What makes something truly timeless?

I’ve been wondering about that a lot recently as I’ve begun to notice a reappearance of trends from the late 1990s and early 2000s. The wide-leg pants, crop tops, wraparound sunglasses and pop punk bands of my youth all returning returned for another round.

I’ve always known this would happen. Material culture has a way of falling back in love with some past version of itself. What I hadn’t expected was how easily I’d forgotten so many of these trends that are reappearing. One day I was surrounded by these things, and then gradually, I wasn’t. Their exit was so quiet I’d hardly noticed they were gone until they reappeared on some kid outside of Scarr’s who wasn’t alive in 2000.

This experience has left me looking at the things around me — hairstyles, sunglasses, musical tastes — and wondering, ‘Where will you be in 5 years? Will you also be subtly filtered out of the culture, or will you stay around?’.

I don’t know, really. I’m not sure anyone does for sure. What I can say is that I’m growing suspicious of my Floyd bed frame.

Floyd
Floyd The Bed Frame
floydhome.com
$1,475.00
$1,180.00 (20% off)

  • Looks good
  • Easy to assemble (and disassemble)
  • Highly customizable
  • Eco-conscious construction

  • Difficult to adjust once it’s put together
  • The dreaded ankle smacks are no joke
  • Headboard isn't very sturdy
  • Design may ultimately prove too trendy

Floyd's Design Philosophy

Floyd Co-Founders Alex O’Dell and Kyle Hoff have been concerned with longevity since the start.

The first product Floyd produced was a simple table leg intended as a kind of rebuke to fast furniture. Made from 11-gauge sheet steel and featuring a clamp, the set of legs could turn any flat surface — round, rectangular, square — into a table. It was a simple idea executed well. The legs quickly gained popularity and served as an early iteration of a design philosophy about reducing waste, allowing for adaptability and long-term use.

Launched in 2015 as the company’s second product, the two applied the same ideas that inspired the table legs to a more intimate piece of furniture, the Bed Frame.

Made from birch plywood with birch veneer, powder-coated steel hardware and nylon ratchet straps, the bed’s simplicity was intended to make it all the more adaptable. Moving up a mattress size wouldn’t mean getting a whole new frame. It would just mean buying an ‘expansion kit.’

floyd bed frame used as a couch
Floyd
king bed in a loft
Floyd

The same modular design, free of the need for screws, nails or pegs, was also intended to make it easier to move the bed from warehouse to apartment and from apartment to apartment, as so many renting millennials do in a housing-supply-choked United States.

As an owner of the bed frame for more than two years, I can say that in all of these respects, Floyd’s bed is a success. It’s easy to assemble with two people, simple to break down and move, and it still manages to be a genuinely attractive piece of furniture despite these.

But it isn’t without its flaws.

What to Watch Out for with the Floyd Bed Frame

Yes, you will accidentally hit your shin on the Floyd Bed Frame. Doing so produces an almost psychedelic pain. But the bed frame’s edges aren’t the only things to look out for.

a person standing next to the corner of a floyd bed frame
J.D. DiGiovanni

For one, the slabs of wood that make up the bed frame can become unaligned. This means that owning the bed comes with a somewhat unexpected task of straightening your actual bed frame periodically. Floyd would probably tell me that this results from my straps not being tight enough, and they’d likely be right.

The fact of the matter is that the ratchet is awkward to adjust. Also, I live in a small enough space where I don’t want to shimmy my bed away from the wall to lay flat on my stomach like a seal and ratchet it tighter.

Which raises another problem. Rearranging the bed frame in a room once it has been assembled is also a bit of a hassle. Nudging the bed frame just once will rip the provided cork stickers off the bottom of the metal frame legs. For a renter like myself, scratching up the wood floor isn’t too much of a concern, but I know I’d feel differently if I were a homeowner.

floyd bed frame head board
Floyd

Most disappointing, however, is the headboard. I bought the add-on because I like to read in bed. What I didn’t realize is that it just isn’t that sturdy. The wood slab headboard is held in place by two pieces of hardware that slot into the gaps in your frame that are supposed to keep it static via a clamping mechanism. The problem is that after enough use without re-tightening the clamps, it will shoot out of the gaps in the wood and onto the floor.

The Problem with Popularity

And yet the thing I worry most about when it comes to my Floyd Bed Frame isn’t how it is to live with. It’s whether or not it will feel dated in the next five or ten years.

