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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, everyone.

I would like to ask your opinion as to whether it is important have the surface of a wooden bed made of boards with gaps between them, or if it is better to have a solid surface.

My mind goes to the importance of some air circulating among the undersheets, to prevent mold or bad smells. I am not sure though if this is really important or if it is a sanctification for saving wood really.

With thanks
 

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Apart from air circulation, spacing the boards gives some suspension to the mattress. A solid surface with a hard mattress would be like sleeping on the floor.
Wide gaps with a soft mattress would be like sleeping in a hammock.
You should consider how hard the mattress is, and then adjust the spacing.
My bed has spaces of about a third of the width of the boards, and with my firm mattress gives my bad back the support it needs.
 

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I would think that air circulation would be important in a moist, especially a tropical climate. The picture shows about how many frame slats we see around here. They support the bottom mattress or box spring, which is usually built with sufficient wood support underneath. I personally find it more comfortable to have the head of the bed raised, so I use a 4x4 at the top and graduated heights to a thin 3/4 piece at the bottom. I prefer a softer mattress, so 4 slats are sufficient. If you want the mattress harder, putting in more slats would help do that. If you are only placing one mattress on the slats, you will need a lot of slats, and with many mattresses today, that would make it quite a bit harder, although I have no idea whether that's true of some of the solid foam mattresses. Good thing about slats is that you can add or take some away to suit you. If you weigh 400 lbs, you will need more and stronger slats, although that's close to what you would expect a bed to carry with just the 4 slats shown.
 

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I think the slats are more to save weight & wood than anything else. My motor home has a solid piece of plywood under the mattress (most do because there is storage beneath). I've slept on it with a memory foam mattress for 11 years without a problem. No mold and etc. and RV's are notorious for condensation inside on the windows. Back in the Colonial days they used ropes under the mattress so maybe the spacing came from that. The internet has all kind of differing opinions.
 

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If a box spring is used, no need for much wood support. If no box spring is used how firm the mattress will determine how tight the spacing. Gaps should not be so wide as to be felt while laying down.
 

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I would say basically the same. Box spring under the mattress eliminates the need for a solid sub surface. Mattress only does require a solid surface or very close to it.
 
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My gut tells me the amount of air movement through a box spring, if used and a standard or hybrid mattress, (all the new space age products) is minimal at rest whether sheets and blanket are present or not. Air transfer takes place while the mattress is occupied due to compression and expansion, (moving body/s, objects). Hospitals and probably some motels use removable plastic covers/bags to protect mattresses and pillows from moisture and bedbugs.

For the most part I believe slats are an economic solution for the industry. If one is concerned about the number of slats used and whether they're secured or not, should be determined by the weight the frame will support when occupied.

Water and air mattresses require solid bases to prevent leaks and more evenly distribute the enormous weight of the filled mattress let alone the occupants. New studies into mattresses suggest one leave the sheets and blankets pulled back during the day to encourage air movement over the mattress and limit bedbugs, something to do with temp and light. For water beds this is a considerable problem during the winter; however water mattresses don't suffer the same moisture issues foam and spring mattresses do.
 

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I have no idea what is actually needed or necessary, but given that my weight is fairly Jabba the Hut ish. I made a platform for our bed that is the same height as the frame would place the slats made out of 3/4" MDF and ripped 2xs that takes the weight off the frame. We have used it for 19 years now with no problems. Minnesota isn't particularly humid though, plus we have A/C. But we did get 18 years out of the old mattress and box springs combo. Of course as in all things, your mileage might vary.


Gary
 

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I think the slats are more to save weight & wood than anything else. My motor home has a solid piece of plywood under the mattress (most do because there is storage beneath). I've slept on it with a memory foam mattress for 11 years without a problem. No mold and etc. and RV's are notorious for condensation inside on the windows. Back in the Colonial days they used ropes under the mattress so maybe the spacing came from that. The internet has all kind of differing opinions.
I think this is correct, manufacturers only use as much material as the item needs, if you are only making one item then it does not matter but if you make hundreds of the item then material quantities does add up, and there is also the carton weight, shipping costs are higher when the weight is higher, ventilation is not the reason why there are less slats. N
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all old and new friends. I am making a "platform" bed with drawers underneath, for my son. When I can say I am not ashamed of it, I will post it in "Show And Tell" forum. Till then, it is elbow grease and TAYW ("think as you work" - there is no previous design - it is developing as the work proceeds). On the other hand, if the weather turns too bad, I will post questions and ask for ideas.

