Are sprung slats better than rigid slats?

Hi J asked
6th December 2014


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??

Thanks, Eva

22 Answers
answered 8 years ago

Hi Eva,

Thanks for your question, we often get asked about sprung vs solid slats.

The reason for your discomfort is that the solid slats are not as forgiving as sprung slats making the feel of your mattress firmer. We have a full article on slats here and the disadvantages of them.

Sprung slats have more give and are usually a higher quality and better spaced than rigid wooden slats. Though you’re usually better off with a divan. Our mattresses are all suitable for slatted bases.
IKEA sprung slats on display
Slats are probably the least preferable base type when it comes to mattresses as they can create a host of problems with your mattress. Some retailers tell you their mattresses can’t be used with slats and you must buy a divan. However, this is usually false. All mattresses, like our range here, can be used with slats. You just need to make a few tweaks to sort out the problems they can cause.

  • Make sure slats are no more than 3 inches between them.
  • Board over slats with either MDF or plywood to ensure an even surface
  • Use a cheap duvet on top to stop slats or the boards from nipping and damaging the mattress.

It may be worth investigating if you can buy sprung slats to fit your current base to try and soften the base if it’s really causing you issues.

If not, the other alternative is to purchase another base either one with sprung slats or a sprung edge divan.

It’s a shame that when you purchased your new bed frame you were not advised that the solid slats will make any mattress placed on it firmer than it might have been on any previous sprung slats.

We don’t sell any slatted mattress bases as they can nip and damage a mattress and also are inferior in terms of quality compared to a platform or sprung edge divan. We have a full critique of mattress bases that you can read here which explains it all!

If you have any other questions please contact us on 0161 437 4419 Please see our office opening time here. Where our small friendly team of mattress geeks can help you further.

Kind Regards Gary

John D
commented 3 years ago

I too have a slatted mattress base but find my mattress is starting to have lumps and bumps? Is this because of the bed frame being slatted? Is there anything I can do to fix the problem?

answered 3 years ago

Hi John,
Thank you for your question.
The lumps and bumps created in your mattress could have been caused by the gaps in the base being too wide apart.   We would normally advise that the gaps should not be any more than 3 inches apart otherwise the mattress can start to form between the gaps in those slats.   
I would suggest checking the gap between the slats and if they are quite wide apart, you would be better to board the base over with 3mm-5mm MDF or Hardboard and hopefully this will rectify the problem you are having.
MDF sheets on Slatted base
I would also recommend if your mattress is a two sided mattress that you have been turning and rotating this on a monthly basis as this allows the fillings within the mattress to settle evenly.  Please see the link provided which explains this for you.
I hope this assists but please do not hesitate to contact our office for further information or advice on 0161 437 4419.
Kind regards Julie