Platform beds are great for eliminating the need for a box spring and creating a sleek bedroom design with a low to the ground bed.
However, getting into a low bed is not always easy, and it can seriously cut down on storage space.
The good news is, elevating your sleeping surface can be an effective and easy solution to these issues.
This guide looks at safe, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing ways to raise your platform bed.
How to Determine the Perfect Height for Your Bed
Most beds have a height ranging between 20 to 30 inches, which is the distance from the floor to the top of the mattress. So, depending on your height, the ideal level of your bed will likely fall somewhere in this range.
We recommend sitting on your bed to determine if it is the right height for you. If your sleeping surface is at the correct height, your feet will be flat on your floor, and your knees will have a 90-degree bend.
If your feet don’t touch the floor, your bed is too high. On the other hand, if your feet are on the floor, and your knees are higher than your hips at an angle sharper than 90 degrees, your bed is too low for you.
Once you know approximately how many inches you want to raise your bed, you can move on to the next step and determine the best method.
How to Make Your Bed Higher
Various methods are available to elevate your bed, and you need to select one that fits your and your partner’s sleeping requirements. You also need to take practical considerations and your bedroom’s design style into account. Ways to raise your platform bed higher include:
- Installing bed frame risers
- Adding a wheel or caster to each leg
- Placing a bed wedge on your mattress
- Using a mattress topper
The sections below take an in-depth look at each method.
Reasons for Elevating Your Platform Bed
Consider carefully your reasons for lifting the bed to ensure that you select the correct method. Comfort and convenience are the most common reasons for lifting a bed, especially among taller individuals or those with mobility issues. You may also want to raise the head section of your bed for incline sleep therapy to help alleviate acid reflux or sleep apnea.
Your reasons for elevating the platform may be practical, such as increasing the available storage space underneath your bed or making the sleeping surface level with taller nightstands. Some people don’t like the appearance of a low bed, which is also a reason to elevate the platform.
The elevation method you choose should contribute to a stable sleeping platform, especially if you are an elderly individual or someone who finds it difficult to get in and out of bed. Poorly installed bed lifts can topple, causing the platform to injure your shin or crush your foot.
Wheels without brakes can make your bed slide out from underneath you as you get in, which is the last thing you need if you have a back injury or other mobility issues.
The type of bed lift should complement the interior design features of your room. Appearance is generally not an issue with wedges or toppers, but wheels or metal risers can give your bed a clinical or industrial look in the wrong setting.
Additional Storage Space
By elevating your platform bed, the space underneath the mattress can be a practical storage solution. Installing bed risers to the platform feet will give you the ground clearance you need to fit suitcases, throw pillows, and drawers. Other items you can store underneath your platform bed include off-season clothes, shoes, and bed organizers.
Raising your platform bed is more affordable than replacing it with a higher platform. However, you want to make sure that the method you use is the most cost-effective over the long run. Pay attention to quality and longevity so that you don’t need to replace low-quality wheels, risers, toppers, or wedges prematurely.
In some cases, paying a premium for a bed-lifting solution is worth it to ensure visual appeal, practicality, or durability.
Correct Elevation Level
Select a bed-elevation method that lifts your sleeping surface to the correct height. If you are tall or struggle with mobility, find out which mattress surface level will provide you with optimal comfort before spending money on a riser, wheels, or foam product.
Go With the Platform Bed Risers
Bed risers are cube-like boxes or posts you can attach to your bed’s legs to make them longer. The number of pieces you need depends on the product type and size.
Some risers are adjustable, while others replace the platform’s legs entirely. High-end lifters even feature USB ports you can use to charge your electronic devices.
Platform bed lifters let you elevate the entire sleeping surface while keeping it level to the floor, but they are generally not suitable for incline sleep therapy. If you are a tall sleeper, elderly, or someone who has difficulty getting in and out of bed, consider bed risers to lift your bed.
The Advantages of Bed Risers
Platform bed risers provide a practical way to elevate your bed to the correct height safely. These products are highly adjustable, and they are usually easy to install, even if you have no DIY experience. Whether you want to get in and out of bed in comfort, lift your bed for aesthetic purposes, or increase the available storage space under your bed, bed lifters are a worthy option.
Bed Risers Are Not for Everyone
Bed risers lift the sleeping surface as a whole, keeping it parallel to the ground. If you have a shorter partner, the risers may make it difficult for them to get in and out of bed. In this case, we recommend a single mattress topper or wedge on your side of the bed.
