However luxurious a mattress may be, it will not provide the necessary support if it is not placed on a suitable base. If your mattress sags and forms indentations, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable position while sleeping. This can lead to muscle tension and soreness in the morning.
Having the right base for your mattress will help you get the best night’s rest. It can be tough to tell if slats or a box spring is better for your bed. We hope this comparison of the two kinds of bases proves useful. In addition, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each option so that you can make an informed choice.
What Are Slats?
A bed slat is a long, flat board used to support the mattress. Within a bed’s foundation or its frame, slats support a mattress by being spaced 2 to 2.75 inches apart. Keeping your weight distributed properly and not sinking is their primary purpose.
Some bedsteads are constructed with rungs set at regular intervals, just like a real ladder. The slats of this design are often wrapped in fabric to prevent them from coming apart. Other kinds of slats don’t interlock and simply rest next to one another.
Each type of slat fastens to the underside of the bed’s frame or foundation.
Best Slatted Surface: The Amerisleep Platform Bed
The wide slats on our Amerisleep Platform Bed are both supportive and allow for increased air circulation while you sleep.
Attributes of a Good Platform Bed
- Wider-than-usual planks with close spacing
- Easily assembled in a short amount of time
- A style-agnostic neutral bedroom
It is suggested that
- In any of the usual ways
- Those who own a mattress of any kind
- Those who are hot while sleeping
Our Amerisleep Platform Bed features wooden side rails, a solid wood center support, and wooden slats. The mattress won’t slide around thanks to the half-inch high side rails and the extra-wide slats that fill in any gaps.
The height of this platform bed is 13.5″. By virtue of its neutral gray casing and sharply angled corners, it instantly updates the aesthetic of any bedroom.
The Amerisleep Platform Bed has the added benefit of being a snap to assemble and not requiring any special equipment. It’s suitable for all mattress varieties, from traditional spring mattresses to modern hybrids made of materials like memory foam or latex.
Pros and Cons of Slats
Though slatted foundations have been around for some time, they have only recently gained popularity as an alternative to the traditional box spring. The slatted base of many bed frames provides extra support, comfort, and ease of use. The benefits and drawbacks of slats are outlined below.
- Slats are more cost-effective than a traditional box spring due to their reduced material content. There is typically no need to buy a separate box spring if you purchase a bed frame with a slatted foundation in which the slats are no more than 2.75 inches apart. The majority of mattress varieties are suitable for use directly on the slats.
- Modern box springs are typically constructed from a wooden frame wrapped in fabric, and while they do add some height to the bed, they do not provide much in the way of actual support. A mattress placed on slats will be much more stable and will not sag or slide.
- Wooden slats are more mobile than heavy box springs because they are both easier to assemble and disassemble.
- Mattresses placed on a slatted base allow for greater airflow. Since heat is not trapped, sleepers will be comfortable all night long in the open design.
- There is a risk of sagging for mattresses with slats that are more than 2.75 inches apart. For instance, the maximum allowable gap between slats when using a memory foam mattress is 2.75 inches.
- Bed slats may shift or fall during the night if they are not properly fastened. It’s possible that this could cause harm to the sleeper or even the bed itself.
What is a Box Spring?
A box spring is a metal or wooden container with a mattress placed inside. They are not included with the sale of a mattress or bed frame. Coil springs were housed in traditional box springs to absorb impact and distribute body weight more evenly. These coils are meant to be compressed by the springs above them in an innerspring mattress.
Modern box springs, on the other hand, are typically made of a hollow metal frame rather than a springy interior. Most contemporary box springs serve no functional purpose beyond adding height to the bed, in contrast to their traditional forebears. It’s also worth noting that the use of box springs is unnecessary now that more modern mattresses are widely used.
Pros and Cons of a Box Spring?
As much as slats have surpassed box springs in popularity, they still serve a purpose. Here, we weigh the benefits and drawbacks of box springs so you can make an informed decision.
- Most slatted bed bases have a low profile design, but this one has an extra inch of height. A box spring can be used to lift the mattress to the desired height for sleepers who prefer more headroom.
- When paired with an innerspring mattress, a box spring with spring coils can provide a slight amount of bounce. But not all box springs are made with coils. Consider this quality when searching for new shoes, especially if you value bounce.
- Since most box springs don’t fold or disassemble for transport, they’re cumbersome and challenging to move.
- The combined weight of a box spring, mattress, and sleeper can be too much for a bed frame to bear, potentially causing structural damage to the bed and the mattress.
- Without spring coils, a box spring provides almost no support at all. The mattress’s edges might be bolstered, but its center might be completely unsupported. For a mattress with a foam foundation, this could cause sagging and depressions.
How to choose a bed base
Picking a bed’s foundation is often overlooked in favor of more visible purchases like a mattress or a bed frame. You could choose one that includes both the frame and the mattress. The problem is that this strategy is subpar. If you take the time to carefully select a bed base that is a good fit for your mattress, you will not only sleep more soundly, but you will also save money over the long run.
