Castiron Hangers

Because of their length, cast-iron hangers support a greater range of box-spring widths. They can be mounted slightly below the rail to lower the mattress height.

Slats combine the right amount of support and give for a mattress. To prevent the slats from shifting, notch them to fit around dowels fixed to the cleats.

Mattress

Side rail

Mattress

Side rail

In Europe, 80% of mattresses are designed to be used without a box spring and to be supported by wooden slats. I find the slatted support a little firmer, but the choice is up to you.

I use %-in.-thick by 4-in.-wide slats, which are thicker and wider than commercially available ones. Spaced 1 in. apart, the slats provide some flex for comfort and also allow air to circulate around the mattress or futon. Soft maple or poplar makes good slats, but avoid softwoods, which are too flexible.

The slats usually rest on wooden cleats. To keep the slats from shifting, I notch the ends, fitting each slat over a dowel that protrudes from the cleat. On a king-size bed, I add a strut down the center from headboard to footboard, with a leg in the middle.

Some mattresses are designed to be used with solid platforms, made of plywood with support underneath to prevent sagging. However, because these platforms do not have built-in flexibility or give, they should not be used with regular mattresses.

Wooden cleat

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