We Tested (and Rated!) Every Bed Frame at Pottery Barn — Here Are the Best for Your Space and Style

updated Apr 9, 2024
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Bedroom of Pottery barn furniture and decor with canopy bed. Seal in upper left reads: Apartment Therapy Personal Shopper Pottery Barn Beds 2024
Credit: Pottery Barn

When it comes to shopping online, it’s almost impossible to discern the finish, texture, and details that make a bed frame worth the cost, especially if the cost is in the realm of several thousand dollars. As one of the more expensive home essentials that doubles as decor, bed frames include a number of constructive and aesthetic components to consider… but many of us don’t have the time, patience, or ability to check them out in-person. Of course, most big home decor purchases, including sofas and sectionals, dining tables, coffee tables, and rugs, aren’t all that easy to commit to sight unseen either, but that’s why we’re here.

As your Personal Shopper, we’re visiting the showrooms and stores of your favorite home brands to put all the hard-to-online-shop-for items to the test, this time focusing on bed frames. We went, saw, poked, prodded, and laid on every bed frame at a couple of Pottery Barn‘s New York City locations, and now, we’re reporting back to you, dear reader, our honest opinions about them all. Without further ado, read on to find out which Pottery Barn bed frames are worth the investment (and which one could be ideal for you).


The Bed Frames

The range of bed frames carried by Pottery Barn is not limited to this list. Visit the website for more options.

Why Pottery Barn?

As one of the premier spots across the country to shop for home decor, Pottery Barn is a reliable retailer. It’s a brand that, overall, has demonstrated its capacity to stay on top of trends and remain true to its best-selling classics and Americana roots. Beyond this, Pottery Barn has its Design Crew, or team of interior design experts across the country, to help with all things planning, logistics, and aesthetics for your home. Not only can you take your pick from virtual, storefront, or in-home meetings with crew members, but they will also listen to your every desire when it comes to your dream space — whether it’s one room or your entire home — and develop custom renderings. Oh, and they’ll do it for free. Yep, free. No need to purchase anything, either (though, yes, you’re probably going to want to).

The Criteria

We judged every Pottery Barn bed frame we found in-store based on the following five criteria, giving each category an average rating between 1 and 5.

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Customizability: Does it come in different varieties? How many colors, finishes, materials, or sizes is it available in? How granular can you get when customizing the bed frame?

Space needs: How much space does the bed frame require? Does it have a canopy or need high ceilings? Is it particularly bulky or does it stay close to its appointed mattress size?

Platform height: How high off of the ground is the bed frame? Would it generally require bending down or reaching up to get into?

Storage capacity: Does the bed frame include drawers? Does it have space underneath for under-bed storage? Does its headboard have storage capacity?

Appearance: What style of decor does the bed frame suit best? Does its design lean warm and rustic or sleek and modern? Is it classic with upholstery and detailing or contemporary with clean lines and versatile minimalism?

Keep in mind: We’ve focused our testing on the bed frames’ visual and tangible elements, serving as your eyes and hands in-store rather than highlighting the specifications that can be found online. While we’ve supplemented our criteria with a few of these distinguishing details, such as materials and dimensions, we are primarily reporting which Pottery Barn bed frames are worth it — for whom, where, and why — with lifestyle functionality and interior design as our priorities.


Every Editor-Tested Bed Frame at Pottery Barn

What Impressed Us: The details.

Everything was clearly highly considered when the Astoria storage headboard and platform frame were designed, from the quality of the wood to the dimensions of its storage space. It’s a solid solution for those who need a frame with storage capacity but have minimal space on either side of their bed. With its roomy storage headboard and spacious underneath, it does add about a foot to the length of the bed overall, but leaves room for under-bed storage as well as three spacious shelves on both sides for books, baskets, devices, what have you. The top of the headboard also serves as a shelf, and since it’s crafted from quality solid wood, it’s a reliable place to keep heavy items like planters and lamps. The Astoria is made well and built to last with a price tag that challenges other Pottery Barn bed frames — even those made with engineered wood.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid mango wood
  • Available in 2 sizes and 2 finishes
  • Slat roll support system; no box spring required

Best Scandi-Chic: Portola Canopy Bed

What impressed us: The clean-lined modular canopy.

