Close up of unmade bed with white bedding

Is the slatted frame important?

Is the slatted frame important? - Function, definition and application

The slatted frame, also called the springwood frame in some designs, is an assembly of the bed that supports comfortable lying and is thus an important prerequisite for restful sleep. Many customers wonder whether the slatted frame is important - especially if there is no bed system for the mattress yet. Although restful sleep is possible without a slatted frame, the mattress can wear out more quickly and those who do not want to sleep on the hard, unyielding floor need an appropriate sleeping surface. In addition, the mattress should be of high quality to provide the necessary body support.

The term "slat" refers to the slats attached at right angles to the long side of the frame, which in their entirety form the base for the mattress. In the wooden version, such a slat today usually consists of six to seven layers of laminated wood glued together. Innovations are also coming onto the market that make the slatted frame electrically adjustable. Is the slatted frame important? At the very least, current product variations offer a new kind of sleeping comfort.

Slatted frame development and history

Beds used to have simple boards as a base under the mattress or straw. All the elasticity for the restful lying position of the sleeper was a function of the mattress. The underlay did not give way. With industrialisation, these underlays were replaced, with varying frequency from region to region, by sturdy wire mesh (wire mattress) or spring frames. The wire mattress consists of a mesh of wire parts that are suspended longitudinally elastically by metal springs. The somewhat more expensive wire mattresses (spring frames) have wire springs suspended in metal arches that cushion the mesh vertically. The suspension can be insulated by small leather discs to prevent noise development under load. In addition, a stable protective cover was placed on top of the metal and then the actual mattress.

Depending on the constructional design, this underlay brought a recognisable elasticity to lying and increased sleeping comfort. The disadvantage of this underlay was that after some time of use, a hollow formed (mostly in the hip area of the person lying down). The relief of the spine necessary for restful sleeping was not achieved. Another disadvantage is that noise is unavoidable with the many metal elements that are movably hooked together, and it is not uncommon for them to squeak louder when turned over.

The company Lattoflex, Bremervörde, invented the slatted frame in 1957. In the meantime, the invention has become widely accepted, especially in Europe; it is almost a social consensus that the slatted frame is important and essential for sleeping comfort. The advantage of a slatted frame is that the elasticity function is distributed over many individual slats. The degree of elasticity can be adjusted in every part of the body; in this respect, the slatted frame is important because it noticeably contributes to the relaxation of the body. In the USA, on the other hand, the box spring bed is widespread.

Slatted frame function and construction

A slatted frame has a sturdy rectangular frame (wood, metal, plastic) that is slightly smaller than the inner dimension of the bed frame. Slats usually made of wood, in special cases also of fibre-reinforced plastic, are attached to this frame. As a rule, an elastic plastic holder (floating bearing) serves as a fastening. The slats can be single or double in areas of higher body weight (e.g. hips). A distinction is also made between slatted frames with overlapping slats and those with internal slats. In the case of a slatted frame with overlapping slats, the flexible slats lie above the slats. This means that the outer area of the slatted frame can also provide springing. In contrast, the outer area of the inner slatted frame is rigid.

Why the slatted frame is important:

The slatted frame is important because of the ventilation. The distance to the floor and the openings between the slats allow air circulation, which contributes to mattress hygiene.

An elastic support for the person that takes into account the body shape and weight of the person lying on it (i.e. to keep the spine straight in both the supine and lateral positions to relieve pressure). The slatted frame fulfils this function together with the mattress - the right combination can lead to optimal sleeping comfort.

Development and innovation: from boards to electric slatted frames

The first development of the slatted frame brought the possibility of individual line support. The slats enable special spring behaviour in their respective areas due to their right-angled arrangement to the lying position. However, the still relatively rigid wooden slatted frame cannot yet accommodate all the special features of the body shape and weight. Today's high-tech materials such as glass and carbon fibres have made further development possible. Modern bed bases have a very high density of support points that adapt to the body in an ergonomically flexible way and thus support it precisely.

In order to enable relaxing special positions, the division of the slatted frame into movable segments (back, lower leg, thigh area) was developed based on experience with the treatment of sick people. In the early years, these segments could only be adjusted manually with physical strength. Today, more and more slatted frames are equipped with one or more electric motor drives, which are now increasingly offered in online shops for the home.

Connection between bed and slatted frame

The slatted frame is inserted loosely into the bed frame. For this purpose, the bed frame has stable supports at a height that accommodates the complete slatted frame and part of the mattress. (Example of dimensions for the selection of a slatted frame: nominal dimension of the bed 200 cm × 90 cm equals the inner dimension of the bed frame. External dimensions of the slatted frame e.g. 198 cm × 89.5 cm).

  • Frame grate: Wooden frame with individual slats mounted in plastic elements. Very simple version with few slats (< 20 slats). Normal version (> 25 slats and distance between slats < 4 cm).
  • Adjustable, simple slatted frame: Frame slat with several additional double slats in the area of the higher weight (hip), whose spring behaviour can be adjusted by sliding tensioners.
  • Movable slatted frame: Divided into several segments to allow special positioning for the back and / or legs. Usually 4 to 5 segments. These segments should be divided according to ergonomic principles. The segments can be moved manually or are adjusted by electric motor. The segments are important for the electric slatted frame because they represent the further development of ergonomic flexibility..
  • Roll-up grille: Slats made of plywood or solid wood connected with a flexible band or wire. Allows ventilation of the underside of the mattress, is light and space-saving during transport or in case of storage..

Das Lattenrost erfüllt mehrere Funktionen - unter anderem die elastische Körperunterstützung. Die beständige Weiterentwicklung eröffnet neue Möglichkeiten für einen noch besseren Schlafkomfort. However, regardless of product innovations, the slatted frame is important because it contributes noticeably to sleeping comfort.