Updated at: 08-07-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Mostly, bed slats sag over time or even right out of the box. This occurs because most bed frame makers save a few dollars by skipping a few slats or thicker wood when designing their beds.

In most cases, sagging occurs in bed slats after only a short period of time or even when they are still brand new. The reason for this is that most companies that make bed frames cut costs by not using thicker wood or sturdier slats.

Bed slats tend to sag after a while, or sometimes even immediately out of the box. This arises because most manufacturers of bed frames cut costs by not using thicker wood or fewer slats in their designs.

You are effectively strengthening your bed so that it is firmer, more supporting, and less noisy. Here are some options for revitalizing your bed’s frame to the point that it looks virtually brand new.

Types Of Bed Platforms

If you’ve ever shopped for a bed frame, you know that the vast majority look the same: they’re rectangular with legs attached to the corners.

Typically, headboards and footboards can be added to these base models. Those features are standard in more expensive categories. Mattress manufacturers, on the other hand, typically let customers choose their own platforms.

Bed|Slats|Woodworker's Journal|How To

It’s possible they’ll merely supply the platform’s inner rails. You should choose a mattress according to the level of support it provides. Let’s take a minute to discuss the most common kinds of platforms.

Solid Platform

In order to hold a mattress firmly, most people choose for a solid platform, which is commonly a flat piece of MDF that is placed inside the bed frame. There is no need for a box spring with a bed built on a solid base. They can still achieve their desired height through other means.

The most fundamental form of the frame is the Center Beam variety.

If you use a box spring with your mattress, your bed frame is probably not doing a very good job of supporting you.

However, a box spring serves the same function as a solid platform or slats by spreading the weight of your mattress over a larger surface area. Therefore, you won’t have to rely too heavily on the platform’s support.

These bedframes often include a single, central support beam spanning from one side to the other.

This will prevent your box spring’s core from sagging and will provide effective support. Manufacturers may also include supplemental legs with larger beds.

As a matter of routine, many factories strengthen bed frames by adding a pair of additional beams on either side of the central one.

If you persist, you will get slammed. At the end of the day, a slatted platform bed frame must contain at least five parallel slats for the classification to apply.

Solid or Sprung Slats

The number of slats in a platform is ultimately determined by the thickness of the planks. Not more than three inches of space should divide each slat.

The slats, however, are packed in tighter the more sturdy the platform is. You should think about that from the very beginning of designing your slatted platform.

Think about how much help you really need, too. As was before said, these platforms are versatile enough to be employed with or without a box spring. This means they might be used to construct a bed with a minimal headboard.

A mattress can be placed directly on top of the slats, eliminating the need for any additional support; however, if this is the case, you may want to consider purchasing sturdy slats instead.

In contrast to solid slats, which are simply flat boards typically crafted from a piece of pine, sprung slats are tilted to provide more lightweight support.

The bed’s sprung slats are typically attached to a central beam, as opposed to the two longer sides used with solid slats. A ridge may form in the middle of the mattress if the slats are sprung.

Solid slats can also be used to connect the headboard and footboard in a lengthwise fashion. To accomplish this, central beams must support them from below.

However, knowing that possibility exists is valuable. Keeping that in mind, though, let’s discuss how to reinforce your bed slats.

10 Ways To Make Bed Slats Stronger

1- Cover Your Bed Slats With A Box Spring Or Plywood

Bring in a short box spring or some thick plywood if your mattress is already sitting straight on the slats.

The weight you exert on the mattress might be distributed more equally if you add that extra unique layer to the mix.

It will help redistribute the weight between the slats, making them less likely to warp or slip.

The plywood can be fastened to the bed’s frame and slats with screws or nails. To absorb the force of the hit, it needs to be at least three quarters of an inch thick.

Using a truck, utility trailer, or paying a local hardware store to deliver the plywood is the simplest method.

  1. Get yourself a sheet of plywood with a thickness of three-quarters of an inch from the nearest hardware store.
  2. Take out the bed and take the sheets off.
  3. The length of the frame and the width of the slats will tell you what size sheet of plywood you need. If you have a queen or king sized bed, you’ll need two sheets.
  4. It is recommended that if plywood is used, it be laid down in a left-to-right fashion. This is an improvement over the bed’s central joint, which stretches from head to foot.
  5. After measuring and marking the plywood, proceed with the cut or cuts.
  6. Put the plywood on top of the existing slats.
  7. Nails or screws can be used to secure the plywood to the bed’s frame.
  8. The bed’s support system can be fortified by attaching plywood to the slats using screws or nails.

Bed Slats Improvement : 3 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables

2- Securing The Frame And Slats Of The Bed

Considering the slats’ attachment to the bed frame at the same time as the screws and nails is a smart idea.

Two screws drilled through both ends of each slat ought should do the trick. Of course, the slats might damage your mattress even if there are no protruding metal pieces.

With this in mind, you may want to countersink the nails or screws into the board.

