6 Sprung Bed Slats Problems Explained and Solutions

6 Sprung Bed Slats Problems Explained and Solutions

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One of the decisions you need to make when purchasing a new bed frame is whether to opt for sprung or traditional slats. But why would you opt for sprung slats? What exactly are they? And what are some of the most common problems people experience with sprung slats?

We answer these important questions below to help you decide if a sprung slat bed is the right option for you.

What are sprung bed slats?

Sprung bed slats are made from flexible wood (often beech) and are slightly curved as opposed to flat. This makes them more pliable and enables them to respond to your motion throughout the night. The result is that they’re more durable than flat slats, and they can increase the lifespan of your mattress.

Below you can see the Woodstock bed frame with sprung slats vs. solid slats. The sprung slat option is slightly more expensive around £50-£60 for a double size. 

woodstock bed with sprung slats
woodstock bed with solid slats

6 Common Sprung Bed Slats Problems

Overall, sprung slat beds are a great option if you’re looking for greater flexibility, given the way they’ve been designed. But in this guide we’ll discuss six common issues and how they can be rectified. So don’t let them put you off from investing in a new sprung slat bed frame.

1. Solids slats may break over time

One common problem is that one or more solid slats will break over time and will need to be replaced. This usually happens after a few years of using the slat base, but if one or more slats break you’ll need to buy new ones and replace them.

You can contact the bed retailer where you originally bought your bed, and ask if they sell replacement slats. Or you can find an online retailer or shop that specialises in bed slats. 

replacing broken sprung slats

Also check what material the slats are made from, for example: pine wood, rubberwood, Beech, plywood, etc. Pine wood, rubberwood and beech slats are the strongest, and should last longer. 

Also you can check how thick and wide they are, for example: 5.3cm wide x 0.8cm thick are usually a standard size. You can find extra wide slats measuring 6.3cm wide x 1.2cm thick. 

2. Wrong size of the wooden beams

In some instances, manufacturers modify the standard dimensions of beds to accommodate various aesthetic features. Naturally, this can pose a problem when it comes to fitting your mattress on top of the slats! 

A good way to avoid any issues here is to measure the slats yourself, as opposed to relying on the manufacturer’s guidance. Pick an online shop or retailer that has a return policy, in case you order wooden beams, but later find out that they don’t fit. 

3. Sliding on the frame

One of the most common issues people face with sprung slats is that the slats themselves slide on the frame. This is a result of the slats not being properly affixed.

Helpfully, you can easily resolve this issue by picking up some wooden or metal connectors that hold each of your sprung slats in place. These can be purchased online and are a great solution to the issue of sliding.

4. Sagging mattress

Bed frames of all sizes, designs, and compositions can cause your mattress to sag, which in turn will result in poor sleep experience. It often depends on the age and quality of the frame in question. 

People who sleep on wooden slats might find that their mattress sags seasonally, as wooden frames are affected by changes in the weather when they expand and contract. For example, sprung beech slats will lose their shape and flatted in damp and humid environments. 

sagging mattress

There’s not an awful lot you can do about this, but if you’re concerned that your frame is sagging because of an issue with your mattress, it might be time to invest in a new one.

Also, make sure that the gap between the slats is not greater than 7cm or 2.8 inches, and that they are evenly spaced out. 

5. Tears or rips in the mattress fabric

If you have ordered a custom-made bed frame with sprung slats, you might find that the slats haven’t been sufficiently sanded and polished. Naturally, the rough surface of the wood will then catch on the mattress, causing rips and tears. 

If you’re experiencing this issue, you can polish the slats yourself before returning the mattress to the frame. But it’s always a good idea to remember to check the quality of a custom-made sprung slat frame before placing your mattress on top.

6. Bed frame squeaks

If you’ve purchased sprung slats which are connected to a metal frame, instead of a wooden one, the metal frame might start to squeak after some time. 

First you should identify which side and part of the bed frame squeaks. Then consider tightening any loose joints or adding extra padding. You can add some fabric (ex: old shirt or sock) or anti-squeak tape, between the bed frame and mattress. Or you can buy silicone grease lubricant and apply it to the squeaky part of the bed frame. 

Alternatives to a sprung slats bed frame:

If you’re still not sure about getting a slat bed, then there are three alternatives that you can consider instead: divan base, adjustable bed or metal bed.

  • A divan base has a wooden frame, which is upholstered in fabric and has castors or legs. Some divan bases have drawers or ottoman storage, so you can store inside some items if needed.
TheraPur Divan Base 4 storage drawers

Here you can see the Therapur Divan Base, with four drawers (two on each side). 

You can order it in 5 different colours, and it’s priced at £550 for a double size.

  • An adjustable bed frame allows you to change the position of the bed, so you can relax and sleep better. They come with a remote control, so you can adjust the back, lumbar and/or feet areas.
adjustable bed base vs. sprung slats

The Sleepmotion adjustable beds by Dreams are preferred by many in the UK.

They have lots of high tech features (including “Zero Gravity”) and come at reasonable prices. The most basic model starts at £499 for a double size, while the Sleepmotion i400 shown on the picture starts at £899 for a double size. 

  • Bed with metal mesh base is a great option for those who need a very strong and durable bed. The base is made from strong metal mesh and can support weight up to 80 stone (or 508kg). 
JKN Heavy Duty Beds Warwick

Here you can see the JKN Heavy Duty Beds Warwick, which is made from super strong metal mesh. 

It is designed for heavier people or for those that want a bed that will last them many years without any problems. You can see this and other heavy duty beds here

In this guide, we’ve discussed the most common issues that you’ll most likely face if you use a bed with sprung slats. We’ve also discussed good solutions that you can try out. Also, don’t forget to shop only from reputable bed retailers, which sell high quality products and offer good customer support. 

Disclosure: Any prices mentioned above are accurate as of November 1, 2021.