4.25" spacing between slats?

I ordered a latex mattress and foundation from SleepEZ, and before I ordered I was told the spacing on the foundation would be no more than 3 inches. It came today and the spacing is 4.25". I’ve asked Jeremy to send me more slats to fix this, but if he won’t, will this be bad for my bed?

Hi koala,

I’ve talked with Shawn about what happens if some of these foundations are not what they are supposed to be (because some have had some issues from time to time) and he said they would gladly replace them in these cases and the last thing they would want is a customer that has a poor foundation to go with a great mattress. Adding more slats would also solve the problem of course but 4.25" is clearly too far apart IMO.

They will do the right thing … as they always do :slight_smile:


You were right, they took care of me. They are going to refund the price of the foundation and I will just have to go make some slats.

Next question: What do you think of this bedframe? Amazon.com

There is no post in the middle, but it is 47 pounds–nearly 50% heavier than the next heaviest “heavy duty” frame. I also see that it is very similar to the bed frame offered by Flobeds at https://flobeds.com/support/

Hi koala,

I’m glad to see you were looked after :slight_smile:

From the picture it looks like the same Leggett and Platt Inst-A-Matic which would work fine and are strong.

If you’re anywhere near an RC Wiley they are a little less (but they don’t ship).


My foundation came in with 4.25" spacing between slats as well.

Not sure of the whole story here, but I talked to Shaun last week about the foundation and he had encouraged me to purchase it directly from CPS. I figured he was being nice, and Shaun’s kindness is not in question at any point. They have been fabulous to deal with. But in the case of the CPS foundation, I think perhaps, there are some quality issues and I wonder if SleepEZ isn’t getting tired of CPS putting out an inconsistently built product, thus, steering customers directly to CPS is easier for them than dealing with returns.

With a sturdy enough plywood cover over the 4.25" spaced slats is this not enough support? I tend to sleep in the center of the bed, so I think it may still be fine for me, because the center beam runs under the slats.

Hi Kristin,

You can stick plywood over the slats, but I would not suggest it as the latex needs to have the spacing in order to breathe. The problem with the 4.25" spaces is that eventually the latex will droop down into those gaps and your mattress will start to deteriorate. The best solution is to go to Home Depot and get some more slats. It is really simple (and I am not good at this kind of stuff).

Measure the length of the slats that came with your board. Mine were 57 inches. Go to Home Depot and get “1x3” boards (they will actually measure 0.75" x 2.5", but are called 1x3.) Ask Home Depot to cut them to 57 (or whatever you measured) inches (they will do this happily and for free.) I used 10 foot boards, that way I got two slats out of each board.

Then buy some outdoor mounting tape in the Paint Section, it will be about $5. It looks like this. You put one strip of tape on the bottom “edge” of each slat. You then press this onto your foundation (tape side down) and it will stick very firmly.

I used 18 slats and this made the spacing 1.5". It cost me about $100, BUT that is because I didn’t use any of the old slats and I got the most expensive (pretty looking) wood. If you did any of these:

  • Used the old slats & just added a few of yours on
  • Made them more than 1.5" apart
  • Used cheaper wood

then you could get the price down to about $30.

There are differences of opinion on the idea of latex breathing. Flobeds seems to be the biggest proponent of latex mattresses needing to breath from the bottom. SleepEZ actually holds the idea that because Latex is open cell (think of a cake or a loaf of bread) that it breathes from all sides, not just from the bottom, and so putting plywood underneath does not matter. I asked specifically about this, and Shaun said that they regularly recommend plywood over the foundation and have never heard of a mold problem with latex. They have heard of it with memory foam, however.

One of the things that I have found frustrating about mattresses in general is how many opinions there are about everything! (This is not aimed at you, just a general comment.)

I have read a few first-hand reports from people who say that they put their latex mattress on plywood and mold formed. While it’s anecdotal, I decided the peace of mind from using slats was worth the few extra dollars.

However, to answer your question, I believe you are using 1/4" of plywood? As far as strength is concerned, that is the thickness that is commonly recommended so I think you should be fine. Do you have the slats underneath it? Or are you not using those at all?

I hear you. I’ve been so frustrated by the industry in general where there seems to be unlimited options, conflicting opinions and few experts. I have yet to find a single expert who understands and speaks to both biometrics and mattress materials.

I believe I bought 1/4 inch plywood, and mis-typed when I put 1/8th inch. This is what I used: homedepot.com/Lumber-Composites-Plywood-Sheathing-Subfloor/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbqm7/R-100073744/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051
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I’ve never seen an account of someone complaining of mildew on a latex mattress. I’m curious now. Do you recall where you read that?

