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How to Disassemble a Bed Frame

Updated February 21, 2017

Breaking down a bed isn't hard, but it usually requires two people to do it quickly and safely. Twin beds are much easier than a king-size bed, but a standard bed follows the same concept no matter the size.

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  1. Remove the mattress and box spring from the bed frame by lifting them up and off the frame. Stand them against the wall out of your work area. If the bed is larger than a twin, you may need help.

  2. Start at the foot of the bed. Remove the footboard, if there is one. To remove the bed rails, use a wrench to loosen any bolts by grasping the nut behind the metal frame bracket and turning. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the screw/bolt once the nut is loose. Remove all the bolts from both sides of the footboard, screw the nuts to the screws, and place them in a plastic, zipper bag so you will not lose them.

  3. Remove any bed slats. Lift the slats up and out of the bed rails. Bed slats can be wood, metal, or wire. If you have wire, it is probably inserted into two holes that you will not be able to remove until you have disengaged the bed rails from the headboard and footboard.

  4. Move to the headboard and locate the screws/bolts and nuts. If you don't have a headboard, proceed to Step 5. Some headboards have brackets or slots with small metal bars in them that allow the bed rails to hook into the slots by lifting and hooking over the bars. If you have slots and hooking brackets, lift the bed rail, one at a time, and pull the rail out of the slot. If you have a traditional screw/bolt connection, use the wrench to grasp the nut and turn it counterclockwise until the nut is loose. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the screw/bolt. Put the nut onto the end of the screw and place all of the hardware into the plastic zipper bag.

  5. Stack the bed rails on the floor and put the bed slats between the rails. Tape around both ends and the centre of the rails/slats with masking tape. Write the room or person's name who owns the bed onto the outside of the plastic zipper bag with the permanent black marker and roll the bag, tucking it into the bed rails/slats and taping around it with masking tape to secure it to the rails/slats.

  6. Tip

    Some bed frames come with their own specialised tools to assemble and disassemble them with. If you have lost your tool, contact the customer service department for the make and model of your bed to acquire or order a new one.


    Some older beds may be difficult to disassemble and may require a rubber mallet or even a hammer to separate some parts from the slots or brackets. Use a bit of WD40 or other lubrication if bolts and nuts are rusted or stuck.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bed
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic, zipper bag
  • Permanent black marker
  • Masking tape

About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.

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