The slats need only be glued to the inside faces of the bed frame’s upright rails from some other angle. This should prevent sagging by preventing the slats from shifting.

3- Using Slat Spacers To Add More Support

The slats can be easily attached to the inside edges of the bed frame’s support rails with some glue and a different approach. Because of this, the slats shouldn’t move and the frame won’t sag.

OPTION 1: Using Only The Existing Slats.

  1. Take out the slats one at a time, beginning at the top of the bed and working your way down to the bottom.
  2. Dimensions of the slat in both thickness and width should be adhered to.
  3. The distance between the slats is the determining factor in the overall length.
  4. Reinstall the slats, starting at the foot end, with a space of 2 to 3 inches along the first one-third of the bed’s length (about 24 to 26 inches).
  5. Closely space the remaining slats as you install them. The bulk of our bodies can be attributed to our midsections.
  6. If you want to finish the job, make sure the space between the remaining slats is big enough to fit everything.
  7. Our heads and necks do not weigh as much as our torsos, so we can get away with a 3-inch gap between the top of the mattress and the top of the box spring.
  8. Keep adding spacers until the structure is as strong and as visually appealing as you’d want.
  9. To reinforce the assembly and prevent the slats from moving about, glue the underside of each spacer and then set them back into position. Components can be held together with the help of clamps.
  10. In a similar vein, you can add an extra layer of security by screwing the components into place. After assembly, the slats and spacers will remain securely in place.

OPTION 2: Same As Above Except:

  1. Get some 1x3x8′ lumber or something similar to go with the slats you currently have.
  2. If there are any spaces when you reinstall, use new wood to fill them.

4- Replace Slats With Stronger Wood

  1. Here, we’ll be swapping out the flimsy wood that came pre-installed on your bed.
  2. Strip the bed of its mattress, linens, and slats.
  3. Calculate the amount of wood required by counting and measuring the slats.
  4. Hardwood lumber from the hardware store can be used in place of softwood lumber if you’d prefer not to increase the height of the bed.
  5. Get in touch with some nearby woodworking shops and hardware stores to learn more about your hardwood buying alternatives and costs. For an additional cost, they will also rip logs to the specified breadth and length.
  6. Two-inch timber is the most practical and user-friendly wood thickness.
  7. Put the timber on the bed frame with screws or nails, making sure there are no spaces between the slats.

5- Slats For The Bed Frame Should Be Increased

You should keep in mind that the more slats your mattress platform has, the more stable it will be. If your mattress sits directly on top of the slats, you may want to reduce the distance between them for increased support.

Now is the time to complete the arithmetic necessary to determine how many slats will be required for the project. First, you should take a measurement of your slats to figure out what kind of wood they are composed of.

It will be less of a hassle to track out compatible boards now. Be sure to measure the inside of your bed frame as well, to ensure uniform spacing.

Once you know the precise value, you can determine the gap between them.

Simply multiply the needed bed slats by the slat thickness to get started. Take that fraction, subtract it from the total length of the rail, then divide it by the total number of bed slats, plus two (the spaces between your first and last slats).

The exact or true width of the spaces you’ll need if you desire uniform spacing.

Determine the number of slats required for the platform by working backward from the slat gap width you’ve chosen.

For a rail that is 78 inches long, you might leave an inch of space between slats that are 3 inches wide.

  • There is a one-to-one relationship between slat count and overall strength. Slats’ total strength increases as their number rises.
  • The mattress will be more secure with an increasing number of slats.
  • Find out what kind of wood was used in the bed and replicate those slats.

6- Add Reinforcement To The Supportive Center Beam

You should now be able to see if any of the slats have begun to sag. Since you’ve spread the load among all the boards, the issue is now resolved. You can add center support to the slats you already have if you run out of room in the inner rails.

The only thing you’ll need is a sturdy plank that’s four inches wide and at least three legs to prop it up on. Join the plank’s three legs together by fastening two to each end and one in the middle.

If you wish to strengthen your improvised beam, you should position the end legs to the right and the center leg to the right.

Once you’ve reached the end of the beam, you can stretch your legs to the height of the bed slats.

An exposed wooden wood beam runs from the top to the bottom of the frame. It is positioned vertically in the middle of the slats, with stakes constructed from the offcuts of the beam.

Collect everything you’ll need to build the bed’s support beam.

