Mattresses for slats

Slatted mattress bases can cause endless frustrations for bed owners. What mattress is suitable? Which type is best? There is no justification to say whether one type of slatted base is better than the other but both come with their own set of benefits and problems. This article explains what to look out for and tips when using a slatted base with a mattress.

Firstly, nearly all mattresses are suitable for nearly all bed bases/frames but you do need to take some precautions if you’re opting for a slatted mattress base. It’s a known fact that they may be lighter and cheaper but they also provide the weakest form of mattress support.

Handmade heavily upholstered mattresses really need more support than a slatted base can offer

Perhaps there may be a disclaimer here with cheaper one-sided mattresses where there is insufficient wadding on the non-use side. Making them unsuitable for slatted bases as they start to warp to the gaps between the slats. Highly upholstered mattresses, such as our Artisan range, Vi-spring or Savoir beds will most definitely need more support than a standard slatted base and so some tweaks will be required to the slats. More on that later down the article.


Types of slatted mattress bases

There are two main types of slatted bed frames:

  1. Sprung slats which have an arch in the middle as they flex
  2. Solid slats which are just thin planks of wood extending across the bedframe.

1.Sprung Slats

There are many anecdotes on this site and throughout the internet where the mattress develops a central dip known as ‘The Hump Back Bridge Effect’ and this can easily be attributed to the use of a slatted bed frame where the pressure of the slats (the arches) are too firm to ‘give’ under the weight of mattress and user and, therefore, the mattress is prone to settling on the central support bar.

bedstead slats

Sprung slats can create a humpback bridge effect or tear the mattress fabric as they move

There are of course associated reasons why this happens. The mattress itself can be so unsubstantial and lightweight that the arches on the slats are pushing the internal spring unit out of shape. The underside wadding of the mattress (one sided no turn) has such an inadequate level of support upholstery that the springs are practically forming on to the slats.

2.Solid Slats

On the lower priced bedframes the slats tend to have far too wide a spacing between them and again, particularly with the one-sided no turn mattresses the individual pocket springs themselves will have no underside support and subsequently be ‘falling’ through the slats. This does sound so much more dramatic in theory than actuality, but the principle is there. By contrast, on traditionally built double sided mattresses, there will be/should be!  More than sufficient fillings and wadding to add an extra element of cushioning between the springs and the slats to act as a dampener.

metal bed frame and slats

Metal slats shown here are much too wide to support a mattress properly

Solid slats do have the advantage over sprung slats as a better surface for all pocket sprung mattresses. The thing to remember is that a pocket sprung mattress requires a flat even surface in order for the mechanics of the individual springs to work with the sleeper.

The problems with slatted bases

If we take a lead from all the high-end manufacturers of pocket sprung mattresses, we see that they are all partnered with a Sprung Edged Divan Base.  The suspension qualities of a sprung edged base are precisely what the sprung slats are trying to replicate but not too efficiently I might add.

There is a considerable difference in user comfort levels between a mattress on a sprung edged divan base, and a mattress on a sprung (or solid) slatted base. Pocket springs work best when there is a system of gradual suspension. This means that as the weight applied to the mattress is under duress, the springs in the mattress takes the strain and the springs in the base cushions the blow if you will.

How to prevent slatted bases damaging a mattress?

I have to point out here that to fully understand this post you will have to read the posts on spring types, divan bases, mattress upholstery and wadding etc. You will soon come to realise everything to do with manufacture and usage will depend upon a number of variables. Use these articles as an initial line of questioning, but bear in mind that they only just scratch the surface and a great number of other factors will have to be taken into account.

Folding a duvet over the top of slats before you put your mattress on will offer some protection against damage

A mattress placed directly onto a slatted base with no cushioning whatsoever. This will also cause the mattress to gain unsightly and potentially damaging ridges into the underside of the mattress upholstery noticeable when you turn your mattress. At the very least you should be placing some sort of cushioning foundation directly onto your slats to prevent this happening such as an old duvet etc. There are products sold as mattress pads for this very reason but these are very minimal in construction that the duvet thesis is a far better and more affordable solution.

Boarding over a slatted bed base

Mattress Slats (1)

Boarding over slats is the best fix for problems with slatted bases

To address the issue of the desirable flat surface for your mattress when used on a sprung slatted base, you should really be taking measures to do all you can to achieve this. The best method we have found is to place thin sheets (about 3-6mm) of MDF onto your slats, to create the flat even surface required.

This image shows three lengths of MDF sheets bridging the arched slats and central bar to prevent the central dipping problems. They are also not so big as to prevent any problems with aeration to the mattress.

This has been topped off with a substantial feather topper to add an element of cushioning to the underside of the mattress. To prevent the topper slipping when the mattress is turned I have placed the corner ties on the topper between the noggins on the slat inserts.

As stated above there ‘will’ be a comfort difference between a mattress used on a slatted base and the same mattress used on a sprung edged divan.

What is a Bedframe or Bedstead?

This a term thrown about that, in reality, is quite meaningless and, in my opinion, can be quite a cause for unnecessary concern. If we look at Vi-Spring as an example, they offer two types of mattresses in their range under the heading ‘Bed Collection’ and ‘Bedstead Mattresses’.

Their top of range mattresses such as the Magnificence and the Signatory fall into their ‘Bed Collection’ headings. They are often accompanied with a bedstead. Does this mean you have to use a bedstead with the mattress? Will you have to opt for a lesser model? No of course not, you could use any mattress with a divan or sprung edge divan base instead.

artisan bespoke mattress

Don’t let bedsteads confuse you

If we look at the construction between these two ranges of bedsteads we see that the only difference is the inclusion of a wool spring protector pad on the mattresses deemed fit for use on a bedstead. This is the component directly on top and bottom of the actual spring unit and the following layers of upholstery can be deemed similar to the models within their Bed Collection.

The wool spring protector pad will be within a 500 GSM tolerance and although compressed and slightly firmer than the usual 1000 GSM bonded wool and cotton as the insulator used for the bulk of their models, I cannot see any reason to differentiate between these two ranges.

You can use any quality mattress with either a bedstead, bedframe or divan base

If the returning argument is that there has to be a more substantial spring insulator for mattresses used on a bedstead, then surely this negates the benefit of having a completely pliable calico spring unit in the first place. I really can’t understand it, particularly from a manufacturer of this calibre.

Are John Ryan Mattresses Suitable for Slatted bases?

We always advise with our hand-made mattress range that if you’re going to use a slatted base you board over the slats. This is due to the fact that compared to most ‘shop bought’ retail mattresses, our range are much heavier. This is due to the vast amounts if fillings within them compared to shop bought mattresses. If you don’t board over the slats with mdf or pegboard over time the weight of the mattress can mean it conforms to the gaps between the slats, especially true with latex.

Origins latex0025 3

Visit our mattress range here

We have also found that slats can nip and bite the mattress fabric over time causing tears and snags, by boarding over and using say a cheap duvet to cover the base you can avoid having your slats damage the mattress.

What’s the ideal base for a foam mattress?

The best answer is to go for a platform or sprung edge divan ideally. This ensures a consistent surface and removes the issue of slats causing dipping or damage to your mattress. Whilst a nice looking bed frame is a consideration when buying a new bed, you also have to weigh this up against the impact of certain slatted bed frames. Particularly against your mattresses longevity, comfort and consistency.

Divan bases are the most consistent base for any mattress type

As you will read in the comments below we have had prototypes of a sprung mattress pad made to address the issue of the lack of gradual support between the mattress and the base. We did try these on a bedframe and the theory does work with a noticeable increase in overall comfort.

However, these prototypes did come in at a depth of between four and five inches in height and coupled with the height of the mattress (10 inches) completely dominated the bedframe. The headboard was dwarfed and the tail board was completely swamped. If you want to see how we have incorporated the base pad idea into the Legacy mattress have a look here.


Slats are fine as an entry level mattress base provided they are not spaced to far apart and you board over them. If not you can end up with sagging mattresses or even rips and tears in the mattress fabric. The best way to avoid the hassle of slatted bases is to choose an upholstered divan. Saving the need for any boarding over or tweaking.

We are have developed a Luxury mattress base pad for our Legacy mattress but have yet to create one suitable to remove the issues for normal slatted bases. This is because they make the mattress too high. We at present offer a range of divans which can be used with your existing mattress or one of our models.  If you need more help please call our friendly team on 0161 437 4419.

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Speak to our small friendly team between 9am – 5pm and we’ll be happy to guide you through any questions you may have.

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  • Helen says:

    Can a memory foam mattress be used slat based bed?
    Kind Regards
    ‘ Hi Helen, I would say Yes. either rigid slats or sprung slats. The bottom of a memory foam mattress (Memory Foam on Foam) is/should be .. High Density foam and I can’t see any reason why any slatted base could not be used. It certainly isn’t going to squidge out between the gaps. However, as a sidenote.., I do think that for most other mattress types the addition of a blanket or duvet on top of any slatted base is worthwhile, just to give a flexible layer of suspension/protection from the hard slats and the mattress. People currently with slatted bases see that when they turn the mattress there are slat shaped ridges where the pressure of the slats have been. This does have an obvious detrimental effect on the fabric and underlying waddding..

    Protecting the mattress from the slats does not really matter with foam mattresses – partularly Memory Foam on High Density Foam. The mattress will undoubtedly be requiring as much ventilation as it can get. And ventilation is the reason why I do not think it is good practice to place a sheet of hardboard, or indeed pegboard over the slats. I havn’t yet seen or heard anything that says whatever benefit the pegboard will potentially bring would be worth any decreased natural ventilation. Good question.

  • claire says:

    i have a metal bed frame which has rungs rather than flat slats running across it- will these damage my mattress, i have had an airsprung mattress for 2 years and it is like there’s no wadding left protecting you from lumpy mattress springs. is this because it is not great quality or is my bedframe solely to blame- and how to i get round it? i’m looking for a new mattress (obviously) and am wondering whether to put something between the mattress and frame to prevent it getting lumpy?
    thanks, claire
    Hi Claire, I have no ‘positive proof’ that this method of support will damage a mattress. I do not know of any test carried out that can answer this with factual evidence so any answer can only be opinion. The retailer of this kind of bedframe will obviously say it wouldn’t damage a mattress. The retailer of memory foam mattresses for example, may say yes it would. I personally would suggest that a better frame for your new mattress would be more beneficial.
    The answer to your second point about your Airsprung mattress is speculation as you do not provide model name and specification. However, Airsprung as a product brand is not one that I would readily associate with top quality and so, just on that basis alone I think the model you describe has come to the end of its life. Let me know what your budget is and I will be able to help you further. John.

  • Dorothy says:

    Reply to claire
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM
    I have also had a bed frame with rungs which bent with my son bouncing. It was a cheapish child’s bunk bed.It was causing damage to the mattress. I got the local joinery shop to cut strong hardboard to the size of the frame and that kept it going for longer. Eventually the frame fell apart but the hardboard was well used by that time.
    Hi Dorothy, thanks for adding your excellent tip. All beds with metal rungs tend to be (or should be) in the lower price range. The rungs tend to be widely spaced and not particularly suitable for pocket sprung mattresses. However, rather than going to the expense of replacing the frame, it can be adapted to suit the mattress as you have demonstrated.
    All slats should really be covered by some sort of dampener. Many high end manufacturers (Burgess, Hypnos, Vi-Spring etc) sell mattress pads to protect the mattress from the slats. Rather than a custom made pad an alternative is to use an old quilt or any other sort of padding to prevent the mattress digging into the slats. It will definitely extend the life of your mattress John.

  • Shelene Crane says:

    We are looking for a new mattress for our sprung slat bed. We bought a firm latex mattress about 6 years ago (the mattress is latex only with no springs and cost us a fortune at the time), however the mattress is now too firm and we would like something softer, what would you recommend? My husband is about 3-4 stone heavier than me so it would need to be suitable for both of us.
    Thank you. Shelene

    Hi Shelene, If the mattress still has support, which I assume it has, then I would nip out to Dunelm Mill and buy a topper that would offer the comfort you require. John and Ryan.

  • Bernard Riches says:

    What a fantastic treasure trove of information.

    We need a new mattress as the current one has got really uncomfortable. However having read the information on slatted bases I checked the distance between slats on our 4 year old bed and discovered this distance to be 3,5 inches between slats. Would i need to revise this or cover the slats with suitably ventilated board?

    Many thanks in advance.


    Hi Bernard, So sorry for the delay in replying – not enough hours in the day.

    Firstly, many thanks for the appreciative quotation, sounds like an advert for Stephen Fry 🙂

    Your slat width is fine. I would hope that you are looking to replace with a full double sided mattress in which case there will (should be) sufficient wadding to stop the springs potentially going throught the gaps. Too much is made of gap sizes and I think it is a ruse to prohibit full use of a warranty or guarantee.,

    To put this into perspective – a pocket spring is roughly 45 – 50mm in diameter. If you pressed down on one spring then sure, a lot of pressure is directly applied and so the spring would have a tendency to be forced through the gap. But, there will never be an instance when this will happen. Your bodyweights are distributed over a greater area and the springs used are sharing this load equally. A one sided mattress with minimal supportive wadding on the underside will of course be more prone to damage than a two sided mattress with adequate wadding.

    I would emphasise a disclaimer here. It is good practice to utilise a mattress pad of some sort on ANY slatted base. Not so much to stop springs squishing through the slats but as a protection buffer to the mattress. For high end mattresses that use natural fillings as the upholstery you want to minimise any kind of excess compression as well as protecting your investment in any way that you can. A mattress needs looking after and caring for, if you look after it – it will look after you. John.

  • Jason says:

    Can you reccommend some kingsize mattresses for our new bedstead with sprung lats with bar down centre.
    We had a Dunlopillo double divan which we have passed to our daughter. They are too expensive for us now so what would you suggest ?
    Kind regards

    Hi Jason, We have two latex matts both utilising 2000 pocket springs as the support. The first is The Origins Pocket Latex at £695. The second is the Sequence Pocket Latex at £725.
    These have been built to offer two different levels of firmness –
    The Origins is a quilted model giving the mattress an overall softer tension than The Sequence. This uses 6cm (two layers of 3cm) of Latex as the primary layer on top of 2cm Reflex, giving you a total depth of 8cm of wadding. This is the model that would be more suitable for people of a lighter bodyweight
    The Sequence has been tufted and therefore gives you a much firmer tension. The Latex layer on this model is 5cm plus 2cm of supersoft foam directly beneath the fabric. This also utilises 2cm of Reflex directly above the spring unit giving you a total depth of 9cm of wadding.
    Just the two rows of hand Side Stitching to The Sequence Latex more than justifies the extra £30 BUT .. it is on the firmer side of medium. Please talk to Ryan [number at top of this page] before making your final decision as he will be able to make some alterations to the mattress build such as using a lower count softer spring unit if your weight dictates this.
    I must say that your question goes a long way to promote the comfort level and overall durability of a latex mattress. The fact that you are looking for similar, and have passed your previous latex mattress to your daughter is testament enough that once you have latex – you stick with latex. Please keep in touch. John.

  • stephen cole says:

    I have just bought a memory foam double mattress, 4ft6, which I will be putting on a slatted base. After reading the advice on this site, my initial fears about the base being able to take the strain have been allayed. However, before I put the mattress on, I wanted to get advice about whether weight is an issue, with the base being strong enough. We will probably put an old blanket or duvet on the base, but I did want to ask about whether weight would be an issue at all? Any advice would be gratefully received! Thanks.

    Hi Stephen. In reality, all bed frames should be strong enough for the purpose intended. Of course I am going to assume you are not so overweight as to cause an issue. Without knowing type of mattress / frame etc it really is impossible to even generalise let alone give an accurate opinion. If you have a specific reason for asking this question I am afraid you will have to elaborate further. John and Ryan.

  • Hazel says:

    Hi John and Ryan

    I have had a brass bed for 20 years for which wooden slats have been made to support the mattress. These are sturdy and quite close together so don’t cause a problem. We have recently bought a 9 inch thick, pocket sprung mattress described as ‘Ortho pocket sprung hand tufted’ and made with an ‘extra firm spring system’ We love the firmness of this mattress, but the undulations, which are quite deep, and the buttons make it feel as if I have lumps poking into me all over my body. Is this usual for very firm mattresses and can you suggest anything that I can put on top which will take away the ‘lumpy’ feeling? I do not want to use memory foam mattress toppers.
    Thank you

    Hi Hazel. Good question. The undulations on a new mattress will indeed be firm at first and as with all mattresses you should be tweaking the comfort level with a topper / comforter of sorts. You do say that the support for you is correct, it’s the comfort that you feel is disconcerting. I would personally get a basic duvet from Tesco etc and use that as the layer beneath your mattress protector. This will take the edge of the firmness as it beds in slowly and naturally. John and Ryan.

  • Katie says:

    Purchased a super king bed base with spring slats about 65mm apart. Also purchased a Komfi Sleepmart 700 memory foam mattress. Have found there is a lot of creaking sounds from the bed with 2 people in the bed who are normal weight. Looking under the bed when my husband was lying on the mattress made clear a lot of flex in the slats making the bed creak loud enough to wake us. The bed base is a metal frame with a metal bar in the centre.

    Would you know of way tonrectify this? Have considered 12mm plywood sheets or mdf but are really uncertain what to do.

    All Feedback greatly appreciated.
    Best regards

    Hi Katie. As I have mentioned elsewhere on this site, metal frame beds do have a tendency to creak, particularly lower priced models where no rubber buffers are used on the joints. Normally, excessive creaking is due to the fact that the fixings are not regularly tightened and thus the metal on metal sound occurs. I personally do not think a plywood sheet will help but obviously without seeing the frame itself and finding the cause is just speculation.

    I would initially remove the mattress and retighten the fittings to see if that helps. Thanks for your comment and let me know what, if anything, remedys it. John and Ryan.

  • ang says:

    Hi, could you advise please. I have a new memory foam mattress (good quality) on flexible slat bed; however mattress is too low and i feel it needs more solid support . it’s 18 cm; can i either put a cheap firm mattress underneath for extra support and height or a memory foam mattress topper? Thank you

    Hi Ang. I can only summise that the mattress you have is unsupportive for your needs and what you are trying to do now is to put right what should have been there in the first place. Support and comfort should go hand in hand and you will find it very hard to make an unsupportive mattress – supportive.

    Placing a plywood or pegboard sheet on top of your sprung slats will go someway of aiding support – but this will inhibit ventilation. If you are contemplating using a firm mattress under your current mattress then this would have to be in relatively good condition to offer the support required. However, it does seem to be a shame that you have to go to this length to obtain the support you require. John and Ryan.

  • robert says:

    To make a base for a 6′ wide sprung mattress
    Is it ok to use 5.5″x1″ boards (or should I slice them in two?)
    And it good to have 2 3/4″ gaps between them, or should I have the gaps more like 2″?
    Thanks so much

    Hi Robert. 5.5″x1″ boards should be fine, no real need to make them thinner. 2-3″ gaps will be fine. What I would do though is to lay a breathable cover over them such as a blanket or duvet to provide some sort of cushioning. John and Ryan.

  • Tim says:

    Some really helpful comments on this site – thanks.
    But so many comments I am not clear what I need to do…so appreciate some advise.
    We have a Simmon Ortho 1400 mattress (4-5 years) on a slatted bed frame (2 joined frames running lenghtways). My wife and I are starting to get some lower back pains so want to resolve quickly and figure it’s the bed.

    I checked and some of the slats are not sprung anymore, that gap is 5.5cm. So reading the reviews I am not sure if we should replace the slats and have some type of mattress cover over ther top or if we need to look at a more substantial change – bed and mattress? I figure a bed frame 4-5 yrs old should be OK and also the mattress.
    Thanks for some suggestions.

    Hi Tim. I personally think the slat gaps and the slats themselves should still be OK and would look at the state of the mattress first to see if it is that that is causing your back troubles.

    Is the Simmons Ortho 1400 the one sided model (blue stripe)? If so, you will be able to tell if the upholstery has had its day by locating the perimeter edge bar and pinching the bar to the top of the mattress [if you know what I mean]. The upholstery edges are the least likely to be used and will indicate just how much wadding was there in the first place.

    As an interim measure to see if it is actually the mattress place your duvet under the bottom sheet to see if that gives you some relief – if so, all indicators point to the mattress and not your base. John and Ryan.

  • Yvonne says:

    I purchased a double bed and memory foam mattress, 10 inch last year, but am finding the mattress too soft.
    The slats are sprung, I am thinking of buying a firm, orthopedic mattress but have been unsure whether or not these slats will be suitable.
    I have been advised to make a wooden base to cover the slats, or to invest in new solid slats, but would laying a mattress over the slats do the same job?

    any advice would be welcome!

    Hi Yvonne. The problem with your mattress may not be altogether down to your slatted base. If you are considering purchasing a ‘firm othopaedic mattress based on your current experience then this is entirely the wrong way to go. Your current mattress seems to have been the wrong choice entirely.

    Your bodyweight becomes the crucial factor. Finding the right support coupled with the right comfort layers for your budget will give you the mattress right for you. John and Ryan.

  • Kirsty says:

    Interesting stuff – have come to your site via a search engine because our SN Miracoil single sided mattress has ‘collapsed’ on one side (my husband is a bit of a hippo and me a fluffy duck, hence we went for SN) and there are now holes in the base which I guess are caused by springs coming through the gaps in the slats! So very interested in the last para of your article!
    Slats are 3 inches apart, sturdy Laura Ashley bed frame. Now looking for a new mattress – what do you recommend? We had not put anything between slats and mattress by the way.
    Thanks :o)

    Hi Kirsty. The video [opening page] where I cut open a SN Miracoil 3 mattress next to a comparably priced 1000 pocket sprung mattress was purely to demonstrate the ludicrous comparison of their continuous coil spring unit to a tried, tested and validated pocket sprung unit.

    The marketing men at Silentnight who came up with the Hippo and Duck nomenclature must still be patting themselves on the back when people like yourselves [and obviously no disrespect intended] are still falling for this advertising gold dust.

    There is no mattress entirely suitable for vastly differing bodyweights. Zip and link mattresses with differing tensions of support is the ultimate answer but, depending on the weight differences, mattresses such as our Sequence Suspension may be suitable for most people without breaking the bank.

    Please give us a call and we can advise a solution based on your bodyweights and budget. John and Ryan

  • Louise says:

    I am thinking of buying the vi-spring bedstead mattress, however my slats are about 4″ apart. I have read that 3.5″ should be fine, is 4″ getting too large? I can’t really see a way to add more slats, will a mattress pad be sufficient or do you think a peg board would be a better bet?

    Hi Louise. Your slats are a little too wide. The Vi-Spring Traditional Bedstead mattress for example utilises wool and cotton as the upholstery layers – soft – but not very “supportive” components. And, as the springs are calico encased [obviously the best] they are not attached to each other in any way [bar stringing – as opposed to glued polypropylene as in mass produced units] the tendency for them to be pushed down further than designed [ie: potentially through the slat gaps] could be a potential issue.

    As I have said, pocket springs like an even and flat surface – even though Vi-Spring have developed a mattress that is for use on bedsteads – obviously one that utilises slats – it is our opinion that in your case a pegboard covering would be sufficient to completely stabilise the mattress. However, It would be in your interest to gain the advice of the Vi-Spring representative to determine what base covering they would advise to avoid any warranty issue.

    Finally, we would also advise the use of a mattress pad in addition to the pegboard. In general, Hi End pocket sprung mattresses like a pocket sprung Divan Base – hence the reason why all top end pocket sprung matts are partnered with an equivalent pocket sprung base. By using a slatted base you are taking away supplentary suspension – or “help” for the springs – and so any additional counter resistance you can offer is beneficial to the life of the mattress.

    Please leave a response as to what your solution was. We would also be grateful to other readers for any counter-argument on this topic. John and Ryan.

    2011/11/14 at 14:22
    Thanks for the response – very useful. I asked the supplier to check with Vi-Spring on the warranty situation and the feedback was that if the bed slats are more than the recommended width apart then they would only cover if a peg board was used. I have found that Jewsons can supply a peg board sheet for c.£30 (contact needed to make a call to confirm). So if I decide to go with this mattress I will definitely get a peg board, and also the mattress pad. Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

  • Matt says:

    Hi,we just purchased a pocket spring mattress with a memory foam pillow top and put it on our flexi slat base. We were told that if it was put on this type of base,the mattress warranty would be void. We bought some 12mm mdf sheets and layed them over the slats,now mattress feels alot better to lay on. Now my concern is natural ventilation as you have mentioned above. What is the pros and cons when it comes to ventilation under the mattress.

    Hi Matt. Good question. Sprung slatted bedframes are quite adequate for double sided mattresses where there is sufficient amount of wadding to buffer the pocket springs. The use of a mattress pad should be paramount to protect the wadding/upholstery from the slats. On the flip side – One sided mattresses usually have a thin layer of insulator between the spring unit and the fabric on the underside of your mattress. – and it is in this situation where uneven distribution of the spring unit can cause problems with the mattress. Your use of MDF is a good move. Pocket springs love and work best with a flat surface.

    If it was the store salesman/woman who informed you of the potential void guarantee I would question why the guarantee would be VOID if used on this type of base. Also ask them if it is the insufficient wadding on the non sleep side that will cause problems with the mattress.

    I must admit that we cannot give an indisputable answer to the ventilation concern. Our own thoughts are to do all you can – Just in Case – and therefore feel that the inclusion of some vent holes in your MDF would not do any harm.

    Ryan and I believe that many mattresses self aerate just because of the bellow like action caused when you get in and out of bed. The minimum standard of a mattress protector should enable body moisture to be dissapated before ingressing the mattress. The vents applied to many side panels are in our view more for the aesthtics rather than for any “major” function. We also draw on the (low – middle end) divan base construction , whereby, more often than not the surface is nothing more than fabric covered hardboard with no ventilation whatsoever.

    As we said at the start, with the lack of any scientific fact or published data, we can only speculate on whether ventilation is absolutely neccessary or not. Other peoples thoughts would be most welcome. John and Ryan.

  • shazna Ali says:

    Hi, i have a problem with my bed. 7 months ago i bought a leather bed, four flat boards were included. 2 weeks ago i checked my mattress, it was all moldy, musty and wet aswell. I have no idea of what to do about it? what sort of mattress should i buy and can anything be done with the boards? if i drill few holes in each board will it help? I tried talking to bensons and beds but they completely ignored me and said inspection report showed that the bed isnt faulty. Please HELP!

    Hi Shazna. Sorry to hear of your dilemma. I am at a bit of a loss as to fully understanding the problem. I am not personally aware of any bed frames where “four flat boards” would be included! The only thing I can think of is that if the bedframe was an ottoman – four boards are included as a base, not as a support for the mattress.
    Secondly, as for a mattress to become as you describe there has to be an outside factor – such as a damp wall, extreme humidity comditions etc. Please give the full story including the type of mattress you have and how you have utilised the boards. Interesting question. John and Ryan.

  • Pauline says:

    I left a comment recently and appreciate that you receive many comments that you need to reply to but I would be very grateful for an answer as I need to make a decision soon.

