Platform bed Slats vs Solid: Your Best Platform Bed Choices

If you have recently been scoping the market for new mattresses and bed frame options, you’ve probably been assaulted with one of the many options available for your decor. A popular mattress support that lends simplicity to the bedroom are platform beds, a raised surface for your mattress to rest upon.

Platform frames offer either platform bed slats or solid surfaces, and both have their own benefits depending on the mattress you choose. Below outlines briefly how and why you would use either of the two choices.

Comparison Table

Slatted Platform

Solid Platform

Very Breathable

Low to none

Very good with any type of mattress

Not good

Innerspring or hybrid, some foam

Anytype, popular with foams

Adjustable: Can be

Adjustable: Can be

What is a Platform Bed?

A platform bed is an alternative, raised bed frame that may or may not have a headboard and footboard attachment. Because of it’s design, it removes the need to provide a boxspring, and allows your mattress to sit directly upon the supportive surface it offers. In fact, many mattresses are now designed with a platform surface in mind, and certain material construction actually require the rather supportive surface it lends in order to stay within warranty.

Slatted Platform

Layla Mattress

PROS

  • Allows good airflow beneath the mattress
  • Allows a bit of mattress give
  • Can accommodate any size mattress
  • Most affordable than many traditional bedframes

CONS

  • May sit too low
  • Slatted version may not accommodate extra storage without sacrificing airflow
  • Cannot accommodate all mattress construction types

What is a Slatted Platform Bed?

A slatted version of a platform bed offers a series of slatted support to hold up a variety of mattress choices. These slats span across the width of your mattress within a solid platform base which may, or may not also include storage or an adjustable frame. In some cases the slat distance from one another can be adjusted to provide multiple sleep comforts.

These slats negate the need for a box spring or other mattress support, making your overall bedding budget a bit less expensive.

Construction and Material

The base of your platform bed is usually of solid construction, and can be of solid wood, particle board, metal, or even covered in upholstery to match your bedroom decor. Most also come with headboard and footboard options that you can attach on if you choose. Some even come looking like a traditional bed frame with both head and footboard attachments, but with the capabilities of leaving out the need for a boxspring. These also generally sit a little lower to the ground as well.

Slats can either be built into the frame itself, or may be removable for adjustment or replacement if needed. Most slats are made of wood and are joined together in some manner with a fabric lattice weave. These are laid flat beneath the mattress to provide support. They are created to provide a bit of give and adaptation to various weights.

Perks of a Slatted Platform

Slatted platform designs are popular for many reasons. To begin with they offer excellent weight distribution through your mattress. The little bit of give provided allows your mattress to work the way it should as both a supportive, and comfortable surface.

Some slatted choices also allow you to personally adjust this degree of firmness by the removal, or addition, of the slats to customize your sleep experience.

It also has good airflow capabilities to help distribute moisture and heat through the mattress, as well as keeping allergens from building up. This is a very popular choice for innerspring and hybrid mattress choices.

What to Watch For

Not all slatted versions are well suited for certain types of mattresses. Very dense, heavy memory foams, for example, may not be supported well enough and allow material to press up against the slats to a degree that may negate the mattress warranty. Poor slat design, poor slat installation, or bowed slats that do not have a center rail support can be very problematic, so you need to make sure your slats are well supported or it will affect the quality of your sleep.

A sturdy slatted system should have a center supportive rail that included rail legs that reach all the way to the floor. 

Even though slatted platforms may come with additional storage, this does affect the airflow capabilities, and if this is important to you you should pay attention to the clearance between stored items and the top bottom of the mattress. You may also not have as many choices available if you are interested in an adjustable bed either.

This is what a simple slatted system should look like:

Solid Platform

PROS

  • May include extra storage space beneath
  • Design may more often include an ergonomic options
  • Can accommodate any size mattress
  • May extend past mattress edges for sleek design

CONS

  • With no give, it may provide too firm a surface
  • Moisture may build up underneath
  • Allergens may build up with no airflow

What is a Solid Platform Bed?

The solid surface choice of a platform bed has just that: a solid flat support surface upon which your mattress rests. Often these beds come with added pull out storage, and are popular with adjustable designs. Occasionally the flat surface extends beyond the mattress for an added sitting surface, as well as a more contemporary design.

Also like the slatted version, the design does not call for the additional support of a box spring, and it is considered an acceptable support for many foam mattress choices to help keep the warranty intact.?

Construction and Material

Like the slatted bed, the solid bed can be made from a variety of materials to fit the look you desire, but instead of wooden support slats, it has a flat surface. Usually wood, or a laminate of some sort is used for the flat surface, but the bed itself can be pretty versatile as explained in the slatted version above.

These often sit lower to the ground also, but are usually pretty lightweight and easy to move around. Legless versions are usually the easiest to shop for, but as mentioned they really do come in a variety of styles so it isn’t too difficult to find what you are looking for.

Perks of a Solid Platform

Solid platforms have become very popular due to the fun, stylish design the solid bases provide with a floating looking surface, and extra storage many of them have. Plus they are pretty simple to make on your own to get the exact look you want. Solid bases also help with allergies as it makes it more difficult for allergens to build up under the bed with very little open space.

Foam mattresses in particular need a very supportive base, and a flat surface is perfect to avoid their dense materials from pressing through and interrupting the comfort of the mattress. Although foam can fit upon a closely slatted version, the flat surfaces seem to be the most popular for memory foam choices in particular.

What to Watch For

Unfortunately the biggest issue surrounding a flat surface platform has to do with your sleep comfort. A flat surface doesn't give to the mattress in any way or help distribute weight and pressure. Because of this, your mattress may feel more firm, or even poorly supported, especially if you are of a heavier weight.

Mattress owners often complain of poor mattress comfort, only to discover that it was the platform that lenat to their issues. This does mean this is a poor choice, but you should make sure you have a mattress that is designed for a flat surface, and has the thickness to support your weight and distribute pressure points on it’s own.

Mattresses typically take in your body heat and moisture and dissipate it through layers and air flow design. With a flat surface this may disrupt the process and in humid climate especially, you may get a moisture buildup beneath the mattress over time which can breed molds and mildews. There are many ways to combat this though: turning and airing your mattress regularly, or even using mattress protectors can help keep this from happening.

Conclusion

I’m a fan of the platform bed due to it’s affordability, design, and how you can do away with the extra bed skirts and box spring. Personally I prefer a slatted version as long as it is adjustable to support a variety of different mattresses. The extra airflow and weight distribution is important to me. Plus, my mattress won’t last forever, but the bed should.

Which is your preferred bed? If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and we’ll get back to you!

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Barbara Rothberg (Mrs) says August 30, 2017

I am searching for a new bed.

I currently have a divan base on top of which are solid boards that have air holes
providing ventilation.

I currently have a foam mattress on top which I have had for a long time now.

I am totally confused as to which bed to select.

Reply
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