How To Make Bed Slats Stronger? (10 Best Methods)

Mostly, bed slats sag over time or even right out of the box. This occurs because most bed frame makers save a few dollars by skipping a few slats or thicker wood when designing their beds.

As a result, the mattress has poor support, making it unstable and causing noises from the bed frame, which buzzes and wobbles with every sudden movement.

Mattress support is most likely best provided by slatted platforms. As a result, it’s in your best interests to learn how to strengthen bed slats.

This essentially means that you’re making your bed more stable, supportive, and quieter. Here are a few ideas for making your bed frame almost as good as new.

Types Of Bed Platforms

Headboards and footboards

If you’ve ever started looking for a new bed frame, you’ve probably noticed that most of them are just simple rectangles with legs.

Headboards and footboards can usually be added to these basic styles. Those elements are usually expected in higher price groups. On the other hand, manufacturers frequently leave the decision of mattress platforms to the buyer.

They may only provide the inner rails that will support the platform. However, the type of support you require will be determined by the type of mattress you select. So, let’s talk about the most prevalent types of platforms for a moment.

Solid Platform

Solid platforms are typically simple MDF boards that fit inside the bed frame and provide firm mattress support. Solid platforms do not require the use of a box spring. There are other options for them if they still want to reach a certain height.

With a Center Beam, this is the most basic frame.

Your bed frame is probably not providing much support if you have a box spring under your mattress. 

On the other hand, a box spring works similarly to a solid platform or slats in that it distributes the weight of your mattress across a wider area. As a result, you won’t require much assistance from the platform.

A single supportive beam usually connects the midpoint of one edge of the bed to the other in these bed styles. 

This effectively supports the centerline of your box spring and keeps it from drooping. When it comes to larger beds, the manufacturers may include extra legs as well. 

Of course, many manufacturers add two more beams on either side of the central one to strengthen these types of bed frames. 

You’ll get slat if you go any further. After all, a bed frame must have at least five evenly spaced slats to be classified as having a slatted platform.

Solid or Sprung Slats 

The thickness of the planks will eventually determine the number of slats in a platform. Each slat should be separated by no more than three inches. 

However, the stronger the platform is, the closer the slats are to each other. If you’re starting from scratch with your slatted platform, you’ll want to keep that in mind.

Furthermore, you should think about how much assistance you require. These platforms, as previously stated, can be used with or without a box spring. As a result, you could use them to build a low-profile bed.

However, if you simply place a mattress on top of the slats, you might consider getting sprung slats rather than solid ones instead of getting sprung slats.

Sprung slats are angled to offer lighter support than solid slats, which are basic, flat planks, usually made of a mace of pine.

Unlike solid slats, which connect the bed to two longer sides, sprung slats are frequently connected to a central beam. Sprung slats may result in a ridge in the middle of the mattress as a result of this. 

Solid slats can also be used to connect the headboard and footboard in a lengthwise fashion. They must be supported from below by center beams in order to do so. 

Even so, it’s good to know that the option is available. But, with that in mind, let’s talk about how to make your bed slats stronger.

10 Ways To Make Bed Slats Stronger

short box spring

1- Cover Your Bed Slats With A Box Spring Or Plywood 

If your mattress is currently resting directly on the slats, you might want to consider bringing in a short box spring or even thick plywood.

Adding that extra special layer to the mix should help distribute the weight you put on the mattress evenly across the area.

It will also evenly redistribute pressure on the slats, reducing the likelihood of them bending or slipping.

Screw, or you can also nail the plywood to the bed frame and slats for added support. It must be at least three-quarters of an inch thick to withstand the impact.

This is the easiest technique, and it necessitates the use of a truck, utility trailer, or paying for the plywood to be delivered by a local hardware store.

ToolsMaterialCost
Saw3/4” plywood23
Drill25 3.5” screws*5
Tape measure 0
Pencil 0
Total $28.00
  1. Purchase a sheet of 0.75-inch plywood from your local hardware store.
  2. Remove the mattress and bedding.
  3. To determine the plywood size, measure the slats’ width and the frame’s length. You’ll need two sheets if you own a queen or king-size bed.
  4. If plywood is needed, it should be installed from left to right. This is preferable to the bed’s joint that runs from the head to the foot.
  5. Make the cut/s after measuring and marking the plywood.
  6. Place the plywood over the slats that already exist.
  7. Attach the plywood to the bed frame with screws or nails.
  8. The plywood should be screwed or nailed to the slats to strengthen the bed support structure.

2- Securing The Frame And Slats Of The Bed

Because we’re already talking about screws and nails, it’s probably a good idea to consider how the slats will be attached to the bed.

It should be sufficient to drill two screws through both ends of each slat. Of course, even if there are no metal parts protruding from the slats, they can be harmful to your mattress. 

You might want to countersink those nails/screws into the wood, keeping this in mind.

