Best Mattress Options for Platform Beds

Best Mattress Options for Platform Beds

See the best mattress types for platform-style bed frames.

Platform beds continue gaining popularity with minimalist and modern decor styles, but since these beds use different support systems, different considerations go into finding the best mattress.

From weight to function, see what you need to know about buying the best mattress for a platform bed. First, here are our top picks below if you just want to get straight to the point. Read on to get into the details about what makes some beds better than others for platform frames.

  • Amerisleep Liberty Bed – $1299 in queen. This 12″ plant based memory foam mattress works well on solid or slat platform frames and rates well with owners.
  • Astrabeds Harmony Bed – $2399 in queen. This 10″ organic latex mattress is designed for solid or slat platform beds and earns good reviews.

What is a Platform Bed?

With clean lines and the ability to create sleek appearance, a platform bed makes a small space look much more open or modern. Some styles also create added storage, helpful for tight spaces. A key feature of platform beds is that they do not require box springs or foundations; in fact using box springs can make a platform bed too high or unstable.

The “platform” can be composed of a solid wood base, wood or bamboo slats spaced closely together, or metal slats. They do not require the use of a standard metal frame either, as the mattress is designed to sit right on the bed’s slats or platform.

Because of these unique differences, many people have trouble deciding what would be the best mattress for a platform bed. In this guide, we look at the pros on cons of different types.

Best Mattress types for Platform Beds

Mattress TypePlatform CompatibleWeightAverage HeightOwner Satisfaction
Memory FoamYesModerate8"-14"81%
LatexYesHeavy6"-14"80%
InnerspringSometimesLighter10"-18"63%
Softside WaterbedSometimesHeavy8"-14"79%
Hardside WaterbedNoHeavy6"-10"79%
FutonSometimesLighter4"-10"74%

There are six primary types of mattresses you can buy: innerspring, memory foam, latex, soft side waterbeds, hard side waterbeds, and futon-style mattresses. Each type has distinct pros and cons for comfort and satisfaction, and for use on a platform bed. Here are the top things you should to consider when looking for a platform bed mattress:

  • Weight – The platform bed/slats must be able to support the weight of the mattress and all occupants.
  • Support – The mattress should work well without its matching foundation. The platform bed should provide closely spaced solid slats (no more than 3″ apart) or a solid base, otherwise it may cause faster wear.
  • Height – The height of the mattress plus bed frame should sit at a comfortable and ergonomic level for you.
  • Comfort – The mattress must comfortable and provide enough support when used on the platform frame.
  • Warranty – The best mattress options will have a warranty that allows the bed to be used on a platform frame without the matching foundation. Some brands will void the warranty when used without their foundation or box spring or have other stipulations.

Comparison of Mattress Types

Taking the above factors into consideration, some mattress types will perform better than others. We will go over the pros and cons for each category below to help you determine which might be the best mattress for your needs.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam beds are composed of poly foam cores with layers of memory foam and/or gel foam on top. Memory foam mattresses work well on platform beds, as they too are designed to work with solid support foundations. Slats should be wide, sturdy and spaced closely together or the platform should be solid. Sturdy slats prove preferable as they allow plenty of airflow to prevent moisture buildup and overheating. Denser memory foam mattresses can be on the heavier side, so always check weight limits.

  • Memory foam relieves pressure points by contouring closely to your body and spreading weight evenly across the surface of the material. Memory foam can soften and contour via temperature (temperature-sensitive) for a slow-response or via pressure (temperature neutral) for a faster response.
  • Know this: There are three main types of memory foam: traditional, gel and plant-based. The quality of memory foam is compared by density.  See this post to compare two brands of  plant-based based and traditional memory foam.
  • This type of mattress excels at relieving pain and reducing motion transfer, but some types are prone to sleeping warm and off gassing, and high-density beds can be difficult to move on.
  • Memory foam beds have an 81% satisfaction rate in general.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are composed of latex cores, with additional layers of latex and possibly wool or cotton. Some brands may use poly foams as well to reduce costs. They are meant to work with firm, solid foundations, making them a good option for platform frames. The latex cores offer solid support, meaning you are unlikely to feel slats through the bed. Since latex beds can be heavy, it is important to  check the weight limit of your bed’s platform or slats.

  • Latex foam offers a resilient feel that subtly contours to the sleeper while supporting natural alignment.
  • Know this: Dunlop and Talalay refer to process for making latex. Synthetic, natural and blended refer to sources of the liquid latex material. Learn more about latex mattresses with our guide.
  • This type of mattress excels at relieving pain and pressure and reducing motion transfer. Latex foam can be made all-natural and even organic, but these beds can be expensive and difficult to shop for locally.
  • Latex beds have an 80% satisfaction rate overall.

Waterbed Mattresses

Hardside waterbeds are composed of a vinyl bladder, and can only be used on wood waterbed frames that surround the bladder on five sides. Softside beds are composed of vinyl water chambers set within a fabric and foam cover, often with layers  of quilting or foam on top. Softside waterbeds can be used on regular platform beds, but require solid flat support. The water filled chambers become quiet heavy, so weight limits are an important consideration if you wish to use this type of mattress.

  • Softside waterbeds use water for support, which can be very durable and cause less pressure points than springs.
  • Know this: Tubes reduce side to side motion, and can be easier to replace and maintain. Water chambers can also be found in semi-waveless and waveless styles to improve support and reduce motion.
  • This type of mattress excels at contouring and dust mite relief, but can be impractical for some homes, require more maintenance, and often prove difficult to find.
  • Water beds have an 79% satisfaction rate.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are composed of interconnected or pocketed coils topped with layers of foam and fiber. They typically sell in sets with the top mattress and supporting box spring designed to flex and work with the mattress top. Innerspring beds usually are not recommended for platform beds, since they are designed to be used in conjunction with box springs. Some still might work with solid, flat platform bases but the bed may feel firmer than usual and the two parts may not feel stable due to increased height on the platform.

  • Innerspring beds are widely available and remain the most common mattress type, and hybrid beds can also feature latex and memory foam layers above springs for reduced pressure points.
  • Know this: There are four primary types of coil systems
  • This type of mattress is widely available, relatively inexpensive and initially comfortable, but have below average durability and may contribute to pain and motion transfer.
  • Innerspring beds have an 63% satisfaction rate.

Futon Mattresses

Futon mattresses are simple beds with foam and fiber layers designed to fold for use on futon frames. They are usually lightweight and fairly thin. They can be accommodated by most platform frames.

  • Futon mattresses without enough firm padding or support may not comfortable for slatted foundations.
  • This type mattress is affordable, but can have a short lifespan, strong odors and may be overly firm or too thin.
  • Futon mattresses have an 74% satisfaction rate.

Choosing The Best Mattress for Your Platform Bed

Several types of mattresses can work with a platform base, with the main differentiator being what type feels most comfortable to you.  Latex and memory foam mattresses are perhaps the best mattress options for platform beds since they are compatible with solid support foundations, though some types of spring, water and futon mattresses can also work as well.

If you are unsure which type would be the best mattress for you, weigh the pros and cons and try out a variety of beds. As with any big purchase, it is wise to thoroughly research before buying. Know what’s in the bed, seek out reviews,  and compare different brand and retailers, including online. Check bed warranties for any restrictions on support or bed types, as some may require specific slat spacing or use of the matching foundation.

Pairing the specifications of the frame, such as height, the type of support and the weight limit, with your comfort preferences will help you choose the best mattress for your platform bed.

One Comment

  1. david trapp October 2, 2017 Reply

    I have a Coaster platform bed (Wooden frame,wooden slats) Twin size. I need a mattress, something firm.

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