How to Measure Bed Slats

Bed slats are flat wooden boards that sit on the bottom of a bed frame underneath the box frame for the mattress.
Bed slats prevent the mattress from sagging.Bed slats prevent the mattress from sagging.
Each bed typically contains two to three slats with some beds having more. The purpose of these wooden slats is to provide added support to the open bottom area of the bed, which prevents the mattress from sagging over time. If you are replacing your bed slats or creating new ones, properly measuring the width of the bed is crucial to ensuring a secure fit.

Step 1

Remove all bedding such as sheets, comforters and pillows from the bed and set them aside, out of the way.

Step 2

Remove the mattress and the box frame from the bed with the assistance of another person and set them out of the way as well.

Step 3

Look into the bottom of the bed frame to determine whether there are wooden bed slats already in place. If so, you can measure them to determine their width. If no slats exist, you will measure the bed frame.

Step 4

Place a tape measure at the leftmost side of the bed slat, or at the left most side of the bed frame rail. Hold the tape measure flush with the interior side of the vertical rail and stretch it across to the other side of the bed, stopping on the interior of the right vertical rail. Ask the other person to pull the tape measure all the way flush to the right side of the rail and note the measurement. The measurement is the total board length that you need for each bed slat.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure


  • In general, beds have standard widths that can be used to determine bed slat size. In the U.S., twin beds are 39 inches wide, full mattresses are 54 inches wide, queen mattresses are 60 inches wide, king mattresses are 76 to 78 inches wide and California king mattresses are 72 inches wide.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.