You can simply glue the slats to the inner sides of the bed frame’s support rails from another angle. This should prevent sagging by preventing the slats from shifting. 

However, if this is a serious problem, you may need to include some form of central support.

3- Using Slat Spacers To Add More Support

Installing spacers between each plank is another way to strengthen bed slats. Spacers are an excellent option when the slats are not permanently attached to the bed.

You can shuffle your slats around or add more to strengthen the support system if there are gaps between them.

OPTION 1: Using Only The Existing Slats.

  1. Remove the slats one by one, starting at the head of the bed and ending at the foot.
  2. The thickness and width should be the same as the dimensions of the slat.
  3. The length is determined by the amount of space required between the slats.
  4. Starting at the foot end, reinstall the slats, leaving a two or 3-inch gap for the first one-third of the bed’s length (about 24 to 26 inches).
  5. Install the remaining slats as closely as possible. Our torsos are responsible for the majority of our weight.
  6. Install the remaining slats with a gap large enough to accommodate all of the slats.
  7. Larger gaps near the head of the bed, up to 3 inches, are acceptable because our heads and necks are not as heavy as our torsos.
  8. Continue to add spacers until you’re happy with the appearance and strength.
  9. Apply the wood glue to the bottom of each specific spacer and push it back into place to add extra toughness and protect slats from sliding. Clamps can also be used to hold the parts together.
  10. You can screw the parts in place for additional safety on a similar note. The spacers and slats will never slip or slide out of place once you’ve finished installing them.

OPTION 2: Same As Above Except:

  1. Purchase 1x3x8′ lumber or any other lumber that matches the slats you already have.
  2. Reinstall with no gaps, and fill in any gaps with new lumber.

4- Replace Slats With Stronger Wood

  1. Here we have to replace the cheap wood that came installed on your bed.
  2. Remove the mattress, bedding, and slats.
  3. To figure out how much wood you’ll need, measure the length of the slats and count them.
  4. If you don’t want to raise the bed’s height, you can use hardwood instead of softwood lumber from your local hardware store.
  5. Contact local lumber yards and wood suppliers to find hardwood and inquire about their options and prices. They can also cut the wood to the desired length and width for a fee.
  6. 2-inch lumber is the most cost-effective and easiest-to-work-with wood.
  7. Use screws or nails to secure the lumber to the bed frame, making sure there are no gaps between the slats.

5- Slats For The Bed Frame Should Be Increased

Please remember that the greater the number of slats on your mattress platform, the more steady it will be. Decrease the gaps between the slats to provide more support, particularly if your mattress is directly on top of the slats.

You may need to do some math now to figure out how many slats you’ll need to install. First, determine the type of wood your slats are made of by measuring them.

This will make it easier to find planks that match. If you want to keep the spacing even, you should also take the interior measurements of your bed frame.

After you’ve calculated the exact value, you can figure out how much space there is between the two.

To start, multiply the number of bed slats required by the thickness of the slats. Subtract that proportion from the rail’s length and divide it by the cumulative count of bed slats while adding two (the spaces between your first and last slats).

If you want your spacing to be consistent, this will give you the exact or factual width of the gaps you’ll need.

Once you’ve decided on a slat gap width and have it in mind, you can work backward to figure out how many slats you’ll need to add to the platform.

For example, if you’re working with a 78-inch-long rail, you might want an inch of space between your 3-inch-wide slats.

  • The strength and number of slats are directly proportional. An increase in slats’ number will cause an increase in the overall strength of slats.
  • An Increasing number of slats will also provide stability to the mattress.
  • Identify the wood type used in the bed and make more slats accordingly.

6- Add Reinforcement To The Supportive Center Beam

You should be able to tell if any of the slats have started to sag at this point. You’ve already solved the problem by distributing the weight across the boards. If you can’t fit any more slats into the inner rails, add center support to help the ones you have.

A four-inch-wide sturdy plank and at least three support legs are all you’ll need. Attach two legs to each end of the plank and one in the middle. 

Move the end legs to the right and the middle leg to the right if you want your makeshift beam to be stronger.

Stretch the legs to reach the height of your bed slats once you’ve ended with the beam.

A lumber wood beam is installed from the head to the foot of the frame in this solution. It runs vertically up the middle of the slats, with support posts made from the cut-off wood from the beam. 

Gather all of the supplies and products needed to construct the bed’s support beam.

