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3 Best Bed Slats for Unbeatable Support & Comfort 2023

Carl Heinrichs, owner of Quagga Designs.
Written by,

Carl Heinrichs

CEO of Quagga

Find the best bed slats for restful sleep.

A good night's sleep is essential for our overall well-being, and the foundation of a comfortable bed lies in the quality of its support system. 

While mattresses play a crucial role, remember the unsung heroes that provide the backbone of support: bed slats! These often-overlooked components can make a world of difference when it comes to ensuring unbeatable support and comfort for your sleep haven. 

In this article, we will delve into the world of bed slats and unveil the best options to transform your ordinary bed into a sanctuary of restful bliss. Get ready to discover the secret to a rejuvenating sleep experience!

What are Bed Slats?

A man with rolled sleeves wearing blue next to a pile of wood slats and holding one in his hands.

Bed slats are narrow, horizontal wooden or metal supports placed across a bed frame to support the mattress. They are typically arranged in a parallel or perpendicular pattern and are designed to distribute weight evenly across the bed frame, enhancing the stability and comfort of the mattress. 

Bed slats often replace the need for a box spring or foundation and are commonly used in platform beds or as a supportive base for other types of bed frames.

Types of Bed Slats

A No Fuss Plus wood bed frame from Quagga with some slats taken off and resting on its base.

People usually categorize bed slats as either wood or metal, but bed slats can be broken down further. Several bed slats are available, each with its characteristics and benefits. 

Here are some common types of bed slats:

  1. Solid Wood Slats: These slats are typically made of solid wood, such as pine or birch. They are sturdy and durable, providing excellent support for the mattress.
  2. Laminated Wood Slats: Laminated slats are constructed by layering thin strips of wood together. This technique enhances strength and flexibility while maintaining a flat and even surface.
  3. Plywood: Plywood slats are similar to laminated wood in that they are both made of layers of wood glued together. However, the wood grain layers alternate at right angles for more robust construction.
  4. Metal Slats: Metal bed slats are often made of steel or aluminum. They offer firm support and can withstand heavy weight.
  5. Adjustable Slats: These slats can be adjusted to different firmness levels, allowing you to customize the support according to your preference.
  6. Curved Slats: Curved slats are designed to provide better support for the sleeper and reduce strain on your mattress which can increase its lifespan.

The choice of bed slats depends on factors such as the bed frame design, mattress type, desired level of support, and personal preference.

3 Best Bed Slats

Here are the best bed slats overall:

  1. Quagga Wood Bed Slats (Best Overall)
  2. Zinus Deepak Bunkie Board (Best for Existing Frames)
  3. Olee Sleep 18 Inch (Best Steel Frame)

1. Quagga Wood Bed Slats (Best Overall)

Quagga's No Fuss Plus wood bed frame on a white surface.

Quagga bed frames are not only unique in their design, but the slats are also unique. Quagga’s wooden slats are made from durable, high-quality, 2.75-inch plywood flipped 90 degrees to increase load capacity significantly. 

Since the slats are on their sides, creating more friction between the bed frame and the mattress. This means there is less of a chance your mattress will slide around for more even weight distribution and better sleep!


  • Easy assembly
  • Unique and innovative bed slat system
  • Durable and high-quality slats
  • Increased load capacity
  • Reduced mattress slippage
  • Ideal slat spacing
  • Clean and environmentally-friendly materials (no metal)
  • Works with different styles of mattresses, including memory foam mattresses


  • You must purchase an entire bed frame

2. Zinus Deepak Bunkie Board (Best for Existing Frames)

A Zinus Deepak Bunkie Board on a white background.

The Zinus Deepak Bunkie Board is a convenient, affordable solution to support your mattress. It’s easy to assemble and can be quickly set up on any standard bed frame size. 

Its sturdy design, featuring an outer metal frame and a center metal support bar, ensures durability and helps prevent mattress sagging, providing a solid foundation for a comfortable sleep experience.


  • Easy assembly
  • Affordable support system for your mattress
  • Sturdy foundation (outer metal frame with center metal support bar)
  • It sits on any standard bed frame size


  • Slats are weaker than other options

3. Olee Sleep 18 Inch (Best Steel Frame)

The Olee Sleep Heavy Duty Steel Slat on a white surface at an angle.
Credit: Olee

The Olee Sleep 18 Inch Tall Heavy Duty Steel Slat is a durable, sturdy bed frame that provides exceptional support.