    My problem is we have bought a sprung slated base bedstead from John Lewis with their Cotton Classic Pocket Srung Mattress medium tension, 1500 spring count. John Lewis have been excellent they changed our original mattress because it was too firm. Although I have recently noticed that this mattress is only sold by JL during their clearance as a Special buy:, offers are available for a limited time only and are exceptional value as we’ve been able to secure one-off discounts from our suppliers.
    My husband is 6ft 12 1/2 stone and I am 11 stone. We are still finding this mattress much too firm, not getting comfortable night sleep and waking with upper back,shoulder aches.
    This is our first slated base (previously had a divan) and we are not sure if it is the base that is the problem or the wrong mattress, would we benefit from adding a board under the mattress or should we change the mattress again.
    Many thanks Pauline

    Hi Pauline. The Cotton Classic was added to the John Lewis [online] range between the 18th and 27th December 2011. Manufacturer of this model is Harrisons and retailed at £625 KS. This is listed as a two sided model although there is no indication of the weight of filling [GSM] used which would indicate how much cushioning (comfort layers) are used.

    As for your base – ideally pocket springs do like a sprung divan base for additional suspension. However, I do not think this is the only issue with your mattress comfort. Additionally, the JL spec sheet states that this mattress is suitable for ‘their’ slatted bedframes. As a precaution I would board your frame and also use a cushioning dampener so that the mattress is not compressing directly on a hard surface.

    As for the firmness. You have to bear in mind that all new mattresses will be firm (ish) to begin with and then slowly soften [or break in] the more it is used. Just like new shoes. If you start with perfect comfort from day one, it stands to reason that it will become softer from that point onwards. It is bettter to initially go a stage firmer and adjust comfort level with a topper / comforter in order for the mattress to break in slowly over time.

    I hope this helps. John and Ryan.

    Thank you for your response to my question. We are going to do as you suggested, board the base and buy a mattress topper. I will let you know if this improves our level of comfort.
    Many thanks, Pauline

  • Lolly says:

    I’m considering buying a spring slatted base but I’m worried about the type of slats to take. What Is the best material, pine or beech wood.
    I’ve plans to use the Sealy 2400 pocket spring mattress. My concern is will the slats support these springs and not cause them to break through the gaps?
    Thanks for our feedback.

    Hi Lolly. Usually sprung slats are made from Beech and flat rigid slats are made from pine. Ryan and I personally favour the rigid slats as this gives more of a flat surface particularly if the mattress is pocket sprung.
    Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Shazna Ali says:

    Hi, sorry if i did’nt explain it too well.Basically, the foam mattress sits on top of the boards which has some kind of laminate cover to it. So they’re not slatts (wish it was). In each board have 7 holes in it, 6 small ones and 1 big one. Yesterday bought a new mattress (foam mattress) and throwed the old one away, lifted the mattress up today and saw sweat on 2 of the boards…what is going on??? Can i somehow customise the bed like put slatts instead of them boards or something?
    And also i have no damp wall but sometimes the windows get abit cloudy.
    Please help, thanx.
    Hi Shazna. Please send me links to the bedframe you have and also name and model of your mattress. I have a strong feeling your troubles are due to your rooms humidity. John and Ryan.

  • shazna Ali says:

    It’s called Elan Faux Leather divan. It’s not on their website anymore, they said they don’t sell them board base bed anymore even though i purchased it on May 2011. The mattress i bought is called Sleep to go support 1500, it’s similar to my old one i bought 3 or 4 years ago , only difference is that my old mattress had a cotton cover stuck to it and this one has a soft cover to it which you can unzip it. If it’s humidity, how can I prevent that from happening? Thank you so much.

    Hi Shazna. Cant seem to see any fathomable reason why you are getting moisture retention between the mattress and your base. The ventilation holes seem adequate in each of the boards. But, the fact that moisture retention is evident means that there is not enough room for it to adeqautely escape. The humidity in your room seems the likely culprit but obviously I am only speculating. If clothes are drying in front of radiators, inadequate ventilation will all have an adverse affect to prevent your mattress drying out naturally and completely.

    Bear in mind we all sweat up to a pint each night and if there is inadequate ventilation or high humidity then this sweat will either permeate the mattress or make you feel clammy. Please let us know how you resolve this and what you think the reasons for the wet patches on your base is. Very Interesting. John and Ryan.

  • jackie says:

    Hi, would really like your advice please.
    I have bought my son a pocket sprung mattress for his sprung slatted base. The slats are 3inches apart. I have put a blanket I between the mattress and base to protect it but am worried that the slat space may be too wide apart. I have found somewhere that provides extra sprung slats and wondered if I should buy some? They would lessen the gaps to 1 inch or is it alright as it is? Would it make the bed firmer?
    many thanks for any advice you can give

    Hi Jackie. I wouldn’t worry too much. If the mattress you have for your son is a one sided model then just have a feel of the underside [the non sleep surface] by rubbing your hand across can you easily feel the springs through the fabric? On non sleep sides a minimum of insulator may be used and so you will need to add a further level of barrier such as pegboard to giver the springs something to push against.

    If it is a two sided mattress then there should be adequate cushioning for the springs and the blanket should suffice. Ideally, to avoid any potential issue I would lay some sheets of pegboard over the slats so that the weight of the mattress keeps them flat. John and Ryan.

  • Jennie says:

    Hello – before I put my question may I say how helpful your website is.
    We have a metal slatted kingsize bed. The slats are at least 4 inches apart and obviously rigid (being made of metal). Our current pocket sprung mattress was a cheap, poor quality one but has only just lasted for about 10 years and is now indented with our body shapes and supremely uncomfortable!
    We’ve just bought an Elixir Tempur mattress (memoryfoam and pocket springs). Do you think we’d be better off putting a sheet of plyboard (perforated perhaps???) below the mattress and, if so, should we cover it in a blanket for extra protection? Or should we just put an old duvet between the slats and the new mattress?
    We’d really appreciate your help with this! The Elixir mattress was very expensive so we’d like to look after it and keep it going as long as possible!!

    Hi Jennie. Thanks for the thumbs up!
    Firstly, your metal frame bedstead will indeed be in need of tweaking, The ideal solution will indeed be a sheet of pegboard cushioned with a blanket or similar for cushioning. Secondly I am under the impression that The Tempur Elixir was all foam – Not pocket springs! John and Ryan.

  • Sandra says:


    A very informative site, glad I found it!

    I have a double metal framed bed from Laura Ashley with ‘single frames’ for the slats. The mattress is a Hypnos Handrcrafted Wendover. I took this off our original Hypnos bed frame as found the Laura Ashley Harlech mattress that came with the LA bed frame too soft and when using this mattress always had back ache. The Hypnos mattress has improved things slightly, but I still have acheing joints and stiff shoulders.

    I know there is a problem as when we stay away in B&B’s, cottages (who do not always put the best in their premises), etc, I find I do not have the problems I have at home.

    Should I place a peg board on top of the slats and a duvet as you have suggested, or just a duvet? Also could the metal ‘join’ down the middle of the bed which is double metal bars because of the single configuration be a problem?
    Many thanks for any help you can suggest. Sandra.

    Hi Sandra. I can’t seem to find that much info on The Wendover so I am unable to accurately tell what you are currently sleeping on. The symptoms you describe lead me to believe that the mattress will be on the firm side and so the addition of topper / comforter may improve things a little more. Try your duvet beneath your bottom sheet as a trial to see if this improves things.

    Your base design with the two single frames for the slats should not be contributing that much to your discomfort. It is true that the metal bar down the centre may be a contributory factor (Hump back Bridge Syndrome) and if the slats are too firm to fully compress once the mattress is placed then the addition of pegboard to level out the lump plus cushioning will help. John and Ryan.

  • Audrey says:

    So glad I found your site. I have an ottoman style bedframe with curved slats. The frame around the slats is metal as is the central support bar. I bought a memory foam 250 mattress to go with it. Me & my husband are now both rolling into the middle of the bed and it is the most uncomfortable bed I have ever had. We tried a board under the mattress for extra support but this just made it more uncomfortable. This is a king size bed. Would really appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

    Hi Audrey. It seems the mattress is lacking in substance – Correct me if I’m wrong but I dont think there is enough weight to depress the slats hence the roll together. I would try the boards on the slats again – perhaps three 5 x 2 MDF boards just to provide an even surface. To make the mattress more comfortable try a topper or comforter. Hope this helps and keep us informed on how you combat this. John and Ryan.

  • Mike says:


    Weve recently bought a new bed from next which has sprung slats with a metal connecting bar running down the centre of the bed. We are looking at getting a new matress as our current old cheap one is giving me pain in my ribs at night. We would like something reasonably soft and have a budget of upto £400, can you recommend a matress. both me and the wife are of average weight. Should a one sided memory foam matress be the way to go and can we afford one?

    Hi Mike. Ryan and I would not reccomend Memory Foam. reading through this site you will see our disdain towards this overhyped and overpriced foam. Your budget is on the low side and by looking at our product list you will see what you can reasonably expect to get for this amount. If you need any more help, please give us a call direct. John and Ryan.

  • Lee says:

    I brought a wooden slatted bed and pocket sprung mattress the problem I have is that the slats fall out of their plastic covers and on to the floor, my uncle who used to work for a bed retailer told me I need a second mattress under the pocket sprung one to support and distribute the weight evenly if this is correct what kind of mattress should be best for the bottom?

    Hi Lee. I’m not particularly sure what’s happening here. Are these two separate questions? Are your slats fitted correctly. As for a second mattress underneath your mattress – I’ve never heard of that before. Sorry but a bit more info is required. John and Ryan.

  • Diana says:

    I literally got a vi-spring Apsley firm delivered yesterday. It’s on a cheap Ikea slatted base.

    Before I was sleeping on a cheap, open sprung £180 mattress for 3 years. I’ve always had a terrible back that needs massaging nightly and a microwave wheat bag placed on. I tested the firm and medium and by the advice the salesman gave me bought the firm. I woke up in the middle of the night with my lower back in agony! To sleep again I had to heat up the micro bag. I expected a great nights sleep after spending almost £2000! Is there anything I can do? I don’t have much money after all that on a mattress. Thank you for any help!

    Hi Diana. I really do you think you should give your new mattress a bit more of a chance. It is generally understood that it does take a little time for your body to adjust to a new mattress [new shoes syndrome]. I have had a look at The Apsley spec and there is nothing there that I can point to as being the culprit for your discomfort. I am assuming your bodyweight is not overly above average, and the fact that the salesman recommended a firm would indicate he took this into consideration.
    If you are finding this mattress to be on the firm side [you think a medium or soft would have been more comfortable] then consider the use of a feather and down topper to take the edge off the firmness level whilst the mattress breaks in slowly and naturally. A good initial test is to place your duvet under the bottom sheet and see if that helps. Please let us know how this progresses a sit will help many other people with the same problem. John and Ryan.

  • Lee says:

    John and Ryan thanks for replying.
    The bed I brought is a leather and has a wooden bar straight through the middle of the bed and the slats individually fit into plastic sheath’s which pop into place along the sides and middle bar, I had to nail the slats to the sides of the bed throught the sheaths because every time we moved or sat on the bed one side of the slats (two or three at a time) would pop out its sheath and onto the floor hence nailing them and now its beginning to happen in the middle, the mattress itself is a pocket sprung with memory foam. I have been advised to buy a second mattress as to take pressure off the slats personally I think the mattress has pushed the sides of bed out because it cannot take the pressure could my thinking be right or would a second mattress be the answer?
    Thanks Lee

    Hi again Lee. I’m sorry but we are really at a loss. The plastic sheaths should have two lugs that sit in appropriately sized holes on the side of your frame. If they are popping out it could be that there was a manufacturing fault with the ‘holes’ being too big for the lugs to sit tightly.

    If the plastic sheaths stay in place and the slats are dropping out then the only reason we can think of is that you may have slats for a double bed and not a king size. If you are unable to have a replacement set sent out to you from the retailer then consider replacing them with solid slats that stretch across the entire frame from side to side (a good timber merchant will cut these to size and shouldn’t cost that much).

    I’m not convinced of the second mattress theory. A bed frame should be capable of supporting a mattress. If it dosn’t – and it obviously isn’t – then it’s not doing the job it is supposed to. Let us know what the outcome is. I really would contact the retailer and explain the situation. John and Ryan.


    Hi I live in South Africa and have very recently had 3 bedrooms revamped and had an Interior Company supply imported box type BASES, fitted with “Slats” and have used the top of the range Seally pocket coil mattresses. However from the first time that it was used in January 2012, we found that if one person moved and rolled over, the other person felt this. I must say that the amount of movement was exaggerated and extreme. When just moving slightly it almost felt like you were on a “water bed”. This is very irritating for the other person on the bed.
    I was told that for the “pocket coil ” mattresses you need a solid board as a base in the case of a box bed, or a proper base made by the manufacturer. the reason for going for a “designer” type box bed, was that my Wife feels that the bed looks better when made up, and not base frill to worry about.
    Please advise as to what your best recommendation would be in this case.
    Many Thanks
    Imtiaz Joosab
    South Africa

    Hi Imtiaz. It would help if you let us know some model names in order for us to look into this a little further. At a guess, I think your troubles are down to the actual mattress and not the base. Sealy tend to use their Posturetech / posturepaedic spring system (not one that Ryan and I favour). John and Ryan.

  • angela & dan says:

    Hi – please help! We are intending to buy a 100% natural latex mattress (king size) and also need to get a new bed frame as we upgrading from a double. We like solid wood frames the best purely for the look of them but are unsure what is the best for both comfort and to protect the durability of the mattress. As these mattresses are quite pricey, we are hoping to spend max £400 on the frame, but we dont want to make a false economy. If we invest in a good mattress, does it really matter how much we spend on the frame/base?
    Thank you for any help you can give!!!

    Hi Angela and Dan. Simple answer is No. The mattress is the important part. Just be sensible and do all you can to cossett the mattress and look after it. As you are looking at a 100% latex the covering will more than likely be a soft knit fabric and so a mattress protector would be the minimum standard of care. Slats no more than 3″ apart and if you have a choice, solid slats will be better than sprung slats.

    Incidentally, we will be introducing a small range of 20cm solid core latex mattresses by the end of March – similar to the Dunlopillo Classic – Royal Sovereign. Obviously the price is yet to be finalised but we envisage it to be in the region of £900 (KS). John and Ryan.

    [Update: June 2012] I have now finalised the meeting with my Latex source and I have come to the conclusion that it is currently not feasible to proceed with this project. The reasons are many and varied but the main one is that I feel the cost price of the latex component offered is still kept at an artificially inflated price which makes it inconceivable to proceed.

    If you are still considering the Dunlopillo mattresses we feel you will be getting a quality product – albeit at a price that in our opinion could reasonably be offered for much less.

    Thank you for your continued interest and I am really sorry this did not pan out as we anticipated. In time we hope to reinvestigate this project and hopefully .. succeed. John and Ryan.

  • Nicola says:

    I wondered if you could give me your opinion on a mesh based bed frame or a straight slatted bed frame and whether either would help a mattress to become firmer.
    I am considering getting one, as at the beginning of December I bought a new gainsborough pocket sprung mattress in a medium tension (as my old mattress had become too soft and was giving me the most awful lower back pain) and put it on to a beech sprung slatted base with the slats being about 6.5 – 7cm apart. To begin with it was great and my back felt 100 times better, however for the past 3-4 weeks or so i have gone back to having the same back pain and am now wondering if the base is making the mattress feel a lot softer now that it has settled.

    I am quite sure in the store it was on a straight slatted frame so this is the other option but i recently slept on a mesh based bed frame at a friends and the bed was very firm (along with the mattress being pretty firm too)
    I am really just after an opinion on slatted base beds helping a mattress to be firmer and whether a mesh based bed would be better and even firmer for a pocket sprung mattress.
    Thank you.

    Hi Nicola. Usually, mesh bases are on cheaper metal framed beds (I accept this is a sweeping generalisation and there are some well made frames with mesh support) but on the whole that’s the way it is. And if this is the case then I would advise against. I am not a keen supporter on metal framed / mesh support bedsteads as the tendency to squeak is greater than alternative wooden frames.

    I personally do not think it is your beech sprung slats that is the problem – I would hazzard a guess as it being the mattress. Without you giving me the model name I am going to assume it is one sided. A two sided mattress would have the additional cushioning and additional weight to hold the slats down. I accept again that sprung slats are supposed to act like shock absorbers but with a cheaply constructed mattress the tension of the [sprung] arches could have a tendency to push into the spring unit [again, particularly on a one sided model].

    For pocket spring mattresses, firm wooden slats with a cushioning barrier are ideal. As is a sprung edged divan. However, bedstead design usually takes precedence (nothing wrong with that) but you should be doing all you can to make amends to this compromise.

    As for making your mattress firmer – it is not entirely down to the base – it really is quite posibly the mattress itself. Whilst it is new I would be adding your own comfort layers to the top of the matres in the form of a ‘Firm’ topper. Apart from resilient foam I wouldn’t know what to suggest [a bedding specialist may be able to suggest alternatives]. I would also look at means to firm up your bed slats by either replacing them with solid slats (easily done by a man with a hammer !) or if you are looking to replace your bedframe – one with solid slats.

    Without a model name for your mattress I can only speculate on what is happening. In future, can readers supply as much detail as posible. It really does assist in providing an accurate response without me second guessing. John and Ryan

  • Kevin says:

    Looking at your response to Helen I think that my question may have been answered.

    Items I purchased:
    Amerisleep king memory foam mattress with foundation
    King bed

    The bed has wooden slates that you roll out and screw into place. It also has a mattress support that goes under slates. When putting the foundation I purchased with mattress on the slats and then the mattress on foundation…I find myself having to almost jump up on the bed! The mattress is about 3-4 feet off the ground.

    I read where you stated the memory foam needed to breathe so putting plywood over the slats and not using the foundation I purchased is out of the question. Should I just deal with the height or ?

    Hi Kevin. I am wondering whether you have actually placed the base (as you call foundation) directly on top of a further bedframe? I had a quick look at Amerisleep and cannot see a model as you describe. To junp even three foot into a bed just dosn’t make sense – and even though the depth of the mattress you have is extraordinarily high does not conclude that it requires an additional foundation base on top of a slatted frame.

    I am assuming your mattress is memory foam on top of further foam layer[s] and really, it could be placed directly on the slats themselves without any undue worry.. without a model name to work with I am only second guessing.
    Would be interested to know what exactly has happened here? John and Ryan.

  • Mark says:

    A couple months ago I bought a Stuart Jones ottoman bed with a Sleepeezee backcare ultimate 2000 mattress in double size. As much as I love the bed and the matt, I have noticed a significant dip in the centre of the mattress leaving the sides sloping in towards the centre. It is very uncomfortable sleeping with my body at an angle and was wandering if you could advise me on how to improve the situation. The slats in the bed are 2.5″ wide and the mattress is a non turn type.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks. Mark.

    Hi Mark. Your mattress is a non turn, with upholsery THAT INCLUDES wool and Cashmere.
    This is not a particularly expensive mattress <> £400 and so all you have is a polyester based mattress (weights unknown) with a [assumed] nominal amount of Wool and cashmere – and how this is utilised is also unknown.

    The fact that it has prematurely dipped after a couple of months is of no small wonder. Polyester is not a product that is known for having an extremly long lifespan. But for this kind of budget it is perhaps all you can expect to achieve. On our mattresses that fall into this price range and also predominantly polyester based we do include measures to reduce the natural compression of polyester. Mainly this is in the form of a Reflex layer directly above the spring unit. In your case the polyester has no cushioning barrier whatsoever and so as you compress it night after night it has no means of buffer except for the springs – which being firm will be eqally pressing the polyester upwards. (if that makes sense).

    I thoroughly understand that some budgets cannot stretch to completely natural layers or even Hybrids such as our Artisan Naturals, but I do think retailers should explain the pros and cons of polyester to you prior to purchase in order that you are aware of what can and does happen. To include Wool and Cashmere in this particular mattress is akin to building a fabulous house on a mud and straw foundation. The money used for this extravagance would have been better served by adding a denser polyester layer / or foam layer below the softer polyester used.

    Ideally, in your situation – and more importantly for people of an above average bodyweight – tweaking your mattress from new, with a quality topper of sorts (feather / wool and cotton etc) would inhibit the premature settlement of polyester in order for you to sqeeze more years out of your mattress. whether doing this is too late for you now it will be better than not doing anything at all. Hope this helped. John and Ryan.

  • Tony says:

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Further to my question below and having read a little more about your products I feel I should add that I’m around 12 stone and my wife is about 10 stone, I mention this as your range appears to be geared toward a heavier body weight and I fear you may be unable to offer a soft medium/soft feel to suit us.

    We are considering a Tempur Biaritz ottoman base which we have seen at an independent retailer at a very good price, having looked around this model appears to be exceptionally well constructed and has a five year warranty. Tempur mattresses however are ludicrously expensive and we are unwilling to pay the asking price. The retailler has offered a Salus Memory pocket 1500 Trio at £599.99 as an alternative and we are wondering what you think of this mattress and what you would recommend from your range as an alternative to go directly onto a slatted base. Incidentally we tried the Salus as a soft and as a medium and preferred the soft density. Hope you can help, thanks.

    Hi Tony. First of all I would look at Ergoflex as a good alternative to Tempur [This is not a personal recco but a means of a potentially viable alternative, at an acceptable price for consideration]. Personally, I would be cautious of any memory foam mattress – for many reasons we do not sell these or supply. Unless you have had one before you will either love them or hate them. Finding out which camp you are in will not show itself until you have slept on one for a couple of nights and in many cases will be too late for you to do anything.

    Your bodyweights are on the lighter side of the scale and therefore is equally tricky to get right as is people of a large bodyweight. Spring support for you becomes less important and the quality of fillings / comfort layers become the key factor. Our mattresses may seem to be geared for people of higher bodyweights than yours, but that is not through design. There really are limited techniques that can adequately produce a mattress of quality for very light bodyweights.

    The softest spring support we can use is a 1.3mm calico. This can be used in any of our top three models – Artisan Naturals / Artisan Luxury / Artisan Bespoke.

    The Biaritz is a lovely looking set, and I would be interested at how much a discount you are able to get this for. The RRP and core base price is <> £1300 for the Kingsize. I would ensure that the warranty covers full replacement of the gas struts used and that there are no clauses to prevent a claim on these being made i.e Use of Non Tempur mattresses for example. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • ally says:


    I am interested in purchasing an ottoman bed, I need the storage.
    I want to get the bed first to try with my current mattress, but i am pretty sure I need to replace both and will be looking at the origins 1500 pocket latex here.
    Do you have any advice as to what to look for in ottoman beds before i do so? Anything I need to avoid?

    Hi Ally. The main thing to look for is the number of / and quality of gas struts used. It will either be two or four and obviously be price related. Also look at how the mattress deals with being lifted – it will either go up from toe to head – or side to side. Opening toe to head puts more strain on the struts (therefore four struts the ideal combination). Opening side to side puts less strain on the struts but look at how the mattress deals with staying in place when it is being lifted. Is there a non slip fabric on base or is there a retaining bar on the base to stop the mattress sliding on to the floor.

    Also, look at what is being used as the base of the ottoman. Flimsy hardboard is not unknown and so it may be better to not use these (pretty much useless) and use the floor directly. A good well made ottoman will have a semi decent ply of sorts as the base but obviously again this will be reflected in the price. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Rob& Helen says:

    Well i wish we had found your site before replacing our 12 year old millbrook bed!. Last august we bought a Kaymed ortho prestige 1600 Kingsize Mattress after trying it in the local bed shop.we like a softish mattress and loved the feel of it ,not realising it would feel completely different on our old sprung base divan -it felt much firmer.
    The mattress instore had been on a bedframe with solid slats but the store manager advised us that sprung slats would improve our comfort and put the instore mattress on a sprung slatted King koil bed frame which did indeed feel very much like it did when we chose the mattress.

    Following this demonstration we decided to buy the oak framed sprung slatted Melford base (made by /for Dorlux?) assuming the mattress would feel like it did on the King koil frame but no -it just doesn’t feel like it did in the shop! The wife is now waking with neck & back pain. I am 13 stone she is a little more.
    we have had the mattress on the new frame about three weeks now. I was thinking about putting some MDF sheets under the mattress to see if this would make any difference until i read about ventilation issues . Any advice /solutions would be gratefully received.
    Thank you Rob.

    Hi Rob. This is particularly tricky. I personally would have thought for this particular mattress your sprung edged base would have been more beneficial in providing a more forgiving support. In addition to this, I would have thought your sprung edged base would have been a better foundation for the particular mattress you have bought. Pocket springs like a flat surface so pressure on the springs are equalised. Your mattress being one sided adds further credence to this statement. Incidentally, you do not mention whether Helen was experiencing neck pain before the bed frame. I am assuming she was.

    Sprung slats, particularly partnered with a one sided pocket sprung mattress have a tendency to push the springs out of alignment – . The arched support on some bed frames can be a tad firm and unless there is adequate weight in the mattress to compress the slats fully (which obviously makes the ‘spring’ in the sprung slats useless) the mattress, whichever way you look at it is not being benefited any ‘better’ than a sprung edged divan. To see how flexible your slats are with the mattress in place, just try to get a finger between the mattress and the slats (from underneath). Ask your partner to lie on the mattress whilst you do this again so you can tell how the two are reacting to each other.

    This brings me to the mattress. You have a pocket sprung memory foam mattress with a substantial 6cm of memory Foam.. The density of this is described to be 85kg/m3… which will be relatively firmer than an equivalent 55kg/m3 (for example) This is a premium quality memory foam (oxymoron !) and should have a higher response rate than equivalent lesser grade foam. I wonder if 1) The mattress you tried in the shop was actually the same model or 2) you did not try it out long enough to get a general feel of it. Your mattress also has a lumbar support (not too sure what this entails) so I should imagine this adds to the firmness level you are experiencing. Your bodyweights do not indicate that this mattress is too firm for you.

    To help correct matters, I would try adding softer cushioning to the underside of the mattress directly on to the slats. Ideally this will be a 2″ foam sheet to act as a buffer for your mattress and to balance out the irregularity of the slats and central firm support bar. I would personally like to think that the underside (non sleep) of your mattress already has a foam or polyester layer and not just barrier pad. Secondly, if you do find your mattress a little on the firm side you can add a separate mattress enhancer to alleviate some of the discomfort. I know you are going to say why should you when you expect the mattress to be right for you ..etc. But, it’s a better option than having sleepless nights. Also, give thought to your pillows! Neck pain can be directly attributed to worn out pillows (I am only second guessing here but it is best to look at all your options).

    Finally Rob, I wouldn’t worry unduly over your frame. I am of the mindset that design and looks of a nice bedframe takes priority over what is right for the mattress. The same way as we know a kitten heel Hush Puppy is better for your posture than a high heel Christian Louboutin – but we all know which one we would opt for. John and Ryan.