ToolsMaterialCost
Saw2x4x810′5
Drill25 3.5” screws*5
Tape measure 0
Pencil 0
Total $10.00
  1. Remove the mattress and bedding.
  2. Lean the bed frame against a wall by turning it on its side.
  3. To figure out how long the wood beam is, measure the distance from the head to the foot against the slats. The measurement should be around 77″ for twin and full bed frames, while queen and king bed frames should be around 82″.
  4. Take a measurement from the bottom of the slats to the bottom of the bed frame’s foot.
  5. This measurement should be between 8 and 10 inches in length. The length of the beam posts is calculated by subtracting 1.5 inches from this measurement.
  6. Measure 24 and make a pencil mark. To make a straight mark, use a square or a book.
  7. Remove the beam as well as two posts.
  8. Put a mark with an X 12 inches in from each end of the beam on the sides closest to the end of the beam.
  9. On the X side of the marks, nail or screw the two posts to one side of the beam. For each post, use at least three screws or nails. The posts are at a 90-degree angle to the beam and flush with it.
  10. Bring the beams and posts into the room. Place it in the general region where the floor will be installed.
  11. Place the bed frame on top of the beam.
  12. Measure the center of the slats near the frame’s head and foot.
  13. Place the beam with the help of a helper so that the center of the beam is on the two center lines.
  14. If feasible, screw or nail the beam into place through the bed frame and each of the wood slats.

Tips:

One screw or nail through each slat is sufficient, resulting in a mattress with very strong and sturdy slat support. 

Make sure the nails or screws in the slats are countersunk to avoid damaging the mattress.

If you don’t have a saw at home, have the hardware store staff cut your lumber or plywood cut to size. It’s also convenient to carry and keep the wood dust at the store rather than at your home.

To minimize the volume of wood dust in the bedroom and throughout the house, cut lumber and plywood out beyond or in the garage. Dust can be drawn into ventilation ducts and pushed beneath the bedroom door.

7- Using Thicker Wooden Slats

If your bed’s slats are bent beyond fix, you should probably replace them. At this point, the readings you took earlier should prove to be very helpful. But how can you be sure the new slats will not disappoint?

The very first thing you should consider is the material they’re made of.

Your current bed frame’s wooden slats are most likely made of pine wood. Because of its texture, yellow pine is a strong and durable slat material that will not break under stress.

You may need to take into account multiple possibilities based on how much load you’re putting on your bed. For example, some people prefer beech, birch, or oak planks.

Furthermore, the type of wood used to make your slats has no bearing on their durability. You should also consider their measurements. Thicker slats, as you might expect, last longer than narrower slats.

Similarly, the width of the planks has a serious influence on their stability. Narrow boards, in general, are more likely to slip from the rails. Take all of this into account when purchasing new slats. 

  • The overall strength of bed slats is increased by using high-quality, strong woods (2″ thick wood).
  • To better understand the type of wood required, consult a wood expert.
  • The higher the support, the more weight it can bear.

8- Switch To Metal Slats

Metal slats can give a box spring mattress a very strong and stable foundation. This is not a cost-effective option for platform beds without a box spring. 

This is because a mattress cannot be installed on a platform with gaps greater than 3 inches, which is a stretch for foam mattresses.

This would necessitate a large amount of metal, which is costly. However, if you have a box spring, there are likely fewer slats, so that it may be a viable option.

You can get square metal tubes at your local hardware store. If you go to a machine shop, they will cut the metal to your desired length.

You’ll need a grinder and a circular saw with a metal blade or a hacksaw and a lot of sweat and tenacity if these services aren’t available at your local hardware shop.

9- Go For A Thicker Mattress 

A thicker mattress with more layers does not sink as easily as a thinner mattress with fewer layers, putting pressure on the bed slats. Instead, the firmness of the mattress redistributes body weight across all of the bed slats. 

When compared to thin mattresses, this allows them to carry the weight of the sleeper in a nearly equal manner.

Mattresses with a thickness of 10 inches or more are usually ideal for added comfort and support. 

A mattress with a density of 12 to 14 inches would likely provide enough cushioning if you sleep on your side.

Plus-size sleepers should look for mattresses with a comfort layer of at least 6 inches thick (weighing 200 pounds or more).

These thick mattresses redistribute stress and help ease some of your load from the bed frame, even if the slats are weak.

10- To Minimize Slat Movement, Improve Fastening.

Adding two 2-inch screws to each end of all slats is a simple and almost free remedy you might want to try. When weight is added to the bed at night, the slats are less likely to sag in the center.

Make sure the screws are countersunk into the wood, so they don’t catch on the mattress and cause harm.

  • It’s a simple, easy, and cost-effective application method that requires a 2-inch screw winded at each end of the slats.
  • It provides strength and reduces the sag in the center when a heavyweight is on the bed.
  • Be careful while adding a screw to avoid mattress damage.

Conclusion

As you may have discovered, most of these processes are designed to keep slats from moving around.

Furthermore, preventing them from bending will make the bed frame much more durable. There are several approaches to this project to consider with that in mind.

On the one hand, you can directly attach them to the bed frame by nailing, screwing, or gluing the slats to the inner rails. 

You can also use slat spacers to prevent slats from slipping off the rails. The planks will still sag as a result of this. You’ll need to construct a center support beam for the slats to do so.

These tips, tricks, and gadgets should prove useful to you. Choose the method that is most suitable for your bed slats.

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