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what is a bed base? bed bases explained

written by Liz Tabron

updated 14.11.2023

Divan bed base and mattress in a bedroom

bed base is an essential component of a comfortable and supportive sleep setup. It is the bottom part of your bed and acts as a foundation for your mattress, providing stability and durability. Once you have chosen your mattress type, finding the right bed base is the next step in enhancing your sleep experience. Join us as we explore the different types of bed bases and how they can enhance your sleep experience from divan bed bases to firm springs and slatted frames. So, if you're unsure of which bed base will match your bedroom and mattress, then read more with Silentnight. 

what is the best base for a bed?

A good bed base fully supports your mattress, promoting proper spinal alignment, enhancing mattress longevity, and ensuring a restful sleep. When it comes to choosing the right base for your bed, there are a few key factors to consider but the best for you will depend on your personal preferences, style, and the level of support and functionality you desire. So, explore your options and choose the base that suits your needs and enhances your sleep experience. 

types of bed bases

When it comes to choosing the right bed base, it is essential that it maximises your sleep comfort and provides longevity for your mattress type. Consider factors like support, durability, and personal preferences when making your decision. There are several bed types to consider. First, there's the classic divan bed base, providing excellent support and often including built-in storage. Or if you prefer a more traditional feel, a slatted base might be your best bet. If you're after flexibility then an adjustable bed base allows you to customise your sleeping position. Ultimately, the right bed base depends on your personal preferences and needs for a restful night's sleep.  

what is a divan bed base?

divan bed base consists of a sturdy wooden frame covered in fabric or upholstery. The divan bed base typically has the same measurements as the mattress which creates a beautiful and minimalist aesthetic. They typically feature built-in storage drawers, making them a practical choice for those with limited space. Divan bed bases offer excellent support and can be paired with any type of mattress.

what to look for when buying a divan bed base?

When it comes to divan bed bases, the main types are; solid top, sprung edge, and firm edge. Each option offers different construction which can affect the mattress feel so the best divan base will vary from person to person.  

  • Solid top divan - a bed base that features a rigid, non-sprung top panel, usually made from hardboard. This type of bed base is firm and offers a more affordable option than a sprung edge base. 

  • Sprung edge divan – this bed base incorporates an open coil or pocket sprung unit mounted on a frame that acts as a shock absorber and increases the durability of the mattress too.  

  • Firm edge divan - features a smaller number of large, heavy-duty springs within a rigid wooden-sided frame.  

what is a divan storage bed?

A divan storage bed comes in multiple storage options to offer a highly practical and stylish solution for optimising space in your bedroom. It is a bed frame that comes with built-in storage drawers underneath. These drawers provide ample space to keep bedding, pillows, and other belongings organised and easily accessible. Divan storage beds not only help declutter your room but also add an elegant touch to your decor, a must have for anyone seeking comfort and style in their bedroom. Some of the storage options available include:  

  • Ottoman base - Usually a full or half ottoman, ottoman bed bases lift to allow full use of the internal space of the bed.  Half-ottoman bases can be combined with drawers. 

  • Full drawers - Fill the bedframe with up to 4 full sized drawers for a divided storage option with easy to access storage of small to medium sized items.  

  • Half drawers - Half drawers are usually used in a continental arrangement, which is 2 full drawers with 2 half drawers, to give maximum storage space while still allowing room for a bedside table.  

what is a slatted bed base?

A slatted bed base uses either rigid or sprung slats that mount to the bed frame. This bed base evenly distributes your body weight across wooden or metal slats. 

what are slatted bed bases for?

The bowed shape that is found with sprung slats provides a level of springiness that work with the mattress to improve comfort levels and mattress longevity. The slats are spaced evenly to prevent sagging and allow air to circulate, resulting in a cooler night's sleep. This type of bed base is adjustable, making it perfect for those who want to customise their sleeping experience. In comparison, rigid slats give a firmer feel, but it can affect the durability of the mattress, as they have no give and work against the mattress.   

is a bed base better than slats?

When it comes to deciding between a bed base and slats, there are a few factors to consider. A bed base offers more stability, ensuring a solid foundation for your mattress. It also helps distribute weight evenly and prevents sagging. Slats, on the other hand, can provide a bit more flexibility and airflow, but may not offer the same level of support. The choice depends on personal preference and the specific needs of your mattress. 

does a mattress need a bed base?

The bed base and frame are essential for adding comfort and enhancing your mattress type. Mattresses can be used with slatted or divan bases, but you will need to ensure your mattress and base are suitable to use together, especially if you are buying them separately. Foam mattresses may squeeze through wide spaced slats causing damage to the slats and the mattress, while unsupported pocket springs can poke through the bottom of the mattress. So, when it comes to replacing your bed, it’s a good idea to buy the base and mattress together, so you can be sure of the best possible combination for superior comfort and your best night’s sleep.

how important is the base of the bed?

A bed base has two main purposes - it positions the mattress off the floor and supports the weight of the mattress so that it has consistent support across the entire surface.  

The base needs to have the strength to keep the mattress firmly in place and give you the required support too. Regardless of how great your mattress is, you won’t get the full benefits of it unless it’s placed on a good quality bed base that’s robust and sturdy. If the base sags or is damaged in any way, then it affects the performance of the mattress.

Now you know more about bed bases, you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing and get the most out of your night's sleep. Remember, a well-chosen bed base is an investment in your quality of sleep. If you're looking for more useful information on what you can do to ensure a better sleep, then read our mattress topper buying guide. 

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