Slat spacing on platform bed frame

I am new to the forum. Wasn’t sure of the best way to post a question - - seems there might be adjustments currently happening to that feature of the site, so I’d appreciate help from whoever might find this post and to reroute it if necessary to where it makes sense. Thank you!

Let me first say, that in my opinion, “The Mattress Underground” website is truly amazing!! I came across it about a week ago and have been so grateful for all the information and posts that are shared. My roommate is stunned with how much I’ve been reading about the topic of mattresses through this website and also how it has captured my interest with such enjoyment. The site has been So helpful.

The past few weeks I’ve been looking at and researching mattresses, and this search brought me to foundations. I recently realized that I need to get my foundation properly supported before I can get a new mattress and this is part of why I need a new mattress!

I have a platform bed frame with slats for a full sized mattress. I am likely going with a full latex mattress and have gotten recommendations from the manufacturer on how to modify my existing platform frame to best support that mattress - - (there are a few things I need to do). So, while I’m making adjustments and have my tools out, I am considering whether to re-position or add slats as well. The manufacturer’s website states that slats need to be spaced no more than 3″ apart, but closer is better. This is what I read everywhere… 3" or less to give proper support, but allow for air flow and to inhibit mold growth. So, I’m wondering what is that “closer is better, preferred smaller/less range”? And what might be too close that doesn’t allow enough air flow? Is 2 inches better, or less than 2 inches?

Currently my slats do range between 2 to 3 inches apart. The width of my slats are all about 2 and 5/8ths inch (2.6"). They are 3/4 inch thick. The slats are 10 or 11 inches up from the floor. I live in Massachusetts south of Boston about a mile and a half from the bay. I’m a petite woman that doesn’t sleep hot or perspire alot. The mattress I’m likely going to get is 9" dunlop latex with a cotton cover and there is about an inch of wool on the top side.

There is a slight possibility of choosing a hybrid mattress of pocketed coils and latex. I did read on another post that some such hybrid manufacturers recommend 1.5 to 2" max on slat spacing.

There are so many considerations in the construction, and am not sure whether it’s worth unscrewing all my slats to position them a little closer or more evenly and add an extra slat or two? It seems I didn’t support my last mattress and want to get it right this time, so I’m not putting out time and money for mattress shopping again too soon!

Also, related to this… Is it recommended to put a piece of cotton or wool cloth, or something else over the slats for the mattress to rest on that also helps with proper circulation? In past I had a cotton sheet just to protect from wood splinters, but didn’t know if something more specific is recommended for another purpose?

Thank you very much for any insights you can provide.

If your current design didn’t work properly for your old mattress, you’d want to take care of that first (it sounds as if you may have been given some good advice about that already from a retailer). Using 1" x 3", sometimes you can get a little sag if not properly reinforced head to toe.

As for spacing, I’ll give you my two cents. If you properly reinforce your slats to create a very sturdy top deck that doesn’t flex, then I would leave the spacing alone. Should you end up with a hybrid mattress that demands closer slat spacing or desire even more air circulation, I’m a big fan of using a coir bed rug on top of your slats. It makes up for the gaps not being close enough for some hybrid brands, and it also promotes more air circulation than having your mattress place upon the slat deck, especially in an environment close to the ocean :slight_smile: .

If you desire a smoother surface on top of your slat deck or even the coir bed rug, there’s nothing wrong with using a cotton sheet or blanket or something similar that is breathable yet provides a thin protective barrier.

I hope that helps.

Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator
Beducation / Mattress To Go

Thank you for the questions. It’s been my experience that 2 1/2" slat spacing works perfectly for latex mattresses but 3 inches should be ok as well. Your choice of a latex mattress is great because latex breathes from all sides so even if air flow is choked off from underneath it’s never been a problem. I’ve sold hundreds of latex mattresses going into old waterbed frames and solid platform beds including RV’s with no breath-ability or mold concerns. The pocket coil hybrids also do excellent on these types of platforms.

Hi Jeff,
Thank you so much for your reply! It was very helpful and came at the perfect time while I was in the midst of making the adjustments to my bed frame. I appreciated hearing your opinion on the slat spacing and did decide to leave it alone. I was able to get a really sturdy top deck with the center beam and support legs reinforcement underneath.
Hearing more about the coir bed rug and situations in which to use it was really helpful. I like that idea. If some of my slats are a little uneven in the height (less than a quarter inch) is that something that could distress or crack a coir rug over time?
I have decided to go with the full latex mattress. I think for now I’ll start with the cotton sheet as a thin protective layer over the slats and consider the coir rug in future.
Thanks again!

Thanks so much Ken!
Good to hear about the 2 1/2" slat spacing for latex and also the breathability on all sides from your experience.

No problem, glad to help