The mattress and base work together as a sleep system – if you’re not getting good sleep, the problem is either the mattress, or the base, or the combination of mattress and base.
Traditionally, the base of a bed existed for the purpose of adding height to the mattress, but with new sleep technology, things have since changed.
Nowadays, your mattress is only as good as your base.
Here are four crucial guidelines to choosing the right foundation for your bed:
#1: Know your top from your tail: types of bed bases
A good bed base is the foundation of the bed and supports the mattress.
What you probably don’t know is why the base is so important: the base ensures the right level of support and ventilation.
Support in the base is essential because the mattress is only as good as it’s base. Ventilation is important because it extends the life of the mattress.
In the sleep system, the mattress needs the base, and well, the base needs the mattress. They work together in harmony (when selected properly, that is) to give you a good night’s rest.
Now, you can choose between eight different types of bed foundations, but the most common are:
- Box-spring base
- Slatted base
- Platform base
Double bed spring-box base and mattress.
The box-spring base is well, a box with springs, usually a good choice to ensure comfort. What you need to remember about a box-springed base is that you can’t see what’s on the inside, and the cheaper makes are often too closed up for proper ventilation.
Keep a lookout for that because it affects body temperature which is essential for a good sleep.
Slatted bed base. This one’s made from pine wood.
- Slatted bases are horizontal slats across a wooden frame.
This type of base is usually one of the more affordable types and is good for foam or pocket spring mattresses.
But… as with most mattress and base elements, they’ve got to be made properly to be effective. For instance, don’t go for less than 28 slats, but each slat should have a minimum space of 3 cm between them because otherwise the mattress loses essential support and faces a shorter lifespan.
Avoid cheap with this option, because you also don’t want to face the base breaking under stress like you-know-what…and if you are more rambunctious than some…well maybe this option is not a good one for you…but who are we to judge…?
Genie beds platform base is eco-friendly, designed to last long, eliminates creaking sounds, and is easily moved.
Platform bases, like the Genie bed base, is a sturdy base to create a solid, raised platform for the mattress, eradicating the need for a costly and traditional box-spring base.
What you see is what you get, unlike many low-quality box-spring bases which can’t be seen from the inside.
The platform base allows you to place your mattress directly on the platform bed.
Because there’s no middle layer, the platform bed is typically lower to the ground than a box-spring, but because it stands on legs, it’s a lot easier to move around and clean under, unlike the heavy box-spring base.
The Genie bed base is made from eco-friendly strong virgin plastics and high-grade aluminium materials, but most platform beds are made of metal or wood.
#2: When is it time to replace the base?
When we replace a car tyre, we know that it’s wise to have the tyres aligned in order to make them last longer. It’s the same with a mattress and base.
An old wonky base should be replaced when you buy a new mattress because a damaged base can drastically decrease the lifespan of the mattress. Unlike slatted and platform bases, the greatest risk of aged bases is often the traditional box-spring type because you can’t see what state the inner coils are in.
If the base squeaks or creaks or sags noticeably, it’s probably time for a new one. With slatted or platform bases, check that everything is still as it should be; there are no bowed slats, and no splits.
It may not be necessary to replace the base every time you buy a new mattress, but do keep an eye out for signs that it may be time for an upgrade.
#3: Benefits of a good mattress and base combo
We often make the mistake of thinking of the base and mattress in isolation, but remember that you need to think of your mattress and base as a sleep system.
If you’re waking up feeling unrested, or with aches and pains, or your mattress sags, then something about your sleep system is not working for you. It may be the mattress, the base, or the mattress and base combo.
As for matching up mattress and base, you should know that there are certain bed bases that work best with some types of mattresses.
For example, memory foam mattresses work best on solid, flat bases like the platform base or slatted bed base. The floor will also do! In fact, if you can’t afford a new base for your new mattress, the floor is an option…
Larger mattresses need more base support to prevent sagging. Any of the three most common bases mentioned in this article would be appropriate.
A good mattress and base ensures a longer life for the mattress and is more comfortable, but the same mattress on a poor quality base may feel less comfortable nor last as long.
#4: What to look out for when choosing a base
There are two parts to your sleep system: the mattress and the base.
But what should you look for when deciding on the right base?
Well, since the base needs to physically hold the weight of the mattress and its occupants, plus the weight and jabbing of other um, let’s call it fun activities, it needs to be solid.
If your mattress is fairly new and constructed with quality latex, for instance, your old base may not be solid enough for the heavy, high-quality mattress that it needs to hold continuously.
The Genie base, for instance, weighs in at 16 kg for a single bed, and 30 kg for the king size bed. The mattress and base together can hold up to 200 kg per person.
It is recommended that the base not contain too many metal parts (spring coils) because some studies indicate that metal can act as an antenna; amplified electromagnetic radiation can cause cancer. (Genie bed bases contain no metal).
Temperature is another element which affects comfort, and this is dependent on air circulation. Proper circulation in the base is important, especially in humid areas, in order to deter mould. Slatted and platform bases are ideal options.
Choose a base that works for you. For example, if you like to keep things clean down under (tongue in cheek), you’ll want to be able to easily move the base or be able to reach under the bed.
Box-springs don’t allow for this, some slatted bases do, and Genie’s are super light to move around and it’s easy to reach under with a vacuum.
Many bases may be difficult to keep clean; Genie bases don’t have this problem as they are durable.
Don’t forget to consider the logistics of the how the base will arrive in the room of your choice, and what’s needed to get it there. Are the doors to your home big enough for a heavy box-spring base? Or will the Genie base box of 1010mm high x 590mm wide x 390mm deep be easier?