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Can You Put A Box Spring On Top Of Slats?

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If you just bought a new bed, you might wonder, "Do I need to put a box spring on top of the bed slats? Do I need both or do I choose just one?" People often question if they come as a pair. So, we investigated to see if you can put a box spring on top of bed slats.

Yes, you certainly can put a box spring on top of bed slats, but do you want to? That is the real question! Most of the time, you don't put a box spring on top of slats because ultimately they serve the same purpose and function similarly. 

Are you curious about the differences between a box spring and bed slats? Or, maybe you want to know the benefits or disadvantages when using a box spring and bed slats together? Continue reading for answers to these questions and more about your bed.

Box spring mattress, Can You Put A Box Spring On Top Of Slats?

What Is A Box Spring?

Internal technology of springs and coating inside mattress for box bed

A box spring provides shock-absorbing stability and support for your mattress. It prevents your mattress from sloping, providing you with a sturdier foundation for sleep.

The outer frame is wood or plywood, while spring coils compose the inner workings of the frame. The box is covered in cloth material to hold it all together. 

Box springs are normally the width and length of the mattress, making them larger and heavier than bed slats.

Benefits Of A Box Spring?

Generally speaking, box springs provide more stability than bed slats because of their bulkier size and substantial frame. Since it provides more stability, it also lasts longer. Bed slats can break over time, but box springs will last years with proper care. 

Also, if you are looking to add more height to your bed, a box spring will easily fulfill the job. 

What Are Bed Slats?

wooden bed without a mattress in the room

Like box springs, bed slats also provide support for you and your mattress to avoid sagging. They are usually wood or metal and run length-wise across the bed frame about 2 to 2.75 inches apart.

It's extremely lightweight and easy to install. You normally won't see a bed that comes with both the box spring and bed slats. 

Benefits Of Bed Slats?

Bed slats are more affordable than box springs partly because of their size. They also provide more airflow to your mattress, so you'll get a cooler night's sleep. This is a great option for a hot sleeper.

Because of the improved airflow, it helps prevent mildew and dust, which makes it easy to keep clean. Last, installing a bed slat is much easier than lugging around a heavy box spring. 

Should I Use Both?

King bed with white linens and pillows

That is completely up to you! As we discussed above, you can use both a box spring and a bed frame together if you wanted. But honestly, it's completely unnecessary.

The only reason you would use both is if you want to add extra height to your bed, or to provide extra support for your mattress if you don't trust your bed slats will hold up. Overall, most people would agree it's a waste of money, time, and effort to use both. 

How Much Weight Can Bed Slats Hold?

Normally, bed slats can hold up to 600 pounds. However, it's important to check the weight limit before you buy because some slats only hold around 300 pounds. The last thing you want in the middle of the night is to be woken up because of a broken bed!

How Can I Make My Bed Slats Stronger?

Are you nervous your bed slats won't hold up? Are you close to the recommended weight limit? There are a few things that you can do to make your bed slats stronger. Let's review:

1. Center Support Beam

Also known as a midbeam, it's made of steel. You install it down the middle of the bed frame to add additional support. Choose this option for a quick and affordable fix. 

Click here to view support beams on Amazon

2. Metal Bed Slats

Swapping out wooden slats for a metal one is a great way to prevent broken or sagging slats. This option is the most durable compared to the other choices. 

Click here to view metal bed slats on Amazon

3. Use Additional Slats

The more slats the better if you're want a sturdy bed. You can purchase extra slats to fill in the spaces or gaps. This will evenly distribute the weight of the mattress and ensure there's no drooping. 

Click here to view additional bed slats on Amazon

4. Plywood

This is as simple as it sounds. You can grab a sheet of plywood at any local home improvement store for a decent price. You would put this on top of the bed slats for extra leverage. 

Can I Put My Mattress On The Floor?

It's not recommended to put your mattress on the floor, even though this is the least expensive option. 

Your mattress will be more susceptible to mold and mildew because of reduced ventilation. And we all know how harmful mold can be!

Likewise, less ventilation means a hotter night's sleep, which is never comfortable. These two reasons are good enough to avoid putting your mattress on the floor. But it also makes it awkward to get in and out of bed. 

Are Bed Slats For All Mattresses?

Slatted base, wooden element double bed frame close up in bedroom orthopedic interior

If you have a memory foam mattress make sure that the slats are no more than 2.75 inches apart. This is because over time, a memory foam mattress can sag between the slats and cause discomfort. A good night's sleep is important, so this is a tip you want to remember!

How Many Slats Should A Bed Have?

If you're using slats that measure 1 to 2 inches wide, you should have anywhere between 16 to 20 bed slats depending on your mattress size. A twin-sized bed normally uses 16 to 18 slats and a queen or king-sized bed needs 18 to 20.

However, some slats can be wider and measure up to 3 to 4 inches. So, you can get away with using fewer slats as long as the spacing is still 2 to 2.75 inches apart.

How Do I Measure For Bed Slats?

Almost all manufacturers sell their bed slats for a specific mattress size so it should be fairly easy to determine which one to buy. 

However, if you find yourself in a pickle, get your tape measure. Take measurements by running it from the left side to the right side of the bed frame and mark down the number. Take that number and match it with the corresponding bed slats. 

For example, a twin-sized mattress is 38 to 39 inches long so make sure the bed slats are at least that long if not longer. 

Does A Mattress Feel Different With Slats?

Mattress Memory Foam Bed Topper In Bedroom

Whether you favor box springs or bed slats is a matter of preference. Each provides a different feel, but the distinction isn't groundbreaking. 

Box springs give you more bounce because of the coiled springs, so your mattress might feel a little bit softer. Bed slats don't have coils so the feeling is firmer with less buoyancy. Either way, find out what works for you and weigh the pros and cons.

Wrapping It Up

The next time you buy a new bed, come here for answers to your questions!

Essentially, you can put a box spring over bed slats for additional support or extra height. But, it's unnecessary to do so. As you can see, knowing the difference between a box spring and bed slats proves beneficial in more ways than one.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful articles about bed slats and box springs:

How Wide Should Bed Slats Be? How Many Do You Need?

Does An Ikea Bed Need Box Spring?

Can You Put A Box Spring On A Platform Bed?