Get ready to say goodbye to boxsprings – almost. Modern mattress technology has come so far in the last few years that you no longer need a boxspring for most foam mattresses, latex mattresses, and hybrid mattresses. In fact, you might be voiding your warranty if you use a box spring with many of today’s high-tech types of mattresses. Here's an easy way to find out more about what to keep in mind as you buy your next mattress.
It’s All About the Slats And Support
You’ve probably seen these slats before that are made out of wood. They’re three to five inches wide and just under half an inch thick. The most common configuration uses two columns of slats that, when placed side by side, span the width of the bed. These slats are usually bowed in the middle to provide spring and support to the mattress on top.
The type of slats is the most important element to check. Having good quality slats that are properly spaced also allows your modern mattress to “breathe.” Every time you move in bed, air passes freely through the slats, thereby keeping your body heat from building up.
Slat Foundation Vs. New-ish Boxspring
You might be in luck. If that giant king box spring you bought is less than five years old, it has wooden slats built in, and they are correctly spaced, you just might be able to use it for a new mattress. However, if you’re not sure, check with the experts to be safe.
It might even be easier if you start fresh and put aside the old boxspring along with your old innerspring mattress. Most of today’s mattresses are meant to be used with what is called a “foundation.” Different mattress companies call it different things, but almost all of them consist of a metal bed frame or a wood frame with wooden slats in the center.
Why Slat Foundations Are Better
Modern mattresses use a sophisticated combination of natural latex foam, polyurethane foam, pocketed coils and other materials to create an integrated sleep system. Together, they offer you the specific type of support and comfort you might be looking for in a mattress.
Slat foundations are lighter than a box spring and frame and easier to move around and put together. In the old days, you’d have to pull out the toolbox to put the frame together and then lug around the rigid box spring. I can’t tell you how many times (but my spouse could) I’ve scraped the walls and doors trying to squeeze a box spring from one room to the next.
Slat foundations can reduce the amount of wear and tear on your modern mattress. As we already mentioned, the slats encourage airflow, and this not only helps you stay at a comfortable temperature, it discourages mold and mildew growth. The right kind of slats absorb impact and provide pressure relief. They will also keep your mattress from sagging in the middle.
Nothing’s worse than when a brand new mattress develops a dip in the middle. Some people like the mattress height a little higher than a low platform bed. A slat foundation can add a few inches to raise the level of the bed, so it’s more comfortable to get in and out of the bed. The good old days of working your quads while getting out of a Japanese futon sitting on a tatami are thankfully over.
Just About Any Type Of Bed With a Slat Foundation
One of the best parts of shopping for a new bed is the wide variety of styles and configurations available. The slat support system works with just about everything out there.
- Adjustable Beds: Be forewarned. Once you lie down in one of these beds and adjust it to the perfect position, there’s no turning back to a traditional rigid style bed frame. You’ll be able to raise or lower your upper torso, your hips, and your legs to your heart’s content. You can even get a double adjustable frame so that you and your sleep mate can choose different settings – while all in the same bed.
- Fashion Forward Flexibility: Because the slat frame is so simple and versatile, it can be incorporated into just about any style you can imagine. You can take a minimalist approach with a spartan platform bed frame. Or, you can opt for the kind of plush, upholstered bed you’d find in Versailles for Louis XIV, The Sun King. Mid-Century Modern is all the rage lately, and here again, your high-tech mattress and slat frame will easily accommodate.
- Big Beds Are No Problem: Never before have we had the sheer number of sizes available to the normal consumer. Thankfully, a slat foundation works with all of them.
The Family Bed
This bed is made by Taylor & Wells, and it is the largest commercially available bed in the country – if not the world! You have to see it to believe, and even then, it’s almost too big to comprehend. It measures a full ten feet wide and 80 inches long.
The Family Bed XL
Okay, get ready for it: if you want an even bigger bed, opt for The Family Bed XL at twelve feet wide and seven feet long. Words are not enough. You just have to see it. Bet you can’t take a dive into the center when you see it there in front of you.
California King and King size beds
Yes, the California King is taller but not as wide as a standard King size bed. Not sure why. Maybe that’s how they grow them in California. Tall and thin? Regardless, both of them are suitable for a wood slat foundation and whatever sort of bed style you might prefer.