Turn the bed around? (hate to have concussion)
January 24, 2010 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Will sleeping along the lengthwise grain of my bed slats rather than across them break my bed?

I’m getting a simple king-sized platform bed in a couple of weeks – used to have the identical model a decade ago, and it’s very sturdy. To gain a few inches of leeway in a very short room, I’d like to turn the bed so that the head and foot (80") are at the sides, and the sides (76") become the head and foot. So I’d be lying *across* the usual orientation of the bed.

Because the slat system runs from side to side, this means that instead of sleeping across most of the 15 slats the way one normally does, I’d be sleeping along the full length of 4-5 slats – although not necessarily the same 4-5 all night since I shift around a lot.

The all-latex mattress theoretically distributes weight efficiently. I weigh about 150 and will generally have 50-140 canine/feline pounds up there with me.

The bed has two very secure center support beams under the slats in addition to the rails, and I opted for the stronger hardwood slats instead of the standard pine ones. I can add extra slats if necessary, but I’d like to avoid putting sheet plywood on top of the slats because then the mattress can’t breathe.

So is it OK to pursue this cockamamie plan, or should I give up my 4 precious inches of wiggle room and just point the bed the usual way and sleep in the right direction like a normal person would?
posted by FelliniBlank to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Is there any reason you can't also turn you when you turn the bed?
posted by brainmouse at 1:54 PM on January 24, 2010

Response by poster: Good question. Nope, I can't turn with the bed because my head would be up against a window, and there would be no room for a bedside table and lamp. It would also be impossible to make the bed with just a few inches on either side.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:59 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: It sounds like the center support beams are about two feet apart. So we're talking about a fraction of your weight being distributed over 4-5 slats that are supported every two feet - obviously the mattress would distribute your weight a bit further. The support given by 4-5 slats is obviously less than the support given by 15 slats, but here's why I don't think this will be a problem:

When you sit on the bed your weight is always localised. It only gets distributed when you lie down. If the bed doesn't seem to creak when you sit on it I would think that lying down (which distributes the weight over the center beams) will be no problem.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:22 PM on January 24, 2010

I would imagine the answer depends, in part, on the thickness of the lengthwise slats.

Thicker slats would generally support more weight than thinner ones.
posted by dfriedman at 2:27 PM on January 24, 2010

If you're worried about it, put some additional slats in....
posted by HuronBob at 2:32 PM on January 24, 2010

If you're really worried about it, have a couple pieces of plywood cut to put on top of the slats, under the mattress. that'll help distribute any weight across more slats.
posted by pupdog at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: I would just add extra slats, and make sure they're staple-gunned in place. (I would think that a latex mattress might be especially prone to laterally shifting the slats over time, since your body -- lengthwise to the slats -- would want to drop between two, imperceptibly at first.) It isn't so much a matter of weight as where the forces are.
posted by dhartung at 4:11 PM on January 24, 2010

Between the two support rails and the hardwood, I doubt you'll have a problem so long as you're not jumping up and down on the bed.
posted by musofire at 4:16 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: You won't get a concussion. If a slat breaks, you'll just get an uncomfortable dip in your bed until you can replace it. Don't overthink this. If you've ever stood on your bed without breaking a slat, this will work just fine.
posted by flabdablet at 11:03 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm actually not worried about injury (the question title is only a horrible pun). I just have an occasional tendency to misunderestimate laws of physics, such as the time I decided to stand on a spindly Queen Anne coffee table to change the battery in a smoke detector, with predictable slapstick results.

Thanks for the helpful answers, everyone. I'll get a bit of reinforcement and proceed.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:57 AM on January 25, 2010

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