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Best Bed Slats to Buy Online
Our top 4 favorite bed slats on the market
By TIM SUMERFIELD
Bed slats can be a great option for customers who have a standard size bed frame or bed set that are looking for an affordable support system for their mattress. Rather than purchasing a box spring, customers can purchase a bed slat system and simply put their mattress on top of it. Our company receives sleep product returns from the entire industry. Therefore, we know which products are worth purchasing and which are not.
The popularity of bed slats is on the rise due to the growth of the online mattress industry, which has been on an upward trend ever since the bed-in-a-box craze started to take back off in 2014. It is more affordable to utilize bed slats instead of a bigger more expensive box spring, not to mention much easier to ship and assemble. The slats provide the same amount of support as a box spring and can be used universally on any bed frame.
In this post we go over what bed slats are, the different types available on the market, the benefits and downsides compared to a box spring and we give you some insight on our top picks for the best rated bed slats on the market.
What are Bed Slats?
“Bed slats are wooden or metal planks you put on a standard bed frame to support your mattress. They are intended to be used INSTEAD of a box spring.”
Bed slats are essentially a row of wooden planks that run horizontally across your bed frame.They provide a supportive platform for your mattress to sit on. Many “platform beds” utilize bed slats in their construction in order for the user to forego having to purchase a box spring. Bed slats are becoming a popular trend with online mattress retailers due to their smaller and lighter packaging for shipping. They can be used in one of 2 ways. 1) You own a standard bed frame and use bed slats as a support system for your mattress instead of using a box spring. 2) You can purchase a platform bed that comes with bed slats already built in, many times people opt to purchase replacement slats for their platform bed due to the fact that many manufacturers utilize cheap bed slat systems.
How Do Bed Slats Work?
Bed slats are placed on top of a standard bed frame instead of a box spring. The mattress is then placed directly on top of the slats. The purpose of your bed slat system is to provide support for the mattress. NOTE: If you purchased a “platform bed” you do not need to purchase slats, as platform beds already come with slats. A row of bed slats will help to distribute the sleepers weight throughout the mattress to provide a more sturdy base and more uniform weight distribution, minimizing sagging and “soft spots”. Bed slats are lower profile than a box spring (1.5″ rather than 5.5″) so it will keep your mattress lower to the ground.
The Different Types of Bed Slats
Although all bed slats strive to essentially satisfy the same purpose, they come in a few varying constructions. Each of these constructions has its own benefits and drawbacks. When shopping for bed slats you need to take into account your specific needs and decide which specific type is best for you.
Wooden Bed Slats With Metal Border Support
This bed slat system with a border support is going to offer the most support for sleeping and will ultimately last the longest without breaking down. The metal border acts as another barrier of support to your frame that you will be setting it on. The border system also ensures that your bed slats will sit level and flush with your frame. The only downside to this bed slat system is the assembly takes slightly longer than purchasing just the wooden slats themselves.
Standard Wooden Bed Slats
Wooden slats are the most common type of bed slats. They are generally the most affordable option and the simplest construction. These slats are sturdy and suitable for average weight and lighter weight sleepers. This version is VERY easy to assemble. Simply take them out of the box and lay them on your frame. POOF! You are all ready to set your mattress on top and start sleeping. The only downside with these basic wooden slats is they may not be as accommodating to very heavy weight loads. If you are going to have a lot of weight on the mattress, or if you purchased a very thick mattress, you may be better off going with the metal bordered bed slat set show in option #1.
Bed Slat Sizing and Fit
Bed slats must be no wider than 1.5″ apart. If each slat has wider than a 1.5″ gap in-between it then you will need a box spring. This issue is not as common if you buy slats online but more common if you try to make a bed slat system yourself.
Important note: Your mattress will sit lower when using bed slats rather than a box spring. Bed slats fit directly on top of a standard bed frame and sit about 1-1.5″ high.
It is important to measure the opening of your bed set at home and compare it to the slats you are looking to buy. Make sure your bed slats will fit! Some bed sets are for “aesthetics” and require you to purchase a metal bed frame to go inside.
Most standard bed slats you find online will come in Twin, Full, Queen and King sizes. These are made to fit any standard size bed frame.
Benefits of Bed Slats
There are many benefits to purchasing bed slats:
- AFFORDABILITY – Bed slats are much cheaper than purchasing a box spring
- LOW PROFILE – Bed slats sit only 1-1.5″ off of your bed frame, making your mattress sit lower to the ground.
- EASE OF SHIPPING – Bed slats can be shipped in a small box and therefore save tremedounsly on shipping costs
- EASY ASSEMBLY – Bed slats are extremely easy to assemble.
