Many of us have slept on both wooden and metal bed frames over the course of our lives, and most of us can't tell the difference in terms of comfort or quality of sleep. But over the last decade, an online movement has emerged claiming that metal bed frames are inherently unsafe compared to their wooden counterparts. Are metal bed frames safe? Let's look at the facts.

The claims

There are numerous websites and blog posts covering the subject of whether metal bed frames are safe or not. Most of us take it for granted that metal bed frames, like any other piece of furniture, are perfectly safe, provided they're built properly. But many of these articles claim that metal bed frames are actually very dangerous because they increase the user's exposure to electromagnetic fields. According to these sources, exposure to electromagnetic fields can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, from headaches and nightmares to insomnia and depression.

The basis for these claims is unclear. While most websites refer to "scientists" and "healthcare experts," the claims are also completely lacking in any scientific basis. While many of them like to throw around terms like 'electromagnetic fields,' the authors don't seem to understand what these words actually mean.

We are all constantly exposed to electromagnetic radiation. Even without electronic devices, we are still exposed to background radiation, which comes from numerous sources. Every single charged particle produces an electric field. If it's moving, it also produces a magnetic field. These are clearly not inherently harmful to us.

The idea, apparently, is that metal conducts electricity, and therefore a metal bed frame is basically a big antenna that absorbs electromagnetic radiation and transfers it to the user. Some articles also claim that metal bed frames distort the Earth's own magnetic field, and this somehow causes disruptions to people's sleep cycles and sleeping patterns.

Are metal bed frames safe?

Yes. Let's get that out of the way right away. Metal bed frames are no more safe or dangerous than any other type of bed frame. Of course, if a metal bed frame is poorly constructed, it could collapse and injure the user. But that's true of any other bed frame; it's not unique to metal frames. The claims about electromagnetic fields and the dangers of electromagnetic radiation are completely unfounded.

In fact, it won't surprise you to learn that many of the articles claiming that metal bed frames are unsafe come from websites that exclusively sell wooden or bamboo bed frames. The rest are mostly from websites promoting alternative medicine and various forms of pseudoscience.

'Electromagnetic radiation' sounds scary because it includes the word 'radiation.' But if electromagnetic radiation were inherently harmful, turning on a light would be dangerous. Electromagnetic radiation encompasses microwaves, radio waves, visible light, Wi-Fi signals, and, yes, the radiation that makes nuclear fuel dangerous to be around. Some electromagnetic radiation is definitely harmful to humans, but the vast majority of it isn't.

If your Wi-Fi router, radio, smartphone, and lightbulbs aren't damaging your health, there's no reason to think that sleeping on a metal bed frame would suddenly make them harmful. Even if a metal bed frame could somehow amplify these signals, the user has a mattress and pillows between them and the frame. Any electric current strong enough for these fabrics to conduct would be fatal to a person; a bad night's sleep would be the least of your worries.

Evelyn Wrought Iron Bed

Product: Evelyn Wrought Iron Bed in Ivory

Are there any dangers of using metal bed frames?

The only potential danger a metal bed frame might pose is if it has been welded poorly, in which case, part of it may be prone to collapse. But wooden furniture will also fall apart if it isn't built properly. Metal bed frames can also rust over time, but it will take a lot of rusting before this represents any kind of safety hazard. Today, most metal bed frames have an anti-rust coating, and you can further extend their lifespan by keeping them clean from dust and grime.

The most common complaint that people have about metal bed frames is that they're more prone to squeaking than wooden beds. This is down to them having metal on metal joints. New beds will come with washers to prevent this, but they can wear away over time. Fortunately, replacing them is cheap and simple.

The only other safety concern that some people have regarding metal beds is their weight. This is especially important to parents buying bunk beds for their children. You might assume that metal bed frames would be heavier than wooden frames, but modern metal bed frames are much lighter than they used to be. Unlike some wooden bed frames, you don't need to dismantle them to move them.

Metal bed frames are a perfectly safe option for children and adults alike. Don't let the scare tactics fool you; sleeping on a metal frame won't interfere with your sleep or affect your health. If you've been holding off buying a metal bed frame because of health concerns, you can safely put them to rest. We stock a range of bespoke wrought iron beds for both individual buyers and interior designers. Contact us today to find out more and order the bed of your dreams today.

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