Most people spend about a third of their lives in bed, but don’t give much thought to their bed itself unless there’s a problem. Maybe your mattress is too hard or too soft. Or maybe a spring pops up, stabbing you in your sleep! In any case, once your bed starts to feel uncomfortable, it’s hard not to think about it.

A creaking, noisy bed frame is one of those problems that can quickly become annoying. But even if every toss and turn is accompanied by a squeak, you don’t have to go out and buy a new bed!

First, you’ll need to figure out what’s making all the racket. This can take some detective work, because the problem could be caused by loose joints in the bed frame, squeaky slats underneath a mattress or box spring (like those used in many Ikea beds), or the mattress itself.

Go around the bed and give the joints or posts a little shake. If they move, then the joints are probably loose. To fix that problem, tighten the bolts with a wrench. If the squeaking and creaking seems to come from the mattress area, lift up the mattress (and box spring, if you have one) to check and see if any slats are loose.

The secret to stopping squeaky slats? The experts at Bob Vila’s website say to grab an old candle and rub it all over the ends of the slats. The wax coating will stop some of the friction that causes all the creaking. A little lubrication, like WD-40, can stop squeaking slats or casters (if your bed has them) for the same reason.

One overlooked cause of bed frame noise is uneven flooring. To check this one, get a helper to tell you if any of the frame’s legs move up and down when you get on and off the bed. If it turns out that the flooring underneath the bed is uneven and causing the bed to shift, you can fix it just as you would a wobbly table. Just stick some foam or other cushion underneath the uneven part!

Many beds have metal frames that support the mattress/box spring. These can be another source of annoying noise. The ends of the frames can stick out at the headboard end of the bed. When the bed shifts — either from movement or because of loose joints — those metal ends can smack right into your wall.

So here’s where those socks come in . . .

The constant tapping noise alone can be annoying, but the metal striking the wall can also cause scratches and gouges. There’s a fun fix for this problem, however: just wrap the metal ends of the frame in old socks! The cloth material will serve as a cushion, deadening any noise and preventing scratches.

It doesn’t even have to be a sock that you use — an old t-shirt or towel would work just as well. But what a great use for any old or orphaned socks you have laying around! Since the frame is hidden under the headboard, no one ever even has to see this strange but effective fix.

What do you think about this creative use for old socks? Do you have any other tips for fixing a squeaking, creaking bed?

Apartment Therapy
Bob Vila