How to Stabilize a Wobbly Bed Frame

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Things You'll Need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver set

  • Measuring tape

  • Level

  • Helpers

  • Cloth

  • Wood glue

  • Clamps

  • Bed rope

  • Bed frame repair kit

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A wobbly bed frame makes it difficult to sleep and creates a potential safety hazard. The wobbling may result from loose bolts or separating joints that, when pulled completely apart, can cause the entire bed frame to collapse. Typically, stabilizing a wobbly frame involves evaluating the frame and floor area to determine the reason for the wobbling and using simple tools and bed rail hardware to repair as needed.


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Step 1

Remove the mattress, box spring and/or padding from your bed frame and set aside.

Step 2

Tighten any bolts holding your bed frame together with a wrench or screwdriver. Often a bed frame begins to wobble as the result of loose hardware not holding the rails together.


Step 3

Rejoin any separating joints on a wooden frame. Separating joints can cause the wooden frame to shift, creating a swaying or wobbly motion.

For a non-glued frame, rejoin by asking one or more people to help you hold the frame. Lay cloths on both sides of the first joint to protect the wood from rubber marks and gently use a mallet to hammer the joint together. Repeat on the other joints.


For a previously glued frame, rejoin by applying glue inside the first separated joint. Lay cloths on both sides of the joint—in this scenario to also catch any excess glue—and gently hammer the joint together with your rubber mallet. Clamp the area to secure while drying. Repeat on any other separated joints.


Step 4

Measure the length of the legs and/or feet on your bed frame with a measuring tape to determine if all of the legs and/or feet are of the same length. If not, the frame may have become uneven. In addition, check the slope of the floor with a carpenter's level as length-matched legs or feet on an uneven slope can cause wobbling. In either scenario, adjust the length of the existing legs and/or feet or replace with new ones that level the bed frame.


Step 5

Check ropes for sagging if you have a rope-style mattress support on your bed frame and re-rope with help from one or more people if loose. Check the pegs and joint areas; hammer together any that have begun to separate as pegs and joints provide the primary support for the frame. The ropes on this style of frame and mattress support system also secure the shape of the frame. If the ropes loosen, the pegs and joints separate easily, causing the wooden frame to not only wobble but to pull apart completely.

Step 6

Use a bed repair kit to fix the wobbling.


If you own an old wooden bed frame, check the frame for cracks and moisture or insect damage that may have caused the wood to deteriorate and become destabilized. If you find that the wood has destabilized from cracks or moisture, repair the frame. If you find insect damage, remove and replace the damaged pieces, treat the frame with an insect repellent that is non-toxic to humans, dry and seal.


Always remove the mattress, box spring and/or padding before stabilizing your bed frame, not only so that you can better see potential repair areas, but also because any weight on the frame can cause the frame to collapse while working, possibly injuring you or others.