How to raise a solid platform in a slatted bed?

Hi everyone and thank you for all of the helpful information on this site!

I have a king size slatted bed, and I’m looking to try a Tuft & Needle mattress. Their mattresses are made of foam and about 5" thick, though they may have a 10" version soon.

Tuft & Needle specifies that the mattress be placed either on the floor or on a platform surface. My bed has a depth of 9.5" from the slats to the top of the side rails. I’d like to find a way to put something over the slats to convert it to a platform bed and also provide some height.

I’ve looked at bunkie boards and the most height I could find was 2". Also, I believe those are still slatted, just closer than 3" between slats.

Finally, I’ve also read up on mold and mildew concerns with a mattress directly on a platform.

I’d rather not attempt to build something myself. Does anyone have suggestions on how I can convert this bed to a platform and gain some height from the slats?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Drumheller,

You won’t need to put something over the slats because the mattress would be fine with a slatted foundation or slatted platform bed and doesn’t need a solid surface (see this page)

You will find bunkie boards that have a solid surface and some that have slats but the slat versions (or at least with slats that have reasonable gaps between them) are less common.

Other than using a foundation (usually 8" to 9" or so), a low profile foundation (usually around 5" or so) or a slatted bunkie board, depending on the amount of extra height you want (see here) … you may also want to consider a bed rug or two which can also add a little height and is very breathable. A very firm polyfoam layer can also be an inexpensive way to add some height.


Thanks for the fast reply, Phoenix!

I had also sent an email to Tuft & Needle. Their reply indicated slats would be fine if they are no more than 2" apart. I’ll see what I can find for bunkie boards that fit that are either solid or that close together. Do you recommend any particular boards?

As for the bed rugs, are those strong enough to support the weight of the mattress and sleepers?

Thanks again!

Hi Drumheller,

I think the reason for their suggestion for smaller gaps is probably because the mattress is quite thin and you may feel the slats if they were further apart and there may also be some risk of the mattress “bending” into the slats.

If you don’t have any other “risk factors” then it may be worth considering a solid surface as well since I would call that a “compelling reason”. I have an adjustable bed which has a solid surface for example and for me the benefits of an adjustable bed was worth the “tradeoff” of a little higher risk with ventilation.

Post #4 here includes several slatted bunkie boards and one of them has 1.5" gaps. The one from Ivy Organics also uses organic cotton and wool so it’s more costly and may also be costly to ship but the flobeds slat conversions are very economical.

Yes … that’s what they are designed for and they would be fine. You could also use the bedrug or the slat conversion over a solid surface to increase ventilation under the mattress.


Phoenix, thank you so much for your help and the speedy replies! :slight_smile:

Hi Phoenix,
I’ve been exploring various options. Your suggestion of Ivy Organics would meet my needs but it’s quite a bit higher than the budget at this time. Still an option, though.

If you would be so kind, I’d like your opinion on another scenario. I could purchase a typical king box spring set (2 Twin XL) and then place two Twin XL bunkie boards on top of the box spring. On top of that, I could place the foam mattress. Do you think that would provide a good enough base for the mattress?

I’m simply hoping to get an opinion from someone more educated / experienced in this area before I commit to spending the money.

Thanks again!

Hi Drumheller,

If by “box spring” you mean a non flexing slatted foundation or even a solid surface foundation then this could work as long as the combination was stable and one didn’t shift or move on top of the other. If by “box spring” you mean a base with actual springs inside it that flex then I wouldn’t go in that direction because it wouldn’t be as stable as a firm non flexing foundation and could tilt from side to side. I would also want to know that the bunkie board that was directly under the mattress was suitable for use under your mattress (that the slats were close enough together) and met the manufacturer’s criteria and if it was a solid surface that you were comfortable with any additional risk of using a less breathable base under your mattress (see post #10 here).


Thanks Phoenix!

I bought the new bedroom set the day before a friend sent me a link to Tuft & Needle. I didn’t cancel the bedroom set order because I didn’t think ti would be this difficult / expensive to find a way to provide a foundation for this mattress. If it weren’t for the occasional scorpion wandering around, I might consider selling the bed, putting the mattress on the floor, and calling it a day. :slight_smile:

I’ll keep reading and trying to figure something out. The foundation at Ivy Organics is pretty much exactly what I need, but $840 is way beyond what I budgeted to spend.

Thanks again!

Hi Drumheller,

With the comment about scorpions, I’m guessing you live in Drumheller AB, couple hours outside of Calgary (where I am).

Not that I’ve had the pleasure, but waking up with a scorpion in bed would be among the most horrific things I can imagine.

Hi Drumheller,

How much extra height do you need on top of your bedframe … does the bedframe have good center support to the floor … and how many slats does it have and what is the distance between them?

The bed rug here or one of the slat conversions here or even the Ikea slatted bed bases here (although they both would add some flex under the mattress which could change how it feels) would provide breathability over a solid platform or bunkie board and could also be used to even out the support for a foundation that had a little wider gaps than they recommend. This foundation comes in 5.5" and 8.5" versions and has slats that are less than 3" apart and this one has slats that are about 2.5" apart and is 10" tall and the bed rug would add an extra inch. A 2" solid surface bunkie board with the bed rug would end up about 3" thick.

Perhaps one of these combinations would provide the extra height you need and would work well?


Hi Phoenix,
Thank you again for your continued help!

The distance from the slats to the top of the side rails is 9.5". The Tuft & Needle mattress is 5". T&N says they have a 10" mattress in testing that may be released in a few weeks. So that may be an option. The bed frame has 8 slats with the distance between them being 5" for some and 5.5" for others (just measured).

If I were to buy bunkie boards, would the bed rug go between the bunkie boards and the mattress or between the bed frame and the bunkie boards? 3" might be enough height if I get the 10" mattress.

I like the foundations you linked, just worried that the 2.5 or 3" gaps would be too much. I realize it’s a small difference from the recommended 2" or less by T&N, but I don’t know how much impact that could have on the mattress.

I’ve included a picture of the bed frame, in case that helps.

DN: I actually live in Phoenix, AZ USA. :slight_smile: Drumheller was the name of a character in a book series I read a long time ago. I didn’t learn about the city until after I had started using the handle online.

Hi Drumheller,

One of the staff at Tuft & Needle is about 150 lbs and has slats that are about 4.5" apart and doesn’t feel the slats under the mattress and their friend is about 20 lbs heavier and can feel them so with narrower 2.5" - 3" gaps it shouldn’t be an issue for “most” people. For most people the foundations I mentioned would probably be fine but with a bed rug on top of them to even out the support or with something like one of the slat conversions here there shouldn’t be any issues at all and they thought it would be fine as well.


Thank you so much, Phoenix! Tuft & Needle is probably tired of my emails and figured out who you were calling about. :wink:

Thank you again! This is a huge help for me! :slight_smile:


Is that an Abbyson Living Kingston Sleigh bed? If so, we sound a lot alike. We just had the king size delivered and we are planning on purchasing a Tuft & Needle 10" mattress. We are trying to decide on the right foundation. I am leaning towards the wooden KD. What did you decide on and what has your experience been so far? Any help would be greatly appreciated.