An air mattress is very convenient to use as an alternative sleeping location. Unfortunately, you cannot use it on a regular bed frame. This is because a standard, wooden frame comes with between 3 and 5 slats for support. These are not effective in supporting those mentioned above.

If you truly want to get yours raised higher, and off the floor, there are a few solutions you can utilize. It is well known that getting on and off one, especially if it’s low height and located on the floor, can be quite challenging. Thus, these solutions should assist you.

Use A Piece Of Plywood

Get a piece of plywood that has the same measurements as the mattress and the bed frame. It is best if the plywood has a thickness of 3/4 inch. Once you get it, ensure that you cover it with a material such as a tarp or some other non-penetrative sheet. This protects the material from splinters that could emerge in the plywood and cause it to burst. Once you are done, place the plywood on the bed frame and the mattress on the plywood surface. This is a safe and effective way for you to have your air mattress on top of your wooden bed frame.

Utilize A Box Spring

A typical box spring
A typical box spring set-up

If the plywood strategy is too much for you, a box spring can come in handy to solve this problem. Find a box spring and place it on the bed frame. After that, cover it with tarp or some other material that prevents the sharp springs from pricking through. Once the protective material is installed, you can place it on the box spring, and you now have a comfortable raised bed to sleep on. As you can see from the inset picture the metal frame will not support anything that has too much weight applied to it, sagging will occur in a very short amount of time. Therefore a box spring (also known as a foundation) will counter this issue effectively.

Get A Special Frame

If you do not want to go through the hassle of these DIY projects, you can simply purchase ready-made air mattress bed frames. This type is also known as a Pragma platform. It is built in such a way that the mattress can sit safely of sharp edges or from slipping off. This gives you a safe, firm, comfortable surface to lay your head.

Overcoming Potential Issues

The main issue that can occur from raising the air bed off the ground and onto a foundation is unnecessary sliding and unwanted movement. This can be very annoying and even unsafe. Below we will discuss a couple of ways to counter this:

  • Positioning: It may not always be possible due to space or other restrictions, but where possible, place the mattress and foundation up against the wall as opposed to in the middle of the room. Better yet, if possible, use two walls to corner your setup, which will reduce movement by up to 50%.
  • Velcro: Another method to stop slipping and sliding is to place heavy-duty velcro strips to join the mattress and box/ foundation/plywood together. Be sure to affix pieces in both directions to stop movement in different directions.

How To Maintain Your Air Mattress

Can You Put an Air Mattress on A Bed Frame Ensure that you pump some air into your mattress regularly. Even the most expensive air mattresses can start sagging over time. This is caused by the natural loss of air and stretching of the material, which is usually PVC. Thus, if you want to use yours comfortably for many nights continuously, be sure to inflate it somewhat after every two to four days. This can be done quite easily, and certain products such as the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress have one 1-click built-in pump for easy and fast inflation. Others will require the use of an external pump which can be fiddly but still worth the effort. The more expensive and better options will have dual pumps, one to inflate or deflate, and another which will detect loss of air and inflate automatically accordingly.


As you can see, there are a few options available to raise yours higher off the floor if required. But, a regular wooden frame isn’t the answer, and will eventually cause damage or discomfort. There is no best or worst solution of the above options; it’s simply what you have available to you regarding materials and budget.

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14 thoughts on “Can You Put An Air Mattress On A Bed Frame?”

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      In response to your query, you could try keeping the bed / box spring up against the wall, or in a corner would be best. If this isn’t an option, you could try velcro strips. I will update the article to reflect this. Many Thanks

  1. robert joseph rimmer

    I have had a new storage bed bought for me to save space. I feel as its too Low so I have put a Air mattress between the base and the normal mattress ! is this harmful to my back?

  2. My box spring was slightly depressed in the center, so my Sleep Number bed slumped in the middle. I put a queen sized plywood platform on a frame built of 2 x 10 planks and used it in place of the old box spring. It’s pretty easy if you have a power saw. Don’t use cheap, thin plywood unless you put plenty of braces under it.

  3. I put a 1/2″ poly topper below air mattress to prevent sliding. I do more to make the mattress comfortable though. I prevent the sidewalls from expanding outwards which prevents the air mattress from sinking. Hands down the most important part if you want to sleep on air.

        1. There are numerous variables. Although it’s possible, it could reduce the lifespan. I would not recommend it without consulting the user manual. For example, it depends on the size of gap between the slats, the quality of air mattress, the weight of the mattress, the type of base it has, and so on.

  4. I recently purchased two air mattresses. I find the air mattresses very comfortable and perfect for my needs when I have visitors staying over. The only issue I have is that I would like to know if I should purchase a frame to support the two air mattresses. I have heard that if you do not lift the mattress off the ground, it can cause some mold/mildew on the mattresses. Thanks for your input.

    Kind regards,

    1. If it’s only for temporary use, as in they will be packed away after short periods of usage, there really isn’t a need.

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