Buying A Zinus Bed Frame: I Examine The Top 3
Zinus is an extremely popular company for beds and mattresses at budget price points: they dominate top seller charts on Amazon across multiple categories, including bed frames.
Bed frames are increasing in popularity as people ditch their box springs in the quest for something more modern to support their mattress. Zinus makes a sizeable range of bed frames, in a variety of designs and materials; all of which sell well. But is a Zinus bed frame worth your money?
If you’re on a budget and:
- want to ditch your old mattress base or box spring
- need some storage space underneath your mattress
- need a light frame that’s easy to move and assemble
- are looking for a new bed frame for a guest or kids room
Then read on. I’ve done all the research you need to bring you all the facts about the three most popular Zinus bed frames on Amazon.
In this Zinus bed frame review I will cover:
1. The Zinus Shawn 14 Inch Smartbase Mattress Foundation (the Zinus top seller by a long, long way)
2. The Zinus Yelena 14 Inch and Van 16 Inch Classic Metal Platform Bed Frame with Steel Slat Support (reviewed together as they are listed together on Amazon)
3. The Zinus Joseph Modern Studio Platforma Low Profile Bed Frame
4. My Conclusion and Personal Opinion, Including:
- My analysis of the reviews these bed frames get on Amazon (good and bad)
- Would I buy one?
- If so, which one is best?
Zinus Shawn 14 Inch Smartbase Mattress Foundation
This Zinus bed frame has almost 30,000 customer reviews, and an extremely high satisfaction rate. It sure is one massively popular bed frame! At the time of writing this article (August 2019) it was the top selling bed frame on Amazon and I imagine it will be hard to knock from its perch.
- steel construction with a grid layout: queen sizes and up are made from two pieces that join together in the center
- 14 inch height: this gives you 13 inches of storage space underneath the base
- available in standard or deluxe (as far as I can tell, the deluxe is sturdier)
- color options of black or beige
- can be folded up for easy storage
- reinforced edges
- plastic caps on the feet to protect your floors
- 5 year warranty
This Zinus bed frame could be a good option for you if you’re short on storage space in your house. You can stash multiple boxes underneath this frame.
It’s also a good option for people who might want to move the bed around a fair bit, or store it when it’s not in use. It’s light weight and folding construction make it simple to store.
Why is it so popular?
Zinus makes loads of bed frames that are cheap, easy to assemble, and eliminate the need for a box spring. Why does this one outsell the others by so much? I think there are four reasons:
- It’s one of the lightest Zinus bed frames
- It’s the easiest to store with its folded construction
- It’s the easiest to assemble (no tools required, it just snaps into place
- Two color options
- cheap, sturdy, easy to assemble. eliminates need for box spring, can be used with any mattress type. a good “no frills” option. lightest, easiest to store, easiest to assemble?
Zinus does a big range of Smartbase configuration bed frames as well as the Shawn, and they are all very popular. You can view them here.
Zinus Yelena and Van Classic Metal Platform Bed Frame
The Yelena and Van are very similar in their construction and function, and I’m guessing that’s the reason why they are listed together along with their star ratings being together on Amazon. If you decide to purchase one or the other of these, make sure you’ve clicked the right one!
- steel construction with steel slats as the support, slats are 7.5 inches apart
- unlike the Shawn above, these Zinus bed frames are not two pieces joined in the middle, it is one continuous unit so it cannot be folded for storage
- Yelena has a 14 inch height with 12 inches of storage space
- Van has a 16 inch height with 14 inches of storage space
- Yelena has square corners, Van has rounded corners and is slightly heavier (the king size Van is 3lb heavier than the king size Yelena)
- plastic caps on the feet to protect your floors
- 5 year warranty
These frames have a sleeker, slightly more elegant look than the Shawn Smartbase above. There is slightly more assembly work to do as you must place the slats inside the frame, but it is still an easy job and Zinus gives you everything you need to get it done quickly.
Zinus Joseph Modern Studio Platforma Low Profile Bed Frame
This Zinus bed frame is quite different to the other two above. It has a totally different look with its metal runners right around the edge for a square “framed” look (which you might love or hate, I quite like it myself). It also has wooden slats as the mattress support instead of steel slats or grid.
- steel framework with wooden slats, slats are approximately 3 inches apart
- available in a variety of heights, pick the one that suits your storage needs: 6 inch, 10 inch, 14 inch, 18 inch
- comes with padded tape which goes on the steel edges to prevent noise and tape to put on the slats to prevent your mattress from sliding around
- easy to assemble
- 5 year warranty
Of the three bed frames I’ve included in this review, I think this one looks the nicest and has the most choices for height. Zinus says the metal runners should not scuff your floors, but other customers have recommended putting a rug or some other floor protection down if you’re not using this bed frame on carpet.
Note that there is no place to attach a headboard to this bed frame.
My Conclusion and Personal Opinion
My analysis of the reviews these bed frames get on Amazon (good and bad)
These bed frames all get thousands of positive reviews, but they also have their share of bad reviews. Interestingly, customers had very similar comments for all three bed frames.
The good: people found that as described, the frames were easy to assemble, were great for storage, and looked nice. It appeared that a significant proportion of the good reviews were left early on in the customer’s ownership of the bed frame, so the good comments did not tend to be about durability or longevity.
The bad: there were way too many people who reported their Zinus bed frame broke after about 6 months. There were complaints that the welding looked cheap and that they were not sturdy at all. Negative reviews tended to be left after a longer ownership period than the positive reviews. I think durability is a real question for these bed frames. However, all the issues that people encountered WOULD be covered by the five year warranty so if you do go ahead and purchase one regardless, make sure you use your warranty if you need it!
It is interesting that in the questions and answers, the weight limit for the queen size and up is 500lb excluding the mattress weight. Zinus claims that their frames are suited to all mattress types (memory foam, hybrid, innerspring, latex), but these can vary greatly in weight, from around 70lb to more than 140lb! I wonder if using a heavier mattress on the frame contributes to it breaking down sooner.
Another thing customers noted as a negative but has a potentially very simple fix is squeakiness. There were many who reported the bed frames to be noisy. If this happens to you, check the bolts on the frame. if they have loosened, that can cause the squeakiness and you may need to tighten them again.
Would I buy one?
The answer is, like many things in life, a little bit complicated. I really don’t think these bed frames sound like they are going to be sturdy or last a long time, which would be my priority when choosing a bed frame. Yours might be different! I would only buy one in certain situations:
- for a guest room where it isn’t being used much
- for a child’s bed where the weight the bed must support is lower
- if I was a college student, I’d consider it as a cheap option to last maybe a couple years while being easy to move and store
For my every day bed at home, I’d be wanting something a little more solid and sturdy, which of course would mean more money. I think you’re getting what you pay for here.
Another reason I probably wouldn’t buy one for my own bed is the distance between the slats or grids on the first two frames. Many modern mattresses, if used on a slat or grid frame, stipulate that the slats must not be wider than 3 inches apart. Any wider, and the mattress might sag. Worse, you could void your warranty. So before you buy a Zinus bed frame, check if there are any such requirements for the mattress you are intending to use with it. The good news is that if you are using a Zinus mattress, there are no rules about slat distances: they only require a flat and secure foundation.
If so, which one is best?
I think the Joseph (the third frame with the wooden slats and square appearance) is best.
It gives you the widest options for storage by giving you a choice of height.
It has slats that are close enough together to allow you to use most mattresses with it.
It has a sleek design.
If I were to purchase a Zinus bed frame, the Joseph would be my first choice, even though the Shawn Smartbase outsells it enormously.
Do you own a Zinus bed frame? Tell me about your experiences with them in the comments!