Wednesday 10 July 2024

A Buying Guide All about Bed Bases

 **Collaborative Post**

Bed bases come in solid, slatted, sprung slatted, box springs, and adjustable varieties, each with quirks that might sway you to one or the other. While any bed base will provide a sound platform for your mattress, there are differences in how solid and slatted bases make your mattress feel.

Adjustable bases are very different – they let you change the height and pitch to enhance mobility (perfect for older people).

We provide more colour on all these bed bases below.

Adjustable Bed Bases

Let’s start with the obvious one – adjustable bases.

These have an electric motor and mechanical lifting arms that raise a slatted platform into various positions via a remote control.

Single adjustable bases are fantastic for people who struggle with mobility, and couples aren’t forgotten about either, thanks to twin adjustable beds like the Sleepeezee In Motion Memory Twin.

Pictured: Sleepeezee in Motion Memory Twin Adjustable Bed

Solid Bed Bases

Solid bases are primarily found in divan bases and derivatives like ottoman beds.

They provide the most solid mattress foundation with optimal support for heavy hybrid mattresses. Ventilation holes are critical to ensure airflow underneath; otherwise, the platform can develop mould from moisture.

Because they have zero ‘give’, solid bed bases can make thinner mattresses feel firmer than their rating suggests. Any mattress under 24 cm thick is susceptible.

Slatted bed bases

Slatted bases relieve pressure on the mattress contact points between the slats, helping reduce that firm feel that can happen with thinner mattresses.

However, when mattresses are over 26 cm thick, there is no perceptible difference in comfort or firmness between solid bases and solid slats. Solid slats are very durable and have the advantage of being individually replaceable, unlike solid bases, which are not fixable when broken.

Sprung slatted bed bases

Sprung slats are thinner and less durable than solid slats. They have a gentle bow to provide ‘flex’, giving lightweight mattresses—particularly open coil ones—more bounce. That flex doesn’t do anything for a heavy mattress because the sprung slats compress flat, but it works a treat with mattresses under 18kg.

Bunk beds, other kids’ beds, and standard single beds usually have sprung slats because they deliver good mobility and are individually replaceable.

Mesh Bed Bases

Mesh bed bases are made from metal and are exclusively found on metal bed frames. They are usually rigid with zero flex, but some mesh bases are slightly flexible, allowing the mattress to sink somewhat with a bit of bounce.

The advantage of mesh bases over wood is they are more durable, will never snap, and are impervious to moisture – perfect for kids’ beds.

Ottoman bases

Pictured: Giltedge Beds Side Opening Small Double Ottoman Base. Priced £514 (Save £214 on RRP) Available from Bedstar.

Ottoman bases are solid or slatted, with hydraulic arms attached to the underside to lift the base upwards to access storage space underneath. Ottoman beds offer significantly more storage space with drawers and can be purchased with an end or side-lift configuration to suit any bedroom layout.

The hydraulic struts are usually rated for over 30 kg each, so it’s rare for any mattress to be incompatible with an ottoman, but always check first.

Summing up

Bed bases aren’t the most crucial feature for optimal sleep – your mattress is a much more important factor – but they do play a role in comfort.

Soft and medium mattresses under 24 cm thick can feel firmer than their firmness rating on a solid platform, making slats a better choice.

Hybrid and pocket spring mattresses always do best with no movement underneath, so solid slats and platforms are perfect.

Open coil and pure foam mattresses work well with sprung slats for extra bounce, especially for children who will undoubtedly be jumping around on their beds. 


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