What is a Panel Bed

What Is A Panel Bed? – A comparison of Panel vs Platform Beds

Posted By Vaibhavi K on Jul 1, 2021

Are you looking to buy a new bed? A panel bed can be a good option, especially if you want extra comfort when sleeping. But what is a panel bed? This write-up seeks to help you choose a bed that works for you.

A good bed should meet your needs in terms of use and comfort levels. With the correct bed type, you will get a restful night, waking up refreshed and ready to face the day.

What Is a Panel Bed?

A panel bed is a bed with a sturdy base, two side panels, and a headboard. Simply, it has a four-wall frame and a sturdy structure that enables it to hold heavy mattresses and box springs. A panel bed provides support to the mattress, helping users sleep comfortably and wake up while well-rested.

The large headboard is made from a solid wood or metal panel. Its base features slatted wood bard panels that make the entire setup more breathable. That helps improve the life of the mattress as well as its foundation.

Are panel beds comfortable? Yes, together with a mattress a panel bed often needs a box spring for more comfort. That’s an old practice that has been around ever since the first panel beds emerged. 

Features of a Panel Bed

Even though panel beds tend to differ in style and functionality, they have the same basic features. The following are some of the common characteristics of these beds:

Traditional Appearance

The panel bed frame has the traditional appearance that first emerged in the early 20th century with the first mass production of mattresses. They have an elaborate, ornate appearance that gives them the traditional ornamented design aesthetic.

Box Springs

A panel bed requires box springs to support a mattress, ensuring optimal support and comfort. Box springs also add to the bed’s overall height. However, they can be heavy, cumbersome, and hard to move.


Panel beds feature raised headboards that might have drawers or shelving for improved storage options. They can be made from solid wood and metal as well as upholstery material. Some might even have footboards.


A footboard is a raised panel on the foot of a panel bed, securing the mattress in place and stopping you from falling off the bed. Besides, the footboard is also primarily decorative, giving the bed an aesthetic appeal.

Under-bed Storage:

Panel beds with legs save lots of space underneath for storage of various household items. Other beds may even provide a drawer or under-bed storage compartments for tucking away various household items.

Types of Panel Beds

There are different types of beds in this category, depending on the type of customization a customer needs. A designer can add various features like slats, metal rods, upholstery, solid wood, and wicker. The panel bed frame may feature slats, several metal bars, or just one bar. They can be made of:

  • Wicker
  • Solid wood
  • Can be upholstered
  • With metal rods
  • With slats

Another option is the twin panel bed. But what is a twin-panel bed? It is a panel bed made in the form of a bunk bed for kids who need to share a bedroom.

What Is a Platform Bed?

Platform beds have low and sturdy bases for holding a mattress without needing a box spring. Most platform beds sit a little lower than other types of beds. Therefore, a platform doesn’t require you to use a mattress foundation. 

However, if you want to raise the height of your overall bed, you need to use a box spring on a platform bed. Otherwise, the bed level will remain quite low making it difficult for you to sit on.

Platform Bed

What Is the Difference Between a Panel Bed and a Platform Bed?

You might not be able to tell the difference between a panel bed and a platform bed because they can look similar. So what is a panel bed vs. platform? Here are some differences between the two types of beds:

Aesthetics and Style

Panel beds are large and ornate, making them generally more aesthetically appealing than platform beds. Platform beds, on the other hand, are minimalistic looking with very few decorative details.


Panel beds are large and sturdy so that they can support a box spring and mattress at the same time. Platform beds are sleeker since they do not require you to use a box spring.

Box Spring

Panel beds usually require a box spring in addition to the mattress. As for the platform bed, the box spring is unnecessary. However, you may use a panel bed without a box spring, even though that is not recommended.

Which Is Better: Platform or Panel Bed?

  • A panel bed is more prominent and sturdier, with a footboard and headboard for creating a more appealing look. Besides, a panel bed is more raised and comfortable.
  • An upholstered platform bed, on the other hand, is smaller and with a minimalist look. It doesn’t rely on a box spring and looks a tad less elevated than the panel bed. It is excellent for those looking for a comfortable bed without too many decorations.
  • The panel bed design enables it to support a mattress and a box spring. A panel bed doesn’t directly support a mattress, making it impossible for you to use it without mattress support.
  • Platform beds, on the other hand, do not require the use of a mattress foundation, allowing users to place a mattress right on top of the bed. 

Do note that the box spring serves more functions than acting as a mattress support. It provides extra comfort due to the springs. The box spring makes the panel bed a little higher than most other similar furniture pieces. Therefore, a panel bed looks more aesthetically appealing than a platform bed.


You can buy a panel bed or platform bed depending on the look you wish to achieve in your bedroom. We hope this article helped you.


How much do panel beds cost?

A panel bed may cost close to $600, depending on the manufacturer and seller of the product. The cost is also dictated by the intricate decorative details appearing on the headboard or the footboard. In determining the price of a panel bed, the size also matters.

What type of mattress is best for a panel bed?

The best mattress for a panel bed is one that works well with a box spring. And that means you can use any mattress on the market as long as its size works well with that particular bed. Any foam mattress would do well on a panel bed.

What offers more support: a panel bed or platform bed?

A platform bed offers more support than a panel bed since it features a sturdy base that can hold a mattress on its own. A panel bed, on the other hand, requires mattress support such as a box spring. That’s because it doesn’t have enough slats to hold a mattress without support.

Does the panel bed need a box?

Yes. A panel bed requires a box spring to support the mattress. That’s because the bed base doesn’t have enough slats to hold the mattress on its own compared to the platform bed.

What differentiates panel beds from other beds?

Panel beds are different from other beds due to fewer slats, making it necessary to use mattress support such as a box spring. A panel bed also has a headboard and footboard, which hold the mattress in place and provide an aesthetic appeal. Finally, it is substantially large-sized compared to platform beds.