With many different types of bed bases on the market, choosing the right type for you can leave you confused. Do you go for a sprung slatted bed base, a solid wooden one, or what about a divan bed instead?

If the reality is that you’re not really sure what the differences are, it might be that you choose whichever is cheapest or which comes with the bed frame you’ve gone for. But getting the right bed base for your needs, can be the difference between a good night’s sleep and a great one.

Here, we’re going to take a look at slatted bed bases in particular, the different types available as well as how to make sure the ones you choose are right for you. We’ll take a look at the differences between sprung slats, solid wooden slats and metal ones too.

Big Warehouse Sale offer a multitude of beds with varying bed bases, we hope our handy guide on slatted bed bases helps you to decide which is right for you.

What Are Solid Bed Slats?

If you see the term solid bed slats, this refers to the type of bed bases made from rigid pieces of wood, that fit horizontally across a bed frame. More often than not, solid slats will fit the full width of the bed frame regardless of size, unlike other types. The thickness and depth of solid bed slats can vary depending on how much you’d like to pay.

Much like the name might suggest, rigid bed slats are designed to offer firmer support and are less likely to lose their shape over time. This makes them a better choice for those looking for a firmer sleeping experience or for those with a heavier body type.

Many bed frames are supplied with a centre support bar which runs from the headboard to the footboard, this is designed to relieve pressure on the middle section of the slats and also helps prevent the “roll together” effect when sharing a bed. If your bed does have a centre support bar, screwing the slats to it can add further rigidity to both the slats and the bed itself.

What Are Sprung Bed Slats?

While solid bed slats are designed to offer firmer support, sprung bed slats are designed for a softer, more cushioned sleeping experience.

Sprung slats are made using layers of wood veneer which are then formed into a slight arch. These arched slats are then fixed with end caps so that they can be attached to the bed frame. The arch allows more flexibility, meaning that each slat is able to form to your body shape. Usually, two sets of slats are supplied with double bed sizes and larger, because of this, each person that sleeps in the bed has their own set and due to this autonomy, the slats will form more effectively to the individual. Due to the fact that sprung slats are often supplied in this way, they aren’t an option for use with beds that don’t have a centre support bar.

While they may seem like the best option if you prefer a softer bed, there are some things that you may need to consider when buying sprung slats. Even though they do offer more cushioning, the fact that they are more malleable means that over time they will start to lose their shape, therefore won’t continue to offer the support required for a healthy night’s sleep.

It also means that your mattress won’t perform to the best of its ability and you may find that you wake up feeling a little sore in the morning as your body isn’t being fully supported. Due to this, they might not be a suitable option for those with a heavier body type as the slats will start to lose their shape sooner and you may find that you need to replace them more regularly than the alternatives.

What About Metal Bed Slats?

Whilst metal bed slats are an option, they’re an uncommon one. Metal bed slats can be supplied in two different forms; as solid slats or as a frame which is then covered with a bed board. A bed board can be made from either solid wood which is the firmest option and offers greater support and weight distribution, or as a series of woven steel “springs” which will offer a softer sleeping area.

Thin metal slats should be avoided or covered with a bed board, not doing so could mean they’re liable to sag or break and could cause damage to your mattress.

On the other hand, thicker, more robust solid metal slats can be a great alternative to wooden ones as they’re less likely to break and they won’t degrade as quickly. They also ensure maximum rigidity should you require it.

How Many Bed Slats Do I Need?

This can all depend on the width of the slats you choose. The thinner the slats are, the more you will need. It will also depend on the size of bed you choose. King and super king sized beds are both longer than a standard double, therefore more slats will be required.

How Wide Should The Gap Between Bed Slats Be?

It’s recommended that a gap of no more than 6cm is left between each slat for optimum support. Therefore, the best way to work out how many slats you need is to take the length of the bed, the width of the slats and take into consideration the maximum recommended space between each one.

When measuring, you should also ensure that you start and end with a slat, not a space. This will eliminate any sagging around the edges of your mattress.

To make things easier, many slats that are bought premade, will come with a “ribbon” attached to each slat, joining them all together. Not only does this help to ensure the spaces between each slat remains even, but it also makes them more secure, preventing them from moving around.

Which Bed Slats Are Best?

This really does all come down to personal preference. If what you want is maximum comfort, then sprung bed slats are the right ones for you. If however you’d prefer a firmer bed, then solid wood slats would be best.

For maximum durability, solid steel slats are sure to be the ones that go the distance, though it’s worth remembering that with that durability comes very little in the way of flexibility, so they aren’t really a long term solution for those that prefer a medium/soft bed.

While platform beds such as those that require slats offer the flexibility to choose, panel beds such as divans, which have full box spring support for your mattress, will ultimately offer better all-round support.

Making sure you fully understand the differences and what each style offers, will mean you can make an informed decision – we hope our guide on slatted bed bases has helped!