Is this mattress suitable for my base?

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Is this mattress suitable for my base???
This is a question I get asked all the time.

The fact is that there is only one type of mattress that is generally suitable for all types of base, and that is an open coil sprung mattress. However I have actually seen slatted bases with gaps of around 6” between the slats. If your base is like this, then no mattress will last. So if  I were you I would add extra slats to close the gaps up to around 3”.

If you want a pocket sprung mattress, then you have to remember that all the springs work independently, and therefore if there are gaps between the slats on your bed that mean that some of the springs won’t be supported, or even worse will only be partially supported, then this will in time damage the springs in your mattress. So as a general rule I would strongly advise against gaps of more than 1” when using a pocket sprung mattress. However there are a couple of exceptions to this rule:

If the mattress is two sided pocket sprung with memory foam or latex foam, and the foam is a couple of inches deep, then this will spread the weight out over the slats, and enable you to use a bed with slats of up to 3” apart.
If the mattress is a non turn mattress, that has been specially designed for use on slatted bases (it has an almost solid layer on the under side of the mattress). However if you read the page on ‘Non Turn Mattresses’, then you will see why I don’t like them.

You will find that many retailers and manufacturers will claim that you can use their pocket sprung mattresses on any type of base. Well you can, but don’t expect the mattress to last as long.

There are even retailers who will dispute claims that slatted bases can damage pocket springs at all. Well they would say that wouldn’t they, because they want you to buy an expensive mattress from them. And pocket sprung mattresses are generally more expensive mattresses.

What can you do to make your bedstead suitable for a pocket sprung mattress?

Well the fix is quite simple. There are in fact a couple of options depending on the type of base you have:

If your base has solid planks of wood, then you can just buy some more planks of wood that are the same thickness, and add them to your base to close the gaps up.
If your base has sprung slats, then you can lay a sheet of pegboard, or the more widely available hardboard over the slats. Make sure that this board is only a few millimetres thick so that it will bend with the slats. You can of course also use this method with solid slats.

Many people believe that you can use reflex foam based foam only mattresses on any type of base. However this isn’t actually the case. Reflex foam is made up from loads of tiny bubbles. If the weight isn’t spread out very evenly over the bottom of the mattress, then the bubbles where all the weight is can start to burst. This can leave a corrugated effect on the bottom of the mattress. I have been asked if slats will have the same effect on the memory foam on the under side of a two sided pocket sprung and memory foam mattress. Well the answer is no, because memory foam is open celled, so there are no bubbles to burst.

Divan bases are suitable for any type of mattress, because they support the mattress evenly.

I should point out that the above information is a general guide, and that you should check all the terms and conditions from both the retailer, and the manufacturer of you bed or mattress. Some retailers even insist that you buy a new base from them at the same time as the mattress in order to qualify for their guarantee.

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