/This Thuma bed frame is my favorite new addition to my apartment — and it assembles in 30 minutes without tools

This Thuma bed frame is my favorite new addition to my apartment — and it assembles in 30 minutes without tools

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  • Thuma is a new direct-to-consumer brand selling one product: a platform bed frame that can be assembled in just minutes, no tools required.
  • It took my husband and me 30 minutes to assemble the frame. 
  • Each bed is crafted from solid, repurposed wood and all the pieces interlock, requiring just two hand-tightened screws.
  • It’s pricey, starting at $695 for a Twin, but after sleeping on the king-size bed for four months, I’ve never liked a bed frame more and value it like an investment piece I’ll have for years to come.
  • Read more: The best bed frames

When my husband and I decided to upgrade to a king-sized bed, we did tons of research on mattresses. We labored over the decision for weeks, read hundreds of reviews, and toured dozens of showrooms, before landing on a King Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Premium Silver Chill Plush Mattress. It offered the support of a traditional mattress with the plush comfort and motion reduction of foam and cooling technology that would help us as warm sleepers.

As a couple, it’s been our most expensive purchase to date at $2,499, which was much more than we intended to spend. But sleep is important, and the splurge felt worth it. Since purchasing, I’m no longer woken up by my husband’s movement.

But, because we went over budget, we decided to be frugal when it came to an accompanying frame. We chose a stylish but cheap upholstered frame online and ignored negative reviews thinking, how bad could it be? 

Pretty bad. It squeaked at the slightest movement, felt flimsy, and was labor-intensive to build. After a few months, it was proving detrimental to our sleep and we decided once again to go for something well-made that would last for years. So, I began researching high-quality bed frames online. 

I started seeing ads for Thuma on Instagram and was intrigued by the claim that it could be built in just minutes (the former frame took hours, not including the resulting bickering), with interlocking solid wood made from Japanese joinery techniques, and no need for tools or hardware. The rounded corners were designed to protect shins, and the bed’s cushioned slots and “pillow board” (a low, padded headboard) aided in noise reduction. Everything about it seemed thoughtful and over a thousand online reviews averaging 4.9 out of 5 stars raved about the quality craftsmanship and functional style.

We decided to try Thuma for these reasons, as well as the fact that it had the exact minimal, midcentury modern look we wanted. Plus, the low-profile platform eliminated the need for a box spring, and still offered nine-inch clearance for storage underneath. The company sent me a free review unit to test out, and after sleeping on it for four months before I moved into a different space, I can say that I love the frame just as much as my mattress. It was so simple to build, is beautifully-made, and doesn’t make a squeak. I’ve never slept better. 

But that’s not to say I wasn’t skeptical. A claim of assembly in “five-ish” minutes without tools seemed too good to be true. Could a couple really build a bed together with no fighting at all? 

Our first impression was strong. As an apartment dweller, I appreciated that the bed arrived in three boxes, designed to fit upstairs and through hallways.

Thuma boxes

My bed frame, before reaching its final form.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

Inside were the frame pieces, slats, pillow board, and legs with pre-applied cork-padded bottoms for floor protection and cushioning. The copy was clever, and a small smile during any type of furniture assembly goes a long way.

Thuma box copy

This is how the wooden slats arrived, cute note and all.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

I decided to time how long it took to build the bed. I spent about 15 minutes just getting everything out of the boxes and arranged in order of assembly, which is what the instructions said to do.

Significant minutes could have been shaved off had each frame bar been labeled like the legs were. This would have helped us know if we were laying the pieces out correctly. Instead, we spent a lot of time second-guessing ourselves.

Thuma bed layout

Thuma suggests laying out the bed frame’s pieces in order of assembly.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

I would suggest opening the boxes in another room if you’re short on space. We opened everything in the room where we would be building and spent extra time moving around our mess.

However, we were immediately impressed once the frame was in place and ready to put together. Each bar locked into the adjacent one through the leg, without any screws, drilling or hardware. It really did take just minutes to put the base together. The wood was solid and smooth, and the bed felt sturdy and well-crafted.

Thuma leg corners

Interlocking notches eliminate the need for tools.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

Two hand-tightened screws then went in on each end, no screwdriver necessary. A word of warning, though: the screws came in an unlabeled box, and we almost accidentally threw them away.

Thuma screw

Tightening the screws by hand.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

Next came the slats, which locked into place and were cushioned and lined with eco-friendly felt made from recycled plastics for durability and sound reduction. They too felt solid, unlike our rickety previous model. 

Thuma slats

15 minutes of work got us here.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

From the time we laid out all the materials to this point, exactly 15 minutes went by. It took about 10 more minutes to place the mattress back on top, make the bed, and position the pillow board, bringing our total assembly time to half an hour. While that’s a generous interpretation of “five-ish,” it was still very quick. 

The pillow board comes in dark charcoal or a light linen color and is made of 100% polyester pebbled linen-weave with tapered foam filling. The covers are also sold separately, so you can swap colors when the mood strikes.

It sits comfortably on the back of the frame between the mattress and the wall and is not attached to the bed in any way. It’s an interesting alternative to a more traditional headboard, and it also reduces noise, thanks to the padding. The low profile can be covered by pillows or kept visible as a design accent. 

Thuma Pillow Board

An unobstructed view of our bed frame’s pillow board.

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

This is one area where I would have loved more options. My husband and I like the look of a headboard and didn’t want that lost behind our pillows. Even while visible, Thuma’s pillow board still sits quite low and doesn’t feature prominently. We’ve tried positioning it higher, which works as a temporary fix, but one side still falls occasionally.

In the future, I’d be interested in purchasing a higher board if Thuma starts producing other options.

Thuma bed

Emily Hochberg/Business Insider

Ultimately, I found the Thuma bed frame to be a well-crafted product that is thoughtfully-designed. It’s solid, eco-friendly, and beautiful.

Since putting it together, we’ve taken it apart and reassembled it again while moving apartments and it was just as seamless and easy.

Starting at $695, and going up to $995 for a king-sized bed like ours, it’s certainly an expensive investment and a high-end alternative to its more affordable competitors.

But I’m confident it’s a piece of furniture we’ll have for many years to come, which, as I’ve learned, you can’t always guarantee.

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