Types of Bed Base - Buyers Guide [2024]

Best Bed Base Types: A Buyers Guide

Best Bed Base Types: A Buyers Guide

There are many types of bed base so it can often be difficult to choose the one that is best for your mattress.

Many retailers offer a wide range of different fabrics, feet and even storage solutions for bases and it can be a little over whelming to find what’s right for you.

DFI guide you through the ultimate bed base guide to help you choose the most suitable option for you and your mattress!

Types of bed bases: Which is best for my mattress?

Divan bases: Platform top or sprung edge?

Slatted bases and bed frames

Ottoman bed base

Electric bed base

How do I fix a squeaky base?

Bed Base Dimensions

What is the best bed base to purchase?

Important tips to consider before purchasing your base!

Types of bed bases:

There are four main types of base options for your mattress. These include, divan style bases, slatted bases and bed frames, Ottoman, and Electric bases. Each bed base offers different storage options, price points, quality, and some bases are better suited to a specific mattress.

Divan Bed bases: Platform top or sprung edge?

A divan base is a wooden box type bed base which is upholstered in fabric. Divan bases come in in two forms: A platform top or sprung edge top base. They come in one or two parts depending on the size and are generally super easy to assemble together.

Divan Bed Base

Divan bases are the most popular choice when purchasing a bed base for your mattress. They are the bestselling bases on the market at the moment and they come in a variety of fabric colour options and different feet varieties.

Divan bases are designed to take the full weight of the mattress and they offer an even and consistent surface for a firm support. Divans sit approximately 2-5cm off the ground and have a total standard height of 35cm, but this may vary from retailer.

Divans are neat and tidy and can have added storage in the form of drawers. We stock 2 or 4 but drawer options may vary depending on retailer.

Platform Top Divan Bed Bases

Platform top divan bed bases are constructed as solid wooden bases with a flat and even upholstered surface for your mattress. The even layer on top offers a consistent firm support and is cheaper than a sprung base due to its construction method. Platform divan bases can also offer drawer options in the base. Check out our detailed post to learn more about Divan Beds & bases.

All mattresses are suitable on platform top divan bases, including pocket sprung, memory foam, latex and hybrid. They offer firm support for your mattress and are generally the most popular choice of customers.

Sprung Edge Divan Bed Bases

A sprung edge divan base features a spring unit within the top of the base and is then upholstered in fabric.

The springs on a sprung edge base can either be a bonnel spring which is a continuous unit or a set of pocket springs which is individual pockets.

Sprung edge divans are usually more expensive as they are the highest quality base for their components as the springs are responsive to body movement.

All mattresses are suitable for sprung edge divan bases, however a sprung edge divan will soften the overall feel of a mattress slightly as it is responsive to movement.

Platform top divans will provide a slightly firmer surface for your mattress. Although, some people don’t notice a huge difference between the two, and the sprung edge is more expensive.

A platform top divan base is more cost effective and also gives a slightly firmer sleeping experience, which most people prefer.

Bed steads and slatted bases (Bed frames)

Slatted bases and bed frames can come in a range of different designs and materials such as wood, metal, antique brass, sleigh beds etc.

They are the most versatile option when choosing a bed base as they usually come in a range of styles with headboards, finishes and feet, depending on retailer.

Slatted bed base

Although they can come in many different styles, they usually all contain the same feature of the mattress sitting on a slatted base.

The majority of bed frames will have a footboard and a headboard but compared to divans, they can be intensive in terms of assembly.

Divan beds are super quick and easy to assemble as they usually come in 2 parts and maybe 1 or 2 bolts or screws and the whole bed is completed.

However, with bed frames and slatted bases, the set up can be more intense as the set up can require a lot of screws and bolts to assemble correctly.

Wooden Slats

In terms of support and durability of your mattress with a slatted base, there are some things to consider.

Although bedsteads come in a range of styles for your preferred bedroom look, sometimes they can perform poorly with your mattress.

This is particularly a concern with metal bed frames.

Over time they can become squeaky, and can cause settlement in your mattress so we do recommend putting down boarding underneath your mattress to provide an even surface and prevent damage in your mattress.

