What kind of wood for bed slats

What kind of wood for bed slats?

What kind of wood for bed slats? Choosing the right wood for bed slats can be a difficult decision. Depending on your preference and budget, you’ll need to choose the type of wood with care as it plays an important part in the overall look and long-term durability of your bed. Alternatively, excessively wide spacing can cause the mattress to sag, which will be felt as you sleep.

Typically, hardwood is used as the best choice for most types of furniture; however, that doesn’t mean that all hardwoods are suitable as bed slats. To help find out what kind of plywood for bed slats would be most appropriate for your needs it’s important to understand some basics about different kinds of wood before knowing what kind of wood for bed slats would best suit you.

Types of wood:

There are three main factors that make each type of wood unique: grain pattern and strength, workability, and strength.

What kind of wood for bed slats

Grain Pattern and Strength:

Qualities that lead to an attractive appearance as well as a strong wood that resists dents and scratches. In other words, the more ring lines (growth rings), the more durable the wood will be. For example, Oak has a large grain pattern while Maple is much tighter with fewer visible growth rings.


This is how easy it is for a professional or novice woodworker to work with a particular type of wood using different tools such as saws, drills and sanders. Harder plywood for bed slats may make it more difficult to cut long straight edges without splitting or chipping however they are smoother to sand than softer wood due to there being little difference between hard grains and soft tissues.

A softer wood may be easy to work with using hand tools but may require more sanding than harder plywood for bed slats which can cause it to splinter or chip easily during cutting or shaping.


 this is determined by the overall weight of the board as well as how durable it will be over time; endurance, resistance and toughness are all factors that determine how long a piece of wood will last before requiring replacement. Generally speaking, stronger boards are heavier (are not likely to warp).

 Additionally, they are less likely to be damaged by insects such as termites. Although many believe that strength also refers to its hardness/softness on the Janka Scale (a way of measuring board density), that’s actually something different.

Thinner Is Better:

Thinner is better when it comes to bed slats, the thicker the wood bed slat is, the larger your bed frame will need to be. These slats are more affordable and easier to attach for DIY projects. Generally speaking, boards that are 2″ thick provide enough room for most people’s needs while allowing you to still use a low profile box spring or foundation underneath without creating an elevated look.

 For thicker beds (3-4″), you may want to consider individual metal slat kits instead of purchasing them with wooden slats as they are much stronger and less likely to bend or break over time which can give off a cheap feel since it sometimes causes squeaking noises when moving around at night.

Best Wood to Use for Bed Slats:

Ash Wood:

What kind of wood for bed slats? Another great choice is ash since it’s reasonably strong and easy to work with due to its low cost. Its colour, grain pattern and strength are similar to that of white oak although the difference is that it is heavier than white oak after finishing due to its denser cellular structure. It does have a more prominent grain pattern however which may require more sanding for a smooth finish especially if you plan on staining the plywood for bed slats in order for it to match other items in your bedroom.

What kind of wood for bed slats

Cherry Wood:

Cherry is one of the best choices for bed slats as it’s smooth and easily finished to a beautiful sheen. It’s also naturally resistant to decay and insects which means that it will last longer than other types of wood without having the need for chemical treatments or finishes.

Although more expensive, cherries can be worth its weight in gold if you’re looking for something timeless and classic with a smooth finish.

Douglas Fir Wood:

Douglas Fir has light brownish colour with distinct vertical streaks running throughout the wood grain. It’s stronger than pine so it’s great for heavier types of bedding such as queen-size headboards and footboards since they are less likely to break or warp over time.

Its durability is especially important if you plan on installing them into a wall or around the perimeter of the room. This is light coloured wood Although more expensive, its qualities make it well worth the money compared to other species that would need to be replaced much sooner due to warping.

What kind of wood for bed slats

Pine Wood:

What kind of wood for bed slats? The softest choice out of all hardwood species listed above; however, keep in mind that it does have knots which can sometimes cause gaps within the bed slat where insects and other pests can sneak through. It’s also not the sturdiest type of wood which makes it a poor choice if you plan on using them for heavier types of bedding such as headboards or large items that require a lot of weight to stay in place.

