How to Install Bed Bolts

Two Methods:Wooden FramesMetal Frames

Bed bolts hold the frame of many styles of beds together by allowing you fasten the bed rails to the posts in the end pieces of the bed. Glider futon frames often use the same design to connect the spacer rails to the side pieces. Although the process is similar, the bed bolts for a metal frame are often very different from those for a wooden frame, owing to structural differences between the materials.

Method 1
Wooden Frames

  1. 1
    Line up one bed rail with one end piece of your bed frame. In many cases, there will be a slit in the end piece where you can insert the nub at the end of the bed rail.
  2. 2
    Insert the nut, which will look like a barrel with a hole through the middle, into the appropriate-sized hole in the face of the bed rail. The length of the barrel nut will run perpendicular to the length of the bed rail.
    • Insert the nut so that the "plus" of the screwdriver grooves faces outward and is visible.
  3. 3
    Slide the bolt through the hole on the opposite side of the end piece until it bumps against the nut. It will run through the hole in the end piece and into a hole in the end of the bed rail.
  4. 4
    Use your screwdriver to rotate the barrel nut until the hole is lined up with the end of your bolt.
  5. 5
    Hold the barrel nut in position with your screwdriver. Simultaneously use your hex wrench to turn the nut, screwing the bolt into position. Continue tightening until the bolt is fully seated.

Method 2
Metal Frames

  1. 1
    Set the bed rail in position against the end piece of your bed frame. Some frames will have a tab you settle a nub from the bed rail into.
    • This should align the bolt holes in the rail and end piece, making them ready for your bolt.
  2. 2
    Slide your bolt through the holes in the rail and end piece. Position the bolt so the flat head of the bolt is on the outside of the bed frame. Otherwise, the protruding end of the bolt will snag whoever uses the bed.
  3. 3
    Place your washer and nut over the end of the bolt. Hand-tighten the nut until you can't tighten it further without tools.
  4. 4
    Hold the nut still using your pliers or vice grips. Simultaneously tighten the nut using the hex wrench. Tighten until the joint no longer wobbles when shaken with one hand.


  • With some frames, it's a good idea to tighten the bolts in stages. To do this, hand-tighten the bolt at your first corner until it has a firm seating, then move on to install the other bolts. Once all bolts and components are installed, go back and tighten them down using your tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Bed frame with bed bolts
  • Hex wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver (for wooden frames)
  • Pliers or vice grips (for metal frames)

Article Info

Categories: Bedding and Mattress Care | Furniture Fixes