frame to the wall lower down.

Alternatively, if you need a new Murphy bed then you can buy a freestanding Murphy bed cabinet to remove the need to attach the bed to the wall at all.

2.5: Move the Bed

To fix noisy floorboards, you can try placing sheets of plywood under your bed frame or cardboard/cork under the uneven legs to create a more even surface and distribute the pressure more evenly to eliminate any noise.

2.6: Flip or Rotate the Mattress

If your noisy bed is being caused by broken or misplaced springs, you can try flipping or rotating the mattress if you cannot afford to buy a new one to try and distribute the weight more evenly and stop the mattress from making any noise.

However, whilst most mattresses can be rotated, many modern mattresses can NOT be flipped over due to their one-sided design – see my guide to mattress flipping to find out if you can flip your mattress or not.

2.7: Rotate the Box Spring

To fix a noisy box spring, then in addition to tightening the fixtures and replacing broken parts, you can also try turning the box spring around to distribute the weight more evenly and potentially eliminate the noise.

2.8: Fix the Innersprings

To fix a noisy spring mattress, you can try fixing the springs by unzipping the mattress cover if this is possible with your mattress model, and then replacing, removing, or even oiling the broken springs that are causing the noise.

However, you should NOT open the cover if your mattress contains fiberglass.

See my guide to finding out if your mattress contains fiberglass here for exact step-by-step identification instructions and to understand the 3 hidden dangers of having fiberglass in your mattress.

2.9: Pad the Slats

To fix a noisy bed that has loose, broken, or damaged slats (if you cannot replace or repair them) is to pad the gap between the slats and the mattress with old socks, t-shirts, folded bedsheets, or even sheets of plywood, cork, or a mattress topper to reduce friction and movement that could be causing the noise.

Redditors have proven that the method of padding the slats with socks is effective at stopping your bed from squeaking and making a noise.

2.10: Replace Bolts and Screws

To fix a bed that’s noisy due to loose screws that won’t tighten due to their threads being stripped or being bent, then you’ll need to replace them if a washer cannot solve the problem.

2.11: Replace Castors

To fix a bed that’s noisy due to the wheels moving around, you can buy rubber castor cups to put under each wheel.

2.12: Fix Broken Parts

In addition to tightening fixtures and fittings, the most effective step that you can take to stop your bed from squeaking is to replace broken parts like loose slats.

3: Replace the Bed

If you’ve isolated the problem and you’re sure that it’s your mattress and/or bed frame that’s causing the noise and not your floorboards – but you can’t fix the issue – then the best solution is to buy a new mattress and frame.

In which case, I recommend clicking the button below to see some of the best mattresses that you can buy online that come with a compatible frame.

Image Licencing and Attribution

Main image: ‘Fancy Bedroom Interior’ by Bulgac (Getty Images) – used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.