Constructed with premium steel, it boasts a remarkable weight capacity of up to 1,200 pounds. Its solid construction ensures a squeak-free experience for a peaceful sleep. 

Easy assembly allows this bed frame to be set up quickly without hassle. Additionally, the 18-inch height offers ample storage space underneath the bed, allowing for efficient room utilization.


  • Durable (made of steel)
  • Holds up to 1,200 pounds
  • Known to be squeak-free
  • Easy assembly
  • Lots of storage space


  • Not very stylish

How do Bed Slats Work?

A woman sleeping on her side in bed next to a window.
Credit: / @olly

Bed slats support the mattress and distribute the weight evenly across the bed frame. Here is how bed slats work:

  1. Support: Bed slats act as a foundation for the mattress, offering a stable and sturdy surface to rest. They span the width of the bed frame and provide structural support.
  2. Weight Distribution: The weight is transferred to the bed slats when lying on the mattress. The slats distribute the weight evenly across their surface, preventing any point from bearing excessive pressure. This helps to prevent sagging or sinking in the mattress.
  3. Ventilation: Bed slats promote airflow and ventilation beneath the mattress. They create space for air to circulate, which can help regulate temperature and prevent moisture buildup, keeping the mattress fresh and hygienic.
  4. Flexibility: Depending on the type of slats, they can provide varying degrees of flexibility. Flexible or curved slats, for example, can adapt to the contours of your body, offering better support and comfort.
  5. Elimination of Box Spring: In many cases, bed slats can replace the need for a traditional box spring or foundation. This allows for a lower-profile bed and can be a cost-effective alternative (that isn’t an eyesore!)

What are the Benefits of Bed Slats?

Bed slats with a white mattress on top of it and a green checkmark graphic.

Bed slats offer several benefits contributing to a bed's comfort and support. Here are some of the advantages of using bed slats:

  1. Enhanced Mattress Support: Bed slats provide a solid and even foundation for the mattress, ensuring proper support across its entire surface. This helps prevent sagging, sinking, or uneven wear, prolonging the mattress's lifespan.
  2. Improved Sleep Comfort: The even weight distribution offered by bed slats enhances the comfort of the mattress. It helps to maintain the mattress's shape and prevents uncomfortable pressure points, allowing for a more restful and comfortable sleep.
  3. Ventilation and Airflow: Bed slats promote airflow and ventilation beneath the mattress. This helps to regulate temperature and prevent the accumulation of moisture, reducing the risk of mold, mildew, and odors.
  4. Cost-Efficiency: Bed slats can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional box springs or foundations. They provide adequate support without additional bulky components, saving money and space.
  5. Versatility: Bed slats are compatible with various bed frames, such as platform beds or other frames designed to accommodate slats. They offer versatility in design options and can be easily incorporated into different bedroom aesthetics.
  6. Easy Maintenance: Bed slats are generally low-maintenance. They are easy to clean and can be removed or adjusted, making them convenient for regular bed maintenance and cleaning routines.

What are the Drawbacks of Bed Slats?

Bed slats with a white mattress on top of it and a red X graphic.

While bed slats offer several benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks. Here are a few disadvantages associated with bed slats:

  1. Lack of Adjustability: Bed slats, especially fixed ones, may not offer adjustable firmness or support levels. This can be a limitation if you prefer a specific level of firmness or if your needs change over time.
  2. Compatibility Issues: Not all mattresses are designed to be used with bed slats. Some mattresses, like innerspring, may require a box spring for optimal support and performance. Using slats with incompatible mattresses can negatively affect the mattress's lifespan.
  3. Squeaking or Noisy: Depending on the quality of the slats and how they are secured in the bed frame, they may produce creaking or noise when weight is applied, which could disrupt sleep.
  4. Slippage or Movement: If the slats are not correctly secured or spaced, there is a risk of slippage or movement. This can lead to the mattress shifting out of place or causing discomfort during sleep.
  5. Weight Limitations: Bed slats have weight limits, and exceeding those limits can result in the slats bending or breaking. It's essential to consider the weight capacity of the slats and ensure they are suitable for the intended use.
  6. Assembly and Maintenance: Depending on the type of bed slats and the bed frame design, assembly, and maintenance may require some effort. Adjusting or replacing slats can be time-consuming, especially if they are fixed in place or attached to complex mechanisms.

