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What Is A Slatted Bed Base & Why Is It Good To Have It?

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image of what is a slatted bed base.

29 April 2024 6 min read

The slats in the bed are structural elements of the base on which the mattress is placed. They have many useful functions, such as creating natural ventilation for the mattress, reducing the load and evenly distributing the weight and complementing the orthopaedic properties of the mattress.

Slatted bed base is the base on which you should place your mattress. The slats can be adjusted to your liking to get the right level of support and comfort. In this way, you also extend the lifespan of the mattress, because the ergonomic design of the base will not compromise its function nor durability.

The slatted bed base is mostly chosen by people who have lower back problems. If you also have a problem with this part of the body, you should prevent the sagging and dents on the mattress. The first step is to choose one of the suitable slatted bases and The Sleep Advisors will help you with that.

What are the slats?

an image of Eve Button Back Storage Bed beech wood slats

Bed slats are connected across the width of the frame. Strong wood such as pine or beech wood is used in production. Thanks to the sturdy materials, the slats in combination with the appropriate mattress provide an optimal level of support. There are two types of slats – solid and sprung.

The main differences between them are the way they fit and the level of support. Their size depends solely on the size of the bed, because they fit into its frame. They should be the same size as your mattress. For example, queen bed slats are the same size as a queen mattress.

Types of bed slats

Each type of bed slats has different advantages and disadvantages. In order to make the best decision, you should check which slats are compatible with your mattress. You will know this if you compare their characteristics with the properties of the mattress. The main division is between solid slats and sprung slats.

Solid slats

An image of a guy assembles solid slats.

In some cases they are attached to the bed, but they can be attached in other ways as well. Given their rigidity, they offer very little flexibility therefore the name – solid.

Their main function is to provide a high level of support during sleep and are therefore intended for people who need a harder sleeping surface. When you pair it with a firm mattress, you get an unparalleled level of support. This is especially important for those with back problems. Although solid slats are fragile, they can always be replaced. Solid slats have a coating that enables the bed to be covered in all conditions of humidity and temperature.

Sprung slats

An image of sprung slats close up

Sprung slats are smaller in size compared to other types of slats. On sprung slatted base, every mattress will be more comfortable. They cannot be easily damaged, but they are not easy to repair either when damaged. They are made of a more flexible material to prevent cracking and strain. One of the advantages of using these slats is that they will not damage your mattress.

The problem can only arise if the slats fall out of the plastic holders, and this only happens if the bed is not assembled correctly. If you want to be safe, always use a mattress protector. Another feature that sets them apart is the slight upward curve in relation to their shape. It provides you with a better surface on which to lay the mattress. For example, it will emphasize the tension of softer and medium mattresses.

How big a gap should be between the slats?

Check the gap between the ladders, as too much gap can destroy the mattress. That is why it is necessary to be careful when placing solid slats, so that they are evenly distributed. There must be a gap of 4-7 cm between the lamellas, equal to the width of one of them. Cheaper products generally have a much larger gap between the slats, which results in mattress deterioration and poor sleep quality. On the other hand, too small has a bad effect on ventilation. It is also important that the spacing is uniform when fixing the slats in place.

Can I fix wooden bed slats or should I buy new ones?

An image of a guy fixing slats.

Bed slats are susceptible to damage after years of use or if you have small children who like to jump on the bed. In such situations, the solution depends solely on the bed slat material. The first thing you should do when you notice damage is to investigate the bed frames. Remove the bed covers, mattress, and box spring.

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If you want to solve the problem yourself, get a screwdriver and wood glue. Apply it to the broken part and fasten the gas a bar clamp. The glue should work overnight. However, you will probably need slat support. You can also buy a new slat. It's a short-term solution, but the safest thing to do is to replace them. You never know how long the glue will last or how the new slat will perform.

Is slatted bed base good for any mattress?

Slatted bed slats can support any mattress, but they can also affect its properties if you choose the wrong one. They will preserve the original properties of the mattress and ensure that it does its job all the time only if it is compatible with it. If you choose pocket springs or foam-type mattresses, you will not feel the movement of another person.