Hi Kristin … and Koala,

I agree with both of you on this :slight_smile:

One of the most frustrating things that I consistently encounter in my research is this very issue where there are many different and conflicting opinions about almost every issue that concerns mattresses … and all of them can often come from people I respect, have been in the industry for years, and would seem to know. I can’t tell you how many times I have spent many many hours trying to resolve conflicting information surrounding many different theories and finding a resolution to these types of issues. This is where intuition and science need to be blended and where both left and right brained thinking by themselves can end up being misleading.

There are several reasons for these conflicts IMO (at least the ones where everyone is “right” in certain circumstances because there are some where which opinion is more likely to be “wrong” or right" is much more clear).

First are the ideas about mattress construction and how they interact with people. There is an infinite degree of differences between people both in terms of height and weight distribution, body shape, minor differences in “habitual” sleeping positions and patterns which can make a big difference, and also differences between tolerances to either pressure or misalignment between different people who otherwise may be very similar. We are all made very differently and have very different perceptions and preferences which can also have a great effect on how well we sleep. Some of these differences can be actual physiological differences such as different thicknesses of insulating fat under the skin which can affect the pressure on nerves or restriction of blood vessels or differences in joint flexibility or long term chronic underlying conditions or influences which people may or may not even be aware of. These types of differences can lead to a very wide variety of differences in mattress construction and layering that may work “best” for different people who seem very similar. All of this is part of both the “challenge” and “rewards” of mattress theory and construction. Most people fall inside a range which can accommodate them but for those who are outside of the typical range that is the “norm”, it can become very frustrating when they see so many others just like them who are happy with a mattress that just doesn’t work for them.

Second though is the differences in risk tolerance between different people … either manufacturers or consumers. A solid surface platform vs a slatted base foundation is an example of this. It’s true that latex does breathe more than other foams and that natural latex also has an inherent resistance to mold and mildew and would have less likelihood of developing mold and mildew for these reasons. It’s also true though that the development of mold and mildew would depend on a combination of several factors coming together. One of the most important of these is moisture (from the environment or the person on the mattress), one is the types of mold or mildew spores that are in the environment, and one is a food source (cellulose is one of these). For example the temperature difference between a mattress and a solid surface foundation can play a role in condensation which would increase the odds that mold or mildew could develop. A cover or better yet an insulated cover on a foundation could help with this temperature differential vs just having a mattress on wood.

Environmental conditions and degrees of humidity could also play a role. The degree of moisture in the wood itself would also be one of the variables. The fabric that was used in the mattress ticking and the quilting could also increase or decrease the likelihood of moisture retention and mold. A bedroom in a basement would be more likely to have issues than one on the third floor. A mattress on a floor would also be at greater risk than one that was higher up in the air which was warmer and could come to room temperature more quickly, even in the same room. The degree of moisture that each person releases over the course of the night would play a role. There are many more factors that could be involved but the idea I’m hoping to get across is that there is usually a combination of factors that leads to mold or mildew or many other “issues”. Mold and mildew is also not the only issue involved because the airflow through a mattress can also affect the dust mite population (which depends on humidity in their surroundings to absorb the moisture that they need to survive) and can also affect the durability of a mattress (higher humidity can reduce the useful life of many mattress materials).

The question then is not so much about who is “right” or “wrong” which are opposite ends of a spectrum but trying to assess where in the spectrum you may fall and how comfortable you are with being there. I personally believe that a slatted foundation moves the “risk” towards the safer side of the spectrum and if the slats are strong and firm enough and close enough together there is no real down side to using them. This doesn’t mean that a sheet of plywood will be a problem in most circumstances … only that the odds that it could are increased … both because the plywood can absorb moisture over time and because it reduces the ability for moisture to evaporate compared to slats. It would be a bigger problem with less breathable materials like many synthetic fabrics or less breathable foams and natural latex is also inherently “resistant” to mold to some degree but they all have a cover and IMO the risk is still there with latex as well although to a reduced degree.

There are also other considerations that may be important to some people as well such as the glue that is used in plywood (offgassing) and the benefits of greater breathability in terms of small improvements in sleeping microclimate. The bottom of a mattress is a significant part of it’s surface area and when you move and “push” air through the mattress … reducing the ability of the bottom of the mattress to allow airflow can reduce to some degree the breathability of the entire mattress although this is not usually a major issue. Innersprings for example are in general more “breathable” than foam mattresses for this very reason because they allow more airflow than any foam even though they are deeper inside the mattress.

