How to Make Bed Slats Stronger — Reinforcing Bed Frames

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Achieving a restful night’s sleep is crucial, and a sturdy bed plays a vital role in that. Strengthening your bed can be done by adding something called slats. But there’s more you can do to bolster these slats and guarantee uninterrupted sleep. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to fortify your bed slats, ensuring the highest quality of sleep possible.

Bed Slats and Their Types

Bed slats are found constructed in platform beds. They can be seen horizontally fixed on the bed frame. It generally creates a mattress platform. Slats are generally made up of wood. It would also be uncommon to see metal slats. It is best to know how to fix bed slats. 

Here are a few types of bed slats: 

Solid-Slatted Platform

Solid slats, which can be crafted from either wood or metal, serve as sturdy support for your mattress. Wooden slats are commonly constructed from pine, while metal slats are typically fashioned from aluminum. 

To maintain the durability of your mattress, it’s important to pair it with a firm foam mattress to prevent any unwanted sagging over time. This combination of slats and mattress support ensures a comfortable and long-lasting sleep surface.

bedroom furniture made of maple wood

Sprung-Slatted Platform

Sprung slats are constructed from malleable wood types, which prevent stress and cracking. Beech is one of the most popular wood types for making bed frames and slats. This kind of slat has an upward arch.  

This platform brings a bouncy property for your mattress. The bouncy nature of the slats makes them more receptive to the user’s weight. In addition, a firm mattress is not required for this type. 

Basic Frame (w/ Center Beam)

A basic frame has a center beam. The slatted structure for this kind of bed is common and has fewer slats compared to the others. 

Why Do Bed Slats Become Loose or Shaky?

Knowing why bed slats become loose is equally important as learning how to make bed slats stronger. A loose or shaky bed slat can be caused by any of the following:

Great Risk of Bed Frame Damage

If you keep moving the bed frame’s position, this can risk and may result in damage to the bed frame. This constant movement can loosen the joints or make slats shorter due to friction. 


Squeaky Bed

These loose beds, most often than not, produce a squeaky sound. It is uncomfortable to bear for household members. 

Preventable Accidents

The presence of a wobbly slat on the bed frame poses a significant risk, as it can potentially fall off. This, in turn, will undoubtedly lead to accidents and potentially cause harm to individuals in close proximity to the bed.

Why Bed Slats Always Break

Bed slats weaken due to several factors. Here are some reasons why bed slats always break:

Make Your Bed Slats Stronger in 11 Ways

Method #1: Secure the Bed Slats to the Frame

Most bed slats are unsecured on the bed. These unfastened slats can easily shift, which can increase the weight concentrations on broken slats as well as the frame.

securing bed slats

To ensure a sturdy assembly, the optimal choice is to fasten the slat using screws. Alternatively, you can employ nails for securing the slats to the frame. For this task, you’ll require either a 2-inch or 2.5-inch wood screw and a drill.

Another approach is to affix the slats using smooth-shanked nails and a hammer. It’s important to note that using nails may compromise the bed’s structural integrity. 

Additionally, it’s a more permanent solution, making it challenging to disassemble the bed should you wish to relocate it in the future.

Method #2: Put Plywood on Top of the Bed Slats

Another alternative is to top the slats with plywood. The addition of plywood will keep the slats in place and will also double as a mattress support. This process reduces the chances of a sagging mattress. 

You will need a pencil, tape measure, saw, and drill if you choose this option. It is best to use 0.75-inch plywood for this step and good quality screws. 

Measure and cut enough plywood for your bed area. You can proceed to lift the slat from the bed and start to screw the plywood to it. 

Plywood Bed Platform

Make sure to join plywood pieces from left to right. Return the reinforced slat system to the bed frame. 

Method #3: Utilize Slat Spacers to Avoid the Shifting of Slats

If you want to make your bed slats stronger but do not want to permanently screw them on, then you will need to space out the slats with the help of slat spacers. 

These slate spacers are simple things that can be placed between slats to make them immobile. Slat spacers can be purchased online, or you can even make them yourself. 

You can make it by yourself by purchasing a wood plank that has the same width as your bed slats. Proceed to cut them into pieces the same length as you prefer your spaces. 

Install these to the slat spaces to the side rails and position these in between the existing slats. Make sure these spacers fit between the existing slats. 

setup bed slats

Examine the resulting placement, and if you are happy with their placement, you can now proceed to add glue at the bottom of each spacer. Place them on the rack and press them down firmly.

Method #4: Consider Adding More Slats and Pull Them Closer

Another method to strengthen bed slats without changing the bed is to add more slats. Installing additional slats can strengthen the structure and space out the slat network for even weight distribution. 

Determine the total number of slats that you will need. Take into account that you need an additional plant between two existing ones. Take the necessary measurements. The additional slats should have the same dimension as the existing ones. 

Once you have decided what wood type you prefer, you can proceed with this step. Pine wood is one of the most favored ones.  

Method #5. Replace or Reinforce a Saggy Center Beam

The center support beam has the integral function of making the bed strong and sturdy. This process can also prevent slats from sagging and prevent them from shifting. However, not all beds have a supportive center beam. 

white bed frame

Examine the center beam if your bed frame has one. Check if the wood beam is sagging or is broken. Exerting too much weight on these things will break the beam. If this happens, you can reinforce or replace the beam.

Method #6. Add a Supportive Center Beam

You may also add a supportive center bean to your bed. A center beam can run along the whole length of the bed. It passes through the slats. You will need to look for 8 to 10 inches of 2×8 wood as well as 30 pieces of 3-inch bed frame screws. 

