Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated September 4, 2021Once you have found the perfect mattress, you’ll want to pair it with a sturdy foundation. Though there are many options to choose from, it’s best to find a foundation compatible with your mattress type.Bed slats and box springs are both popular choices among sleepers. However, deciding between the two can be difficult. In this article, we’ll outline the qualities of bed slats and box springs. Also, we’ll look at the benefits and disadvantages of each, so you can decide which is the best fit for you.What Are Bed Slats?Bed slats are a foundation type with long planks made of solid wood or metal. Slatted foundations sit directly on top of a bed frame and are spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. It’s best to avoid slatted foundations with slats wider than 3 inches. Slats with wider spacing do not provide a stable foundation for sleepers and can cause your mattress to sink.Slats also help distribute weight evenly across your mattress and also provide a firm sleeping surface. If your mattress feels too soft, you can firm up your mattress by placing it on top of slats.Some slatted foundations have individual slats, while others may be connected. Interconnected slats are usually wrapped in fabric to keep them in place.Individual slats rest side by side and may require screws to secure them. If the slats are improperly fitted to the bed frame, they can slide around or collapse from bed movement.SEE ALSO: Mattress Foundation Sizes and Dimensions GuideBenefits of Using Bed SlatsSlatted foundations are a more affordable option compared to a standard box spring. Not to mention they provide even support for all types of mattresses. Using slats instead of a traditional box spring may keep your bed from sinking or sagging.Additionally, wooden slats are lightweight and easy to assemble. You can place most slatted foundations on any bed frame for firm support.Slatted foundations also provide better airflow. The open spaces throughout the foundation prevent moisture from building up, keeping sleepers cooler throughout the night. Plus, with more ventilation, you won’t have any mold or mildew issues.SEE ALSO: Mattress Sagging vs Body Impressions: What’s The Difference?Drawbacks of Using Bed SlatsThe downside of using a slatted foundation is it could cause your mattress to sag. It’s best to avoid slatted foundations with too-thin slats because it does not provide adequate support for your bed. If your bed has thin slats, it’s best to place a bunkie board on top of your foundation for better support.Slatted foundations are also prone to sliding when they are not appropriately secured. This may cause your slats to shift to one side of the bed or fall off.What is a Box Spring?Box springs are a traditional foundation type and are best suited for innerspring mattresses. These foundations absorb shock impact to reduce wear and tear on your bed.However, box springs are more compatible with older spring beds. Most modern-day mattresses such as latex and memory foam beds do not require a box spring.Box springs are typically the same size as your mattress and consist of a solid wood frame filled with springs. Modern box spring models are hollow inside and do not contain coils or springs. These models do not provide the best support, but they will add some extra height to your bed.Benefits of Using Box SpringsBox springs provide your bed with a slight bounce when it’s paired with an innerspring mattress. Some sleepers prefer the springy responsiveness of the innerspring beds, so using a box spring is usually the best choice.It’s worth mentioning some box springs do not contain coils or springs. So, if a responsive bed is one of your preferences, you’ll want to keep this in mind while shopping.Box springs are also an excellent option for sleepers who want to add extra height to their beds. The greater bed height may also make it easier to climb in and out of bed.However, a box spring is not suitable for all mattress types. For example, you should not pair a box spring with a memory foam mattress.Drawbacks of Using Box SpringsTraditional box springs are more expensive than slatted foundations. They also are not compatible with all mattress types. If you have a memory foam or latex mattress, it may be better to look at other foundation options.Placing a foam or hybrid mattress on a box spring can damage the bed’s materials and cause premature sagging. Keeping one of these mattresses on a box spring can also void the warranty.If you do pair a bed like a memory foam mattress with a box spring for added height, you need a piece of plywood or a bunkie board to provide a stable surface.Box springs are heavy, and some bed frames may not be able to support their weight. As a result, your bed may lose support over time. Additionally, box springs do not have extra storage space for sleepers and are not the best option for individuals with limited space. Other bed frame options, such as platform beds, may offer under-bed space and even pull-out drawers.SEE ALSO: Platform Bed vs. Box SpringFrequently Asked QuestionsHow much weight can bed slats hold?Most modern bed frames with a slatted foundation can support weight up to 600 pounds. However, some slatted foundations can only hold 300 pounds. It’s best to verify the manufacturer’s weight limit before purchasing. It’s also important to understand how much a mattress can weigh.Should I use metal or wood slats?Wooden slats are more affordable than metal but may not provide the best support for your bed. Metal slats are a more durable option as they provide sufficient support for the weight of your mattress and the sleeper. Furthermore, metal slats do not bend or break as easily as wooden ones.Can I use a box spring with a latex or memory foam mattress?We do not recommend pairing a latex or memory foam mattress with a box spring. Box springs do not provide stable support for latex and memory foam beds. Not to mention, the springs may bend under the weight of the mattress. Some better options for foam beds include slatted or solid foundations and platform beds.Can you buy slats for a bed frame?You can easily purchase slat separately for your bed frame. Bed slats are for sleepers looking for an affordable support system for their mattress. Rather than using a box spring, you can purchase a bed slat system and quickly place it on top of their frame.Do bed slats break easily?Some slatted foundations are sensitive and may break easily with excess weight. When a person places too much pressure on one slat or area of the bed, it can cause the slats to bend, creating an uneven surface for your mattress. It’s always best to check the weight requirements of your product before purchasing a mattress foundation.ConclusionWhen you bring home your new mattress, it’s best to pair it with the correct foundation. Sleeping on a sturdy foundation will prevent your bed from sinking or sagging. Not to mention, some warranty companies will revoke your warranty agreement for using an incorrect foundation.Box springs may work for some mattress types, such as innerspring beds, but slats are a lot more versatile. However, remember your slats should be no more than 2 to 3 inches wide. If your slats are too wide, it could cause your mattress to sink or cause permanent damage.About the author Kiera PritchardKiera Pritchard’s curiosity around dreams and dreaming sparked her passion for sleep science. In addition to freelancing for eachnight, Kiera is also a physical trainer and strives to help others lead healthy lives while asleep and awake. Since joining our team, Kiera has compiled multiple sleep health guides offering our readers advice on how to improve their days and evenings. Find more articles by Kiera Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.