What are slats?
Slats are a type of base made for a bed.
Slats work together with your mattress to provide you with the much-needed support when you lie on the bed.
Basically, slats are a series of wood that is fixed across the bed frame.
There are two types of slats to choose from: sprung slats and solid slats.
The main difference between these two types of slats is the way they are fitted onto the bed and the mechanism they use to offer support.
An easier way to identify them is to look at their structure.
Flat slats are flatly run across the width of the bed while sprung slats are fixed in such a way that they have an arch that faces upwards.
Understanding solid slats
Solid slats are usually made of firm, sturdy wood like pine.
The type of wood used depends on the carpenter or designer making the bed.
Solid slats are recommended if you are going for a firm feel in a bed.
If you desire an even firmer feel, try pairing your solid slat base with a firm mattress.
Even though solid slats provide the firm support many people like, the spaces between the slats cause the mattress to wear fast and unevenly.
For your mattress to last a little longer, consider spreading out a cheap duvet or blanket on the slats before laying your mattress on the bed.
The duvet will help reduce the friction between your mattress and the slats thus prolonging the life of your mattress.
Advantages of using a solid slat base
Basically, a solid slat base is made up of wood bars running from one side of the bed to the other with one wood bar joining them in the middle.
Because of its structure, a solid slat base has an excellent distribution of pressure.
The pressure is not applied to an individual slat at any time.
The even distribution of pressure makes it firm thus making it good for back support.
Unlike a spring base, the structure of a solid slat base also helps absorb movements.
This eases out the movements of a partner in case two or more people are sharing the bed.
Because of the spaces between the wood bars, slat bases help keep your mattress fresh for longer.
The spaces in between the bars encourage air circulation thus keeping the mattress sufficiently aerated.
Understanding sprung slats
Sprung slats are usually made of flexible wood like beech.
The type of wood your carpenter decides to use is dependent on the design of the bed and the availability of the wood.
Sprung slats mimic the movement of springs.
When you lay on your bed, the bent wood strips bend downwards and when you get up, it springs back into shape.
This gives your bed a springy feel.
If you are not a fan of firm beds, sprung slats are the best choice for you.
If you want an even softer bed, pair the sprung slats with a medium feel or softer mattress.
Advantages of using a sprung slat base
Just like the spring box and other types of bed bases, a sprung slat base offers firm support to the person sleeping on the bed.
However, unlike the spring box, the slats do not loosen or weaken as the years go by.
This makes sprung slat bases comfortable long after other bases wear off.
Unlike the solid slat base, sprung slats act as shock absorbers to your mattress.
When you sit or lie on your mattress, the slats bend downward, shielding your mattress from tear and wear.
In addition, since each slat is joined to the mid bar independently, the pressure is applied to each slat individually.
This helps prolong the lifespan of the slats themselves and thus avoid the cost of repairing a broken bed.
How wide should bed slats be?
Remember, slats are strips of woods fixed together to help provide support.
Since slats are just wood strips fixed together, is there any harm having them closer or further apart?
Yes, there is. If slats are fixed too close together, then the bed gets a feel that is too firm.
The bed will have a feel similar to putting the mattress on the floor.
If the slats are fixed too wide apart, then the bed will feel bumpy.
In addition, wider gaps between the slats subject the mattress to fast wear and tear.
There is no hard and fast rule on the measurement for the gap between slats.
To avoid having them too close or too far, it is recommended that the slats do not go beyond seven centimeters apart.
That is approximately 2.8 inches apart.
Therefore, if you are buying a bed that has slats for its base, pay attention to the measurement of the gaps between the slats.
Best slat-based bed to buy
Here are a few things to consider:
As much as there is no standard length recommended for the gaps between wood bars, one of the things to look out for is the length of the spaces between wood bars.
Based on the experiences of their clients, most carpenters and designers recommend that the bars be about seven centimeters apart.
The type of wood used to build the slat base.
There is no standard rule on the type of wood to be used for a slate base.
The general rule is that a solid slate base should be made of a firm wood type and a sprung slat base should be made of a flexible wood type.
Other than that, the designer is at liberty to pick any wood type he desires.
Regardless, of the wood type used, ensure it is a durable one.
A slat-based bed is good not only for your health but also for your mattress.
It offers the comfort, flexibility, and support necessary while preserving the lifespan of your mattress.
It keeps your mattress aerated thus keeping it clean and fresh.
Furthermore, it is easy to build a slat base bed frame with tools found at home.
If you are looking for a base for your bed, slats are what you are looking for.