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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 02 Mar 2021 11:25 #1

Hello,
I've been using a queen Beautyrest innerspring mattress on a platform bed with thin 1/4 inch thick/2 1/4 inch wide sprung slats spaced 2.5 inches apart. I've noticed in the past year that the mattress is beginning to sag, or at least feel less supportive where it counts. I've recently taken pictures of myself lying on the bed which confirm that the slats bend downward below the horizontal plane of the bed in places (under hips and shoulders) when I lay on it. I'm a side sleeper and I weigh about 190 lbs. I was told by a mattress salesperson that the 2.5 inch spacing should be fine for support despite the fact that Beautyrest's warranty specifies using slats with no more that 2 inches of spacing.
To up the support, I've been looking into buying a set of slats made of thicker wood with 2 inch spacing. I reached out to a seller on Etsy who would make them to that spec, but the catch is that they would be using 1 x4s. My concern is that with boards that are almost 4 inches wide, spaced only 2 inches apart, that this wouldn't provide enough ventilation since the surface would be more wood than open space. (Also, I'm trying to avoid a boxspring or Bunkie board to minimize dust mites (allergies) and maximize ventilation.

One other thing to note is that I'm trying to buy slats that come as a set attached by ribbon rather than individual boards because I'll need to attach them to a metal bed frame (and hoping to be able to only have to fasten the first and last slat to make it work)

Thanks in advance for any pro-tips on how to increase the support of the slat system while maintaining ventilation!

-zzzcatcher

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Last edit: by zzzcatcher.

Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 05 Mar 2021 08:49 #2

Hey zzzcatcher,

Welcome to the Mattress Underground :) ! Thanks for your question.

I've been using a queen Beautyrest innerspring mattress on a platform bed with thin 1/4 inch thick/2 1/4 inch wide sprung slats spaced 2.5 inches apart. I've noticed in the past year that the mattress is beginning to sag, or at least feel less supportive where it counts. I've recently taken pictures of myself lying on the bed which confirm that the slats bend downward below the horizontal plane of the bed in places (under hips and shoulders) when I lay on it. I'm a side sleeper and I weigh about 190 lbs. I was told by a mattress salesperson that the 2.5 inch spacing should be fine for support despite the fact that Beautyrest's warranty specifies using slats with no more that 2 inches of spacing.


For those following your post who may not be familiar with "sprung" slats, these are a different type slatted foundation made of a more flexible wood, providing a springy feel to the bed and also reacting to a body's weight by "bending downward" when you are sitting or lying on the mattress and returning to their normal flat state when you leave the mattress. People who like a softer feel of mattress sometimes prefer sprung slats as a slatted support base option. A 2.5" sprung slatted spacing may be adequate for your queen Beautyrest innerspring; however generally speaking, 3" spacing is considered industry standard for most mattresses.

To up the support, I've been looking into buying a set of slats made of thicker wood with 2 inch spacing. I reached out to a seller on Etsy who would make them to that spec, but the catch is that they would be using 1 x4s. My concern is that with boards that are almost 4 inches wide, spaced only 2 inches apart, that this wouldn't provide enough ventilation since the surface would be more wood than open space. (Also, I'm trying to avoid a boxspring or Bunkie board to minimize dust mites (allergies) and maximize ventilation.


I see from your similar post to MFC's forum that @Mario gave excellent response in post #2 , (and thanks Mario for your support!), so hopefully his base recommendations and diagram will help your Etsy seller better understand your needs.

One other thing to note is that I'm trying to buy slats that come as a set attached by ribbon rather than individual boards because I'll need to attach them to a metal bed frame (and hoping to be able to only have to fasten the first and last slat to make it work) Thanks in advance for any pro-tips on how to increase the support of the slat system while maintaining ventilation!


You may want to check with trusted member U.S. Box Spring, they have a cool product demo utilizing the ribbon attachment technology you describe, you can view it here . They may be able to help you with your needs and you are welcome to reach out to them with your questions here on the forum. Let us know how things go and if we may help you connect with U.S. Box Spring ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 10 Mar 2021 10:27 #3

Thanks, Sensei. I've ordered the custom spec slats from the Etsy seller and waiting for them to come in. Re: "2.5 in spacing is probably adequate" for my Beautyrest innerspring, do you think the Beautyrest warranty states 2" spacing just to make it difficult for you to file a claim if your mattress sags, and is not structurally necessary?