One of the newest bed models, the Portola canopy expertly merges a solid oak frame in Pottery Barn’s signature Seadrift finish with crisp white Tencel upholstery on the headboard and footboard. It was positioned front and center when we entered the store and made an immediate impression with its imposing but clean-lined canopy. The oak, itself, is kiln-dried for maximum durability. It has a weathered appearance but still sports a smooth texture. If you’re into Scandinavian-inspired home design, you’ll love the Portola’s cozy yet contemporary vibe. Making this the centerpiece of your bedroom is an easy way to instantly elevate your interior style; plus, you can dress the Portola up with plush coverings or keep it minimal with equally simple bedding.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Kiln-dried solid oak wood and​ Tencel upholstery
  • Available in 2 sizes and 1 finish
  • No box spring required

What Impressed Us: The capacity.

The amount of space in each of the Stratton Storage Platform Bed‘s drawers — not to mention there being six of them — is equivalent to that of a full-sized wardrobe. Compared to other best-selling bed frames with drawer storage from other brands, Pottery Barn’s Stratton not only looks and feels more high quality, but the capacity of each drawer makes it an all-in-one bedroom furniture solution. The bed comes in two pieces: One base with two drawers on either side and one end piece with two more drawers, and assembly is as straightforward as a piece from IKEA (though two people are recommended since the Stratton’s construction includes quality solid wood).

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid hard wood and engineered wood
  • Available in 1 size and 2 finishes
  • No box spring required

Best Minimalist: Cayman Platform Bed

What Impressed Us: The clean lines.

Minimalists will love the Cayman, a platform bed frame with a rustic look and clean, modern edges. It’s got a touch of space underneath, about six inches high, which is ideal for some slim rolling under-bed storage containers. The solid wood it’s made with is fortified by being kiln-dried to prevent warping, cracking, and even mildew over time. This is a bed frame that’s built to thrive through moves, decor changes, and even high humidity. And, between you and me, it’s my favorite bed frame from Pottery Barn’s collection and the one I would personal opt for given its quality, clean aesthetic, and price.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid mango and acacia wood
  • Available in 3 colors and 3 sizes
  • No box spring required

What Impressed Us: The grandeur.

Never have I seen a bed frame as striking as the Oakleigh Canopy Bed. Robust, sturdy, and statement making, it’s the kind of bed you either don’t want to leave or only want to show off. The canopy is fixed to the frame, and its frame is flush to the ground, leaving it without storage capacity but making it the most substantial and durable bed we saw at Pottery Barn (which is saying a lot). If you’re hoping for a strong, stationary, and show-stopping bed frame that can also support a range of decor styles, from farmhouse to industrial, the Oakleigh is for you.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid mango and acacia wood
  • Available in 2 sizes and 1 finish
  • Low profile box spring required

Best for Reading in Bed: Layton Upholstered Platform Bed

What impressed us: The swooping fabric headboard and contrasting base.

If you insist on doing all of your daily activities from bed, the Layton is for you. Its low profile means you won’t struggle to hoist yourself up onto the bed, but what makes this piece so inviting is undoubtedly its headboard. Not only is this part of the Layton outfitted in plush upholstery, but the headboard also curves inward to cradle you as you recline back. Whether you’re eating breakfast in bed, working, reading, or just hanging out, you’ll feel comfy and supported the entire time. You can choose between three different types of upholstery fabrics and a host of low-key neutrals for the headboard, while the rest of the bed frame is available in four different wood finishes. No matter which combination you opt for, the result will be a rustic, homey oasis you can’t wait to crawl into every night (and day).