Ottoman bed base

Ottoman bed bases (For more details check out our What is an Ottoman bed? guide) are bases which lift up and operate on the principle of gas lift hinges. Ottoman Beds provide maximum capacity storage solutions underneath the mattress for people who are limited with space in their bedroom and have no room for drawers in a divan base.

They are neat and tidy and are always platform top bases and contain no springs.


Bed Shown: DFI Gaslift Ottoman with Wingback Headboard

Shop Ottoman Beds

There can be cheap ottoman beds on the market so be sure to check out our full ottoman bed base guide here (link to ottoman guide) for useful tips before purchasing.

Before purchasing an ottoman, it is important to check the weight of your mattress. The maximum weight is usually 85kg so that the mattress can be lifted by the gas-lift hinges.

Electric bed base

Electric bed bases are relatively new to the bed world as they were originally commonly seen in health settings.

For example, special hospital beds which allow the patient to raise or lower parts of the bed. 

More recently, they are growing in popularity for customers who want an electric bed base for leisure and comfort.

They can be on the more expensive end of the scale, with retailers selling them from 500 euro up to thousands of euro.


Electric bed base


Health beds feature an electric base for patient use in hospital settings, care homes or mobility issues in any customers.

They usually require special requirements from the customer and motor requirements depending on what it is being used for.

Health beds require special certification in terms of mattresses as they may be required to have side bars, which lifestyle beds wouldn’t usually need.

Lifestyle beds are becoming more popular as they allow customers to recline, the same way as reclining sofas, or lifestyle beds can also control the mattress to sit up, which is perfect for reading in bed.

If you are considering investing in an electric bed base, ensure that you have the correct mattress for an electric style bed.

Traditional mattresses won’t work such as spring mattresses as they are not flexible enough to react to the movement of the base lifting or reclining positions.

The mattress also may be too heavy for the electric motor to be able to lift so this is another important tip to consider before purchasing.

Latex mattresses work best as they can adapt to the movement of the base, without damaging the core of the mattress.

How do I fix a squeaky bed base?

If you have a bed stead or metal bed frame, you may be aware of how squeaky they can become over time. This is due to the bolts and screws naturally becoming loose due to movement and use over time.

The only way to temporarily stop this from happening is to re-tighten all the bolts and screws again to ensure they are tightly secured.

You can also add in small rubber washers in every joint to prolong them from going loose again.

However, over time they are likely to eventually loosen due to use.  Unfortunately, this is the only way to stop a squeaky bed!

Bed Base Dimensions

Determining the best size of bed base for your bedroom is down to two things: available space and personal preference. You can find a full list of the available bed, mattress and base dimensions in our Bed & Mattress Size Guide.

What is the best bed base to purchase?

 Having discussed the construction methods of the four main types of bed bases, the base with the lowest performance rate are those with slats, i.e., bed steads and slatted bases. 

They are surprisingly quite expensive, given the lack of support it will offer you and your mattress as the gaps in the slats can cause settlement issues or damage your mattress.

They also require the longest set up time due to the bolts and screws needed to complete the bed frame.

The best bed base on the market at the moment for the price point and performance, are fully upholstered divan base or platform top bases.

They are super easy to assemble and due to the solid top, they provide an even and consistent surface for a slightly firmer night’s sleep, which won’t damage your mattress in the process.

Important tips to consider before purchasing your base!

  • Consider your budget and the amount of space you have in the room before browsing


  • Check your mattress type and read which base would be most suitable


  • A more expensive base doesn’t always mean better performance. For example, bedsteads and ottomans can have some issues as they can be constructed poorly.

Our friendly team can offer you expert advice on all aspects of bases. Give us a call on 015134760 and we will be happy to help!

Brian McCann

Our Managing Director Brian's expertise in crafting comfortable sleep experiences makes him a reliable voice for all things bedding-related. Brian publishes advice and tips on mattresses, beds and the overall sleep experience based on extensive industry experience.

Author Profile: Brian McCann Bio

United Kingdom (GBP £) Ireland (EUR €)