In other cases it may just be a choice that someone makes because of a tradeoff such as the purchase of an adjustable bed which has a solid surface and the benefits of the adjustable bed far outweighs any additional risk that may be connected with its solid surface (I use an adjustable bed myself).

So in the end … the resolution to all of these “conflicts” is a combination of intuition, fact, and tradeoffs, and recognizing that both “wrong” and “right” are equally unlikely to be “accurate”.

I personally believe that a slatted or wire grid foundation is a better idea than plywood or some other solid surface (such as hard plastic or cardboard) unless there is a compelling reason to choose otherwise but this is only because it is such a simple way to reduce the risk (which involves more than just cosmetics and the appearance of the mattress), has other benefits, and there is no real advantage that I know of to a solid surface vs a strong, non flexing, and evenly supportive slatted surface.

For those that have a solid surface support system under their mattress then something like a this bed rug in between the mattress and the foundation or one of the slat conversions here (which has no flex at all) or even one of the Ikea slatted bed bases here (which has some flex which may change how the mattress feels and performs) could work well and would also increase ventilation under their mattress.

While mold issues start long before they are visible … there’s at least one person who had an issue (there’s actually more that a web search will bring up) with natural Dunlop latex although this was likely a combination of “moisture producing” factors.



There is the link that Phoenix posted, as well as chas0512 in this one: https://www.whatsthebest-mattress.com/forum/latex-mattress-plywood-base/17690-0-1.html. The link I was referring to wasn’t either of these, but unfortunately I can’t find it right now. It was also on whatsthebest and had pictures.

Like Phoenix and the posters in those threads mentioned, it’s likely a combination of factors and not just the slats vs plywood. Personally, though, I feel like I spent over $1000 on this mattress so I sleep better using the slats and knowing that I am minimizing my risk. I am very risk averse by nature.

If you ask me the way to go with the plywood vs. slats would be to put the plywood over the slats and drill some smaller holes in the plywood between the slats that way you have the best of both worlds and reduce the risk of mold.
At least that’s what i would do lol

That wouldn’t be enough breathability for my tastes–but a lot of people use pegboard, which is a similar concept to what you are thinking. If I was just going to do tiny holes like that, I personally would want them all over–not just over where the gaps in slats would be.

Anyone use 1x3x8 furring strips instead of pine or whiteboard? I am going to space them every 3" and they seem strong enough. I am looking at using about 12 of the boards for my king size latex bed. Any recommendations? I would like to stay away from spending too much on slats.

Furring Strips
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I’m in a similar predicament trying to decide what to do with the slat situation.

In my case, my slats are 12 total with “3.75” inch spacing between them and a middle support beam with four legs down the middle.

Was thinking of adding 4 more slats in the middle and making it a total of 16 but not really sure if it’s worth the effort.

The retail store assured me that it’s enough support and even the warranty on my mattress states that all you need is 5 slats and a beam down the middle in order to honor the warranty.

A little more info: I’m a featherweight and my mattress is a really firm memory foam mattress.

So should I be worried about mattress sagging? Would it be worth the trouble to add those extra slats? :unsure:

Hi Mattress Buying Hell,

It appears to me that your foundation is suitable for the mattress you purchased. Is there a reason you are thinking of adding slats?

If you are concerned about the distance between the slats then it appears to me to be fine. The only time the gaps need to be less are if your mattress has latex in the bottom support layers which doesn’t appear to be the case with the mattress you chose.

Your foundation won’t contribute to your mattress sagging but if the the materials in your mattress are low quality (particularly in the comfort layers) then this could lead to premature softening or sagging over time regardless of the foundation.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for the response.

Yes, my concern was due to the distance between the slats. I’ve read online and heard from some people that the recommended distance for proper mattress support should be '3 or less and mine are about 3.75 almost '4.

I’ve heard that if the slats are too far apart, the mattress could sag between the slats. I’ve heard this for both latex and memory foam beds.

However, it sounds from what u’re saying that in my case it shouldn’t be an issue. So I guess I wont worry about it.

Hi Mattress Buying Hell,

Memory foam mattresses usually use firm polyfoam as their base layer which is much stiffer and less elastic than latex so the gaps can be wider.


I’m really torn on this topic myself. Shawn at SleepEZ has suggested that I’ll be fine with my box spring as long as I cover it with a sheet of pegboard. I realize there are a variety of opinions on this but I figure he probably knows his stuff as much, or more, than anyone. Besides, at this rate with all the back and forth on mattress materials and construction etc etc etc I’ll be old with a really bad back before I get anywhere.

Hi hamah,

If you want a second “vote” … I’d agree with you on both counts. Shawn knows his stuff and the pegboard will likely be fine.