Can you put a regular mattress on a platform bed with slats?

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Platform Bed with headboard in herringbone style front view

Can I use the mattress I already have with my new platform bed?

It’s the #1 question we get from customers – can I use my existing mattress with your new platform bed frame or do I also need to invest in a new mattress?

Yes! Most of the time the mattress you have now will work perfectly with your new platform bed. The strong wood slats of a platform bed frame provide idea support for most mattresses – just about any type of mattress – and keep the mattress warranty intact.

The #2 question we hear about platform beds is:

Do I need a Box Spring for my new platform bed frame?

One of the main benefits of a platform bed frame with wooden slats, is that it does not require a box spring. In fact the “platform” in platform bed refers to the wood slats that serve as the mattress foundation.

Still, the question of what kind of mattress foundation is used on what kind of bed can be confusing and can be made even more complicated by different terms used in the bed and mattress industry. Let’s jump into some bed basics to cut through the clutter of bed frames and mattress foundations.

low platform storage bed
Platform bed with 4 storage drawers
platform bed vs box spring

Bed foundations made simple: platform beds and box spring beds

At Solid Custom Heirlooms our beds are offered with two basic types of mattress foundations: platform beds with wooden slats and beds designed for traditional box springs. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of platform beds and traditional box spring beds and what mattress types work best with each.


What is a platform bed?

A platform bed is a type of bed with a built in foundation surface designed to support a mattress without a box spring, typically via a wood or metal frame and wooden support slats. Platform beds are the fastest growing bed category these type of bed frames because of their simplicity, style, and the fact they they will not require a box spring purchase.

What kind of mattress goes on a platform bed?

Almost any high quality mattress can be used with a platform bed:

    • Memory foam mattresses such Tempur-Pedic require a platform bed base and cannot be used with a box spring.
    • Hybrid mattresses such as Dreamcloud combine layers of latex foam with steel springs. They can be used with any type of bed foundation.
    • Traditional innerspring mattresses can be used with either a box spring or platform base, but make sure to check the specifics for your particular mattress.
    • A Tatami Mat is a Japanese style of low-profile bedding traditionally made from Rush Grass woven around a rice hull core.  Many people with back problems report good results sleeping on a Tatami mat on a sturdy platform bed.
    • A Futon, also known as a Japanese Floor Mattress, is thicker and softer than a Tatami Mat – often 12-18 inches thick, but still much more firm than an American mattress. A futon needs a strong support of a platform bed.
    • More information about Tatamis, Futons and Shikibuton can be found at our blog “what are Japanese platform beds called?”

Benefits of Platform Beds

Platform beds are by far the most popular bed frames in the marketplace primarily because the built-in foundation eliminates the need to purchase a box spring. Additional benefits include:

    • Platform bed bases are typically lower in cost vs other types of beds
    • Platform beds provide a supportive foundation for almost any mattress type while keeping manufacturer’s warranties intact
    • Platform beds are available in a wide variety of modern and classic styles
    • Slatted wood base provides good air circulation
    • Platform beds are the best foundations for foam mattresses, latex mattresses and many new types of “Beds in a Box” such as Purple, Casper,  Nectar and many other up and coming brands.
Canopy bed with tapered posts wormy maple
Canopy bed with platform base

Do wooden bed slats make a difference?

Most Platform Beds feature a row of wood slats to provide a mattress support and allow for healthy air circulation to both the mattress and the sleeper. The slatted surface is recommended by mattress manufacturers, provides a solid bed base, and is consistent with mattress warranties.

loft bed with desk
Loft bed with desk

Platform bed styles

Solid wood platform beds are available in a wide variety of styles including:

    • Standard platform beds with typical finished mattress height of 20 to 30 inches
    • Low profile beds with a mattress height of 5 to 20 inches
    • Canopy beds that have a frame above the bed often used for curtains
    • Storage Beds feature drawers or open storage spaces under the bed and or in the headboard
    • Loft beds are a popular way to create a home office or child’s play space by raising the bed platform above the floor.

Do I need a box spring?

You do not need a box spring unless you have a mattress that requires one.  A box spring is a box-shaped support foundation that is used underneath a mattress. Typically a wooden box covered by breathable fabric, box springs are designed to be used with a box spring bed frame that does not have support slats. Most modern box springs provide very little function other than achieving a traditional bed style.

What mattress type works best with a box spring bed?

Box Spring beds are typically used with an innerspring mattress, but often can support other types. Make sure to check with your mattress manufacturer to make sure the type of bed base you chose is compatible with your mattress warranty.

Some newer types of the memory foam beds and latex mattresses are designed specifically for use with the solid surface of a platform bed and should NOT be used with Box Springs.

Box spring bed styles

Beds that use a Box Spring include simple traditional bed frames, four poster beds, raised frame beds, cabin beds and even wrought iron beds. Because the Box spring consumes more space than platform beds, a box spring bed typically has limited space under the bed or for built in storage space.

4 poster box spring bed
4 poster bed with mattress and box spring

Does a box spring make a difference for a mattress?