  • Fran Lax says:

    Hi John and Ryan

    I have had a 20cm classic Tempur super kingsize mattress for the last 6 years and I have always got on with it very well. It has always been on a slatted bed base (just from Ikea) and I haven’t had any problems. my Ikea bed broke and so 2 weeks ago I brought a John Lewis Avenue Bedstead, Super Kingsize. It has sprung slats (the ikea bed slats weren’t sprung) and I am now getting back ache. My question is, could the sprung slats be causing the backache or would this make no difference?
    Thanks, Fran

    Hi Fran. Please read the comment below – similar question. It seems too much of a coincidence that this has happened to you as soon as you changed your frame. It is best to check if the spung slats are not flexible enough to give by trying to place your finger between the mattress and the slats (from underneath of course) I am assuming that the mattress has enough weight associated to more or less fully compress the slats and IF the slats are still arched (not forgiving) then obviously there will be a pressure build up under your body.

    Some bed frames have enough battoning on the edges in order to fully replace the sprung slats with solid slats and I think this may be an option for you. What surprises me with Tempur is that they sell a range of Bedsteads with sprung slats! I would be of the opinion that a Tempur mattress would ideally be partnered with a frame accommodating a flat (cushioned) surface – I may be wrong though! I wonder what Tempur would have to say on this issue and so it might be better as a second point of view to ask them direct – Tel Customer Service: 0800 0111 083. Let us know what they say about this anomaly. John and Ryan.

  • R R says:

    Hi guys

    My husband and I are being given a super king sized bed and mattress as a wedding present from my father. The budget takes into consideration that these are to last for many years.

    Bed – we’ve decided to go for an attractive wooden bedframe with sprung slats from It uses up about 20% of the budget.

    Mattress – we’e thinking Vi-Spring (other option was John Lewis). I’ve found a Bedstead Superb (double layer of springs) at a good price. Or the other option is a Regal Superb (not marketed as for bedsteads and one layer of springs) or Herald Superb (ditto, and on clearance price).

    The worry – having read here about sprung, arched slats and the middle support bar not being ideal for pocket sprung mattresses, do you think I should be thinking again about either bed or mattress?
    Many thanks in advance. RR.

    Hi RR. As you will read through many of these comments about this self same situation, the correct foundation for a pocket sprung mattress is a sprung edged divan base. My own view is that design of the bed frame and consequentially, the overall look of the bedroom takes precedence over what is right for the mattress.

    However, once you realise what the drawbacks are you can make arrangements to lavish a little attention to your mattress. In the case of sprung slats, it requires some kind of cushioning to relieve any pressure the slats will be exerting upwards. You have to remember that some sprung slats are quite firm and the last thing you want them to do is create two humps into your mattress.

    As for your mattress, why not consider our Artisan Luxury or Artisan Bespoke. The money you will be saving (even at their clearance prices) will enable you to spend a few hundred on the most glorious bedding. John and Ryan.

  • Leigh S says:

    Hi All,

    I have a hypnos president which i thought would be a great bed to sleep on. Ive had two months and turn it once a week as advised.
    The bed sits on a ottoman bed frame with arched slats, that are 3.5″ apart.

    Ive started finding about 2-3 days after turning it, that my lower back is in terrible pain when i wake up in the morning. I wake up in the late hours of the morning, the pain can be so bad. I do tend to sleep in the same fixed position, without moving.

    I am really at a loss to know if the bed is the cause of my mysery? Are slats no good for this matress? Is the slightly wider gap really a big deal, causing this? Should i bite the bullet on a diven with draws?
    Any advice would be great?
    thanks. Leigh

    Hi Leigh, The Hypnos President is a top of range mattress in Hypnos’ Heritage Collection. If after two months you are experiencing ‘.. something is not right ..’ it is rather doubtful that it is your bedframe that is at fault – although at this point it obviously cannot be ruled out.

    If we look at how the mattress is constructed – The official description states that it is

    “..upholstered with luxurious and natural layers of British wool, hand teased hair, cashmere and silk for sublime comfort then covered with bamboo-rich Belgian Damask to provide a soft and cool surface..”

    Obviously, they are not telling you that much, and it is this blatant ommision of upholstery weight that could be the key to your discomfort. For example, the hand teased hair would be used as the support barrier in amongst the softer compoments (wool, cashmere and silk) However, if this is of a nominal weight (600 gsm or less) then the attributes of this component will be relatively useless. If the overall upholstery weight is not in the region of 3000 gsm then likewise there is not enough upholstery in the mattress to provide you with an adequate comfort layer.

    Lets not forget – this is not a cheap mattress. Has your money been used on the four rows of ‘Genuine’ Hand Side Stitching with less care taken with the fillings .. Who knows? I would call Hypnos Customer Services and ask them for a full and complete breakdown of the upholstery used in this particular mattress [ 01844 348200 ]

    Returning to your base. Pocket sprung mattresses do like a flat surface. Your sprung slats should ideally be cushioned in some way to provide a buffer for your mattress – a mattress pad of sorts. The 3.5″ gap on the slats is not ideal but should not be the root cause of discomfort. The ‘expected’ quality of The President [eg: adequate upholstery both sides] should be enough to outweigh this potential problem.

    My conclusion and obviously this can only be an assumption, is that the natural upholstery layers are minimal and after two short months have already become compressed and compacted – I think in this particular model there is an element of polyester – not mentioned in the official description !! which means that the natural components listed may only be nominal. I would like to think I am completely wrong as polyester in this quality of mattress would be so fundamentally WRONG – and if so, you would have every right to demand your money back as this SHOULD have been mentioned in the product specification.

    Please let me know how you resolve this Leigh. Either through open comment or email me direct [[email protected] ] John and Ryan.

    Hi John and Ryan, Thanks for the reply.
    I should mention my wife sleeps on the same matress as me, as she does have not have any back pain.

    This is a difficult one as ones health can attribute to such issues. My back is not that brilliant, and ive read sleeping in the same spot on your back is a real winner for back pain, among many lifestyle choices. I know I sleep on my back all night, without moving which is a contributer.

    Naturally it is very hard picking a matress, that you know is perfect for your back unless one is prepared to spend the night in the store. Obviously not possible. 🙂

    Anyhow, given the slatted frame i am sleeping on, i put a one inch thick layer of slient night matress topper (foam) between the wood slats and the matress. My wife baught one 9 months back, and we never opened it.
    I am pleased to say my back this morning felt a lot better.

    I have ordered a 3″ thick firm topper today, and will lie this on top of the existing topper. Will have a 4″ firm base for this matress to lie on.
    I cannot feel any diffference sleeping on it with a 1″ base, but this has made an impact.

    Looking at the basic of the engineering here, I feel this matress may not be entirely suitable for slatted frames. The springs maybe dipping down just a little too much perhaps? Its rather frustrating because the hypnos website says there products are suitable for slatted frames.
    There is no warning on any store or website on spacing between slats, or any indication on the dimension s between slats either, that I have ever seen.

    I think this product is more than likely more suitable for sprung edge divans, however im not going to spend another load of money on a new frame, when my own ottoman was quite expensive.

    I had a similar problem with a top end milbrook bed ten years ago. The slats on that were the staright type of a wood frame. The gaps on that were equally large, and that bed was pocket spring too.
    It was not long before i started to feel the middle dipping, and toppings spreading out quite quickly after a few months.
    I tried putting a wood board under that matress and it nearly killed me. It felt no different again to sleep on, but after 3 days I had terrible lower back pain again. Took the board away and felt better again.

    I’ll drop a reply back on this forum after a weeks use, and let you know how the results go.

    Hi again Leigh. I personally do not think it is your base that is problematic. I still maintain that the mattress you have purchased is not a cheap run of the mill model. It’s The President for goodness sake, and I would expect it to have been built with adequate upholstery layers to cushion it entirely from any bed frame. I also maintain that you should ask Hypnos what the precise breakdown of fillings are. These should be weighted in at around 4000 GSM (considering the retail price of this particular model) and there should not be a sniff of polyester!!

    I do accept that the perfect foundation would be a sprung edged Divan Base, however, there should be no reason not to use it on any bed frame you like (Double negative again -see me after school: Ryan). I’m glad to hear that a layer of foam on the slats have allieviated some of the problem – I would be so interested to hear if an additional layer makes things even better.

    Finally, It has to be understood that NO mattress will cure back problems . However, the right mattress will not exacerbate the problems, and at times additional measures such as pillow under your knees / additional comfort layers (toppers / enhancers) etc may have to be introduced to ensure a good nights sleep. John and Ryan.

  • suhail says:

    Hi ,
    I have gone for the combination of kaydian walkworth super king bed + Ergoflex super king mattress. The bed hasn’t been delivered yet. Do you think its a good combination ?
    Thanks Suhail.

    Hi Suhail. Cannot see any reason why they shouldn’t work together. The Kaydian bedframe has a platform support which should be ideal for your mattress. I would be interested if you could let us know how you get on with this particular mattress. Although we are not fans of memory foam – whatever brand – there are plenty of people who are and I think Ergoflex are a far better product pound for pound than many supposedly market leaders that are currently on the market. John and Ryan.

  • James says:

    Hi, First of all, top marks for a top website! Such a breath of fresh air to find such candid and informative content on a companies website. Who knew mattresses could be so interesting!
    My question relates to matching a mattress to our kingsize sleigh bed. My primary concern is that I can’t discern the thickness of the mattresses. Our bed is the classic sleigh bed design in having a shortish (for want of a better word) footer as well as the usual, taller wooden head board. To avoid the mattress being taller than the footer the mattress needs to be no more than 10-11 inches thick. Do any of your mattresses fit this remit?

    If so, game on! To give you the full requirements/info. My wife is 8 stone and I’m 13 stone. I’d say we both like a medium to firm matress. Budget, would prefer to keep it south of a grand, and hope that that would also buy me a mattress that’ll last at least 10 years. I’d also really appreciate it if you could clarify for me how best to maintain a mattress of this ilk. I.e. when/if to turn…topper options…will a pocket sprung mattress literally implode if the sprogs bounce on it once or twice etc etc.
    Many thanks in advance!

    Hi James. The most important part of this question is your wife’s weight! 8st means that too firm a mattress she will be balancing on top like a board – not good at all. And so, your choices become fairly limited – for the better as it means your choices are relatively restricted to our Artisan range.

    Your wife will require no more than the Soft spring tension, even though she will be barely utilising the support from the springs she will be gaining support and comfort from the upholstery.

    You on the other hand will require the medium spring tension as you will require spring support as well as the comfort from the upholstery.

    The ideal mattress will be The Artisan Luxury but if this exceeds your budget then The Artisan Naturals will be an ideal compromise. If this too exceeds your budget then I would consider a split tension Kingsize Ziplink Origins 1500 for your wife and the 2000 for you. This will indeed be on the firmer side for your wife and so a soft topper or mattress enhancer will have to be utilised to give her an additional layer of comfort. Alternatively she could eat lots of cake and biscuits.

    [un]Fortunately the size! Even our cheapest mattress has a depth of about 11″ which is testament to the amount of upholstery we are able to cram in. You have to bear in mind that thin mattresses are cheap mattresses. In addition to this, it would be criminal to place a bottom sheet directly on top of the mattress without some kind of protector – this will take the mattress depth up another inch or so, so goodbye to ever seeing your foot-board again.

    Also, it is recommended that you place some sort of cushioning directly on to your slats. All our mattresses are full two sided and the last thing you want is for the pressure of the slats to indent the upholstery. Hope this helps and as always please feel free to call me direct should you have any further questions. John and Ryan.

  • fran says:

    Hi There

    I thought I would give an update on my post which i submitted 15th March – flat slatted base vs spung slatted base for a 20cm Tempur mattress. We put the old flat slats back on my side of the bed only to see if it made any difference. The difference was huge! The flat slatted side stayed fairly firm and my back felt better after the first night or so. The sprung slatted base side was so soft and sunk down much further. I rang tempur who said that it should make very little difference. well, I can tell you it makes a huge difference so choose your tempur base carefully! Thanks.

    Hi again Fran. First of all I want to thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to leave a follow up comment.

    It would be interesting to hear if other readers have experienced a similar reaction to this. Personally, I was quite surprised, as the density of the Tempur mattress indicated that it should have been relatively unlikely you could feel such a difference. John and Ryan.

  • ann says:

    hi, with a sealy jubilee latex mattress , at 31 cm deep and a king size. could you please advise which sort of base would be best ? thankyou
    Hi Ann. I would be inclined to phone Sealy direct and ask them for clarification. Phone their Customer Service Dept on 016973 20342. The reason for doing this direct – and remember to get a contact name – is that many warranties are claused with the term ” appropriate base”.

    If Sealy confirm that it is suitable for a slatted bedframe or Divan base or whatever it is you are using it with, you will be covered should the worst happen. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Kelly says:

    I used to own a latex mattress with the SULTAN LAXEBY
    Slatted bed base from IKEA.

    The slatted bed base is not flat, but rather bows upward to support the weight of the latex mattress, is this what you call a sprung slat?

    My main question, I have since switched to a Innerspring + Memory Foam mattress and wondering if I can still use that slatted bed base or if I should purchase a flat slatted bed base. I do not want to damage my new mattress. Thanks-Kelly.

    Hi Kelly. This is sprung slats. I would be inclined to ask your retailer this particular question as it may have warranty consequences. Personally I would cushion the slats from the mattress as it is unlikely there will be any kind of under-cushioning contained. I would also add an old duvet on top of the springs with emphasis on the central support bar to create a relatively flat surface. John and Ryan.

  • Devsdev says:

    Hello John and Ryan,

    First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to provide such detailed advice and to respond to people’s queries so thoroughly. My husband and I are buying beds for the first time (having lived in furnished rented accomodation for many years) and hadn’t realised just how difficult the decision on the right mattresses can be!

    We have decided to get ourselves a super-king space saving bed frame from Warren Evans ( mainly because it’s the only superking that fits in our bedroom and we like the frame. We are getting a king-size Trinity for the guest room ( which will be primarily used by my parents when they visit.

    I am 5’6″ usually weigh 60kg but am pregnant so imagine I’ll go up to about 72-75kg. My husband is 5’10” and weighs about 75-78kg. Our budget for our mattress is probably up to £500, though we could go slightly higher if we really needed to. My parents are both similar heights as us and their weights are about 65kg and 70kg respectively. Our budget for the guest mattress is probably more like £300, but again we could go slightly higher if we should.

    All of us prefer firmer beds (not rock hard, but supportive and not saggy) and I thought from my initial research that pocket-sprung mattresses are the best option (we definitely don’t want memory foam). Now I realize it’s not as simple as just finding a pocket sprung in our budget and going forward! I would be grateful for any advice as to what we should be looking for. I had shortlisted mattresses from Rest Assured and Silentnight from online stores [font color=”maroon”>numerous links removed] and then realized they’re actually both manufactured by the same company. There’s so much jargon and so many things I am trying to understand about the mattresses that I feel a bit overwhelmed!

    Ultimately we want these mattresses and beds to last at least 10 years while being comfortable and providing good rest so a slight increase in budget can be resolved. Thank you in advance for your review and suggestions – happy to provide any further information if that helps. Dev

    Hi Dev. The price range of the mattresses you are looking at indicates that all you are inclined to get is a polyester based mattress so spending time to hunt down better is probably a fruitless exercise. Also, the ones you have ‘shortlisted’ are all one sided mattresses which we would push anyone to avoid at all costs.

    Initially, I would say look at our Origins Pocket 1500 (£585.00 SKS Ziplink mattress Set) Use this as your comparison model and see if you can find better.

    Your closing comment about wanting your mattress to last at least ten years was amusing. There is no way ANY mattress can be guaranteed to a specific lifespan – it all depends on how it’s looked after, the component parts used, what measures are taken to protect the mattress and so forth. For your budget of <> £600- £700 the primary comfort layer will be polyester, not known for a particularly long lifespan. We guarantee our Origins for three years – and this means that you will not be feeling the springs poking you in the back within that period of time, this does not mean that the polyester element will not have settled over the years and so the more you can do to inhibit settlement by means of protector and topper etc will of course increase the lifespan. To sum this up for you, it all boils down to practical common sense. It’s pointless to expect a mattress to last ten years without care and the more you can do to keep the mattress as new will pay dividends in the long run. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Annie says:

    Hi John/Ryan,

    We bought the Artisan Natural SuperKing Zip&Link mattress from you in late April. Since we haven’t got a bed, we put it on top of mattress topper over carpet. After a month’s continuous use, both of us now feel quite settled, with the mattress feel just right.

    Now we would like to buy a SK size bedframe to put the mattress on. Been to several high street shopss, John Lewis, M&S, it seems that most oak SK size bedframe has sprung slats with central support bar. As pointed out in your post, pocket sprung mattress loves flat surface, should we look for a SK size bedframe with solid slats? Many thanks for your advice.

    Hi again Annie. Glad to hear you’re settling in with the mattress. It does seem that bedframes with solid slats are becoming increasingly hard to find. Discussions between Ryan and myself conclude that this may be down to economics – sprung slats being a more cheaper system to manufacture coupled with the supposed logic and benefits of a sprung slatted base does add credence.

    I personally would not worry unduly about this. The weight of your particular mattress (as you now know) is enough to fully compress the sprung slats and provide an adequate surface. The prices of these bedframes have come down in recent years and you are able to pick up some really nice looking frames. I would advise that you do all you can to ensure your mattress is being protected – such as a mattress pad of sorts (foam layer / duvet etc) to prevent the slats from digging into the underlying upholstery.

    To put all this into perspective a John Lewis Kingsize Sovereign Divan base (no storage) is £1850. When you couple in the cost of a headboard and drawers it comes to well over a couple of grand. There are some truly awe inspiring bedframes out there that come in well below this price and will make your bedroom look a million dollars. We would have no concerns about placing your / our mattress on any of these types of bedframes with the simple understanding that the mattress is cushioned from the slats. If you do find a frame with solid slats all well and good, but intrinsically you must like the overall design of the bed and how that reflects in your bedroom. Keep in touch. John and Ryan.

  • Caroline says:

    We’ve just had a vi-spring Wembury mattress delivered (designed for a bedsted) and the furniture inspector and the care guide both say that the sprung slats on our bed are too far apart. Clearly we do not want to buy a new bed frame but the mattress was far more expensive and I would rather preserve the life span of the mattress. Any suggestions?

    Hi Caroline. This question has come up before and for the life of me I cannot find the comment I refer to. However, the crux of your question and the reason Vi Spring state this is that it can have a direct effect of any potential warranty claim.

    Really, there should be no need to be ‘forced’ to change your bedstead just because it does not fit in to the ideology of the manufacturer. However, what you have to do is to come to an acceptable solution in order to comply with the manufacturers terms of warranty. I would contact John Lewis (as the supplier) and ask them to confirm that if the use of a mattress pad and maybe the use of additional peg board to add additional support – would this be enough to avoid any warranty conflicts.

    Vi Spring sells mattress pads (an insulator between the slats and the mattress) however, I feel these are not really substantial enough and as they cost in excess of a hundred quid or so I think a more substantial and more economical alternative is the layer of foam / old duvet thesis.

    Finally, if you have a metal frame bed then just get rid and do yourself a favour! Not only are the bulk of them hideous, the constant squeaking is enough to drive a sane person to distraction. Please let us know how you get on with this dilemma. John and Ryan.

  • Anne says:

    I am looking for around for an Ottoman double storage bed. I have noticed that some have two metal supports along the middle bar. Is this better than the beds without these supports? Also what mattress support would you recommend to go with the bed. ie open coil, continous coil, pockect springs etc

    Hi Anne. Do you mean supports going side to side as well as the head to foot support? Usually double ottomans have a single support top to bottom and the two slat units clip into this to enable the whole unit to lift. Not really too sure what you mean.

    As for mattress type, I would hope that you are not going down the open / continuous coil route. Even though pocket springs like a flat sprung edged support, I would have no qualms about using them on an ottoman. However, you will need to add some sort of cushioning on top if the slats to prevent the slats digging into the underlying upholstery – assuming that your mattress is two sided of course. John and Ryan.

  • Anne says:

    Thanks for your response John and Ryan. Some ottoman beds have extra supports running across the bed from side to side which I assume is better as the mattress is supported better. The one mentioned in my earlier comment has extra ‘legs’ along the single support that runs from head to toe.

    Hi again Anne. It does seem logical that additional supports side to side would offer more support for the mattress. It may be worth questioning the bed retailer in question as to the differences and associated benefits. John and Ryan.

  • Katherine says:

    Interesting, as we have a Miracoil mattress on a slatted base, and first the springs made holes in the mattress and now a broken piece is sticking out! Hence I am reading this article!

    Hi Katherine. Please feel free to expand. Age of mattress etc. John and Ryan.

  • Ray says:

    I have a spare bed which is a sprung edge divan and which needs a new mattress. I’m considering a memory foam replacement for it, but previously when I’ve spoken to bed salesman, they’ve never recommended this combination, can you please give me your opinion, if there is any reason not to buy a memory foam mattress for a sprung edge divan?

    Hi Ray. I always think a sprung edge divan enhances any mattress placed upon it. It will make a cheap mattress feel far more luxurious than it actually is because the additional layer of springs acts as a shock absorber taking the strain off the mattress.

    A good thing to bear in mind is that all top end divan sets are partnered with a spring edge divan – usually pocket sprung – It would be unthinkable for a platform top base (the solid top things) to be partnered with a good mattress. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Christine says:

    I have a sprung bed and I brought a memory foam sprung mattress will this be okay for the bedstead?

    Hi Christine. Do you mean a sprung slatted bedframe? If so, ask the retailer who supplied the mattress if this will be oK.

    There is a comment here from someone (Rob) who experienced problems – worth a read. John and Ryan.

  • Rob says:

    I have a double slatted bed with a memory foam mattress. Neither were cheap but something is not right; the mattress bows in the middle because of the dip in the slats. I have to put pillows in the dip to equal it out but that is obviously not ideal. Reading above it sounds like a pad is the answer but I can’t find any for the base of the bed that would seem rigid enough to level it out. Do you have any pointers of what I should be looking for? Thanks

    Hi Rob. This is the hump back bridge effect. The weight of your mattress is not substantial enough to compress the slats, so the rigid central support bar on your frame will become the dip.

    An easy and economical solution is to lay a couple of MDF sheets across the slats (side to side) bridging the central support bar to form a flat even surface for your mattress. I would also add an old duvet to act as a cushion so that your mattress is not sitting directly on the MDF (there may not be enough ventilation). Hope this helps and let us know if this solves the problem. John and Ryan.

    Thanks for your help to my query on the hump back bridge effect. I did get some think board and laid it across. It’s definitely made a difference, can tell the base is now flat.

    The mattress still sinks in the middle though! I think this because it’s a memory foam and I’m not used to them. Might go backed to springs!

    Hi again Rob. Try this out. Lay the mattress directly on the floor and see if the dip is still there. If so there could be a manufacturing fault and I would take it up with the retailer. Interesting !! John and Ryan.

  • Tracey says:


    I’ve just bought a vi-spring mattress pad to go under my mattress but can’t figure out how to tie it to the slats/frame so that the ties are both hidden and so that the pad won’t slide sideways when we turn the mattress (zip link super king). Any suggestions?
    Is it just a case of tying each one really tightly or are they supposed to go under the slat pegs? Would like to avoid tying round the outside of the bedstead.

    Hi Tracey. I have never seen this in the flesh so to speak, only the images on the Vi Spring website. I would be inclined to speak to Vi Spring and ask them direct. Their Customer Service is very good (01752 366311) and I’m sure they will be able to advise you further. John and Ryan.

  • Aaron says:

    hi i have a basic slatted bed with that big central support down the middle.. is it ok to just buy another decent silentnight matress and not worry about a specially made for slatted bed mattress?

    Hi Aaron. Another decent Silentnight mattress? The best example of an Oxymoron I have heard LOL.

    My personal thoughts on the ‘specially made for slatted beframes’ thesis is that (quite simply) if you buy a two sided mattress and do not turn it – then that is better than buying a one sided mattress with minimal upholstery on the underside.

    In the case of Silentnight mattresses (as opposed to say Vi Spring for example) is that the underside of their mattresses have a firm insulator layer to keep the mattress stable on the slats – of course this is dependant on the actual model and please take this comment as a generalisation (I am not privy to their specs) but in all likelihood this will be the case.

    I have a slatted bedframe and I have used three small pieces of MDF to bridge the humps on the slats to provide a more flatter surface for my mattress. I have also used an old topper to add an additional cushion to protect the upholstery on the underside of my mattress.

    The ‘specially made for bedsteads’ matts are in my mind another avenue for additional models within a manufacturers range. If you know what ‘problem’ you are trying to overcome then in many cases home made measures can be utilised. John and Ryan.

  • Allan says:

    Can you advise if it is possible to buy a sprung edge divan base for a super king size mattress that splits East West rather than North South as I have been told is the norm? I need this as access to the bedroom will not allow the normal sections – 200 x 90 due to the 200 length! By splitting the other way with a length less than 200 the problem is solved.
    I am going in circles with this and thought to simply buy another oak bed frame that comes in sections as a solution, except that I want this new bed to have the height that you get with a divan arrangement but not typically with a wooden bed frame!

    Hi Allan. Quite possibly. What you are after is two bases measuring 6ft x 3ft 3ins. Please email Mike who will make the necessary enquiries at the factory [[email protected]) please give him as much information as possible – particularly the name of the base you require (Only from the Artisan range as this manufacturer has the equipment to make any alterations to standard sizes). Also include the depth of base you require. Include your phone number so Mike will be able to speak to you to ensure no detail is missed.

    Please note that we do not usually supply base only requests. However, this is an interesting proposition. John and Ryan.

  • john c says:

    I am about to purchase a bed i really like with sprung slats 8cm apart and want a pocket sprung mattress now as the slats are more than 3 ” apart if i put some MDF ontop of the slats would this work as a solution?

    Hi John. I’m not particularly keen on reducing the ventilation to the mattress by complete coverage with MDF. My bedframe has sprung slats and I have used thin MDF just to bridge the humps over the central support bar. I have covered this with my old topper to provide some level of cushioning.

    However, many mattresses are used on platform top divans where the top of the divan uses sheets of hardboard covered in the appropriate fabric – so ventilation on these types of bases can be obviously impeded and if it was a major problem the internet would be swamped with complaint, but it is always best to err on the side of caution. There are a few comments on this site [Read Here] and through the internet where people have complained of mould growth on the underside of the mattress (usually non turn mattresses) so I would be more concerned with aeration rather than slat width .

    As a sidenote John, pocket spring mattresses do like a flat and even surface. The sprung slats and central support bar on your bedframe may cause your mattress to develop a central dip, particularly again if one sided and contains a low level of upholstery. John and Ryan.

  • Annette says:

    Hi there
    I have a king size wooden frame slatted base bed but I have mislaid the support instrument that sat on the floor under the bed and “propped” up the slats along the central line. It resembled the cylindrical bed legs -probably only about 20cm high. Would you happen to know if I can get a replacement or even the name of it??
    Many thanks

    Hi Annette. Measure from the floor to the underside of the central support bar and send Julie an email ([email protected]) with the size and if we can we will send you one. See if you can see what fitting is used – usually screw in but double check. John and Ryan.

  • Debbie Thorn says:

    Hi John & Ryan….had our Sleepeeze 1200 Cardinal pocket sprung mattress and matching divan for 15 years! I know…I know! Looking at splashing out on a john lewis 5000 sprung mattress in their special buy deal…. do we really need to buy a new pocket sprung divan as well? Neither me or my partner are particularly heavy and we can’t work out if we buy a new pocket sprung divan base if it will a) be as good as the one we’ve already got despite it’s 15 years and b) will our current base damage the new mattress….any help would be much appreciated! Deb Thorn.

