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The best type of base to support a Sherman mattress

Mattress help
Close up of Sherman Just Perfect mattress on upholstered bed base

 Our mattresses are good on almost any style of foundation, just as long as the foundation doesn’t bend or flex under your weight.

So, your traditional ensemble base will probably be fine. These look like solid bases covered with fabric, but have a feel along the top of the base and you’ll notice that they have slats under the fabric. As long as these slats are rigid then this type of base will be ideal for our mattresses.

Open slat bases are ok, too. We advise that the distance between each slat be no greater than 7cm in order to properly support all springs in a pocket spring mattress. And, once again, the slats must be rigid and not designed to flex.

If the bed base is made to Australian standards, it must have a centre support rail. If that rail is timber, we also suggest that it should have a support leg underneath it, since timber can bow or warp over time.

We strongly advise that you avoid a style of base that we see in quite a few stores at the moment. What is known as a “Posture slat base” or a base with “Flexi-slats”, there are several other names going around. This style of base commonly has shorter slats that clip on to the centre rail and are usually a convex shape (that is they bulge upwards). Whilst these bases are ok under solid foam and latex mattresses they will play havoc under any traditional pocket-spring mattress – as all Sherman mattresses are.

A decade ago, when the big-brand mattress chain stores began to embrace imported, flat-packed beds, these started appearing on showroom floors everywhere. They cut down on freight costs because the shorter slats removed the need for long cartons. You could fit a lot more slat kits into a container.

Within a year or two, the pocket spring mattress manufacturers who sold their mattresses through the very same chain stores started noticing an uptick in warranty claims on the mattresses. The common complaint was that the mattresses were dipping dramatically on each side of the bed and producing a bulge through the centre.

It was quickly apparent that these “Posture Slat” bases were causing the problem. For the same reason that pocket springs contour so well to a sleeper’s body was also the reason that the mattresses were dipping so dramatically on these bases. Every little spring, independent of each other in a pocket spring unit, will eventually start to take on the shape of the base underneath it.

It took years for the mattress chain stores to clean up the rash of unhappy customers who had submitted warranty claims. You’ll find that now, most pocket-spring mattress manufacturers will not honour their warranties if the complaint is that the mattress is dipping and the manufacturer discovers that the mattress has been on a “Posture slat” base.

The same problem exists when you put a pocket spring mattress on a sprung base. Most Sealy Posturepedic bases contain coils that are designed to offer some flex through the base. These might be ok for a Sealy Posturepedic mattress, but we strongly advise that you not put any type of pocket spring mattress on these bases. If you’re not sure if your Sealy base has these wire coils, just push your mattress to one side and push some of your weight onto the base. You’ll figure it out.

Solid bases, like the Koala bed base are ok underneath a pocket spring mattress, as is the floor. A word of caution though, if you live in a sub-tropical climate like Queensland. A slatted base will assist in helping air to flow under your mattress, whereas the floor or a solid base may trap moisture underneath your mattress and you could find that your mattress goes moldy. Ewww. This is not uncommon, especially under solid foam mattresses that tend to trap heat and moisture in the first place.

Of course, we have to say it: the best type of base to support a Sherman mattress is our Sherman Bed Base! Check out our beautiful new European Oak Bed Base here.

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