If your bed doesn’t have a frame, you can’t use bed risers, as they replace the platform legs or attach to them. Raising a bed without legs, such as a box spring bed, requires a mattress topper, foam wedge, or solid platform below the base mattress.
Height and Weight Limit Considerations
The height that bed risers add to your platform bed depends on the product type. Most riser sets can lift a bed by two to 12 inches, and you can adjust the height by adding or removing pieces.
Weight capacity is a critical consideration to ensure safety, bed stability, and riser longevity. Cheap bed riser sets typically have a load-bearing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds. Higher-end bed riser sets can withstand weights of 10,000 pounds or higher.
When determining your weight limit requirement, consider the weights of:
- You and your partner
- Your mattress and bed platform
- All bedding, including comforters and high-density foam products
- Children and pets
Using Bed Risers with a Headboard
If your headboard is a built-in platform component, you will likely only need four bed risers, one for each leg. However, if your headboard is separate from your platform, you’ll need two additional pieces to lift the two headboard feet to the same level as the platform. So before buying a set, make sure it has enough risers for your headboard and each platform leg.
Install Bed Risers Correctly
Installing bed risers properly is crucial to preventing the platform from buckling or shifting, especially if you fit multiple pieces to each leg. Most sets come with manufacturer instructions you need to follow to ensure correct installation.
You don’t need any technical expertise or special tools to install bed risers, and the entire process takes 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of pieces you are installing.
Choosing a Bed Riser That Is Right for You
Unlike foam wedges and mattress toppers, bed risers do not affect your sleep quality, and they only make it easier for you to get into bed at night. Still, you need to ensure that the set you buy fits your platform and other unique requirements.
The sections below discuss the different riser types and materials to help you choose the right set for your needs.
Bed Riser Types
Screw-in Bed Risers
Screw-in bed risers are pillar-shaped and attach directly to the bed frame with threaded rods or other types of fasteners. In essence, these risers are longer replacements of your bedframe’s legs, and you need to remove the legs before installing the risers.
You’ll need to install screw-in bed risers correctly and ensure that they have the correct load-bearing capacity for your bed. As part of the installation process, you might need to drill new holes or fit attachments to your frame as the connection point for the new risers. For optimal stability, select a riser with a relatively wide diameter.
Screw-in risers are available in various materials, with wood being the most popular. Other materials include rubber and plastic.
This bed riser type is the best option for aesthetic appeal, and it is ideal for platform beds. However, for bunk beds, consider a more stable option, such as stackable bed lifts.
Adjustable Bed Risers
Adjustable bed lifters look like upside-down cups fitting on top of each other, and they increase in size from top to bottom. The bed legs fit into holes in the smaller top risers, which, in turn, fit into the larger risers below them. The bottom pieces have a large flat surface to provide optimal stability.
Most adjustable riser sets include pieces with heights of three inches and five inches, and you can combine them to elevate your bed by eight inches. However, not all sets conform to these standards, and you can shop around until you find a set that will lift your bed to the right level for your needs.
Adjustable risers are easy to install, and they fit snugly into each other, so you don’t need to use fasteners or tools.
Stackable Bed Risers
People often confuse stackable and adjustable lifters, as they have similar construction. The main difference between these two riser types is that stackable risers don’t consist of multiple units that fit into each other. Instead, a stackable riser set consists of four pieces of the same size, and you can conveniently stack them on top of each other in storage, hence the name.
Stackable risers fit directly to your bed’s legs, and their heights range from two inches to six inches. This riser type is the most affordable, and they are available in various materials, including plastic, metal, and wood.
Different Materials for Risers
Material is a critical bed riser buyer consideration, affecting the pieces’ stability, durability, and cost. Bed lifters are available in various materials, with the most popular including metal, wood, and plastic. Some sets feature rubber pieces for added traction. Below, we discuss the best riser materials.
All riser types are available in this material, and they are ideal for metal frames. Metal bed risers are highly durable and resistant to moisture and impact damage.
These pieces also have the highest load-bearing capacity, and they are suitable for heavier sleepers. Most metal risers have a powder coat for added protection and a more industrial appearance.
Adjustable and stackable risers often have a plastic construction with a relatively low price tag. The weight limits of plastic risers are relatively low, and they don’t offer the same durability as wood or metal. On the upside, these pieces look great with any interior design, and they are cheap to replace.