    Hi Debbie. Remove your mattress and examine the base to see how good a condition it actually is in. I am assuming it will be a sprung edged base and the most obvious fault will be seeing either spring shapes protruding or dips where the springs may have collapsed. If neither of these symptoms are evident and only you will be able to judge – then I would assume you may be able to get a few more years out of the base.

    My personal thoughts are to spend your money on the mattress and replace the base when funds improve rather than splitting your budget between mattress and base. This goes against general reasoning I know, but logically, unless the base has evidently had its day, it is quite unlikely to damage the mattress. John and Ryan.

  • ken says:

    I plan to buy one small double and one normal double (double slatted) gas storage beds for my daughters. Am I better to get normal 500 memory foam mattresses or part sprung part memory foam ones for these type of beds.
    ta. Ken

    Hi Ken. The mattress should be right for the user (your daughters) based on weight and usage, not particularly the bed. I personally would opt for the foam construction for teenagers, but either will be suitable. Remember to make an effort to bridge the slats [Read Here]. John and Ryan.

  • Ruth says:

    We’ve had a new Hypnos 1200 latex Superking for less than a week and we are already getting a dip in the middle and on part of the sleeping area. It is on a new slatted bedstead and we were told that this was ok for the mattress. Would putting mdf in centre and duvet on top of slats work – or do we need to change bedstead / complain about mattress
    Thanks !

    Hi Ruth. Please let me have the model name in order that I may see what could have caused this. John and Ryan.

    Hi both
    It’s Hypnos orthocare 12
    Thanks, Ruth

    Hi Ruth. Had a quick look. I would be inclined at this stage to register your complaint with the retailer or Hypnos. The build quality looks / sounds !! pretty substantial. Obviously no specification is given and so I would ask Hypnos to break it down for you:

    1. How deep is the latex?
    2. Does this run the entirety of the sleep surface or is it zoned with another product?
    3. The description online states
    “The mattress is upholstered with naturally soft and breathable layers of Latex, Cashmere, Hand teased hair and eOlus™ sustainable fibre, which help regulate body temperature” Can you tell me the weight of the Cashmere used?
    4. Are the Cashmere, Hand teased hair and eOlus separate components are are they blended together to form a single upholstery layer?

    Please comment further on what you find. I am away on a stag do from now and I will catch up on all comments when I return. John and Ryan.

    2013/01/31 at 15:08
    Thanks, will do. Enjoy the stag do !
    Your help much appreciated

    Hi Ruth. Back in the real world again! Please let me now what you have found out and we can take it from there. John and Ryan.

    This is the response from Hypnos. Hopefully this gives some insight !

    The latex in this model is 24mm thick.
    This runs the entire sleep surface.
    The grey hair with cashmere is 1200g per square metre.
    The hair/cashmere are blended together, and the eOlus is a separate layer. 12.5mm thick, 300g per square metre.

    Thanks Ruth.

    Hi again Ruth. It certainly does give an insight. The average retail price of this model is <> £1000: SK: Mattress Only: [Feb 2013]. The spring unit used in this model [ReActive 12] is quite high end considering the starter ReActive springs is 6 (6 turn). However, the level of upholstery in this particular mattress seems to me to be rather minimal – your money has gone into the support rather than the upholstery and the balance to me does not seem right.

    24mm of latex is about 1″ deep. Add to this the Eolus (similar if not same as I-Fibre) at half an inch gives you a comfort layer depth of just 1.5 inches. If you consider in our latex mattress we use just short of 2.5 inches plus a supportive layer of 1″ Foam (3.5″ comfort layers plus 300gsm wool silk) it kinda puts it into perspective.

    I would imagine the Hair / Cashmere blend is used as the insulator above the springs – The overall weight of this component at 1200gsm is acceptable / good.

    You do not mention your bodyweights which I think may have a proportional effect on why you have seen dips so quickly. The minimal depth of latex and accompanying eOlus (1.5″) in my mind does not seem to be substantial enough to recover as say an acceptable 2″ layer of latex would.

    Finally Ruth. eOlus is a soft comforting product. I have an inkling that this may be used as the primary comfort layer (the layer directly beneath the fabric) and the dips you see may be this product settling in and may not get any worse. Half an inch is miserly in my opinion, and obviously there is no great substance there to recover back to normal.

    I would be inclined to contact your retailer and Hypnos to inform them what has happened and see what their take is. Keep in touch. John and Ryan.

  • Jonathan says:

    Ive recently purchased a “cozynight 1000 pocket sprung matress” from the website I already have your typical solid wooden slatted bedframe, my question is will this be sufficent to support this type of matress or will I need to invest in a different type of base?
    Some advice would be great, thanks

    Hi Jonathan. Tried to locate this mattress on the site but cannot find it. Not too impressed with what I did see BTW.

    I’m going to assume it was a memory foam mattress, or at the very least a one sided mattress of sorts (I do need some kind of detail) but anyway, being pocket sprung it should be fine. What I would do is to add a foam layer or old duvet to cushion the mattress from the slats. If it is one sided it will have precious little on the underside to give the pocket springs adequate padding. Hope this helps but feel free to add a bit more info. John and Ryan.

    Thanks for the reply, I bought the mattress on through groupon here is the link.

    (Groupon link removed – request for sign up at start – No Thanks!)

    Do you mean put a duvet on top of my slatts then put the matress down?
    thanks again.

    Hi again Jonathan. Because the link you supplied requests me to sign up before I can look at products (No Thanks) please put all the specification details on another comment in order for me to see what the mattress you purchased is like.

    Re duvet. It is good practice to protect your mattress from the slats, so yes, something on top of the slats – either foam pad or old duvet. Anything to stop the slats digging into the underside upholstery. In the case of non turn (which I already assume your’s is), it just adds a bit more suspension for the mattress and the more you can do to protect it – the better. John and Ryan.

  • Brian says:

    Hi, I have recently purchased a superking bedframe with a sprung slatted base, is it normal for the central support legs not to touch the ground when there is no mattress on? I’m not sure if its supposed to be like this and act as a sort of dampener when there is a mattress placed on top. Thanks

    Hi Brian. The central support leg should be touching the ground and not hovering. There should be an adjusting screw on the foot to extend. John and Ryan

  • Jill says:

    I have spent several days now absorbing the information on your excellent site and feel confident that purchasing from you is likely to be our best option. Having spent time in both Dreams and Bensons recently I was glad of some good honest information

    I would just like a bit of more personalised advice now please. We currently have an Ikea (superking size) wooden bed frame (aproximately 10 years old but in good condition) and a Sleepmaster Backcare Supreme mattress (800 pocket spring) which is about 5 years old but now causing me sleep problems (my husband does not seem to suffer as much).

    I suffer from restless legs during the night and hip, shoulder aches and lower leg/foot pain in the mornings. I am 5’6″ and 12 stone, my husband is 6’3″ and 17 stone. We prefer a firmer more supportive mattress but are willing to be advised.

    Our budget is around the £1000 mark maximum. One problem I have noticed with the current mattress is “the humpback bridge effect” – I find much more support and comfort by laying in the centre of the mattress (when my husband is on night shift!!). How can we stop this happening with a new mattress?

    I like the sound of your Artisan range but possibly may not be able to stretch that far 🙁 Can you give me some advice re suitable options for our needs?

    Thank you

    Hi Jill. Sorry for the delay in replying. Firstly, re your base? Does this have sprung slats or fixed solid slats? If sprung they are causing the hump back bridge effect – read the comments below for a solution.

    Your current mattress is a bottom of range pocket sprung mattress, your preference for a firmer mattress should not be based on how you feel your current mattress. Our Artisan Tailored Pocket can be made to suit both your weight requirements but it does come a little above your budget. A second option that wil also suit your needs will be our Origins Latex at £760 for a Superking. I would be inclined (as with all mattresses) to supplement this with a decent topper – mainly to give you (rather than your husband) a supplementary and changeable level of comfort and you will still come well under budget. Hope this helps Jill. John and Ryan.

  • Caroline says:

    I have just bought a kingsize tempur mattress and a new leather base with slats that go straight across, and everytime you move it creaks. Do you know why this is ?

    Hi Caroline. It’s a constant little reminder to make you wonder whether the Tempur mattress was the correct choice! I joke of course ..

    Is the creaking coming from the slats or the headboard? All roads point to insufficient tightening of fixings. No doubt the fixings will be hexagon and the use of an allen key is required – obviously, don’t overtighten or strip the fixing.

    A confirmative test is to remove the mattress and gently rock the bed, you will soon see where the weak spots are. As for the straight slats, these do have a tendency to squeak if used on a wooden central support bar or sides. Using washing up liquid or hair conditioner (something that has not been in my bathroom for a number of years now) to lubricate the adjoining wooded elements will stop any noise completely. It’s good practice to completely maintain your bedframe every three months when you re-tighten the fixings again, use this time to re apply the lubricant.

    Please let us know if this fails to correct and we can take it from there. John and Ryan.

  • Craig says:


    Just a bit of advice really my partner and i have just upgraded to a king size bed…..well will have come 7th March. I am currently scouring the web and have read good and bad reports on which mattresses suit our bed base (sprung slats with middle divider). I’m carrying some Xmas weight : ) and weigh approx 19 stone and my partner 10 stone. so I am obviously concerned about weight distribution and getting the most out of our mattress for me and my partner. We have narrowed our choice down to two mattresses. Any input or reviews in reference to suitability, pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.

    1)PerDormire Cashmere Mattress: Memory foam vs;
    2) Silentnight London Mirapocket Select Collection Mattress
    Cheers in advance

    Hi Craig. I do think your questions should be directed to PerDormire and Silentnight respectively. The most important part of your questioning should be their opinion of the suitability of the aforementioned mattresses for such a difference in bodyweights. Once you get their point of view and their justifications and re-post I will be able to respond. . John and Ryan.

  • Charlie says:

    Hi, I am looking for a mattress within my rather modest budget of £400-£500, I am 5’3 and 10 stone and my partner is 6’3 and 15 stone.. We both like the soft and cozy feel as opposed to a firmer one and I was wondering if you had any recommendations?

    I am thinking a pocket sprung and then perhaps a topper. Also would you recommend a sprung edge divan as opposed to a standard slatted frame to increase the “bounce” factor?
    I currently have a pocket sprung pillow top mattress (never again!) which I bought about 3 years ago.. The pillow top is now completely useless and I am craving the comfort of a much more educated choice! Any advice would be gratefully received, thank you!

    Hi Charlie. As you have probably read for a budget like this it becomes increasingly difficult to find a mattress that will perfectly suit you both – you both have fairly different requirements. Soft and Cosy for this budget will equate to predominantly polyester upholstery, which when new will indeed give you this feeling. However, it will not take too long for this to degrade, particularly if no additional topper is used.

    Personally I would look at our Origins Reflex to be used as a benchmark in your comparisons. If as you say you will be utilising a topper (consider the Ultimate Fleece wool from Pillow and Duvet Warehouse) this combination should be perfect for you both and will not be over stretching your budget.

    A sprung edge divan will most certainly be a better foundation for a pocket sprung mattress, but I certainly would not go to this extra expense if your current bedframe is still in good condition (unless it’s a metal frame bedstead of course). John and Ryan.

  • Andy Miller says:

    Hi I really need help, choosing a new mattress is giving me a headache bad enough to match my backache!!! We made the mistake of buying a mattress (£700) from sleepmasters 3 years ago and it’s dead already.

    I’m a big fella weighing in at 22 stones my wife is 13 stones. The mattresses we’ve found best up to now are a Harrison Topped and tailored paradise (pillowtop with springs in it) and a Harrison Memory tailor sensation 7000 (Memory Foam & Latex topped memory foam) Lastly a Sealy Toscana Latex topped. Problem is different shops are giving contradictory advice. What type of mattress should we look at for our weight?

    Hi Andy. This is going to be tricky. As you will know already, your weight will have a bearing on how the mattress will fare. A nine stone difference obviously indicates you will require a zip and link set with two completely different tension of springs or a one piece mattress with dual springs (med for your wife and firm for you). The only model I would be happy in supplying as a minimum standard would be The Artisan Tailored Pocket which I suspect looking at the models you mention may exceed your budget somewhat.

    To guide you further, you may have to opt for a mattress (pocket spring) that can act as the support element and add a fairly substantial top layer to offer you the comfort. This will be something like a 7cm memory Foam topper (not overly expensive) but the compromise you will have to make is to adjust your bedding to take account of the associated heat aspect.

    The bottom line to all of this is to realise that not one mattress will be suitable for you both. Neither forget that any upholstery under 22st of constant pressure over time will continue to rebound back to it’s original shape. You will have to take measures to complement any mattress with a removable top layer and renew as it becomes worn through wear and tear. This will be a more long term economical measure than to expect the mattress alone to deliver what is required. Hope this helps Andy and please let us know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • carol says:

    Just bought silentnight deluxe mattress 3 zone miracoil and finding it very hot where body lies on mattress, Heat seems to build up and then radiate back at you keeping you tossing and turning all night. Mattress on wooden slat base, have tried pure cotton sheets and protector. Used wool blanket which has been the best remedy but not ideal. Any suggestions, old mattress was bog standard 15 years old sprung and was great but getting bit lumpy.

    Hi Carol. Unfortunately, this is the inherent flaw with all memory foam mattresses. Some people do not notice the heat build up and like you, some people do. The best solution is to reduce your duvet to a very low tog 4-6tog for example. I would also consider using a feather and down topper rather than wool to create a barrier between you and the memory foam.

    Incidentally I cannot find too much info on the mattress you bought and so the addition of a substantial topper will help reduce the possibility of the memory foam ( I am assuming it is memory foam) degrading sooner than it needs to (it will happen). Hope this helps and please let us know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • Jay says:

    Hi Guys amazing website i must say.
    I have just pruchased a Mandalay King Size Brown Faux Leather Bed Frame with sprung slats from bensons. My mattress cost me £900 and is the sleepmaster with 1800 pocket sprung coils. I haven’t assembled the bed yet but i have noticed the mattress weighs a lot…… 58kg to be precise!

    should i be worried? Is it suitable for a sprung wooden slat bed?

    Hi Jay. I really do think you should refer your question to Sleepmasters to ensure it does not affect any future warranty issue.

    As mentioned in a previous comment you do need to ensure the slats are not too firm to cause a hump each side of the mattress. Good practice is to use a couple of thin mdf sheets (2′ x 3′) to bridge the two humps together, creating a more level platform for your mattress.

    Take a look at this image of my bedframe and see what I have done to avoid the humps. Also by not completely cpvering the slats there is plenty of room for ventilation. I also place an old topper on top of this to add further cushioning for the mattress. Hope this helps and please let me know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • Jon says:

    I have a Relyon Mattisse Kingsize mattress on a slatted base. For the first 28 months this was a comfortable and firm mattress. Recently it has become very uncomfortable and offers little support resulting in back ache. Any advise?

    Hi Jon. . Sorry but we cannot find much info on this particular model. can you please supply where you got this from and how much you paid. I would also contact Relyon direct [ 01823 667501 ] and let us know what they say about this model. In order for us to see what could have potentially gone wrong it would be beneficial if they could tell you the component specification by type and weight. John and Ryan.

  • elle says:

    hello do you have any more info on the bed bases for slatted beds that you mention? How thick will they be and what will they be made of? If used would I still require a specific bedstead mattress or could any pocket sprung mattress be place on them? thanks

    2013/04/20 at 21:26
    Sorry more questions I hit submit too soon!
    I am most likely looking at the Vi Spring bedstead mattresses and require a superking, it is for a sprung slat base. I note that you mention the Vi Spring traditional bedstead mattress does not have enough supportive filling to survive on a slatted base and wondered how far in your opinion up the range of bedstead mattresses one must go to achieve this?

    Hi Elle. I hope I wasn’t misunderstood. The upholstery in the Vi Spring Traditional Bedstead comes in at just over 3000 gsm which is considerably more than many mattresses. I can’t remember (or find) the exact comment you refer to but I would guess that the ‘unsupportive filling’ quote was more for the writers bodyweight due to the upholstery being predominantly wool, rather than being suitable for a slatted bed frame which it would be.

    I also note you feel the Vi Spring Traditional Bedstead Mattress to be better value for money than the Vi Spring Bedstead Realm Mattress due to the similarities in filling. Furthermore you mention that the wool spring protector pad used in Vi Spring Bedstead Mattresses (the only real component which separates them from the rest of the Vi Spring range) is either unnecessary or incorrect (sorry can’t remember which have spent hours on this site!) in which case could any pocket spring be used on a slatted base with the appropriate support (as queried in post below)?

    The wool insulator pad used in all VS Bedstead mattresses is of course better there than not. Personally I cannot see the correlation between using a wool spring protector pad on their bedstead range and using an initial bonded wool and cotton on the rest of their range. Perhaps you should be directing this particular question to them and I would be interested in hearing their response.

    I would have no qualms whatsoever about using a pocket sprung mattress on a slatted base – in fact I do myself. However, taking measures to adapt your base to the mattress (described below) will ensure the hump back bridge effect will not happen.

    The compromise of a slatted frame as opposed to a partnered sprung edge divan is of course you do lose the suspension qualities that Sprung edge divans offer. Within the next week or two we shall be supplying a sprung mattress pad that will aid this missing link. This will be a mini pocket spring core with RPC (Rebound Poly Cotton) as the upholstery (upper side) and firm poly as the slat side). Full spec and details will be provided when on-line. I have trialled the prototype on my slatted frame and the difference is noticeable – albeit, my mattress is 4″ higher!

    Many thanks for such an informative site it really has helped, I am prepared to spend the money on a good quality mattress but obviously don’t want to spend beyond what is necessary to get one.

    Don’t forget to consider our Artisan Naturals as a viable option for a premium value for money mattress. John and Ryan.

  • Kelly says:

    Hi just over a year ago we surrendered our much loved water bed (18yrs of use) to return to a pocket sprung with memory foam top. We were moving house and knew that the water mattress would not be suitable in out new home.

    We put the new mattress in our existing water bed frame so it has a solid base. Significantly I have had pelvic/ hip issues for a year and until now did not put it down to the bed. Having been away recently and subsequently slept in a complete memory foam bed with a slatted base and having some of the best sleep in a year, I am now wondering if my base is the issue as it might be too solid for the mattress. Before I start spending more money chasing a problem that may not be the issue can you provide any advice?

    Hi Kelly. Could be your base or it could be a rubbish mattress – or both. I’m not particularly sure what the water bed base is like so if you could provide a bit more detail I will be able to help further.

    Secondly, If you let me know the model name of your mattress I can do the same. John and Ryan.

  • John says:

    We have a slatted wooden base (Super King) which I made with 3″ gaps and a central supporting bar. Currently we have a 5 year old(ish) Silentnight Miracoil sperung mattress – Rosemay model. Lately I have been having v uncomfortable sleep and back ache. Noted your comments in earlier posts about thin mdf sheets and topper. However, we have a hump in the middle of the mattress. Also where we sleep the mattress appears to have lost some of its support ie sunk. Have thought about a topper but not sure if this is the ideal answer? Or, do we have to bite the bullet and replace the mattress and if so with what? Any help would be appreciated

  • Sally says:


    We bought an Artisan Naturals mattress off you recently and we love it! We are eagerly awaiting your mattress pad for slats to go on sale and have a question. Will this pad reduce the needs for mdf on sprung slats?

    Hi Sally.. The mattress pad situation is still pending I’m afraid. I have now trialled two prototypes (one tufted with an open coil support) and one flat with a mini pocket spring support. There was a noticeable difference with regards more suspension on my frame but the downside is they are coming in at a depth of between 4-5″. Couple this with a fairly deep mattress makes the overall height that tiny bit too much. I am still working on this and trying to get a much thinner depth of pad.

    Personally I would keep the MDF on the slats as an even surface for the pad. John and Ryan.

  • Steve says:

    What thickness of MDF do you recommend and where’s best to buy it? B and q only have larger sizes.

    Hi Steve, Not thick at all. i used I think mine is about 3-4mm. All you are trying to do is bridge the slats to create a more even surface. Our B&Q cut a big sheet into equal sections at no charge. John and Ryan.

  • Esther says:

    Hi I am after some advice on bases. We have decided what mattress to go for, the Harrison Nirvana 3000. However the salesman said that we need to be careful what base to choose. as the mattress is heavy, about 90kg and it will apparently crush a cheap base. Is this true?

    We are wanting a cheap base as have a budget and prefer to spend most of it on a decent mattress.
    Also can you advise me of the best base is for this type of mattress?
    Thanks Esther.

    Hi Esther. First and foremost you should be contacting Harrisons direct (0113 205 5200) to ensure the base you intend to use will not have an effect on the warranty of the mattress. You will need to get this in writing so I would actually recommend you do this by email info at

    The Nirvana 3000 is a one sided mattress and so I would really partner this with a sprung edged divan base – certainly not a standard platform top ‘cheap’ base. Harrisons do state that this particular mattress can be used on a bedframe and I think if your budget cannot extend to a sprung edged base then a bedframe will provide a more desirable looking and affordable alternative.

    As a point of note The Nirvana 3000 is very similar to The Haven 4000 both from their Topped and Tailored collection. The number refers to the total spring count in mattress AND base – in the case of The Nirvana the mattress has 2000 springs – The Haven has 3000 in the mattress. The noticeable differences are that The Haven uses Revolution and HD springs and The Nirvana uses Revolution and Posturfil springs. It’s hard to differentiate fully between the two as the cutaway image on their site [May 2013] shows The Haven cutaway under the Nirvana description !! The upholstery is slightly different between the two with The Haven having Mohair within the blend. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

    2013/05/16 at 06:48
    Hi thanks for your reply.

    If we go for a bed frame, do we need to lay something over the slats to protect the mattress?
    You also mention the Harrison Haven 4000, in your opinion is this a better mattress than the Nirvana 3000 for around the same money?
    Thanks Esther.

    Hi again Esther. Yes, only for the fact that The Haven mattress is full two sided. I have absolutely no idea the make up of the upholstery layers which could be used to fully differentiate the two. Read this comment here

    Also, take a look at The Tennyson mattress from Feather and Black (although under the F&B branding they are also manufactured by Harrisons). Use this a price / build comparison.

    There are plenty of comments below about using slatted frames for your mattress, take your time to read through them for detailed advice. Hope this helps and please let us know how you get on. Incidentally, there is precious little online about the prices for Harrisons Nirvana and Haven mattresses. For the benefit of other readers I would be grateful if you can let me know the quoted prices you have had for these models. John and Ryan.

    Hiya you asked me to give you abit of insight into the prices of the Harrison mattresses and beds as like you said there is no pricing info online. This, I have been told, is due to Harrison not wanting to be an online seller.

    Anyway, my advise to anyone wanting to purchase a Harrison bed is not to go with the first shop but ring around the others who advertise selling them on the internet as you can get a lot better deal. We originally were looking at the Harrison Nirvana 3000. First price was £699 for mattress, £1239 for complete bed with 4 drawers. Cheapest I managed to get it for £556 mattress, £950 bed 4 drawers.

    Then started looking at the Harrison Haven 4000 on your recommendation, my first quote was for £1349 for bed 4 drawers. Cheapest I managed to get it for is £649 mattress, £999 for bed with 4 drawers plus 2 memory foam pillows thrown in. And this is the one we’ve gone for. All prices are for a king size. Hope this help someone else looking at Harrison beds.

    Hi again Esther. Absolutely it will help and it is exceedingly good advice. Thank you so much for sharing. Once again please let us all know how you get on with The Haven. John and Ryan.

  • Graham says:

    Hi. Great website by the way – most informative I’ve seen on the subject!

    Just bought a new ViSpring from John Lewis (Newstead in medium support) and put it onto a sprung bed slat base. Slats maybe a little too wide (approx 7 cms) and are leaving an imprint on the underside. But, the big problem is the comfort of the mattress – seems way too firm and lots of aches in the morning after a fragmented sleep. We’ve put a topper on but concerned that we’re just ignoring the issue and that the topper is a short term fix but is probably the wrong option. Based on your notes above, how much benefit would we see by adding the MDF sheets & old duvet over the slats and ditching the topper? Maybe even put the topper underneath the mattress instead of on it?!

    Hi Graham. You will have to address two issues here; The first is your slatted base: There are no suspension qualities within this kind of frame to complement the mattress. I have a slatted bedframe and the difference between a bedframe and a sprung edged divan base is measurable. I would use the MDF AND some sort of padding as described above – even if it is to protect the mattress from the slats. An ideal solution is to have a mini spring mattress pad to imitate the suspension properties of a sprung edged base. We are still currently working on this mattress pad.

    Secondly; Toppers are certainly not a short term fix but an integral part of the make up of the mattress as a whole. Try two! Read Here.. As your complaint seems to be along the lines of ‘too firm’ this is a better position to be in than ‘too soft’. So the toppers you should be looking at are those that supply soft comforting properties rather than those that include elements of support (such as feather or latex).

    Also bear in mind that springs break in within the first month or so of usage and then stabilise. I have a feeling that you will soon come to love this bed once you have made the necessary adjustments.

    This particular model is retailed around the £1300 mark for a kingsize mattress. Unfortunately there are no associated weights attributed to the upholstery and so we are left to assume what has been used to make this mattress. The description states British Fleece Wool and Cotton Plus horsehair. Taking the price into consideration and a mattress depth of 21cm it seems to me that once the spring is in the mattress (assume 5-6″) there is not a lot of room left for a substantial amount of upholstery. Keep in touch. John and Ryan.

  • Denis Bennett says:

    Hi, you say in “Mattresses for slats” that “This image shows two lengths of 3×2 MDF sheets bridging the arched slats and central bar to prevent the central dipping problems.

    Is the image a double/king size bed? If so it seems to show be something larger than 3×2.
    Also, please could you give me your views on bendy MDF as a base as shown here:

    Hi, again,
    I have just had my bed delivered hence the reason for the questions.
    Last question (I hope), is the mdf board running across the width of the bed at the head end or the feet end?
    Please advise,

    Hi Dennis. The MDF is 3 x 2 and is laid head to toe (top one) and side to side (second one). Normal MDF is better than bendy – you are trying to construct a level base. John and Ryan.

  • Alex says:


    I found the article to be quite insightful, thank you. I am thinking about buying a space-saving (king size) bed (Tonga bed, Warren Evans) to pair with a John Lewis Ortho 1800 mattress. Since the bed frame is designed so as to maximise space usage, the mattress rests on solid slats set on top of the frame. I have always had sprung slats so I am a bit worried that the solid slats may compromise the comfort of the mattress. Would you say that the difference is substantial? Also, would you advise using the old duvet/MDF solution in this scenario, too?
    Ta, Alex

    Hi Alex. I personally prefer solid slats to the sprung slats variety – keeping your mattress on an even keel. The only thing missing from this design of bed are any suspension qualities. A two inch foam or memory Foam topper directly on top of the slats will aid in the suspension (not too expensive – about £35 on Ebay). The difference in comfort between sprung slats and solid slats is minimal and should not be a concern.

