How to Replace Box Spring With Slats

Mattresses require additional support for maximum comfort. Two popular methods for supporting a mattress are with a box spring or with slats. Slats provide the same function as a box spring but are often much cheaper and allow your mattress to be closer to the ground, which makes it easier to get on and off your bed. Box-spring beds can use the same frame as slat beds, which makes converting to slats much easier.

Slats are wooden planks that support your mattress like a box spring does.

Step 1

Strip the bed and remove your mattress. Remove the box spring. Then clear a workspace in which you can move around freely. If you did not use a bed frame for your box spring, install one now.

Step 2

Measure your bed frame and write down the inside length and width. (The width of your bed frame will determine the length of your slats.) The slats need to fit snugly, so they should be no more than 1/4 inch shorter than the width of the bed frame.

Step 3

Calculate the number of slats you need based on the length of your bed frame. Bed slats are usually 2-by-4s. Divide the length of your bed frame by 4 inches to get the number of slats that would fill the space — then, since they should be spaced approximately 4 inches apart, divide that number by 2 to account for empty space. The result is the number of slats you will need, which is approximately 10 to 14.

Step 4

Install the slats into the bed frame. Place one slat each at the head and foot and then place them approximately 3 to 5 inches apart for the entire length of the frame. You can secure the slats by hot gluing them to the bed frame, although this is not required. However, it will prevent them from moving around inadvertently when you rotate your mattress.

Step 5

Place your mattress on the slats. You should lie on the mattress to make sure that the slats are spaced comfortably enough for your liking. If you are satisfied with the placement of the slats, redress your mattress and make the bed.