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Kiln-dried rubber wood and upholstery
  • Available in 3 sizes and 24 upholstery options
  • No box spring required

What Impressed Us: The elegance.

The Toulouse combines the softness of natural material upholstery with the support of long-grain meranti hard wood to create a display as classically Americana as Pottery Barn itself. Lovers of a more traditional aesthetic, right down to the bronze nailheads that adorn the perimeter, will appreciate this bed frame’s quality, coziness, and simplicity in all the right places. Complete with moderate under-bed storage space and a highly coveted beautifying and texturizing wood veneer, the Toulouse is well worth the price in-person if its visual is up your alley.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid meranti hard wood with sungkai veneers
  • Available in 3 sizes and 3 finishes
  • Low profile box spring required

Best Mid-Century Modern: Jake Upholstered Bed

What Impressed Us: The customizability.

Tightly upholstered top-to-tail, the Jake bed frame achieves 5-star hotel-level luxury, construction, and accessibility (and since it’s contract grade, it very well might already be used in some 5-star hotels out there). It lays low to the ground without totally eliminating the possibility for under-bed storage and is supported by slender, mid-century modern metal legs. I’m personally not a fan of metal furniture detailing, but Pottery Barn does it right with the Jake. The biggest pro this bed frame has going for it, though, could be the plethora of size, upholstery, wood, and metal options it’s able to be customized from. Go bold with velvet upholstery and brass details or stay neutral with tweed and bronze — the Jake is your oyster.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid pine and engineered wood; upholstery; metal legs
  • Available in 5 sizes and 34 upholstery options
  • No box spring required

What impressed us: The mix of hard and soft materials.

The Atwell bed is quite similar to the Portola in terms of its modular canopy design and mix of hard and soft materials. With this frame, however, you get six fabric upholstery options for the headboard, sides, and footboard. They’re light neutrals that all go nicely with the Atwell’s matte black steel canopy. The pairing results in a furniture piece that’s slightly austere, putting a modern spin on an otherwise traditional design. The Atwell is plenty functional and even offers a bit of underbed storage despite its low platform height, but if your room gets a lot of direct sunlight, this might not be the model for you. To avoid singeing yourself on hot steel, place the bed in a shadier corner of the bedroom, ideally not right next to a window.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Powder-coated steel and upholstery
  • Available in 2 sizes and 6 upholstery options
  • 9″ box spring recommended

What Impressed Us: The discretion.

We almost didn’t even notice that the Harper Upholstered Platform Bed had drawers upon drawers worth of storage space when we first saw it. As it turns out, you can even choose to have drawers on the sides of the bed or at the foot, both being extremely discreet but the latter being pretty much invisible. It comes in a whopping 83 upholstery types and colors, including Pottery Barn’s own Performance Everydayvelvet, which stands up to scratchy kitties as well as it does clumsy kids (and adults). Its very tall headboard is not only handsome but also adds some serious comfort to the bed frame overall.

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid poplar, mixed hard wood, and engineered hard wood
  • Available in 4 sizes and 83 upholstery options
  • No box spring required

What Impressed Us: The approachability.

The Farmhouse canopy bed is Pottery Barn’s answer to a more space- (and wallet-) conscious version of the Oakleigh. The Farmhouse’s canopy doesn’t reach quite as high, nor does the bed frame come all the way to the ground, making it suited for rooms in which excess space is more limited. It’s got considerable room underneath for storage, but we do recommend containers that are just as attractive as the bed frame itself, since they’re likely to be visible. A few of the finishes that the frame comes in are done by hand with a multi-step process, resulting in beautiful tonality and dimension (versus the inauthentic wood-like look often seen when engineered wood is involved).

How We Rated It:

Credit: Apartment Therapy Media

Specifications:

  • Solid and/or engineered wood, depending on selected finish
  • Available in 2 sizes and 5 finishes
  • No box spring required