Retrofitting a correct foundation for an iron campaign bed

We have a campaign bed - an iron canopy bed. The base on which a mattress would be placed is in a one inch square waffle pattern across the entire king size base. Currently we have a twelve inch 10 year old Tempur-Pedic on top of that foundation. I realize now that this was not a brilliant plan, but we love the bed frame. We are now searching for a new mattress. Is it possible to augment/retrofit the base of the bed frame to better support our new mattress? Or do we have to throw the baby out with the bath water?

Thanks in advance!

I think those older beds were made to hold very thin mattresses, more like what we use as a crib mattress or basic futon now. Do you find that the metal grid warps with weight on it? Does it look like the side welds are holding? Could it take the weight of reinforcement? If so, get hardboard, aka masonite, cut to fit at the hardware store. It comes in either 4’x4’ or 4’x8’ sheets, so you will probably need 2 or 3 pieces to fill the space. Best to have them equally sized even if that means more selvage waste. You can even get the kind with peg holes bored in for ventilation. That will give you a firm flat foundation with minimal added weight and thickness, but it’s very likely that might still be a bit much for an old bed to bear.

Thank you for responding. This is very helpful! It actually is an Anthropologie bed, purchased in 2006. The base is iron and it is not buckling anywhere. It is very sturdy. But when you look under the bed, you can see the Tempur-Pedic mattress sort of poking through in some places. I am sure when the bed comes up, that side is going to look like a giant waffle.

I could use that pegboard as you suggested, because I was wondering how a solid panel would allow ventilation. That is a great idea!

Hi whippetmom, welcome back to the forum after 7 years :slight_smile:

That certainly sounds like a sturdy frame! As @Nii suggested, pegboard or plywood, or even a thin layer of HD foam, would work to provide a solid base under the mattress (I would also make sure the warranty does not prohibit this type of bed base for the mattress so you don’t inadvertently void it). Ventilation is key: a pegboard with holes will allow for air circulation, or you could use something like a coconut coir mattress pad on top of a solid piece of plywood, just make sure whatever you put atop the iron ‘grid’ it extends the full area under the mattress.

~ Basilio

Thank you! Yes, and seven years later I’m still getting around to buying a new mattress. I can’t put this off any longer, and the whole reason for my leaving well enough alone, is because of the bed frame. So I am very glad to have some additional options to make it possible to continue to use this bedframe.