Best wishes
 

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Greetings, everyone.

I would like to ask your opinion as to whether it is important have the surface of a wooden bed made of boards with gaps between them, or if it is better to have a solid surface.

My mind goes to the importance of some air circulating among the undersheets, to prevent mold or bad smells. I am not sure though if this is really important or if it is a sanctification for saving wood really.

With thanks
What is your mattress configuration...

conventional box springs and mattress....
single proverbial mattress..
memory foam...
this would be important to know...
 

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Thank you Stick,

the mattress is conventional, with springs and various layers of surfacing, about 23 cm tall (9.5 in approx) and originally rested on what on the internet is deiscibed as "springbox" but actually it was a rigid wooden frame, dressed up with upholstery. As we do in Greece, the "bed" provides a rigid surface with the matress on top, which caters for all elasticity. So I made 3 of the 4 the modules without surface gaps, and I am now setting up the head module (not the head board) also without gaps.

Let me know what you think
 

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Dimitri,in Greece do you have casters on the bed?
here in Cyprus I had a bed made last year by a furniture making company, and they looked at me like I was crazy asking for casters so i could move the bed for cleaning.
I actually had to take pictures of my UK bed (it had worn out) that I wanted replacing because they just did not believe about the casters.

And then after all that, they fitted rubber wheeled ones, that have already got a flat on the bottom due to the weight. I shall replace them with hard plastic next year.
 

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Thank you Stick,

the mattress is conventional, with springs and various layers of surfacing, about 23 cm tall (9.5 in approx) and originally rested on what on the internet is deiscibed as "springbox" but actually it was a rigid wooden frame, dressed up with upholstery. As we do in Greece, the "bed" provides a rigid surface with the matress on top, which caters for all elasticity. So I made 3 of the 4 the modules without surface gaps, and I am now setting up the head module (not the head board) also without gaps.

Let me know what you think
to steal DRT's picture...



the slats are mechanical...
they keep the mattress configuration from falling down between the side rails...
at the bottom of the rail is a ledger that has the job of holding the box springs and because not all box springs are not created equal the slats serve to increase the depth of the ledger.. ...

if the bed is to be used by a frail elderly person 4 slats are plenty...
a couple of rambunctious kids...
20 slats wouldn't help...
 

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Dimitri : In reference to posting pictures; If your project pleases you that is all that matters. Most people would never attempt the project you have in mind so just the effort to make something complex, with your hands, says a lot about you, especially when you are making it for someone else. I have been working with wood for many years and seriously doubt that anything I made was "perfect". Machine made items that are "perfect" are usually dull. Hand made, with slight imperfections, has character !! Post your pictures, folks on this forum will appreciate your work.
 

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Bob, thank you for your comments. No, i do not want castors under the big double bed and I am definite on this. Coincidentally, the first serious bit of furniture I made was my marital bed back in 1978, still in use today. Anyone can see its amateurism, and its wisdom as well. It has been serving its purposes well all these years.

Stick, it is of no question to put a few slats. I laughed at the "rambunctious kids" and remembered your comments in another thread with the pic of a bed with several guns hidden in it and you saying "if somebody is having a party on it..." and laughed my heart out in both occasions.
Imagine the rambunctious kids hovering randomly on casters as the bed is propelled by intensive thrusts in unintended direction, and it might as well end in unexpected places in the house...

Gary, if you have the time to browse at the things I posted here, you will see that I only construct to please myself, sometimes it would make my life easier to make things more simple...

Well, I made it all solid, as the son is still in rambunctious age and hope they will not get rid of it, as it is the biggest and most complicated thing I ever made to date.
 
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