Bed Slats

What are Bed Slats?

Bed slats, or simply “slats”, are a structural element of a platform bed frame and provide support to bed’s mattress. Slats are very important because they have to be strong and able to transfer the weight of the people and weight of the mattress to the bed frame/legs and ultimately to the floor. They also need to be flexible in order to provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Slats also need to be made into a set which allows air into the mattress to keep it dry.

Slats can be made of softwoods, hardwoods, plywoods and in some cases, man-made materials. Premium slats are made of solid hardwood.

Dapwood Bed Slats

Dapwood’s bed slats are all made in-house out of an American hardwood- Poplar. Poplar is a solid, premium hardwood. We machine each slat by hand and because of this the vast majority of the wood is defect free. Our poplar slat is smooth on the top and bottom and the edges are bull-nosed so there are no sharp corners.


(Liriodendron tulipifera)


Common Names: Tulipwood, tulip-poplar, white-poplar, and whitewood.

Characteristics: Poplar is a fast growing hardwood indigenous to the eastern half of the United States.  Poplar sapwood (outer living area) is white, sometimes with stripes while the interior heartwood is usually tan, but can range from greenish brown to dark green, purple, black, blue and yellow. Over time these color variations will fade.

Older Bed Slats

Several years ago, Dapwood did offer a laminated slat product that was made up of several thin layers of wood glued together. We made the decision to move away from that laminated product because we questioned its long-term sustainability. We also had the option at one time for slats made out of pine but we had issues with its appearance and concern of long-term strength and durability.

Slat Spacing

Dapwood’s standard slat set consists of 2.5” wide slats spaced 3” apart. This provides adequate support for most mattresses.

However, some mattress manufacturers may require an almost solid platform or some people simply want to have a firmer/stronger platform. In this situation, we have an option called double or 2x slats. This consists of another loose set of slats that are installed in the 3″ space between the slats of the first set. Double slats will provide approximately ¼” spacing between the slats which still allows proper air circulation.

Dapwood has also started offering 2.5″ wide slats spaced 1.5″ apart. This spacing option is required by some mattress manufacturers.

If you do not know what spacing you need, check with your mattress maker.