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What base should you have with your pocket spring mattress?


Let’s set the scene: you’ve just bought your new Sleep Republic pocket spring mattress. Now you want to make sure you don’t ruin your investment or your health by setting it on an unsuitable base.

Although mattresses will sit on any stable and level base, including the floor if they have to, some bases are better than others when it comes to a pocket spring mattress. Here’s a list of common bases, along with our recommendation for what will work best with your Sleep Republic mattress.

A quick overview of what’s what when it comes to bases

Straight slat base This is a base, usually fabric covered, that has a series of parallel, normally timber, slats running across either a timber or steel frame. Larger bases for Double, Queen have a central ‘bar’ and two sets of slats side by side. Kings are often two separate bases that sit side by side. The key factor to look out for is the width of the individual slats and the gaps between the slats. Ideally the gap should be 5 to 7 cm, more than this will not properly support the pocket springs and possibly damage your mattress.

Posture or spring slats These are curved slats, usually timber and sometimes with an adjustment to make them firmer or softer. These were originally designed for solid foam slab construction mattress to compensate for the lack of zoning. Used with pocket springs they will usually make the mattress feel softer and add to partner disturbance.

Solid or platform base Often goes with storage units underneath and will have a plywood base that the mattress lies on. Whilst giving a solid base for a mattress the key drawback with these is that they restrict airflow and ventilation of the mattress, and can allow moisture build up.

Ensemble base Ensemble bases start their life as part of a set with a mattress. The term is often used for a multitude of different upholstered bases with either a straight slat internal base or a spring system. The spring systems will make the mattress softer and add to partner disturbance.

Box Spring Sometimes used to refer to ensemble bases, a US term meaning a fabric covered base with internal spring system.

Adjustable or motorised bases These bases have an electric motor and adjust the recline in a number of ways. Because the mattress is ‘bent’ during operation this causes pocket springs to impact one another and can damage the mattress. Use with pocket springs is not recommended.

Other spring systems A number of manufacturers sell upholstered bases that have proprietary spring or trampoline like systems inside. As with many other base types covered above these can add to mattress movement and partner disturbance.

Our Recommendation

We designed our mattress to give an optimum level of support through our High Definition Spring System when coupled with a stable straight slat base. Using other types of bases changes that level of support and very often adds to partner disturbance and disturbed sleep patterns.