    As for your choice of bed (Tonga) I see that it is retailing at £1250. Personally I think this is rather expensive for what you will be getting. I have just been looking at a solid mahogany sleigh bed at around £450 which by comparison is far superior – although may take up a further 4 inches of your floor pace side to side – considerably more top to toe. The point is, there are many more options available to you at a better price. Let me know if this works out for you. John and Ryan.

  • Annabel says:

    Hi John and Ryan. You have given me excellent advice before (on a mattress for my 10-yr-old…I now have a question about my teenage daughter’s bed. We have a sprung slatted iron bedstead and she is about to inherit it so I need to buy her a new double mattress. She is about 5ft 3inches and weighs about 6.5 stone. I fear a firm or orthopaedic mattress is going to feel awfully firm to her. Would you recommend a pocket sprung mattress or a memory foam one? We need something that isn’t too heavy as she and I will have to turn the mattress together and we’re both quite small!! Many thanks for your brilliant website, Annabel

    Hi Annabel. As your little princess is of such a light bodyweight the focus of the mattress should be entirely based on comfort. I would be inclined to opt for a foam mattress of sorts which will have more than adequate support properties and complement this further with a fairly decent topper for the comfort layer. Have a look at The Memory 3 Sleep from Mattressman as a starter (Reflex Foam and 3cm Memory Foam) and use a topper such as The Classic Microfibre with Silk (About £40 – Double). Thanks also for the compliment – very much appreciated. John and Ryan.

  • Sam says:

    Hi there

    I am reading all this valuable information on your website and not really sure where to start. We purchased 8 years ago a Super King Sleepmaster 4 drawer divan storage bed with memory foam mattress and of course the mattress is totally rubbish now probably was 3 years ago but I’m only now getting round to replacing. In an ideal world I’d love to just replace the mattress with something more substantial and not memory foam but my question is can I just purchase a new mattress to go on top of our existing Storage base e.g. Vi Spring or something near to that calibre? We are 13st and 16st.

    I don’t even know what type of bed base we currently have as I read on here about slats and Spring based, but given the bed in it’s entirety is only about 80cm high I’d guess that the base is currently 45cm tops. I don’t see any slats.

    Just looking for some advice on what to do – I’d rather spend the money on a good mattress alone than have to split the money on a mediocre mattress and bed.

    Hi Sam. You have a standard platform top Divan Base. You are right to consider the mattress and base budget – better to spend more on the mattress now – use your current base – and replace the base when funds allow. Using a mattress of Vi Spring quality on this type of base is not really beneficial to you or the mattress (no suspension qualities) but will certainly not have any detrimental effect on the mattress in the short term.

    Although a sprung edged divan base is a perfect partner to a good pocket sprung mattress, you can consider a slatted bedframe as an alternative. Nowadays, not overly expensive and you get the full shebang – headboard and space under the frame for additional storage etc. However – like your current platform top base – has no substantial suspension properties. John and Ryan.

  • Steve says:

    I just bought a Dormeo 8500 Octaspring memory foam mattress and I have a slatted bedframe. I’m concerned the slats might not be appropriate for the mattress. I’m not sure I can lay down flat surfaces like MDF between the mattress and the slats because I suspect the warranty might require a breathable surface below the mattress. I haven’t slept in the bed yet, simply ordered it online. Any advice would be great. Here is a link to the bedframe, you can see the slats in one of the pictures.

    Hi Steve, Many thanks for your post and apologies that its taken us a while to respond. You’ve raised and interesting point about warrentys and breathable surfaces. In short a one sided mattresses, like foam based mattresses, cant be turned. This means that a number of mattresses are unwrapped, placed on the base and then never turned again. This has an impact of the amount of ventillation the underside recieves and can in some extreme circumstances can lead to mouldy mattresses. I say extreme as this is usually occurs in very high humidity areas and where the mattress hasn’t been maintained, moved or checked at all! With a foam mattress you can and should however rotate the mattress 180 degrees monthly to ensure even wear.

    Any way I digress. The base you have may have issues on the octaspring mattress as we always advise that foam and latex mattresses should be on a consistent flat base surface. When using slats the mattress can conform to the spaces between them and cause issue. As for the guarantee/warranty I would advise that you use pegboard, mdf with holes in it, which should remove the concern over ventilation but still give you the flat consistent surface your octaspring base will require. If you need any more help please get in touch Steve. Lee

  • Lisa says:

    I just bought the Tempur Revelation mattress from Dreams, plus a double bedstead from their “Pippa” range. I assumed that the sprung slats would have worked ok, with the memory foam mattress.
    The sprung slats are 2 inches apart from each other with the support in the middle. My partner and I wait around 9 stone each. Did I get it wrong?

    Thank you

    Hi Lisa. I don’t think you have made a wrong choice. The fact that the Tempur mattress is all foam will be able to take the undulation of the sprung slats. Ideally though, a flatter surface would have been preferable and so I would use the MDF to bridge the support bar as described above. Let us know how you get on with this particular build of mattress and the sprung slats. John and Ryan.

  • Ben says:

    Hi guys,

    Your website has been a really help and I think I know where we are going wrong. We have lovely white metal posteresk type bed frame which unfortunately comes with rubbish wooden slats. I’m not sure of the spacing between each one but I would say the area is only 50% covered by the slats when spaced out equally. We have lost the central slat because snapped and I’ve replaced this with 10mm piece of mdf, but this bows so much I have a stack of magazines under neath it. There is also no central support. Replacing the mattress is long over due, but I don’t want the same “bulging” and “pit forming” problem to happen again.
    What would you suggest, apart from buying a new entirely.

    Hi Ben. Sorry to say but your only option will be to replace the whole lot. I’ve never been a fan of metal beds (creaky and wobbly) but these days with the power of the internet it is easy to pick up a low priced wooden or upholstered frame for the same price as a basic divan base. It seems your mattress is also due for replacement and I hope there is enough information throughout the site to guide you what to look out for to prevent the bulging and pitting you describe – as you are probably aware – it all depends on available budget. John and Ryan.

  • Nick says:


    You casually mention that there is a considerable difference between the comfort of a mattress on a slatted base vs a sprung divan base – oh my god you’re not kidding! We were in Furniture Village recently checking out the Vi-Springs, and the difference between their normal Herald Superb on a divan vs the special version for a slatted base bedframe was vast! The latter was very disappointing having tried the divan version (and still very expensive).

    Hi Nick. Thanks for posting on this subject. I am going to reply directly beneath each point for ease of reading.

    I personally cannot see that much of a difference between Vi Spring core range and their bedstead range ´apàrt from the use of a bonded wool and cotton insulator. So, theoretically the feel between these two models on each type of base should be similar. And as you point out the comfort difference between divan base and bedstead is noticeable.

    In my view this is the single biggest factor in a mattress purchase – what base it’s going to lie on! Nobody tells you that in the shop. The difference in the type of base is massive: it swamps the relatively small increments in comfort obtained with horsehair vs mountain llama-wool or other such frivolous fillings!

    There must be thousands of people who have made expensive mattress purchases to accompany their fancy bedframes, completely oblivious to the type of base their mattress is going to lie on, and then been mystified why what was supposed to be a luxurious and comforting experience is as hard as a rock (I’ve been there).

    This is a huge problem which I don’t think is being properly addressed by mattress manufacturers (possibly because they’d prefer you to buy their divan set as well). It seems to me there’s a great opportunity here to bring a brand new product to market along the lines of the mattress suspension pad you are researching. There is a real need for this.

    Absolutely. Or something along the lines of a sprung edge support to replace the sprung slats. As you have probably read, my initial trials with the suspension pad were positive (for comfort) but the height, even at five inches was just not viable. The tricky part of this to get right is reducing the height to three inches that will be able to support the (heavy) mattress and users.

    The problem we are currently up against in this is that once wadding is used to cushion the springs in the pad the height increases by about one inch per side. We are trying various combinations of spring and wadding (one side) and springs and HD foam (at half an inch). We are also looking at a one inch spring but until we get a lab test of support I do think this will not be supportive enough.

    In the meantime, you advise using an old duvet on top of the slats to help give some kind of cushioned support to the mattress. Is this really the best thing to use? Given the weight of a quality mattress, wouldn’t it become as flat as a pancake within a short space of time, providing little or no benefit?

    The point of the duvet thesis was not for the suspension qualities but more for protecting the underside of the mattress upholstery against the slats. The point being something, even as basic as an old duvet, is better than nothing.

    This may seem like overkill, but in the absence of a purpose-designed suspension pad product (and assuming you want to keep your nice bedstead) would it be better to purchase a second (cheaper) thinner mattress to lie under the main mattress instead, to act as a sprung divan? I appreciate height is an issue – we previously had a very deep mattress and nearly needed a ladder to get into bed!

    We are now seriously re-thinking our mattress choice (even after reading all the great info on this site) simply because of the effect of the base.

    Good advice to all. Another poster left a comment about where the line ends between how much you pay and the additional comfort gained. the same is true with your base dilemma. Despite the copius notes/articles on this site we are still battling to find answers to these (and more) questions.

    I´m pleased to see that the current content of this site is encouraging readers like yourself to question further their purchase. There is no doubt that there is a lot more to add. I am confident that the basics have been more than covered. We are now in the process of delving even deeper to find answers to your comment and a myriad of similar queries.

    [When I return off holiday (first week in October) I will extend my response to this comment. Please keep me informed with what you find out. John and Ryan.

  • Peter says:

    I have a mattress arriving next week and would like to prepare my king-size sprung base to make it a level surface as you have done.

    Regarding the 2 3×2 MDF pieces you used, is there an overlap, or do they sit separate to each other?

    Also why is the “side to side” piece only positioned at one end? Does that not cause an imbalance?

    Finally, what thickness topper would you recommend to form the cushioning? I have seen one that is approx 2cm thick (when compressed) is that enough?

    Many thanks and cheers for the info.

    Hi Peter, Sorry for the delay in replying. Holiday period and came back to a mountain of comments. Regarding the MDF, I used what I had available and the side to side piece at the head end worked better with less load than being used at the lower end. All I am doing is to bridge the dip on the central bar on the sprung slats. The mattress I have is extremely heavy so there is no imbalance.

    As for the toppers / duvet used to form the cushioning, I recycle my toppers so when the toppers on the mattress are due for replacement, I use it beneath the mattress. In an ideal world a sheet of foam or foam topper would be a better form of cushioning as this would mould to any inconsistency in levels from the slats. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Liz says:

    Hi, we have been struggling to find the right bed for years. We had to dispose of a new memory foam mattress as we both hated it and it was far too hot for my husband who is a hot sleeper. The pillowtop which followed was similarly useless. We recently bought a new rigid slatted wooden bed and were amazed at how much more rigid our Silentnight mattress is on it, far too firm for my husband!
    I am desperate to get the most comfortable mattress we can afford for the new bed as I cannot believe how comfortable beds in even budget hotels seem by comparison. We both seem to sleep well on these. My husband is six foot and around 12 and a half stone while I am 5 foot 3 and around 10 stone. He tends to prefer a very slightly softer feel. Your website is great. I have learned more from it in two days than years of searching. Can you advise?

    Hi Liz. The crucial thing to know is how much your budget is. Both your weights do not require anything that is all singing and dancing – adequate support and adequate comfort should give you the basis of the mattress you both need. Remember to factor into the budget a topper or two. Let me know yur budget and I wil be able to give you some models to consider and why. BTW. Sorry for the delay in replaying (Holidays) John and Ryan.

  • Michael says:


    Myself and my wife have just bought a new home and we now have room to get a good sized bed. We previously had a tiny double (I’m not even sure it was that big) so because of this we thought we would go to the next extreme Superking size.

    The worry we have is that we have gone into furniture stores and been told that due to the slats on a bedstead we need to be careful about what mattress we get as the weight may be too much. This has us a little worried.

    I am 6″2 and weigh around 16st with my wife being about 5″6 and about 10st. Can you advise.

    We much prefer the look of wooden bedsteads as a lot of divan beds can be a bit of an eyesore but our budget is around £1,500 and I wouldn’t want to spend that on an inferior product that I would be worried about breaking.

    Any help you could offer would be great. Also due to the fact that I weigh more than half as much again as my wife what do you think would be a good middle ground.

    (p.s. I would consider buying from your site but we live in Jersey and I couldn’t see any details about delivery to channel islands, the most recommended place over here seems to be but they dont give much detail on the products)

    Any help would be much appreciated, thanks in advance Mike

    Hi Mike. My mattress sits quite happily on a bedframe but the compromise is a distinct lack of suspension properties as afforded by a sprung edge divan base.
    Your weight difference is a concern – 6st is not a nominal amount and therefore either Zip and Link or dual spring tension (if your access can take a 6′ x 6’6 one piece mattress) will of course be the way to go.

    The post above about mattresses for slats should be enough for consideration, and am not too sure what the salesman means about being careful about what mattress to get. The upshot is the mattress should be based on your suitability and then considered for the bedframe.

    We are able to supply to Jersey and Guernsey and still honour our Guarantee of Love It or Return It (at place of collection) . The VAT element of the sale is also removed and therefore you get an even better buy. However, the onus is on you to arrange the shipping company yourself – ideally a Jersey company who trips to the mainland every so often and we can arrange for our courier to drop off at a convenient mainland location. Speak to Gary at the office who will be able to help and advise further. John and Ryan

  • Graham says:

    Just to be clear, are you recommending mdf sheets on a SOLID slat base as well as the sprung slat base?
    That picture of two sheets of mdf, which end of the bed is which?
    Is the width ways piece under the pillows?

    Hi Graham. Solid slats do not need this bridging layer. The purpose of them is to create a more flatter surface for the mattress. The picture shows the bed with the headboard at the top. The bottom sheet is laying side to side (feet end) in order for a fit. John and Ryan.

  • Cindy says:

    I have slept on a folding futon for years now and am financially strapped. I do have a normal mattress that rested on top of the futon mattress for comfort, but have recently needed to get rid of the futon mattress.

    So what can I do to the futon frame to ensure the normal mattress that will now sit on top of it is not hampered by the slats and/or the middle joint where if you convert it to sitting position are?

    Hi Cindy. We do not have too many dealings with Futons and not too sure what will be your best available options. The lowest price purchase you can make will of course be a foam mattress of sorts. This will give you some kind of flexibility for the seating position although it stands to reason that the ‘bend’ may be prone to shifting (example: Silver Memory: £149: Double.)

    Hope this helps Cindy. Please let us know what you decide upon. John and Ryan.

  • Pippa says:

    My husband and I bought a lovely latex mattress (98%) initially for a previuosly owned solid slat bedframe. That collapsed 1 month in and after some bodging ended up buying a new sprung slatted bed frame.

    Ever since it feels as if we are sleeping in soup. Two deep containers of soup with a nasty horrible mountain betwen us (the central supporting bar).

    I’m looking at the pics of the MDF above, wondering if hardboard would work as well, and if it would be better to have a pegged hardboard base over all the slats or if that’s overkill. I think the sprung slats we have are a bit on the duff side (not a lot of spring) and concerned that the sheer weight of the mattress is affecting our comfort.

    The mattress itself was pretty pricey so I don’t want to admit defeat…

    Hi Pippa. I can’t fathom what is happening. If there is no ‘spring’ in the slats then surely you would be sleeping on the humps (the arch of the slats) and a central dip in the middle where the support bar is. Hardboard sheets to flatten the surface of the slats should be OK – as long as they are not too flexible and contour to the slats’ humps and bumps.

    The latex mattress you have may be contouring to the shape of the slats and I think the MDF or hardboard will solve the issue. Let us know if this works. John and Ryan.

  • Lorraine Birrell says:


    I’ve just purchased a Limelight Pulsar double bed frame with sprung slats for my teenage son. We have a Silentnight Mattress Now Memory 3 Zone mattress which he loves. Would this be okay with his new bedframe or should I look at purchasing a sprung mattress ??

    Hi Lorraine. Under specification of this particular mattress the following guidance is given;
    “Silentnight Real Bedstead. Ideal for slatted bed frames but perfectly suitable for divan bases too.”

    From this I would take it as being Yes! it is suitable for slatted bedframes. Personally, I would be inclined to bridge the slats as described above just to create a more even surface. With this mattress being a foam mattress, it may have the tendency to form around the humps on the spring slats. I would however highly recommend the use of toppers [Read Here] – particularly on a teen boys bed where it is being used as seating as well as sleeping. And .., it will improve the comfort level of the mattress. John and Ryan.

  • Alan says:

    Hi we have a sprung slatted bed frame and the mattress is a Sleepeeze Orthocrest 1000. We have had them both around 3 years and it’s never been a good night’s rest. I always wake up with aches (mainly lower back). So I finally want to do something about it. I have a Zone sleep mattress topper that I’m trialing. It has made a difference, but hasn’t completely solved the problem.

    Do you think we need to change the mattress entirely and if so what would you recommend I have heard that latex is probably best for lower back. I like the idea of foam, but am put off by the smell and heat issues.

    What would you recommend we do?

    Hi Alan. If you let me know the bodyweights of users and available budget I will be in a better position to advise on replacement. I have also passed your comment on to Lee (our Foam Guy) who will be better placed to advise on any foam mattress and also point out the pros and cons of such. Let us know some more details and we will be able to help further. John and Ryan.

    2013/10/13 at 17:48
    Thanks John and Ryan
    My partner is 11 st and I’m between 13 and 14 stone.

    Thanks. Alan

    Hi again Alan. I did have a quick look at the topper you mention and at one inch thick (for the money you paid) seems rather overpriced particularly when you look at the offerings from DAPW (Duvet and Pillow Warehouse). I am assuming your budget is in the region of £500 or so, and therefore I think Lee will be better placed to come up with some recommendations. John and Ryan.

  • Darryl says:


    Reading this page with great interest, as I want a comfortable bed to sleep in, where as my better half thinks it should be pretty to look at…

    Divan (which I had before and loved) is out of the question, so we’re going to end up with a solid slatted bedframe. We’ve decided on the mattress, however I’m a bit unsure how to go about making the slats pocket sprung friendly.

    I notice that you recommended using a memory foam topper under the mattress to make a good support, which I like the sound of, however I’m worried this will prevent the mattress from being able to “breath”?

    Many thanks,

    Hi Darryl. Placing something under the mattress is more for protecting the upholstery on underside of the mattress – assuming it is a double sided mattress of course. The solid slats on your bedframe are stable enough to keep your mattress aligned. Incidentally, mattresses will breath naturally – Foams and latex etc are self ventilating, the up and down movement on the mattress acts as bellows – no need to unduly worry about this. John and Ryan.

  • Martin says:

    I have a Vi Spring Elite mattress and sprung base which I have had for about 15yrs, This has been turned regularly, however, I purchased a new sprung slatted bed frame from M&S several months ago and having put the mattress on the new frame I found it to be much firmer, and after only a few nights had to revert to my old Vi spring base.

    Would a new mattress possibly rectify the matter in your opinion? Having spoken to John Lewis they state VS make a specific mattress for slatted bases, or would I be wasting my money. I appreciate the mattress is old now but still in excellent condition, but realise the filling would compress over the years. Thank you.

    Hi Martin. Unfortunately, this is the compromise. As you can now vouch, the marriage of a good pocket sprung mattress with a sprung edge divan is the best combination. Bedframes just cannot replicate the suspension qualities of the divan. The Vi Spring Bedstead Mattress range ( in my opinion ) contain no significant properties to replicate the suspension you are missing from your sprung edged divan base.

    If you look at the specification breakdown on the Vi Spring site between their core range and their bedstead range you will see that the only difference between them is the addition of a wool spring protector pad – placed directly on top of the spring unit (the insulator). I am estimating the GSM of this particular component is around the 500 – 600 gsm mark. Personally, I cannot fathom how this one addition can determine what makes this mattress more suitable for bedsteads than any other model in their core range.

    If we look at the current version of The Vi Spring Elite;
    “..Upholstered with 1,350gsm bonded British fleece wool and cotton.
    Overlaid with two layers of 900gsm blended British fleece wool and cotton…”

    We can see that the initial layer is 1350 bonded wool and Cotton (BW&C). This is about twice as much insulating properties as offered by any model in their Bedstead range.

    If we look at their Bedstead Realm as example;
    “..Upholstered with a wool spring protector pad, then 1,350gsm bonded British fleece wool and cotton, overlaid with 300gsm British fleece wool, 200gsm bamboo and finally 900gsm of blended British fleece wool and cotton…”

    This breakdown shows you that side by side the entire upholstery content of The Elite comes in at 3150 gsm. The entire upholstery content of the Bedstead Realm comes in at 2750 gsm plus the spring protector pad at (around) 600gsm giving a grand total of 3350 gsm.

    You could deduce from this basic comparison that 200gsm more upholstery in the Bedstead model will not make a significant difference to how it will react on a bedframe. The general make up of these two models are strikingly similar. To get a secondary point of view I would be inclined to ask the salesman to offer his/her opinion on this. Please let me know what the response is. John and Ryan.

    2013/10/29 at 09:37
    HI John & Ryan

    Thank you for you reply to my Vi Spring question 25/10. I will check with John Lewis for their opinion. In relation to a slatted sprung base, what would be the best type of mattress for these beds? Further more, as I stated earlier, in my opinion my VS Elite bed is still in very good condition, how would the composition of the filling have been compromised over the last 15yrs approximately having been turned regularly and mainly having 1 person sleeping in it?

    I’m now considering replacing my current VS mattress and divan. How do your mattresses and divan bases compare to the Elite range in terms of cost, material, make up and construction? I am aware that the Elite is the entry model, but still is a very good bed. I have never had any issue over quality of the bed in terms of material and construction of it or comfort level.
    Thank you.

    Hi again Martin. I personally think there should be no major concern whether a mattress sits on a sprung edge divan or on a bedframe – if you accept that the suspension qualities between these two types of base offer noticeably significantly different qualities.

    Secondly, I would be inclined to ask Vi Spring if the construction between your 15 year old Elite has been significantly updated compared to their current version. From the current spec it tells me that The Elite is a predominantly wool and cotton mattress. These fillings do not have any kind of support element aside from the BW&C (Bonded Wool and Cotton) used as the insulating layer. If this is the same or indeed similar construction to yours I am impressed (and surprised) that these wool layers have not been completely compacted by now.

    As comparitors, all our Artisan range models are detailed to the extreme in order for you to do adequate comparisons from the quality of the springs through to the detailed breakdown of all upholstery layers. John and Ryan.

  • Mary Anne says:

    Hi there

    Thanks for the post. I currently have a slatted pine double bed base. I bought it new 9 years ago with a sprung double sided mattress. I sleep in the middle and over at least the last 4 years or so the mattress has slowly concaved in the centre now to the point where I really get backache when I sleep for too long. I need to do something about it but don’t want to invest in a new mattress (I will likely go for similar sprung mattress) if the pine base will not be supportive enough. The MDF idea sounds like a good one but I’d rather just go for a full bedset it that’s a better option. Only thing is I really like the pine base because I store lots of stuff under the bed. I am about 70kg and I like a firm base. Can you advise?
    Mary Anne.

    Hi Mary Anne. It does sound to me that it is the mattress rather than the base that is causing you the discomfort. If you let me know your available (mattress) budget I will be able to advise further. John and Ryan.

  • louise says:

    thinking of buying secondhand metal bedframe but it has rounded metal bars across it would these be uncomfortable unless I bought a really expensive mattress?

    Hi Louise. There are two kinds of metal bedframes – Cheap and well made. The cheapest (to produce) are those with the rounded bars as the one you mention. These will dig into the underside of any mattress and offer no benefit to the mattress, or to you whatsoever. You can adapt them with ply or mdf to create a more stable frame but only suitable as a base if constraints on budget prevents you from getting anything better. A better mattress will not make this frame any more suitable.

    The main concern about metal bases are the fixings. They do have a tendency to work loose (metal fixings in metal frame) and unless tightened regularly you will be hearing that all too familiar ‘squeaking’ with the slightest movement. Better produced frames will have a more elaborate fixing but even so, I think wooden or upholstered frames will be a better option and these are not necessarily more expensive in the long run. John and Ryan.

  • Simon says:

    Hi I recently shelled out for a new bed with a solid slatted base and initially used our existing sprung mattress but now we’re thinking of a memory foam mattress. Is the mdf suggestion in this article also appropriate for memory foam mattresses? The slats are 7cm wide with a 5cm gap between slats

    Hi Simon, If you’re going to be using the slatted base for a memory foam mattress we highly recommend you board over the slats as seen here. This is because the foam will over time mould around the slats, given they are 5cm apart this is quite a wide gap and can cause dips and sags to the mattress. Hope that helps. Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Mr Smith says:

    Hi, please help. We have a metal bedstead with a sprung wooden slatted base. We have just purchased an expensive new mattress from a well known supplier as our old mattress was 12 years old and was becoming uncomfortable. When we were choosing the mattress, we asked the sales assistant if the chosen mattress was suitable for our bedstead and I even showed him a similar one in the store, he confirmed it was suitable.

    We chose a Bespoke collection 2,500 Pocket Sprung with deluxe topper, We have only used this mattress for a week and already there is a sag in the middle. The retailer want to send out an inspector as they are trying to blame the base. Any advice appreciated.

    Hi Mr Smith. Unfortunately without a model name I would only be second guessing as to what has obviously gone wrong. I’m not sure if the mattress has an inbuilt topper [Read Here] or if the topper was separate? Please give more detail – including your bodyweights! John and Ryan.

  • Rochele Collins says:

    I left a message about 2 weeks ago asking for assistance and as I’d noticed you’d said you were busy etc. I didn’t worry too much about getting a response, however I would like to try to order a new bed sooner rather than later.

    I’m looking to purchase a new king-size ottoman bed frame (we need the storage) with sprung slats and was interested to read about your recommendations above for putting something on top of the slats underneath the mattress so this is certainly something I will be doing. However, before this I need to buy a mattress but we can’t seem to agree on anything. We’ve tried lots of different ones but I suppose because of our size difference what I find comfy he finds too soft etc.
    I’m 5′ 5″ and about 10 stone but my partner is 5′ 11″ weighing about 16 stone. While I suffer with some discomfort upon waking (I’m guessing it’s to do with my current mattress, although this has improved a little since throwing away my memory foam topper & replacing it with an old quilt) my partner does actually suffer with a prolapsed disc and is waiting for physio & possibly an operation.
    We only have about £500-£600 to spend on a mattress & was wondering what you’d recommend. i.e. just a mattress or a combination of mattress & topper(s) as I’ve tried reading lots of your various posts but to be honest I do find it all a bit overwhelming.

    [Original Comment]
    I’m glad I found your site although some of it is a bit confusing & a hard read I’m also finding lots of useful info.
    My question is this: –
    Myself & my boyfriend are looking to buy a new kingsize bed with sprung slatted base but we can’t seem to agree on a mattress (by the way, I’d never thought of using a quilt on the slats underneath the mattress, that is certainly something i’ll be doing form now on). We did find one in Bensons that he loved and I thought was ok – it was a Sleepmaster, Diamond Pocket Deluxe on sale for £309 it has a 1 year warranty but I’m not convinced that it will last. Is it worth looking for something with a longer warranty?
    I’m 5’4″ and 10st 4 and he’s 5’11″ and between about 16-17st. I suffer with an achy back when I wake in the morning but don’t actually have a problem that I’m aware of whereas he’s got a lower back injury for which he is waiting for an MRI & probably an operation.
    We have a budget of about £500-£600 available to spend on the mattress & would welcome any feedback.

