Do sleigh beds damage your mattress?

Now that's a sleigh...
Now that’s a sleigh…

Sleigh bed is such a romantic term. It sounds like the perfect bed for going to sleep in winter with, especially if you think of the sleighs in cultures with snow and ice in their winters. A sleigh bed sounds like a ticket to happy dreaming, with elf bells singing as you drop off. When I realised that sleigh beds are just wooden beds with headboards and footboards, which yeah, with imagination, do look like sleighs, I was pretty disappointed. That’s not what my imagination saw at all. Sleigh beds have become increasingly popular in South Africa in the last few months. They look nice, are airy and cool, save money on buying a headboard too, and match any bedroom with furniture. However, uninformed buyers are doing serious damage to their mattresses when using them without knowing how to protect their mattresses, so here are a few tips for how to make sure your mattress isn’t damaged by your sleigh bed, while keeping that wooden bed effect.

Simple style

A lot depends on the bed itself, and how it’s made:

The history of the sleigh bed dates back to the 19th century, when wooden beds were made with inwardly curved headboards and footboards, which looked like huge sleighs. Modern sleigh beds are less curved and look less like a traditional sleigh, but they still have the headboard and foot board, and most still made from wood. The places where the major differences come in are the bases of the beds, and the type of mattress that can be used on which base.

Conti Sleigh Bed

Platform bases are flat pieces of wood that support the entire mattress. They are pretty rare on sleigh beds, which are basically known for their slatted bases, but they are the best way to support a mattress. Platform base sleigh beds can be used with any mattress, turn or no turn, even Simmons. Simmons mattresses are abnormally heavy, and their pocket springs need enough support to keep the mattress level. Simmons bases have 9 supporting slats under a platform as opposed to the normal 6 slats, so make sure your sleigh bed is strong enough for a Simmons mattress before you put it on there, and remember that your guarantee is void if you don’t use a Simmons base. This is true for most brands: if the mattress is not on its matching base, if something does go wrong with your mattress, they will not replace it.

A sleigh bed from the 19th Century
A sleigh bed from the 19th Century

Slatted bases usually have wooden slats joining in the middle or going straight across. They can be sprung bases or plain. With sprung bases the wood used in the slats has more give, and they are usually curved upward to give more support as weight is put on them and they are pushed flat. The slatted bases are great in the sense that they provide a lot of air under the mattress, keeping it ventilated, more hygienic and the life of the mattress itself is lengthened as it is healthier. On the other hand, the life of the mattress is shortened by the slats which can cause the mattress to become wavy as the coils and foam sink between the slats. One way to combat this on plain slatted bases is simply to put a piece of chipboard as a platform to support the mattress. Simmons recommends this with their mattresses. The plus is that this kind of base will be strong and supportive, with many slats and a flat platform. The down side is that you lose the airiness of the slats, and that the platform doesn’t work on a sprung base where the slats curve upward.

a French sleigh bed
a French sleigh bed

A second solution is to buy a turn mattress. The mattress can be spring or foam, as long as they can be slept on on both sides. Turn these mattresses as often as directed, and the foam and coils will reset every time, preventing them from sinking irreparably into the slats and keeping the mattress a level, supportive sleep surface. You will sleep better, your mattress will last longer, and your room can still look exactly as you want it to! Brought to you by The Mattress Warehouse, the people who not only care about selling you the right mattress, but care about your quality of sleep after buying a mattress from us. We know that quality of sleep equals quality of life, and we want to give you the best sleep you can get. Not just for a few months, but for as many years as possible. Call for more queries on sleigh beds on 0861 007 000. We sell numerous kinds of sleigh beds, as well as leather touch beds and other bedroom furniture, like wooden bunk beds along with every kind of mattress to suit your needs and pocket. We also sell our beds online, with an easy order and payment option, free nationwide delivery, and added extras like mattress protectors and linen. Click here for our online store, and happy sleeping!

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