Softer mattresses like those made of memory foam feel best when placed on a sturdy base. If you are interested in a hybrid mattress, make sure that the slats are not too far apart. This type of mattress is generally heavy which means you need to choose a base that can support its weight and yours. King-size mattresses are equally burdensome and require a greater level of support.

Assembling the bed frame with slats

An image of man and woman assembling white bed.

After you have received the package with all the parts of the bed frame, take out the elements on the floor and divide them into groups. Make sure you have everything you need, including tools and materials.

Next, place the structure on the floor and connect the parts according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Assembling a bed with solid slats

After unboxing, start with one side panel. Place the screws through the bottom on the middle and on the top. Then, place the wooden slats in the correct place and use the specific tool to attach them to the panels. Pay attention to the screws during this process, as they must fit perfectly into each slat individually. Do the same with the other panel.

Make sure all screws are tight. Wipe down the frame to remove all dirt from it and proceed to install the remaining slats.

Assembling a bed with sprung slats

Lean the head of the bed against the wall and place protective material between them. That way you won't damage anything. Each component should fit perfectly into place because later sprung bed slats must work as a whole following your every movement. When you have finished the job, you can put the mattress on the base.

Why do you need a slatted bed base?

an image of eve tailored bed frame 24 beech wood slats

If you want the quality mattress you bought to pay off, you should invest the same amount of money in its foundation. Since there is nothing else holding it, this pad has a big impact on its performance.

Compared to standard spring bases, the open base design gives you a multitude of advantages. One of the biggest benefits is the free flow of air that helps you with comfortable night's sleep.

Increased back support

Your body needs the right amount of support to stay in a good position during sleep. Slats provide you with that. They will not give way even under a heavy load. The key points of the body need the most support in order to keep the spine in the correct position. In this way, the mattress will fulfill its task, and you will not have health problems.

Great pressure relief & pressure distribution

The slatted bed frames adapt to the load and will therefore give you the proper support. The main reason is the adjustable systems that allow you to adjust the comfort according to your preference. The end result is proper pressure distribution, which has a positive effect on the quality of your mattress.

Increased ventilation

The slatted bed base allows you important air circulation under the bed. In this way, a dry and healthy sleeping climate is created. In this way, your bed will fight against unwanted guests such as mold, mildew, dust and mites that affect breathing and contribute to allergies. This helps the mattress to last up to 10 years after the warranty expires.

Better comfort

an image of a woman sleeping covered with luna weighted blanket

This kind of foundation gives support to the body where it needs it most. It provides greater comfort, additional flexibility and an ergonomic position of the body during sleep, allowing an equal distribution of weight and thus ensuring an optimal sleeping position. When the body is properly supported throughout the night, we breathe more deeply, increasing our oxygen intake.

Natural

The type of material you sleep on is very important. That is why experts suggest using only natural materials such as wood. They are allies in creating a comfortable and warm environment. They also last much longer and look nicer, not to mention eco-friendliness and sustainability.

What is the best type of mattress to match with slatted bed base?

First of all, it must be spacious enough so you can change the position of the body during sleep. It should also maintain the sleeper's body temperature, absorb and remove excessive heat and moisture released by the body during the night into the air. It's desirable that it be beautiful, solid and durable. It is best if it is of medium hardness, flexible enough to adapt to the curvature of the spine when lying down. A bed that is too soft causes a number of side effects. Every man should have a bed that suits his weight, body type and sleeping habits.

Conclusion

Slatted bed frame is one of the most sought-after mattress foundations on the market. Although slatted bed bases are not the only option, they have a number of advantages that set them apart from the competition. Slatted bed base is best known for their support system. The mattress you sleep on determines the quality of your sleep, but the choice of bed base on which to place the mattress is equally important. A good base will give your body proper support, but it will also improve the comfort of the mattress and reduce its wear and tear.

The choice depends on personal preference. So make sure beforehand if the bed frame slats is compatible with the mattress. The base must be strong enough to support the mattress, and this is usually a problem with the combination of a quality mattress and a cheap bed base. No matter what type of slats you choose, you should get a mattress protector.

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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