  1. Take out the bed and take the sheets off.
  2. Turn the bed over and lean it sideways against a wall.
  3. The length of the wooden beam can be determined by measuring it from the top to the bottom of the slats. Frames for twin and full beds should be about 77 inches in length, while those for queen and king beds should be about 82 inches.
  4. Make careful you measure the full length of the bed, from the floor to the foot of the frame.
  5. The ideal range for this metric is between eight and ten inches in length. After deducting 1.5 inches, this becomes the length of the beam posts.
  6. Put a mark in the paper at the 24 inch mark. Use a book or a square to make a perfectly straight mark.
  7. Get rid of the beam and the two support pillars.
  8. Mark either end of the beam with an X at a distance of 12 inches in from the end.
  9. Attach the two posts to one end of the beam using nails or screws on the X side of the markings. At a minimum, three screws or nails should be used for each post. The beam is flush with the posts, which are set at a right angle to it.
  10. Transport the posts and beams inside. Put it about where the flooring will go in.
  11. The bed’s frame should be set on the beam.
  12. Take a measurement across the middle of the slats at the top and bottom of the frame.
  13. With a helper’s assistance, position the beam so that its midpoint lies along the intersecting center lines.
  14. Nail or screw the beam to the bedposts via the wood slats if possible.


With just one screw or nail in each slat, you can make a mattress frame that’s both robust and stable.

To protect the mattress from being pierced, make sure that any nails or screws used to secure the slats are countersunk.

Get your timber and plywood cut to size at the hardware store if you don’t have a saw at home. It’s more practical to buy wood dust from the store and store it there rather than at home.

Cut lumber and plywood outside or in the garage to reduce the amount of wood dust tracked into bedrooms and other living areas. The bedroom door can be pushed open and dust sucked into the vents.

7- Using Thicker Wooden Slats

If the slats in your bed are severely bent, it’s time to get new ones. Here is when your past readings will come in handy. Yet, how do you know the new slats will not be a letdown?

The first factor to think about is the type of material they’re constructed of.

The pine wood slats in your current bed frame are probably the cheapest option available to you. Slats made from yellow pine are sturdy and won’t crack even when subjected to significant force for the reason that of the wood’s unique grain pattern.

Depending on how much weight you plan on putting into bed, you may need to consider a variety of options. Some people favor oak, birch, or beech planks, for instance.

75 Different Types of Beds for Every Style | Casper Blog

In addition, the quality of your slats will remain consistent regardless of the wood species used to construct them. You should take their sizes into account as well. It stands to reason that thicker slats would hold up better over time compared to their thinner counterparts.

The stability of the planks is also significantly affected by their breadth. In general, narrower boards have a higher propensity to fall off the rails. Don’t forget any of this when looking for replacement slats.

  • Using high-quality, sturdy timbers (at least 2 inches thick) increases the overall strength of bed slats.
  • You should talk to a wood expert to figure out what kind of wood is needed.
  • A taller support can take more of a load.

8- Switch To Metal Slats

As an alternative to the traditional box spring, a mattress atop metal slats can provide a firm and secure surface. When compared to the cost of a box spring, this is not a viable alternative for platform beds.

As a general rule, a foam mattress cannot be fitted on a platform with gaps larger than 3 inches.

It would take a lot of money and metal to accomplish this. The number of slats in a box spring, though, is often lower, so it could work.

Square metal tubes can be found at any home improvement store. Machine shops offer metal cutting services to customers.

If you can’t find these services at your local hardware store, you’ll need a grinder, a circular saw with a metal blade or a hacksaw, and a lot of sweat and determination.

9- Go For A Thicker Mattress

A thinner mattress with fewer layers will sink more easily, placing stress on the bed slats, whereas a thicker mattress with more layers will not sink as much. Instead, the weight is redistributed evenly between the bed’s slats thanks to the mattress’ firmness.

Since this is the case, they are able to support the weight of the sleeper almost as well as thin mattresses.

If you’re looking for a thick and supportive mattress, one that’s 10 inches or more is your best bet.

If you sleep on your side, you probably just need a 12-14 inch thick mattress.

Sleepers who are on the heavier side should seek for mattresses with a comfort layer that is at least 6 inches thick (weighing 200 pounds or more).

Even if the slats supporting your mattress aren’t particularly sturdy, these thick mattresses will assist redistribute your weight and relieve some pressure.

10- To Minimize Slat Movement, Improve Fastening.

A cheap and easy fix is to simply add two 2-inch screws to either end of every slat. Putting weight on the bed at night makes the slats less prone to sag in the middle.

It’s important to countersink the screws into the wood so that they won’t poke through the mattress.

  • A 2-inch screw wound at each end of the slats provides a simple, straightforward, and inexpensive means of attachment.
  • With a hefty person on the bed, it prevents the mattress from sagging in the middle and adds support in the corners.
  • Avoid puncturing the mattress by working carefully when putting a screw.


You may have noticed that these procedures are mostly geared toward preventing the slats from shifting position.

It will make the bed frame considerably more sturdy if you keep them from bending. With that in mind, there are a number of potential strategies for tackling this undertaking.

You can nail, screw, or glue the slats onto the inner rails of the bed frame for a direct attachment.

If your slats keep falling between the rails, try using slat spacers. As a result, the planks will continue to sag. To do this, build a central beam to support the slats.

You might find these hints and tools helpful. Pick the approach that works best with the slats on your bed.

Strengthening Bed Slats: What Materials Should Be Used? This article will discuss the top ten approaches.