    Many thanks in advance & hoping for a speedy reply.

    Hi Rochelle. Yes, so sorry for the delay – catching up slowly.
    The trick to this is to see how you can spend your money wisely as well as accommodating a significant weight difference between you and your partner – and this is not particularly going to be easy.

    First of all I would say that the mattress you mention above would not be my first choice for you both – £359.99 [Kingsize]. For £85 more I think our Origins Reflex [Here] would be a better choice . However, because of your budget, even this would not be entirely suitable (more you than your hubby (this will be on the firm side) and therefore you will need something to cushion you such as a microfibre topper.

    Alternatively, you can go down the foam route – either Memory Foam or Hybrid foam mix (your budget unfortunately does not stretch to latex). We will be launching this section of our site during December and have already put together a selection of products that equals the best in the biz – such as Tempur / Dunlopillo / Jensens / Velda etc – but of course – at a much lower price. It is this combination that I feel will be entirely suitable for you both. I have passed this comment on to Lee (the chap who has been researching this market for the last eight or so months (he now knows more than anyone on foams and latex ..) and he will email you direct to help you further. John and Ryan.

  • Becky says:

    I’ve just purchased a kingsize John Lewis natural collection Egyptian cotton 6000 mattress and am using it on a sprung slat base. Three things have happened in just over a week of use, a central dip, various compacting, and back pain, I’m 10 stone and the only person using the bed. In the shop, the mattress was perfectly comfortable and the shop assistant was really helpful but unfortunately didn’t ask what kind of base the mattress would be on, something I wasn’t aware of until reading your site. Would you recommend the MDF solution to try and help with the central dip, if so, can I clarify that is 3mm deep and 3ft wide running the length of the central bar?
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Hi Becky, Apologies for the delay in responding its been an incredibly busy few weeks. I can’t find the exact mattress but the 5000 model on the John Lewis website is a medium pocket sprung one sided mattress, this is assumed as its states its rotate only. Putting the one sided mattress issue to one side my advice is around the slatted base. Given the issues you have had I can only put these down to your slatted base. Yes, a bed specialist should of asked this before purchase but its an area of mattress advice that many people miss. We would advise you board the slatteded base, rotate the mattress and see if it rectifies itself. If not Becky I would get back in touch with the store and raise your complaint as it shouldn’t be dipping based on your weight and the relative newness of the mattress. Please let us know how you get on. Lee

  • Greig says:

    John and Ryan, It is great to see enthusiasts who are concerned about quality first and foremost; thank you. Unfortunately, my children are suffering on this fine Sunday morning, as I have been so wrapped up with your website that their breakfast has been relegated to second place! Having read for some time, I am now in a decent place to ask some questions.

    I am in the Forces so we move from house to house when posted. After 10 years on an M&S “soft” 2400 pocket sprung mattress (Relyon made I believe), I now get lower back pain so it is time for a change. I am 6’3″ and 15 and a half stone, and my wife is 9.8 stone (which I mischievously round up to 10!). We have just bought a super king, oak, sprung slatted base from M&S and need a mattress. The slats are 5cms apart ( a shade under 2″) and there is a central supporting bar (so essentially 2 lots of independent slats).

    The exact width of the mattressable area is 6′. Given that we may move in a year to a house with a tight stair case, I am seriously considering a zip-linked one. Embarrassingly, I have started to snore as the years and the weight has crept up and I would like something firm enough so that I could once again sleep on my front if possible. I had considered Tempur but my wife is put off by the potential for sweaty summer nights; pocket sprung is therefore the way to go. First question – are the ridges noticeable on a zip-link and if so, would a topper alleviate this? Second question – given the 6′ width, is a zip-link out of the question? Third question – has our purchase of sprung slats changed things significantly?

    Finally, we are willing to spend up to £2K. The one thing that I have not done is look at your range (the children had to win at some point) so I am open to your advice. Many thanks in advance, Greig

    Hi Greig. The one thing that jumps out at me is the precise mattressable area of your bedframe at precisely 6′ – It would have been nice to see a bedframe from M&S having some extra tolerance of an inch or so to accommodate a Ziplink set which may be a very tight fit (all mattresses have a +tolerance of 1-2cm). Please mention this at time of ordering so that the manufacturer can make an allowance for your bedframe.

    Secondly, the weight difference between you and your wife is important to address. At this point I would say that your wife will require a soft spring and you will require a medium spring tension. The additional upholstery we include in our products will have an added effect on the overall tension. I don’t think an overall single tension will be suitable for you both. Therefore, either a Ziplink combo (S+M) or dual spring tension in a one piece is the way to go. Bear in mind also that a SKS one piece will be difficult to maintain (turning and rotating).

    The break between the two Z&L matts is not overly noticeable but you will be aware of it. Using a one piece topper will benefit not only the comfort / longevity properties but alleviate the join of the two mattresses. This I’m afraid is the compromise to a one piece unit.. The central support bar on your frame will also need addressing; All pocket sprung mattresses like a flat even surface and the hump of the slats may cause the mattress to lie unevenly. Bridging the slats with MDF will help with this. The slatted bedframe will make the overall feel of the mattress different (less cushioning) than had you opted for a sprung edged divan.

    Finally Greig, don’t be tempted to opt for a ‘firm’ mattress if your actual bodyweight does not require it. The springs have to have an element of movement for them to work properly. The levels of upholstery we use will also contribute to the overall mattress tension and therefore you can resume your front sleeping position quite comfortably. Your budget of £2k is quite generous but don’t think that the more you spend will give you an equivalent amount of extra comfort. It will only be the materials used that has an effect on price and your budget should be balanced between mattress (support) and Toppers (Comfort). Anyone at the office will be able to advise further and guide you towards the best mattress for your requirements. I would advise you look at The Artisan Naturals as your starting point and use that as your benchmark. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Damian says:

    Hi guys,
    I am a big fan of the site; thank you for all your efforts and info. Quick question: I am currently in the market for a mattress (settled on pocket springs) but am considering putting it directly on the floor. I have a raised loft area specifically designed for this, but am curious about any potential negative side effects. If a pocket sprung mattress requires an even base, the floor seems to a pretty good answer!
    Many thanks,
    Hi Damian
    We get asked this one a lot, I cannot see any reason why this should be a problem as long as the floor is smooth (no chance of splinters) and you follow the care instructions i.e. regular turning, rotation and inspection then it should be fine. Some people have questioned if there will be enough air circulation to prevent any damp issues although to be fair if you have issues with damp I am sure you probably wouldn’t be considering this option. The only other factor to consider is the act of getting in an out of bed, if you are young and fit it probably wont be a consideration, if however like John you are the wrong side of 40 (I am being kind) it might become tiresome climbing out of bed off the floor but of course that’s up to you!
    Hope this helps
    John and Ryan

  • Wendy Forster says:

    Hi I have just bought a Silentnight memory foam, king size mattress. I thought I would get away with my old bed base, but I won’t! Can you tell me what kind of base I should be looking for?


    Hi Wendy, Ideally the best base for a memory , hybrid or latex foam mattress is a platform top divan or platform top alternative. This is because foam will eventually mould and take the shape of the surface it is placed on so it you have say a slatted base then you run the risk of the foam confirming to the slats and spaces in between. This leads to lumps and what looks like sagging. I have written an article on how to board over slats if that is the case for you. If not and you’re simply looking for a new base I would recommend a base with a consistent non slatted surface.- Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Jenny says:

    Hi, I have bought a tempur cloud mattress from Dreams a few weeks ago, its the cloud 22 deluxe I believe. I have a slatted base but have noticed the bed has started to sag and dip in places? Could this be down to the base or has the mattress failed? Please can you help?!

    Hi Jenny, Ideally the best base for a memory , hybrid or latex foam mattress is a platform top divan or platform top alternative. This is because foam will start to mould and take the shape of the surface it is placed on so it you have a slatted base then you run the risk of the foam confirming to the slats and spaces in between. This leads to lumps and what looks like sagging. I very much doubt the Tempur cloud will have sagged in two weeks, that said I’d try to board over the slats and if the problem still occurs get back in touch with Dreams- Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Jay says:

    Hi John/Ryan

    I have placed MDF pieces of two across the bed sprung slats covering the entire slats… Is this ok or should it be placed as you have placed them?


    Hi Jay, That should be fine, we use that picture as a demonstration as the minimum you can apply to get a consistent base for your mattress. It sounds like you have covered the slats appropriately. Lee

    • Jay says:

      Hi Lee

      Thanks for your response, its great, cheers.

      I posted this earlier in the week would be great if you can help?

      I had a Sealy royal ortho posturepedic luxury deluxe 8 years old no issues, developing a dip after duration decided to select the bensons regal back care, after 4 weeks developing a dip causing much back ache.

      Following my complaint to bensons, I can re-select or have a replacement.

      I’ve had no issues with sealy’s first purchase until recently. I have viewed and tested a a backcare ultima, apparently made by myers. Pocket sprung supposed to be better.

      I have also viewed online a sealy millionaire ortho posturepedic.

      I am not familiar with dipping and would like to have a mattress that lasts without dips after 4 weeks and poor settlement.

      What can you advise to help me get a mattress that wont dip and is like my previous model with comfort and lastability.

      I am weigh about 13/14st


      Hi Jay,

      It’s strange given the firmness of both the mattresses you have listed, the Bensons Regal BackCare and Sealy Millionaire Ortho Posturepedic that you’re getting dipping and sagging so soon. Both of these mattresses are very firm in terms of comfort levels and support. We have an article which explains the difference between settlement in a mattress and a true dip. I’m mindful that the dip you mention is actually settlement in the mattress Jay. Either that or the mattress is faulty, but it does seem so strange in my experience for this to happen so soon. That said not impossible!!

      As for the back pain a number of people were told once upon a time that a firm bed is the best cure for a bad back. This is completely wrong, whats ‘helpful’ (there is no miracle cure and no one should advertise such) with any sort of back or hip issue is a supportive bed which is comfortable. The key is the comfort layers on top of the support. It’s the mix of support and comfort you need to find. It looks like this model has too much support and not enough comfort Jay.

      Given the firmness of the mattresses and the price point I wouldn’t recommend any of our beds as an alternative. I also am not sure what I would advise you to choose for that budget. In all honesty I’d choose a firm foam mattress with a softer memory or hybrid foam layer to help with the back issues. Alternatively to that I’d advise a firm bed but with a softer topper to place on the bed to help resolve your issue.

      Thanks – Lee

  • Ac says:

    Hi thank you for writing this article as it has helped me greatly with trying to determine what is wrong with my current set up! Originally I though my bed was causing issues but now I understand it could be the sprug slat base.

    I recently invested in a customised hydrolic lifting storage double bed ottoman which has a sprung slat base with Central metal spine (space between slats 5.5cms). This came with a recommended medium firm mattress (healthbeds memory med 1400 pocket sprung mattress with memory foam layer). Both are well made and highly recommended by customers. I am usually the only person in the bed and am female and 8.5 stone. I noticed after a couple of months I was experiencing severe lower back pain which I haven’t experienced with my previous 2 beds. In addition I feel like I am ‘sinking in’ rather than laying flat on the mattress (due to the memory foam softening up?). However the bed does not have any depressions after getting out of it as it is new.

    Recently I had the opportunity to sleep on my old mattress for two weeks and the back pain disappeared, which made me realise it must be my current bed set up causing issues and not age/health as previously thought. The difference between my old set ups and current is that my two previous beds were on divans (with no storage capabilities) and were firmer mattresses. One of the old mattresses also had a soft 5cm memory topper which I added, therefore similar to the current bed however I had no back pain whatsoever on it. I don’t wish to replace the new set up as I have invested a lot of money, plus I need the storage the ottoman can provide, but after reading your article realise the slatted ottoman could be the cause. Can you please advise how I can fix my issues? Many thanks

    I should also mention that my ottoman is filled to the brim and unevenly/hard soft materials in spots underneath the slats – could this be interfering with my back as well? My partner is also intending to shift in at some stage and he would weigh approx 10.5-11 stone.

    Hi Alisha, This is very interesting. For your weight the healthbeds memory med 1400 pocket sprung should be a medium to a firmer feel if I’m honest! It could be that the memory foam they use is a soft 40kg density which is why you feel like you’re sinking more? The depth of memory foam in this mattress is 5cm like the topper you are using which leads me to think its the density of the foam thats causing the difference in sink. Memory and hybrid foams all have to certain degrees the slow soft sink which makes people either love them or hate them as its a sensation people either like or dislike on the whole!

    What I would say is it could be the slats thats causing the softer sink as the mattress conforms to them. 5.5cm is quite a space and we advise no more than 2-3cm usually to prevent sagging. I’d advise that you board over them with some thin plywood or pegboard and see how this works. Its a cheaper alternative to changing the mattress or toppers. As you said you have already invested in this set up. Failing that there is no way to really firm a mattress up once you’ve put it on a flat consistent base, a firmer topper would only go part way to adding a bit more comfort, but it sounds like you already have enough sinking!

    Please let us know how you get on. Lee

  • Brian says:

    I bought a pocket sprung/memory foam mattress, single side use, about 4 years ago and use it on a sprung slatted wooden base.
    I am (sadly) the only one who uses the bed and gradually the mattress has dipped in the middle as I tend to sleep in the middle.
    I am about 12 stone.
    If I add sheets of MDF or plywood as shown, will this help the mattress to regain its shape or am I now stuck with the dip?
    I have another bedroom which I could sleep in for a while if you think that a period of non use would help the mattress revive its shape.
    Greatly informative website, and I think bed sales staff should really be asking customers more questions about the type of base they have.
    kind regards

    Hi Brian Unfortunately once you’re memory foam bed has dipped and sagged like this the chances of it recovering are very slim. We always advise against slats for memory foam and latex mattresses because of the issue with the foam conforming to the gaps in between the slats. You could try boarding over the slats and seeing if it helps, in all honesty its likely to have compressed and won’t return. The issue with memory foam and one sided mattresses is that you cant turn them to even out wear so you end up wearing the one side of the mattress faster than say with a two sided or dual construction mattress. If you require any further advice please get in touch with us Brian. Lee

    Hi Lee, thanks for your reply to my query on 6th April but not sure if you understood my question about the dip in my mattress, the mattress is constructed with pocket springs with a memory foam top layer on one side as part of the construction, not a full memory foam or latex only costruction. Thanks. Brian.

    Hi Brian, My advice would be the same I’m afraid. As soon as the memory foam starts to dip you’re pretty much limited. It may also be that the spring unit has migrated as well in between the slats slightly causing the dip and sag further. I’m afraid the only way to resolve it properly would be new mattress. Sorry to be the repeated bearer of bad news Brian! -Lee

  • cole g says:

    I have a set of sprung bed slats for my king bed. I purchases a plush mattress and felt it was dipping very slightly in the middle already. I believe this is from the curved bed slats not flattening out when I sleep on it. It gets worse when sleeping with my partner, I tend to be pulled towards the middle of the bed.

    Would it be better to return the slats and purchase flat slats? Or keep the curved slats and layer a peice of plywood over that extends to the top of each arch as shown in your picture? I heard that the curved bed slats are better and more durable and will prolong the life of the mattress. Also if the playwood route is the best, what thickness of plywood is reasonable? I am 180lbs and my partner is 145lbs.


    Hi Cole, If you are suffering dips in your mattress from slats then I would advise you board over either type of slats. If you want to replace the sprung curved bed slats for flat ones it maybe easier to board but either way it will help improve the consistency of the base for your mattress. To be sure I’d replace the slats for flat ones and board then you have a definite flat consistent base.

    As for the the depth of the ply either 4-6mm should be fine. Use your own judgement to see if the board feels robust enough. You can also use pegboard if its easier to get hold of. Just remember that the aim to to even out the surface allowing the mattress to rest of a consistent surface so it can’t dip or sag to spaces or undulations in the slats. Lee

  • cole g says:

    I have a set of sprung bed slats for my king bed. I purchases a plush mattress and felt it was dipping very slightly in the middle already. I believe this is from the curved bed slats not flattening out when I sleep on it. It gets worse when sleeping with my partner, I tend to be pulled towards the middle of the bed.

    Would it be better to return the slats and purchase flat slats? Or keep the curved slats and layer a peice of plywood over that extends to the top of each arch as shown in your picture? I heard that the curved bed slats are better and more durable and will prolong the life of the mattress. Also if the playwood route is the best, what thickness of plywood is reasonable? I am 180lbs and my partner is 145lbs.


    Hi Cole, I would recommend boarding over the slats to reduce the impact of sagging you’ve experienced. This occurs when mattress moulds to the gaps in between slats on a base. It then can cause sagging and uneven wear to the bed. We have discussed this in depth and how to board over slats shown here.

    I’ve never heard of sprung slats or any slats increasing the life of a mattress. What does help keep a mattress in good shape is a consistent bed base ie whether it be a divan or otherwise, and regular mattress turning and rotation. As for the thickness of plywood 4mm should be enough, its only to even out the pressure of the mattress on the slats so there are no gaps for the mattress to be forced through. We hope that helps! Lee

  • mel says:


    I have just bought a crystal t.v. bed and the base is slatted. the gaps in between are about 9cm. I have just ordered a sealy mattress 2400 alabama. Would this be ok for this bed if I was to board it like you say ?

    Hi Mel, I would always recommend boarding over a slatted base because for the cost of a few pounds you can help prevent a foam or foam based mattress from taking on the shape of the slats and thus potentially dipping or sagging. The alabama 2400 from Sealey is a mix of innegetic latex, we have written about this kind of latex here, a pillow top and is a one sided no turn mattress. We have written a detailed article on why we don’t rate pillow top mattresses such as the alabama detailing the failure potential of the pillowtop. We however always say if the bed is comfortable then thats all that matters, it just maybe something to bear in mind that you may want to rotate the mattress more often to reduce the wear of the pillowtop. Hope that helps Mel. Lee

  • brian says:

    Hi Lee thanks..just wanted to make sure..will take a look at your mattresses as it seems to me that the out of town retail park “bed stores” do not have staff with the correct knowledge and training etc and do not interrogate the customers correctly through sheer lack of knowledge or for that matter…care.. a sale is a sale and no comebacks.
    I will convert my 2 slatted bedsteads to flat surfaces using sheets of plywood/mdf to provide an all over flat supported surface for my new mattresses, and also go back to “basics” and buy a traditional pocket sprung double sided mattress.
    It seems its very easy to waste a lot of money on junk mattresses from these discount stores.
    Also why is it that even if these stores sell “Brand Names”..Hypnos..Silentnight..Relyon..SleepEeze etc you can never find the models the discount stores sell on the manufacturers websites, I guess because the discount store models are mass market overpriced but cheap cut down quality of the manufacturers original versions.
    Its probably better to buy from an independent like yourselves.

    Hi Brian, I suppose the difference between us and other bed retailers is similar to the car hypermarkets vs the specific car garage that deals in one or two makes. In the hypermarket you can look at hundreds of cars from bargain basement prices all the way upto top end models, but the advice is diluted as the sales person has to know a little bit of everything and not much on anything at the same time! So you’re always buying based on your knowledge and what you think is suitable. What you need though is some expertise to challenge any assumptions and provide tailored advice on mattress buying, afterall you spend a considerable amount of your life in bed.

    I do feel for the sales staff in retail bed stores as they are driven by sales and targets, not knowledge or expertise. Any way I’m digressing and will probably be offending those some with my comparison! We specialise in mattresses. We design and make our own bespoke mattresses. It’s our expertise so that is where we draw the distinction.

    Right I’d best give some advice or this could turn into a chat about cars if I’m not careful! You’re correct that a two sided quality mattress is infinitely better than any of the cheap deal or discount one sided mattresses. One of the reasons you can’t easily find these discount mattresses online is that each retailer and manufacturer can tweak the names and titles of the beds so each retailer can have their own models etc. Names change frequently as do the components in mass produced mattresses so in a way it makes sense, but that doesn’t help you.

    My advice would be to give us a call with your specifics when your bed base is ready and we can talk you through the options and give you as much detail as you can handle Brian on our models. We can also provide comparators if you want to go check out other brands. We are always transparent like that! We look forward to hearing from you. Lee

  • Debbie Brown says:


    My partner and I have just ordered a ViSpring Herald Superb Kingsize mattress in firm from Furniture Village. It is due to arrive some time in mid-May. in the shop I asked whether the mattress was suitable for use with a bed frame as opposed to a divan and was that it was, however I have since found advice from ViSpring which indicates that their mattresses should not be used with slatted bases which have gaps greater that 2.5″. We have just hastily measured our gaps and find that they are actually 3″. It is a wooden frame (beech coloured, although I am not sure that it is actually beech); I think that it is a solid slatted type and has had a replacement central support bar – the first being made of thin plywood cracked and was replaced with a more substantial pine bar.

    My partner and I are both heavy (I am 19st and my partner is heavier again), which is why we have opted for the firm mattress and gone for something of a better quality. However, I am now somewhat concerned that we have spent a substantial amount of money on something which will be ruined by an unsuitable base. I have read through your very helpful advice and replies to questions left by others but I am not sure whether your advice about pads and boards will help with the problem which we have? Is there anything which you would advise as a fix for this, or are we facing the prospect of having to order a divan base to go with the new mattress? I would be grateful for any advice which you can offer before we actually get the new mattress delivered. Many thanks & best wishes, Debbie

    Hi Debbie. This has come up before. What you will have to do is go back to the shop and ensure that the bed frame you will be using is suitable for the mattress you have purchased. It is advised that the store contacts Vi Spring for an assurance that this usage will not affect any associated warranty.

    Personally, I would be inclined to board off your slats as per this image here just to ensure a flatter surface for the mattress. A slat gap of 3 inches is not excessive and I would be surprised if Vi Spring found exception to this. Please let us know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • sion says:

    Hi there my girlfriend and I have just bought a new bedframe (sprung slatted) and decadance mattress from bensons for beds… we previously had a divan base with memory foam mattress. We found that on the old bed we were often waking with a sore back. It was about 8yrs old. So we bought the new bed and mattress and found we are having the same problem.. when we tried the mattress in the store it was on a divan base and felt comfy. We were told that there is no difference on slatted base. We are away to try the plywood base today.

    Hi Sion, There definitely is difference between a slatted base and a say sprung divan base. A slatted base will make a mattress firmer than say a sprung edged divan base, this is because the mattress is doing all of the work. The base is firm and so theres no give in it. We always recommend you try a mattress on both slatted and a sprung edge if you want to feel the subtle difference.

    Even sprung slats will be firmer than a sprung edge divan and you also get the issue of the ‘humpback bridge’ effect in some cases. You are wise to board over the slats to stop dips and sinks in your mattress but it won’t soften the mattress. I would recommend that if you’re still having issues you give bensons beds a call as it sounds like you may have too firm a mattress. Even though the decadence mattress is listed as a medium tension mattress, it depends on your weight and preference. A medium tension to some can be a firm feeling mattress to others! If you can provide us with more specifics such as height and weight we maybe able to help further over the phone. Thanks. Lee

    • Chris says:

      My partner and I have had exactly the same problem – we originally bought a Silentnight bed from Bensons, with a sprung slat bedstead. I found the bed very uncomfortable – to the point where we exchanged it for the Decadence mattress through their ’40 night comfort’ guarantee. We had the same problem with the Decadence mattress – it felt much too firm, certainly a lot firmer than the mattress in the shop. Both mattresses felt like there was too much tension in them – there was a real feeling of something forcing upwards. At first, we were thinking we would have to buy another mattress and start all over again, then realised the problem could be the sprung slats. In Bensons, we were led to believe that the sprung slats would make the mattress feel very slightly softer – not harder, so I feel we weren’t well advised. We had a 3 inch thick piece of memory foam and put that over the slats, then put the mattress on top. That seemed to ‘dampen’ the ‘tension’ but didn’t solve the problem. Then we turned round the slats so that they were concave, rather than convex, put the foam on top, then the mattress on top of that. The result is a very comfortable bed! However, I am now concerned that the mattress won’t get the proper long-tern support with the slats turned round the wrong way and we’re considering removing them and boarding the bed. What do you think?

      Hi Chris, Thanks for posting and it sounds like you may have recieved some incorrect advice. Without knowing your weights I can’t advise on the mattress you have bought but from what you’ve said its simply too firm a mattress for you.

      I wouldn’t advise long term using the sprung slats upside down as I do believe this will damage the mattress or at least reduce the longevity over time. It may cause a sag in the centre of each slat where it curves. My guidance would be to get plain slats and board over them removing the issue with the sprung slats completely. This is the most consistent way to then adjust your mattress slightly if too firm. Have you considered adding a mattress topper to soften the top layer as well? – Lee

  • ZG says:

    @Debbie Brown – I ran into exactly the same issue today with my order – I had ordered a Traditional Bedstead ViSpring mattress from Furniture Village, who did not inform me of this “6cm” requirement which was listed in the bundled paperwork. I called Furniture Village and eventually ViSpring, and ultimately I was forwarded a guarantee document that states that the guarantee will be unaffected as long as the slats do not exceed 7-8cm (the gap between mine is 7.5cm).

    I presume then there is no risk of damage. If you’d like a copy of this guarantee.

    Hi ZG,
    Many thanks for the informative response. It is interesting to note that more and more people are experiencing the same issue with Furniture Village/Vi Spring and the slat gap referred to. Kind regards Mike.

  • Dan says:

    I am interested in one of your mattresses (the Fusion 3 100% Natural Latex Medium) but I am not clear if the base will make any difference to the overall comfort? I would like to use it with my existing wooden bed base. Could you please advise if there would be a noticeable difference between using this mattress on top of an old wooden base (with some flex in it) vs one of your bases

    Hi Dan, The bases we sell alongside the fusion mattress range are platform top divans. This provides a consistent solid surface for the mattress, unlike slats and other wooden bases. The mattress tensions have been tested and selected using a platform top divan. A sprung edge divan for example would soften the over all feel of the bed so would change it slightly. Some argue that sprung edge divans take a mattress to the next level of comfort in adding another spring layer, this is of course personal preference! Sprung edge divans are more expensive and can out price some customers so we offer both options.

    Can you explain further what you mean by a wooden base with some flex, sprung slats perhaps? If the base is sound and consistent then I can see no problem in using it, if it is slatted I would definitely recommend boarding over the slats Dan.

    If you need any further information please give us a call. Lee

  • James H says:


    I recently purchased your Origins Pocket 1500 mattress and I have a solid wood bed with solid, flat slats which are spaced around 6cm apart.

    As this isn’t a memory foam mattress and the gap between the slats is small would you still recommend boarding the bed base? Would putting an old duvet over the slats help? Still do both?

    I love the new mattress and just want to make sure I take the best care of it.

    Thanks a lot,


    Hi James, we recommend that if the slats are more than 2cm apart that you do board over them. This will help give the mattress a more consistent surface to work on. It will also help keep your mattress in tip top condition! Hope that helps James- Lee

  • Rachel says:

    Hi, I have just purchased two single edwardian beds, just need some advice on what sort of mattress would be best suited to this type of bed frame, the underneath is a metal mesh. The other query I have if this gives way is there any kind of bed slat that I could buy to replace the base?