Downside of Bed Slats
The downside to purchasing a bed slat is that you are installing a (one-size-fit-all) product to a wide variety of products on the market. While bed slats are made to universally fit MOST beds, they do not fit all of them perfectly and in rare instances you may end up with a less than ideal fit. Bed slats also make your mattress sit lower to the ground, so if you are very tall and prefer a higher sitting mattress, this may not be the best option for you.
Bed Slats vs. Box Spring
Bed slats and box springs are technically interchangeable, as they both strive to provide the same end result, which is to support your mattress. Essentially, a bed slat is a more affordable and lower profile version of a box spring. Bed slats have become more popular due to their modern aesthetic and ease of shipping in the era of online mattress shopping.
The major differences between bed slats and box springs are as follows
- HEIGHT – Bed slats sit at around 1″-1.5″ while box springs can vary from 5.5″ for a lower profile box spring to 9″ for a standard size. You should take into account the thickness of your mattress when deciding on which support system to purchase and how high you would like you mattress to be. Individuals on the taller or shorter ends may need a specific mattress height for getting in and out of bed. This is also very common with elderly customers.
- ASSEMBLY & SHIPPING – If you purchase a box spring online it will be generally be harder and more time consuming to assemble than that of a bed slat.
- PRICE – For the most part bed slats are more affordable than a quality box spring. The average queen bed slat set is around $60 while a quality queen box spring can run closer to $150-$200.
Ultimately, box springs and bed slats are both widely used support systems. It comes down to personal preference as to which is right for you.
The Top 4 Best Bed Slats
BEST OVERALL PICK
What Customers love: Great for heavier weight loads
The Zinus Deepak easy assembly bed slat system is our #1 overall top pick. If you are looking for a great bed slat set that is easy to assemble, affordable and sturdy then this is is the bed slat you should buy. It sits perfectly on top of any standard size bed frame or bed set. The outer metal support along with the center metal support bar provide additional durability for even the heaviest sleepers and mattresses. It has over 800 reviews on amazon with over 75% of those being 5 star reviews. The Deepak is made to fit any standard size bed frame (Twin, Full, Queen, King). It will come in a small box and with Amazon prime free 2 day shipping and free returns, you can always return it if you find that it doesn’t suit your needs. Once you receive the Deepak slats, set up is very simple. You screw the metal border together, put the slats in and simply place the slat on top of your existing bed set.
BEST FOR AVERAGE/LIGHTER WEIGHTS
What Customers love: Zero Assembly Required
The Zinus Adrianne is the lighter duty cousin of the Deepak model shown in #1. Zinus made this model without the metal border support for the average or lighter weight sleeper. The biggest benefit to the Adrianne is that there is zero set up needed. When it arrives you can simply take the slats out of the box and put them on your bed set or bed frame. Plop your mattress on top of that and you are ready to go. The Adrianne should be a great fit for the majority of sleepers on the market.
BEST BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTION
What Customers love: Great price for the quality
The Annamarie bed slat set is another option in the Zinus bed slat lineup. Zinus is one of the only manufacturers who sells bed slats directly to consumers. The Annamarie is similar to the Adrianne in terms of its ease of set up and durability standards. This option is great for light and average weight sleepers but may not be the best support if your mattress will be holding heavy amounts of weight. The Annamarie comes 100% assembled and has an extra feature with the covered fabric over the wooden slats. This makes sliding your mattress on and off the slats very easy and protects against and snags or tearing that may occur with exposed wood slats.
BEST FOR ODD SIZE MATTRESSES OR BED SETS
What Customers love: Fits my California King mattress perfectly.
The Classic Brands bed slat system is a top quality bed slat setup that comes in a wide variety of sizes. Unlike the Zinus options, Classic Brands offers this set in a variety of sizes to accommodate odd size bed sets as well as California king sets and Twin XLs. If you you find that one of the standard bed slats above doesn’t fit your bed this is the one you should purchase.
Bed Slat Alternatives
If you are looking for an alternative to a bed slat you have a few options at your disposal.
- Box Spring: A Box spring, as mentioned above, is simply a taller version of a bed slat system. It provides the same purpose and is the most common support system you can buy for your mattress. Many of the bed-in-a-box companies sell box springs in addition to their mattresses.
- Platform bed: If you want to get a bed slat and bed frame system all-in-one you will want to go with the ever popular platform bed. A platform bed allows you to plop your mattress right down on it without having to purchase any additional support system, like a box spring.
- Bunkie Board: A “Bunkie board” as it is called in the industry, is basically a flat box spring. It is good for a lower profile sleeping platform and allows your mattress to sit at a lower height while still providing the support of a box spring.
In conclusion, bed slats are a great support system that you can use as an alternative to a box spring. They are affordable, easy to assemble and allow for a lower height for your mattress to sit at. Make sure you already have a frame to put bed slats on and be sure to measure that frame to make sure whichever bed slat you purchase will fit correctly on top of it.