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What Is the Best Mattress Base for You?

Written by, Viktor Gruevski

Updated November, 18, 2021

Sometimes finding the right mattress base can be as hard as choosing the perfect mattress.

We are here to help!

In this guide, we will take a look at the most common bed bases and give you tips on picking the ideal mattress foundation.

Types of Mattress Bases

There are four bed base types, each with a specific purpose, features and price. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of them. 

Divan Beds

The most popular mattress base in the UK, divan beds, are basically a wooden box encased in fabric for a neat finish and equipped with casters for greater mobility. 

There are two main types of bed bases

  • Platform Top Base. Made out of a solid panel top and a wooden frame, this is a perfect choice if you want firm support and a durable, solid base for your mattress. 
  • Sprung Divan Base, which has a built-in spring unit on the frame, provides more flexible, mild support. If you prefer a more cushioned level of comfort, this divan foundation is for you. 

Divans are compatible with most mattresses, from all-foam mattresses to pocket spring beds

Pros: 

  • Most divan beds come with built-in storage.
  • Divans are upholstered in a wide range of fabrics, so you can choose the texture and colour that best fits your style. 
  • Many manufacturing companies sell divans in a set (the base, the mattress, headboards and ottomans)—great for customers who don’t like shopping around. 
  • Divans are designed as two base halves, legs and a headboard, i.e. just a few components, making them one of the easiest beds to assemble.

Cons:

  • They are simpler in style than some ornate bedsteads. 

Adjustable Base Beds

Adjustable bed bases are typically made of flexible laminated slats or fully sprung upholstered segments. Most models have at least five adjusting sections, but some also allow you to adjust individual sections, like the head or feet. 

Since they are the lightest, latex and memory foam beds, work best with adjustable bases. 

Pros:

  • Thanks to the adjustable height of the bed, people with mobility issues can easily get in and out of bed.
  • Elevating parts of the bed, these bed bases can help you get into a comfortable position that will help reduce pain and relieve pressure points
  • This base is ideal for a multi-functional bedroom. If you are the type of person who works on laptops, watches TV or has breakfast in bed, this is the base for you. 
  • Some adjustable beds come with additional features, like a side table, while others can recline or have a built-in massage unit.  
  • They may look complicated, but adjustable beds can be put together in under five minutes. 

Cons:

  • They are the most expensive option available right now. 

Bedsteads

A bed frame or bedstead typically consists of some kind of footboard and headboard with slatted bases in the middle. Bedsteads usually have fixed or sprung slats, a metal floor or woven wire or a fully spring base bed frame that can be made to order. 

Although most mattresses can be combined with bed frames, hybrid foam beds or memory foam would work best. 

Pros: 

  • They come in all shapes, sizes and materials. From wood, metal and plastic frames to upholstered foundations and sleigh beds, there is something to suit any style. 
  • A bedstead, especially an antique brass bed or an ornate bed, will definitely add some character to your room. 

Cons:

  • They can be super hard to assemble.
  • They might squeak over time, so you would have to take action
  • Some of the bedsteads on the market might not fit your mattress size. 

Slatted Bases

Slatted bases are made up of a series of interconnected bars that span the frame’s width. 

There are two types of slats available on the market: 

  • Solid slats where each slat runs across the width of the bed frame for a firm and supportive bed. 
  • Sprung slats. Giving the bed a more cushioned feel, these are made of bendy beech wood

Pros: 

  • Slatted bases, especially sprung slats, can give you the right blend of mattress support and bounciness.
  • They are one of the cheapest options on the market.

Cons:

  • Some mattresses are not meant to be placed on slatted bases. 
  • The mattress can sink in the slats causing it to sag, so slats need to be covered with plywood under the mattress or pegboard for a more solid base surface. 

Other Types of Bases for Beds

In addition to these, customers can find more options in the mattress foundation department, such as: 

  • Bunk beds: a great option for parents with children who are low on space.
  • Headboard: Although they usually match the divan base, you can always order a headboard in your preferred style, colour and material to provide comfort, sturdiness or a focal point in the bedroom.
  • Storage beds: Similar to divan beds, storage bases are just the thing for a small flat. 
  • Sofa beds, or daybeds: The perfect solution for the guest room, this compact bed saves space and can also double as a comfy couch.
  • Cot beds: Intended for the smallest members of your family, cot beds can also convert into full beds helping your baby transition from one to the other. Keep in mind that to ensure safety and a good night’s sleep for your little one, cot beds must be paired with a high-quality organic mattress.

Why Do You Need to Choose a Good Mattress Base?

Mattresses are usually raised off the ground for four reasons:

  • To boost airflow
  • To provide proper responsive support 
  • To prevent mould and dust from settling on the bed
  • To extend the lifespan of the mattress. 

It’s not just function. Mattress foundations also add style and character as one of the most important pieces of bedroom furniture

Is a base necessary for a mattress?

You can always put the mattress on the floor, but bear in mind that without a proper bed base, your mattress could trap all the heat and moisture absorbed during the night causing problems with the structure and durability of the bed

How to Choose a Mattress Base?

Here are a few things to consider while deciding on a foundation:

  • Think about the mattress you are using;
  • Establish a budget;
  • Shop for long-lasting quality;
  • Consider how simple it is to set up;
  • Take into account the style and design and how it matches your style preferences, the look of your bedroom and size.

Final Thoughts 

Your mattress will greatly benefit from a decent bed base. When you combine your new mattress with a suitable bed base, you’ll get the most out of it in terms of comfort and longevity. Using a low-quality bed base, on the other hand, may not be as sturdy and supportive, or it may damage your mattress. 

                           

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Are metal or wood mattress bases better?

Wooden bases tend to be more flexible and bendy, while metal foundations are easier to maintain. Whichever you choose, make sure it fits your mattress size and type. 

Can you put a new mattress on an old base?

Although it isn’t necessary, most bases, particularly sprung divans, work best with the mattress they are sold with. Also, an old base that appears to be in good shape could be hiding flaws that might damage your new mattress in a matter of months. 

Can you stack two mattresses instead of using a mattress base?

A mattress must be supported by a solid foundation, so it’s preferable to place the mattress on the floor rather than stacking them one on top of the other. At the very least, the floor would provide a firm mattress base.

I'm an interior architect by education with a tendency for content writing and research. Whenever I’m waiting for the engine to finish rendering my model, I love reading and researching on a wide variety of topics. I especially love writing content that is backed up by thorough research and relevant data. Given my engineering background, I'm more for the empirical data, not the "I couldn’t help but wonder..." vibe. When I'm not busy writing or drawing, you can find me hiking with my beagle or binge-watching in my bed. There is no in-between.