How to Disassemble a Bed Frame

When it's time to move the bed to another room or another house, you'll find that it comes apart into a number of easy-to-handle sections. The only tools you need to disassemble it are a screwdriver, a wrench and -- perhaps -- pliers and a hammer. When you're done taking the bed frame apart, the largest piece you have to lift is usually the headboard, and that fits easily through the bedroom door and down the hall or into your truck.

Bedroom
credit: suksao999/iStock/Getty Images
Once your bed frame is in pieces, a single person can transport it.

Moving the Box Spring and Mattress

You're going to need room to move around the bedroom while you're disassembling the frame, so move the mattress and box spring out of the room. You can't disassemble either of these, and the mattress can be awkward to manipulate, because it's flexible. Remove all the covers and sheets so you can turn it on its edge without extraneous items getting in the way. To make it easier to transport, fashion two rope handles with which you and your helper can support it from underneath its bottom edge. Your back will thank you, and the mattress will remain cleaner because you won't have to slide it on the ground.

Removing the Support Slats

If your bed doesn't have a box spring, the mattress probably rests on a series of slats that extend between the rails. In some cases, these slats are joined together, and all you have to do is roll them up. If they're not joined, they may not all be the same length, so number them with a pencil before you remove them so you can put them back in the same order. You may have to unscrew them from the rails; if they're connected with corner brackets, you should remove the brackets while you're doing this.

Save the Screws

The disassembly procedure isn't the same for all bed frames, but a few general principles apply to all of them. Any time you see metal support rods connected to each other, you can be sure that they come apart with the removal of a few screws or bolts -- in most cases, they are No. 2 Phillips screws. Disassemble all these metal parts before you try to remove the rails from the head and foot boards. Put all the screws in a plastic bag -- don't just set them down or put them in your pocket. You're going to need every one of them when it's time to put the bed back together, and you may not be able to find a replacement for a lost one.

Disassembling the Rails

The final step in the disassembly procedure is to disconnect the rails from the headboard and foot board, and this is where a hammer may come in handy. If you see slits in the legs at the points where the rails connect, the rails have hooks that rest on pins in the legs. To loosen the hooks, you often have to give the rail a sharp upward hammer blow near the connection point. Once the rail loosens, it comes off the pins easily. Some rails are connected with bolts; if so, loosen the bolts with a wrench and remove them. Disassemble both rails from either the headboard or foot board before disassembling them from the other end.