Hoist the bed and tilt it to its side. Proceed to measure the length from the bottom to the top of the slat. Copy these measurements to your 2×8 wooden planks and cut them. 

Then measure approximately 12 inches from the bottom of the beam and stain the locations. Screw the leg support to these marked locations at a 90-degree beam.


Make sure to shorten the legs to be parallel to the whole length of the frame’s legs. Then place the bed frame over the beam and nail it in place. You now have a stronger structure. 

platform bed

Method #7. Add Slats Made from Thicker Lumber/Stronger Wood

You can also add stronger or thicker wood slats to the bed. However, this would mean you need to increase your budget to afford this project. Rest assured that it is worth every penny since the bed is now strong and sturdy. 

Ideally, 2 inches is enough for bed slats to make it stronger. 

Is it Advisable to Add Slats on Bed Frames?

Certainly, it’s a good idea to increase the number of bed slats instead of having just a few on your bed. This can significantly extend the lifespan of your bed. 

However, it’s equally important to ensure that these bed slats are robust and can handle a substantial weight capacity. Strengthening your bed frame overall will contribute to its longevity.

Method #8: Replace Bed Slats Using Thicker Lumber/Stronger Wood

You can easily turn bed slats stronger. One way is to replace slats with thicker or stronger wood. Replacing thinner slats can become expensive, but it is necessary when the need calls for it. 

The majority of the hardwood species is sufficient for the job. Oak trees, on the other hand, are one of the best substitutions. Furthermore, they are common and very strong. 

solid wood bed

You need to know how many slats you will need and also consider if you will need to replace wood slats. Two-inch thick 2×4 planks are recommended to change all the slats. 

So, how many 2×4 lumbers do you need? You can check out this calculator guide next!

Method #9. Use Metallic Slats Instead of Wood Slats

You may also opt to use metal slats instead of wooden slats. Hardwood species are very reliable. However, they cost a lot. Metallic slats, on the other hand, can be found in any local hardware store and are known to be much cheaper. 

Purchase the necessary tools, such as metallic tubing, at a machine shop. It is recommended to use square metal tubing. You can request the local hardware store to chop these for you. However, you can also cut this by yourself if you have a metal blade. 

Pre-drill the holes to the metal tube and make sure it aligns with the frame and fasten these to the frame. 

Method #10. Use a box Spring

Using a short box spring can also help strengthen the wooden bed slats. Box springs are comparable to plywood. These provide a foundation upon the mattress to be laid upon. One thing that is different is that box springs are thicker, and they look similar to a mattress. 

building bed box spring

A common box string is a.k.a. box spring mattress. It is made up of a lightweight wooden or metal frame that is made up of metal springs/coils that are further wrapped in fabric. 

You can use a box spring by removing the foam mattress and placing the board at the bottom of the frame. Proceed to place the box spring [1] up and then finally place the mattress. 

Method #11: Opt for a Thicker Mattress

Consider upgrading to a thicker mattress for a quick solution to enhance your sleep quality. This temporary adjustment can provide you with a more comfortable night’s rest.

When to Replace Your Bed Frames + How Much Weight Can Bed Slats Hold?

Walnut and Silver Maple bed frame

If the aforementioned methods still do not produce a strong bed frame, then it is about time to replace it. Here are some signs that should tell you it is time to replace the bed frame:

  1. A mattress that is sinking
  2. Broken center beam on the current bed frame
  3. Weakened bed frame or wobbly bed slats
  4. Severe squeaking and noises
  5. Restlessness
Wood Bed TypesCapacities (maximum weight)
Wooden bed frame600 lbs.
Plywood bed150-200 lbs. 
Wooden box spring45 lbs.

Ideal Wood Types for Bed Slats

There are several wood types ideal for bed slats. One of these wood types includes pine. Pine is long-lasting. However, it is not as strong as oak planks. 

Is there a Cheapest Way To Make Bed Slats? How?

If you’re looking to save some money while creating sturdy bed slats, using 0.75-inch thick plywood is an excellent budget-friendly choice. 

How to Reinforce Your Platform Bed

One sure way to reinforce your platform bed is by adding bed slats. Adding wooden slats will prevent the bed from sagging and will also help support the bed frame’s legs. 

Making Your Bed Frame Center Support and the Tools You’ll Need

mid-century bed frame

If you do plan to make your bed frame center support, here are some of the tools that you may need:

  1. Tape measure
  2. Pencil
  3. Nail gun
  4. Nails/screws
  5. Level
  6. Wood glue
  7. Socket wrench with 5/16” allen key attachment
  8. Cordless drill with screwdriver attachment
  9. Table of orbital saw

Reinforcing the Bed Frame Legs

You can reinforce bed frame legs by adding a furniture cup to each leg. Another is to install a clamp to fix the support legs tightly. 

Is it Possible to Make Bed Slats from Plywood?

It is possible to make all the bed slats from plywood. Slats reinforce the bed. You can use at least four to five wooden slats to help secure your bed. 


How should you make metal bed frames stronger?

You can make the metal bed frames stronger by simply making the supportive center beam stronger. This will surely make the metal bed frames stronger.  

Are there bed reinforcement kits I can use?

There are bed reinforcement kits you can use. There are several kits you can use a bed reinforcement kit that is available in Walmart.

Also Read: How to Make a Melamine Drawer Box


Having a good night’s sleep is essential. However, if you’re facing the unfortunate event of having a problematic bed frame or broken bed slats, then you will need to fix it. 

Now that you know how to make bed slats stronger, you don’t have to buy a new bed frame for your comfort and convenience.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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