The main difference between a slat bed and other kinds of beds is that you can use a mattress on a slat bed without a box spring. A slat bed’s framework provides ample support for the mattress, whereas with other types of beds a box spring is required to support the mattress adequately. A slat bed is normally made up of a headboard and a footboard connected with two side rails. Several narrow pieces of lumber fit in between the side rails and provide a sturdy, yet springy base for your mattress. A slat bed can be assembled in about one hour.
Assemble the bed in the room where it will be used.
Carefully lean the headboard against a wall. Place a piece of cardboard in between the wall and the headboard to keep from marring the finish.
Place the hooks in the end of a side rail into the slots in the lower front side of the headboard. Make sure the finished side of the side rail is facing outwards. Push down on the top of the side rail until it is fully seated. Repeat this step for the other side rail. Let the headboard lean forward so that the opposite ends of the side rails are resting on the floor.
Move the footboard into place at the foot of the bed. Place the hooks in a side rail into the slots in the lower part of the inside of the footboard. Push down on the top of the side rail until it is fully seated. Repeat this step for the other side rail.
Press the plastic end caps (if equipped on your bed) onto each end of all the slats. Sight down the length of each slat to determine which way it is bowed. Place the slat across the assembled side rails with the bow facing upwards. Push each end of the slat into the slot or hole (depending on your bed) in the side rail until it seats into place. Repeat this step for each slat.
Place your mattress directly onto the slats and push the bed into position.
Make sure the slats are installed across the side rails with the bow facing upwards. This provides a small amount of spring for the mattress.