    Hi Rachel,
    There is no specific type of mattress best suited to this sort of bed frame. Any of our mattresses could be placed on such a frame, it really depends on the body weights of the users of the beds, the preferred feel and of course, budget. Before advising on which mattress from our range is the most appropriate for you these details will be required. If you view our site and find one you think fits the bill, please contact Marie or Gary at our office to confirm the suitability. As far as replacing the failed mesh in the future with slats is concerned, this again would be dependent upon which mattress you eventually opted for, as different types of slat affect mattresses in different ways. I hope this helps, regards Mike.

  • Eva Daly says:

    Hi, I am looking for advice on sprung vs solid bed slats. I previously had a double mattress with my old bedframe (sprung slatted base) and it was super comfortable. We wanted more room and bought the same mattress in super king, and bought a beautiful solid oak bed, which has solid wooden slats. But I’m finding the mattress really uncomfortable (hard) and am waking with backache every morning. Given that the mattress is the same, my only conclusion is that this is a result of the solid slats, does this sound likely??


    Hi Eva,
    The reason for your discomfort is that the solid slats are not as forgiving as sprung slats making the feel of your mattress firmer. It may be worth investigating if you can buy sprung slats to fit your current base. If not, the other alternative is to purchase another base which has the sprung slats. I am sorry that this appears blunt, but when you purchased your new bed frame you should have been advised that the solid slats will make any mattress placed on it firmer than it might have been on any previous sprung slats. Kind regards Mike.

  • Scotty says:

    Our new bed has bottom drawers which doesn’t allow for the box spring or we would be 5 feet up in the air just to get into bed. So we placed plywood between the wooden bed slats and our new super comfy $1,400 Spring Air mattress. Now it is not comfy AT ALL and I can’t sleep on it more than 2 hours at a time. Looking for an alternative to the plywood that would be softer and allow the mattress to feel like it did at the store when we bought it when it was on the matching box springs. Perhaps there is a very thin box spring or other material to replace the plywood. We have 30 days to return the mattress but would like to keep it if possible.

    Hi Scotty,
    Your comment has me somewhat confused. Please can you confirm if you bought the base separate to the mattress or were bought together. If together, what advice was given by the sellere regarding the firmness of the mattress when placed on slats? Are the slats curved or just flat and if flat, I cannot see that, the addition of plywood or any other material of a solid nature, would influence the comfort in the way you have described. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Mike.

  • Helen says:

    We have just bought a Superking wrought iron metal bed from the Wrought Iron and Brass Bed company (hand made in Norfolk). The bed comes with solid slats (3″ – 4″ apart) but we have also bought a solid unsprung bed base from them which will sit on the slats, and hopefully provide a flat base upon which to place our mattress. We don’t mind that it will make the bed higher as the head and foot sections are quite high anyway. We prefer pocket sprung mattresses and have been looking at Vi Spring and the John Lewis Naturals range (Spink & Edgar). My husband is 6’1″ (14 stone) and I am 5’5″ (nine and a half stone). We both prefer a medium support mattress, as opposed to firm. We are wondering about a zip and link (to get mattress up the stairs) plus a topper. Would you have any advice for us about the best make and type of pocket sprung mattress to place on an unsprung bed base within our budget of £2000.

    Can I also add that this website is so informative, and refreshingly honest.

    Many thanks for your help

    Hi Helen,
    As you are probably aware, the platform top base that you intend to place the new mattress on will make any mattress feel firmer than if placed on sprung slats or a sprung base. We do make some mattresses, which are comparable to some of the Vi-Spring range :- Artisan Naturals & Artisan Bespoke 004 (Vi-Spring Regal Superb), Artisan Luxury (Vi-Spring Herald Superb), Artisan Bespoke (Vi-Spring Chatsworth) and the Artisan Bespoke 002 (Vi-Spring Tiara). If you have tried any of these Vi-Spring mattresses and have a preference, please view the equivalent on our site. With any of our Artisan range, from King size upwards, you can have a Zip and Link with a split tension to suit your different body weights. All of our products are suitable for either slatted bases or platform top bases, with our Origins Latex 1500 being more suited to a sprung top base. The John Lewis Natural Collection is made exclusively for them by Harrisons and they do not disclose the internal build specifications, making a comparison impossible. You may wish to try the various Vi-Spring mattresses to find the one that suits and at that point I would suggest that you contact Marie at our office to discuss the appropriate comparable. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • ian walker says:

    ive got an £800 slay slatted base from john lewis. What matress type do I need for this base also the base seems to bump up on center beam. Should I take legs off the beam to make it a bit more flexible?

    Hi Ian, You can in theory put any mattress on this, providing you board over it if its a foam or latex mattress. You can see more on slatted bases here. If you can give us a call with your body weight I can help advise on a suitable mattress. I wouldn’t advise taking the legs off the centre beam as they are there for stability and it may put undue strain on your slats. Thanks – Lee

  • melyssa.stokes says:

    Can you help please – I have a five foot fairly firm ViSpring mattress with an art deco headboard and base. the actual side of the slatted base has broken but, the slats were always too wide and would like to replace with a new slatted base. Can you please advise what to buy and who would be able to remove the existing slatted base and put the headboard and base onto a new slatted base please
    thank you
    melyssa stokes

    Hi Melyssa,
    Unfortunately, we do not supply or have any knowledge of who could supply and assemble the items you refer to. Perhaps you could check with the original supplier to see if they still do a similar set up and it may be that they will then deliver and assemble for you. Regards Mike.

  • Frank says:

    What a great site!
    I have a new bed base – solid 17.5cm slats with 6cm gaps between – and would be grateful for advice on the best type of mattress to buy.
    I am 17 stone plus, sleep alone and favour medium softness (if that’s not too vague).
    Thank you.

    Hi Frank,
    Given your weight and the feel required, I would suggest that you take a look at our Origins Pocket 1500,but with 2000 springs, or alternatively, if your budget permits, look at the Artisan Naturals, which can be ordered with a medium spring tension. I am unable to quote prices here as you have omitted to advise what size you are looking at, however, full price details for all sizes appear on our site. If you require any further advice or guidance, please contact either Marie or Gary on our office number. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

    Submitted on 2014/07/16 at 19:13

    Sorry Mike. I should have specified it’s a 5 foot base.

  • Louise says:

    Hi Frank

    I wonder if you would advise me please as you have been so good with others.

    I recently purchased a superking medium firm mattress and love it. I then purchased a wooden framed bed with a central bar although it wasn’t sprung. I could only sleep two nights on it as it was agony. The mattress is now on the floor! I’m now thinking about the divan sprung base but wonder if giving a sprung slatted base might be a wiser move? I’m scared to make another mistake.

    I don’t want the bed to be any firmer than it is now.

    Hi Louise,
    Unfortunately, with a central bar support on the bed frame, you are always likely, in the case of a super king size mattress, to have a raised area in the centre of the mattress over the support bar. A sprung slatted base is likely to give the same problems as there will be a central supporting bar, purely because of the size of bed. By purchasing a sprung divan base, you should obtain a softer but supportive feel from your mattress and because the surface upon which the bed rests is one level, you should not experience ridging as described by you. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Frances says:


    My dodgy Miracoil Rebecca mattress that I have had since 2009 seems to have died. (Which may explain my backache.)

    I have decided to replace with a higher quality product (I am currently considering on of your artisan luxury range) – at the same time I want to go from a double to a kingsize bed, despite their being only me in it.

    I also want a bed that looks nice and has decent storage options, so I am currently considering the Arran Oak Ottoman bed offered by time4sleep. But. It has sprung slats.

    (Almost everything does, which seeing as they are not great for most mattress types seems quite odd really. Also I really don’t understand why every one makes slatted headboards, surely no one finds them comfy to lean on ?)

    I wanted to ask if you thought bunkie boards or tatami mats laid over the slats might be effective ? I was wanting something a less heath robinson than the mdf. I don’t want to go for a divan bed, because I am asthmatic so I try to minimise fabric in my decor.

    Hi Frances, I have been unable to ascertain details of the fillings and construction of your current mattress and it may be that this has been replaced by another model since you bought it. In any event, we would not be able to confirm that our Artisan Luxury would be comparable as it is unlikely that specific build details would be provided. Our Artisan Luxury mattress is one of our softer mattresses and without knowledge of your body weight and preferred feel, we would be uncomfortable recommending this for you without further information.

    There are heavy duty folding bed boards available on Amazon, which may be preferable to MDF. As far as headboards are concerned, we do supply fabric covered versions, which come as a whole board as opposed to being on struts. Please call either Marie or Gary on our office number to discuss your requirements further and find the appropriate mattress for you from our range. Kind regards Mike.

  • Anthony says:

    hi there,

    i have had a tempurpedic cloud deluxe bed on the tempurpedic box spring for about 2 im moving and getting a platform bed with slatted bed base from ikea and wondering if im going to encounter any issues with the performance of the bed?if so,is there anything i can do to rectify the situation given the slatted bed base?

    Hi Anthony,
    The slatted bed base is likely to reduce the softness and give in your mattress. Because the mattress you have is on the firmer side anyway, I would be inclined to try them together for a short period and if the feel is then too firm, the most cost effective solution would be to purchase a topper. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Heather says:

    Hi there,

    You mentioned a few times the ‘prototype’ base that you had been trialling and I’m wondering if this is now available to buy? I can’t find it on the site, though may just be missing it.

    I’m from North America and am used to having a boxspring so prefer my mattress to sit up 4-5 (or more) inches. I also can’t abide by divan bases as I like using a bedframe. If you can recommend/sell anything similar to a boxspring I’d love to hear about it. Thanks!


    Hi Heather, The prototype you refer to is still being trialled and is not yet available on our site. We only supply divan bases and are unable to make a recommendation regarding box spring products Kind regards Mike.

  • Karen says:


    I am really hoping that you can help me – I live in Canada and did not buy one of your mattresses, but am desperate for advice and came across your article on slatted bases and foam mattresses (

    I have a king size bed frame with sprung slats and a foam mattress and I am finding that if I kneel on the bed (or stand up on the mattress to open the window) the slats will break. Also, the mattress feels so much softer than it did in the store because of the base.

    I saw your guide to boarding over the slats and the picture and I have a question… In the picture the sides of the slats are not covered (i.e. there is a board at the top and down the centre so that it is in the shape of a ‘T’. Is this to allow the slats to move or should I be covering the slats completely with plywood. Also, would you use one sheet or a few?

    Thanks very much in advance for you advice!

    Hi Karen.

    Thanks for your email. The picture is just an example so you can see where the slats are in relation to the boards.

    Providing you board over the base to bridge the central bar (where it dips down) it doesn’t matter whether you use the the diagram as shown or entirely board over the slats. If you want to ensure complete ventilation, ie if your not regularly turning or flipping your mattress, where possible, you can use pegboard which has tiny circular holes cut out to reduce chances of condensation getting trapped etc.

    I personally don’t think the softness of your mattress is unduly due to your base, although I can’t be entirely sure why the model in the store felt different (firmer) to the model you received. Furthermore, if you are standing on one are of the mattress – and there is insufficient mattress (ie a thin mattress) then the pressure on the slats will cause them to break as you describe. I do think the boarding out of your base will spread the load more evenly and should help.

    Hope that helps Karen. Any more questions just give us a call. Lee

  • Gill says:

    Hi we are just looking at buying a new mattress can you help please, we brought them at the same time about 9years ago the bedstead is a wooden slatted bed that we paid roughly £1000 for & got a hypnos mattress again another £1000, do we need to change both or would it be ok to just get a new mattress, I weigh 10st 6llbs & my partner is about 16.1/2 stone, the mattress has started to get a dip on his side, when we brought it, it was advertised as a no turn mattress but after reading quite a bit on here you should always rotate & turn mattresses to prolong their life any advice gratefully received
    many thanks Gill

    Hi Gill, You should only turn mattresses that are sold as turnable. Non-turn mattresses are usually ones which o have the upholstery on one side only. That is why non-turn mattresses have a shorter life span. All our mattresses can be used on your slatted base bed frame and with the approximate weight difference of 6st, we would recommend that you opt for a split tension, probably medium for you and firm for your partner. All mattresses in our Artisan range can be made with a split tension and I note that you have not specified a size required. We are unable to provide you with a comparison to the Hypnos mattress because they do not disclose the specific details of the fillings by way of GSM (grams per square metre) for any of their range. Please contact either Marie or Gary on our office number to confirm the size and specific tension required before placing an order. Kind regards Mike.

    Submitted on 2014/08/13 at 08:54

    Hi thankyou for your reply, as we live very close to where the Hypnos factory & showroom is we went down yesterday to try out some of their mattresses, the one we both liked was the Countess Supreme in the firmer option, which one of yours would you recommend that would be close to this one many thanks
    & kind regards Gill

    Submitted on 2014/08/13 at 09:30

    Sorry just reread your answer to my 1st post which said you can’t really comment on the hypnos ones as the don’t disclose specific details

    Submitted on 2014/08/13 at 10:48

    we will be ordering a mattress of yourselves in the next few weeks
    just not sure which one
    it will be kingsize to go on wooden slatted bedstead, & on your recommendation will probably go for the dual firmness but not sure which artisan to go for is it only the bespoke ones as we want it dual or any of the Artisans, would we really notice the difference between the one for say £985 & the one for £1735 we will get a topper as well sorry for all the questions but if we did go for the dearest I am sure you understand we want to get it right 1st time
    many thanks & kind regards Gill

    Hi Gill,
    Please call in and discuss your requirements with either Marie or Gary. Regards Mike.

  • ian Dunham says:

    Dear Sirs,

    Our bed frame is slatted with a central support and the are 4″ apart.

    We now have a Hypnos mattress, should we use some sort of support between the Slats and the mattress and what type would you suggest.

    Thank you,

    Ian Dunham

    Hi Ian, We recommend that slats are no further than 2″ apart. For your situation we would advise that you board over the slats to avoid humps or dips in the mattress which can occur if the mattress starts to conform to the gaps. Lee

  • karen samson says:

    I want to avoid slats breaking on a double sprung slat base bed frame. I need a portable sprung slat double bed to transport to France (there are loads to choose from) a sprung edge divan is not an option for transporting -too bulky.
    Would an other option be to buy a metal bed with metal slats – are they comfortable?

    However, I am concerned that when renting the house next year that if someone is overweight that the slats will break and they could end up either on the floor or with an injury.
    Is your option of MDF sheeting a good idea for weight issues as well as wear issues on a mattress?
    I also need to buy a double bed size, good quality rolled mattress, preferably with pocket springs – price around £150 -250 –
    I’d be very grateful to hear your views,
    Many thanks

    Hi Karen,
    We would advise that metal slats on a base are not as forgiving as wooden slats and therefore are likely to make any mattress placed on them feel firmer. The use of MDF sheeting is good for the weight issue you refer to and although this would make the mattress firmer, it is not likely to make it as firm as metal slats. We are not able to recommend any company or make of rolled pocket sprung mattress, as we believe this would compromise the construction of the same. Kind regards Mike

  • magdalen says:

    In your picture of T shaped boards is the horizontal board at the top or bottom of the bed and does it make a difference whether it is placed at top or bottom thanks

    Hi Magdalen, What you are trying to achieve is an adequate bridge over the ‘hump’ caused where the sprung slats attach to the central bar. These boards weren’t cut to size and therefore that was the only available option (t-shape) to gain the most benefit. Kind regards Mike.

  • Daniela McGhie says:

    Dear Sirs

    Thank you for posting all these information on your website. I have learned a lot and now understand why there are so many inferiour mattresses are on sale in the UK.

    Nearly 30 years ago we bought a compete bed in Germany and it was fabulous. The slats were individually movable and I could raise it in the front and back, plus we each had our own type of mattress. So one person could sleep flat whilst the other could sit up in bed and read. Sadly as we had to move many times due to my husbands time in the Forces that the bed gave up as it was just too often dismantled and also the movers van had an accident and some parts were broken.

    Since then we have been buying beds in the UK and found that we are replacing the mattresses for us and the kids, now adults every 3 to 5 years. I now understand why, as we were taken in by all the glimmer and did not look under the hood so to speak (your speak in one of your posts).

    My hubby is 1.85 meter tall (5.11 feet) and 90 Kg weight. He suffers from back and shoulder pain. He likes to sleep on his back, but he tosses and turns a lot every night, snores and at times twitches a lot. I am 1.63 meters tall and 68 Kg weight. I suffer from arthritis which is getting worse. I like to sleep on my front and on my side, but due to the arthritis in my neck it nearly becomes possible to sleep on my preferred side and sleep a lot on my back. I do not move much once asleep.

    Our current bed is a zip lock and each mattress is 90 cm x 200 cm. It is on a solid divan base. We bought it about 7 years ago and paid nearly £1K for it. I need the space in bed and do not like being enclosed, also hubbys constant moving around whilst sleeping is disturbing my sleep, hence a big king size mattress is a no go. I put a foam topper on the bed about 4 years ago as I felt that the Sealy Deluxe mattresses were no longer supporting us and were bulging inwards. I could also feel the nobs where the mattress is tufted up. I like the foam but it is not working either anymore. Hubby does not like the foam at all. He prefers a harder mattress whist I prefer medium to soft.

    We are not getting any good sleep and are getting desperate. Budget: up to £3K for base and 2 mattresses and 2 toppers. I would like to keep my wrought iron headboard hence the total width has to be 180 cm. We like the length to be 200 cm (about 6.6 feet). I would like the slats be adjustable to be able to sit up in bed or have the legs elevated when needed. Some storage to the sides under the bed would be nice too.

    Can you help us find the right type of Mattresses for my husband and me?

    Thank you!

    Hi Daniela, it seems that what you are looking for is a super king size zip and link set. Unfortunately, we only supply divan bases with our mattresses and do not sell toppers. Our mattresses are not suitable for adjustable bed bases, however, there is a company that does supply what you are looking for in the bases, but we cannot comment as to the quality of their mattresses. They are “Betterlife”. I am sorry we cannot help further, kind regards Mike.

  • Jayne Johnson says:

    I would really be interested in this suspension pad. we have bought a vi spring mattress for our new bedstead and it feels considerably firmer. I couldn’t find your website before we bought it, and I’m kicking myself now I’ve found you again. we would be very interested in buying this if you do get it into production. I have read your comments about what to put under the mattress, very helpful – thank you. J

    Hi Jayne, Unfortunately, as with all new products, there is a degree of trial and error in arriving at the optimum solution and a saleable product, which is why the suspension pad does not yet appear on our site. We are unable to provide any indication as to when it will be available, but suggest that you monitor our site for updates. Kind regards Mike.

  • Debbie McKinney says:

    I would like to ask if a metal bed frame would be compatable with a pocket sprung mattress.

    Hi Debbie, the simple answer is yes, however, dependent upon whether the base has sprung slats or solid ones, the feel of the mattress may be firmer than if placed on a normal divan base. I trust that this helps, regards Mike.

  • beverley says:

    What would you recommend for a metal bed stead with solid metal slats please.

    Hi Beverley, All of our mattresses are suitable for use of the bed frame referred to. If you require further advice prior to purchase, please contact our office. Regards Mike.

  • Diane says:

    Hello Mike,,

    We recently brought a king size bed frame with sprung slats (spine in the middle). We shipped our mattress from another part of the world where it’s common to use MDFs for base, rather than slats. Our mattress is a 10cm thick latex (was told it’s purely latex, no other component), and we find that it’s is not supportive enough for us the mattress when put on top of sprung slats, I feel it is too bouncy almost. What would you suggest us to do? Would placing an MDF on the sprung slats solve the problem? I was told that sprung slats increase comfort and ventilation for the mattress. Would placing an MDF on top of them defeat this purpose? Many thanks for taking time to reply.


    Hi Diane,
    We would always recommend placing some form of barrier between a mattress and slats, particularly with Latex mattresses to avoid the gaps in the slats creating ridges on the mattress and the mattress slipping into the spaces between the slats. Placing MDF on the slats would firm up the mattress although you will still retain a spring effect with the MDF pushing down on the slats and it would eliminate the ridge created by the central spine. I trust that this helps, regards Mike.

  • Diane says:

    Many thanks Mike for your helpful response.

    How thick should our MDF board be? And do you have any recommendation where we should buy it?


    Hi Diane,
    We would recommend 3 to 5mm thick and if you go to your local B & Q, they have a facility to cut to size. Regards Mike.

  • Kelly says:

    What are “sheets of MDF”. I don’t see where the author notes what MFD is.

    Hi Kelly, MDF is a synthetic material (Multi Density Fibreboard), which can be obtained from any DIY outlet. It can be purchased in sheets of up to 8ft x 4ft and larger B&Q outlets will cut to size. Regards Mike.

  • Bethan says:

    I have an old (and much-loved) 1970s pine bedstead which needs its slats replaced. Do you have a recommendation for the maximum gap between slats / width of slats / type of wood used? I also need a new mattress and am thinking in terms of pocket-sprung – in case that makes a difference to your response.

    Hi Bethan, The ideal gap for the slats in your base should be 5cm to 7cm with the slats themselves being 10cm to 11cm. We have no recommendation regarding the wood to use save for suggesting that it is strong enough to hold the weight of the mattress and occupants without breaking. If you are looking for a pocket sprung mattress from us, please call with details of your body weight, preferred feel and budget in order to receive the appropriate advice regarding suitability of the products in our ranges. Kind regards Mike.

  • Karen says:

    Thanks very much for the helpful information.

    I have the same bed frame like the image, with arched slats, queen size bed. What size of MDF you recommend to cut? Place on the top the slats centre part only?

    Hi Karen, it doesn’t have to be too thick approx. 3mm to 5mm will be sufficient. As far as coverage is concerned, we would recommend you cover the whole area including the central spine. Regards Mike.

  • Seun says:

    I have found your website very informative but I’m still unsure the about the right bed frame for our mattress. We bought a Sensafoam 2000 pocket springs mattress from Bensons which we used with a slatted base bought on offer for £99 from dreams. We were told we could not claim any warranty on the mattress if we did not buy a base from Bensons
    We decided on this mattress as there’s a significant weight and height difference between my husband and I. Less than a year’s use the mattress has a big indent on his side. We have since moved house and need to buy an extra bed frame as we initially bought a gold Harrison pocket spring mattress which we both found too hard and also dented on my husbands side and so moved the mattress to the spare bedroom. The Sensafoam mattress already has imprints of the slats. Should we get another slatted base but add the MDF cut outs? Does it matter if it’s metal frame as we prefer a bed that will allow us store boxes underneath.


    Hi Seun, We would always recommend that you place some form of barrier between a slatted base and a mattress as without such a barrier there will be a tendency for the mattress to squeeze between the slats providing an uneven feel. The barrier can take many forms, either an old duvet, blanket or MDF boards the latter of which are likely to make any mattress feel firmer. It also depends what type of slats you have (flat un-sprung or arched sprung).

    With regard to your specific query in relation to the Sensafoam mattress, we would suggest that MDF of between 3mm and 5mm should provide an appropriate barrier to prevent imprints from the slats and allow you to continue to store items under the frame. I trust that this helps, regards Mike.

  • Valerie says:

    Hello. We have a relyon pocket sprung bedstead mattress on top of a slatted base. We bought the soft version as I like a softish bed. However this has been a disaster inasmuch as I cannot sleep properly because every time my partner moves I move too and we both tend to fall into the middle of the bed. The slatted base matches the rest of my bedroom furniture so I am reluctant to get rid of it. We have put MDF on the slats to no effect. Would a firmer mattress make a difference? I weigh about 10 stone and my partner about 12 and a half. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    Hi Valerie, The fall to the middle that you refer to may be as a result of your slatted base having a central spine, which is lower than the slats either side (if a sprung slatted base). In this instance, we recommend that a sheet of MDF be placed over the central area only, bridging that dipped area below the mattress. A true pocket sprung mattress should enable both parties to move independently without disturbing each other. The movement you refer to may be as a result of the frame you have not being sturdy enough. A medium feel mattress combined with the central MDF may resolve the issue, and if you find this too firm for your body weight, you could opt for the comfort of a topper. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Rod says:


    I’m after a top quality, freely breathable mattress base protector.

    When do you think your new concept mattress suspension pad that can come in at three inches will be available?

    Otherwise your prototype sprung mattress pads that came in at four and five inches in height sound very interesting. Are you able to make these to order?

    Thanks, and have a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


    Hi Rod, As with the development of all new products, the timescale for these to be brought into production is unpredictable. The trials of the pads have taken longer than anticipated and we are not at this stage able to provide a definite date for regular production. Kind regards Mike.

  • Jo Mayes says:

    Hi there,
    I wonder if you can help – although reading your other comments I realise I had made a bad choice!
    I have a pocket sprung mattress with a memory foam topper and was happy with it on a flat slatted bed until the centre support broke. Rather than trying to mend it (single, working mother – not carpenter!!) I bought a replacement sprung slatted base – as it does not need a centre support. I had never tried sprung slats and assumed they would make things softer.
    After 2 very uncomfortable nights I realise this does not work – or do I just need to get used to a different support system? I was never aware of the springs before, they now seem to be pushing up and I can really feel them. The memory topper also feels much hotter. What type of mattress should work on sprung slats I wonder?
    I don’t know whether to simply go back to flat slats and get a someone to make me a centre support or look at getting an expensive sprung divan base – I can’t bear the look of them, but maybe that’s a sacrifice I have to make.
    I would be so grateful for any tips.
    Thank you.

    Hi Jo, Unfortunately sprung slats are a bit of a false economy as neither the spring effect or support is that brilliant. It kind of does neither job very well and can cause arches oin your mattress over time, the hump back bridge effect. There is a solution however. If they are uncomfortable you can simply take them all off and replace with regular slats. It may take a bit of measuring and some handywork but its the only alternative to replacing the entire base. The alternative is a sprung edge or platform top divan in all honesty regardless of their aesthetic. They are the best choice for mattress consistency etc.

    As for the heat issue I very much doubt this is the base. Memory foam is renowned for being really really warm and retaining heat. It’s more probable that either you’re room is too warm matched with the heat retention thats causing it to feel overly warm. The only alternative is to use a less heat retentive topper such as latex. I hope this helps. Lee

  • Michael says:

    I have a king size bed frame with sprung slats, approx 60 x 8mm and a 5 firm rating pocket sprung mattress, which I purchased back in May last year

    Admittedly I made the error of trying the matress in a divan rather than a sprung slatted bed

    Overall I find that there is too much give in the slats and matress and have ended up with a bed that is too soft

    I too have suffered from the central dipping issue and will use your MDF solution

    I’m looking for a firm bed and wanted your advice on whether or not in addition to the MDF, if increasing the bed slats to 12mm or solid slats would give me the desired results

    Thanks & regards


    Hi Michael, Before making any suggestions regarding the mattress or slats, we would really need to know your body weight as this is fundamental to providing the correct advice. It would also help if you confirmed what the make of mattress is that you have at present. Regards Mike

  • Amy says:

    I have a super king size bed with sprung slates. Our mattress is pocket sprung and on the soft side it’s turnable. My husbands side of the bed has a dip in it and I want to try MDF or plywood sheets under the mattress to prevent this and created a firmer feel before replacing. I saw on your comments below 3mm to 5mm was a recommended width. I’m around 10 stone my husband is around 13.4 stone. The Woodyard did not think this size would support the weight. My worry is a thicker width may put to much strain on the frame. Any advice you have would be appreciated.
    Regards Amy

    Hi Amy. Your not looking to replace the slats with boarding more cover them so that wood would be fine as it’s not taking all the weight just evening out the surface. If your mattress has dipped unfortunately there’s no easy way to return it to its original shape. Please give us a call to discuss further on 0161 9453757. Many thanks. Lee

  • Ratish Kerai says:

    Having read through some of the posts, I find that most mattresses commented on are pocket sprung or similar,
    There are also less posts in regards to single mattresses too.

