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Slatted bed base vs. box spring for your mattress: which one to choose?

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You recently bought a new mattress, but still have back pain when you wake up? Did you know that your bed foundation could be the cause? Very important to choose, the bed base is responsible for 30% of the support you need while you sleep.

There are two types of bed bases: the exposed slatted bed base and the box spring, which is usually made with metal coils but can also be slatted. What is the difference? Polysleep, your sleep specialist, tells you everything below!

Why is the choice of a bed base important?

 

As a piece of bedding, the bed base is placed under the mattress. It acts as a support system for you when you sleep, but also for the mattress.

In terms of usefulness, the bed foundation fulfills several roles. First of all, it ensures your support while maintaining your comfort over time, like a cushioning system. In fact, it absorbs about 1/3 of the pressure you exert on the mattress when you are lying down. It complements your mattress in the support it provides night after night. 

In addition, the bed base will maximize the life of your mattress. Indeed, it allows for optimal ventilation of the mattress. Moisture, the main cause of mattress deterioration, will not accumulate in the mattress. Knowing that it is also the perfect breeding ground for dust mites and moulds to proliferate, your bed base will save you many attacks if you suffer from allergies!

Finally, since a bed base adequately supports your mattress while keeping it dry, your mattress will return to its initial shape more easily over time, thus ensuring better long-term comfort.

Exposed slats bed base

 

Close-up of one end of a slats bed base

What is a conventional slatted bed base?

It is simply a classic bed foundation to which manufacturers attach slats made of wood. The slats can be either fixed or sprung.

There are two types.

  1. The classic exposed slats bed base: It consists of a wooden box that supports the slats, the material of which can be seen with the naked eye. It can usually be fitted with legs to raise it. 

  2. The wooden slat bed frame: Here, no box, just a frame. The slats, which are always visible, are mounted directly on top of it, and it will have to be embedded in a suitable bed base.

 

Their advantages

Exposed wooden slats have numerous advantages:

  • Unparalleled flexibility

  • Support remains firm

  • Excellent sleeping comfort (especially in the case of sprung slats):

These provide point-by-point support that adapts throughout the night to your sleeping posture.

 

  • Possibility of adjusting the level of firmness with a slider, depending on the model:

These adjustments can be made individually for each slat, providing personalized support, for example at the pelvic or shoulder area.

  • Can be adapted to any type of mattress. Combined with an antimicrobial hybrid foam mattress, the results will be optimal.

  • Offer maximum ventilation:

This prolongs the life of your mattress and is ideal if you suffer from allergies. Moisture does not have time to settle, so dust mites and bacteria will not be able to develop.

 

  • Easy maintenance:

A simple sponge or a cloth will allow you to dislodge dirt and dust.

 

  • Simple to repair:

If a slat breaks, you will normally only have to buy a new one separately. Perfect to avoid waste! 

 

Disadvantages

However, exposed slat bed bases are not perfect!

Indeed:

  • The quality of the bed base will depend on the type of wood used for its components. 

  • There are many slatted bases on the market with wood of questionable quality. 

  • At the same time, some models can be expensive!

Box spring

 

Internal view of a box spring

What is a box spring bed?

Easy: it's a sturdy wooden frame covered with a piece of fabric and containing springs. The springs are encased in the box spring cover, which separates them from the mattress. 

The different types of box springs

Three types of box springs can be listed according to the type of construction to support the mattress.

  • Those with biconical springs: they feature hourglass-shaped coils (wider at the ends, but narrower in the center).

  • The so-called continuous wire coils: these have multi-coil springs and are traversed from side to side by a metal bar. They are currently considered almost obsolete.

  • Those with pocketed springs: the most common box springs, they have springs encapsulated in pouches, making them independent.



Positive aspects

They are multiple:

  • Those with biconical springs offer an incomparable softness that will add to the softness of your mattress. 

  • Those with pocket springs offer an advanced sleeping independence and a more uniform support for the back.

  • In general, they are more durable

  • They are easy to maintain, just vacuum once or twice a month and that's it!

  • The support elements being separated from the mattress by the fabric, they reduce the risk of snagging between them and the mattress. 

  • They are very resistant to humidity

Negative aspects

For all that, the disadvantages of box springs are not to be neglected:

  • They can deform when they wear out and cause premature sagging of the mattress where you sleep if you don’t change the direction of the mattress every two weeks.

  • The support provided by the springs can diminish over time:

  • You will no longer be supported properly!

  • If this happens, back problems may occur.

  • Those with multi-coil springs:

    • Have a shorter lifespan.

    • Don't offer any independence of bedding.

  • More generally, box springs are not easily repairable, and will have to be worked on by specialists.

  • The combination of mattress and box spring offers less ventilation for your mattress:

    • As a result, moisture will accumulate more easily.

    • This can result in the appearance of dust mites and bacteria that can cause potential allergic attacks.

Slatted box spring

 

Polysleep's slatted box spring: It is light, durable and adapts to any decor

What is a slatted box spring?

The basic principle is the same: it is always a frame that is covered with fabric, but in which you will find slats instead of springs! The slats are therefore here under the ticking, which can be padded or not.

Advantages

The traditional box springs with slats combine almost all the advantages of the box spring and the exposed slat bed base: 

  • They are light and therefore easy to handle.

  • They are usually easy to assemble and disassemble. Convenient if you have to move!

  • Their maintenance is simple and is the same as for a box spring (vacuum cleaner from time to time!).

  • Design and modern, they don't need a bed structure to look nice in the bedroom. 

  • Optimal ventilation if the fabric is breathable.

Disadvantage

Being covered with fabric, moisture could accumulate more easily if the box spring cover used is not suitable. Bacteria and dust mites will be able to develop and thus reduce the lifespan of your mattress.

This is why the Polysleep slatted box spring is developed to ensure optimal air circulation. The interior non-woven and exterior woven upholstery:

  • Allow for maximum ventilation

  • Decrease the accumulation of dust and bacteria

  • Prevent your mattress from slipping

What is more, The Polysleep Foundation can be assembled in 10 minutes tops and uses high quality materials such as solid pine and spruce, known for their strength and durability.

Conclusion: opt for a box spring with slats to get the best of both worlds!

Thus, slats bed base, just like box springs, offer many advantages, but also many disadvantages specific to each of them.

For all that, there are bed bases that eliminate the majority of these negative points: slatted box springs! Indeed, they are very light and easy to assemble/disassemble/move. However, make sure that the box spring cover used allows for optimal air circulation to limit the accumulation of humidity and dust.

So by choosing the right slatted box spring and mattress, the latter will last longer, and you will finally be able to enjoy a good night's sleep.

To find out more about our Polysleep bed foundation and order it, go to Polysleep.ca

Learn more about our Polysleep mattress Foundation

 


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