Wood Slats On A Metal Bed Frame? Read This First

Wood Slats On A Metal Bed Frame

Getting a good night’s sleep is important to your health, and the state of your bed frame can certainly contribute to your lack of it. Metal bed frames alone cannot hold themselves up well, so you might have been thinking about adding wood slats to give your mattress some extra support. However, you may not know if it is even possible to do so, and if so, how you can do it.

You can add wood slats to your metal bed frame, but it will require some handiwork and the use of heavy duty tools for proper fastening. The wood slats can be placed either vertically or horizontally depending on the size of your bed, but should always have a two to four inch gap between each one. 

Whether you are having a bad night of sleep without good support for your mattress or just need to replace your old wood slats but are at a loss on how to do it, keep reading to learn the best ways to add them to your metal bed frame. 

How Do I Add Slats to My Bed Frame?

Adding wood slats to your metal bed frame isn’t too complicated. Depending on the route you’re going for, it requires some preparation work. But, It’s worth it to get a better night of sleep. Let’s take a look at some steps below on how you can do it.

Preparing the Materials

Preparing your materials is the first step to adding wood slats to your metal bed frame.

Before you can add slats to your bed frame, you must choose which type of wood slats you want to use and what direction to add them in. These choices will be about your desired mattress firmness. 

Sprung wood slats are the best option and will provide your mattress with the best support. We’ll talk more about the other kinds of wood slats later on in the article. As for the direction of your bed slats, placing your bed slats horizontally is better for bigger mattresses as it allows them to contort to your body shape better, but vertical placement is fine for smaller ones.

Once you’ve chosen, you can move on to preparing your materials if need be. If you choose to cut the wood yourself, you will need to measure your metal bed frame to determine how long each slat should be. You can do this by removing your mattress from the bed frame and measuring the distance between the sides of the bed frame, or horizontally.

After you’ve measured, you can cut the wood to size using a crosscut saw, or a table saw if you’re more advanced. Once that is complete, you are ready to add the wood slats to your metal bed frame. If you don’t want to do all of the work, you can simply purchase pre-cut wood slats.

Adding Wood Slats to a Metal Bed Frame

You can add wood slats to a metal bed frame using these five simple steps:

  • Step 1: Remove your mattress from the bed frame along with any existing bed slats.
  • Step 2: Measure the width of each wood slat.
  • Step 3: Measure the length of the bed frame and use the measurement of the wood slats to determine how many need to be used.
  • Step 4: Insert the wood slats between the bed frame, leaving a one to two inch gap between each one. Screw them in place using screws and a heavy duty drill to properly secure them.
  • Step 5: Place the mattress back into the bed frame.

Now that you know how to install wood slats into a metal bed frame, let’s dive deeper into the different types of wood slats and how they can support your mattress so you can determine which kind is good for you. 

Types of Wood Slats

Whether you are purchasing pre-cut wood slats to add to your metal bed frame or dedicating the time to design your own, you will need to determine what type of wood to use that will best fit your needs.

The chart below can explain the different types of wood slats:

Solid Wood SlatsSprung Wood Slats
Made from sturdy wood, often pineMade from flexible wood, often beech
Offer more support for your mattressOffer more comfort when in bed
Firm mattress is recommendedMedium-feel mattress is recommended

When going out to buy new slats be sure to check the type of firmness for your mattress. This knowledge can increase the lifespan of your mattress, because pairing it with the wrong slat will cause the mattress stress. 

Last thing, you will need to check with your bed frame manufacturer on the warranty before moving forward. This is important because for certain bed frames the warranty will be voided when changes are made.

If I Have Bed Slats, Should I Be Using a Box Frame?

The most important obstacle to overcome when adding support for your mattress is making sure you have the right foundation. This is a subjective matter and depends on the sleeper’s comfortability. Do you prefer a firm mattress? If so, then a box spring is an option. Upon further research, it shows using sprung wood slats would be the better option. 

A box frame will not be necessary if you have bed slats. Using a box frame can be helpful in addition to slats, but is not necessary. The cons of box springs and how much easier it is to add slats to your bed frame are the reason why sprung wood slats are the better choice.

The Benefits of Using Wood Slats

These are the benefits of using wood slats to support your mattress:

  • Wood slats are cheaper than the box springs on the market today. To acquire the material is simpler and faster as opposed to a box spring.
  • Slats offer more support. Slats can be evenly distributed between your bed frame. This will increase the lifespan of the mattress.
  • The flow of air for the mattress will increase because of the open space underneath. No longer will a box spring be blocking the circulation of airflow.

Now that you know the benefits, let’s look at the reasons why box springs are not a good choice.

The Downsides of Using a Box Spring

  • There is no support. Box springs are nice for height, but the support to the mattress is poor and can lead to sagging. 
  • Box springs are not easy to move. If you ever want to redecorate your room, moving your box spring will be hard.
  • Box springs are too heavy and can cause damage. Because box springs are heavy and hard to move, you could get hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing.

For those who will be designing their own wood bed slats, it is much better to stay away from box springs. It will not be useful for the support or your mattress and the comfort of a good night of sleep.

The Way For A Better Night of Sleep

It is natural to search for the best night of sleep. It is no secret that, with more support and a great mattress, you can achieve it. This starts with how we support our mattress in the bed frames we choose. 

Metal bed frames are one of the best options on the market when it comes to mattress support. They are affordable and can be easily transported, however, it does not always come with the support desired. This is where adding solid wood or sprung wood slats will be beneficial.


Bed Slats vs Box Spring: Which Should You Use?



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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