Alternatives to Slats for Bed Frames

Bed slats, made of wood or metal, sometimes attach to the headboard and the footboard and actually create a frame for the bed. Bed slats have been around for a long time, but modern bed designs have expanded the types and styles of bed slats. Some people prefer more support than is provided by bed slats. Mattress warranties often require more solid support for the mattress than is provided by bed slats. Bed designs offer many alternatives to slats for use as bed frames.

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Bed frames, whether antique or modern, support the mattress and box spring.

Steel Bed Frame

The steel bed frame replaces the bed slats and can be attached to the headboard and footboard. The adjustable bed frame provides a square structure on which a box spring and a mattress sit. This type of bed frame isusually on wheels for easy moving. Some bed frames for larger beds have a metal slat through the middle and extra wheels for increased support. Bed skirts and dust ruffles are used to hide the metal bed frames. Bed frames can be placed inside the wood structure designed to hold the mattress and box spring on slats.

Platform Beds

Platform beds do away with the need for a box spring by providing sturdy support for the mattress. Platform beds vary in the length and type of the legs, how closely the bed sits to the floor, and whether the mattress sits inside the platform or on top of it. Platform beds may include drawers or other storage in the base. Water beds and captain's beds are styles of platform beds. Some platforms are made of wood or metal slats that support the bed. The added support provided by the platform bed makes it possible to use a less-expensive mattress.

Divans and Bedsteads

Divans and bedsteads are examples of bed frames that have been around for a long time and continue to be popular, either as antiques or as newly designed and manufactured products. Divans are described as upholstered boxes that use springs, slats or a flat surface for mattress support. Bedsteads were once high, ornate structures accessed by steps. Today's bedsteads are made of different materials, such as wood or metal, and may be fully upholstered, including the headboard and footboard. The bedstead serves as a frame for the mattress. Support is provided by rigid or flexible wood slats, wire mesh or a base made of bed springs.

Day Bed

The day bed, which was once called a rest bed, also has its origins in long-ago history. The day bed serves as a frame for the mattress. The key to day bed design is the equal height of the ends of the bed. The day bed usually has a spring or platform surface for the mattress. The open space beneath the day bed sometimes contains a trundle bed, an extra bed that is pulled out and raised for guests. Modern day bed designs may include drawers or other types of storage beneath the bed.