How to disassemble a bed

Updated November 21, 2016

A bed is made up of five basic parts: a headboard, a footboard, two side rails, a box spring and a mattress. The way a bed is disassembled depends on the manufactured design and style of the bed. Styles of beds include daybeds, twin beds, full beds, queen beds, king beds and bunk beds. Each of these beds is commonly held together with a combination of hardware bolts, nuts and washers. Most bed hardware requires tools for disassembly. Bed frames are made of wood, metal or a combination of both. There are three general categories of bed designs: floor frame beds, raised frame beds and bunk beds.

Remove the mattress and box spring from the floor frame. Move them out of the room to free up the work space.

Undo the bolts and nuts that hold the headboard and footboard to the frame using the appropriate tools. Ask your assistant to hold the headboard or footboard while you're undoing the hardware. Have him hold it so it remains vertical. Leaning can cause the bolts and nuts to bind, making it more difficult to remove them.

Loosen the wing-nuts holding the extension connecting arms of the frame together. Pull the frame apart. Fold down the extension connecting arms so they are flush with the main side rails of the frame. Some frames, though, are one solid piece and can't be broken down. Knock the frames apart with a rubber mallet if needed.

Remove the mattress, box frame and cross-bracing slats between the two side rails. Put them in a different room to clear the work space.

Undo the hardware bolts and nuts that are holding one of the side rails to the headboard and footboard. If a bolt or nut spins while you're trying to undo them, you will need to hold the bolt head with one wrench while holding the nut with another and turn them opposite of each other.

Ask the assistant to hold the footboard while you undo the hardware on that end of the side rail. Have him move the footboard out of the way and go hold the headboard up while you remove the nuts and bolts of the side rail. Let the free end of the rail rest on the floor to take the pressure off the nuts and bolts. Too much lean will cause the hardware to bind.

Remove the safety rail from the upper bunk bed by loosening and extracting the nuts and bolts holding it to the side rail. Use the appropriate wrenches to do the job.

Remove the mattresses, box springs and cross-bracing slats between the side rails of each bed. Remove all of these items from the room to free up the work space.

Pull or push the bunk bed frames away from any surrounding walls so that you can work around them.

Undo latches or hardware that hold the legs of the headboard and footboard of the upper bed frame to the headboard and footboard of the lower bed frame.

Ask the assistant to stand at one end of the headboard while you stand at the other end of the headboard. Count to three and then lift the top bunk bed frame up off the lower bed frame and move it to an open area of the room. Use the rubber mallet to hit the undersides of the upper bed frame it they don't easily separate. Set it down in an open area of the room. Repeat the disassembly instructions for raised bed frames to take both bunk bed frames apart.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard wrench set
  • Standard socket set with ratchet
  • Flathead and hex-head screwdrivers
  • Standard Allen wrench set
  • Rubber mallet
  • Assistant
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