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Ask An Expert: What’s the Difference between Slat Support and Panel Support On A Modern Bed?

In this day and age, the vast majority of modern beds out there no longer need a box spring, so the decision comes down to whether you’ll be purchasing a bed with a slatted support system or panel support system. And when you consider the amount of time you’ll be sleeping in your new bed, you’ll want to make sure you can sleep well knowing you’ve made an informed choice.

Slat Support System Beds

Typically no more than three inches apart, the slat system is quite common and can easily work with various modern bed types that have moved away from traditional bed frames requiring a box spring.

The slat support system is comprised of a series of wooden or metals slats most commonly used with platform beds. At times, the slats may be offered as a removable system, while other times it’ll be built into the beds frame as a single unit.

Most beds these days come with a slatted system regardless of whether it’s a platform bed or a sleigh bed. Slat supports aid with reducing uneven and lumpy surfaces and cut down on dust and mold build up typically found with the use of box springs. The slatted system is ideal for those with dust and mold allergies and perfect for restless sleepers who are sensitive to the uneven pokes and prods of springs. It’s a common and affordable option as it proves to be quite versatile in its range of benefits; from allowing the bed to breathe a little easier, to offering a flatter surface for the mattress to sit on, or to making the moving process a little easier when taking apart or putting together the bed.

Panel Support System Beds

A single panel most often construction of wood, metal, or MDF (medium density fiberboard) as a single and solid sheet or with breathable cutouts.

The design of a panel support, in relation to the bed’s frame, will vary from bed to bed. Depending on the bed’s design, the panel support may be built into the frame or it may be removable. The panel, itself, may be constructed using wood, metal, or MDF (medium density fiberboard) as a single and solid sheet or with breathable cutouts.

In most cases, a removable MDF panel will be the most economical option given the low-cost and trustworthy strength of a support panel comprised of MDF. Meanwhile, a built in panel or a sheet of metal or wood won’t necessarily be the lowest-cost, but you’re investing in durability that’s designed to last you decades. Between the three materials, either panel option ensures comfortable sleeping through reduced lumpiness from a flatter surface area; the primary difference is the material make up and the total cost.

At the end of the day, after taking everything into consideration, you’ll want to pick the bed that works best for you.

And finally get some rest.


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Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.

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