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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 14 Mar 2021 10:16 #4

Hey zzzcatcher,

Thanks for your reply :) .

Thanks, Sensei. I've ordered the custom spec slats from the Etsy seller and waiting for them to come in. Re: "2.5 in spacing is probably adequate" for my Beautyrest innerspring, do you think the Beautyrest warranty states 2" spacing just to make it difficult for you to file a claim if your mattress sags, and is not structurally necessary?


How old is your queen Beautyrest mattress? Who did you purchase it from? There is a warranty code on the consumer law label that indicates the limited warranty coverage period. From the Beautyrest site/ Warranty Information page, there are two warranties: one for products made before March 1, 2015 and one for products made after March 1, 2015. For the second warranty/ products made after March 1, 2015 , there are specific examples with images of bed frames that are acceptable for use. They state:

"Use a new Beautyrest® or Simmons® foundation or a supportive, rigid, non-yielding foundation. If used with a foundation, use a frame that provides rigid center support, as well as support for the head, foot, and sides. For any queen or king frame that does not have a metal center support, you must use at lease 5 hardwood or metal slats (1" x 4") and add legs to the 3 center slats. By not providing a sufficient supportive frame, damage can occur to the product that will void your warranty.

If used without a foundation (e.g. with a platform bed), add a solid platform on top of any open slatted mattress support system in which the spaces between the slats are greater than 2 inches (5 centimeters). Hardboard, plywood, particle board or a similar material, inserted between the mattress and the slatted platform, supporting the entire surface of the mattress will provide appropriate support. Use of an open slatted mattress support system in which the spaces between the slats are greater than 2 inches (5 centimeters), without the addition of a solid platform, will damage your mattress and void your warranty."


Did you purchase your sprung slatted platform bed for use with the Beautyrest mattress? Hopefully, the custom spec slats from Etsy will add some support to the platform bed, and as Beautyrest mentions specifically the use of 1" x 4" hardwood or metal slats (at least 5), you will be following their guidance as long as you add legs to the center 3 slats. Replacing the sprung/ flexible slats with firmer, wider wood slats will hopefully remove the sag you've started experiencing from your mattress. Good luck with your platform bed updates and let us know how things go… ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 15 Mar 2021 15:40 #5

I've got a Beautyrest St. Caroline Luxury Firm innerspring mattress which I purchased in 2016 from Sears. I'm assuming it was manufactured after 2015. The bed with the sprung slats was purchased for a previous mattress, not specifically for the St. Caroline. When I asked the sales rep at the store if the 2.5 inch spaces between my bed slats would matter, they said it wouldn't make a difference and that I should be fine. I'm thinking it's the fact that the sprung slats are thin and very flexible/yielding that is what was causing the sag more than the distance between slats.

That said, I've installed the new 1x4 slats (I MacGuyvered them to the metal bed rails by taping down the first and last slat using Scotch heavy duty indoor/outdoor velcro-like tape) and the bed feels noticeably firmer after sleeping on it a few nights. As far as ventilation, we're just barely coming out of winter so it's too soon to tell if the small gaps will make the mattress sleep noticeably hotter or cause any other issues, but so far, so good : )

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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 17 Mar 2021 09:24 #6

Hey zzzcatcher,

Thanks for your reply :) .

I've got a Beautyrest St. Caroline Luxury Firm innerspring mattress which I purchased in 2016 from Sears. I'm assuming it was manufactured after 2015. The bed with the sprung slats was purchased for a previous mattress, not specifically for the St. Caroline. When I asked the sales rep at the store if the 2.5 inch spaces between my bed slats would matter, they said it wouldn't make a difference and that I should be fine. I'm thinking it's the fact that the sprung slats are thin and very flexible/yielding that is what was causing the sag more than the distance between slats.


