Can You Put Wood Slats On A Metal Bed Frame? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Metal bed frames are great for people who want to have a sturdy bed that looks modern. It’s a gorgeous look, but you often need to have support for the mattress on your bed frame. That’s why many people tend to worry about how they can get the most support for their mattress. Wood slats are a classic, but do they work on metal bed frames?

The thin support beams on metal bed frames rarely ever handle mattress weight properly. Adding wood slats on a metal bed frame is fairly easy to do and can help reinforce mattress support. They can either be gently placed in or drilled in, depending on the model.

It can be a little tough trying to work with wood slats when you are new to metal bed frames. However, there are several ways that you can do it.

Is It Possible To Put Wood Slats On A Metal Bed Frame?

Assuming that you don’t have a bed frame that has metal supports, it should be possible to put wood slats on the bed frame of your choice. If your bed frame has metal supports, it may be trickier to get the slatting that you want. However, there are still ways to do it and times when it’s right to do so. We’re going to get into it as a part of the next question or two.

When Is It Appropriate To Put Wood Slats On A Metal Bed Frame?

There are several moments where wood slats are appropriate for a metal bed frame. These include the following issues:

  • You feel like your metal bed frame doesn’t have much support. Most mattresses do best with wood slats spaced four inches apart. Does your bedframe have slats at that spacing? No? Time to slat it up.
  • Your bed frame only has a singular center support beam. Even if you are very lightweight, this probably won’t be enough to support a thicker mattress. In some cases, it could also make weaker mattresses fall to one side. Slats prevent that from happening.
  • In recent weeks or months, your bed started to sag. Sagging beds need to be fixed as soon as possible. In some cases, placing plywood under the mattress is a good move. If you want to get your mattress straightened out, using wooden slats can help.
  • The mattress company your mattress came from advises it. Believe it or not, some mattress companies will straight up tell you when you should have slat support. This is most common among companies that are considered to be upscale. For example, Casper mattresses suggests using wooden slats on their mattresses.
  • You don’t have a boxspring for your bed. Your bed needs some kind of support. A boxspring usually provides that support in metal bedframes. In lieu of that, slats will do the trick.

Will Wood Slats Damage A Metal Bedframe?

In the vast majority of cases, there should be no reason why wood slats would damage a bedframe. It’s basically like having a more bare-bones version of a boxspring mattress in a lot of ways. The difference is that the support is harder and flatter. Metal is also harder than wood, so there’s that aspect that adds security, too.

How To Put Wood Slats On A Metal Bed Frame

If you have a metal bed frame with a single support beam, it’s totally reasonable to want to place extra slats for support. There are several ways that you can do this. These below are the most common methods that people use to add wooden slats to a metal bed:

  • Slide a prefabricated set of slats over the bed frame. This is usually the easiest way to do it. Whether you call them bunkie boards or just slat sets doesn’t matter. You can usually buy them at a hardware store or furniture store. As long as your bed is a standard size, you’ll be able to find a slat set for it. They usually stay in place with minimal shaking.
  • Drill holes in the sides of your bed frame to secure slats in place. This is done when the bed in question is already showing signs of shakiness, or when you’re worried about current metal support beams getting in the way of wooden slats. Drilling holes for slat support can also help stabilize a shaky bed.
  • Make your own set of wooden support slats that fit between your metal supports. This is the route people take when your bed frame already has supports and the supports just out just a bit too much. It may be a rough go of it, but it still offers some stability compared to metal bed slats alone.

Related Questions

Do metal bedframes require slats?

Metal bedframes generally do not offer much support in and of themselves. In most cases, metal bedframes will require a boxspring mattress for the support that mattresses need. This is the traditional solution to getting the support that your mattress would need.However, another option would be to get wooden slats for the bottom of the bedframe. These can offer additional support without causing the height to increase.

Which are better, wood or metal slats?

Believe it or not, wood slats are actually the better option. This is because they are thicker and offer more coverage than most metal slats do. They also are not as prone to “sudden breaks” like metal slats are, and also give warning signs if they are under pressure. The strongest beds have both wood and metal in them.

How long should wooden bed slats last?

Wooden bed slats are supposed to be pretty durable, especially if you have them specially made for the bed you own. You can expect most wooden bed slats to last a bare minimum of 7 to 10 years. In some cases, they can last as long as 20 without serious issue.On a similar note, metal bed slats actually tend to last longer than their wooden counterparts. They can last between 10 to 15 years in most bedframes.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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