Wooden bed risers offer the best value in terms of aesthetics and structural strength. These pieces are ideal for wooden platform beds, and the wooden screw-in lifters are easier to install than their metal and plastic counterparts. With proper maintenance, your wood bed risers can last as long as your platform bed.
Add Wheels to the Bed Frame
Attaching wheels to your platform bed’s legs is a practical way to increase its height. You also make your bed easier to move around by adding wheels, saving valuable time when rearranging or cleaning your room.
Adding wheels to a bed frame might not be a viable option for all people. Wheels can be unattractive, and you need to add a bed skirt that hides them from view. A bed that rolls around also doesn’t provide you with the stability you need if you recover from an injury or have mobility problems.
When selecting wheels for your bed, consider their install requirements and the height they add. Ideally, the wheels should be lockable to prevent your bed from moving around.
Install Bed Wedges
A bed wedge is a triangular product that fits under the head of your mattress, lifting your upper section. This elevation method doesn’t make it easier to get in and out of bed. Still, it provides an incline configuration to relieve sleeping-related issues, such as sleep apnea, heartburn, and respiratory difficulties. Sleeping on a wedge can also improve poor blood circulation.
Wedges are available in varying degrees of sophistication. Examples of wedges include:
- Basic wood wedges
- Hypoallergenic foam wedge pillows you can place on top of your mattress
- Adjustable wedges you can operate using a remote control
A wedge fitting on top of the mattress is the ideal solution if you and your partner sleep in different positions. However, if both of you sleep in an inclined position, an under-mattress wedge will work.
Opt for a Mattress Topper
A mattress topper is a foam product you can place below your bedding on top of your mattress. This option can elevate your sleeping surface while improving pressure relief or support.
If you are looking to significantly increase your bed’s height, risers may be a better option, as mattress toppers are only up to four inches thick. However, unlike bed risers, a mattress topper may enhance your sleeping experience and alleviate back pain.
Generally speaking, you’ll want a firm mattress topper for back support and a soft mattress topper for pressure relief. If you weigh more than 230 pounds, consider a firm topper, especially if you have a soft mattress. According to Cleveland Clinic, if your hips are wider than your waist, you’ll need a plush topper to keep your body in alignment.
See Our Full Guide: Best Mattress Toppers
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose the best bed risers for my situation?
To ensure that you select the proper bed risers, consider the following factors:
- Height: Your bed risers should elevate your bed to a level where you can comfortably get in and out. When sitting on your bed, your feet should be flat on the floor with a 90-degree bend in your knees.
- Material: Metal bed risers have the highest durability. Wood risers are also durable, and they provide a unique visual appeal.
- Weight limit: Your bed riser set should be able to withstand the weight of your bed platform, mattress, bedding, and all sleepers.
- Aesthetics: Select a lifter set that matches your bed platform and your bedroom’s décor.
Are bed risers safe?
Bed risers are generally safe, provided that you do your homework and select a suitable set for your bed frame. When installing a new set of risers, make sure that:
- Each piece attaches securely to your bed’s legs or frame
- The riser base is stabler and broader than your bed’s legs
- The pieces have no signs of damage, such as cracks
- All risers stand on a level plane and not on an uneven surface
All bed legs should fit correctly and snugly into their risers. If you apply pressure to the side of your bed and the feet shift inside the risers, you need to replace them.
The traction between the risers and floor should also be sufficient to prevent the bed from sliding around, especially on tile and laminate flooring. Stability is of particular importance for sleepers who have mobility difficulties.
Raising your bed can have several benefits: If you are a tall individual, a higher sleeping surface can make it easier to get in and out of bed. You may also want to use the area underneath your bed as storage space or raise the head of your mattress for incline sleeping therapy.
Several methods are available to elevate your platform bed. You can attach wheels, place a mattress topper, or insert a wedge underneath your mattress. Installing bed risers is one of the most effective ways to lift your bed, especially if you have difficulty getting in and out of bed. Lastly, explore the best mattresses for platform beds.
Jill Zwarensteyn is the Editor for Sleep Advisor and a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.
Sources and References:
- “The Influence of Head of Bed Elevation in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea”, Harvard Library, June 24, 2017
-  “Is Your Sleeping Position Causing You Back Pain”, Cleveland Clinic, August 29, 2019