When considering bed slats, it's crucial to assess your specific mattress requirements, consult the manufacturer's guidelines, and choose slats compatible with your mattress type for the best sleep and mattress longevity.

Bed Slats vs Box Springs

Bed slats and box springs are two mattresses commonly used in bed setups. Here are the differences between them:

Bed Slats

  • Design: Bed slats are typically narrow, horizontal supports that span the width of the bed frame. They can be made of wood or metal and are arranged in a parallel or perpendicular pattern.
  • Support: Bed slats provide a stable and even surface for the mattress. They distribute weight evenly, promoting proper support and preventing sagging.
  • Compatibility: Bed slats are compatible with various mattress types, including foam and latex mattresses.
  • Ventilation: Bed slats allow for increased airflow and ventilation beneath the mattress, promoting temperature regulation and reducing moisture buildup.
  • Customizability: Some bed slats offer adjustable firmness or tension levels, allowing users to customize the support according to their preferences.
  • Space and Cost Efficiency: Bed slats can be a cost-effective alternative to box springs, eliminating the need for an additional bulky component. They also offer a lower-profile bed setup, which can be seen as more aesthetic.

Box Springs

  • Structure: A box spring is a sturdy, rectangular foundation typically made of a wooden frame covered with fabric containing springs (hence the name “box spring”).
  • Support: Box springs provide support to the mattress, absorb shock, and distribute weight, enhancing the overall comfort and lifespan of the bed.
  • Compatibility: Box springs are commonly used with innerspring mattresses. They are designed to provide optimal support and extend their longevity.
  • Height: Box springs add height to the bed setup, which can be desired if the bed height is too low without it (the perfect bed height is when your knees are at 90 degrees when sitting on your bed with the mattress).
  • Durability: Box springs are generally durable and long-lasting (they should last around ten years), able to withstand the weight and pressure from the mattress and sleepers.

The choice between bed slats and box springs depends on mattress type, personal preference, and the bed frame design.

Get the Best Bed Slats for the Best Sleep

Whether you opt for sturdy wooden or metal planks or a mix of the two, investing in high-quality bed slats is a game-changer for your bed setup:

  • Get Quagga wood bed slats if you’re looking for a bed frame that is unique, stylish, and easy to assemble with a high load capacity.
  • Get the Zinus Deepak Bunkie Board for a reliable, affordable option if you already have a bed frame and the slats need replacing.
  • Get the Olee Sleep 18 Inch for the best metal bed frame with the highest load capacity. 

By providing solid and even support, preventing mattress sagging, and promoting airflow, these bed slats ensure that the utmost comfort and support accompany every night's rest. Bid farewell to restless nights and wake up refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on the day!

Remember, the perfect slats for your bed will depend on your mattress type, personal preferences, and desired level of customization. So, take the time to explore the options, read customer reviews, and consider the specific requirements of your bed frame and mattress.

With suitable bed slats, you'll create a sleep haven that genuinely caters to your needs. Say goodbye to tossing and turning, and embrace the luxury of uninterrupted sleep.


What makes the best slats for a bed?

The best slats for a bed are sturdy, properly spaced, and made of high-quality materials like solid wood or plywood to provide even support and prevent mattress sagging. If you prefer, adjustable slats can offer customization options for firmness and comfort.

Are curved or flat slats better?

The choice between curved and flat bed slats depends on personal preference and the type of mattress used. Curved slats may make your mattress feel softer, while flat slats create a firmer support surface.

What is the recommended bed slat thickness?

The recommended bed slat thickness typically ranges between 0.5 to 2 inches, depending on the material and construction. Thicker slats provide greater durability and support, while thinner slats may be suitable for lighter-weight mattresses or specific bed frame designs.

What are some bed slat alternatives?

Some alternatives to bed slats include: 

  • Adjustable bases
  • Bunkie boards (thin, solid boards that provide support)
  • Plywood sheets across the bed frame

These alternatives can offer different levels of support and compatibility depending on the specific mattress and bed frame setup.

Carl Heinrichs

CEO of Quagga
Carl Heinrichs is the Founder of Quagga, Canada's most innovative furniture design solutions that are easy to assemble and playfully made.

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