Although pine is less expensive compared to other species listed above, it will need to be replaced much more often due to its softness and susceptibility for warping over time. They are strong enough to support your weight and are usually inexpensive.

Red Oak Wood:

What kind of wood for bed slats? Another great choice for bed slats especially if you’re looking for something less expensive compared to other species. Red Oak can be purchased in both kiln dried and green (un-kiln dried).

Although the latter is more common, it’s important to keep in mind that they will need time to acclimate or “season” before use since kiln-dried woods tend to shrink very little after initial installation whereas un-kiln dried plywood for bed slats shrinks much more due to its higher moisture content (and thus creating gaps between each wooden bed slat).

What kind of wood for bed slats

Affordable Woods:

If you’re looking for something basic at an affordable price then pine or cedar are good choices. Although both are softwoods they are still fairly strong and since they’re naturally resistant to insects and water, they can last a long time if maintained properly by either using a protective finish (polyurethane) or by finishing them with natural oils such as tung oil, linseed oil or even waxes.

What kind of wood for bed slats

Although it’s not the most beautiful best wood to look at, white oak is perhaps one of the strongest woods species out there which makes it ideal for heavier types of bedding like futons and oversize king mattresses.

It’s also great because it’s naturally resistant to moisture; however, this quality also causes white oak to swell and shrink more than other species during seasonal changes. This can cause it to crack if not dried correctly so beware of this when cutting your own wooden bed slats.

Can you use any wood for bed slats?

If you’re not sure which type of plywood for bed slats to use for your bed slats, just remember that they will need to be fairly straight with little to no warping in order for them to run smoothly along the length and width of the mattress.

 As mentioned before, pine is a poor choice since it’s soft and prone to bending over time so if you do choose this species, be prepared to replace it often due to its low durability. If you plan on using chemical treatments or finishes such as stains or sealants in order to give the bed slats a more polished look, make sure that you match these up with other items in your bedroom such as your headboard or dresser.

For example: If you install cherry-finished wooden bed slats with a cherry-finished wooden headboard, it will help tie the overall look of the room together since the colours are very similar in tone.

What kind of wood for bed slats

Can you use 1×4 for bed slats?

Yes,1×4’s can be used to make bed slats. Typically, 1x4s are much sturdier than 2x2s but if you’re limited on space it might be much easier for you to use smaller bed slats that span either along the width or length of your mattress.

If this is your first time buying them then just remember that they come in different thicknesses so try to familiarize yourself with each type by checking out their corresponding datasheets before buying any.

As mentioned before, keep in mind the overall weight limit of the wooden slats since it will need to be able to carry enough weight from your mattress without warping over time. But, it would take more calculation to determine if the edge-up orientation of a 1 x 2 would be stronger than a 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 laid flat.


As you can see, there is a wide variety of wooden bed slats to choose from when shopping for your own. These include Eastern Douglas-fir, Southern Yellow Pine, Western Larch, and Incense Cedar.

However, if you plan on buying cedar then it’s best that you look into their corresponding datasheets since many people tend to overlook the species at times and just go with what looks more visually appealing in their local hardware store which can be a costly mistake if they’re not always recognized by the type of best plywood for bed slats that are stamped into them.

Overall, just remember to always choose the right species that match your budget and desired appearance.


Do bed slats make a difference?

Yes! Bed slats are one way to alleviate pressure points, especially in the back and hips. They have been shown to significantly reduce cortisol levels by reducing the stress experienced from moving in bed. In general, people who use bed slats also report a significant reduction of back pain and find that they sleep better with them in place.

Do bed slats break easily?

No, most bed slats (Bed adjustable feet, which are the white metal pieces that support the foundation and mattress) last a long time. Here’s why: unlike most other consumer goods, manufacturers of bed slats upgrade their materials in response to changing environmental conditions.

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