When we were in the market for a new mattress not too long ago, we gave little consideration to the bed frame. It wasn’t until I found an upholsterer who also specialized in making custom mattresses and fixing bed bases that I realized that the bed base served as a kind of mattress booster.
Please note that my other post is more in-depth on the subject of mattress selection.
An expensive mattress should last for many years (between ten and twenty, depending on the type you buy), but if you choose a low-quality bed frame, you could unintentionally shorten its useful life.
Types of bed bases
In general, bed frames can be categorized into three distinct types:
- Bed frame with a solid base
- Slatted, permanent bed frame
- a bed frame with sprung slats
- having a set slat in the holder
- using detachable slats Please read on to find out what I mean by “flexible slat holders” (I haven’t been able to locate the correct technical term for these yet).
Solid (Platform) Bed Base
One flat panel forms the entire under-mattress solid (platform) bed base. The lack of ventilation is a major drawback of such a foundation. It may cause the mattress to become too hot to sleep on or allow moisture to build up, fostering the growth of mold. Not only that, but it doesn’t adjust to your unique physique in any way.
Fixed Slatted Bed Base
The slats of the fixed slatted bed base run perpendicular to the mattress and are fastened to the bed’s frame at regular intervals. This alternative to a solid (platform) bed base allows for more air circulation while you sleep. Like a traditional solid bed base, it won’t contour to your body’s unique shape. If you decide on a base like this, try to find one with a slat spacing of no more than 1.5 inches (4 cm).
Sprung Slatted Bed Base
In the same way as the previous type, the sprung slatted bed base has horizontal slats. But they have a slight curve to them. They can bend with your weight, making a more comfortable fit. This relieves stress on the mattress by absorbing some of your weight. Mattresses on solid or fixed slatted bed bases take the full force of your body weight, putting additional stress on the mattress and the underlying structure. That’s why a mattress’s usefulness is increased by a sprung slatted bed frame. An example of this impact is provided down below.
With fixed slat holders
Slats are held in place by fixed slat holders that are attached to the bed’s frame. Only the curved slats at the base flex when weight is applied, and they do so in a downward direction. The slat holder may be able to pivot in some cases, but that’s about it. Putting too much weight on the slats of these bed frames could cause the frame to sag to the sides, which would be a major issue. A sufficient number of cross support bars that reinforce the frame can mitigate this effect (for more on cross support bars, read on or visit this page).
With flexible slat holders
Bed bases with adjustable slat holders are becoming increasingly popular. Since they are made to compress under pressure, the base conforms to your body shape even more closely. When lying on a mattress set atop one of these bases, your body weight is distributed across three layers of support:
- sleep surface, or mattress
- slats with a curve
- adjustable bed slat holders
Since the mattress and slats are relieved of some of their weight support duties by the bed base, they last longer. For this reason, a quality mattress and bed frame should serve you well for many years.
Adjustable bed base
There are various types of bed bases (such as the sprung slatted type) available, and some of them can be adjusted manually or with a motor for added comfort. The best kinds of adjustable bed bases let you find the perfect sleeping position for you.
However, you should know that an adjustable bed base is not suitable for use with every mattress. See the following table for a rundown of mattress types that work together. The mattress needs to conform to the shape of the bed and hold up to the additional pressure that comes from being bent over. Therefore, latex or cold (HR) high-density foam mattresses (ideally with zones) are the best option for long-lasting comfort.
Keep in mind that the motor and lifting arms of power bed bases will be on the underside of the bed frame you intend to attach it to.
How to recognize a high-quality bed base
You can tell if you are looking at a durable, high-quality bed base by inspecting its construction and its individual parts. Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for:
- Many separate planks
- Raised slats
- Products with slats
- The stuff used to make bed slat holders
- Strain gauges
- Distinctive crisscrossing bars
A number of slats
The minimum number of slats is 16.
Slats must have no more than a 1.5′′ (4 cm) gap between them.
It is recommended that slats be varnished or laminated. A mattress’s cover is safeguarded from abrasions thanks to the slats’ smooth surface, which is also protected from humidity and dryness thanks to the finish. Lamination is preferable to varnish because it is typically smoother and provides superior protection from humidity and dryness.
How does humidity or dryness damage a bed base?
Moisture can seep into the wood and cause distortion if slats aren’t properly treated. They are susceptible to mold growth as well. Low-quality polyurethane foam mattresses (for more information on foam types, see my other post) and mattress covers made of materials that cause heavy perspiration can both contribute to an uncomfortable level of humidity on the bed. Your perspiration will travel through the slats and into the mattress and the cover.
Slats can become loose in a bed frame or even fall out entirely if they dry out and become less pliable, deform, or shrink.