It is most likely that the sprung slats tendency to "give" when reacting to weight across the mattress is the culprit of the less supportive feeling that your Beautyrest St. Caroline has been experiencing, rather than the distance of the slats themselves. A firm innerspring mattress needs even, firm support across the base of the mattress, as well as center support and legs for sizes Queen and larger.

That said, I've installed the new 1x4 slats (I MacGuyvered them to the metal bed rails by taping down the first and last slat using Scotch heavy duty indoor/outdoor velcro-like tape) and the bed feels noticeably firmer after sleeping on it a few nights. As far as ventilation, we're just barely coming out of winter so it's too soon to tell if the small gaps will make the mattress sleep noticeably hotter or cause any other issues, but so far, so good : )


Congrats on your new 1x4 slats "MacGuyvered" DIY foundation, zzz; well done :) ! Great to hear that you're already experiencing positive results so far and crossing my fingers that continues for you. Hopefully, the new slat spacing won't result in any noticeable ventilation issues and keep in mind of other changes in your sleep environment that may indirectly contribute to increasing heat's feel, such as humidity, type pillows, linens, mattress protector, etc. used. Looking forward to hearing future updates as your Beautyrest and your new foundation adjust to one another.

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 17 Mar 2021 10:48 #7

Thanks, Sensei. Will keep you posted : )

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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 22 Oct 2021 11:46 #8

Just a quick update and question...So my new slats seem to be holding up fine, but I've still been waking up with lower back pain, same as before I switched the slats. I'm thinking that maybe my mattress was already worn out from the previous set of overly thin sprung slats, even though the mattress is only 5 1/2 yrs old. It's a Beautyrest St. Caroline Luxury Firm innerspring mattress which I purchased in 2016 from Sears...

...long story, short, I'm trying to justify purchasing a new mattress, and would like your feedback on that point as well as advise on what the current equivalent of a St. Caroline Luxury Firm would be, as I'd be looking for a medium firm mattress, good for side-sleeping, that's about 13 - 14" tall.

Thanks,
Z

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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 23 Oct 2021 11:53 #9

Hey Z,

Good to see you back at TMU :) ! Thanks for your update and for your question.

So my new slats seem to be holding up fine, but I've still been waking up with lower back pain, same as before I switched the slats. I'm thinking that maybe my mattress was already worn out from the previous set of overly thin sprung slats, even though the mattress is only 5 1/2 yrs old. It's a Beautyrest St. Caroline Luxury Firm innerspring mattress which I purchased in 2016 from Sears...


I am sorry to hear that your foundation upgrade did little to resolve your lower back pain, Z. It could be that your previous sprung slat foundation was not the optimal match for your Beautyrest. In any case, if you are still experiencing pain with your mattress, then it is likely time to move on…

...long story, short, I'm trying to justify purchasing a new mattress, and would like your feedback on that point as well as advise on what the current equivalent of a St. Caroline Luxury Firm would be, as I'd be looking for a medium firm mattress, good for side-sleeping, that's about 13 - 14" tall.


Do you have a budget in mind for your next mattress? Are you considering any other types of mattress besides a St. Caroline Luxury Firm "equivalent"? It's always a challenge understanding what's under the hood of a Beautyrest mattress, from a product spec standpoint. I did some searching and pieced together that your St. Caroline Luxury Firm model is described as a tight top no-flip mattress, featuring foam and gel foam comfort materials over pocketed coils, in 13.5" thickness with a Medium comfort firmness. If you're set on approximating this particular model, you may want to check with your local showrooms and see what they have to offer by Simmons in this category: a pocketed coil hybrid mattress using gel foam as comfort material. Let us know what you find and hope your shopping goes well ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Proper Bed Slat spacing for support and ventilation 23 Oct 2021 12:18 #10

Thanks for your reply, Sensei. I’m trying to keep the budget at $1000 or below.

I really liked the medium firm feel of the St Caroline when it was new. It’s not a true hybrid, but has a thin layer of memory foam in one of the top layers. I really like the feel of memory foam, but I’m not a fan of the odor it gives off; therefore reluctant to go the hybrid or pure memory foam direction, unless you could recommend one where the odor might not be an issue?

Thanks,
Z

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