According to many experts, including the folks over at Popular Mechanics, “Traditional bed frames with box springs are no longer necessary to provide your mattress with firm support to extend its life.”

However, if you plan to use an existing innerspring mattress, we suggest that you try it with and without box springs before you make your final decision on which style of bed to purchase. Depending on the exact type and age of your most traditional innerspring mattress that you have it may have been designed specifically to be used with a box spring. The easiest to way to learn how innerspring mattresses -or any other type – will feel on a platform bed is to try it on the floor and then try it with a box spring. This test will be a close approximation of how the two bed types will feel when in use.

Do I need a Bunkie Board with a platform bed or box spring bed?

A Bunkie Board is a flat board, typically a piece of plywood or particle board 1 inch to 3 inches in thickness, that is intended to be placed between a bed foundation and the mattress to give additional support. It can be used with any type of bed if extra firm support is required.

If you have a well built platform bed, a Bunkie Board is most likely not required. If you have an older, sagging box spring bed with extra support, an innerspring mattress, or a Platform Bed without enough slats, a Bunkie Board might provide the enhanced support you need.

platform bed with tatami mat
Tatami Mat

Can I put a Tatami mat on my bed?

You can put a Tatami on a most platform bed frames but make sure the bed surface foundation provides strong support for the mat. Because the mat itself is not rigid, Tatami beds must have a firm, flat base platform to support the mat and in turn the sleepers. A Tatami cannot be used with a box spring.


Can you put two mattresses on a platform bed?

A platform bed base will support two mattresses in a side-by-side configuration if they are the same length, width and thickness. For example, two side-by-side Twin-XL mattresses, typically 80 inches long and 38 inches wide, will be the same dimension as a single Eastern King mattress at 80 inches long and 76 inches wide. Just make sure that the thickness is the same for both mattresses!

Some customers also ask if their new platform bed frame will support two stacked mattresses. While it might be better to ask the Princess and The Pea if this increases the bed’s comfort, there is certainly no reason you can’t try! Just double check that your particular bed is rated for the overall weight of the two mattresses and sleepers.

Can I put an air mattress on a platform bed frame?

Air mattresses have come a long way in recent years, evolving from basic camping gear to comfortable sleep solutions that can rival traditional mattresses. When it comes to using an air mattress on a platform bed frame, there are several key factors to consider.

First off, a platform bed frame offers a solid and stable foundation for almost any kind of mattress – including an air mattress. Unlike traditional box springs, platform bed frames provide a flat surface without any gaps or uneven support. This ensures that your air mattress will sit securely without any sagging or shifting.

Second, platform bed frames are often designed with modern aesthetics in mind. They typically feature clean lines, minimalistic designs, and sleek finishes that can enhance the overall look of your bedroom. By pairing your air mattress with a platform bed frame, you can create a stylish and contemporary sleeping space.

Finally a platform bed frames are known for their durability. Made from high-quality materials such as solid wood or metal, these frames are built to last. This means that your air mattress will have a sturdy and reliable base, reducing the risk of punctures or leaks.

How to maximize stability and comfort when using an air mattress on a platform bed frame.

A platform bed frame can be a good base for a high quality air mattress. Please consider the following suggestions:

    1. Choose an air mattress with adequate support and adjustability. Look for models that offer customizable firmness levels or built-in support systems to cater to your specific sleep preferences.
    2. Use a mattress protector or a fitted sheet with deep pockets to keep the air mattress securely in place. This will prevent the sheet from slipping or coming off during the night.
    3. Consider using a mattress topper made of memory foam or latex to enhance the comfort of the air mattress. This can provide additional cushioning and support, improving the overall sleep experience.
    4. If the platform bed frame has slats or gaps, place a solid platform or a bunkie board on top to provide a solid surface for the air mattress. This will prevent any sagging or sinking into the gaps.
    5. Regularly inspect the air mattress and the platform bed frame for any signs of wear or damage. Address any issues promptly to ensure the longevity and safety of your sleep setup.

Can I put my box spring on a Platform Bed frame?

While it is not very common, box springs can be used on a slatted platform bed if desired. A box spring used with a platform bed will raise the sleeping position and finished bed height, but typically will not make the mattress firmer or add to or take away the performance or comfort of the mattress foundation.

Soooo, can you put a regular mattress on a platform bed with slats?

Back to our original question! And if you have read this far, I’m sure you can answer this question: Yes! A platform bed most definitely will support any type of mattress and most likely the mattress that you are currently using. Solid Custom Heirloom platform beds are strong enough for any mattress. If you change your bed style from box spring to platform bed, it is very likely that you can use your existing mattress and will no longer need your box spring.

Solid Custom Heirlooms beds

At Solid Custom Heirlooms we are all about custom, handmade beds – whether it be a platform bed, box spring bed or other types of bed base. Our goal is to offer a wide variety of bed base types that work will with all mattress types from innerspring mattresses to memory foam mattresses and everything in-between. If you don’t see what you are looking for, or want to talk more about achieving a specific look or type of bed, please contact us and we would love to chat!

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