Do Twin Beds Need Slats?

Twin Bed Slats

Whether you’re looking for yourself or for a child, getting a new bed is exciting. However, there is more to think about than just a mattress and a bedframe. You’ll need to consider getting slats as well!

Do twin beds need bed slats? Twin beds do not always need slats. They must have either a boxspring or a bed frame with slats or other firm surface to support the sleeper properly. You can upgrade your bed slats to help your mattress last longer and make the bed more comfortable. 

If you’re trying to avoid buying bed slats, then you have a couple of other options to choose from. As long as your bed has some kind of support, then you’ll be fine! We’ve got some more information as to why your bed needs more than just a mattress.

Twin Bed Support: Slats or Something Else?

Since twin beds are thin, you might question whether you need slats or not. Slats are one way to give your mattress support, and it’s a popular way because of how simple, easy, and cheap they are.

Another option for support is buying a boxspring. However, these can add thickness that you might not want, especially on things like bunk beds—which commonly use twin beds. Boxsprings are also more expensive than buying slats, and they are the same size as the mattress, so they’re difficult to transport.

Sometimes bed frames include slats, so you don’t have to worry about buying anything additional. This can look like wooden panels that run horizontally up the bed frame. These are simple, and you can even make them yourself if one happens to break; all you have to do is place a piece of wood where the broken one goes!

Slats that come with a bed frame can also look like metal bars instead of wood, and they might be curved. This gives the bed room to sink a little bit while still providing the support your mattress (and your back) needs. These don’t really break like wooden slats can, so they’re a popular option for kids…jumping onto the bed tends to be a huge cause of broken slats.

Why Does My Twin Mattress Need Slats or Any Other Kind of Support?

A new mattress is amazing; it’s comfortable, breathable, and feels amazing no matter what kind of mattress you buy. It’s the same way with pillows. You’ll feel like your life is changed anytime you get new things for your bed.

However, your mattress will quickly lose some of that comfort. A nicer, more expensive mattress might take longer, but it will lose the comfort and stability that it had when you first got it. That’s where a bed support comes in, like slats.

Slats give support to your mattress so that your mattress can support you while you sleep. Without any support, your mattress will just sink as far as it can, which lengthens and pulls apart the materials inside your mattress. 

Imagine how much you sink into your bed. The only thing that stops you from hitting the floor is the support system—without it, you’re going as far down as possible, which can mean the floor if your bed frame is low. 

That’s why most bed frames will come with some kind of support, especially if the bed has side panels. A typical bed frame will have at least support along the perimeter of the space for the mattress, and some twin beds have a center bar, too.

However, you’ll definitely need more support than just along the perimeter. That kind of support doesn’t address any of the problems we discussed earlier; all it does is simply suspend the mattress in the air so that it looks good on the frame itself.

Can I Use a Boxspring and Slats Underneath My Twin Mattress?

Absolutely! The more support that your mattress has, the better. Box springs and slats work really well together, and it’s the perfect combo for most bed frames.

Box springs are good at working with bed frames that have support around the perimeter of the mattress and nowhere else. While it might look like a mattress, your box spring is actually alleviating the stress from the middle of the bed and moving it to being on the box spring. This lets your mattress get all the benefits of slats without actually needing to buy slats.

In fact, most box springs actually have slats on the inside! It’s just covered with fabric to make your bed more comfortable and to make sure that your bed doesn’t look too weird above the frame.

Keep in mind that boxsprings don’t work for all kinds of bed frames. If you’re using a bunk bed or if the bed frame is really high, a box spring might not fit. You can test out what a box spring would look like by measuring how much additional space it would take up on your bed. If the height is too tall, a bunkie board will be the next best option.  

Your bed frame might have slats built in! Make sure you check it before buying any additional slats. In most cases, additional slats won’t fit and you’ll just waste your money.

Should I Get Wooden or Metal Slats for my Twin Mattress?

If you’re shopping for slats, you’ll probably notice that you have two options: metal and wooden. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, and your bed frame might determine what kind of slats you get as well.

Wooden slats are most common, and you’ll find them in most beds. They’re thin, wide, and inexpensive, so they’re the perfect option for mattress support. However, they can snap pretty easily if you put your weight in the wrong spot.

If you’re looking for slats for a child’s twin bed, then wooden isn’t the best idea. Children tend to run and jump onto their beds, and that’s a sure way to end up with broken slats. If you do go this route, wooden slats can also be replaced for cheap.

On the other hand, metal slats won’t break or bend near as easily as wooden slats will. They’re much more durable, and they provide support that’s just as good as wooden slats. The only downside is that they can be more expensive to buy, and they’re also much more difficult to replace should anything go wrong. 

You’ll normally buy metal slats that are all welded together. This makes them easy to put onto your bed frame, but they’re going to cost you again should anything happen to them. While wooden slats break more often, they’re much easier to replace—and much cheaper, too.

Is One Slat Along the Center Enough Support for My Twin Mattress?

Some bed frames only come with one or two metal slats that run horizontally. This can actually be really comfortable; your mattress has room to sink a little bit without hitting anything, so you’ll sink into your mattress for a great night of sleep. This might sound great, but it isn’t ideal. If you’re looking for something temporary, then it is a viable option.

However, your bed will still break down quicker than it would if it had more support. The lower number of slats means that each slat is also going to take on more weight and stress—this can cause your slats to break quicker and easier.

If you want to keep your mattress in good condition, then one slat isn’t going to be enough. While it’s good for a temporary bed, it’s not going to last too long, and trying to replace a bed isn’t something fun to do…for you or for your wallet.


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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