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    What to put between metal bed slats and mattress?

    I have a bed with metal bar slats similar to this: amazon.co.uk/d/B…USI. I am happy with the mattress I have, it is a memory foam of medium thickness which is perfectly comfortable on a hard floor as well as wooden slats as was before on an Ikea bed. When placed on these metal slats however the mattress doesn't provide enough support and the slats are very painful, not mild pain after hours, it is unbearable to even sit for a few minutes. I have tried adding a second mattress underneath it but it is still not enough and bars can be felt. If purely adding a mattress, it would need to be a very high/firm one, probably coil spring type which I do not want.

    What can I put on top of the slats to make them more of a flat surface? Something cheap, firm and durable, ideally not too heavy.

    20 Comments

    What about a sheet of ply wood cut to size. If your worried it might ruin the mattress you could cover with old sheet of blanket.

    Can't you just put a sheet of hardboard (3mm) on top of the slats...... cheap
    Edited by: "steve.t" 16th Jul

    As they said or get hold of some wooden slats and place them between the metal ones. They will give support with a little give. Many people dump old beds, ask on Facebook for some slats. Bound to be someone will give them away, save then dumping them.

    As others have said a simple flat sheet of timber is all you need. 3mm hardboard would be the cheapest - B&Q would cut it to size for you. You don't need anything structural - just something to level the slats out. Just use some duct tape to secure it onto the slats.

    If you have some old cardboard boxes these would probably do for a few nights - just flatten then and put them between the matress and the slats.

    It's not the material, it's the sizing and spacing. The new slats are likely smaller and/or further apart them the old ones.

    You will need something with sufficient rigidity to actually spread the load, just draping a bending sheet over them isn't likely to make much difference.

    the link doesnt work. However your best bet is a couple of these diy.com/dep…prd as you can carry them home. A full size sheet is going to have to be delievred and that costs. Or replace the bed frame.
    Edited by: "buzzard" 16th Jul

    Original Poster

    Cheers for the suggestions!

    The space between slats is the biggest problem, just measured it at 11CM between each bar which causes the mattress to sag down. Wooden slats on top wouldn't work well, they would have to be stacked sideways somehow. Using bigger sheets is better solution but will a 3MM really be enough? Are these hardboard sheets strong enough to distribute grown man body weight? Is it better than say getting 1CM chipboard/MDF?

    If you're leaving the original slats in place, l would just place a piece of 12mm ply on top of them, unless you're massively overweight it should be fine.
    Edited by: "Dyslexic_Dog" 16th Jul

    duckfat12 m ago

    Cheers for the suggestions!The space between slats is the biggest problem, …Cheers for the suggestions!The space between slats is the biggest problem, just measured it at 11CM between each bar which causes the mattress to sag down. Wooden slats on top wouldn't work well, they would have to be stacked sideways somehow. Using bigger sheets is better solution but will a 3MM really be enough? Are these hardboard sheets strong enough to distribute grown man body weight? Is it better than say getting 1CM chipboard/MDF?


    If the gap is 11cm then I still think something like 3mm hardbaord will do. It does not have to suppurt a persons full weight, it just has to bridge these multiple small gaps. There will be no point loads on the hardboard.

    Try to find some stiff cardboard and lay this over a part of the bed and see how it performs - I guess you'll be surprised.

    If not sure, some 6mm ply - you're beginning to talk heavy when moving up to 10mm chipboard/12mm ply!
    Edited by: "Van1973" 16th Jul

    duckfat

    Cheers for the suggestions!The space between slats is the biggest … Cheers for the suggestions!The space between slats is the biggest problem, just measured it at 11CM between each bar which causes the mattress to sag down. Wooden slats on top wouldn't work well, they would have to be stacked sideways somehow. Using bigger sheets is better solution but will a 3MM really be enough? Are these hardboard sheets strong enough to distribute grown man body weight? Is it better than say getting 1CM chipboard/MDF?


    Your mattress currently supports your weight - the 3mm ply will just evenly distribute even more and potentially remove the issue of the slats causing discomfort. I've seen beds made with hardboard (with holes) on top of slats and they've been OK

    Original Poster

    OK, I will experiment with some materials first similar to 3MM. I don't have cardboard but have some unused A4 binders in the garage, these should be equally rigid. I'm 110KG, not "massively obese" just a big boy. My concern was that this will only distribute once laying down, at the point of sitting down/getting up it will take weight in a concentrated spot and break.
    Edited by: "duckfat" 16th Jul

    Van1973

    Try to find some stiff cardboard and lay this over a part of the bed and … Try to find some stiff cardboard and lay this over a part of the bed and see how it performs - I guess you'll be surprised.



    Compared with the entire second mattress he's already tried? I doubt it. I'm not a DIYer so I can't recommend a specific thickness but I'd definitely go for something with minimal flex in it.

    Edited by: "EndlessWaves" 16th Jul

    Hardboard or thin plywood but you need to put holes in it to allow the mattress to breath. You don't need a single sheet as you can do it with 2 or 3 pieces.

    If you don't put holes in it you may end up with a mouldy mattress.

    Original Poster

    paul123edwards

    Hardboard or thin plywood but you need to put holes in it to allow the … Hardboard or thin plywood but you need to put holes in it to allow the mattress to breath. You don't need a single sheet as you can do it with 2 or 3 pieces.If you don't put holes in it you may end up with a mouldy mattress.



    I don't have a drill to put holes. Also, what material is being recommended? Plywood? Hardboard? These are sold separately so presumably not the same, same outlet also list chipboard, MDF so I see up to 4 options from some sellers.

    Would putting wooden slats be better? These would be spaced apart but due to the wide gap between the metal slats I would have to position up-down instead of across unless I can find very wide wooden slats.
    Edited by: "duckfat" 16th Jul

    i am surprised you can still feel the slats if you put a mattress on them. we have a metal slat bed and we have a very good mattress on it. you can not feel the slats whatsoever. perhaps just buy a good mattress which will also give you support in addition to the comfort of the memory foam top.

    3mm peg board (the stuff that shops used to use to hang stuff from) it's only about 3mm thick, pretty sure you can get it from B&Q but timber merchants will sell it and cut it to your required size, 2 small sheet should be more than enough to cover a double or a king size bed. Using peg board will support the mattress but also allow it to breath.

    Just go for the cheap stuff and get minimum 3mm MDF or 5mm chip board, that should do the trick

    How about amazon.co.uk/3-5…TCSthis. You can cut it by scoring with a sharp Stanley knife and bending it.

    Original Poster

    paul123edwards

    How about … How about https://www.amazon.co.uk/3-5mm-Pegboard-1200mm-600mm-centres/dp/B00EDMCTCSthis. You can cut it by scoring with a sharp Stanley knife and bending it.



    I would need 3 of these costing 48 to cover a double bed. Not the cheap I had in mind.

    Also came to say hardboard/peg board with holes works fine. Probably better it has some flexibility.

    If cost is the main factor though, why not pick up a second hand wooden be frame? It may be the cheaper and better option.

    Unless you can find some peg board in a skip or something.
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