There’s no doubt about it – deciding on a new mattress is difficult. But one thing that’s often forgotten is that you’ll also need to find the right ‘bed base’. In some ways, this can be as important as the mattress itself. What type of base your mattress sits on can influence how your mattress performs in the long run. Furthermore, some warranties require you to use a specific type of bed base. So what options are there and what is best for me? Let’s break it down!
1. Bed Frame
A bed frame, also referred to as a ‘slat base’, seems to be the most common type of bed base that Australians use. According to our recent survey of over 1000 people, 60% of us use a bed frame as part of our bedroom decor. The advantages of a bed frame include:
- Extra storage space underneath your mattress
- Generally easy to assemble
- Provides good ventilation for your mattress
Some bed frames do come with a ‘headboard’ so best to clarify this before you buy. Depending on the product, bed frames can be a bit ‘unstable’, and this can cause partner disturbance and undesirable movements during intimacy. Nevertheless, a decent quality bed frame should provide a sturdy mattress base with handy storage space underneath. You should be able to get a good bed frame for around $1000 (queen size). To see our specially selected list of bed bases which includes bed frames, click here.
2. Ensemble Base
An ensemble base is a solid wood structure that is covered with fabric, creating a more attractive and ‘luxurious’ look to the bedroom. It is a common type of base that Australians use, with 35% of us using an ensemble base. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘box spring‘ which originates from an old fashioned design which actually included metal springs in the bed base. Today though, ‘ensemble base’ is the most commonly used term. The advantages of an ensemble base include:
- More stable and robust than a bed frame
- More desirable in terms of aesthetics and bedroom decor
- Often easier to move around than a bed frame (most come with wheels/glides)
Ensemble bases can be purchased ready to use, or there are cheaper options available that require assembling. Some ensemble bases have drawers in them for more storage and some even have a special ‘gas lift’ where the top can be lifted up, revealing the full storage space underneath. You can usually snap up a decent ensemble base for around $500 (queen size). Overall, ensemble bases provide an attractive, solid bed base that should last many years. To see our specially selected list of bed bases which include ensemble bases, click here.
3. Platform Base
Platform bases come in many styles and designs. Some are made of wood pieces creating a raised platform for a mattress to sit on. They give off a trendy, modern vibe and we would expect these to become more popular in the coming years. Some advantages of a platform base include:
- Modern, stylish look
- Ideal for ‘foam only’ mattresses
- The flat ‘platform’ provides a stable sleeping surface
Platform bases may need to be assembled which can be tricky depending on how good your DIY skills are. Platform bases vary in price, but you should be able to get a decent one for under $1000 (queen size). They can be a bit hazardous as the platform often ‘sticks out’ and care must be taken not to bang your shins! Overall though, the platform base is a legitimate bed base option and we wouldn’t be surprised if more options enter the market in the next 12 months.
4. Adjustable Base
A more sophisticated bed base option that is also available these days is an adjustable bed base, also referred to as an electric bed base. These usually have a remote control, allowing you to adjust the angles and position of your mattress. There are several advantages to having an adjustable base:
- Provides the versatility of different positions (e.g. for sleeping, reading, watching TV)
- Ideal for rehabilitation or the elderly (helps reduce swelling, improve circulation)
- Are typically very strong and sturdy
Adjustable bases need to be considered carefully as only certain mattresses (e.g. The Ergoflex 5G Mattress) are compatible with these type of bed bases. They are also far more expensive than a standard bed frame or ensemble base, and will set you back at least a few thousand dollars. That said, adjustable bed bases are practical, versatile, and are becoming more and more popular. We have found the Chiropedic Adjustable Base to be a great quality, good value option in this category.
5. The Floor
For various reasons, some of us don’t use a bed base at all, and will sleep on a mattress that is placed directly on the floor. This may be just a temporary arrangement (while awaiting a bed base) or it could simply be personal preference. It seems about 2% of Australians sleep on a mattress, on the floor. Some advantages include:
- Not buying a bed base saves money
- It saves space if you are very limited
- No injuries from falling out of bed!
Of course placing your mattress on the floor can come with hygiene issues. As the mattress will have poor ventilation underneath, the growth of mould, fungus, and bacteria is a common problem. We recommend lifting your mattress up regularly to allow the underside to air out, along with regular cleaning of the floor surface underneath the mattress.
We hope that this article helps you to answer the question, which bed base is best for me? There is no right or wrong decision when buying a bed base, it all comes down to what suits you best. If you you have any queries about your mattress or bed base purchase, please contact us. We are always here to help!