    I am interested in a purely memory foam mattress, as I feel it provides the necessary support at every point of contact with the body.
    I also prefer a firm mattress.

    Having said that I have only tried a memory foam mattress on an old single divan bed which has some sort of spring system.

    But I would be using it for a single size on a metal bedframe with sprung or solid wood slats. (it seems most bed frames are)
    I am 5 feet 5 and 80kg.
    What advice would you give for adjustments to my base?
    Would it be good to have an mdf board for the whole area, given that it is single size?
    What size mdf? what thickness?
    Also I was thinking that It may be good to staple fabric over the mdf board to keep it from damaging the underside surface of the mattress.

    Can you recommend any mattresses that memory foam?
    Much appreciated.

    Hi Ratish, Firstly, I confirm that the use of MDF sheeting applies to sprung slatted bases or slatted bases with gaps between the slats of more than 3 inches. The thickness of MDF should be 3-4mm.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to advise upon memory foam mattresses other than to confirm that they are very heat retentive and the foam does not return to original shape quickly. You may be better looking at a hybrid foam or latex mattress. Please view our products in those ranges at Kind regards Mike

  • Carl says:

    Hi, good/interesting article. I have just purchased a new pocket sprung mattress, but realised after reading this, that the reason my old mattress might have worn out so quickly has been lack of support. I don’t want that to happen again.

    I have solid slats approx 3.5 inches apart. The mattress I have purchased is a high grove sensation pocket sprung mattress.

    So I should cover the slats with MDF is that the same as chipboard?
    Should the MDF cover the entire area of slats or just a section like in the photo above.

    Also should I put on top of the MDF/Slats an old duvet as a cushion for the mattress?

    I weigh 13.5 stone and my partner is 12 stone.

    Any help/advice appreciated.

    Hi Carl,
    MDF is not quite the same as chip board, however, it does come in thicknesses of 3-5mm making it more suitable for the covering of slats. The MDF should be applied to cover the whole area of the base and if you wish to place a further barrier of an old duvet, it won’t do any harm. Kind regards Mike.

  • Sam says:

    I would be grateful if you could advise on what mattress give the best support for someone who weighs 20-25 stones. I have previously got 2000 pocket sprung mattresses, my bed is double and my budget under £500. I have a pine bedframe that has been covered with pine floor boards with no gaps, as this was felt to be better to handle the weight, should I have left gaps? Would it be better to put some in now?
    Many thanks.

    Hi Sam,
    I sympathise with your situation and would confirm that you are probably best leaving the base slats without gaps to provide a firm support for any mattress you may place on them. We ourselves do a heavy sleeper range on this site where you will find some mattresses designed to accommodate the heavier sleeper, however, these start at £640.00 for a double size. I trust that this helps, regards Mike.

  • anthea richards says:

    Hi, the spring slabs as per your pic -can that with the frame be ordered only?the middle bit of my steel frame (which connects the 2 opposite slabs )has broken. The bed itself is fine but looking at it all I need is a rePlacement frame that fits into the bed

    Hi Anthea,
    We only sell divan bed bases and not bed frames. You could try going back to where you purchased the frame originally and they may be able to assist. Regards Mike.

  • Shar says:

    Hi, we have a double Sealy Colorado latex pocket 2200 mattress with 7 layers medium firmness. We currently have it on a sprung divan base and the mattress is very supportive for my husband and I. We weigh 13st and 12st. My son just bought a lovely bed frame with a slatted sprung base. We are thinking of buying one, but after reading your article, I am concerned that my mattress would feel different on a slatted base. Do you think there would be a noticeable difference in the feel of the mattress?

    Hi Shar,
    If you place a mattress on a sprung slatted base, it will feel slightly firmer than when placed on your sprung divan base. In addition, depending upon how far apart the slats are, you may need to place thin MDF over them to avoid your mattress slipping between the gaps and this will make the feel even firmer. I hope that this helps, regards Mike.

  • Michelle says:

    Dear Sirs,

    Desperately seeking the right mattress type for a high level double bed with tubular bar slats purchased for our son some years ago. He needs a medium/firm or firm mattress. Please could you kindly advise. Buying a new bed is not an option.

    Thank you in advance.

    Hi Michelle,
    It is difficult to recommend a mattress from our ranges without details of your son’s body weight and an indication of budget. Please call our office to discuss your requirements and obtain specific advice as to the suitability of one of our mattresses. Kind regards Mike.

  • Jo says:


    What is your advice on purchasing a second hand beech sprung king bed base (wooden frame), and putting a new mattress on top (not sure what type of mattress yet)? From what I have read this could be problematic re the slats? Would this be solved by placing the MDF on top of the slats? Our weights are 95kg and 56kg.

    Thank you


    Hi Jo, As long as the base is in good condition, no missing struts or parts then it shouldn’t be a problem. You can MDF or pegboard over the slats to give a more consistent base for whatever mattress you choose to place on it. A latex mattress will definitely require the slats to stop impressions forming. Also sprung slats are troublesome in creating the hump back bridge effect so I’d advise you definitely board them. Lee

  • Mark says:


    I have recently purchased a super king size metal framed bedstead which has a sprung slatted base and slats approx 6 cm apart. I am now looking to replace the ten year old Dunlopillo latex mattress with a pocket sprung mattress and are considering the Hypnos Premier Inn mattress which seems to be very reasonably priced (maybe you could also supply something equivalent). My concern is that the sprung slats on the bedstead base arc upwards on both sides of the bed leaving the potential for a dip down the middle of the mattress. Therefore, is boarding over the sprung slats necessary and, if so, should it be over the full area of the bed or just to cover the arc between the sprung slats in the middle. Additionally, when laying boards over slats, is it necessary to drill holes in the boards to provide ventillation to the mattress ?

    Thank you

    Hi Mark, Thanks for getting in touch. In terms on your base we would advise you board fully over the slats to ensure the humpback bridge effect doesn’t occur. Failing that you could replace the entire slats with plain slats and board as well. Basically you want to create the most consistent even surface without gaps. As for drilling for ventilation if you’re turning your mattress every month, something you couldn’t do with the hypnos premier inn mattress as its one sided, you shouldn’t need ventilation. Unless your house was incredibly humid theres no need for concern.

    As for the hypnos bed theres an incredible lack of information on the fillings and spring tension. The 1000 pocket springs will be for a king size but other than that theres no way of making any weight tolerances or feels for this mattress. The topper is appended to the mattress meaning that once this goes, which over time it will the entire mattress is rendered useless. With pillowtop mattresses we always recommend steering well clear and buying a separate removable topper such as all our fusion latex ranges which have such a topper. This means you can just replace this when you need to over time rather than the entire mattress.

    Lastly what I would advise is that whilst softer hotel beds feel lovely for a night or two you have to think of the long term feel of such a mattress. If a mattress is too soft over time it can lead to aches, stiffness and back pain so what maybe nice for a weekend could become a bit of a nightmare long term. You really need a mix of proper support and softer top layers, but not soft soft soft all through. Unless thats what you really prefer?

    I’d ask you to look at our Origins 1500 which is a far more detailed and superior mattress on terms of construction to the one you are lookign at. At the price point you could also buy a seperate topper, maybe even latex to make an even better mattress topper combo without the dreaded pillow top. Or you could look at our Artisan 1500 an even higher grade mattress at £845 which completely beats the hypnos offering in terms of GSM and construction. If you want to chat further please give us a call. Lee

  • Lucy says:

    I just wanted to thank you for all of this information. I wasn’t sure what on earth to get and am really pleased to have found the exact answer to my question in your replies to people below. Thank you very much.

    Hi Lucy, We are really glad that the John Ryan By Design site has helped you find answers to your mattress query! All the best. John & Ryan

  • Alan p gadd says:

    Hi guys
    And many many thanks for your very helpful website inc. reviews an comment I am currently using a ribbed bed frame which is sliding me into the centre of my king size,so the use of 3mm mdf is great and will be put into use a s a p. I am currently using a memory foam topper matress which I just am not liking one bit,so I have turned it over, and have ordered a new Silentnight king,which I shall lay on top of the M/foam matress,now I have seen somewhere a cover which joins to two together ,by probably tapes,any idea what this piece is called ? And what price I might pay for it ?,thanks so much,Alan

    Hi Alan, Thanks for the kind words about the work we do here at John Ryan by Design Ltd. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen or heard of the cover you’re referring to? Is this to cover both mattress and topper? If so, I’m not sure what the use would be! Maybe I’ve misunderstood you? The memory foam under the mattress will serve little purpose as what you will find happen is it compressed and degrades really quickly with the weight of the mattress on top. This isnt a problem if your just putting it there to a) hide it away b) add a thin layer to try and tackle the slat problem. I only raise it with you in case you would want to reuse it in the future as it may be compressed beyond use! My recommendation is extra deep fitted sheets will be far cheaper than any cover and will give the illusion of a one piece far easier for you Alan! I hope that helps. Lee

  • Lucy says:

    Oh please come up with this soon! I’ve spent a fortune on a beautiful mattress only for my slatted bed base to make my husband and I roll together in the centre of the bed. Now, I love my husband, but it does get a wee bit crowded…

    The only alternative I can see is one of the bases made for antique beds. What do you think of those?

    Hi Lucy, Sorry to hear you’re being forced together by a aggressive sprung slat base! This is an issue with sprung slats which kind of attempt to be both sprung and solid resulting in this issue. The only real advice is to either replace them with normal slats and a support or to replace the entire base. I couldn’t comment on an antique base without more specifics. The main advice is a base must be consistent and allow the mattress to flex rather than the slats flexing creating an uneven surface. Good luck lucy and hope that helps. Lee

  • Leigh says:

    Firstly, thanks to all of your team for the fabulous wealth of information on what is other than your sites an area devoid of comprehensive and comparable facts.
    I was hoping I could trouble you for your opinion on whether the Hypnos Pearl (£525 King) pillow-top mattress offers value-for-money, plus which of your mattresses would rival the following spec:
    Duomix Fibre Insulator 1400gsm with Solotex
    Dual density Polyester 900gsm
    Pillow Top: Poly-Wool 400gsm

    1004x 6-pocket ‘ReActive’ springs
    Medium tension with Torsion Side Support

    27cm depth inc. pillow-top

    Your thoughts on the best option for us would be greatly appreciated: I’m 12st and my partner 9.5st; my preference is medium to medium-firm (5-7), hers medium-soft (3-5).

    Thanks in advance for any light you can shed, and again for your excellent online resource.

    Best Wishes,


    Hi Leigh, Many thanks for the detail its really helpful to provide accurate recommendations quicky for you. Take heed fellow commenters! 😉 Ok so I’d recommend you look at our Origins 1500 which will give a medium feel to both of you. I’d stay well clear of pillow tops they are a one way road to unusable mattresses. Simply buy a separate topper instead. Don’t be fooled by those amounts either as thats a one sided mattress so our comparison below needs to be doubled to adequately compare! Ours has significantly more inside for your money.

    Here is the breakdown of the origins comfort to quickly compare to the version above. FIRST LAYER: 300 gsm Wool: SECOND LAYER: 750gsm Very soft Polyester: THIRD LAYER: 500gsm Polyester: FOURTH LAYER: One inch foam insulator:

    You’re never going to get one side firm / med and one medium soft I’m afraid. However you could consider at a later date adding a topper if you found your parnter wanted a slightly softer top layer. Its always going to be a compromise where a completely different split is required unless you go for an artisan mattress where this is possible in a zip and link. I hope that helps Leigh. Lee

  • Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for your website. Do you offer advice on other aspects of life! We saved up hard and bought an expensive mattress. We are dairy farmers and back support is very important to us. We have been most disappointed that the mattress hasn’t been as comfy as in the shop and sinking slightly in the middle. I had come to the conclusion we needed a new bed base too and I was horrified to learn it would cost so much more to buy these separately. I’m going to give the MDF and old duvet a try first. I will let you know how we get on. Thanks again.

  • Alan p gadd says:

    Hi guys further to my previous email,I have now purchased the previously mentioned mdf sheets ,and it has made an enormous difference to my sleep,just wonderful,and the matress also looks so much better too without that mid bed sag, One thing though is that mdf is definitely NOT 3mm,that would simply snap,if you buy it at that gauge,it very definitely must be 9mm,I paid approx £6 for my two pieces and well worth the outlay. The other thing I was wondering about,is that I think I mixed up a matress topper with ties/tapes so when my new matress arrives I will just trial it and decide what to do with my mem/foam matress later,sorry for being so long winded,and thanks once again.Alan

    Hi Alan, thats great news! Glad our advice has helped you get a better nights sleep! All the best. John Ryan.

  • Shelley says:

    Hi, will this idea of the mdf work with a solid slat bed?

    I have just had a Hypnos Duchess Supreme mattress delivered and a new bed which I brought seperately from Dreams. The base is absolute rubbish and I do not want to ruin my new expensive mattress. The slats on the base are 3 and 1/2″ apart (which is more than Hypnos’s recommended 3″) and there is no middle support for a king size bed! I have been doing some research online and found that in a higher quality bed there will always be a middle support for a bed that size.

    Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks 🙂

    Hi Shelley,
    It is unusual to have a base with the span of a king size without some form of middle support, even if the slats are solid and not sprung. The maximum gap we would recommend for slats is 6 to 7cm (2 1/2 to 3 inches) and the ones on your new base are wider than we would have expected. Placing MDF on your slats will provide you with a uniform surface upon which your mattress will sit and will prevent your mattress sinking into the gaps.

    I am afraid I am unable to advise on a solution for the missing support in the centre of the base other than to suggest perhaps placing some bricks in piles underneath to prevent the base drooping in the centre. I trust that this will help, kind regards Mike.

  • Osman says:


    I have recently purchased a Tempur mattress. We have it on a divan ottoman bedstead. Having experienced some incredibly hot and sweaty nights in the middle of winter, we have been told by one retailer that the Tempur mattresses are better suited to sprung slat bases as it lets the heat cirluate better and dooesn’t trap it.

    As we need an Ottoman bedstead for te storage it offers, we can only get a divan as the frames of the others are too wide for our room (even thoough it only adds a few inches.

    Do you have any advice? will we need to change our base or do we have to just accept that there is a strong element of overheating with our new and very expensive mattress?


    Hi Osman,
    Unfortunately, memory foam is renowned for heat retention and is something you should have been advised about prior to purchase. I doubt whether changing to a sprung slatted base will have any significant effect on the level of heat retention and it may well be that having purchased this mattress, you are stuck with the overheating experienced. Kind regards Mike.

  • Richard Brewer says:

    We have a metal bade frame with sprung slats and are keen to try the mdf board potential solution.
    A quick couple of questions:
    Should the board be cut width wise to sit of the top of the raised part of the slat, on it’s crest? If not, what width of board would you suggest it is a standard 5 foot width king size.
    Do you attach the mdf to the slats in anyway?
    Many thanks

    Many thanks

    Hi Richard,
    The MDF board should be cut so as to cover the entire area of the slats in your base so as to provide a uniform surface upon which the mattress will sit. The MDF does not need to be attached as the weight of the mattress should be sufficient to keep it in place. When purchasing the MDF, B & Q or Homebase do a cutting service. I hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Anita Short says:

    Hi I saw your MDF board on your slatted base and think this is a great idea as I was worried about the mattress going through the slats. I had ordered a continues coil mattress with a foam topping so will I still need to do this? Also you have it in a T shape is this what one needs to do, or does one need to fill in all the slats. I was wonder how your mattress breathes, would one not be better using pegboard with holes in it to allow the mattress to breathe.

    Thank you for your time to answer and look forward to recieving your reply.

    Hi Anita,
    Peg board is an ideal solution to assist your mattress to breathe, the board, whether MDF or peg board, needs to cover the whole area of the base. The picture on our site is for basic illustration purposes. Regards Mike.

  • Richard Brewer says:

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you for your quick response, however I am confused.
    The photo on your site shows mdf boards placed in a T shape?

    Hi Richard,
    The picture on the site is for basic illustration purposes, ideally the MDF should be placed so as to cover the whole area. Regards Mike

  • Lore says:

    We’ve just ourchased an expensive memory foam mattress (sealy optimum destiny gold) but have a base with slats (ikea). So we covered up the slats with 3 sheets of plywood with small holes, however there are gaps between the three sheets, of about 2 inches. Will this damage the mattress, i.e. Would it be better to have no gaps at all between the sheets of plywood? Also: we need to buy a good mattress cover (protection) but the shop only offers us $100 + models. What should a good cover cost, and is it really best to get a waterproof one? Thank you for your answer!

    Hi Lore,
    The boarding over your slats should cover the entire area without any gaps as this will provide a uniform surface for your mattress to sit on. I am unable to suggest a price for a mattress cover as this is something we do not manufacture, however, I would comment that it really depends upon what you require from the cover. Waterproof is an option, but this may cause sweating, I would opt for a breathable one which can been laundered on a regular basis. Hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • jenny says:

    Hello, How does this apply to single beds? I need 2 mattresses one for a metal bed frame and one for a wooden slatted and Im confused as to whats the best to buy?

    Hi Jenny,
    In order for me to fully respond to your query, I need to know the body weights involved, preferred feel and budget. If you can supply this information, I will do my best to assist you. Kind regards Mike.

  • Sarah says:


    Firstly, congratulations on your very informative website!

    Regarding suitable ‘cushioning’ for the underside of a pocket sprung mattress on a rigid slatted base – would wool carpet, in wide strip/s as per your MDF or one larger piece, be suitable? I’m just thinking that it’s breathable (as opposed to the MDF) but a bit firmer than a duvet.

    Hi Sarah,
    The carpet solution is another take on the protection of the underside of your mattress and as you say, it is breathable. If breathability is a concern, instead of MDF you could opt for peg board, which has holes in it. Any covering to the slats should be positioned so as to provide entire cover of the area giving a uniform surface upon which you mattress can sit. Kind regards Mike.

  • Estelle says:


    Just found your website in the nick of time – it’s great!

    I recently purchased a Double Asher Nicket bedstead from Next (1920 x 1370mm) with sprung slats – 6cm apart.

    A few months ago I booked into a hotel and was so impressed with the comfort of the bed I’d slept in, I enquired as to the make of the mattress. I was told it was a Tempur although they did not know which model.

    I ordered a Tempur Cloud Deluxe 27. It arrived and I was looking forward to trying it out – sinking into that cuddly luxurious softness! However, I was very disappointed. It felt very firm and very hot! Nothing like the one at the hotel, so I returned it to the store and had a refund.

    After a couple of calls and emails to the hotel, I found out they had also used a topper (or maybe two). I am now assuming that the topper(s) made all the difference to the feel.

    I’ve since been looking online to find out what mattress would suit me best.

    Firstly I looked at The Eve mattress which is sold online. The only info it gives about its construction is as follows: A base layer of high density foam: This is what gives your mattress support and keeps things firm.
    A mid layer of the highest quality memory foam: This is what gives you that awesome memory foam comfort, allowing the mattress to mould to your body shape and providing the ultimate support.
    A top layer of natural latex: This provides springiness and keeps your body from overheating.
    A cover lovingly hand-knitted in the UK.

    Was worried this may also make me feel too hot. I think the Tempur has put me off memory foam . Also read about the materials used being carcinogenic? Now wondering if latex is the way to go – or should I stick to pocket sprung and natural fillings?

    Have been looking at the John Lewis Natural Collection but no tech specs given. The Vi Spring sound good but really expensive and then I found your website where you compare one of your Artisan mattresses with one of the Vi Spring. So am now thinking of purchasing the Artisan Bespoke 004. What are your thoughts and what would you recommend?

    Also please help with toppers. If I want to sleep in a deep, soft and luxurious bed, which topper or toppers should I choose to compliment the mattress?

    I sleep alone, am female, 5’5″ tall and weigh around 9.5 – 10 stone. I was planning on spending around £1,200 ish.

    Lastly,but not least, because I have a sprung slatted bedstead will it be good enough to cover the base with two sheets of sponge or will I need MDF?

    Looking forward to your reply.


    Hi Estelle,
    I note with interest the experience you have had with a Tempur mattress. The firmness will have been affected by the slatted base upon which it was placed, however, I would not advise placing multiple toppers on a mattress to obtain a softer feel. Ideally, you should opt for a tension which is a near as possible to your preferred feel, only to added to with a single topper for comfort.

    I have looked at the details provided in respect of the Eve mattress and note that even though it lists the thickness of the layers comprising the whole, it does not disclose the density of any of the foams/latex used, making any opinion as to performance or quality impossible. Memory foam is notoriously heat retentive and so if it is used as a comfort layer, the thickness could cause some overheating.

    As far as opting for a mattress with natural upholstery layers is concerned, the likelihood of overheating is eliminated. As you say our Artisan Bespoke 004 is comparable in feel to the Vi-Spring Regal Superb and I would suggest you go and try the Vi-Spring option before placing an order for a medium spring tension. As far as advice in respect of a topper is concerned, I would suggest that you wait until you have had your new mattress, whether purchased from us or elsewhere, for at least 14 days as it will take time for your body to adjust to the feel. It may be that after that time you decide a topper is not needed, thus avoiding an unnecessary purchase.

    With regard to covering your base, it is preferable to use MDF as sheets of sponge will have a tendency to sink into the gaps between the slats, which in turn could result in unwanted ridging in the reverse side of the mattress. I trust that this is of help to you. Kind regards Mike.

  • PATRICIA says:

    Thank you very much for all your helpful advises.
    Does the MDF need to be in one piece (for a superking bed) or is it possible to have 2 x 90*190 or 4x 90*95 ? (It is just more convenient to transport smaller MDF in a car than big ones…)
    Also, is it better to put the MDF along the bed frame (head to feet) or aside the bed frame ?
    Thank you in advance for your help,
    Kind regards

    Hi Patricia,
    The MDF covering does not have to be in one piece, nor does it matter whether you line it up vertically or horizontally. What is important is that the whole sleep surface is covered providing uniformity across that surface. You may find it difficult to purchase MDF in one piece for a super king size bed, but many branches of B & Q and Homebase or local timber merchants should be able to cut the pieces to size for you. I trust that this helps. Kind regards Mike.

  • Matthew Jackson says:


    Found this very useful & informative website.

    I am hoping that you will help us out here. We are considering of buying Tempur Super king size Ottoman bedstead (We believe that the quality of Tempur bedstead is good and we could not find another similar brands that offer the same quality as Tempur bedstead).

    We have tried the Tempur foam mattress and do not like it and prefer pocket spring mattress. I understand that Tempur bestead has sprung slat bases.

    We have tried John Lewis Pocket Ortho 1600 Mattress and found it suitable for us. I am 6ft and weigh 16-17 stones and my wife is 5ft 1in and weigh 10 stones.

    Do you have any advice? Will the above mattress be suitable for the sprung slatted base? Do you have similar mattress?

    Many thanks & best regards, Matthew

    Hi Matthew,
    The first thing I would say is that we are unable to provide an opinion as to the quality or performance of the Tempur Bedstead, having not encountered one before. The one I thing would say, however, is you should check the weight of your proposed mattress purchase and seek assurance that the ottoman bedstead is sufficiently strong enough to cope with that weight.

    As far as the suitability of the John Lewis mattress is concerned, again it is difficult to provide an opinion or comparison as the description of the upholstery layers is vague and does not provide the specific level of GSM (grams per square metre). The description does indicate that it is suitable for slatted bases and the tension is described as medium, although I would think that this might apply to you, but not your wife because of the weight differential. I would suggest that you look at the Hybrid 6 and 7 on the John Ryan Contemporary site at and if interested, contact our office for further more detailed advice as to the suitability. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Tim says:

    Hi, I live the advice, thank you so much for the service. We’re about to take receipt of a new tempur cloud 25cm super king size mattress that will suit on a new sprung slat Base. I have read all your advice and wish to use leg board on top of the slats as a base for the mattress and have a couple of questions.

    It seems the thickest pegboard I can find is you think this will be think enough?

    Would you cut the pegboard so that it covers the whole width and length of the mattress? I understand that there can be no gaps between the sheets of board, but should it go right to the edges of the mattress? If not how much gap would you leave around the edges?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Hi Tim,
    The pegboard should cover as much of the base as possible, although a slight gap at the side shouldn’t cause an issue. 6mm is sufficient as it is merely to create a barrier between the slats and the mattress to prevent the mattress indenting as a result of sitting directly on the slats. Kind regards Mike.

  • Tracey Howett says:


    Firstly, thank you for the informative aspect of your website, and it has been very helpful.

    I have a dilemma, and for the past 10 years I have successfully slept on a solid slated Kingsize bed with a Hypnos Regular sprung mattress. Having completed a re-design of my bedroom, I purchased a new fabric bedstead from DFS with a sprung slated base, and clearly for me it was like sleeping on a marshmellow with little support and sagging to the middle of the bed.

    I visited your website and took the knowledge to invest in plywoood panels to rectify the issue of the sprung slated bed, and I took the photo (T shape board) above to the timber merchant with a request to supply 6mm plywood – is this the same as MDF to place the T-Board on the sprung slated base. i.e is MDF more rigid compared to plywood?

    I still can’t sleep and feel the firmess has only slightly improved, but nothing to what my solid slates offered, with a good night’s sleep, and now I am waking up with backache which is affecting my neck and alignment of my whole posture; I weigh 11 stone.

    What do you advise, and do I need to cover the entire 5ft sprung slated frame with plywood or MDF, and possibly increase the size from 6mm to 9mm, which another blogger has mentioned?

    Sleep deprivation is no fun, and soon I will be visiting the physio if I can’t rectify the bed situation. I welcome your advice on how I can rectify to gain better firmness of the sprung slated base.

    You mention a possible change of the sprung slated base and to install rigid slates and a base board, and where would you gain such a service to achieve this design?


    Hi Tracey,
    Despite the picture on the site, we would recommend that any covering of the slatted base should be over the entire area providing a uniform surface upon which the mattress can sit. MDF or plywood, there is little difference in firmness, although the thicker, the firmer so 9mm may be the way to go. Additionally, all mattresses will soften over time and although you have slept well on it for 10 years, it may just be that it has reached the end of it’s life.

    For your body weight, I would never recommend a firm tension and despite the folklore of if you have a bad back buy a firm mattress, this has proved in recent times to be incorrect as this can cause more problems than it can solve. As far as the replacement of sprung slats with solid ones are concerned, have you enquired of DFS to see if they can supply solid slats to fit your current base or point you in the right direction? I hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

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