Many bed frames utilize bed slats instead of a traditional box spring. The use of slats can depend on the mattress frame, space requirements or simply personal preference. They are never used with a box spring; they replace it. The size of the bed slats, therefore, need to match the size of the bed frame so they can serve their purpose.
What Are Slats?
Beds slats are placed across the width of a bed frame to provide an adequate amount of support without the size and volume of a box spring. Slats composed of metal or wood are sometimes integrated into the bed frame itself, spaced anywhere from 1 inch to several inches apart, depending on the amount of support required.
A full-size mattress, which is larger than a twin and smaller than a quee, is ideal for a teenager who may be limited in room space but need a slightly larger bed. The full-size mattress measures 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. Slats resting across the width of the be must be exactly 54 inches wide and placed along the edges of the bed frame.
Number of Slats
Many manufacturers of slats will sell the sets according to mattress size. To purchase the correct slat sizes, simply match the slats with the size of your bed. Many slat sets are assembled on a few strings of ribbon that space the slats evenly apart for the user. All the slats are stapled to this ribbon to hold them together. The width between two slats can vary, based on the type of wood and amount of support provided by the slats.
If you have a metal bed frame with slats already installed, you don't need to purchase anything. Place the new mattress on top of the bed frame and you're ready to use the mattress. If you don't have a pre-assembled slat and bed frame combination, you'll need to purchase slats separately. Wood slats come in a variety of wood grains, with pine and birch the most common. Pine is cost-effective but not as flexible or elastic as birch, which can absorb more of an impact before cracking.