When buying a bed, it’s easy to consider the size, the look, and the feel – but all too easy to forget about the bed base itself. Despite the current trend to buy a special memory foam mattress to take better care of your back, posture, and sleep health, the real problem could lie deeper than that.
In fact, the bed base is the best place to start if you want to guarantee long-term improvements to your sleep and posture – not to mention value for money.
What should you look for in an adjustable bed base?
An adjustable bed will be built on one of two types of bases: a solid bed base, or a slatted bed base.
Typically, adjustable beds with slatted bed bases can be available for under £1,000, while adjustable beds with solid bed bases can be nearer £2,000, and up to £3,000 or more. There is a considerable price difference but it’s important to think about the health benefits too.
What is a slatted bed base?
A slatted bed base is made of several ‘slats’ – or planks – of wood mounted horizontally across a frame that forms the base of the bed. A mattress is then placed directly on top of this frame. The slats are often bowed in shape to create a cushioning effect, and this tension can be adjusted to suit your needs. Since the slats are often made from flexible soft wood, this bed base should absorb most of the stress and weight put on your bed.
What is a solid bed base?
A solid bed base provides a firmer, stronger supportive structure. Solid bed bases tend to come in one of the following three styles:
A solid or ‘platform’ top – with rigid, non-sprung panel often made from hardboard
A firm-edge divan – a bed base with large, heavy duty springs within a rigid, wooden-sided frame
A sprung-edge divan – the more luxurious of the solid bed bases, with smaller springs mounted on a wooden frame for greater shock absorption
Which adjustable bed base should I choose?
Each has its benefits, although the solid top tends to be the cheapest, while a sprung edge divan is the more expensive. Thankfully, it’s rare for adjustable beds to be built on divan bases, as the supporting nature of a good adjustable mattress makes springs in the base of the bed unnecessary.
Which base is best for an adjustable bed?
Our spines are not straight – nor are they supposed to be! Instead, they form a natural S-shaped curve. With this in mind, the mattress of an adjustable bed is specifically designed to suit the natural curves and contours of your body – meaning the base needs to work with the mattress to support you while you sleep too. The key to this is consistency.
The truth about slatted bed bases
A slatted adjustable bed is certainly an option, but is rarely the best long-term solution for you. Why? Because as you sleep you are bound to move, and over time this can cause your bed slats to move from their original position.
This means they will lose their shape and could even separate from each other – creating gaps in your bed base. When this happens, your mattress is very likely to sit out of place, or even fall between the gaps. Instead, you need a bed that stays in position and will support you no matter how much you may toss and turn.
Get the most out of your adjustable bed with a solid bed base
Adjustable beds are always tailor-made to suit your body’s needs, and therefore we consider a solid base to be a better long-term choice than a slatted base.
This is primarily because a solid bed base adjustable bed has a longer life expectancy, as there are no movable parts – such as slats – that may shift over time. Your back, and the natural curvature of your body, will therefore be consistently supported – allowing for a more restful sleep.
This is all the more important if you suffer from health conditions that affect your sleep or require support for conditions like sciatica, where maintaining this consistent support is key to improving your health and lifestyle.
Helping couples sleep better, together
For couples having sleeping difficulties and are thinking of switching to separate beds, a dual or twin adjustable bed base could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
These beds consist of two separate mattresses, each of which can operate independently on a solid base. This allows you and your partner to adjust each mattress to suit your individual needs, without affecting one another’s sleep.
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With plenty of choice available, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for an adjustable bed. Read our expert adjustable bed buying guide for all the information you need on how to find the right bed for you.