Floyd’s bed frame is not cheap. Without any promotional offers, it starts at $700 and can run all the way up to $1,675 for a king with a headboard. Tack on add-ons like under-bed storage or their side table, and you’re looking at $2,000, easily.

At this price, the bed frame is really intended to be bought and used for a long time. The more friends I see with the frame (at least four at this point), however, the more I grow concerned that it’s maybe not as long-lasting as the folks at Floyd would hope.

a floyd bed frame with a cat perching by the head board
J.D. DiGiovanni

Since the No. 14 chair was made by the Thonet company in 1859, mass-market furniture has more or less been the norm. The idea that multiple people in your social circle would own the same piece of furniture is far from surprising. What strikes me about the group ownership of the Floyd Bed is how homogenous the group who owns the bed frame is, as well as the sheer number.

All of my friends with the bed frame are in their late twenties or early thirties. We’re all renters. We all work in what economists would call ‘knowledge work.’ We all, holed up in our apartments during a pandemic, began thinking & spending more on home goods. We fit a type, and apparently, so does our taste in furniture. Floyd’s bed frame has kind of become our Patagonia vest.

I asked Jonah Berger, author and professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, why I felt put off by the seeming ubiquity of the bed frame. He replied, “This is an extremely common phenomenon. In addition to having the drive to fit in and not be the only one doing something, people also have a countervailing motive to be unique or distinct from others. We all like to be a little bit different from those around us.”

It’s possible, though, that this increasing number of people buying the Bed Frame may be less a result of a passing trend and more a result of a broader shift in what kind of furniture we buy. “The Bed Frame as an object in itself might be a more micro expression of a macro trend … convenient and adaptable design definitely has sticking power in our current social climate,” Wilmarie Deetlefs, futurist at SOON Future Studies, wrote to me. “This month (November 2022) ‘Polycrisis’ was declared as Collins Dictionary’s word of 2022. This refers to the crises we are facing in global systems and how their casual entanglement significantly degrades humanity's prospects. Increasing anxiety levels, a recessionary mindset, and decision paralysis is fuelling the purchase of simplistic but modular furniture that comes in easy-to-assemble kits. It's an affordable and convenient luxury in a time of increasing uncertainty.”

Whether the bed frame’s popularity can be attributed to something as simple as a trend or as a well-executed response to a more uncertain world — what is clear is that Floyd is already working to head off some of the downsides that come with popularity.

a floyd bed frame in a bedroom
Floyd

In October of this year, the brand released a new version of The Bed Frame ‘in color’, adding four different colored panels to the three different wood veneer options. They’ve also continually added attachments to the bed, including under-bed storage, a side table and, just this November, an upholstered add-on to the headboard. So yes, my friends and I may have the same bed frame — but we may also be able to make it different enough to feel unique.

Alternatives to The Bed Frame

If add-ons to an already expensive frame aren’t quite the approach you want to take, though, there are other options worth considering.

On the very high end, there is Donald Judd’s bed frame, which can be found for $4,000 used on platforms like 1stDibs. More traditional but still higher-end alternatives include the Mid-Century Platform bed from West Elm or the Indio Wood Platform bed from CB2 that retail for around $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, when not on sale. On the more affordable end, there is the Basi bed from Article for $500, or the Low Modern Attic Bed from … ’Get Laid Beds’ (If anyone from that company is reading this, please, for the love of God, change your name) for $550.

Floyd The Bed Frame: the Verdict

At the end of the day, if you’re a renter with space to spare in your bedroom, Floyd’s bed frame is a great option. I’m largely happy with mine, headboard troubles & occasional bumps of the ankle aside. Not only does the frame look great, but I feel good knowing it was built by an eco-conscious company with the explicit intent of making it easy to move as I move from place to place.

If you love this look but have a more stable living situation that doesn’t require you to move every few years, it’s worth considering something a bit more unique from the new or used market. But who knows? Worst-case scenario is that the bed does go ‘out of style,’ in which case it will surely be back in vogue in 10 or 20 years.

Floyd
Floyd The Bed Frame
floydhome.com
$1,475.00
$1,180.00 (20% off)

  • Looks good
  • Easy to assemble (and disassemble)
  • Highly customizable
  • Eco-conscious construction

  • Difficult to adjust once it’s put together
  • The dreaded ankle smacks are no joke
  • Headboard isn't very sturdy
  • Design may ultimately prove too trendy