Slats are used as a foundation for your mattress for a variety of reasons. Mostly, slats replace a box spring, providing support and flexibility for the mattress, and are more durable than a box spring. It's not necessary to have a box spring when a good, supportive slat system is in place. Slats for a queen-sized bed are the same size as the mattress itself.
Slats act as a foundation for your mattress, and are most common on futons, daybeds and bunk beds. A slat foundation can be used on queen-sized beds in place of a box-spring. Slats when purchased independently are usually manufactured in a choice of different wood grains and sizes based on quality and durability. Slats are laid across the width of the beds and evenly spaced apart to form the foundation. The slats rest on the outer edges of the bed frame and across the frame's mid-beam.
Queen-size mattress are 5 inches longer than their smaller twin and full size counterparts. This size mattress is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long. The slats lie across the width of the bed, and are always 60 inches long. The width of each individual slat can vary based on design and grain of wood. For the slats to fit they cannot be any longer or shorter than 60 inches.
Slats are most effective when evenly spaced. They usually come stapled to two strands of ribbon that run the length of the slat base. Slats for a queen-size bed will be stapled to ribbons that are 80 inches long. Since the slats are evenly spaced, they are easier to install on the bed. Once they are laid on the foundation, the slats stay in place better because it's all one piece. Slats are manufactured to be anywhere from ½ inch to 3 inches apart.
The most cost-effective slats for your queen-size bed are pine. However, this wood does not have a lot of give, and can crack under surges of extreme pressure. A more durable, yet flexible wood commonly used for slats is birch wood. This type of wood is actually thin pieces of wood layered together to form a strong and flexible bond, perfect for slats and the bouncing pressure they may undergo with a sleeper tossing and turning.
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