Bed slat holders material
Since only a small percentage of readers are actually interested in material for bed slat holders, I realize that I may be splitting hairs for some of you. There’s no need to explain what bed slat holders are (if you don’t know, read on ABOVE). Bed slat holders come in a variety of shapes and are made from a variety of materials. The quality of the holders varies depending on the type of material used (for example, plastic, TPE-E, silicon, rubber, SBS, etc.). TPE-E and SBS are high-quality materials used in, for example, Belgian and German bases. Holders made of inferior materials, such as rubber, can squeak when they dry out, crack, and deform. Although glycerine can be used to delay the drying process, how realistic is that? Of course, if the funds are available, it is preferable to start with a higher-quality bed base. If your slat holders do break, though, you can easily find replacements.
A tension slider is a small piece of material, typically rubber or plastic, that is fastened to a slat in order to adjust the tension between two objects. You can customize the tension (firmness) of each salt to your liking by dragging the slider. It’s great for giving your body a little extra help where it needs it. You can use it to modify the pressure under your bottom when lying on your back, or the pressure under your arm when lying on your side. Your body’s shape can be more accurately replicated by the slatted bed base if the slats are adjusted to fit you. At least five slats on tension sliders make for a good slatted bed frame. A greater number of sliders (roughly 6–8) is recommended for heavier individuals.
Cross support bars
Cross support bars are an essential feature of a quality bed frame, as they prevent the bed’s base from ever cracking or twisting. Having a larger number (say, 10) ensures a more stable bed frame.
The standard height for high quality slatted bed bases is between 11 and 16 centimeters (4.5 to 6 inches). The height is measured from the floor up to the top of the arc of the slat, which is the highest point of the base. Higher bed bases are preferable because they have higher sideboards, which adds stability to the bed. However, a bed with short sideboards will prevent you from putting in a high bed base. That’s why picking a bed frame comes first. To elaborate, the arc of the slats is greater the wider the bed base, so the bed will be taller. That’s why it’s important to compare bed frames that have the same width. The high bed sideboards are a great addition because they add stability to the bed and allow you to use a higher bed base and mattress.
How long are slats for a twin bed?
A standard width for a twin bed mattress is 38 inches. Therefore, a twin bed frame’s slats should be between 40 and 44 inches in length. These two to three inches of extra space on each side prevent the mattress from fitting too snugly on the frame and also make room for the sheets and blankets.
Can I use plywood instead of a box spring?
The slats in your bed may need to be no more than 2.75 inches apart, but this will depend on the type of mattress you have. For instance, if the slats on a memory foam bed are too far apart, the mattress may sag and be damaged. If your bed frame has wide slats, you can keep your mattress from sinking by placing a piece of moisture-resistant plywood on top of the slats.
One alternative is to use a bunkie board. The typical thickness range for these boards is between one and three inches, and their materials include wood, plywood, and particleboard. Regardless of the type of bed frame or foundation your mattress rests on, a good set of bunkie boards can help keep it in place and keep you comfortable.
How much weight can bed slats hold?
The typical weight limit for a modern slatted bed base is 600 pounds. Some models, however, have a weight capacity of only 300 pounds, so check the specifications before making a purchase.
Is it bad to put a mattress on the floor?
If you put your mattress on the floor, you might find the support you need. Experts advise against putting the mattress directly on the floor because it can attract dust, dirt, and bacteria. Mold and mildew are a common problem in humid regions because of water accumulation. Having hardwood flooring makes this problem even more pronounced. Chronic exposure to these pollutants is associated with a wide range of adverse health effects.
How many bed slats do I need for a full size bed?
The width of a full size mattress, also known as a double bed, is 54 inches. The standard length for a full size bed slat is 60 inches. Most slats extend outwards from the bed by somewhere between 2 and 6 inches.
What does a slatted bed base do?
Rails for a Bed. Beds can be supported by slats or other types of bases. They’re a web of bars running horizontally across the whole thing. These bars, which can be found in most mattress stores, are made from sturdy wood like pine or beech and help to support the weight of your mattress.
Is a slatted bed base better?
Slatted bases are fantastic for back support because they can conform to different body weights. Likewise, they provide excellent ventilation, allowing for consistent airflow throughout your mattress.
What is a slatted bed base Luroy?
Specifics on the item in question. The 17 layer-glued slats in this mattress respond to your weight and make it more comfortable. Suits a bed frame measuring Queen size. You can use this slatted base with a bed that you purchase from IKEA.
What are IKEA bed slats made of?
Bed slats are one of the many replacement parts that can be purchased at IKEA. These are what you’ll need to secure your mattress to your bed’s frame. The slats on this bed are crafted from wood planks and a ribbon-like elastic that keeps them all together.
The thrill of bringing home a brand new bed. It’s an opportunity to experience more rejuvenating slumber. Not so comfy for the long haul if paired with the wrong base. Sagging and sinking caused by an unsteady foundation can wreak havoc on your spine and cause you to wake up in pain. While a box spring can work with some mattresses, slats offer far more adaptability, support, cost effectiveness, and convenience.